Thursday, 28 June 2012

Ta Daaa! The Two Bears are Finished

Here are the two little mohair bears, all finished and brushed, ready for a new home.
Treacle is the 5" brown tipped mohair bear and the 6" blue tipped mohair bear I have called Forget-Me-Not.
I was expecting Forget-Me-Not to be 7" but it seems I had used my 6" pattern for her.
Treacle 5" and Forget-Me-Not 6"
It always amazes me how much difference 1" makes in the look of these little bears.
One of these days I will make a pattern for a 4" or even a 3", but at the moment I am enjoying making these sizes.

I am now making 2x5" brown bears in these mohairs and paw fabrics.  I tend to make bears 2 at a time for some unknown reason.  I did try making more than 2 at once, but stitching 4-5 pairs of ears on all at once was not my idea of fun. :)
I also got some pretty tipped mohair in a short pile cream with tan tip delivered yesterday.  That will make a lovely 6" bear. 
I have used the same mohair in a dark brown tip many years ago and Bisto (edition of 10) was really cute and my customers loved him (sorry about the quality of the picture, it is a photo of a photo).
6" Bisto LE10 (all sold)

Monday, 25 June 2012

The making of A Pretty Blue Bear and a Soft Tipped Mohair Bear - Part 2

The arms and legs have now been stitched up and combed to make sure there is no mohair caught in the seams.
I have attached them to the body using traditional cotterpin joints.  You may think that this is the main part done, but finishing the head takes just as long.
I trim the nose ready for stitching with black Perle cotton.  For these smaller bears I split the cotton into two so that it is not as thick.
Sometimes I have to redo the nose as it is easy to get it stitched crooked, and I am quite fussy over the facial features being straight and in the right places.  The eyes are then positioned using the pins with coloured ends - to make sure they are in line with the nose and rest of the head.  They both have black glass eyes.
Here are the two little bears at this stage.  The smaller one will be 5" and the other 6.5".

2 little bears wondering what you are saying about them.
They can't hear you as they haven't any ears yet!
Tomorrow I will show you the finished bears, complete with ears and full tummies.
I have not decided on names yet.  Any suggestions welcome.

The making of A Pretty Blue Bear and a Soft Tipped Mohair Bear - Part 1

It is a long time since I have showed any work in progress, so I decided to show the two new mohair bears that I am currently making.
The first is a 7" in a white with blue tip sparse and shaggy mohair.  I have never used this mohair before so it is exciting not knowing how he/she is going to turn out.
I have chosen a mid blue ultrasuede for the paws to compliment the blue tip on this pretty mohair.

I don't think my big white Real Soft Toys cat
minds being used as a model for the mohair
The other bear will be 4-5" and is being made from a beautifully soft gold with rust tip which I was told is used a lot for making ducklings.  He will have peach coloured ultrasuede paws.
I have already cut him out and do not have enough of this mohair left to show you it in the 'piece'.
Here is Butterscotch a 6" bear made from the same mohair, but with gold paws.
Butterscotch 6" mohair bear
I have got all the pieces stitched together and have stuffed and jointed the arms and legs.  Recently I purchased some smaller cotterpin joints that will make it much easier to assemble the 4-5" bears.
The head is also stuffed ready for my favourite bit - nose, mouth, eyes and ears. 
First I have to sew up the stuffing seams in the arms and legs and comb out any trapped mohair.
Here are the pieces so far. 
The pieces of the two bears ready for assembling
On my Spaniel tray (found in a second hand shop) there is also my trusty old pincussion, strong thread, two sizes of sharp scissors, two sizes of cotterpin turners, the rest of the joint components I will need and my little homemade stuffing tool.  My husband made it for me years ago and I would be lost without it.  It is a metal crocheting hook inserted and glued hooked end into a bradawl handle and then bound with string.  It is great for stuffing and turning smaller size bears.  
I will show more of the progress of these bears tomorrow.
Butterscotch and many other bears - new handmade mohair and vintage, can be found on my website

Saturday, 23 June 2012

These are What I Call 'Real' Teddy Bears

To me, these are the 'real' teddy bears, the same sort of age and similar mohair as my childhood bear, Cuddly.
These 1940's - 1950's bears really appeal to me.  They are like old friends.
I have a few from this era on my website and in my Etsy shop - see links at bottom of page.
Here are a selection of them.
Charlie and his Pup, a Merrythought Bear
Dean, a Deans Bear

Sailor Bill, a Chiltern Bear

Jessie, a Pedigree Bear

Sandy, an English Bear

Friday, 15 June 2012

Six Inch Bears

I think that most bear makers have a favourite size of bear that they make.

When I started bear making I made various sizes from 6" to 16".  Over the years the bear world has changed and many collectors prefer the smaller sizes so my business has evolved accordingly.
The largest bears I make now are 8" and the smallest I have gone down to is 4.5". 
These tiny bears are a nightmare to turn and joint,making my fingers and hands ache.
Green and Tan Panda
Puple Panda
I like to make the 8" size, especially the colourful Pandas design.

I think my favourite size has got to be the 6".

They are just the right size to sit on a shelf or dressing table without being over'bear'ing. :)
Here are a collection of my 6" bears, past and present, such cute little characters.

Herbie - Sold


Mikey - Sold
Timmy - Sold
Binky - Sold


If anyone has a colour in mind or would like one similar to one of the sold bears (it cannot be identical as they are mostly one offs), please contact me with your requirements.   I will make one up for you at no obligation to buy if it does not look as you were expecting.
The available bears are in my Etsy shop and on my website