Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Jussi, Checking In, Life

The past few months have been very strange in Benson Bearland. I had snow in March, yes I was over on the other side of the world, but still...  And then in April my brother-in-law passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep. This was a great shock to our family and affected me more deeply than I realised at the time (after all, Bob had been a part of my life for more years than my own father!) It seemed my bear making spirit had left for a while, it was a struggle to get going and no new ideas were forth coming. A couple of months after Bob's death my aunty also passed away after a brief battle with cancer, rather a lot for our family to bear. It didn't help that Tasmania was experiencing some of the wettest weather I can remember! Here we had water seeping and gushing in places where I have never seen it before, and lack of sunshine and dreary days made my mood quite low.
Still, I was committed to a couple of trips, one to Tooradin in May for some classes and then off to the Teddy Tree in Western Australia for more classes and a show in August. This is what I needed. To get in amongst some beary creative friends, my mojo is back, and I am feeling inspired once more. I have been making some sweet sweet bears.
I designed Jussi for my next workshops in Tooradin ( he is loosely based on the "John West" bear. I happened to be stuck over night in a hotel at Melbourne airport after my delayed flight out of WA missed my connection into Launceston. I had a photo of "John" on my computer and did a few rough sketches on the writing pad provided by the hotel, working out his head details and the jointing. When I got home I set about creating the pattern and then the bear. I am really rather pleased with him, he's only little (about 7.5") but he has bags of charm and is oh so poseable! In addition to the usual joint at the shoulder, this bear has three extra joints in each arm! This makes him a lot of fun to play with, he can do all sorts of stuff! In all Yussi has 13 joints in him, wire armature in his back legs and I added leather claws to complete him. So, this is what the girls in Tooradin will be doing with me in a couple of weeks, if you're in Victoria perhaps you'd like to join in? Give Kim a bell if you're interested.....

With Spring in the air and the first blossoms out, warmer days of gentle breezes and sunshine, my mood has lifted. I have been getting out in the garden and attending to some much needed weeding and digging and for the last two days added an hours bike ride to my day as well (I was a lucky recipient of a wonderful new cycle for my birthday!) I now know how unfit I am! (and I also have a sore backside!) To be rectified with regular rides with the dog running along beside me.