I've noticed the guest count increasing in recent months too, Becky! Good for you for calling folks out of hiding to come join us! :clap: I know there are plenty of lurkers out there!
For me, I don't always log in because I'm more apt to start posting and stay here waaaaaaay too long if I do! I know other long-time TTers who usually stay logged out now too so we're adding to the guest total even though we're not really guests! Sorry!
I just have to laugh. Sorry guys. I just don't buy it that this company is very legit. One of those bears is mine... which a dear friend of mine has in her possession. Another is one that was made by a former bear artist and former TTer which is right here in my studio as part of my collection... also safe from some evil person in China wanting to make a buck off us artists. So at least I know they're not taking these bears apart to get the pattern! They wouldn't even know what size they were!
I don't see how they can possibly reproduce any of those bears without the bear or pattern. Tonner Doll had all they could do to reproduce Mimzy WITH my pattern! (She was also produced in China!) So I just don't see this company following through with any orders they may get.
I haven't taken the time to read through all of your posts because I'm trying to get things ready for the Christmas Treasures online show Friday. You may have all discussed the possibility that this company is a great big scam, I don't know. If I recall correctly the picture of the artist bear I have in my collection was only posted here on TT because it was a swap bear and she was my partner. The photo of my bear which is also on that site is a photo I posted here on TT as well. So I can venture to guess where they are getting some of their photos from. No fault of TT's mind you!
The world wide web.... gotta love it and hate it all at the same time!
As a show promoter I can tell you that people are always looking for child-safe HANDMADE bears... now more than ever as people are tired of everything coming from China and want something special for their kids. I am very frequently asked for names of bear makers who make affordable, handmade, child-safe bears or asked if any such bear makers will be at my shows. If you do or are willing to use plastic safety joints and eyes you could have quite a following for affordable bears! I know Eva's bears were child-safe and with so many high-end artists out there the lower priced, child-safe market is really lacking... you could do well!
PollDaddy blocks repeat votes so no one should be able to manipulate the votes. That's if whoever set up the TOBY voting enabled the block as it is optional. I tried voting for the same bear more than once (I did it in the manufactured section... not on an artist bear) just to test this and the number of votes didn't increase in the results after my first vote so I'm thinking the repeat vote is indeed blocked. I could be wrong.
Yikes! You guys had me curious so I went to have a look.
They are using an online Polling service. Because it's an online service there is likely not a lot of customizing that can be done to the poll set up. But I can't help but wonder if posting the results was optioinal and someone just didn't think too carefully about allowing the results to show.
The photos, even as thumbnails, could be bigger and grouped by category. I think collectors are apt to vote for a name they recognize rather than a photo/bear they like. It's hard to know who made what and what category the photos belong in with the way it's set up. This can hurt the results.... if photos were bigger and clearly marked with artist name and name of piece I think the voting might be a little more fair.
I like the idea of online voting as I think it will reach more voters than the magazine alone does these days. Thus it can build more excitement and interest in the TOBYs, giving nominees more exposure. I think Madavor is going in the right direction, taking things online. I'm still hoping they put the magazine online some day though I know its costly venture to have it done right.
I agree that it ruins the anticipation of the results issue or even the excitement of being at the TOBY awards banquet by having the polling results show. We'll already know who the winners likely are based on the online voting... unless the mail in ballots change the tally significantly. Are they even doing mail in ballots?
So yeah, while the idea was a good one, in my opinion, I think it all needed to be thought through a little more and perhaps some money invested in a more professional looking page layout and polling format.
Now I guess I've set myself up for people to criticize the teddies worldwide online show page too! LOL! That's ok, I welcome constructive criticism if the results will benefit all involved and make it a better experience. I hope those at TB&F/Madavor will take our feedback with the same spirit.
Becky is right, we don't have a professional organization that functions as a proper "society". I think to some that would denote elitism which there really isn't much of in the teddy bear world. This could be why you didn't get a response to your question.
When teddy bear collecting was at it's peak in the late 90s and there were many more artists and the internet wasn't active yet, there were bear maker "societies"... essentially local clubs. But once the internet came along and we becamse a worldwide group the whole scene changed. Then with the change in the industry in recent years it seems bear artists are more scattered and local clubs fell apart.
There are plenty of bear maker groups online to join and you might find a club near you that meets on a regular basis. This would give you the opportunity to meet with like-minded people, network, etc. Such online groups as the Guild of Master Bearcrafters would help you network internationally, learn about suppliers, events, contests, etc. Teddy Talk does much the same thing but the Guild if for artists only, not collectors. You'll find many of the same artists are members of many online forums/groups. There are many places to network online!
Magazine subscriptions are a totally seperate thing in my mind too. There are at least two paper magazines that you can get the digital ezine or iMag subscription to for a very affordable price. Teddy Bear Review (US) and Teddy Bear Times (UK)They are great reading and give you insight as to what's going on in the bear world. You can advertise in the mags for a cost or you can submit photos for possible print at no charge.
We all have to work hard and spend a lot of time at self-promotion in this industry. The more active you are in the bear community... online forums/social networking, doing shows, having a website or blog, meeting with a club, etc. the more exposure you'll give your work, more business you can attract and more friends you'll make. There are so many places to promote yourself.... no one place/group/guild/society can do it all for you.
I hope that we're sort of answering your questions for you!
I keep chuckling when I see you post about the next "social networking" thing you've done for your biz this weekend because pretty soon you'll find yourself in the same boat as a lot of the rest of us.... spending way too much time online and not enough time getting bears made.
So great to see you getting out there on the web more with your biz. I'm glad someone decided to take action!
You can get some wonderful German synthetics from Edinburgh Imports. They are more expensive than Bear Cheap's but fantastic quality and sooo soft. I buy from both places and find both synthetics lend themselves well to different projects. Obviously buying from Edinburgh you'll get your order much faster too.
Becky is right about Kid mohair. If you want super soft, shiny and just oh so wonderful to the touch you can't beat kid mohair. Schulte makes the most dense kid mohair material available. It can be found at Edinburgh. Helmbold makes a less dense but still soft fabric you can get through Intercal. Again, both are great depending on the look you are after.
You can get sample packs from both Intercal and Edinburgh. (Beary CHeap too for that matter I think!) I find this is a great way to get a true FEEL for the materials before you go and spend money ordering yardage you may or may not like once received.
If you want the best of both alpaca and mohair textures Schulte makes an incredibly soft fabric that is alpaca/mohair blend. It's only available from Edinburgh in one color (which is one I personally like) and where it's tipped it produces great results when scissor scultping the face. Here it is: http://www.edinburghimports.com/shoppin … sp?FU1=993
The options are endless.... order samples. Better yet, if there's a bear show near you sometime during the year attend one. Most often there are suppliers there so you can touch and buy exactly what you want.
Oh my goodness you guys! I'm speechless! (I know, I know, big surprise!) I have indeed spent some time AWAY from my computer since the show ended and now to come to TT and find this!
Thank you! :hug: :hug: :hug:
It was indeed a lot of work but it was completely worth it! The show was a HUGE success and we are ALL responsible for that! As participating artists you all made incredible bears and friends exclusively for the show and everyone worked so hard on their show pages which looked great! And the collectors loved it! Such wonderful feedback from so many! We do it all for them!
It is a pleasure putting shows together for such a talented and appreciative group of people! Teddy Bear Lovers are the Best!!
Mommabear - I think a majority of us learned by using someone else's patterns to start with. In fact when a new bear maker wants to learn to design their own I often suggest that they take someone's pattern and make changes to the gusset, leg shape, etc. to see how those changes work up. It's a great way to understand how pattern pieces fit and how changes in curves/shape can effect the end result.
Books are copyright protected, that covers everything in the book, including patterns and photos. If the author allows the use of his/her patterns for sale/profit it will say so in the book. If written permission isn't given the user should not assume it's ok to make and sell bears from that pattern.
It is very possible for more than one person to come up with an identical or nearly identical pattern. They could be complete strangers on opposites ends of the earth! The thing is... they each came up with it on their own. They worked to come up with that design. It is their's. They didn't copy each other nor did they go around seemingly bragging (publicly or privately) about it being someone else's pattern as the person Jane knows seems to be doing. There is a big difference.
Artist patterns are copyright protected. A person can only make and sell bears for profit from a pattern if the artist states it is ok on the pattern or the artist provides an individual with written permission. There are no shades of grey. Simply giving another artist credit for the design is not enough if there is no agreement with the artist to use their patterns for profit in the first place. I publish my copyright patterns. If I suddenly got a check in the mail as royalities for someone using my pattern for profit without my permission to start with I would NOT be happy and the bearmaker would be hearing from my lawyer. She could very well be sued for her disregard to copyright laws. While most artists probably wouldn't take it to that extreme the possibility is there.
It is sad that some people have such poor business ethics. How can someone be so pleased with themselves and their success when someone else did all the work for them. She is stealing from another artist and profitting from it. Plain and simple.
I agree that notifying the artists who made the patterns she is using and profitting from is a good route to take. Let them send her a cease and decist letter if they choose.
I am in need of 1 yard of the following:
Intercal Quality: 570V/TT (1/2+" semi-sparse density mohair w/black hairs and V-finish)
Color: TT830 (Sand w/two-toned - black hairs)
This short pile straight, sparse fabric essentially looks light grey with a sand/light tan colored back.
Because Norton went out of business this isn't something I'll be able to buy from Intercal or anywhere else unless someone has some in their stash they are willing to part with. I have no idea when it was last available for purchase but I'm guessing it was a few years ago.
If you have any please PM me or email me email@example.com asap!
My fingers are crossed that one of you has some you'd be willing to sell me! :pray:
Glad you signed up! The first link is to a page I created, the other to a page another bear artist, Katy Cameron, created.
There have actually been a few conversations here about Facebook, blogging, etc.
Here are a few you might find helpful:
Juggling all the networking possibilities: http://www.teddy-talk.com/viewtopic.php?id=33294
A list from a while ago of FB users from TT: http://www.teddy-talk.com/viewtopic.php?id=19179&p=1
Linking Blog & Facebook: http://www.teddy-talk.com/viewtopic.php?id=39594
Feeling lost/overwhelmed with it all: http://www.teddy-talk.com/viewtopic.php?id=29212
Facebook is a fantastic place to promote your bears or any other business one may have by creating a Business Page! Most users know to search for their favorite product, craft, collectible, etc. as it's become known for being so much more than a social/personal network. I believe a majority of Facebook users with Business Pages do indeed have a regualr website and/or blog and market their good elsewhere as well. It just doesn't hurt to cover as many bases as possible.
There are even pages within facebook that you can promote your work on like:
Artist Teddy Bears for Sale - A place for artists to list new bears available for adoption and connect with collectors, has over 1000 followers/fans!
Artist Teddy Bear Promotions - A place for artists to promote their biz, bears for sale, photos, etc and for collectors to post photos of their hugs, etc.
Both places are a great way to connect with collectors!
Because users can connect Twitter, Blog and Facebook feed together the time it takes to promote you business can be cut down a bit and simplified. It's all still time consuming but as you've found, it can pay off!
If you're doing a two day show you could certainly bring more bears for the second day. I'm known to finish bears at night for the second day if my inventory is running low. Putting more out the same day is fine too but you may have collectors pass your table later after already buying a bear and then see a new bear that wasn't there before and some might get a little upset or want to swap bears. I've seen it happen so just something to consider.