Friday, 17 October 2008

Autumn Trends

This week I have had some time off work, so as well as fitting in all the hairdresser, dentist, doctor and opticians appointments, that I don't normally have time to  fit in, I have also had some time to make bears! I have managed to make three from start to finish and also finished off two more.
The season has now definitely changed to Autumn and this has influenced me in my bear making. I have chosen gold, copper and various shades of browns to make my latest bears. There are so many lovely shades of fabric, that one can never have enough to choose from.

Just some of the fabric from my stash in autumn shades

 I noticed on the news this morning that they were talking about the lack of conkers this year due to the Horse Chestnut trees being attacked by the leaf miner moth. When I was much younger we lived in a house that had a Horse Chestnut tree in the front garden. I can remember naughty little boys sneaking through the hedge to pick up particularly promising looking conkers that had fallen on the lawn ,and worse still trying to knock them off the tree by throwing stuff up into the branches to dislodge them! On the other side of the drive we had apple trees, so we also had problems with scrumpying too!

As I have made all these new bears, I have also Autumnised (if there is such a word!)my website so that the page themes are more in keeping with the season and the new bears I have to offer.

Here are some of my Autumnal bears available on my website:-

If you would like more information about the Autumn bears click on the link to my website at the top right of the page.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Website Update and the importance of doing back-ups

Just to let everybody know that my website, has recently been updated. I have added a few new bears and changed the theme of some of the pages. I had worked really hard on updating the pages and just after I had finished tweaking everything, my poor iMac decided it had just had enough and refused to play anymore! How glad I was that I had carried out a back up only a few days before, so most of the work was definitely retrievable. I thought I may lose the last bit I had done but my clever, very computer savvy husband managed to get the old computer to cough up, so in the end I lost nothing, just the hardware. I am now working on the "spare" computer which is actually the screen from one ,the keyboard from another and the bit that does all the work(don't know the name of can see how clever I am at computers....not) from yet another one!
so in summary two things,

a) if you would like to visit my updated website, please click the banner at the top right of the page and

b)Please all you computer users remember to make regular back ups.

Monday, 1 September 2008

New Leaf

Right, that's it. I am turning over a new leaf and trying to get organised. I know that I have an online show coming up in February, and that all the details of the bears have to be sent in, in January. I have set myself a target of how many bears I am going to complete and broken that down into the amount of time I have left between now and then, so that I will know if I am on target to be ready. No last minute sewing on of ears for me!(incidentally, I have diarised my tasks at work so I can spread them out over the month too). I am determined not to let things creep up on me any more!(except maybe the housework, I hate, hate, hate it. Although it is necessary, it's not very creative I find)

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Why do I always leave things to the last minute?

I really don't know the answer to this. It seems to happen in all strands of my life. At work there are certain things that have to be done each month, and nearly all the time I am scrabbling about trying to get them all done in the last few days. As my manager answered ,when I said I had just been too busy, "If you can find the time to do it now because it has to be done by tomorrow, why couldn't you find the time to do it two weeks ago?"

I think that we all think (or do we?)that if there are, say, two weeks to do something, we are bound to get a bit of spare time between now and then to complete the task in hand.

I decided that this year I would place an advert in the Hugglets guide for 2009. The dead line for adverts is the 4th September. Now I have known that I wanted to do this for some time, but I realised on Friday (with a week to go)that I had done nothing towards it!!!!! Well I managed to take some decent photos and play about with some photo editing software to create an advert with appropriate text and send it through by e-mail within a day. Now all I have to do is send in the paperwork to go with it. Easy you say......No, because I have to write a small paragraph for my main listing in 20 words or less . I always hated competitions where you had to write a slogan, and this is what this feels like to me.I need to summerise what my bears are about in these few words. Most of the things I have come up with so far, are a few words too long. I expect I will be able to do it with some fine tuning....but why did I leave it so long? I could have had this sorted out ages ago, I knew I would have to do it, so why didn't I???

Note to self ...try to be a bit more organised then maybe I will have more time to do other things!

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Different inspirations

It is strange the things that inspire the making of different bears.This little panda (well actually quite large in my bear making terms, she is just over 4" tall) began as a spark of inspiration, when I was sorting out my ever growing stash of fabrics.

A bear maker can never have enough fabric! You must always be on the look out for interesting material and trimmings and little twiddly bits, that might one day come in handy.I think that I have magpie tendencies as I see some little sparkley thing or pretty ribbon or really soft fabric, and I think "oooh thats really nice, I am not sure what I will use it for but I am sure it will come in handy for something soon!"

Anyway, back to my panda. Her name is Plumpanda, because she is a panda in a plum colour, but also as she is on the cuddly side of slim! so may be her name should really be Plumpandapanda! I have a box which contains my vintage long pile fabric collection and I was looking through it when I came across a fairly small piece of a gorgeous buttery cream fabric. This was on top of a deep rich plumy purple colour which I have had for so long that I cannot remember where it came from.Well it shouted "make a panda" to me. I belong to a number of teddy related internet groups and a Panda Challenge had been set on one and I think this is why my brain was in panda mode.

I am very pleased with Plumpandapanda, as I think she will now be called, she even has a matching purple nose!

Monday, 25 August 2008

I am an affiliate member of Teddy Bears And Critters Australasia!

Exciting News! I have recently become an affiliate member of TBACA (see banner on the right for a link to their website). Their first 24 hour online show is to be held on 27th September 2008, and I for one will be dropping in to see all the fabulous bears on offer from all the members of this group Down-under.I have also signed up for their first international show which is to be held on 14th February 2009 and is titled " Be My Valentine", so hearts and flowers will no doubt be prominent as a theme in the bears on offer.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Adventures into open mouths!

I have been reading up on all the different methods of creating open-mouthed bears. Since I mostly make bears of less than 4" in height, I had not really considered going down this route before, thinking that they were far too small to try this with. However, I do like a challenge, so I decided to try it and see what happened. After reading lots of information, I decided to try the insert method, whereby a section is cut from the side head pattern and a small gusset is inserted creating the top and bottom of the inside of the mouth. I was quite pleased with my first attempt but felt I could improve it with maybe a little adjustment to the pattern for the inserted mouth piece. This resulted in attempt number two, which is again OK but I felt it needed more needle sculpting to get the shape even better. I have also been reluctant to try this technique as I really dislike the look of some open-mouthed bears which look a bit mean and scary, I want my open mouthed bears to look happy and smiley.
I think my third attempt is quite smiley but I think I will have to make a few more to see if I can duplicate the effect. I think that different fabrics and different amounts of stuffing will also change the effect I can achieve. You can therefore expect to see a few more open-mouthed bears soon, so watch this space!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

My Very First Post!

This is my very first post on my very first blog!
I was starting to get just a little bit cross as nothing seemed to upload properly(I was using Safari) but have now, I hope, solved it all by using Firefox instead.
In honour of my first post, I am also posting a photo of my very first completed Anime style bear.
His name is Pip and he can be seen in more detail on my website, Just click the photo of little Strawb at the top of the page to visit.
I don't know how often I will be updating the blog, but hopefully will have something new to share in the not too distant future! Bye for now!