Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Buttons bear

Our latest little fuzzy-butt bear creation - I'd like to introduce 'Buttons'. 

This little guy is 6" of white kid mohair goodness. 

Button's was looking very WHITE when we finished him yesterday... so I started rummaging through my accessory box. Ribbons didn't look right. Pendants didn't look right. Even a ruffle collar didn't look right... 

Then I spotted the box of novelty buttons we'd been 'forced' to buy the last time we visited the craft store...

 (long story short - the kids were with us, grabbed a container of buttons each - and wouldn't let them go. We put them back when we reached the check out line, but after 10mins of the line not moving, and the kids non-stop screaming - we gave in and handed them back. Bad bad parenting, I know! Resulting in $24 worth of buttons being purchased that we hadn't planned/needed to purchase!) 

BUT - at least we have found a use for the doomed buttons! I wired them together in a stack using beading 'tigerstail' and made a little stem that Button's holds in his left paw (sewn in place). This has worked really well and means he can be posed in lots of cute ways. 

Buttons himself is currently available for adoption on bearpile and etsy. 

And we've also got a limited run of 4 complete kits available for Buttons. The button-flower bouquet stacks are shown below. At present all 4 are available to choose from. I'll include the gold tigerstail, crimps and instructions on how to make your own bouquet with the kits too (it's really very simple though - just thread the tigers tail up through all 4 buttons and back down again, crimp tightly underneath then to make a stem bend the wire back on itself a few times, wrapping and twisting it to make it strong. You want it to have a bit of flexibility/flop though so it looks like a real flower) 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Artist Highlight - Willow Designs

I was browsing bearpile again this evening (it's a bad habit... but there's just too many amazing bears on there!), when i discovered these incredible teddies. They are made by a fellow Australian artist Rachel Bailey  under the name of 'Willow Designs'. 

These little bears are EXACTLY what I love to collect. They are simple, yet perfect. Sweet faces, pleasing form, and that magical touch of whimsy. 

These are just some of my favourites that I've stolen from the Willow Designs bearpile listings. Some of them have been adopted, some are still available. The Christmas panda at the top of the page was the one that caught my eye tonight. Seriously cute! 

Definitely worth a look. I love stumbling across new artists! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Christmas Give-Away time!

The Emma's Bears and Fur Addiction MEGA bear giveaway is here! We wanted to see out 'Fur Addiction's' first year of trading with a bang... so we made this EPIC sized Australian Lambswool panda bear as our Christmas giveaway! 

We haven't named the bear yet - that will be up to her winning mum or dad. She stands in at a whopping 25" tall (64cm) and takes up a further 25" across when sitting down. She's entirely handmade by us here at Emma's Bears from our own design. Her super luxury fur is actually genuine Australian Lambswool in soft white and frosted black. She's fully jointed and has hand painted glass eyes with sculptured lids and faux fur lashes. Her retail price would have been approx $900 (not including postage to ship her big butt to her new home! lol)

To be in the draw to win this big girl, all you need to do is comment on this blog post. If you share this blog, the post, and/or any of the photos we will give you a bonus TEN entries into the draw (just let us know that you've done this so we can keep a track of the entries).

The winning family will be drawn on Sunday the 25th November - giving us enough time to get her packed up and shipped off to her new family in time for Christmas. 

Good luck everyone!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Finished Piggy Products

We got them done! It was a mammoth 2-week adventure, but we did it. 23 plush guinea pig stuffies of varying sizes, fabrics, shapes, styles and 'breeds'. 

Some of them have made their way into our etsy store..

... some were custom orders, so have already been claimed... 

...and some of them are just a little quirky!

The greatest excitement was for the texel plushies though. Which took a lot longer to finalize due to the detailed eyes and the nature of working with a real fur product. We (or rather 'I') finished them up at midnight last night. How's that for a fun-filled Friday evening in! 

I didn't want the kids to get to them before I woke up in the morning, so I hid them up on our fur shelves! They look like a little colony of critters setting up camp in our fabric! 

Come mid-morning, after the baths and breakfasts and cuddles were over, I snuck outside with a washing basket full of texel plushies to take their photos. Brisbane weather had another plan though, and had a great deal of fun blowing gusts of wind spasmodically, just as I has smoothed out and displayed the fur on their coats... lets just say this photo shoot was a challenge of my patience! 

All of the texel plushies have found new homes now. If any currently on hold become available again, I'll most likely post them in our etsy store- so this would be the place to keep an eye on. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Behind the scene continued

This is what 23 unstuffed guinea pig plushies look like. Now the finishing begins!! (lots of stuffing, eye setting and seam closing for the next few days). 

And this is just a curiosity that I thought I'd share, we found this nest rolling around our front lawn in the wind yesterday. On closer inspection we can guess that the bird/s that made it were accessing our yard for supplies as they've masterfully woven scraps of stuffing and loose fur into the lining of the nest. It's so beautifully done! 

(and we can thank the birds for cleaning up after us!)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

behind the scenes

A little peek at our work behind the scenes today. We have 15 mini guinea pig custom orders to fill by the end of next week (which means we needed 15 hand-sculpted polymer clay over glass eyes). You can see them in use on two of our mini guinea pigs below.

To sculpt two eyes is no drama. To sculpt 30 was challenging! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The munchkins

Thought I'd do an update on the kids. Chelsea is now 3 and Byron is coming up to his 2nd birthday. Both are still off the growth charts for height and weight... (doesn't help that both Mark and I are huge! 6' 5" and 5' 11" respectively)... so I think these kids are going to be on the tall side of things! 

We've been trying to think of an outdoor play activity for them that didn't offer an opportunity to fall and break an arm (thank you trampoline of 2011) , or that would just result in ramming sessions and massive fights (like the ride on cars). 

A sandpit came up in our brainstorming, but neither Mark nor I were sure we wanted to deal with sand all over the lawn and inevitably all through the house. But sentiment won us over... after all, what is a childhood without a sandpit to bury mum's Tupperware in! 

Needless to say, the kids approved! And we've only had a handful of 'sand in our bed' incidents so far! 

(Plus, it keeps them busy making messes outside, while we're busy making messes inside cutting rolls of fur!)

We're in a pretty good routine now though. Byron and Chels go to kindy together three days a week - which become our full on work days (trying to cram 5-days worth of tasks into 3 is a challenge, but a rewarding one at that). On their off days, we try to do something fun as a family. One thursday recently, we decided to visit the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in the city.

(We don't often venture 'into the city', firstly - because parking is a pain in the ass. And secondly - because trying to keep two excitable toddlers from running off and never being seen again tends to detract from whatever fun activity was originally planned... on this occasion we were both feeling optimistic that we could handle the munchkins, so we just packed them up and did it!)

This was one of the first exhibitions we came across. A HUGE wall made up entirely of handmade toys. There were some quirky little creatures in there! I did feel a bit sad that they were strung up behind glass and not being played with by a child somewhere though... 

Chelsea found a stamping station with all different symbols/letters.

This was the top floor, looking down on a ceiling of truck inner-tubes stuck inside each other... the effect from the ground floor was quite impressive... should have thought to take a photo from down there! lol 

These were wall-mounted cleaning things... like the kind you find in car washes. I'm not sure how this was art... but it grabbed Byron's attention. The intensity of the wind coming off them as they spun around was a unexpected. 

I just really liked this sculpture. Like scooters have come to life, and are mimicking real animals... the movement in this still-art was beautifully achieved!  

And I don't think this one needs a caption really... Byron chose to look away! lol 

After we had spent a reasonably incident-free, tantrum-minimising morning at the art gallery, we walked over to the Brisbane Wheel  - a huge Ferris wheel contraption set up in the middle of the tourist area. The last time we rode the wheel, Chelsea was about 7 months old. She loved it then and she loved it now. This girl has no fear! 

So all in all, it has been a bit of an adjustment working out how our lives now fit around running a business from home, but a few months in and things seem pretty settled. Next year the kids will do kindy 4 days a week so that we can have more 'business hours' time to get the tasks done that are currently being done after the kids go to bed... It will be interesting to reflect on how our lives have changed this time in 2013. 

You'll have to stay tuned for that post! :)  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


We've been SO busy making dozens of mongolian lambswool texel guinea pig plushies over the last few weeks that my 'bears-to-be-made' pile has been totally neglected. And I had been so excited about trying out two of our kid-mohair colours together too. 

So over the weekend I took a break from the guinea pigs and worked on this gorgeous bear. We called her Rita, and she has just won me over with that sweet face. 

Rita is made from our old-style 'Jonas' pattern, using our Milk Chocolate and Golden kid mohair fabrics. I'm so used to making this pattern up in the short-pile, antiqued mohairs that I wasn't sure how it would go in something a little longer. But I think it's worked perfectly. Another nice versatile pattern! 

(I went a bit crazy with the photo taking... trying to capture her in all different lights...)

We've just listed Rita in our etsy store and on bearpile. We've also got a full kit made up if you'd like to have a go at making one just like her. She's quite a simple pattern, so would be good for a beginner too. I would love to see what you make if you do end up purchasing a kit!