Sunday, February 26, 2012
How exciting is this - my bears have been profiled in the current edition of the UK magazine the Teddy Bear Times!
I actually really enjoyed reading back through this article, and was surprised by how much other information was included too. It made it really personal and fun!
(click on the images to view them at full size).
Saturday, February 25, 2012
This is my latest creation - 'Marshmallow'. Quite appropriately named by Mark! [Please Note: Marshmallow is now SOLD]
He is made from one of the last pieces of this stunning choc-tipped faux fur that I had left. I do have some of this same fur in a pink tip, and a violet tip in my etsy store though, if you're looking for something similar.
Marshmallow has a needle sculptured face... which I did whilst chatting away to my mum last week during one of her visits. I even surprised myself at how it turned out... especially considering I was talking and cutting at the same time. Maybe I really can multi-task!?
When I was getting his photo's, Miss Chelsea (now 2 1/2yrs old!) decided she wanted to pose with him. Once upon a time she made the big bears look big... now they look quite petite sitting next to her!
Marshmallow looks out through a pair of my hand painted eyes too. I just loved the depth of colour against the lighter fur. I have just recently added a new batch of 20+ pairs with some new colours (ice blue, purples, silvers, black etc) in my esty store as well. These are more of the bigger size (10-14mm), so have some very nice definition and detail.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Yesterday's activities included whipping up three more plush guinea pig mum-and-bub sets. I just love mixing and matching all the different colours and textures of the faux fur, and coordinating with all thew gorgeous cotton print fabric I have in my stash! This set (cream/brown) has already been claimed, but the black/white/pink set and the purple tone set below are currently on etsy.
I also made some improvements to the original design. These ones now have colour-matched velcro straps to help hold the bubs snuggly in place, and to give the mumma pig a more 'guinea pig' shape when her bubs are out and about!
The black, white and pink mum and bub set below can be found in my etsy store.
As can this purple set. (I really love the colours on this one actually).
Sunday, February 19, 2012
This little odd-ball is the last of the batch of bears for this week, and I've called him 'Thelred'. He's currently on bearpile and etsy.
He was actually another one of those unfinished projects that you sometimes stumble across in your craft stash. I remember designing/cutting him out about 3-4years BC (Before children!).
He's actually quite typical of the colours I was playing around with back then.
I wasn't sure what I'd think of him, especially as I feel my style has changed somewhat in the last few years, but I'll admit that I was pleasantly surprised when he was finally looking back at me.
I really do quite enjoy making and collecting the more unusual bears. Don't get me wrong, I love a bear with a sweet, cherub face. But there's something that gives the quirky bears a little extra dash of personality... the kind of personality that you could imagine coming to life when you're not in the room!
Friday, February 17, 2012
I've been busy working away behind the scenes here, and have three new bears and 26 pairs of hand painted eyes to show for myself this week.
The eyes were yesterday's project. I was looking for something to do that got me out of the craft room (which means the kids are out of the craft room too... each time we go in there means just a little more mess, and a lot more destruction!). So I decided to paint eyes on the kitchen counter while the kids played in the lounge/outside.
It sort of worked. Chelsea decided she needed each of her fingers and toes painted a different colour, and Byron spent most of the time trying to reach/steal the eyes from the table top when I wasn't looking! But despite that, I managed to get all 26 pairs done before lunch (and 20 very colorful 2-yr old nails!).
It's a process of painting a colour, scratching back the detail, painting another colour, scratching more detail (trying not to ruin the first layer) and so on. Each of my eyes have about 3-5 layers. Depends on how quickly I was happy with the effect.
I've decided to offer some of these eyes for sale as well, as I really believe that the eyes can make or break your bear/creation - and would love for others to play with colour too! You can find what's left of the 26 pairs on etsy (a few have already been snapped up).
And showing off an earlier pair of my hand painted eyes is the very bright 'Illeana'. She's made from a piece of the hand dyed/tipped mohair that Allison from eTeddies was selling a year or so ago. I haven't got much of it left now, but thought it would look perfect for this girl.
Illeana is currently available on bearpile and/or etsy.
This little bundle of sweetness is the second bunny in my newest bunny design - this time in a short faux fur for extra softness. I stuffed this girl with a mix of corn fibre (used in the head - packs in beautifully!) and the recycled PET stuffing for her belly/feet (it's a lot softer, and you don't need much at all to get a nice feel). Her name is Valentine (yep, she was born on valentine's day!) and she too is available on etsy and bearpile.
And this little lady is a 7" purple bear I've had cut out for a while. I didn't realise quite how long her nose was going to be. I think it might have been a new design I was experimenting with, then forgot to finish! It kind of gives her a bit of an elfin/faery look. I've caller her 'Lora' and she too is on etsy.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Some of you might remember my adventures with designing/creating a realistic looking, yet obviously fake fox fur stole back in August last year. This was the final design - long, funky black and red fur.
The fox was the brilliant idea of my sister, who had the occasion to actually wear it recently! And oh my goodness - doesn't it look so perfect atop her shoulders. Like it was made for her ;)
Friday, February 10, 2012
Back in January I decided to order some 'samples' of Australian made eco-stuffing. It comes in two varieties: all natural corn-fibre stuffing, and recycled water bottle (PET) stuffing.
This is what arrived at our door this week! The kids thought it was fantastic, and were trying to climb all over them.
I wasn't sure which bundle was which stuffing, until I opened them. Then it was very obvious. The corn-fibre has a completely different consistency and the most incredibly sugar-syrup smell. It isn't as silky and slidey as the plastic stuffings usually are, and it compacts really well. This stuff is going to be perfect on the bears that need to be firmly filled!
The PET filling isn't as crisp-white as the corn fibre, with kind of a slight blue/grey tinge to it. It is super silky, and super bouncy though - and will work really well when I need to stuff a bear a little more loosely, or when I am making my baby toys that need to be nice and squishy!
I know I am always curious to be trying new products, so have more realistic sample size bags of the stuffing for sale in my etsy store if you'd like to try it too. (postage costs might be the killer though - but you're welcome to combine with another product).
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I was recently commissioned to make a child safe orangutan for a little boy's first birthday coming up.
I've never made anything remotely like a monkey/orangutan/ape... and the facial/head structure is quite different to that of a traditional teddy. But I figured it would be fun to try. And I even had the perfect faux fur in stock left over from making my long haired guinea pigs! This is what the head design looked like when I'd turned it out for the first time. I was getting a little excited by this stage! It's so rewarding to see all the concentration that goes into a pattern actually turning out like you anticipated!
He needed some stuffing though, so I could make sure the face was actually going to work - this is him before he got his nose, mouth and ears.
Then with all final details in place, he's looking decidedly orangutan-like. And I'm quietly quite chuffed! (I did have one moment of panic when the thought 'I wonder if orangutan's have tails?' popped into my head half way through - but a quick google searched confirmed that they do not!)
Saturday, February 4, 2012
A few years ago I had the brilliant idea to make a bear from an Australian lambskin. The bear was deliciously soft, but I had so much trouble making the bear that I vowed never to do it again...
That was until this week, when I went back to the lambskin store and purchased not just one, but TWO huge lambskins with CRAZY thick, long pile fleece.
This not-so-little lady you see before you is the first of two bears to be made from those skins.
Her name is 'Nessa', which means 'lamb'. Perfect!
Yes my fingers are sore, but she was so worth it! You can check her out on bearpile and etsy.