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Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb
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Stephanie Sassy Bears & Fabrics
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 196

Matty400.jpgMarion asked me to post one of my bears.
Here is Mattie, he stands 3.25" tall. There's a bit of a story to go with him, don't go yet. . . .
I saw him in my head months ago. A mix of Japanese anime with traditional and modern styles. I like those big heads, but prefer a more traditional style face, and I love those sculpted toes!
It took 3 tries before he finally came out. Each time I got a head done, NOPE! that's not it! Let's start over! On the 4th try I 'birthed' him!!  :lol:
Usually, I just 'wing it' when designing patterns, 'let's see what THIS will look like!', kinda thing.
This time, I was going for something definite, something I could already see (mentally anyway).
I got him all done and was pretty proud of him, even though everyone around me told me he was a really goofy looking bear. To top if off, I used some fabric I call Frosted Long Pile (that's a whole other story!) that was done just for him. A true original, OOAK.
Now, we only have 1 Doll & Bear show here in Denver each year, the beginning of October. I've gone the last couple years, but never had a booth or entered in the competition. I decided this was the year. I felt my bears were finally good enough to compete. I have sold several bears, so I knew I would be competing against other professionals. So, I took him over on Friday (show was Sat-Sun) and dropped him off. I went back Sunday afternoon with my daughters to hang out, look at everything and pick him up.
I went over to the tables where all the winners were, hoping to see him there. It looked like he had a ribbon, but there was so much stuff piled on the tables and they have it roped off so you can't get close enough to touch anything.
At 4:00, the show was wrapping up and we were allowed to pick up our entries. I chatted with one of the judges standing there while they were handing them out.
Turns out Mattie won everything! Best of Category, Best of Class, even Best of Show! All those ribbons and the trophy piled up there were all his! I was speechless. I MEAN REALLY SPEECHLESS!! I just stared at the judge with my mouth hanging open for several minutes. I thought she was kidding. Then she said, "You can do your happy dance now!".
Just goes to show that everyone has different tastes. Don't listen to anyone who tells you they don't like your bear. It's just not their taste.
Needless to say, Mattie is NOT for sale! I'm keeping him, he has a shelf all to himself in my bear cabinet.

Acipenser Bine-Teddies
Posts: 862

Wow!!  :clap: :clap: :clap: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Congratulations Stephanie!  :thumbsup:
A lovely bear indeed!!!  :lol:



SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 20,992

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Mattie deserved ALL of his awards . . . he's adorable!!!  Congratulations!

Dilu Posts: 8,574

WooooHoooo Stephanie!!!

Fantabulous!  And He is so very worth it.....he is adorable, truly adorable

and I think a touch of anime is cute.....which he is.

which is, uh, well.....extreme

Can I say that I am extremely envious of your toe sculpting skills on a mini.... I can't even do it on a biggun...

How cute~

Well done.... :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


starlite Starlite Bears
Posts: 1,676

Oh he is sooo cute !! Well done for all the awards he has won bear_flower bear_flower well derserved bear_flower

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

bear_grin I got the giggles over the judge saying you could do your happy dance now  bear_grin :dance: I was like that when Little Miss Muffet won the ACE award....couldn't stop grinning, laughing aloud...even days later, I'd get excited just thinking about it....but

To have swooped EVERYTHING at the show....WOW!!! Congratulations to you and little Mattie!!  bear_thumb I think he's adorable, and I can certainly see why he'll be a keeper.  Way to go  :hug:

bearsbybeesley bears by beesley TM
Tofield Alberta Canada
Posts: 6,818

What a beautiful little one! You did a superb job!

Many Hugs Louise

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

How incredibly exciting; congratulations to you.  I had a big win myself this year, and months later, I'm STILL floating about it.  (And still a little guilty; you can take the girl out of the Catholic school, but you can't take the Catholic school out of the girl, I guess.)


I'd love to hear more about "frosted long pile," since you alluded to a long story there.  Is it something you are free to share?   No pressure, if not; despite our overall attitude of sharing, we all have our secrets here, out of professional courtesy and respect.

Stephanie Sassy Bears & Fabrics
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 196

I've been working on the Frosted Long Pile all year. It's been tough to get the dye technique right and to find the right kind of dye. I use some of the plain white Sassy Long Pile fabric and dye it so all the color stays on the back. I end up with a colored background with pure white fur. Has a very frosted look to it. I figured out how to do it, but not in any real quantity so I could sell it. Well, I finally figured that out too so now I can do whole yards at a time. I plan on doing several colors this winter to offer in the Spring. The final stuff I ended up with looks much better than what I used on Mattie or what is in this pic. I sold a few packs of this on ebay a few months back and they were literally snatched up. The dye bled when I rinsed it and tinted the fur a very pale color. The new stuff has really pure white fur since I switched dyes.
I haven't really told anyone that I've been working on this so you guys are getting a 'sneak-peek'.
Now, didn't I say I WAS NOT promoting my stuff!! :)
I can't help it with this one. As much as I love making bears, I love working with fabric even more. It's a serious passion with me.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 20,992

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Stephanie, that fur is beautiful!!  Is the pile about 1/4"?

Stephanie Sassy Bears & Fabrics
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 196

It's 1/8th inch pile with the grid backing that does not fray. Just like the Vintage Long Pile all of us mini artists scream for.

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

You deserve it. He's is a wonderful bear, very unique!!!!
:dance: :clap: :dance: :clap: :dance:

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Posts: 3,518

GORGEOUS bear!!!! Well done - you deserved your wins!


Stephanie Sassy Bears & Fabrics
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 196

Thank you everyone!
I didn't enter him because I thought he looked great, I entered him because I thought it was a unique design. I can't say as I've ever seen a bear with these proportions before. And the fact that I worked so hard to get him out of my head and into this world. It was like he was thumping my skull trying to get out!

When it finally sunk in, I got this hot, tingly feeling all over, like I was going to pass out! bear_original Excitement is not quite the word for it, more like shock!! THEN the excitement took over. I literally couldn't stand still for days!

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Stephanie, that frosted fur is absolutely gorgeous; I've never seen anything quite like it.  Even though I make bigguns, I might have to fanagle a 10-incher out of that stuff.  Let me be the first to buy off your spring line!  Be sure to give us a heads-up when you're full-steam and ready to roll out a big chunk of this stuff for the public.  I'm sure you'll have lots of takers!

patsylakebears Patsy Lake Bears
Posts: 3,442

Mattie is beautiful ....... congratulations :clap: :clap: and I love the fabric

rufnut Rufnut Teddy's
Victoria Australia
Posts: 2,725

Stephanie, congrats with Mattie. :clap:

Also love your frosty pile fabrics too

Helena Bears-a-Bruin!
Macclesfield, UK
Posts: 1,291

Hi Stephanie bear_original Mattie is just adorable and it's no wonder he won so many awards :love:. I can fully understand your excitement!

I've seen the frosted long pile on eBay, and have been sorely tempted to buy some. I didn't realise it was you selling it (duh!) because I haven't seen it on your site yet - I'll look forward to buying some! I've been playing with dying the sassy white fabric - succeeding in producing a hot pink that I'm going to use in a panda, but it isn't 'frosty' like yours. It was good fun to do though!

I'll look forward to seeing your fabric on eBay again....  bear_thumb And more of your bears!!!!

Helena bear_original

PS I forgot to say, how much I love your fabrics (is it obvious?!!!)!

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

A big well done Steph. My husband (who has no interest in bears) commented on the feet, perfection. I'm so thankful to you, as your fabric has helped me do my miniature bears. I have just ordered some to do a panda. I can see the passion you have for fabric, the frosty is lovely. Now what can we make out of that? bear_wub

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

Wow, what a great story.
It's nice to hear really, I often get lots of negative feedback when I'm trying something different. Maybe I should enter them into something??
Great bear though.
Nice to have you here as well, I know many of us has spent few $'s at your store. Sooo many things to buy, and with all your new products................ bear_wacko bear_wacko bear_wacko


DebbieD Posts: 3,540

I agree with Shelli...I'm not a mini maker, nor am I even used to working with anything other than real fur...but the colours you've created with this frosty look (especially all those pastel colours!) are practically SCREAMING  at me to make a bear with it!!!!  Do let us know when its for sale  bear_wub

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

So happy for you Stephanie!  He's a wonderful little guy!  I think you are right... he does have a very original, unique look to him!  Very cute!

Beary truly yours,
Kim Basta
Wild thyme Originals

Estelle Estelles canal bears and Tod Teddies
Todmorden West Yorkshire
Posts: 370

I am ashamed of posting my poor minis on here now that is amazing! How did you do those tiny toes  I shall strive to get as good as you  :redface: :hug:

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Oh you Sassy Stephanie

What beautiful beautiful beautiful fabric.....I see us all lining up to get our little itty bitty greedy bear paws on it....yummy lush delicious colors and I can hardly wait until I have built my pitifully empty bare beargolly account up so I can get some. 

Don't worry about it, Shelli asked and we all wanted to hear.  We thank you for sharing.

I love to play with dyes on my mohairs, can I ask which one you ended up with?  I am fascinated that it stayed  in the backing buy not on the the backing a
'natural' fiber?  Is this why the color took?  I find the whole process fascinating.
The only ones I've tried are one for synthetics from Beary Cheap Cushings and Koolade.
Beary Cheaps synthetic stuff was wild, and strong!  UGH.  And koolade is bright.  I haven't played enough with cushings to have a good feel for it.

But the soft Eastery colors you got are so beautiful....yum...can hardly wait till spring.

Thank you for showing the new spring line   :dance:



Stephanie Sassy Bears & Fabrics
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 196

Dilu, I did these with plain old RIT dye which works great on natural fibers and some synthetics like the nylon 'fur' on this fabric. I have since switched to a different one that gives even better results.
It's not just the dye, it's the technique of doing it, which I'm sorry to say is staying in my pocket. I'm very happy to share just about everything, but think I deserve to keep 1 or 2 things to myself. It did take many months of experimenting to get it right.

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