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Shelli Makes - Teddy bears & other cheerful things by Shelli Quinn
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edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

old-recent2-resiz.JPGold-recent-mini-resiz.JPGI thought it would be interesting to see how much everyone's bears have changed and improved from when they started - and also very encouraging for new artists!

I'll even go first - but remember I've been making bears for almost 20 years so my early ones are from a long time ago when supplies weren't as plentiful and methods not so easily shared. Okay, I'm making excuses - here goes! I'm going to post a photo showing my minis which is mostly what I do now and then one showing a couple of larger bears - the 9" grey?/beige? one I thought was so terrific when I finished it that I couldn't bear to part with it!  :redface: Looking at my early bears now, if I was just starting out I think I'd give up! - so it just shows what you can do with persistance!

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

Osborne-outside-1.jpgWilly.jpgooh, I wanna play. Great idea Edie, love to see how you've grown.

it's you guess which one I made 1st  :crackup:  :crackup:

New Avenue Crew New Avenue Crew by Debora Hoffmann
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 1,959

I want to join in on the fun, too!  :dance:

This is Madeleine, the first bear I sorta designed, but not completely from scratch (summer of 1996).

This is Geneva, who I finished on Memorial Day this year, 10 years later.

And here's a second shot of her, just because I like it.  bear_whistle

Edie and Heather, your bears are so sweet! Can't wait to see more of these then-and-now shots. :photo:  Great idea, Edie! bear_thumb

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

I'll play...

Taffy -- September 2005
Jewel -- September 2006

Boy have things changed in the Apple Dumpling Bears workshop!!!

I forgot how much until right now.   bear_grin


WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

Here's one from my first few months of miniature bear making.... I think this is somewhere around Christmas of 2003.

And now....


I'd have to say that though I have come a LONG way... I'm a such a poster child for babysteps to get there!
I keep most of the bears I have made on my picturetrail site.... so I'm able to journey back all the time and take a little peek!

Oh this is so interesting... I think it's fascinating to see how things change over the years as people hone their skills and move in different directions.  You can so often see just a little smidgen of style, or feeling that has carried through... I can in many that are posted here.... though obviously... everyone gets so much better as time goes on! 
NEAT IDEA!   bear_wub  bear_smile
Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Great topic, Edie!  I wanna play, too.

It's fascinating to watch everyone's progression, and we're all the same in that we started with earnest excitement, and not a lot of skills... and have all come a long way from there!!!

Here's my first bear, still without a name ... and my most recent one.


WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

Oh.. perfect example!!!!  Shelli, you've gotta name that guy!!!!  The first hints of that wonderful Potbelly smile are SO THERE!!!!!!  I mean honestly..... look at the smiles on each of those teds.....  bear_wub  bear_smile  bear_flower

Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I don't know what to name him.  Frankly, he pissed me off and frustrated me so much I contemplated calling him DISAPPOINTMENT.  I just could NOT make him turn out better than that and that's what sent me on a bookstore/internet informational RAMPAGE to learn more about bearmaking.  Hence, my discovery of artist bears.

Any suggestions for a name?  If so, please start a new thread or PM or email me.  I don't want to bogart Edie's great topic here, by craming it full of replies!

Eileen Baird'sBears
Posts: 3,873

:crackup:   Are you Kidding, Edie?  :crackup:

Last time I showed my Ugly Duckling Bear, there were howls of mirth.

First time, there was a lot of sympathy.

:crackup: I'd prefer to remember the sympathy, thanks all the same!! :crackup:  :crackup:

Oh, well, here he is . . .what was I thinking? Both his arms are growing out of his chest! But I wouldn't give him up for anything bear_wub

Anyway, I built the planter beside the garage all by myself bear_thumb


. . . but these are


. . . keep them coming, pleeze?

Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

Shelli -
You could call him FRED, ED, NED, TED, or my personal Favorite


. bear_smile  bear_wub

Everyone -
I still have the very first bear that I designed and made around somewhere. I'll have to post a picture of the K-mart bears that mom made.
This is going to be a fun thread. bear_grin

aerianna aerBears
Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,109

Wow, I am so impressed with all the bears! It is so fun to see where you all started!

Here is one of my first bears, Oliver:
Here is one of my more recent bears, Cody:



SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 20,995

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Oh my, how embarrassing!  This is a very early bear when I was still using really cheap synthetics.  He's made from a Jennifer Laing pattern.  OldsynthbearforTT.jpg
This lovely  :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup: fellow is my very first mohair bear and my very first design all by myself.  firstbearKeaton.JPG
This is my first and last miniature (4") . . . a synthetic bear designed by me.  Old6inchbearforTT.jpg
And this is a recent bear. Carter.jpg
My very latest. Clint3.jpg

edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

Oh this is just so great to see how everyone has progressed - although some of you have been pretty darn good from day one by the looks of it! Keep them coming everyone  - this is fun! Really does show how much using good material affects the outcome too doesn't it - I'm sure my early 9" would have been much cuter if he had been mohair rather than the cheapest synthetic on the planet!  :redface:

kathytaylor Ruby Mountain Bears
Northern Nevada, USA
Posts: 1,467

jil4.JPGJillian.JPGbuddy2.jpg.JPGBEDDY3.JPGOkay first bears here Jan 2004 Little Grey.
Then progress to flower bear, and the latest bear.

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Posts: 3,518

I'll play!!!

Here are two fine examples of how one improves!  The first is Baxter, made in June 05

This is Duke, made in May 06 from the same mohair, similar pattern from Baxter, it had just evolved since then.  I just wish I had a better photo of Duke to show you.

Another example is Fu Ling, made in April 05
And Yue Yan made in Feb 06
What fun - thanks for a great topic Edie!


Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

The first picture is of (L to R):
The second bear I made "Maple", from a Jennifer Laing pattern. "Buddy" the first bear I designed myself and "Chichester", the very first bear I ever made.... with LOTS of help from my bear mentor and friend Diana Lind of Wee Treasures who has been making bears for 20 years, this is her pattern. These were made in 2000.

This is 9 inch "Aidan" made in 2005:

And finally 15 inch "Bluebeary II" made in June of 2006:

Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

Sue Ann -
I don't know that first bear you posted looks pretty nice to me.
I know that fabric I made a few pieces out of it in my day, like I'm so old. :crackup:

There are a few of you that were good at this right out of the gate.
I'm still digging for photos. :photo:  "CLICK!" as MaeLynn says.

K Pawz Guest

OKay me too me too...the first is Jewel, my old avatar, and the first bear made from my own designed pattern.. I will get onto hubbies computer and add some of my first bears ever made which were from comercial patterns, and Nancy's book.


to Sorbet from the same pattern revamped

And then of course on to Tundra


Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Dig faster, Jared!!!

Jodi Falk Bears by Jodi
Gahanna , Ohio USA
Posts: 3,463


This is fun , here are some of my early bears and  the  2  at the end what I do now.
                                                            Jodi Falk

melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789

Very timely Edie.  I've just been digging through boxes as I pack to move and found two of my earliest mini bears. 
Klaus was born the day after I made my first mini bear at a class in 2000.  I came home and the next day designed this  pattern (complete with ugly sewn in trousers and boots!!).  I can still remember excitedly ringing my sister and telling her about the bear I'd made!!  I think he measures about 4 inches.  I couldn't quite believe that I could make anything that "small"  bear_tongue 

Moonbeam was made at the end of 2001 I think, maybe early 2002.  I remember when i made him, I thought I'd finally found "my look".  I think he may have had some other adornment that I later stole back off him.  Now I just look at him and think what a waste of precious vintage long pile!!! He measures around 2.5"  Between the creation of Moonbeam and the wee unamed fellow, I gave up miniatures as I thought they were not my thing at all.  I concentrated on 4"-6" bears until the beginning of this year when I got into the miniature groove again.  I think I'm slightly more on track this time!!
The little fellow in the photo was finished just last night.  He still needs some grooming and a name! I also added a photo of my ballerina who dates from early this year - she's just over an inch and one of my favourites.



patsylakebears Patsy Lake Bears
Posts: 3,442

Bert.jpg Bert is one of my early Bears made from a synthetic fabric and a commercial pattern. 1997Ralph_my_first_design.jpg
Ralph is my first bear designed by me..1999Ashley_Cut.jpg Ashley is one of my most recent bears2006

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Posts: 5,162

ivor.jpgorangeblob.jpgDilly-Dilly.jpgTintin2.jpgHoneythunder3.jpgBisto.jpgRags.jpgMontage-early1990-s.jpgWhat a lovely thread!  I have really enjoyed looking at everyone's pictures.  Here are mine:

First, these bears were made in the early/mid 90's.  They are my own very early designs.  The other bears will be more familiar to you - I have picked my most recent favourites to share, all made this summer.

The 'orange blob' bear at the bottom, was my very first bear made in about 1990.  I handstitched him from a kiddies kit!  'Ivor' (wearing the tartan ribbon) is the second bear I ever made.  He came in kit form and was made in mohair.

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

This is such a cool topic Edie! The weird thing is I was just thinking about posting exactly the same thing yesterday! I love looking at these! I'm a little intimidated to post mine though because some of these are seriously impressive first bears!!!
I'll have to post earlier bears rather han my first. I made my first when I was 9 and he was a tiny little two piece pattern I drew on brown velour. I remember I loved him, but then later decided he was stupid so I threw him out!
I will post an early bear though.

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

Tami... don't you feel intimidated at all!  Though I have to say, Sue Ann... I think that early "cheap" synthetic guy is just adorable!!!!!  You folks should see the first "doll" I made... she's somewhere at my parents house in the basement... she's made of a lightbulb covered with panty hose, with glued on yarn braids for hair...  :dance: I think I was about 9.

Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

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