Saturday, June 19, 2010

June 19th: Drawing?

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.

Here is the side view not too bad.

In color.

Here is his dressed up with a little red bow.
I did find the perfect fabric today to make the bows.

Perhaps, brown with green eyes would be a better choice.

Looks a little scared.
The next step will be to draft the pattern. That could take awhile. Stay tuned.

Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,

Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18th: Technology

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, uses, 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 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,


1technology. The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. (accessed: June 17, 2010).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 15th: Strawberry Kitty

The other day the Toy Shoppe called looking for something new. During the phone call the idea for kitty with strawberries developed. So here we have a photo blog of Strawberry Kitty. I really like the fact that my phone has a camera.
Here is Strawberry, sewn and turned, ready to stuff.

The stuffed headless body...

The stuffed bodiless head.

They found each other!

United at last.
"Mmmphm, mphm!"
What's that you say kitty? You can't see?

First things first, I must clean up your face! There!
Now I can see where to place you eyes, nose, and mouth. 

Just a moment and I will have everything in place!

Is that better now?

Ok, Strawberry not so close to the phone!
I've only got one and it is not a toy!

Looks like you have something you want to show everyone.

Look at you! Is that a fancy bow I see?
Hold still I want to get a better look.

Hey, that is pretty sweet! A strawberry necklace and a strawberry in your bow.

Do you like Strawberry Kitty?
He is limited to 2!
Visit our friends at The Toy Shoppe!

Hoppy Hare and Bear Hugs,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12th: Results?

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

June 9th: Outside Sources

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

June 8th: Oops!

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,

Jared, (accessed June 8, 2010).

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June 5th: Family Inspiration?

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

June 4th: More Inspiration

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.

Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 3rd: Inspiration Continued

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.

Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2nd: Finding Inspiration

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.

Picture provided by

"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.

Picture provided by

"Tiny Flowers – Gold" is just a wonderful floral print. This could line a little jacket or vest made of vintage velvet. Make it into a ruffled collar for a small grey rabbit with big blue eyes and a white belly.

Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,

June 1st

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.

Hoppy Hare & Bear Hugs,