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allykat

I am about to date myself big time. Also maybe offend everyone horribly with the following confession...

Until I decided I wanted to learn to make them, the only Teddy bear I cared about ever in my WHOLE LIFE was Teddy Ruxpin. Oh my God, I think Teddy was my first true love or something. I was NUTS about him. For that reason I am 100% supportive of robotic teddy bears.

I think a lot of it is WHY it's robotic, though. I don't care for things that just growl or whatever and I didn't when I was a kid, either. Teddy Ruxpin was pretty innovative at the time, and even in hindsight (and having recently gone on a trip down nostalgia lane thanks to Youtube's having the entire cartoon series uploaded...) I can honestly say that the stories attached to TR were pretty great. He wasn't just a story tellin' bear, he was a GOOD story tellin' bear.

Ok, I'm done with my barely related Teddy Ruxpin love fest. I think it's neat to see robotics combined with some of the more lovely teddy bear making techniques. I loved Ruxpin but he was somewhat less than lovely in reality. I have sometimes thought of making a (non robotic) tribute to him for myself, a little less boxy than the original.

allykat

I LOVE his funky paw pads! Such a nice color combo.

allykat

Your bears are so stunning! I love love the white face and the fabric is gorgeous.

allykat

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Hey everyone! This is Hubie. He's my third bear, and he's made for the "All from the same pattern" class for NTBAA (beginner, which I believe is Class D.) The pattern is by Jan Aldogan. I'm sending him out tomorrow (and filling my entry form out, too!)

He can stand on his own! (With a little bit of encouragement/careful foot placement.)

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He is very soulful and loves his fluffy cloud pillow and oversized hat which he can wear over one ear or both.

Or he can even tug it down for a nap!

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I love the fabric I wound up getting- it is a soft, dense mohair with tinsel woven in. The shining tinsel reminded me of dreams so I went with the celestial/sleepy theme. He has a custom knitted "night cap" that I made myself. I haven't knitted in about 5 years so I was surprised how well the hat went, all things considered. His cloud, face, paw pads, and the star on his hat are needle felted. He is weighted in his tummy and foot paws and has quite a nice heft. His glass eyes are German.

allykat

Here is an earlier topic specifically on the art of fairy wings! http://www.teddy-talk.com/viewtopic.php?id=3837

I found a some dragon wing tutorial by browsing "fan" plushes made of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. I had seen a lot of them around and late last night I got the hunch that if I looked I might find some help that way (his wings are biiig.)

On one at least it really does look like the maker just ladder stitched them on. I was just concerned that may not be a strong enough solution, but I guess it really would be if you go all the way around and pull tight. On another, the body was made having a seam along the side and the wings were taken into that seam.

I think maybe I will try just picking up the wings in the CB seam of a sitting bear as that seems most direct. I feel kind of dumb for not thinking of that solution FIRST but I guess I had the two wings more spaced out in my head. At least for the butterfly one I'm working on I don't see any reason why they really have to be.

allykat

I was so impressed I had to Like your FB page- amazing work!

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Hubie's nearing the finish line. It has been like four years since I last knitted. ;.; I'm blending some of his brown body fur into his (white) paw pads then I'll be attaching and doing the finishing touches. Hoping to finish him tonight or tomorrow!

allykat

Ooo, yes! That makes perfect sense! Thank you for that idea- I hadn't thought of doing it in one piece. It may not work for one potential project I have but it would work marvelously for the butterfly wing one- and patching with needle felting is a GREAT idea!

allykat

Hey guys- I am a very new designer and I apologize if this is a newbie question. I've done some Library combing and found some generalized discussions on wings but I need a little more help with the assembly/construction portion.

I have a design in mind using butterfly wings and I have a pretty good idea how I want to try construct them (wool felt + learning some 'quilting' + some needle felting) But I'm a little stumped when it comes to putting them on. If you are attaching a larger piece- say wings or very oversized ears- are you still going to ladder stitch those pieces onto your creations? Or is there another method- maybe cutting a slit into the body and sewing it in that way? What is the best and more secure way to anchor those pieces on?

On a related note, do you have any suggestions for books or materials that may cover some of these non-teddy-specific plushie sewing techniques? I've got one or two teddy books but understandably, topics such as "attaching oversized felt dragon wings" aren't covered. bear_happy

Thank you in advance!

allykat

I just can't get over the head shape of this one. There's something about the smoothness and the roundness that I find so appealing.

allykat

Oh my gosh, that mink bear is GORGEOUS!

I've got a new WIP to show. I am still hoping to make it for the NTBAA... but I've been very sick (almost hospitalized, yikes!) and it's kind of looking doubtful... I'm trying to work on him today but I am on steroids which are making my hands shake.

Anyway, here's Hubie:

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He's coming along slowly but he's coming along. I am hoping for sleepy, droopy eyes and a big goofy grin. A lot more needle felting on this guy. He'll have a big face since he's the "All the same pattern" bear and I couldn't cut down his nose to accommodate the extra needle felting. I kind of like that look for him though so I think it works. I want him to be a cartoony, friendly guy.

I am going to needle felt him a little smiling cloud to be his buddy and to rest his weary head on.

allykat

Oh gosh, she's lovely! I'm not surprised how she got snapped up.

Do you use sock yarn to make those tiny, beautiful knits? I think it's time for me to break out the needles again, her precious little cardigan is so inspiring.

allykat

Thank you guys so much! She was really fun to do. I still have just under a third of my 1/4 meter piece of that lavender mohair so I'm looking forward to working with it again!

I guess maybe her imperfections might not be so obvious (especially with my crumby photography) but if you hold her and feel her face they're fairly obvious. Essentially, I messed with her eyes too much (put on and removed whites of eyes and lids when I decided I didn't like them for this bear.) I reseated the eyes but the face was a little off kilter because of the core wool filling felting up. The ears are straight to the eyes but don't feel straight by touch if that makes any sense.

Anyway, none of this ruins her appeal but I think a real collector would call shenanigans so I decided she should go live with my mum instead of being my selling debut! I think my Mom is really going to love getting her and I learned a LOT making her... definitely more 'lessons' than my first!

allykat

Oh my gosh he's wonderful! I love him, well done!

allykat

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Hi, everyone! This is "Fliederchen." She is my second bear ever and the first bear from my own pattern. Apologies for the crumby pictures. None of my cameras seem to "play nice" with the delicate, lavender mohair.

She has a few more issues than my first bear so in the end I pronounced her as not-sale-worthy. Not to worry, though! She'll be going to live with my Mom who is going through a tough time right now. That's why I named her Fliederchen, which is lilac in German... that's my mom's favorite flower!

When I realized that I had messed up her head a bit I also felt confident enough to do some experimenting on her. Definitely went overboard on the markers but all in all she turned out. I think she'll get a little more sprucing up before she heads off back to America. I always see things in pictures that I don't in real life...

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allykat

Jenbee, I saw that about Memory Bears! I hadn't expected that to be the use of the word, but it sure does make sense. It's a very nice idea, really. Maybe I should offer to make my mother-in-law one. Her mother just passed away last month.

Us Bears, I love that logo idea! With your permission I'd love to give it to my husband as a guide. He's a graphic designer and promised to make me a logo, but this is so much more specific than me just saying "Do something with a ginkgo leaf" which was as far as I'd gotten on my own. I'm actually trying to make a ginkgo leaf background for my blog and it's... amusing. I'll be doing a lot of baking. My husband and I have an art-for-cake agreement. He makes the art, I make the cake.

Incidentally, I agree about the "sound" of ginkgo. My sister and I were talking about it last night and we both decided that ginkgos are so much prettier than their name! We brainstormed together trying to come up with one word descriptions of the "feeling" of ginkgo leaves which was fun, but I still didn't find a name that really struck me to the core. I think at this point that unless something pops up along the ____ Leaf lines, I'll just stick with the Fincastle Bears. It's not perfect but it's a conversation piece!

What REALLY makes me happy and encourages me is the positive reception that the ginkgo leaf as emblem/tag/logo/button has received here. I guess maybe my bears just prefer to be labeled more visually rather than verbally!

allykat

Haha! Oh my gosh it is so funny you should say that about the polymer clay, Sue Ann. It just hit me a few minutes ago I could do it that way, and I was JUST this minute digging through my little fimo stash to see if I had the colors I needed or would need to pick some up (I'll have to get some- I mostly only have teeth/nose colors from my needle felted sculpting.)

I do like the idea of the charms. You can find ginkgo leaf charms wholesale but IMO it's more fun when thing are made.

My first idea was to make a needle felting "cookie cutter" and needle felt a leaf onto the bottom or thigh of every bear in a complementary color to the fabric. I am going to test run both routes and see which I like most. I have needle felted using a cardboard cut-out stencil before but never on so small a scale and never on mohair so I need to see how it goes.

allykat

Thank you, Boop! I like how she's coming out, too. I was originally going to give her an open mouth like my first bear (just smaller) but she wound up with this adorable underbite and I decided to keep it. I just have to decide whether I want to embroider or needle felt her smile and finish needle felting her paw pads and she'll be ready to put together and put on her "make up." I think  my favorite part is drawing on the shading.

I love your bunny in your first post! That body shape is my favorite.

allykat

I like to post WIPs. I do it mostly on my personal facebook for now. Once I finally have a "business name" settled and have more than one bear to my name I'll make a FB for the bears.

Anyway, here's the face of my newest little lady. I am so pleased that the nose came out just how I wanted because this is my first pattern I drew myself!

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allykat

Thank you all so much for the input!

Yes, those female trees are very stinky. The reason I can't name the bears after the street the ginkgos were actually on is that it is "Catalpa St." They intended to plant catalpa trees but a mistake was made and the whole block was lined with female ginkgos. By the time I was born they were huge and very productive. We were VERY popular with parts of the Asian community who did regularly come to gather our stinky harvest. For me the smell was just another part of autumn, just like the waxy, golden leaves.

So what I think I'm getting overall that Ginkgo Bears isn't really hitting it out of the park for people for one reason or another- but by the same token the ginkgo connection is more interesting than just going straight to "Fincastle Bears." I mean Fincastle IS a neat name but it doesn't really have much to do with the connection I'm trying to make, and it's not all that catchy.

I think I'm going to keep working on it. I had some vaguely similar ideas to you, Us Bears, in the sense that I tried several ways of alluding to the trees or the leaves instead of just using the term "Ginkgo." I think I'm going to continue down that same line of thought and see what I can come up with.

Two Leaf Bears
Wax Leaf Bears
Golden Leaf Bears
Twin Leaf Bears

I even thought of Memory Bears alluding to the memory boosting properties of ginkgo and punning on the fact that I am trying to name my bear Making endeavors for childhood memories. I need to  google that one though because it seems likely someone's gotten there first.

allykat

Sure, Conni! I would love one. I also hope to write my blog also in German in the future. Ich kann ziemlich gut auf Deutsch reden aber nicht so besonderes gut schreiben. bear_happy I will follow you, too!

allykat

Hmmm, does that mean that 'Bearies' is a problem? I did google "Ginkgo Bearies." It didn't occur to me that "Bearies" in and of itself might be problematic because berry/bear is a relatively common pun but I could very easily be wrong about that.

I guess maybe I could just split the difference and do "Ginkgo Bears."

Edit: Thank you! bear_original My blog is SO very much a "work in progress."

allykat

Oh my gosh, they are gorgeous! My mother-in-law has a dolly dressed in Siebenburger (German-Romanian) clothing. Someday I'd really like to do a bear to match. I am absolutely in awe of people who can do such wonderful and detailed clothing.

The bears are also amazing. What adorable feet!

allykat

The naming of bears is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games.
At first you may think I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you a bear must have a REALLY GREAT name.

Ok, Ok, I've had my fun. Sorry about that. bear_original

I'm very new to bear making and my days of doing first shows and putting first bears on the market are yet to come, but I do have some small experience in selling crafts and branding yourself. To that end, I'd really like to settle on a name early in the game just to make things easier down the line.

I wanted to name my bears something that reflected my family home back in America, particularly the utterly gorgeous ginkgo trees that lined both sides of the street.

I thought about going with the name "Ginkgo Bearies." I thought it was cute, though I know I am far from the first person in the world to pun on the words bear and berry. However, most people I pitched it to immediately pointed out the stinkiness of ginkgo berries. Perhaps that particular stench is softened for me by childhood memories.

My alternate plan and the name I am currently working with is the name of the street, Fincastle. (Amusingly that is not the street with the ginkgos as the house was on a corner, but that's splitting hairs.) I keep calling them Ginkgo Bearies in my head, though.

Regardless of the way I go, a ginkgo leaf will play a part in my "signature." I'm still debating how to mark my bears but I KNOW it will be included in some way. They are very beautiful leaves and quite distinctive.

So, bottom line: can "Ginkgo Bearies" overcome stinky connotations by being cute?
Or is "Fincastle Bears" the way to go?

I appreciate any opinions. I hesitated to post as this is just me, personally, being indecisive and not anything to aid the bear making world in general, but I am just dying to have an opinion or two from folks in the industry as it were.

allykat

Oh my gosh, how unbelievably sweet!

allykat

Aww, what a cutie! I love that style of arm, I think it's my favorite "look." The paw pads on those big feet are so cute!

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