The bear making has been running a bit slow with the holidays and all that entails, but I was able to make some progress yesterday. I stitched together the pieces of Winter, the bear I’m working on. But, because it is such a dense plush, before sewing it together I first had to trim the long fluffy fur from all the seam allowances on each piece …by hand, with little scissors. I was parked in front of the TV with the bear and my little box of tools so I decided that I would also baste most of the pieces together to make it easier to machine sew and not have to have pins sticking out everywhere. It took me forever to trim the seams and baste but it was also very relaxing. I had a cup of tea next to me, my feet up on the footstool…..very nice.
The next day was not so easy. I had to make a lot of adjustments. I always do when I design a new pattern. I have a vision and an idea when I make a pattern, taking into consideration the material I’m working with, however I always know I’ll be making changes along the way. That’s what makes this interesting, although sometimes frustrating, when things don’t turn out the way I think they should at first and I have to figure out what will work. I don’t ever worry, because I am confident that I will always figure out a way to make it work the way I want it to. I’ve been doing this a long time ( 15 years), so I plunge those scissors into the bear with confidence. I remember in the early days, I was afraid to trim a bear’s muzzle….what if I made a mistake, I couldn’t glue it back on! I don’t look at anything as a mistake now….I call them adjustments. Even when the finished bear is totally different than what I envisioned, it usually ends up even better than I imagined. I think making adjustments to my ‘plan’ as I go along is part of being a bear artist and not just a bear maker.
So, Winter is all sewn together and it is definitely a polar bear…a cub actually. The length of this fur really made it impossible to make it a realistic adult bear, but I think this little guy ( I’m feeling boy, not girl, but you never know) is turning out great so far. Today I’m going to start needle felting the face. I love to do that because I can add so much more character and it gives the bear so much more personality. I don’t know yet if I am gong whimsical or real. Check back tomorrow and see.
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I’ve also added a lot of photos to my Gallery page. Do you see any of your bears there?
Well, it’s finally feeling like Winter here on Cape Cod. We’ve had such unseasonably mild weather, I really can’t complain. Yesterday, I decided to get some exercise and took the dog to the beach for a nice romp. Brrrr….that lasted about 4 minutes…sorry Boomer.
Speaking of Winter, I’ve started to create my second bear in my seasonal series called, appropriately, Winter. I’m creating each bear as I experience the season. Shivering a bit in my studio with the heat turned low ( heating oil is an astronomical $3.90 a gallon) is a great inspiration. I’m working with a very dense, premium white plush. It’s a little longer than I usually use for polar bears so I’m not sure if this one will be a polar bear or not. I designed it in the shape of a real bear but I won’t decide until it’s put together what it will actually turn into. I have a few ideas, though.
Unlike the last bear, Chester, where I decided to add suede toes and paws after he was assembled, I smartly added these before I sewed the limbs together so I could machine sew them on. Well, I didn’t like how the machine stitching looked. So, I spent last night in front of the TV watching Rick Steve travel around Europe, while I laboriously stitched each toe and paw pad onto each paw by hand.
The stitches don’t show and I’m happy with how it looks. I have one more to do this morning and then I’ll start stitching this baby together! I’ll make decisions after that on whether to needle felt the face or put loc-line in his or her arms. I’m thinking this might be a ‘her’….we’ll see what happens. Check back to see the progress!
A lot has changed on Ebay in the Artist Bear listings since I Iast offered a bear there, but I thought I’d give it a go again and see what happens.
My Newest Bear on Ebay is Chester!
CHESTER HAS BEEN ADOPTED AND HAS FLOWN
TO HIS NEW HOME IN THE UK!
He’s a big 18″ tall. Go to Ebay to see more pictures and read all about him.
Chester’s Auction ends on Wednesday night, December 21.
I’m so pleased with Chester! I’ve done claws on bears before but I tried a new method and these things will never fall out! After I put him together, I realized those big feet needed something so I spent hours appliqueing suede toes and pads on his feet and paws and I’m so glad I took the time to do so, because it adds so much character to the finished bear.
And this is Autumn
He is first in my Seasonal Series
AUTUMN HAS BEEN ADOPTED AND GONE TO LIVE IN CALIFORNIA!
I decided to make a series of bears designed with a seasonal theme. Autumn will be the first bear in the series. I have a beautiful piece of long white premium plush that I’ll be playing with for my winter design. I can’t wait to get at it and see what the result will be.
You can follow along on my Facebook page where I’ll be posting what goes on behind the scenes in my bear making studio. I think you may find it interesting!