Thursday, February 6, 2014

A day in the life of a teddy bear artist ..........

It has been the usual hectic time in our house.  Hugglets is just a couple of weeks away and neither of us have a single bear completed for this show or the on line show taking place in mid March.  I do admire those artists who start sharing all their bears some weeks (months) before the show.

After a successful (and pricey) consultation and several visits to the chiropractor I thought my neck and back problems were solved for the moment.  Yesterday I woke up sprightly and full of enthusiasm with plans to do great things.  Sat crossed legged on the floor looking through my books and then could not move as I had once again put my hip out of place.  Spent the day taking medication for the pain, walking bent over and feeling every minute, day and year of my age.  Carry on regardless is my motto but by evening I had only managed to stitch one bear.  So this morning it was off to the chiropractor once again for the usual clicks of the joints in my neck and hip.   Feeling a little sore but at least the pins and needles in my arms has gone.  Still walking like an aged duck 'tho. 

At least this week has seen the completion of one bear on order.   Josephine is a copy of one of the Gallery bears on our web page.  I am not very good at making repeats and this bear had lavish trimmings of vintage lace and beads as well as a tiny bag.  Lots of work but pleased with the result.

The eclectic mix in the picture below was used to dress this little bear, I added the dried roses to add some colour to the picture.

The vintage beading trim which I used on Josephine's head consists of a series of daisies made using pearl beads which have been stitched to several strands of thread.  The first time I used a small section to trim a bear's head I simply glued the ends of the thread to hold the beads in place.  Unfortunately this time the end daisy came apart and I had to re-stitch it.  The beads used for this trim vary considerably in size,  not obvious until I tried to put a fine needle through a very misshapen bead which I had to discard. 

After many years of grubbing through boxes at markets around the world I have built up a large collection of antique/vintage lace, ribbons and velvet flowers.  All these items have become a lot more sought after in recent years and hard to find,  particularly here in the UK.   I originally started collecting these items because I felt a certain sadness that an exquisite hand embroidered table cloth and matching napkins was sold for just a few cents.  As an embroiderer I know how many hours are spent working on these items and the fact is that they were literally thrown out at a time when hand crafted items became less fashionable.   A lot of these vintage items are now made into a variety of creations using bits of embroidery and lace in a multitude of ways.    However,  I lack the courage to cut up exquisite pieces of lace or embroidery .   Probably quite foolish and I am sure there is a surfeit of these items in museums and collections around the world,    Fortunately I do have a large selection of bits and pieces which can be used without feeling too guilty.  Some of the larger pieces of lace are used to decorate our table at the bear shows and I was soundly scolded by one visitor for not taking better care of it and being warned that constant handling would cause permanent damage.   Realistically holding on to boxes of pretty things is not very practical and I should  incorporate some of these pieces into other creations.   So hopefully this year I can start adding some more pretty things to our other Etsy store which is sorely in need of new stock.

Unfortunately the knitted dress mentioned in my previous blog has not materialised in time for the Hugglets show.   A repeat pattern of this type is not something to do without being able to work quietly without interruptions and somewhere due to my lack of concentration,  I missed a stitch.   I find that fine knitting is impossible to undo and pick up the stitches.   I am now left with a frilly bit which I can perhaps use to trim one of my bigger bears.   So it will be a case of starting all over again but it will have to wait.  I have spent several days already trying to knit this dress!

Finally a touch of much needed spring colour in the house.  We have fortunately had several days of wintry sunshine but it is still muddy, very damp and miserable.

Hope to have bear pictures to share next time.

"There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will
catch your heart....pursue those."
- Unknown

1 comment:

Milly Me® Teddy Bears said...

Pfew, you've been busy with yourself and your creations.
I'm glad you feel a bit better now.
Mmmmm sitting cross legged on the floor: maybe not so wise at this age ;o)
I always used to sit like this untill last year. All of a sudden my left leg hurts after a while.
We are getting older Wendy....I think we must learn what it feels like he he he.

I love your new bear. It's gorgeous. Repeating bears is always tricky. I'm not good at it either. Making twins is almost a mission impossible.

Sorry that your dress did not work out so well. But I do understand your reason. It's difficult to knit and losing a stitch and picking it up is a real crime, so I found out myself.
And it takes a lot of time to do these knittings.
But I like the idea of using it as a ruffled collar.

I wish you all the best with your Hugglets preparations.

Have a nice weekend, Thea xxx


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