Wednesday, June 30, 2010

TBAI Gallery Piece Progression

These photos  make me think of those cooking shows where they put the dish in the oven and POOF!  A second later it’s ready.  So I think I should begin by saying these photos were taken over several days.

Let’s start here:


Adding the paper images to the inside


and shutters to the window.


Contemplating the next steps (I did a lot of this!)


Adding more images and a ledge to the back. (Teddy bear overseer in the back there!)


Deciding on the details


A close-up of a few of the details in place


and some more.


Painting some charms for the box.

The theme for this year’s TBAI is Children’s Classics.  Of the choices I submitted, I was given the opportunity to create a piece inspired by Madeline.  Remember that one?

Here’s my finished piece – I think I will call it:

An Old House in Paris


The first line of the story reads “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines”.  The above photo is the front of the piece and


this is the back of it.

Now to the inside -


A view of the left side of the box opened and

tgpp_12a view of the right inside of the box.

It is missing something though, right?  A bit of a tribute to the main character from the story?  Ah, here we go.


I did wonder if I would ever get her coat right.


Here’s the entire piece – bear & box together.

Then I found an excellent hard cover version of the book at the flea market just the exact right size.  How often does that happen?  Here’s a view of the back with the book in place.


As they say in the book –

that’s all there is -

there isn’t any more.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Over the weekend we went to visit our daughter for a couple of days. So instead of photos of progress I made on the box from my last post, I am sharing photos of an unplanned stop on our trip.

We passed a sign that noted a historical covered bridge. We wanted to stretch our legs a bit so we decided to investigate. I think covered bridges are interesting and I learned there are only two remaining in North Carolina.

We walked across this creek


then started down this path


we walked a little ways more – it was so peaceful there.
No one else was around.


We crossed this bridge that had no railings and


at the end of the trail was the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge.
It was built in 1894.


This shows you the inside.  The bridge was restored in 1994.


This is how it appeared if you were approaching it from the other side in your horse and buggy.


And this rose, growing along my fence, is for you. My way of saying Thank You! for visiting here.


Now I am back at home aiming to make some progress on my TBAI project. I will share my photos of it coming together.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Progress Comes Backwards


A little sawdust and paint . . .

is where this project began. Unless I run into some unforeseen difficulties (like last time with the box I began and have yet to resolve a construction issue), this is the start of my piece for the Teddy Bear Artist Invitational Gallery.


Progress is measured & it comes backwards. I begin with an idea of how I want the end to look and then start revising. That’s the challenge, of course – not to do something that should have waited until you do something else first. So it’s this whole reverse stages thing – hence the backwards progress.


These photos aren’t terribly exciting or colorful because those things come in nearly at the end when all the bones of the project have been placed – things like hiding where something is attached or layering the paper.


And then there’s the computer work – it still amazes me how much I depend on the computer/printer for these pieces.

It’s sorted in my head and in parts and pieces on my desk. Now I’m off to make some real (backwards) progress that I’ll be happy to show you as it comes together.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In the Wee Small Hours

This is what happens when


you put a camera in the hands


of someone who has just finished a wee small bear
in the wee small hours.


Instead of playing with the bears, I think it might be time for me to hit the sack - before they start asking me for a midnight snack and a late movie.

While waiting for just the right coat and hat fabric to arrive in the mail, I will begin the next part of my project tomorrow starting with this


unless, of course, the two bears above convince me that they need a third and a forth so they can play cards.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Where Bloggers Create II

Welcome to the Where Bloggers Create II Studio Tour. This event is hosted by the lovely Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage. If you want to tour more studios, she has a great long wonderful list of participants. Just go on over and take your pick. Have some fun! Get inspired!

Inspired - now there’s a word. Last summer that is exactly what I felt. Inspired. And inspiration leads you to do some crazy things. My husband’s first clue that life would be topsy turvy for a few weeks was when I said, “As long as we’re going to have to move everything out to replace the carpet, why not paint as well?” Thus the re-do of my bear making studio began.  Come on in.  Let me show you around.


Door’s open!


My space is a bonus room with half walls on two sides. It definitely provides some challenges when you are trying to figure out how to organize and make it your own.


For the walls, I chose a beautiful light blue color called Tradewind and since much of my storage is white, I decided that Snowbound would be the trim. How’s that for balance? A little bit of summer and a little bit of winter. It also provides a nice restful contrast to the craziness that goes on in my head. The white surfaces make this space feel larger and I can easily find things that have gone walking – a paw pad, an ear, a needle or pin.


Just inside the door I have this taboret which houses small things for bear making – tools, perle cotton, thread, glitter, thread and . . . um thread.  Oh - and ribbons too.


Here’s my sewing table. These bears are in shock. They didn’t know that there was a surface under there!  I tidied it for you all. I didn’t want to frighten anyone.


I personalized the shelves throughout the studio with favorite quotes. They hold a combination of useful and decorative things. Many remind me of good times like the Raggedy Ann that my mom made for me years and years ago. I just love her! And a few of my own bears are there, too. FYI, I never have been able to accumulate much in that teddy bear fund jar!


This is my bear making table where all the parts and pieces come together. It is parallel to my sewing table. My chair swivels from my sewing machine to the work table and back again. Quite often I am back and forth, back and forth, between the two tweaking and fine-tuning heads and arms and legs. (My husband tells people I have a very special machine. It only sews on fur fabrics, not the regular stuff. Some actually believe him too.)


Here’s a special custom-made ironing board we created for just this space. It fits right on top of two short bookshelves and serves its purpose very well. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I still haven’t figured out what the mother of intervention  is though.

Those fabrics there came with me all the way from Iowa last week.  I can’t wait to make it into some palm-sized teddy bears.


This spot is where my husband and I can watch movies and it’s also a good place to read . . . and sleep – accidentally of course!


More shelves that hold storage jars. And storage jars that hold trims and things. Trims and things that adorn teddy bears and their friends. Some of whom decided they like hanging out in my studio.


I couldn’t resist adding a couple of clotheslines with some decorated clothespins. My mom made these dresses for my bears. I miss her – she was so very creative and inspiring!


Then of course there’s the technology department. Monitor, printers, routers and such. I don’t know much about how they work but I do know without them I wouldn’t be a bearmaker/blogger. I’d just be a bearmaker and that would just be sad.


That’s the end of the tour. Thank you so much for dropping by. I hope you have a great day visiting all the other bloggers’ spaces. I’m off to visit as many as I can – it may take me all week – between making teddy bears and getting ready for Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day to the two best fathers I know –

my husband and my dad!

Friday’s Project

This little one (5”) goes for a coat and hat fitting today.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Iowa Travelogue 7

Alas, we have now arrived at my last travelogue post. It’s so hard to believe it’s all over . . . but I still want to tell you all about the show so here we go.







I have never seen so much rain fall from the sky the first morning of the show. We had the greatest hopes that the downpour would ease off by the time we needed to unload. Being a little bear, it wouldn’t do for me to have to slog through giant puddles even if I was only responsible for carrying the writing pen.

But we were able to set up without too much rain and, as you can see in this photo of the corn man from the parade that day, the weather did improve somewhat. At least it wasn’t raining any longer.


Now here are two views of the show:


Row after row of teddy bears


and the occasional mohair table.


By the second day, it finally dawned on me that ‘two of us’ had chairs to sit in and ‘one’ of us did not. Isn’t that always the way? Eventually, they began to see the light and a chair just my size was purchased for me to sit in at the show. (The funniest thing is that they had to leave their chairs there and I was able to bring mine with me!)


As promised, we were able to upload photos of almost all of the tables from the show. So, if you want a virtual tour at your leisure, you can check them out at Ginger’s shutterfly site. Here’s the link:

Teddy Bear Reunion in the Heartland Show Photos

All in all it was wonderful - especially the people. I hope you have enjoyed my travelogue and I want to tell you all how very much I appreciate your visits with me. Each of you is just as wonderful as can be.

Thank you. Now I return this blog to its rightful writer.

All the best from me,

the travelin’ ted

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