On One Shelf - Some of My Teddy Collection

For the Studio Shots - Tuesday this week, I am showing some of my bear collection that lives on a shelf of my computer desk. computer desk

Here is my computer desk with the teddys on the top shelf.  At the top of the shelf unit, I have five bears, an elephant, and a dog.  The two animals on the right are a bear and a dog I made as samples for classes I taught.  The others are artist bears and an artist elephant from my small bear collection.  I bought them at bear shows before my now teenage daughter was born.

alpaca bear, polar bear, old fashioned humpback bear

Here they are from left to right:

elephant, artic bear

This is a mohair elephant by Steve Van Houten.  He has hand painted details and feels wonderful to hold.

The second bear is "Artic Bear", a mohair bear by Clare and Matt Herz.  I love his pointy snout.

alpaca bear, polar bear, old fashioned bear

The smallest bear is hand-dyed llama by Grandma Lynn (Lynn Lumly).  She has clay flowers on her chest, hat, and purse.  She also has an embroidered rose on one foot.

The white polar bear is Clara, a limited edition by Linda Spiegel-Lohre of Bearly There Company.  She is wearing a ruffled felt collar.

Irma is an "old-fashioned type humpback bear" by Louise of Bear Witness.  She is made from an old coat lining and has shoe button eyes.

samples for classes - crochet bear and sock dog

The last two critters are the ones I made as class samples.  The crocheted bear was made as a sample for the Creative Crochet class I taught at our homeschool co-op.  In the class, the girls learned how to do basic and fancy stitches, do shaping, and create three-dimensional shapes.  Suzy has a blue dress that is incorporated into her body.  The top of the dress is part of her actual body, and the skirt and sleeves are crocheted to come away from the body.

Riina is a sock-dog that was made as a sample for the Renegade Sewing class that I also taught at our homeschool co-op.  She was based on a design from a Japanese Craft book about sewing animals from gloves and socks.  You can read more about her here.

Studio Shots - Tuesday, As Is

The topic for this week's Studio Shots - Tuesday is As Is or No Tidying Allowed. I am getting ready for a teddy bear show in July.  I decided to do a mock-up of the table display, so I will have an idea of what it will look like at the show.

Here is one of my work tables set up with the great hatboxes I found at Home Goods.  As I finish pieces, I add them to the display so I can get a preview of the finished table display.  I have found this so useful, although it does take up a lot of work space.  It lets me know how full the table looks and gives me an idea of how many finished pieces should be on the final display.   I have grayed the photo out some so you can focus on the design and placement of the table display rather than the individual pieces (some are still in progress - can you tell which is still missing its arms?)  I see a lot of pink-peach-orange- red on the left side and beige on the right.  I'll have to play with moving around the pieces to get a better balance of colors.  Messy cutting table is in background.  I will also add a sign with my business name, business cards, a few magazines with articles that include my work, and a book for guests to sign.

I do a lot of my hand work, including hand sewing, shading, stuffing, and jointing using a tv tray table next to the couch to hold supplies.  I find I enjoy working while being curled up on the couch.  This does mean I am always finding pins, teddy bear joint disks, glass eyes, and other small supplies between the couch cushions.  Here are some tools and materials currently on the little tv tray table.

Here are jointing disks in a few sizes, washers, and cotter pins - all jointing supplies, a bag of vintage buttons for possible use on accessories, thread, faux sinew (tall gold spool) for attaching glass eyes, some shading tools, a bag of cut teddy pieces, a lone glass eye, and some vintage lace trim.

teddy joint parts, vintage buttons, etc.

Here is a closer look at the vintage lace trim with pink elephant tail poking out from behind.

lace trim

Spools of thread found in various places in the studios - gathered in one place until I have a chance to put them back in their tub containers which are organized by color and type and are on my sewing table.  In the background are vintage millinery flowers, silk ribbon, new Shiva Paint Sticks for shading, and my Holga camera.

thread spools

Studio Shots - Tuesday, My Sewing Corner and W.I.P.

This is my post for the first week of the  Studio Shots - Tuesday collaborative blog project. studio - sewing table

My sewing table sits in the northeast corner of the studio.  Right now I have a Baby Lock Ellegante, a Pfaff Creative 1473, and my serger, a Pfaff Hobbylock all sitting on it.  I'm in the process of sewing a pink elephant leg.  The other legs and body parts are waiting in their baggies.   A clear 1/4" presser foot helps to help keep an even seam allowance when doing small curves. 

Teddies and elephant parts in baggies waiting to be sewn

Cut pieces for a turquoise teddy, lavender rabbit, and a reddish teddy are also on the table in their baggies.  (There is an ongoing quilt project for our bedroom at the back of the table. )  The baggies keep the pieces for each critter all together so they don't get lost or dirty.  As I work on the critters, I tend to add eyes, joint discs and cotter pins, sewing thread, and pearl cotton for noses to the baggies so they serve as little work kit containers.

Baby Lock sewing/embroidery machine

I love my Baby Lock machine and use it for most of my sewing now.  It has a start/stop button so you can sew without using your foot.  This is helpful if you have bad knees and it's painful to push the foot pedal.  It does only give you one hand to control the fabric with, though. 

The other great feature of the Ellegante is the presser foot up button.  When it's activated, the needle goes down into the fabric every time you stop sewing and the presser foot comes up allowing you to turn the fabric freely.  This saves so much time because you don't have to raise and lower the presser foot manually every time you have to turn the fabric.  It's great for sewing curved teddy parts and for doing applique.

Table top - work in progress

 Some work in Progress - two teddy heads, an elephant head, body parts in baggies, some pearl cotton for noses.  My favorite Fiskars Softouch Micro-Tip Scissors are very sharp and comfortable to use.  I use pliers for bending cotter pins for joints and pulling needles through the mohair.  The hemostats next to the pliers are for stuffing as is the little pointed wooden stuffing tool.  Here I am trying out some eyes and pearl cotton nose colors for the peach teddy.