Thursday, October 30, 2014

progression of a nose...

*** Please note this is just how I do it. Not every bear artist will do things the same way. I choose to freehand embroider, others will use a template, others might sculpt a leather nose, or a polymer clay nose or needle felt a nose... the possibilities are endless! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Albie (and some more turquoise goodness)

Albie was the result of an evening of getting my hands dirty. Very very dirty!

In fact, the silk-dye didn't wear off for about a week. It looked like I had been digging in the garden with my fingernails and just forgotten to wash my hands.

Sure... I could have used gloves and spared my skin a soaking of (almost) permanent dye... but where would the fun be in that. And it wouldn't have been nearly as easy to blend and smudge! Well, that's my justification anyways!

Albie was created a few weeks ago now as part of the Artist Bears International competition (that has just passed this last weekend). He was entered into the 'Well Loved' category. I am yet to hear the winning entires, but I am still pretty chuffed with this guy regardless of his winning or not.

Albie is made using a piece of our matted German mohair that has been dyed a stunning turquoise green. (This was a custom dye colour I whipped up for a special order, but made way too much of. So I used it for the fur I made the little Turquoise Squirrel from last fortnight, as well as the very cute duo you'll find at the bottom of this page).

He was cut using our 'Alivea' pattern as well - which works wonderfully in long pile fur as well as shorter fur. I decided I wanted to try making him look like he had his old wood-wool stuffing poking through a worn hole in his foot pad, so I cut two foot pads and sewed them together. Then when I made the 'worn' hole in the outer layer, it didn't compromise the construction of the leg as there is still an intact pad underneith the top one (so his real polyfill stuffing cannot escape).

I slipped a small amount of wood-wool in between the pad layers, and let some poke through. It has been secured and aged with more silk-dye.

Something a little new for me, but I do quite like the look.

Albie is currently available for adoption in our etsy store.

And these two were also made using the same dye-batch, just with some slight alterations to tone. They have both found new homes already, which is not surprising because I fell in love with them too.

The were made using our 'Osias' pattern. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Baby Bonnie Beth

This week has been a bit of a mess-around week with all of the errands we've had to run with the house sale pending for this monday. It was one of those weeks where it just feels like you're treading water but not really getting anywhere. I literally spend two days dyeing mohair, drying mohair and sitting on the floor tracing and cutting out bear patterns. This was my rather pretty pile of mess at the end! 

I decided that I wanted to finish the newest reborn-style bear first, as it was actually this time last week that I finished the little boy baby bear (Oliver William). So now he has a little sister. The photo above shows her face with just the eyes inserted and the nose trimmed.

Below shows the face finished, and I was checking to make sure I'd left enough space between her ears and her eyes for her pink rose headband.

Then this was the cute little bundle of fluff that ended up looking back at me when she was all finished. I am quite smitten with this baby bear actually! Look at that little face - so innocent.

And here we have the final photos of 'Baby Bonnie' in her brand new (still with tags attached) 'Mockingbird' brand newborn size nightdress. It has a fine pink rose print all over it, as well as a sweet pale pink velvetene bow by the colar and twin buttons down the back.

Name: Bonnie Beth
Born: 24/10/14
Time: 5:32pm 
Weight: 5 lb 2oz
Length: 45cm

Bonnie is actually made from a piece of our Limited Edition mohair of the same name. She is a one of a kind artist bear and is currently available for adoption. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Baby Oliver William

This sweet (slightly grumpy and overtired) little baby boy is Oliver William. He is the latest, and currently the only available reborn-style baby bear we have for adoption.

He is made in a piece of our imported German mohair called 'Dove Brown' - because it is a tricky shade to describe: not quite chocolate, not quite silver. I actually had him cut out and ready to go as an example bear for this line of mohair... but it took me too long to make him and we've actually now sold out of it! lol

(We do still have this same pile of mohair available in a funky Marmalade orange though)

Born: 17/10/14
Time: 5:06pm 
Weight: 4 lb 8oz
Length: 17" 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Turquoise Squirrel

After falling in love with my first ever squirrel soft sculpture, I decided I did indeed need to make another one. While I was on a roll!

So this little lady came about. She's pretty self explanatory - stunning hand-dyed turquoise mohair in two shades mixed with a rainbow faux fur tail and a lilac bow... perfection really.

I am honestly surprised she's still sitting on my shelf. She is available for adoption in our store at the moment... but only because we are moving soon and I really can't afford to be sentimental!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

designing a squirrel

I got asked to create a soft sculpture squirrel as a special custom request this month. I finally had some time to get to work on the pattern over the weekend, so sat down and drew out this sketch as a starting point. This is the way I create all my new patterns - I start with a concept drawing, then I take the shapes I'll need for each component from the drawing, altering where I need to as I go.

This is the little guy in pieces, with his eyelids freshly sculpted.The trickiest part of this whole project was selecting fabrics that would work and look 'squirrel-ish' enough. I got lucky with this dense gold mohair, and the matching dense white that one of our limited edition long pile faux fur fabrics was a good match!

And this was the end result. Not too bad for a protoype if I do say so myself (in fact she's actually better then I expected! bonus!). Her new mum has called her 'Poppy' and decided to go with the red bow by her ear as her accessory.

I would really like to make another squirrel to make use of my newly crafted pattern again... but it will depend on whether or not I can find some more suitable fabrics to make a second one different as little Poppy is being sold as a one of a kind.

Maybe I could try a colourful squirrel... turquoise anyone!?