Friday, April 29, 2011

Mink Teddy Bear

I finished my mink bear...finally...and was able to deliver it to my collector before Easter, though I did work on it right up to the time we left the desert for Easter with our daughter. I was so glad to get rid of that bear.

I've already told you that taking the coat apart was a messy job and seemed to take forever. Fur was flying everywhere and making me and the pups sneeze...definitely an outside job.

I was so afraid of making mistakes so it took longer to make. It was my first real fur bear, it wasn't my mink, and I was so afraid of ruining the fur. Real fur must be lined so cutting a cotton version of the pattern is necessary. The cotton lining provided support for the very fragile pelts.

Nancy Tillberg was encouraging and nudging me along. She finally told me to stop worrying about making mistakes and get over my fear of working with fur. I was mostly worried about sculpting the fur on the snout. I have only ever scissor sculpted but this time I brought out the electric clippers, closed my eyes and sculpted. It actually turned out pretty good and I was quite pleased that it was smooth, even and no cut lines were visible.

Would I do it again...yes, absolutely. While visiting the Central San Joaquin Valley over Easter I picked up a couple of jackets, one rabbit and one mink, from a high school friend. The next one will be easier I am sure.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bear Artists Online

Bear Artists Online, formerly known as Teddy Bears and Critters Australia, may be reached by clicking on the BAO graphic in the right column. Same people, same great work, just a new name, and the new home of the ACD awards, June 1 - 5, 2011.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Joseph

Today is Joseph's birthday; he turns 28 years old. He is now in his second year of a doctoral program at the University of Maryland. I'm very proud of him all of the time...but sometimes, I wish I had this little boy to hold one more time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recycled Fur

I've never made a bear out of real fur; I've always wanted to, but never took up the challenge. I was asked to make bears by my niece from a full-length muskrat coat that belonged to her deceased mother. As I understand it, the five children in the family grew up playing in mom's coat. A couple of weeks ago I got another call from a local lady wanting bears out of a full-length mink. Two real fur coats...I immediately signed up for the Heirloom Bear online class at EbearZ University.

The first step is to take the coats apart and check for tears or bald spots. This is a messy, messy job that must be done outside. As I started taking the mink apart I found lots of little yellow pieces that looked like sawdust. Did you know that real fur professionally cleaned is tumbled in large drums of sawdust? I didn't, not until I checked with Nancy Tillberg. Take a look at her website to see some of the beautiful bears she makes, many of them from recycled fur.

After I calmed down about the sawdust, it took me two days to take the mink apart. It will probably take longer for the muskrat since it has an underlining as well.  Both coats saw a lot of use and were in worse shape than they appeared as whole coats. Today I'm working on a pattern. I'm a little scared to start cutting into someone's special coat, but I'm on it and will let you know how I do.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Bears Available


Three new Waggle Bears are available for adoption. Sadly, they did not find homes during the recent "Be My Valentine" online show. If you have questions, please email me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Basic Bear Boot Camp

Here's my finished bear from the EbearZ University online class. Everyone taking the class used the same traditional teddy bear pattern provided in the class. It will be interesting to see how different everyone bear turns out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Online Bear Class

The past few weeks I've been busy with an online class with EbearZ UniveristyBasic Bear Boot Camp is a new class and offered for free...can't beat that price. Class was taught by Nancy Tillberg of Kran-Bearys. You can read all about it at EbearZU blog. I've been making bears for several years but Nancy has  some really great methods and techniques and I learned much easier ways to do some things. I especially enjoyed the videos provided with the written lesson.

If you haven't been by EbearZUniversity in a while, stop by and take a look. She's added many new classes and some new teachers, too.

Finished my bear today and will try to get pictures this week.