Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Birthin' bears - Confessions of a Teddy Bear creator

~ Mama Bear Marta gives a warm welcome to all ~

I have elected to let Marta do the formal greeting and introduction. She's always had such a smart way with words. Being the most cultured and highly respected matron of the house, she makes sure the rowdier denizens keep their manners.
She and Marigold rein in the upstart boys, both of a feline and ursine persuasion. I wouldn't have it any other way. There will be no clambering for laps to sit on, nor will they toss themselves about the beds.

~ Marigold Lockes,
Goldie to her closest friends ~

So just what is a "teddy bear creator?" you may ask. Well, there may be some variations on how we define the term, but in general - a bear creation is a bear created from scratch by just one person. And our bears are not toys but are Artist Teddy Bears made exclusively for collectors...though I have made exceptions for very young 'collectors', using a more durable and cleanable material and making sure that things like eyes and ears don't come loose from excessive loving.

There are no assembly lines in my craft room, neither are there anyone else's patterns for the most part - just taking ideas from what's in my head, by way of my memories and then creating it from the materials I put together.

My exception to this was in my beginning when I got a classic 1903 teddy bear pattern and modified it to my own liking. That and the pattern I found in a Peggy and Alan Bialosky book I brought home from the library. Oh, how hard those first bears were to make back then, but how quickly I learned by simply having a love for the task!

As artist bear creators, first we need to design our pattern, draw it out onto the fur - I like to use German mohair, but I've sometimes used good quality synthetics. Then cut out the pieces, pin, sew, stuff and assemble the bear itself. It's always important to take special care creating the faces. Others have referred to the face as "the soul" of the teddy bear and I concur. I cannot name my bears until I see his or her face, at which time introductions are made.

So here I go off on yet another adventure - but not a new one, oh no! Not at all! It is the reinstatement of my teddy bear business. I find myself yearning to once again create something that someone can love. And those with teddies know the feeling is mutual, but it's a guarded secret to protect all involved. From the first teddy who held us up when we took our first tentative steps, to the bear who whispered in our ear that they'd be right there waiting
at home when we returned from our first day of school and the bear who we perhaps soaked with our tears as we told them about the anticipated date that didn't happen.

Creating bears was something that I've had to put on a back burner for far too many years and I've missed it greatly. The joy of creating a small furry being, watching the little faces emerge and introduce themselves to me...a feeling like none other!

The fun of making the paws just the right 'plump' - the ears set just right...the nose...aaah, the beacon of the friendly face, all sleek & shiny.

And deciding on a ribbon. Plaid, striped, patterned or plain satin? Over sized or understated? Tails? Bow or knot? Or beads! What about a strand of beads for the little girlie bear? Or a lacy battenburg collar with a pretty clasp! You see that even here as I post about the creation I'm already opining on options. It is an obsession but one that all adds up to Herr Bears personae when the deed is complete. Those are the easy things - the dressing up and dressing down...a look of aristocracy or a woodsy denizen. I'm ready to dive into this. In fact, more than eager to begin tomorrow if I could.

But there is still so much yet to do before I can proceed! So much homework to see how things are done today as opposed to my older methods. I have discovered a plethora of talent out there. I am humbled by the workmanship I see. I can't hope to compete, but only bring something different to the 'adoption tables'. Over the course of the last few days I've visited so many wonderful sites and I want to give them their just due by mentioning them here. As an appreciator of all things bear, I would be remiss in not at least doing that.

The first I found, and most helpful as well, was Teddies By Laura Lynn. Laura has put together a wonderfully informative site which I spent the better part of an afternoon pouring over. Being a bear creator lends nothing to knowing how to use WEBPLUS X2 I'm afraid. This is a new learning curve embedded in that old one.

The second site I liked very much was The Vintage Magpie, a wonderful place that will take you back to times past. And another...oh my competition is strong, tho' I don't think of them that way, is Jennylovesbenny. Jenny's creations are so sweet and conjure visions of pretty tea cups and berries and cream in a delicate china bowl. I will be listing these creator/artists' site on my site as well.

In years past, I always shopped locally for my bits and pieces. All the makings were relatively close at hand. And I had a shop to sell my bears in, or a consignment shelf in others shops, and it was just the right pace for me in an otherwise busy life.
Now Jenny has provided me with the things I will need.
So here we are again - moving around from country to country, city to city and state to state the last 25 years hasn't allowed me to have an outlet long term, so I'm now about to try my hand on the internet. Watch for my new upcoming website where you may browse the pages and pick who you'd like to adopt and bring some whimsy and warmth to your home.

And there, as here I also hope to include a little of the history of bears, and have links to places where you can enjoy a tale or a poem two.

Hopefully it will all be ready soon, this place that's so new I haven't even a name yet.

Or why not search by creator? Use the following link for that.

And best of all, a place to talk about life with bears, and load up on ideas and supplies to bring those ideas to life. Now it doesn't get much better than that!


Kathi said...

Are you kidding me? You're getting back into it? I know you'll be up to your chin in bear fluff again before we know it. And you can count on me to spread the word. But a friendly word of caution eh, don't fall in love with them all and keep them. Bet your house is already overrun by bears. :-)

If you do a panda, put my name down for him. Or a Polar.

Good luck with the venture!

Anonymous said...

What great news! I'm happy to hear you've decided to get going with this again. I never really thought you'd stop for as long as you did. Just remember you're doing it to make money and don't be giving half of them away again.
Keep in touch okay?

Tracy \\**//

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