Sunday, July 27, 2014

I'm Back!!!

After weeks of just sneaking tiny moments here and there, it feels so good to have had some real studio time this week! I actually finished two bears which have been in progress for a while, and made these little felt toy animals. These hand-sewn, hand-colored, wool felt cuties are accessories for a special bear I'll be sending to Silly Bears, and they were a joy to make.

 The finished grouping will be four, but while the patterns I designed for these three came out just as I had hoped (even though I've never designed paterns for these animals before), the last fellow didn't work out. Can you believe it's the bear's pattern that's giving me trouble?! Oh well. I'm going to have another try tomorrow.

So where are the bears? I'll be getting proper photos of them soon, but in the mean time, here are some photos of a bear I finished back in April! This is Mack and he has found a home in the UK.

Bye for now!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Where are the bears?

There seems to be a serious lack of bears on this blog. I have not finished a bear since the Philly show in the beginning of May. I have some in progress, but none are finished. I am very sorry about this, and I am positively itching---no, aching---to get back to full time creating!

Many of my readers know that I have two careers. I am a full-time (usually) bear artist, and a part-time elementary school art teacher. I teach art at a small parochial school two days per week, and usually spend most of the other five days working in my own studio, but I seem to be having a hard time keeping up with both this year. On those occassions when I feel like I am not keeping up, I wonder if I should let the teaching job go, but I LOVE it.  I love my students, I love the other teachers, I love our new principal, and I think I love teaching art as much as I love making it!

 As most teachers know, the actual class time you spend with your students is only a part of the time it takes to be a teacher. It is the biggest part of course, but planning, set up, clean up, organizing, researching, keeping up licensure requirements,  inservices, meetings, grading, etc. all add up to a sizable amount of time as well. For me, there is also the time I spend putting together the student art show at the end of each school year, and this year, the time spent painting, moving, and organizing my new classroom space and my curriculum! This is how I have spent the best part of June (my first month of summer "vacation") and I am still not finished! I volunteered for the painting part , but really didn't anticipate that taking as much time as it did (I've put in well over 100 hours--creeping up on 200), so I am just now moved in and trying to get things organized. At the beginning of this undertaking, I was looking forward to the start of school this fall with great excitement for the new classroom and for the new (to me) art teaching philosophy/ methodology I plan to employ. Right now, I just feel overwhelmed. I have to keep reminding myself how nice it will be and how much the students will love their new studio!

BUT I want to make bears. I NEED to make bears! Where are the bears?