Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It has been awhile since I have posted anything but I do have my 2010 Holiday collection posted in a album on my Facebook Fan Page. Stop by and check them out. Here's the link:
Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I have never been that great at drawing. There are times when everything is just right and it turns out ok, but for the most part, it is not my strong point. When I take some time, I can sketch something that looks somewhat reasonable. Normally, I don't have time to draw out everything perfectly. If one recalls in a previous post I stated that I can form a 3D picture in my mind and do a blowout to see the shapes that I need to create the pattern.
The other day an idea struck me and I took the time to create a drawing. It took several attempts to get it just right, but I am still not happy with the front view, it looks a little off. However, this sketch is enough for me to remember what I need to do. I hope that this idea will help me to generate other ideas. With a little reworking, this can be turned into a bunny on all fours or a dog.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Like most people, when I think of technology I tend to limit it to things like electronic devices. However, technology surrounds us. It is paper; the pencil or pen used to make a drawing and the hoe we use in the garden. Technology surrounds us. If you want to be a technophobe, then I guess that means that you must be willing to give up just about everything in your life. Clothing, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, and paper towels are technology.
Technology can be defined as the specific methods, materials, and devices used to solve practical problems1. Using this definition, one can clearly understand that we are surrounded by technology. In the teddy bear world, we are no different. Needles, sewing machines, thread, glass eyes, felt, mohair, dye, airbrushes, and paints are all pieces of technology that we use to create our art. In fact, the list of technology is nearly endless.
Many bear artists are not opposed to using technology, meaning electronic devices. Nearly every bear artist I know owns a computer, uses e-mail, posts on www.teddy-talk.com, uses www.facebook.com, or any number of other web sites. A number of artists have fan pages on facebook. I have a fan page that I try to update daily. Even this blog is technology I use to communicate my ideas to you my reader.
I use a computer to keep track of my paper work and an office suite to write up invoices and send them to customers. Additionally, I employ desktop publishing and graphics software to create documents and photos to promote and market my business. Web based applications to send out my e-mail newsletter and to send and receive payments. Don't forget the web site that you can visit 24/7 without an appointment. Using the graphic software, I create digital copies of my patterns. I have also used it to create patterns that I sell. It has even been possible for me to sell my patterns online in an instant download format on www.patternmart.com. My patterns, as a result, have been sold all over the world. I have even used my printer to create my own fabrics. That is a neat trick when you need a special fabric.
Like it or not, technology surrounds us.
Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Well I have to say that so far making a blog entry everyday is interesting. It is forcing me to think of topics to write about. I have set a minimum of 150 words per entry; on some days that is a stretch, yet on others I can quickly write 250 words. Most of my entries have been on the 150-word side of things. Yes, I have missed a few days but being conscious of the commitment that I have made to myself, I am pressing on. With just a few more words, this entry will be complete and I can move on to another task.
Since I have been writing about inspiration and creative energy, I have developed a couple of ideas. I am hoping that within the next few weeks I will be able to complete them. For example, I have a new pattern in mind that I want to create out of grey and white mohair. This will be a different little guy he won't have joints in his arms or legs. However, engineering this little guy will take some time. Not 6 months or a year, but something more than just 20 minutes. It will take a few days to get the pattern just right.
Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,
Thursday, June 10, 2010
There are sites and blogs that I visit on a semi-regular basis (read; when I get a chance about every 6 months). One of those blogs is Desire to Inspire; in fact, it was the first blog that I followed. I even went as far as subscribing so that every entry would show up in my RSS feed in my inbox. The authors, Kim & Jo, have never met in real life, but they share an interest in interior design. What's more, they met on the internet through another web site, Flickr, on which they shared photos of interior designs. Soon after meeting through Flickr, Desire to Inspire was born.
I love to view their posts. This site stimulates my creative energy. They show just about any type of interior design one can imagine. I happen to love primitive and modern all at once. I don't even mind a dash of fussy Victorian thrown in for a nice touch. Glancing through the archives one can find this type of design. Many of the designers they feature have a mid-century vibe that is nice, not my favorite, but still nicely done. It is a joy to view the new designs the show daily. Today's post featured a mountain home that could astound you.
To visit Desire to Inspire click the link below:
Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I guess these things happen. Sometimes we get busy and forget to do the things that need to be done. I have spent the last 2 evenings completing cats that need to go out ASAP! I have neglected my blog posts.
Creative energy and Inspiration are two different creatures. Inspiration is derived from the word inspire which means, among other things, to be the cause or the source of; bring about.1 Inspiration is the idea, object, color, or some item that gives you an idea to create another item. Whereas, creative energy comes by viewing items that help give one inspiration. Creative energy is that which motives one to create but does not necessarily inspire. I get creative energy by view other's art works or crafts, it is also brought about by viewing creative magazines, web sites, blogs, books, going to craft stores, and other such venues. Many times, I have creative energy but no inspiration to focus it. I might just dig out an old pattern and remake it just to expend the creative energy. Otherwise, I might be up all night trying to create. As I travel the creative energy path, usually at some point, most of the time at two in the morning, inspiration strikes and a new rabbit or bear is born.
Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,
1Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Inspire (accessed June 8, 2010).
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Before I started writing today's entry, I was looking at facebook and I noticed that I had a message from a friend. I opened it and she suggested looking at my family tree for inspiration. Creativity runs back a few generations, this is not a bad idea. My mother, as many of you know, is Jane Monroe of C. Riffenberg Bear Co. My grandmother has sewn for nearly all of her life and not just practical items. I remember geese made from cutter quilts, the Swoozie Sisters, this was a one of a kind duo, and any number of other projects. Next time I visit her I will make a point to take a picture of the sisters to share.
My grandfather constructed beautiful items from wood and metal. Then my great-grandma Russell was always writing stories. After doing some research on my family tree, I discovered that my great-great-grandfather was a watchmaker and jeweler. He was the one in the family that was a stickler for perfection. One would have to be when creating jewelry and watches. Striving for perfection and making a well finished product come not only from my grandfather's side, but my grandmother taught my mother that the inside of a garment or the back side of a piece of needle work should look just as nice as the right side.
Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,
Friday, June 4, 2010
I was back at work today. I am still waiting for inspiration to hit for my special 20th anniversary piece. I hope it hits soon or the year will be gone. Sometimes it does strike. It did here last spring with Bernie Bunny. I had recently pulled out my Big Head bunny pattern, but this one was the smallest version. For most of the last 5 years, it sat in the pattern drawer. I had this wonderful mohair that mom had hand dyed to a lovely shade of spring blue. I knew that I would make this rabbit with wire in his ears, something that I normally don't do in my big head pattern. I could see him holding a little sign that read, "Think Spring!" In the end, mom and I attached the sign to the stem of a felt flower and put him in a hand decorated spring box.
I think he is great, but then again I am biased.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
jcaroline creative! has a great collection of ribbons, along with a great selection of other items including zippers, D-rings, and buttons you can cover yourself. Make or enhance any number of items with ribbons. Hand bags in modern prints or solid colors trimmed in a funky ribbon can be a real statement. When I was a child, I learned to make ribbon roses by folding ribbon together and then pulling on the tail. Then a few stitches to hold the flower and then it was ready to set in place.
The collection of Andalucia Ribbons by Patty Young could easily trim a sundress for a bear or rabbit. Many times, I have used ribbons to make straps or belts for bears, they are usually the right size, with finished edges, and it is much easier to complete a look. Anyone that has ever made doll clothing or done small-scale sewing knows what a time saver it can be to use a trim with a finished edge. It can be frustrating making a small belt from scratch and turning under tiny hems. I have a presser foot for my sewing machine that will help me making narrow rolled hems but it take practice to get it right. In the time it takes me to make a narrow rolled hem, I can find a ribbon that will do the same job with quarter of the effort.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Finding inspiration for new designs can be a difficult challenge after 20 years. As I said yesterday, I find inspiration and creative drive by visiting web sites and reading magazines. I have decided that for the next few days I will be picking web sites that inspire me and explore the creative energy that I develop from these sites.
Super Buzzy is a wonderful web site that is full of fun fabrics, trims, and notions. I came across this site while reading a blog post from Jennifer Murphy. They carry a line of fabrics and supplies from Japan in addition to American designs. I find creative energy from the designs that I see in the fabrics that they market.
"Pink elephants" is just one of the many fabrics. I could see this print turned into a little ruffled skirt to go around an antique pink elephant or as a hair bow in a little brown bear with a matching pair of shorts. Perhaps on a larger bear as a vest or a conical hat dressed like a clown.
It was warm and sunny and I spent it inside at work all day. It was nice to get out for lunch, but it was a bit warm. However, I will take 90-degree weather any day of the week over cold winter weather.
I was hopeful this week that I would finish an order and not need to make any Purrvis for a while. When I arrived home, I discovered an additional three Purrvis had been ordered. This is not a problem. After my normal evening routine, I sat down and cut another Purrvis. I did manage to get him sewn and turned before heading off to bed for the evening.
I am still working on creating a special design for my 20th anniversary. When one is in need of a special design, one's mind goes blank. I have begun searching the collection of web sites that I visit on a semi-regular basis, waiting for inspiration to strike. This could take awhile.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Here it is the beginning of March and spring is just around the corner. YEAH!
I am planning to make changes to my web site. I hope that it will make it easier for me to update. HA! We will see. Join my facebook fan page to keep up to date, you can find the link on the left side of my blog.
I am still working on creating a special piece to celebrate my 20th anniversary. So stay tuned.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Quickly approaching is the most romantic holiday of the year. This year for Valentine's Day the newest pieces are OOAKs (One Of A Kinds). They are listed on the Toy Shoppe's web site.
Fist there is Cupid, 9" curly matted mohair Bear. He comes will detachable 15" wings and a custom-made glitter heart necklace.
Second is Cutie Kitty, 7" two-tone mohair cat. He has a fabric bow adorned with a hand painted gold resin heart.
Please take a moment to view these pieces on their web site and be sure to get something special for your sweetheart before the 14th. Remember, this year it falls on a Sunday.
Hoppy Hare and Bear Hugs,
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
This month has been busy so far. Trying to finish up orders from last year and create new designs. Slowly things are coming into place.
Right now the iceman cometh, freezing rain is falling and my car is covered in ice. That means I will be getting up earlier in the morning to de-ice my car. Who knows what the roads will be like? Maybe it will be a day spent at home if the roads are bad.
The cats are comfortable, curled up in their spots. The calico sprawled on mom's bed and the other asleep on the scratching pad.
Friday, January 8, 2010
This year has started out busy. I did manage to take a few days away from the hares & bears between Christmas and New Year. However, time was spent shopping and picking up last minute items. New Year's Day was spent visiting Grandma and family. Then this week we drove in on Grandma's birthday to get her license renewed for another year. She is 95 and still drives!
I have been trying to develop new designs for 2010. This is my 20th year of making hares & bears. Does that even seem possible? It was just yesterday that I learned to use the sewing machine. Time does fly. I remember some of the early shows that I attended. In my mind, they were a flurry of activity. Mohair being flung overhead, as people dashed to artists' tables to see new creations. I remember spending time at the bottom of the mohair pile searching for the right fabric and finding several pieces for others. I was just 13 at the time. How things have changed amazes me.
Best wishes for a Joyful and Blessed New Year.
Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,