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

I've had another miniature thought!  bear_whistle

Do you think as miniature makers we can go too far down the overdoing it route?

What makes me ask is because as a whole we are limited in fabric choice (types, not colours) and size do we go overboard trying to make each bear different. I feel I've been a bit preoccupied trying to make my bears look different, not from other makers, but from eachother. Eyelids here, open mouth there, long body, short body, head changes galore.... You get the drift, rather than keeping to what I and my collectors like or expect. I've been a bit lost with it all.

Or do you love the thrill of trying different things.....

I finally feel I like what I'm doing but don't want to drift down that constant changing route, in the future, yes, but not from one bear to another every week!

I'd love to know how you feel or even how your collectors feel about change.

katiecountrymouse1 KatieCountryBears
Bolton-le-sands, Carnforth
Posts: 3,101

Hi Amanda,
As a collector of your bears, I do love the mini ones the best, as that is what caught my eye first. Not saying that I don't love the others.
As I've said before, follow your heart.
Love kayx. bear_wub  bear_wub

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

I feel the same way you do Amanda, sometimes I feel like I am struggling with every bear to make each one different than the other. Not so much the costuming as I  have a million ideas all the time, but with each pattern tweeking. I have yet to make two bears the same!!!

Christine Christine Pike Bears
Norfolk, UK
Posts: 683

Interesting question, Amanda!
I definitely think that you shouldn't add something to a bear just for the sake of being clever, but we all love to experiment - and your eyelids, open mouths et al may one day be looked upon as 'transition bears' between moving from one style to another.  As Kay said, the most important thing is to follow your heart bear_original


rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

I don't think I could do two alike to save-my-soul.
Twice ABC asked me to create the convention souvenir bears... it about made me slit my wrists.

The only think that kept me sane and got them finished was that my MIL was in an Assisted Living home at the time, for those with dementias and memory loss, and each day it was like a new topic of conversation for the talkers.
That helped me see each bear as an individual, too!

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

I think sometimes I really must see things through, I think we all get bored but I seem to have gone too far the other way changing things. Saying that I only half finish the bears!  bear_rolleyes A clue, it was'nt what I wanted to do in the first place I suppose. Now I must finish some legs on a bear......

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Oh Amanda,

Oh honey, life is too short and runs through our time much too quickly!

If you want to add changes and play with your pattern then do, please do.

Some of the best innovations come when we are 'goofing' around and playing with ideas

I guarantee you will never hear a dying person wish they had worked harder at the office or had less fun in their creativity.  And with the imaginations that the gals have here, why there's no telling where it will stop!

Do experiment-what's the worst that can happen?

now ask yourself, What's the best that can happen?

which outcome do you want?


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

I guarantee you will never hear a dying person wish they had worked harder at the office or had less fun in their creativity

Dilu this is one of my favourite thoughts! So very true in everything.

My problem is I've gone too far the other way, trying too many things and being tied up in knots. It stopped becoming fun trying new things and a chore, if you see what I mean. Thats why I wondered if anyone else found the same thing happening to them. Now I really must finish those bear legs, then.....I'm going to do an anime, that at least helps to give me that wacky change, they're fun to do!

WhimzeeBearz Whimzee Bears
Moonee Ponds, Victoria
Posts: 126

I'm struggling with exactly the same Amanda !!  Hence I now have exactly 15 bears in various stages of incomplete covering my dining room table.  Some put aside because they looked too much like what I've always done....some because they're just downright fugly... and some because I'm not so sure about yet.   You know the U2 song.... and I still haven't found what I'm looking for.... that's my theme song!  But I've resolved, this weekend, I'm pulling my head in and I'm going to stop trying to outdo myself and will remain focussed and calm until my little bears are born.  I will NOT look at my 'inspiration' scrapbooks or TT looking for even more inspiration/ideas.....  I will see the job to the end (I'm a great starter - terrible finisher) .... I will stop comparing my bears to others  !!   Hopefully, with all this resolve, focus and calm I will end up with my ideal bear (just in time to change my mind again lol).

BTW you don't need to change a thing with your little cuties.... they're the best !

Good luck

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Well it sounds like yu guys need a little "instant gratification"

When i get boggled i quilt or play with fabric or even bake-nothing like a beautiful cheesecake or Anzac, (my favorite cookie....try them with dried pineapple-to die for) or anything....sometimes instant gratification will set you right again and get you back on the path of creativity.

symphathetically hugging


edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

I've never really thought of that, Amanda. I started out doing limited editions of my bears and found it SO hard to keep reproducing each one exactly like the one before so when I finally let myself start making only one of a kinds it was such a release and I just love not having to worry ahead of time about how the bear will turn out and measuring to make sure the eyes and ears are in the exact same position, etc. I'd say just enjoy your bear making and don't worry about whether it is enough different or not - likely it will be as it is VERY hard to make the EXACT  same thing twice.

That said I do find that I keep changing my patterns with each new bear - partly to accomodate different fabrics and partly because I can't help wondering how it would turn out if I just did this instead of that or if I put the ears here instead or the eyes closer, etc. etc.  To a certain extend I like to have each one a little different just to keep them fresh and my interest up. If I am getting bored I get out the dye baths and start dyeing or painting fabrics to have something new! I think your bears are great - loved that little black and white panda you have/had? up on ebay!

Cat Gabriel Cat Gabriel Crafts
Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 923

I know from my personal experience whenever I have tried something really different with my bears, they don't tend to sell as well as my ordinary bears.  One of the very first patterns I ever designed is still the most popular with collectors and one of the simplest too!

Having said that, I think it is good to experiment every now and then to keep the creative juices flowing  bear_original

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

Thats exactly what I was thinking Catherine. Sometimes its a trade off between what we would like to do to keep it interesting and what the collectors want.

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

Hi Amanda,

I've develop quite a lot of patterns while I've been making bears, but generally come back to just two or three of them.... they have become my favourite patterns to use because I know how they work, exactly how they fit together and have a pretty good idea of how they'll turn out. Every now and then I'll tweak something and you can guarentee it'll end in tears! LOL. Of course the patterns themselves evolved from a lot of 'playing'.

I really enjoyed my brief encounter with anime bears, but they weren't as popular with collectors. Perhaps I just didn't give it enough time or effort, because I soon turned back to my trusted favourites! I find it's the finishing of the bear that matters most and gives it the personality - even when I try to make them look the same, they turn out different!


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