Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kinfe the Fairy Bear

This is Kinfe - my little 9" Fairy Bear. He's made from the rest of the rainbow dyed piece of mohair I used for Esmeralda. His paypal listing his HERE.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A new pet for our house...

I woke up this morning and decided I was going to buy a fighter fish. So I did! But first I had to salvage this old vase from the backyard (where I had been using it upside down to take photos of bears on). Clean it, fill it with water, check and adjust the pH level, put the chlorine remover in, set up the heater (as its the middle of winter here)... some rocks and plants, buy the fish and some food...

...set up the tank, float the fish, release him and watch him swim laps!

I've never had one like him before (and I've had a few over the years!). He's a really odd mix of pink, blue and red. Depending on how the light hits him, he will appear predominantly a vibrant blue, or sometimes more of a mottled pink.

Simply the MOST amazing bear I've ever seen!

I don't know about you... but I am in LOVE! This is the most incredible piece of artistry and engineering I have ever seen! Meet Tiffany by eTeddys. She is MASSIVE too - coming in at 33" tall. You can see in the last photo that her head is actually bigger than the real Tiffany's!

Alison has made Tiffany to help raise $2500 towards a lung transplant for a young woman named Tiffany Tate. Tickets are $10 each, and she will only be selling 250 of them (so get in quick if you'd like some!). Click HERE to be taken to all of Alison's photos and information on purchasing tickets. I have my 5 tickets, and I must say I'm tempted to get more!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Bear - Roxanna

Roxanna is the fattest, greenest, sweetest little chunk of bear that i've made in a long time! She's the result of the piece of mohair that I dyed here. I painstakingly went through ALL of my patterns in my very un-organised pattern folder (I really need a better system!) to find the one that would fit the odd shape of fur I had at my disposal. It was just under a fat 1/8th as I'd used the other part to make my custom bear Edwin - who was also hand dyed (a rich, dark purple that time).

I ended up deciding to go with short and fat for Roxanna rather than long and lean. I also tried my new Inktense foot shading technique again. This time I was a little heavier handed with the colouring before the wetting process to give me more colour to work with. It was actually quite fun. I just roughly scribbled the pencil of the corresponding fur colour out about 1cm along the edge of the paw pad until all colours were present on the pad. Then I dipped my finger tip into a cup of water and blended the colour from the edge of the foot towards the middle of the pad - starting with the lightest first, working around to the darkest. The trickiest bit is blending the colours together in the middle. If you keep the ink quite light towards the middle you don't get any 'muddying'.

I am definitely happy with the look, and will keep testing out as I can - bear permitting!

Cutest little giveaway

Check out this little sweet heart - Blue Moon by A Stuffed Life. The giveaway is drawn on July 18th (which just so happens to be my birthday. So I automatically believe I'm going to win! :P).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Monkey Arrived!!!

I was trawling through ebay and the orphans on bearpile a few weeks back, and stumbled across this little sweetheart. And HAD to have her! She is the MOST expensive adoption I've ever made, and is my very first reborn doll adoption. But she is a true work of art! Look at that sweet little face. (and we'll just call her an early birthday present... ;))

Chelsea loved her too. She squealed with delight when I lifted her out of the box, and just about jumped on me to get to her. I let her have a little cuddle - but after the money I out-laid to get her sent all the way from the UK to Australia, I'm a little reluctant to let Chelsea too close. (During the cuddle session she decided Monkey needed to be pushed into the garden - cementing my resolve to keep Monkey safe on a very high shelf!).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Missing someone special...

I've been having a bit of trouble getting to sleep lately, and last night got thinking about the pet parrot we had before Chelsea was born.

His name was Kojo and he was a beautiful Sun Conure. We purchased him in an irresponsible 'spare of the moment' decision one Sunday afternoon when visiting a pet shop. We had planned on buying a Cockatiel, but fell in love with Kojo's playful nature. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), he didn't make any noises in the pet shop. And being totally clueless about Sun Conure's, we didn't know what we were in for!

As a heads-up for anyone considering adopting a Sun Conure - they are LOUD!!!! And I don't just mean a little bit noisy, but easy to block out as background noise loud; I mean obtrusive, unavoidable, able-to-hear-from-the-road-when-the-bird-is-in-the-back-room-of-the-house kind of loud!

Kojo let off his first screeches once we got him safely into the house. Mark and I looked at each other and both said 'what have we done!?'.

I would say that it probably took a good 6 months for him to be comfortable with us, and for us to be comfortable with him. We got him to the stage where he was quiet as a mouse when just hanging with us. And if he was naughty he would get a time-out in his cage - in his own room! We let his wings grow back and he would fly from my shoulder to Mark's as he pleased. He was always so happy to see us when we got home from work. He would do his little happy dance and make soft grunty noises. When he was feeling really affectionate, he would nestle himself in the warm spot between my ear and my shoulder, pulling my hair around him like a blanket. I loved him so much! So much that even now, almost 2 years since we had to find him a new home, my heart hurts to think about him.

When we found out we were pregnant with Chelsea, we made the hard decision to find him a new home, sooner rather than later. I knew it would be hard, but I don't think I realised just how hard! I tried a million different scenarios in my head to see if there was some way we could keep him. But it just wasn't practical. Kojo was terribly bonded to me, and had gotten to the stage where he would attack Mark if Mark tried to give me a hug while Kojo was sitting on my shoulder. He would attack any of our guests as well, and actually drew blood on everyone who came to look at him to give him a new home! We knew that this behaviour, along with his volume level, would not work very well with a newborn in the house.

Watching Kojo get bundled into his new owner's car... his little claws clinging onto the bars of his cage, trying to get as close to where I was standing as possible, staring at me through the window as the guy drove away... It just about broke my heart. There was no way I could explain to him that I still loved him, but his new family would look after him now. I don't know how much intelligence to credit him with, but I couldn't help feeling like I'd betrayed him. I'd taken him home, gotten him attached to me, then tossed him out at the first chance.

I cried for the rest of that day. I sobbed all through dinner. Cried myself to sleep. Cried at work the next day. And the day after that. (It probably didn't help that I was about 14 weeks pregnant either! :P). That sweet, annoying little bird had stolen his way into my heart, and going from the reaction I still have now when I think about him, he'll be there for a little longer yet...

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This sweet lady is Esmeralda. She is the big bear I had drawn out on the piece of mohair I rainbow dyed this week (there's still a little one to go!). I am really happy with her. She has the sweetest face, and her colours are lovely. My only regret is how yellow her tummy ended up. Purely due to the fact that where I had drawn her tummy pieces ended up smack bang in the middle of some yellow stripes. I suppose that is all part of the fun of painting random colour placement though, as opposed to my earlier work in specifically painting each limb the same! That looks nice too - but i think random placement has its place.

I tried something different for Esmeralda's feet too. I pulled out my Derwent Inktense water-colour pencils and did some shading with them. I was just really lucky that some of the colours matched her fur perfectly. So much so in fact, that it's hard to tell that I've even done the shading. It just looks like the fur is throwing coloured shadow back onto the paw pad. That is until you push the fur back and the colour stays!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pumpkin Pie has reached her destination

I got an email from Sylvia (the winner of my blog giveaway) this morning letting me know that Pumpkin Pie had arrived in The Netherlands. She has posted a blog entry and this is a gorgeous photo Sylvia has taken of Pumpkin Pie with a bear Sylvia's mum purchased when she was pregnant with her! Stunning photo!

Another awesome surprise for Miss Chelsea

Some of you may remember a blog entry I did a little while ago when an amazing collector (and 'official Chelsea Fan Club Member') send her a sweet little teddy bear?

Well Miss Julie has been at it again, secretly finding awesome things to post all the way to us here in Australia! Today Chelsea received a crazy-cute squishy orange pig!

This photo shows all the toys Julie has sent for Chelsea so far in her 11 months of life! The black rabbit was such a favourite when she was tiny. She loved sucking on his sticky-outty ears. He was lost in the bottom of the toy box for a little while though. Pulled him out to get this group shot. The white plush lamb is a super favourite right now. He is so soft, and Chelsea can't help herself but lie down on anything soft and suck her thumb (toys, jumpers, socks, bath robes, Mark's backside one night when he was trying to watch TV etc!).

She re-discovered her family of sheep in these photos. I had put them away cause i didn't want her to destroy them. They are a beautiful hand knit little family. I think because she hasn't seen them since Christmas, she got a bit excited and tried to cram all three into her mouth at once!

Then she had a little chat to the new orange piggy...

...before deciding it was time for her to leave home!

Thanks so so much Julie. It means so much to us. Chelsea is a lucky girl to have someone so generous in her life. Even if she has never had a chance to meet you!

Fizz the Kool Aid Elephant

This is Fizz - the elephant i made from the Kool Aid dyed mohair. His colouring is so sweet (and he has just the tiniest hint of strawberry scent to him too!). His currently listed on bearpile.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Update on rainbow dying

So this is the day after my rainbow dying experiment. The blue/purple one has been rinsed - and the colours are awesome! The rainbow has amazing depth of colour on the backing fabric, with a softer pastel tone for the fur pile. I have two bears drawn out on the back of this fabric ready to go when it dries!(Click on the photos to enlarge them and get a better look)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yet some more dyeing experimentation

So the first little bit of experimentation was with some Kool Aid sachets. I tried a red (strawberry) and a yellow (lemon). Also mixed a little bit of the strawberry and lemon together to get a nice orange colour.

This is how the colour looked painted onto the fabric. It rinsed out as a lovely watermelon pink and peachy-yellow. This piece will be turned into an elephant.


Then I tried some traditional dyeing. You're supposed to add the sachet to a big pot of water and boil it. I like to mix up little concentrated cups and paint it on. It gives me greater control over the placement of the colour - and means i can get rainbow effects.

This is the colour painted on and setting. For really rich, deep colours I'd leave it to dry overnight - then rinse it out. But i wanted softer tones, so i left it for about half an hour.

This is the colouring once rinsed. Its still wet, but you can see the shades really nicely.


This is the last piece i did tonight. I just used the purple, blue and green to give a nice deep foresty colouring. I'm leaving this one to dry overnight and will rinse it in the morning. Hopefully i should get some nice rich colours!

Lets make some rainbows

One of my most favourite bears to make are my rainbow line - hand-dyed in a gorgeous assortment of colours to make them truly unique! These are some of my early experiments with colour:

So today I will be working on a couple of bears and I think I even have an elephant drawn out to rainbow-dye as well! So all going well I'll upload some finished photos of the colourful mohair this evening :)