Friday, February 27, 2009

Teddy Bear Picnic

As you know I love to hear from people. The other day I received this adorable photo in an email from a sweet collector. It shows my bear, McIntosh, enjoying a little tea party with some other bear friends. Not only did the photo make me smile, but I noticed who my bear was sitting beside.
As it turns out, the large bear is from a fellow bear artist, and now friend whom I first met in October. This was the beautiful bear she brought to show me when we met. Neither of us had any idea that our bears were now living in the same house and playing together....1/2 way around the world in Singapore. That made me smile ! It really is a small world isn't it !

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meet my newest bear, Michael

Michael (named after my brother) took a little longer than I expected to complete, but he is now ready to meet the world. He is the proud owner of my new wire armatures in the video too. Michael will be on Ebay later tonight for a 5 day listing. .


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Armature Demo

Check out my first video upload created with Movie Maker. I know it leaves a lot to be desired as it is too dark , and my voice sounds muffled and uhm...weird LOL. But, it is me showing a new method I came up with to create armatures for bears arms/legs. Don't laugh too hard heehee.

Now that I know how to do this I'll have to add more in the future , once I perfect my taping.

Enjoy :)
Oh, and watch for a new mink bear coming soon with these armatures.

If you can't see the video, try this link HERE . If you still can't see it just email me and I'll try to figure it out for you :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you are all enjoying the day of Love. I think we all have someone that we can say we love, a significant other, family member, friend, etc.

My sweet hubby took a vacation day from work yesterday to spend with me as I had a seminar to attend all day today. Isn't that thoughtful ! We went shopping, bowling, and out for a nice lunch at a restaurant new to me. It was really nice just hanging out together on a "work" day :) Of course today we exchanged some yummy treats.

Earlier in the week I received a wonderful surprise in the mail from Finland. A sweet friend sent me the card and hearts as Valentine's is also a day to celebrate friends in Finland. I love getting mail, email, whatever. It's nice to know someone is thinking about you. I hope you know that someone loves and cares about you today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I did it !!!

Woohoo...the bears are done. Well, almost, I have a couple of seams to close :) Wow 5 bears in 5 days- not bad ! This isn't a great picture, but it was cold out so it was done in a hurry without any primping ! They look better when brushed a bit :)

I am so happy that I finally finished this project. I worked hard all week and some late nights, and we even had ANOTHER school storm day with the kids home yesterday. It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you really focus . This fur was horrid to work with though. The muskrat was old , worn, and dry and the seal was really thick than I expected. Trimming the face evenly was a challenge. I also had to replace a couple of limbs that slit.

The bears are not my favorite , it was an old pattern I haven't used in a long time. Since they are keepsakes for children I had to use safety eyes and noses which have to be inserted before stuffing. Due to the weakness of the fur I wasn't able to do any needle sculpting of the face. But, at least they will be a lasting memory for the new owners which is so nice.

So , that is it for orders for me ....forever ??? My old fingers need a couple of days off to heal . The tips are cracked and bruised from the needle pokes .

Oh, do those black ears remind you of anyone LOL ??

Monday, February 9, 2009

Memory Bears

I have a project on the go this week that has been in the making for probably 3 years or more ! A mom of my daughter's friend asked if I'd make bears from 2 family fur coats way back when I was doing memory bears. Time passed and she finally got the coats to me 14 months ago.

I am really embarrassed to say that I have been procrastinating all this time on making her bears. Isn't that awful :( She isn't in a hurry , but still. Problem is I stopped making memory bears in the interim, but I had promised to do them all those years ago. You know me I keep my promises :) I just find having orders puts a lot of stress on me, that's why I stopped. Oh well, I CAN do this and I will be so happy when I can present her with the bears. So, that is my goal this week.
How many do you see ?? There are 5 and the coats are much more dry than I thought, which will be a challenge. I need to mix and match the muskrat and seal coats to get enough for all 5 of the 13" bears. I better start cutting.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Exciting News !

I have very exciting news to share ! I have just received notice that 2 of my bears have been nominated in the People's Choice Competition in Australia. The public (that's you LOL) gets to vote online until March 15th to determine the winners. Please take a minute to support the competition by casting your votes. Of course I would be thrilled if you picked mine, but prefer you pick the ones that you feel are the best !

My nominated bears are :
1) Artist Bear Over 6 " category (Tia - who lives in Wisconsin,USA)

2) Modern Bear - (Eclair- who lives in Winnipeg, Canada)
Thanks so much for sharing in my excitment today. Click HERE for the voting link THEN Click the "VOTE HERE" logo to see nominees and vote.

EDITED: Some people are getting an error on the link saying " the voting is now closed" . It isn't closed, just try again at another time, the problem is being fixed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Something completely different !

Meet 4" Winston who is available on my website.

I've been wanting to make this bear for a long time and last night he was finally "born". I designed him earlier in the week and got straight to work cutting, sewing and stuffing. I am really happy with him. He is the first one this size I have made since 2007. I think the small mink bears I've been making have ignited the desire to make more minis.

My concern was the hand cramps I've been having. However, that didn't occur with Winston. I think it is because of the scale and the fabric is so easy to work on. Bigger bears, especially real fur, is thick and harder to manage. I was so pleased that my hands coped well !!

I hope you like Winston, he sure makes me smile :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Slip Sliding....

My world looks like a skating rink today. Yesterday was ANOTHER storm day at home for my kids. The 4th in as many weeks. It snowed 10cm yesterday then turned to freezing rain creating a slippery world for us to wake up to this morning. I thought school would be cancelled again, but no. I ended up driving my daughter as the sidewalks weren't cleared for walking. It sure looks pretty, but not fun trying to chip that ice off the car windows, or for driving or walking- yikes.

This pine cone is encased in an icy caccoon

Every storm this year has been followed by the ice. I've already gone through 50kg of road salt, and 20kg of sand just to keep my driveway semi-safe for visitors.

Enjoy the scenery :)

My front steps railing is coated too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Feeling Thankful

No it isn't Thanksgiving, but today is one of those days when I feel kind of emotional. I'm not sure why really (hormones probably !) It's just kind of a contemplating life sort or day. It seems that so many people that I care about are struggling in their life right now. It just makes me feel so blessed to have the life I do. No, it isn't perfect, but I have all I need and more. Nothing extravagant, but God is good.

I have a job that I love, and the greatest collectors who support me in this bear making journey. It gives me a few extra $'s so that I can stay home, and not venture out into the scary job place that I have been away from for over 10 years.

I get to be here when my family needs me. Like today, when my daughter called from school wanting to come home because she was feeling sick. How thankful I am that I had a car available and could be there in minutes to rescue her, give her a hug, tuck her into her warm bed and make her feel a bit better. My kids have never had to spend a day in daycare, for that I am thankful.

Overall, compared to many my life is wonderful, I just wish I could share it all with those that are hurting.

Now where are those tissues I need so often -good grief :)

p.s. I am not thankful however, that the groundhog saw his shadow today which means 6 more weeks of winter LOL. You can read all about that HERE.