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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Billy boy!

Here’s my latest boy - Billy!




Billy is about 8½ inches tall, made from a lovely chocolate colour, very soft viscose fabric, which I hand-dyed myself. The colouring is slightly variegated here and there, which I’d like to say was deliberate; however, perhaps I need a little bit more practise at hand-dying viscose – I never had the same problem when hand-dying cotton velvet a year or so ago!! Anyway, the variations in colour nicely add to the aged, vintage kind of look, so all’s well. Billy is filled with the usual firm fibre-fill and steel shot for weight. He has black glass eyes, is 5-way jointed, and is dressed in a little striped top, with a ceramic heart button stitched on the front. Billy also has a little across-the-body linen bag, with a cross-stitched small flower on and a silver tone love letter charm. As the viscose is such a lovely brown, I’ve only added a little bit of distressing here and there.




He’s quite a cute little chappie isn’t he?

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Wilma, in the Pink!

Look; Watson now has a sister …….. and sticking with the WW’s, her name is Wilma. As all the details for Wilma are the same as for Watson (a few posts ago!), using the fabulous pattern (and exactly the same fabric) from Liz at Wacky Walker Bears, this post is mostly an all picture post. I hope you enjoy looking




Sunday, 22 May 2016

Malvern Spring Quilt Show

A brief change from the bears! I went to the Malvern Spring Quilt Show and Exhibition yesterday with my luverley cousin Gwyneth who was up for weekend from South Wales. She used to make cards, but apparently I inspired her to ditch the cards in favour of sewing a couple of years ago. My remit (from Gwyneth) in coming to stay was that I had to take her to my favourite craft shops …… I know; what a chore (see big happy smile on my face!!). I then discovered; and this really was a coincidence, that the Quilt show was on this weekend; so that sorted out our Saturday; and basically, we just about walked our legs off spending practically all day there; and of course spending money. These days, I’m making bears, so I don’t need patchwork fabric do I? LOL However, as with any true crafter, I still have several ‘other’ projects to be made ……. and since yesterday, I now have a couple more – well it would have been rude of me not to accompany Gwyneth in her purchases – that’s my justification anyway! So, here are my goodies:-



A panel kit of a gorgeous piece called ‘House and Country Garden’ – it’s by Lecien – love, love the colours! And here following is a picture of how the finished piece ought to look!

........with any luck anyway LOL



Two fat quarters and a bag pattern – not to go together – from my favourite local(ish) fabric shop, ‘White Cottage Country Crafts’! I have other fabric for the bag pattern; and the two fat quarters were just one of those ‘I have to have’ moments – don’t know what I’ll do with it yet!!



This fabric is for a project that will be a gift, but I won’t say any more as the lady occasionally looks at my blog. The rose pattern is linen and is just so lovely and the plain one is a calico. Gwyneth in fact bought it for me as a belated birthday pressie.



This redwork embroidery is a ‘Dandelion Designs’ pattern by Mandy Shaw. I haven’t done a stitchery for years and I think it’s really sweet; and hopefully not too taxing for me!

Oh, and lastly (and these are for my bear making) a new pair of Fiskars Embroidery scissors. I managed to slightly twist the very end of my other pair by trying to use them to turn a cotter pin joint (bad girlie Julia!! LOL). They are excellent scissors, but rather expensive!

Anyway, I have a week off work now, so I hope to be able to achieve something at least, although I am also in the middle of another two bears ……………… there’s just never enough time!! Why not come back in a week and see how I’ve got on!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Edgar the Second!

........... makes him sound rather Regal doesn’t it! Whereas, in fact he is quite a quirky (and cute) little fella – mind you some of the Royals could probably be described as quirky too I imagine. Anyway, I digress! (I am a Royalist by the way)



Edgar the Second is so named because he is the same as Edgar I made back in November here. However, not wanting to make an exact replica, he is dressed differently in a pair of lovely pale blue wool dungarees, lined in a pale blue polka dot fabric, which you can see in the trouser turn-ups and in his scarf and pocket hankie.

Edgar the Second is made from viscose fabric with suede paw pads. He is fully jointed, with black glass eyes, firm fibre filling and some steel shot in his little fat tummy and feet. He’s been aged around the edges and has faux ‘mending’ stitches to give a vintage look. I appear to have jointed his arms very well, as they don’t move, although his legs do; and when standing, he measures a whole 9½ inches from top to toe.  



Edgar the Second is from a bear pattern called ‘Bears N Hares’ by Sweet Meadow Farm.

The reason for making Edgar the Second is that a close friend (Max) of my cousin Gwyneth (who bought Edgar from me), saw Edgar recently when she was visiting Gwyneth and decided she must have an Edgar of her own. So, if Max is happy with what I’ve made, then he too will soon be going on a trip to South Wales (no obligation though Max if he’s not what you expected).



I have to say that I’m rather pleased with the outcome of Edgar the Second in as much as he really does look like the first bear! Bear making when you’re hand-stitching is not an exact science; and even though you may be using the same pattern, does not guarantee an exact look-alike. And that’s because you even then have to get the stuffing of the head correct to achieve the same look, which is why I’m happy, because I appear to have achieved it when you look at the two Edgars together.


Do let me know what you think.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Workshop Bear Fun!!!

On Saturday I spent a fabulous day at the Hilton in Milton Keynes at a Bear Making Workshop with the lovely Liz Walker Watts of ‘Wacky Walker Bears’ making this absolutely adorable little man



 …….. I think he’s my new bear love; for now at least! I’ve called him ‘Watson’, kind of after Liz (the Watts bit of her name, but extended). I bought the cardigan already knitted from Liz on the day,


There were eleven of us students (including one fella, Chris!) and they were a really nice, friendly bunch. The hotel was a great venue, as we had a really nice sunny, spacious room to work in with lots of light and because it was a lovely day, the patio doors were open on to the gardens.

The next photo shows all our bears together, including the 2 of Liz's demonstration bears ........ what a picture!!


If you want to see more of Liz’s own 'Wacky' bears, you can find her here on Bearpile.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Lilibet

........... in honour of Queen Elizabeth who turned the grand old age of 90 last week! I was struggling for a name as usual and my very good friend, Elaine, came up with it when she came for dinner at the weekend. And I am a Royalist through and through, so it had to be!



Lilibet is just about 8 inches tall, made from a lovely silver-grey, beautifully soft Viscose fabric. She is filled with the usual firm fibre-fill and steel shot for weight. She is 5-way jointed, with black glass eyes and simply adorned with a fabric bow around her head which matches the fabric used for her paw pads. Lilibet has been distressed around the edges for a nice look of vintage!



I hope you like her too!

And now that the fabric has arrived, I can make a start on Edgar the Second - a commission!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Blossom



It’s a relief to have another finished bear to blog about (a bunny actually) so that I can relegate the ‘green eyed monster’ to a steep learning curve!! LOL I have said that I am still learning at the moment and all I did was to prove it – lesson learnt!!!


So, who do we have next? Someone much more up my street that’s who. I’ve made a cute little bunny: on the vintage and slightly distressed side. Blossom is from a pattern by Olive Grove Primitives and happily, she looks remarkably like the one in the pattern photo.


I’ve used a beautiful viscose fabric in the most gorgeous dusty pink colour. The more I use viscose, the more I enjoy working with it – better than mohair in fact. She is 5-way jointed and is 8 inches from top to toe. She has BLACK glass eyes (LOL) and is filled with the usual firm fibre filling and steel shot for a nice bit of weight. Blossom has been slightly distressed around the edges and is simply attired with a pretty pink ribbon around her lovely long bunny ears and has a fake rusty safety pin, a small bell and old coin charm pinned to her chest. And to finish off, a bit of faux mending stitches here and there.




I hope you like Blossom – I’m rather pleased with her!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

April



I know, not a very original name!! So, we’re in the month of April and I couldn’t think of anything else. I started with the name Apple (because of the colour of course) and really, I did once come across a child by that name ….. yes!!!

Now I want honest answers please: what do you think of the green eyes, because I’m not at all convinced? I nearly painted over them with black nail varnish, but then I knew I would probably make a hash of it and ruin the bear completely!! Let me know what you think (diplomatically!) and then I’ll know NEVER to use green eyes again and stick with the black ones.


Anyway, April is made of a lovely lime green mohair and she is totally hand-sewn. She is 10 inches from top to toe, has GREEN glass eyes with some white felt underneath and a brown stitched nose. She is 5-way jointed and filled with firm fibre fill and plenty of steel shot for a nice weighty feel. I have also given her a slightly distressed/aged look around the edges using oil pastels. I have made her a green floral cotton dress (machine sewn), trimmed with vintage crochet lace and I even managed to attach these antique brass popper fasteners - I was very pleased with myself that I managed to attach them without ruining the dress, hence the photo! She also has a pretty pink ribbon around her head. 


I wondered while I was taking photographs whether I should have made her some underwear!!! Too late now though, as my mind is on my next bear.


Mostly because April sort of matches my lovely vase, here she is sitting under my Easter tree next to my multi-colour bunnies (which I did NOT make – they’re way too small)!! 

Your thoughts please

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Darwin

…….. is a little brown teddy bear dressed up in his favourite animal costume; a fox! He's as cute as can be, which meant I couldn’t resist him when I spotted the pattern on Etsy. 


He’s from a pattern designed by a Russian lady by the name of Sacha Pokrass. Don’t you just love his foxy suit ……. get that white-tipped tail and the ears!!


Here Darwin is showing the back so you can see his long foxy tail properly – you can also just about see his ‘Handmade at Bilberry Lane’ label. I know I’m called Bilberry Grove, but eventually, when I do start a proper business of Artist Bear making, I’ve decided I shall change to Bilberry Lane – I did wonder about Bilberry Lane Bears, but I’m not sure yet.


Darwin is just a tad over 8 inches from top to toe. He himself is made from brown mohair and his fox suit is made from viscose. He is 5-way jointed, has black glass eyes and is filled with a heavy fibre fill and steel shot for weight.


Darwin is a sitting bear/fox!! He doesn’t actually stand, only when propped up as he is in this photo. The name Darwin comes from the Darwin Fox: an endangered breed found in South America.



Do you like Darwin?

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Bear with no name:0(

………….. and how about this damn cute little fella!!? With his bunny ears hat – so sweet!! 


He is from a kit I bought from Noble Fabrics (pattern, fabric, glass eyes etc). I haven’t come up with a name for him yet (I’m too tired this evening, but perhaps something will come to mind another day, although suggestions will be welcomed). His name is ‘Schnute’ in the pattern, but I’m not sure about that name!!


All 6 inches of him is made from beautifully soft Viscose fabric. He is 5-way jointed and filled with heavy fibre fill and steel shot for a bit of weight, he has black glass eyes and is slightly distressed around the edges for a vintage look.



I’m planning on making a bigger version one of the days, but I need to increase the pattern size first! 

Comments very welcome!!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Valentino

Gosh, I nearly forgot to blog Valentino – do you like the name? Well, it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow! 


The red polka dot fabric was already sewn in, so when I was wondering what theme to go with, I simply added a red felted heart to his tummy. To be honest, I started this bear months ago but I only got as far as sewing his head together, so I thought it was time to finish one job before starting another.


Valentino is made from mohair fabric, red polka dot fabric for his paw pads and inner ears and measures 8½ inches from top to toe. He is 5-way jointed, has black glass eyes and is filled with firm fibre filling and steel shot for weight. To finish I have used distress inks and fake repair stitches to give him a lovely vintage look, with a ribbon and 2 rusty bells around his neck.


I hope you like Valentino and wish you a perfectly lovely Valentine’s Day tomorrow!!