Thursday, June 14, 2018

2018 TBAI Gallery Piece – “The Latest News”

Today I am happy to share the final photos of my gallery piece for this year’s Teddy Bear Artist Invitational in NY. It’s been a while since I cut those first pieces of foam core way back in March! And while I wasn’t able to work on it every day, I did manage to complete it eventually. That brings us to today and the photos.

Let’s begin with these two little bears who are fast friends and neighbors. They keep up with everything! And share all “The Latest News” between them, whether it is celebrations or happy days, correspondence or daily news, special events or postcards from abroad.


Their favorite means of communication is by tin can telephone – or leaning out the window!


The common area between their homes has those fantastical light-up mushrooms and a string of Mason jar lights overhead. There is a little bird eavesdropping which is where the phrase ‘a little bird told me’ comes from. ;-)


A little information about these teddies.  Their arms and legs are wired so they can be positioned.  Each of them has one magnet in a paw so they can hold their tin can phone end.  The bear in the above photo wears a vest trimmed with lace made by my great aunt ages and ages ago.


Each teddy has an open mouth so they can speak freely.  This one above wears a vest accented with a tiny pompom trim and tiny buttons.


I love the tiny slice of cake here.  Created by my daughter (find her work here), it matches the theme perfectly.  The detail in it can really be appreciated up close!


On the other side, the treat is three scoops of ice cream!  Hardly a single bite for us, but more than enough for a tiny bear.  Love the colors in it too!  (Also created by my daughter.)

2018-tbai-gp_tln_8     2018-tbai-gp_tln_9

Here you get a view of the tables and wall décor on each side.


This view of the back shows the wrought iron fence that joins rather than separates their two properties.  Each home has a bit of gingerbread trim on the eaves in both the front and back.

Thank you for following along with the progress of this piece!  I hope you can join us for TBAI in New York in August. Click here for details.  Now I am off to see about making some bears for my upcoming show in Tokyo.

Until next time,


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Process – 2018 TBAI Gallery Piece – Part 2

Welcome to Part 2. Now for some details.

The first bit I wanted to sort out was the lawn. I found some terrific looking grass to use on the base. It came already mowed so I knew it was a good deal!


Then I moved on to making a pathway from log slices.


Flooring for the interiors followed with a hexagonal white one for one side and a square tiled one with a blue accent for the other. Forgive the debris, the floor hadn’t been swept at this point!

tp-2018tgp2_3      tp-2018tgp2_4

I suppose the most fun was searching for, and finding, materials for the lawn décor. I began with these tiny dollhouse dishes. They were so tiny! But just right for the design.


You may remember seeing these a few weeks ago on my Instagram or Facebook page.


I wanted these ‘mushrooms’ and the mason jars to be clear so tiny lights would shine though.


It’s a process of having multiple sections underway at the same time and here are a few more interior details I was working on. Wall décor mostly and other bits.


Sometimes you have to make bulletins boards from sticks . . .


Painter’s tape – Yay!


I like to include a bit of my own personal history from time to time, so there are photos of my grandmother and my parents’ wedding portrait.


I repainted a tiny bird – maybe he’s the bluebird of happiness.


I created a few tiny maps, too


that sit in a basket.


A dry run for the mushroom lights.

tp-2018tgp2_16     tp-2018tgp2_17

And rounding out this post, a couple of framed pictures for the walls with itty bitty dots to match the décor.

Next up, photos of the finished piece with close-ups.

As always, thanks for reading!!!!!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Process – 2018 TBAI Gallery Piece – Part 1

It all started with an idea. Someone asked me where it came from and I imagine it came from a lot of different places. Perhaps mostly it is from childhood memories of playhouses and backyard visits, friends and secrets and family chinwags, of snail mail and birthday cards and a thing called newspapers.

These photos will show more of the construction and later on, they will be more detail oriented. Here is how it looked in the beginning.


I like to work with foam core to keep the project light in weight so it is easy to transport and move. This is a very thin version of foam core.


Here I am making a trial run, checking for fit and alignment and mostly, does it embody the idea I have in my head!


Another view.  I do love working on our porch!


These projects are always a test of how well can I think backwards.  “Wallpaper” had to be applied before continuing.  It would be nearly impossible to get it on after all the walls and roofs were together.


One of my favorite supplies: blue painter’s tape.  In this photo, holding it together while the glue dries.


Windows I adapted from some scrapbooking frames. They go delightfully well with my project and provide some cool details.


This shows the before and after of the painting process.  The trim at the top in the above photo will go through the same stages of painting ending with one in a pink color and one in blue.


Then there were roof shingles.  Each roof different and yet similar in color and theme.  I think the pointed ones were easier than the scalloped ones.



I love seeing Victorian era homes in historic neighborhoods and wanted to imitate the look.


The markings on the scallops helped me to figure out which ones to paint what color.


Just a bit of a puzzle when all is said and done.


Finally the roofs  are finished.


Next up, the detail bits for the interior areas and the base.

More to come! Thanks for reading.


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