I thought I'd share some of my recent work with you now he's reached his new home in England. Little Cookie is made in Japanese Silk plush, filled with wool and fine glass beads. I love the Japanese silk plush fabrics, the pile is so soft. I want to experiment with dying some more colours, but the pile really soaks in the dye fast, so I'll need a time when I'm not doing more than one thing at once or risk some very brightly coloured bears!
....in bear form only unfortunately!:) I don't know about others, but when I get ideas for bears, sometimes it takes quite a while for them to 'gel' and finally come together- and sometimes I get straight to it and I can't rest until it's done... Well, after I had my first Macaron experience a bit over 2 years ago, I knew I wanted to make something that brought to mind Macarons, in some way. Just the colours were right up my alley! So the vague idea had sat in the back of my mind.. waiting waiting... til not long before I left for Hugglets at the end of August.
Now I can't honestly say what sparked the final idea, whether it was my Mum making some small boxes that were printed out on the computer or something else entirely, but before I knew it I just *had* to have her make me a tiny replica of a Laduree bag, and a Laduree box which I filled with tiny handmade macarons- (I spent an entire day making over 100 macarons when I needed 8! lol) And luckily, after Hugglets I was also able to scour the souvenir shops in Paris itself for the little Eiffel Tower to finish it off.... I call the set "Mon Petit Macaron" and they have just been listed on Bearpile, along with my little Robin.
Of course, knowing me, I bought more than one little Eiffel Tower- some silver, some gold, some with rhinestones, one with pink rhinestones, one with red, white and blue rhinestones- so there will no doubt be more little Parisian themed sets coming along- when I figure out *just what* to do with them!:)
Well what a wonderful show! All but two of my pieces were adopted, and according to Daphne the show organiser, it was the most successful yet! How could it not have been though, with all the wonderful pieces there to drool over.
I hope you enjoyed looking, the creativity was really amazing. I often find it tricky to do Christmas-themed pieces, maybe its my aversion to red and green, or that when its time to make Christmas pieces it's usually warm and sunny here! It's wonderful to see the different ideas so many artists had for the show.
I can't imagine the hard work done by Daphne and her clever Dad in putting together the show pages and listing pages for us. I hope Daphne has time for a few relaxing days as a reward for all those hours.
Now, time to take a breather, work on a couple of orders and start planning new pieces for the New Year... I already have cut out and sewn the head of a new design which I think might be a bit different to my usual shape, but probably won't be as different as I was hoping for hehe.
Of course I shall snap some photos as she's done...
Only a few hours to go before the curtain closes on the Christmas Treasures Online show! At 4pm New York time (9pm in London or 8am here on the East Coast of Australia) the show will close and your opportunity to adopt one of the fabulous pieces will be gone. There is still lots of wonderful pieces available, and of course you can still drool over the sold ones as well- I know I have been!
Hard at work here with lots of new faces on the workbench.... The Teddies Worldwide Christmas Treasures online show starts next weekend. If you haven't already, hop on over to www.teddiesworldwide.com and check out the wonderful preview bears. You can even vote for your favourites! Here's my little preview girl Cookie, my little gingerbread girl, holding her very own gingerbread man. I hope you like her and I can't wait to upload the rest of my creations. See you next weekend!
Well, back from a wonderful trip to Hugglets! It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Seems like forever ago we were waking early to drive into London for the big day! While I was away I was lucky enough to visit Buckingham Palace and see the special exhibition of Kate's wedding dress, tiara, cake, shoes, as well as the State Rooms of the Palace. Sadly, no photos were allowed inside, but it was a fabulous experience that I will remember for a long time. A special treat was Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Masons also in London. I felt like royalty, sitting back in their plush sofa and being treated to cakes and perfect sandwiches on pretty china. Spoiled!
A pretty vintage rhinestone buckle I found at an antique market near my friend Susan's house.
After Hugglets it was across the Channel in the Eurostar- or should that be under the Channel? Up to Brussels and then onto Ghent for another show. It's so interesting to visit shows in other countries! Here I mostly purchased mohairs... Beautiful hand- dyed colours! I was hoping to find lace, but most pieces, while lovely, weren't what I was after. Then a short trip down to Paris on the Thalys train for a week.. I stayed in a beautiful wonderful apartment on the Left Bank not far from Notre Dame.. In fact I could see Notre Dame from my windows, and hear the bells. I also ventured to my first Paris flea markets! One, Porte des Vanves, is on every weekend. Here I bought laces, old flowers, old postcards and some tiny fluted metal tart tins to use with the bears.. Just HOW I am going to use them I am not sure yet! But I just had to buy them, I'll figure the practicalities out later! So many interesting things to look at, tho sadly many items were just too big to fit in my already bulging suitcase. The other flea market I found out about accidentally, and it was less than five minutes walk away. Here the lace was much more reasonably priced and I stocked up, of course! I don't speak much French, but it's amazing how much you can understand when you have your eye on something!
Tiny pointe shoes I found at the Opèra Garnier in Paris, somehow I will use these with a bear!
The lace was a beautiful scarf I found at the nearby flea market in Paris, with a Macaron box from the best Macaron maker in the world ( in my humble opinion of course!) -Ladurée. I have researched the Macaron extensively so I feel I can say that with some authority...:) of course, the research continues... Hehe
Another Macaron gift box, too beautiful to leave behind! Have yet to figure out a use for this too, but I will! Inside is metallic gold...
Beautiful lace and another view of the Macaron box.. How 'Marie Antoinette' is that box! Ladurée made all the sweets and cakes for the 2006 movie version of Marie Antoinette, and each of their cakes is definitely something out of a royal banquet. They don't taste too bad either!
Tiny vintage metal tartlet cases... What to do with these....
Beautiful vintage flowers from Porte des Vanves market..
I'm probably going to keep these for a while before I can bring myself to use them!
Pretty cherry blossoms from a fabulous shop in London, V.V Rouleaux. A MUST visit if you love ribbons and trims! Now, it's back to the grindstone to get ready for Woodend and the Christmas Treasures online show.... Dreaming of Macarons, elderflower pressé ( a new discovery for me, delicious! I wonder if we can get it in Australia?) and yummy French baguettes!
Firstly, apologies for the photo. It was taken with my phone so isn't the most spectacular quality! I'm worried tho that if I don't post this one I won't get to post a pre Hugglets pic at all... Only one more sleep before this wonderful show. The bears are all ready, freed from their postage boxes at last, waiting patiently for the trip into town in the morning....these two little panda ballerinas sitting in a tiny pointe shoe are ready to go and see what all the fuss is about.. Hope to see you there!
Thought I best also post that the weekend after Hugglets I have the pleasure of participating in a Doll and Bear show in Ghent, Belgium. I am not sure whether I am more excited about participating in the show as an exhibitor, or being able to shop at all the wonderful stalls there for new and exciting bits and pieces to use with my bears, or meeting collectors and artists in a whole new country... I am sure there are going to be lots of hand motions and giggles when there is communication difficulty, but I am pretty confident the international language of Bears and Smiles will carry us through!
Just done uploading Lily's details onto Bearpile (for link see sidebar).. most of my smaller bears are on their way to England for Hugglets, so I will be putting a few larger bears onto Bearpile for the near future. Maybe it will get me back into making some bigger bears....
You may also have noticed the new banner at the bottom of the page and the badge in the sidebar.. I've been accepted for the Christmas Treasures Teddies Worldwide online show, and am already planning my "Christmas Treasures" for the big wekend. When I found out the theme ideas started forming in my head, snowy white, sparkles and jewels, little ribboned boxes with pretty treats inside.... I'm glad I now have reason to bring them to life! A special section of the show will be gift items which will bring out the creativity in the participating artists I am sure... The preview starts on the 4th of November, which sounds forever away at the moment but no doubt the time between now and then will fly!
I hope you've had time to check out the Teddies Worldwide 'Bears on Parade' show already. If you haven't, there's still plenty of time to check it out before the Parade is over... Most of my bears have been snapped up, but little Cleo above is still waiting for a new home. I do hope you stop by and visit with all the lovely pieces created specially for this event. Just click on the badge to the right ---> So while the Parade has been on, I've been attending a show in New Zealand organised by my lovely friend Annetta Flaunty. Craft Out West has a fabulous variety of arts and crafts for all budgets and tastes. From yummy cupcakes and fudges to handcrafted rocking horses to beautiful Pacific Island crafts like Flax weaving. On the off chance you happen to be in Auckland tomorrow, it is well worth checking out!
Full steam ahead here in the workroom, finishing off critters for Bears on Parade, the lovely Daphne's online show coming- well looming actually, looming menacingly! lol.... Also 'on the workbench' bears for my trip to New Zealand and Sydney.. Unfortunately I can't show you my Parade bears yet, top secret til the big day, aside from the preview which starts today. For a sneak peek at all 75 fabulous parade pieces, click the badge at the side of the page. Because I don't have anything new- thats finished!- to show you, maybe you'll join me in a delicious snack of Macarons... I'm afraid you'll have to have the Pistachio one, as the Rose is my favourite:) Now back to work for me...
There are many reasons I love going to Doll and Bear shows. One is it's a great chance to catch up with artist and collector friends, and another is it's a great place to stock up on little finds that inspire *more* bears or dolls... At the last bear show here in Melbourne, I managed to nab these little satin shoes... So tiny, they look to me like they were made for a flowergirl. A bunch of vintage milliners Roses.. A necklace of tiny pearls... What will happen with them who knows? For now they are resting on a cupcake stand here in my studio, where I admire them every time I walk past:) It's fun to imagine the story behind little bits and prices like these... Who bought them? Who wore them? When? Where? Wouldn't it be wonderful to know?
Home again from wonderful Queensland for the Gold Coast Teddybear Fair and a couple of days of classes at Gerry's. It was lovely to catch up with everyone up there again. The plan was to enjoy some nice warm weather, but mother nature was not cooperating this year! Cold ( for Queensland!) temperatures, not to mention the ash from the Chilean volcano messing with everyone's travel plans. While I was lucky enough to escape a cancelled flight, it was still a worry for several days, with all flights to Melbourne by several airlines cancelled. Waiting to see if the cloud would dissipate or move on was nail biting! Now onto preparations for the Bears on Parade online show... Banner *will* be posted soon! I need to fire up the laptop, I've become so addicted to my iPad the poor thing hardly gets any use these days, but unfortunately there are some things I can't do on the iPad:(
Well today will be a very busy one. Setting off tomorrow for the fabulous Gold Coast, so I have lots of things to finish up and get packed.. Last night I finished off sewing the hats for the new bears who are coming along, using some of the hand- dyed hat straws in the photo above. While they make many pretty colours in the straw, I decided one day ( again, just before a show) I was a bit bored with the colours I had, so I got out the dye pots and set to work... I was rather pleased with the pretty pinks beiges and lavenders I managed to come up with... So now today will be spent trimming the hats and dresses, going over the bears for a final check, tagging pricing and packing... I like to finish all my new bears at once, because I make such a mess when I'm trimming.. I need to have lots of boxes down off the shelves so I have plenty of flowers and ribbons to choose from.. Perhaps it would be a quicker job if I restricted myself more? I'm not sure..... Well, better get to it!
Things are busy here with preparations for the Gold Coast Bear Fair coming up next weekend. Teddy lovers from all over Australia and as far afield as New Zealand and maybe even Europe converging on the hopefully sunny Gold Coast for one of the highlights of the calendar here in Australia. I always look forward to this show, even if it does usually involve a bumpy flight with a scary bumpy landing in Coolangatta:) Along with my preparations for the show, I've also been busy designing new patterns for Gerrys... Little Dandy the Lion here is a bit of a sneak peek. Of the four on the CD, not one is a bear...I hope people will find them interesting projects though.... After I've sent them off to Lyn at Gerrys, I'll unveil the rest.. In the meantime I hope you like Dandy...I'm rather pleased with him.. Though he has to be the least scary lion ever!
..... And here is Sarsaparilla! Sadly I wasn't able to capture the true cherry red of Sarsaparilla's body fabric... But I hope you enjoyed watching him come to life, from first pattern sketch to finished product. Don't forget if you'd like to try making a Sarsaparilla of your own, the pattern will be in the next 'Bear Tales' book, coming out soon. Just get in touch with Kim or Josey at Bear Essence (link in sidebar) and they will be sure to help you out! A whole year of lovely bear patterns designed exclusively for Bear Tales by artists from all over.