29 December 2012

My Obsession with Teddy Bear Making

If you've read any of my other posts, you'll know that this year I became (just a little) obsessed with baking macarons. I just love watching my mixture turn into beautiful shiny puffy blobs with perfect little feet. It has been such a challenge to get them consistently right, and even better to eat them!

Now I'd like to tell you about one of my other creative obsessions.

Teddy Bear making 

I first started making teddy bears about 10 years ago, after looking through my sister's bear and doll making magazines. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I chose a 10cm miniature to start and made him from upholstery fabric. He turned out rather well, so I did another, and another.

My love of the miniature bear has remained, and when looking through bear magazines I tend to pick out the ones that I would like to make, (usually the ones that are a little different) and then go to the photocopier to shrink them until they're somewhere between 8 and 11cm tall. Most of the time this works fairly well, and I have only had one real issue with one that hasn't. Stay tuned for a later post on that.

The majority of the bears that I have made I have kept. There are a few that I have made and given away (mainly to family) for various occasions, and a few that I have sold to friends or given away to be sold for fundraisers.

Here's all the bears that I had lying around the house. They don't often all get together in the same spot, but I attempted to find them all for this photo shoot.

The whole hug of bears
Here's the whole gang. It took a bit of effort to find them all. I've only found one more that missed the photo shoot:

Here's all the bigger bears that I've done (and kept). They range in size from 40cm tall when standing, down to 13cm.

The BIG bears
And here's the little ones. The biggest is around 12cm, down to the smallest which is a tiny 3cm tall.

The little bears
After having kids I found, not surprisingly, that I didn't have as much free time as I used to have, so spent less time making bears. I managed to get the odd bear made here and there, but generally spent more time planning rather than doing when it came to bears.

When I went to the Craft and Quilt Fair with my mother in June (that seems like so long ago now), I had a voucher for a free bear pattern from The art of teddy bears, so I asked my mother to remind me as soon as we got home that I needed to go through my stash of mohair and start making him. Here's the result. He's a cute little guy, isn't he? I was hoping I'd manage to get the same puffy little cheeks as the pattern, but it was not to be. Never mind though, I still like him.

Once I finished this bear, I did a stocktake of all the poor little unfinished bears that I had lying around, and was a little surprised to find that there were 19 partially finished bears just waiting to join their friends around my house. There were a few that only needed their heads to be finished, while half a dozen hadn't progressed past being cut out. And in my fabric stash: assorted acrylic fur, 7 pieces of sparse mohair, not to mention the metre of mini bear fabric and samples of the same in assorted colours. That should keep me going for a few more years!

You'll be pleased to know that since I started writing this post a few months ago, I did make some progress on the unfinished bears, and managed to finish 7 bears from the black hole that is the unfinished pile.

One of these I donated to my son's school for their trivia night auction.

and here's the other 6 that I finished.

Now if only I could find the time motivation, to finish more.

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