Saturday, November 24, 2012

Oh, Joy! A New Toy!

I had planned to do some housework today, but how can I when THIS arrived today!

I have wanted one of these Singer Featherweights for quite a while, and I finally had the chance to buy this lovely girl, "Olive" from fellow Teddy Bear Artist Cathy Forcino. In addition to making lovely bears, Cathy finds vintage Featherweight sewing machines and fixes them up for fellow crafters and collectors!

Olive came so carefully and cheerfully wrapped, I felt like it was Christmas morning!

There is nothing wrong with my "old" sewing machine--in fact I love it, and would not trade it for anything~it sews perfectly and it is sentimental. My mother gave it to me, and I learned to sew in this machine. It was the first thing she bought with her first paycheck from her first "real job" and she made clothes for me on it when I was a baby!

But "Susan" (since Olive came with a name I feel compelled to give this old friend a name too!) will be tucked into her table for just a bit while I learn about my new machine.

I expect I will use both machines. I love that Olive is portable! Although "Featherweight" is a bit of a misnomer as all of these older machines are a bit hefty with their metal geers, she is much lighter than Susan and comes with that neat case.

No playing now, though. I must get back to house cleaning, but I have something to reward myself with when it is finished! Some new fur came this week too! SEW exciting! (Yes, I know I am a nerd!)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Treasures!

The Christmas treasures online show and sale at www.teddiesworldwide is now open! (Actually, as I am typing this, it is the night before, but when I post this it will be open!!)

The theme for this year's show is Christmas songs and carols and I really enjoyed embellishing my bears to suit the theme. I have made the embellsihments removable so the bears can be enjoyed year round.

Here are Daniel and Holly. Daniel is the "Little Drummer Boy" ( you can see his drum at the show) and Holly represents "The Holly and the Ivy".

Jeremy's simple green bow and bell were inspired by "Jingle Bells" of course!

These two classic style teddies, Nick and Tasha, were inspired by The Beach Boys' "Little St. Nick" and by "O Christmas Tree"
I hope you will join myself and the 84 other artists at the show this weekend! See the link above or click on the banner in the sidebar of this blog. Thank you for looking!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Holly and the Ivy

We have only just turned the calendar page to November, but Christmas songs have been playing in my head for weeks! The each 85 artists participating in the Teddies Worldwide Christmas Treasures online show was asked to create a bear to represent a Christmas carol or song. As I pondered my choice, my head was a virtual juke box of holiday tunes. I finally decided on "The Holly and the Ivy" There are so many Christmas songs I love for so many different reasons, but this is one of my favorites. I have a CD by pianist George Winston called "December" which includes the first version I heard of this song. It is this particular instrumental version that is my favorite, and the CD is perhaps one of my favorite albums ever! Each time I listen to it, a wave of warm emotions crashes over me, and while it brings happy memories, I often find my vision blurred with tears. What a wonderful gift George Winston has to be able to move someone like that with his music!

I also knew I wanted to keep my assessories simple because the bear I created has some nice detailing on her own. At 15", she is the smallest bear I have created with my detailed paw pads, although I realize she is still large by many people's standards.  Here are Holly's paws and feet.

Applique trapunto paw pads before airbrush shading!

In an effort to create a simple assessory that was also unique, I decided to make her sprig of holly out of sculpted leather. I always get the biggest charge out of trying something new--especially when it turns out nicely. I was so pleased with these!

A bit of the scrap I started with, plus some finished leaves.

First I cut out the leaves from a pattern I made. The I wet them and scored the
veins and shaped them with my hands.

I dried them on a low temperature in the oven . I experimented with
painting white on the edges, but didn't care for it. Holly looks pleased!

And here is Holly, all ready for her Christmas Treasures preview debut! The preview is open now! Please visit to see Holly and 84 other lovely Christmas Carol themed bears! Be sure to vote for your favoites in both catagories! Hope to see you at the show November 16-18