Okay.so I am new here and have met a few of you and chatted with some:) and I love it here.I already spend way too much time here but I have learned so much and am grateful to Jane for her help with my new improved site(still working on it though):D and to Judd for offering a knitted bear pattern to make a gift for my Mom and for all the help and new knowledge.It just occurred to me that I am new here and not really well known so I don't want to intrude.That all being said,I thought maybe I should tell you a little about me( feel free to click away now if your getting bored:lol: ) Well here goes.... I am a mother of three,two boys.14 and 12 and a girl aged 10. I live in rural Nova Scotia(Canada) and I love making bears.I have a B.ED and specialized in Elementary Education.I work as a Substitute and work part time in a fabric/craft store.I do all this "working" to support my very enjoyable habit of bear creating.
So far I only sell on eBay and only manage to make 1 or 2 bears a month.I have not had the time (or the guts) to enter any competitions or sell at any shows.I hope to someday.I was fortunate enough to have five creations(donkey,horse and three bears ) included in a wonderful book that was released this past year by Karen Schuler.The book uses artist creations(28 artists in all) to tell the story of Christmas.
Well I ran out of things(pretty boring I guess)Feel free to let me know if I left anything out.I feel very blessed to have found you ladies and this board.You are all very AWESOME!!:D Thanks so much.Blessings,Shari.
Oh,by the way,I have added links to Paula,Shelli,Sue Ann,Millie,Jane and Daphne.I will add more to my site if you let me know and give me permission.Thanks so much to those of you who have already included me.Hugs!
Your site is looking great! Your bears are just adorable. You've used some wonderful furs!
Has Danni seen your orange bear, I wonder? She's got a thing for orange bears! :D
I'll get you added to my links page in the next day or two - I've got a few to add! Thank you for putting me on yours!
Thanks Sue Ann and Daphne.I'm not sure if Danni saw my little orange bear.I made it out of an old rabbit fur hat that someone I know threw my way.He went to live in Australia :)He was my Halloween bear this past year and much cuter in person.
Thanks for the encouragement,I love it here!!I'm glad you like the work I've done on my site ,I owe all the help to Jane.:):) Lots of work left to do but I have to make bears some time:P Hugs and big bear blessings,Shari.
didn't you know we already love you without 'really' knowing you- now its just that much better!
I, personally, am absolutely amazed that you manage to make 1-2 bears a month given 3 kids, 2 jobs and who knows what else!
Yikes. I'm tired just reading your schedule!
We are delighted you are here......
Hello Shari ,
Your website are cute !
I love pink personally and with the bear pictures ,it look so
gorgeous You bear has the sweet baby face or small kids face and it is so adorable I'm amazed that you can make 1-2bears in a month with rasing 3childrens !! I have no kids yet but
I can manage to make only 1-2 bears in a month....I do have
day time work at office but I'm sitting all day so I should have
more power to make more bears...I guess :P
I love to read your post so please come back when you
have a :TIME: !
Hugs Marie.I love to read your posts too.I think your birthday list is wonderful,I laughed when you fooled everyone with your age:lol: I think a sitting job is sometimed the most tiring of all.Thanks so much for all your kind words about my bears and my site.I might keep the pink,I'm not sure yet I love it here and I have learned so much,I have no bear artists near where I live so I didn't have any one to ask for advice.I'm blessed to have found this site.Hugs,Shari.
Thanks girls:):) I am actually trying to figure out how to resize them so they are not quite so huge.I was looking into adobe photoshop but the young fellow at the store said "there are similar programs online that are free" woohoo ,now I just have to find them :lol:
Hope I didn't bore you guys to tears with my long story.I just kinda felt like a lurker and you all knew each other so well.
Hope you all have a happy day,blessings,Shari.
I am a new member . I have been lurking on here for a few weeks , but decided I should finally join in the fun. You are such a wonderful group of bear ladies that give me such a smile when I read the posts. I cannot believe how supportive you are of each other. You are all so willing to share bear tips and your hearts. You are all amazing and talented people.
OK, my name is Tammy and I live in Nova Scotia too ......his Shari - it's a small world !!!!! I was so excited to see a fellow Maritimer that I had to join in. I have been making bears from recycled fur for 2.5 years and love it. I am a stay at home mom ( but I still never have enough time to sew). I sell a few bears on ebay and have a website. I am in the process of deciding if I want to get a business going or keep this as a hobby for now. Tough decision ! Like Shari said , there are not many "bear" people nearby so this group is a wonderful resource and so informative.
I'm a little shy, but I look forward to getting to chat with you all more,
Hi Tammy,so nice to meet you this place and these gals are truly wonderful,you will love it here.The ladies make you feel so welcome and just add you to their family,it's great!! I'm very happy to see someone else from Nova Scotia,big hugs and welcome:D So much to learn so little time.
I have to get back to searching for my ear...I am one ear and a nose away from finishing my bear and one ear is missing.Cutting another is not an option.I may have to list the poor fellow with only one ear and a story about why that makes him look vintage ;):D
Hi Tammy, Welcome :D
I looked at all the lovely bears on your website--precious and obviously having no trouble finding new homes!
This wonderful group is so welcoming that they even let me keep posting, and I don't even have my own bear as an avatar yet!! You'll love it here, and I for one could use your experience with fur bears.
Oh boy Shari, you are a busy lady! I found it interesting to read all about you. Your website is getting better every day, it is looking great. I have been looking through the messages but can't find what I am looking for... last week someone added links to somewhere on the net where you can download for free a photo editing program. If your out there please shout as our pal Shari needs help.
Tammy welcome to our teddy talk family, I'm sure that you will love it here, if your a little quirky and
love bears then your sure to fit right in. I love the little bear on your avatar, so cute! Enjoy yourself, I'm looking forwards to getting to know you.
Thanks to all of you for the WARM and FUZZY welcome I know I am going to love it here. Thanks to Jane for looking at my website and everyone for the nice comments about my avatar.
I found the free photo software link that you are looking for Jane and Shari. It is on page 2 or 3 under the topic "check this out" . The site is: www.freeserifsoftware.com. I tried it and it can do lots of great editing.
I use a wondertul easy to use, free program called photofilter that Nancy Tillberg recommended . It can be downloaded at this link: http://www.snapfiles.com/screenshots/photofiltre.htm
Eileen, I'll help with the fur bears any way I can. I know there are others on here that are WAY more experienced than I am though.
Remember this is just my experience and I've only been at this a short time compared to some of you , but -
-mink seems to be the most popular I find anyway, and is easy to work with as the
pelts aren't too thick.
-I've used squirrel and rabbit and they both seem to be thinner pelts and can be -
fragile (ie: tears easier).
-Raccoon and nutria( cousin to the beaver) are thicker pelts and can be harder to
handstitch and harder to use for smaller bears.
-Opossum can have a lot of seams making it hard on the fingers to handstitch.
-Fox and coyote are a challenge for small bears as the fur is so thick and long, but
-Persian lamb and can have thick pelts too but is a dream to sew as the fur is
short so less tucking and pulling fur out of seams !
-Mouton.......forget it unless you want to make a big bear. The pelts are THICK. I
only ever used this once...ouch my fingers. It was like sewing carpet.
I'll try anything It doesn't always work but it's fun to experiment.
I was nervous the first time I tried a fur bear. You need to just get a cheap coat at a thrift store and give it a whirl. The hardest for me was making the first memory bear from someone elses treasured coat.......oh my nerves , it was the most dry coat ever !!!!!! I'm sure God was testing me to see if this bear making what I really wanted to get into. I survived and have become addicted. I was actually in a bear business for a year with a friend, but I needed to go my own way as we had different styles, expectations, etc. So now I am deciding what to do next with my bears.
As I think others have metioned, give the fur a tug and see of the hairs come out easily. Also make sure the coat doesn't feel dry or crackly when you bend it around otherwise it may tear easily. I agree with lining the fur with muslin or cotton too.
I hope that helps
Nancy Tillberg specifically advises against using mouton as a beginning bear in her book, which I have practially memorized... TEDDY BEARS WITH A PAST. She wrote something like, "Don't use mouton for a first bear because you probably won't ever make a bear again after that; it's that difficult." Eek!
Shelli you are right. Nancy's book is an invaluable reference for fur bear making. I used it to learn most of what I know since there are no classes locally. Her online classes are helpful too. Shelli, you are soooooo talented too, I wish someday my bears could be as beautiful as yours !