from Upstate New York. New user here, saying hello. Haven't said hello before on the board, though I've been a "lurker" for a bit! My name is most definitely not JJ (don't even ask), it's Debbie, but you may call me whatever you like!
I made my first bear in 2001 and loved it ... the bear and the making of it. I'm not an artist as many bear artists are. Can't draw, paint or sculpt worth beans ... but I've been sewing since I was in the 6th grade and have excelled at it, and was blessed with a pretty decent imagination, which I am grateful for.
I work full time, 40+ hours in a corporate environment (GAK), and my hubby and two children have priority over teddies, so my craft time is very precious. I've been looking thinking ahead to retirement ... alas ... it is still a few years away. Recently I've been doing a great deal of thinking about what I'd like be doing in a few years, and I think I'd like to be making bears. So I've decided to ramp it up a little and try to get more than one every 6 months completed. :/
This board and your posts have brightened up many a lunch hour for me. I've found bear makers to be among the nicest people I've ever met. I've laughed and admired, been sparked to new ideas, and been encouraged ... while being invisible! How cool is that?!
Well, hello Debbie!!! Your not invisible anymore!! And we're so glad you've decided to show yourself!!
Where abouts in upstate NY do you live? I know it's a big place.... my hubby went to Alfred University & lived in the Corning area and we have friends in Canisteo. We also race at Watkins Glen once in a while. It's a beautiful drive between here (NH) and there... love the farmland!
Anyway, welcome!! Pictures... pictures.... pictures....!! :lol:
Hello Debbie from a fellow upstate New Yorker! I admit to lurking on this board for a time before posting also, but the people here are so nice they mostly keep me out of lurkdom these days. Not that there is a thing wrong with lurking, it's still a great way to absorb information I agree that the bear industry is by far the friendliest industry I've ever been involved in. And don't worry about not being an artist... there are a long line of artists down my mother's side of the family extending back generations, but I can honestly say I've never been one of them. If it's hurt my bear making, I have been blissfully unaware of it!
*************I interrupt the subject of this post for a brief message to Kelly**********
Kirby is just the neatest bear!!
I hear the Bristol show is back on!! Will you still be there? I'm hoping to get down to it. I have a show the next day in Portsmouth, NH so not sure! There are a few artists I'd like to see.... and it would be fun to meet a fellow Teddy Talker!:)
***************** We'll now resume to the topic at hand... *******************
Hi Daphne, thanks for the kind words about Kirby! He's my grizzly cub TANK, he is such a big boy. Yup, Bristol is back on! We were going to be at the original one, but after they cancelled it my mother arranged to have family fly in from Canada to see her over that time for a small reunion. I'm back in grad school this fall, so will have to look at my schedule, but if I can get away I may just attend the Bristol show myself. I've got a couple of weeks to figure it out, but for now it's just at the hmmmmm stage. Would love to meet you though!
Corning, NY is indeed, the place! And as it so happens, this weekend is the Nascar race at the Glen. My husband went to Alfred State - a great SUNY technical school across town from Alfred University. This truly is a beautiful area ... especially with the vineyards and wineries and Finger Lakes and all.
Pictures. Hmm ...
I don't have the time this am to figure that out ... but I'll try to get a something posted this weekend ... right after I read the SOP.
Have a good day!
Welcome Deb and greetings from NZ.
So glad you have come out of the shadows and look forward to seeing your bears and
hearing more from a Bear maker from New York.
Earlier this year, we went to a luncheon over here with your fabulous chef Anthony Bourdauin.
He signed our two books we have of his, and was great to shake his hand.
Have you dined at Les Halles? Jut curious.
Hi Debbie and welcome. I also have a 40+ hour job but just love my bear making. It gives me a creative outlet and time for myself. We sound simular in that I too started to think about selling my bears and building a business I could work at when I retire. Retirement is several years down the road for me but that is a good thing. As slow as I am making bears it will take me that long create an inventory.
I overlooked your questions. So sorry.
My children are: daughter Valerie 22 going on 23 and a senior this Fall at SUNY Brockport near Rochester, NY. Son Nathan is 19 going on 14 but has many many redeeming qualities that keep him alive. Easy to understand when you have teens why some species eat their young. Seriously, they're both great.
Retirement ... is realistically no more than 8 years away.
I am drawn to traditional bears I think. They seem to keep turning out between 13 and 19 inches ... around in there. I admire both dressed and undressed (well ... not dressed) bears. I've looked for childrens vintage clothing in the area and I must admit I was probably being silly to think I'd find anything vintage around here not made of glass. I like simple, and am not fond of foo-foo (lots of lace, ruffles, etc.). I read descriptions of the bears of others, and honestly ... sometimes I worry just a bit about a few of mine. Some of them (still in my head) are just not "sweet" bears. I think there are a couple, maybe even a few bad boys and/or girls trapped in there.
I'm taking a crack here at adding a couple of photos. If in fact she appears, Jenny was my very first mohair teddy. She was dressed in a pink prom dress, fashioned after Val's Junior Prom dress. Maizey's alpaca sweater was an integral part of her.
Have a good evening!
Welcome Deb!!! As someone from the corporate world also, I know that bear making can be a much needed artist relief. Please, show us some of your work!!!!
As for some of your teddies have a 'bad' side to them, look at the bear on my aviator. He looks mean to! And that's why I love him.
Glad to hear from you
Can't wait to see pictures.
I found antiquing in your area to be rather.... unexciting.... maybe I haven't found the good places!
But, our last trip consisted of a day at the glass museum for some speaker my husband wanted to hear and of course a tour. So, anything antique that you couldn't see through, didn't have a bubble, fracture, or other glass-type characteristic was actually very exciting!!! (For those who aren't familiar - Corning Glassworks in Corning, NY near Deb, has been around since the 1850's, manufacturing lightbulbs to coffee pots to fiberoptic cable. So, Deb's neck of the woods is full of glass!!!) I should mention that my husband's grandfather and father worked as engineers/physicists for Corning. Though my husband went into a division of glass he has NOT worked there.... yet!:rolleyes:
Here in New England we have wonderful antique shops. I'd like to do some antiquing in Pennsylvania. Any good areas for that, Kim? (And by the way, I saw a bear show in PA listed for October, I think, in the new issue of TB&F!!! Do you know about it? I can look up the info for you - maybe you could check it out!?)
Welcome Debbie from an original New Yorker.
I was born in NYC, and lived for a time in Schnectady and Long Island. My Belgian Dad grew up in Buffalo, and my eldest daughter (28) is now seriously involved with a man who lives in Rochester--she'll be moving there in the new year. She was born in Canada, but has had American citizenship for several years. Even with my sketchy documentation, it took less than an hour!
This is the best, kindest and most generous group on the planet. Maybe on any planet. Glad you're one of us!