I would love to try the glass pellets, Judi! :love:
The cost of shipping them is astronomical. Has anyone found a local source? I have no idea what kind of industry would make or sell them. Somebody in a city the size of Hogtown has to, right?
What about glass beads in bulk? I know we've got beading stores here.
I get my glass beads from a sand blasting supply company. They are much cheaper that way. I have to buy a forty pound bag but I share it with all my bear making friends. And a forty pound bag of glass beads is not very big. I usually tranfer it to an empty cat little container so I don't have any spills from a hole being poked in the paper. Check you local phone directory and see what you come up with. Also if you know anyone in the highway department, they put glass beads in the paint for the yellow or white lines on the streets. They might be able to get you some. Those glass beads are a little larger than the ones from the sand blasting.
In Australia I buy mine from a road making company. They are mixed with paint to create a reflective finish to the white line markings on the roads. When i bought mine several years ago they were very cheap and exactly the same as i had been buying from a teddy supply .
CR's Crafts has a 10 pound bag of glass beads for $15.00 and $4.70 for shipping to Texas. It's http://www.crscraft.com/products/produc … chOffset=x if you want to look.
I paid 25 cents a pound for my glass beads from the sand blasting supply company. They will deliver at no cost since I am on the route. I usually plan a trip to pick it up so that I can see what else they have. One time I bought a broken bag of coated stainless steel space ship shaped things for inside the bodies.
Yes Wal-Mart carries it. It is located in the Floral Section of the Craft Department.
Mom has sent a few bears "down under" and we have never had any problems niether have the collectors.
You may not have had any problems, however, Customs do require that any plant, that is wood shavings etc. be declared. They may not have checked every parcel in the past but they are being more thorough these days.
As an Australian I would not deliberatly bring anything into the country which could hurt our Farmers. It is not difficult to declare what material it is and it may only be that it is then taken aside and sprayed. I think it would be easier to use a none plant stuffing or check that what you are using is allowed through customs.
Returning into Australia it is interesting to see the litle dogs customs use. They run over cases any walk among the crowd then get very excited when they find someone has hidden something.
Something Jennifer Laing told me too is that the Excelsior we can get hold of in Australia is not the good stuff and she said she would not use it to stuff a bear. Apparently what we have here is far coarser than true fine Excelsior and is really made just for packaging stuff. She said as far as she knows, the USA is the only place you can get the 'real thing'. She also said that Excelsior WILL break down over time, and that's why so many antique bears are floppy.
She mentioned too that the way Steiff do it is by taking the Excelsior in a long piece, they fold it in half and then stuff the fold into the nose area. Then they stuff the rest of the head. :cool:
Isn't it great to hear how everyone's techniques differ!
Jared...I gotta agree with Susan on the wood wool thing when it comes to importing into Australia. It's not a good idea. Having said that, if Excelsior is your stuffing of choice, I can see the problem with not importing into Australia....'cos you don't know who and from what country, is going to adopt your critters. I know customs is also jumping on items that have been stuffed with sand.
Well I can't imagine stuffing my bears with sand...
Well the best I can do it to declare what materials I use to stuff my bears with. If I know it is going to be a problem for certain collectors or shoppes I can make adjustments and I am willing to do so. I am not a hardliner. :teddybear:
As to the whole excelsior issue. There are various grades/types. I use one that is in the middle of the road. I have used some that is very fine and found that it took too much to stuff a bear and too long to do so. Look at old bears that have worn through patches you will see variety in the excelsior. Remember what you chose to stuff your bears with is up to you. :thumbsup:
Dale brought several samples of excelsior to Schaumburg once to get opinions on which one or ones that Intercal should carry and the responses he got were as different as everyone at the show. There were about 12 samples and there were fans for each sample, but not one grade/type took the lead in the poll.
My advice is to experiment with different stuffing materials and combinations of stuffing materials until you find the one that will work for you.
Don't take what one person says as gospel in creating your bears. Do what you like and like what you do. You are embarking on a creative endvor be creative. When it comes to making bears there are as many experts as their are bear artists. Again I say experiment with different stuffing materials. I came to use excelsior several years ago. Mom and I had a problem with our faces staying straight while we were putting them on. Often times we would have to do extensive needle scuplting to correct the problems, this took a great deal of time. One day I came across a bag of excelsior that mom had bought to put in a floral arrangement. I thought to myself, early bears were stuffed with excelsior why don't I try this. I did and when I put the face on that rabbit I didn't need to do all of the needle scuplting. I told this to mom and she was excited to try it when she got home from work that evening. We continue to use it to this day.
My mom has a wonderful red bear in her collection that is stuff with spanish moss. The artist thought she had bought excelsior and used it to stuff the bear. After she finished the bear she found out that she had bought the wrong thing. Eventually, she tried the excelsior. But she didn't want to undo all the work she put into this bear. She brought it to the show and mom was admiring him and after she heard the story she had to have him. Who know what he will look like in 10-50 years from now, but as far as I know he is the only bear stuffed with spanish moss.
Ummmm....excuse my ignorance, but why would WOOD shavings (excelsior) endanger Australian farmers?? I'm just not making the connection here.... :/
I haven't used any of the excelsior combinations, just polyfil from different companies, and the polypellets, glass beads from CR Crafts great stuffs!, and my new favorite, copper coated steel bbs from Wal Mart.
All wood, plant animal products ...etc. must be declared as they may hold a disease/virus which could harm our agriculture industry. Some of these viruses may do little harm in some countries but also may thrive in a warmer climate.
If you go into the Australian Customs website they will give details.