Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Not a productive week from my end.

I seem to be waiting until the 4th of July weekend to begin the next bear.

More face sculpting will be needed on the next one!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I didn't sew a thing!

I didn't sew at all this weekend, although I should have, I was running a garage sale, from which I ended up pulling several jointed bears that I thought were worth keeping around to study their design.

Counter-productive? Nah, we had them marked cheap (Gund, 25 cents a piece!) and now they'll be inspirational.

I should have taken a picture... I've been slacking in the camera department lately...

Also, while I try to update everyday, travel usually puts a damper on that, and I'll be gone Wednesday evening through Sunday... but... hopefully I'll return with a new bear to show off!

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Looking at Joints

I was looking at the jointing tutorial recently posted by jennylovesbenny and was wondering if those T-pegs are something you can purchase at a hardware store.

I have a feeling there is a bevy of excellent jointing/armateur solutions awaiting me at my local Home Depot, I just have to be clever enough to recognize them.

I've already got a second bear almost completely cut out... and I think I have a fairly good source of material for the third and fourth bear.

I am itching to get my hands on the Bear Makers Encyclopedia, but thanks to several weeks of family issues and illness... my paycheck won't allow for that purchase for at least another two weeks.

I can't wait to get better materials and begin drafting my own patterns!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Bear Ever

So I've finally completed my first bear... mind you, he's made out of what I could scrape together locally... which wasn't much.

Hopefully for future bears I will be a bit more prepared... but here he is, Bear #1, from a jennylovesbenny pattern. He's about 6 inches tall from footpads to the top of his head.

I'd love to start making my own patterns... I have to say though, gussett lineup with the side head pieces still baffles me a bit. How do I measure this out? What happens if I change the dips and curves? Did everyone learn this just through trial and error, or is there some great, secret tome of the Bear Maker???

Anyways, I'm calling this little guy "V", he's a bit "starey eyed" because I didn't have any good eyes to use... lesson # one, get better eyes... his nose is also not even, because I hadn't read any techniques when I sewed it, I just grabbed a needle and went to town *shudder* lesson # two, draw shape on first:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting Going

I've, since yesterday, found several helpful forums where a lot of my questions have been answered.

More than anything, I now have a list of books that I want:

1. Making and Dressing Miniature Teddy Bears by Julie K. Owen
2. The Encyclopedia of Teddy-Bear Making Techniques: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Techniques by Alicia Merrett and Ann Stephens
3. Learn Bear Making: Easy-Intermediate-Advanced by Judy Maddigan
4. Teddy Bear Art: How to Design and Make Great Teddy Bears by Jennifer Laing

If anyone has any input on any of those books... or others you feel I should add to the list, please let me know!

I've almost finished my first bear... he just needs his back seam sewn up. He's... not quite what I figured, since I ended up not being able to find the correct joints... his poor little head is just sewn on and the joints I ended up using in his arms and legs (the smallest ones I could find in the area) were still way too large!
I also didn't have the right eyeballs or a good color floss for his nose! All in all... a bit of a disaster, and yet, I still love him. He's my first, so I'm not discouraged, I figure it can only get better!

I don't have a picture yet, I felt I should sew up his back first... but tomorrow hopefully I will have an image of my first little disaster bear! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Beginning

I've started this blog to chronicle my start in the humble art of bear making (Although admittedly I'm sure you'll be subjected to all of the silly crafts I get myself wrapped up in).

To the left is an example of one little craft I've been working on... Spool Dolls... which have nothing to do with bears, but I felt like a real slug having my first post be totally devoid of any craftiness.

I have two bears currently in the works... so I will post pics of them soon.
They are Jennylovesbenny patterns :) I figured I should start by learning from someone who knows what they're doing.

I will say though, that I've already learned some important lessons:

1) Finding Mohair and bear joints locally = impossible. The internet is definitely my friend in this regard but since I'm not really sure what I'm looking for, I've yet to actually order anything.

2) Bear Making books don't exist in current bookstores... you can find books on making sock creatures, yarn creatures and tshirt creatures, but if you want to make a simple, stuffed bear, forget it! I got a list from another bear-maker I admire from books she was selling on ebay, so I plan on asking my local bookstore if they can order them. If not, I might lose my mind.

3) Teddy bear magazines... much like the items above... impossible to find locally.

I have to wonder how many people give up just due to lack of resources.