Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ten Toes to Tickle

I managed to get Bronson's feet in here at last! Now you can see what I mean about the leather
from these jackets that I buy. Aren't these feet just gorgeous? I sometimes think that I have the most fun with the feet of my bears, they are the last thing I do and I always feel that until they are done the bear isn't a bear! To me they are every bit as important as the face and I can often spend as much time on them!
I wonder what the ladies in the op shops would feel about me cutting up the jackets to get the leather? I'm sure that they would feel that I'm wasting them, but when I look at this photo of Bronson's feet, I know that it's never a waste :) When I cut up these jackets I sort the leather for different purposes as the thickness and quality will vary over different parts of the garment. There will be softer, thinner pieces that I save for my miniatures and the rest I keep for my larger bears. A long time ago I used to buy faux fur coats aswell, that was in the time before mohair and alpaca fur fabrics were so freely available, and they were my best source of good quality furs for my bears. I think I still have some of that fur stashed away somewhere, though I will probably never use it now, it may be time for a clean out!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where has the Sun gone?

I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever see the Sun again! It seems we have had an endless succession of foggy and overcast days, but very little rain. Today we finally got rain with the cloud, at last, but we are still in drought. We have had no-where near our usual rainfall, I just hope that the next few months will see a return to normal (whatever that is these days).
I've been struggling with a new polar bear pattern today, but I'm having a hard time getting it to work the way I want. This might be the first head to hit the bin in years! (OH DEAR) Having done this one today, though, I think I know how to tweak this new pattern so that I get what I'm after, so after I've finished this I'll have another go. I'll probably not throw this poor head in the bin either, I may be able to use it to try out some new ideas I have brewing, could be interesting......
Yesterday I popped into an op shop and found a couple of great leather jackets to cut up for paws and noses. For those of you overseas, op shops are thrift stores (US) or charity shops (UK) the name is short for opportunity shop. Us Aussies are great ones for shortening the names of things, but I guess it can become quite confusing for people overseas :) I find these stores a great source of leather, particularly the lovely mottled leather from those "stone washed" leather jackets that were all the rage some years ago. No-one wants to wear them these days so they are all turning up in the op shops, happily for me :) I've added this photo of Bronson's feet so that you know the type of leather I'm talking about, and to show you what I can do with it. Well so much for the photo, it's not uploading, I'll give it another go in the morning......ho hum.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kiko, my workshop bear for the UK

I have just sent Kiko off to Susan Davies ( he's the sample for the workshops I will be teaching in September. At the request of last year's workshoppers I designed a Polar Bear. Kiko has lots of features which will keep the workshop participants very busy for the whole two days. There is my trademark leather nose in addition to an open mouth with tongue and eye teeth and I have also included sculpted paw pads with claws! So there will be lots to learn in the two days. One workshop is being held in Lockerbie and the other at Bear Basics in Somerset, both are being organised by Susan.

I can't believe how fast time has flown these past few months, it doesn't seem long enough ago that I was discussing going over to the UK again this year, I felt I had all the time in the world. All of a sudden I feel as though there isn't enough time to get done all that needs to be be done, with another online show to prepare for, the South Australian Doll and Bear Fair and then Hugglets in London!

I don't think I will be doing much blogging over the next few weeks, I just won't have the time! It will be head down and tail up for this little duck!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yi Min

This is the panda I've been working on, I finished her on Monday but had to wait for some decent weather for her photo shoot. Today started out with a hard frost and the day developed into a cool but cloudless winter's day, so I was able to set things up outside and got I some good shots without the aid of lights.

I managed to squeeze Yi Min's dark parts out of the alpaca left over from making Bronson, so there is absolutely none of that fur left. This panda is a one off, there will never be another one made in this colour. You can see more photos and read all about her on my website.

I've just felt the temperature plunge as the has sun dipped behind a rather large blackwood tree, I'll be lighting the heater early today. Having the sun streaming in through the windows all day, I'd forgotten just how cold the day really has been. The days are so short now, only a couple of weeks and we'll be past the solstice, then our days will begin to lengthen again. It's a bit like taking a big breath when we get over that hump and we start heading for Spring and Summer........still there are many cold days to come.

Monday, June 8, 2009

An Amazing Week!

Wow! What a week I've had! The Black and White Ball concluded last night after a week of wonderful bears, critters and fun. I was surprised yesterday, and honoured to learn that I was the joint winner with Laraine White from New Zealand, of the public's choice vote, with my little panda Meixin. Later in the day the winners of the Australasian Creative Design Awards were announced, Katrina Ndrejica won the biggy and the runners up were Kim Russell and ME! So all in all a pretty amazing week with great sales to top it all off.

I can now reveal the bears and critters that I created for the show. I decided to stick with the black and white scheme and made a family of Emperor Penguins, a couple of Pandas, a couple of Polar Bears and a Tassie Devil! All but one found new homes over the week and I'm fairly confident that the last one will too. I'm so very happy with the outcome of my first online show, I'll certainly be participating in many more to come:) A huge thank you to Sandi Smith of for all her tireless efforts in making this event such a wonderful success and experience for all involved!

Meanwhile I've been working on a new panda design, which will be finished today. I'm really pleased with this one, and hopefully I will be able to get some photos later and get his cute little face up in here.