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Friday, 10 July 2015

A New Direction

I thought it was about time I posted again, if for no other reason other than to put Wendy (The Quiet Room blog) out of her misery!! I told her recently in an email that I was changing direction slightly with my crafts, but didn't expand any further ……………. I hope I haven't excited her expectations too much, but here we go LOL

For several years, I've been following one particular blog; and browsing lots of Pinterest pictures of Mohair Bears. Initially, I decided they looked far too complicated for me to handle, however the more I looked into it, the more I thought perhaps I could do it! Having discovered a Mohair Bear Making Workshop about only an hour away from me, I decided this was the answer - so that's what I did about a month or so ago. And did I have a great day ……… well, yes I did; and here is the product - my very first, fully jointed Mohair Bear (Vintage style!)


I've named him Alfie after my granddad. You wouldn't believe 10 middle-aged ladies all sitting round at the end of the day saying "and what are you calling yours" ……… really funny!!!

Following the Workshop, I made this little Mohair Bear Westie Dog (no name yet!) – bought as a kit from eBay 

And I’ve just finished bear No. 3; similar to Alfie, except this one is two-tone …… also no name yet! Don’t look too closely at the nose – that is a skill yet to be perfected! I need more practice 


The reason for the decision to have a go at bear making is that I’m going to have a go eventually at setting up my own small craft business, probably on Etsy. There's a decent market for Mohair Bears - not as toys for children, but for collectors; and if you can establish a good following, they sell well - a lot more than the rag dolls I've made in the past. This is something I'm going to work on over the next 2 - 3 years to become experienced at making them, find my own style and establish a business. The plan is to use it as a Pension supplement. I'm 55 now; and although I can retire at 60 on a full work's pension, I would have to continue part-time because of the mortgage. And the thought of that simply depresses the hell out of me - I feel so tired sometimes; and I hate all the travelling!! So now the plan is to make some extra money by doing what I love doing - sewing!! For about the last 10 years I've yearned to have my own craft business, but never believed it could become a reality (Pie in the sky I thought); but where there's a will, there's a way as they say ……. so watch this space!

Now you all know how kind bloggy friends are don’t you? A few weeks ago I was exchanging a few emails with Shazy, when the bears came into the discussion. It turned out that Shazy had considered bear making a few years ago and had bought various pieces of the Mohair fabric (not cheap I can tell you), cotter joints, ultra suede (for their paws) etc., however, as with many of us, some of our crafty ideas simply never become a reality because of shortness of time! So what has Shazy done? She gifted the whole lot to me on the grounds she would rather see it used that go to waste – how super kind is that – incredibly so in my book. I’ve already said so directly, but again, thank you so much Shazy xx

Anyway, I’ll end it here on a totally unrelated note as I’m still buzzing!! Last night, I went to see The Divine Miss M ….. Bette Midler here in Birmingham. What a show, what a woman - she was amazing I can tell you. The whole arena went crazy when she sang ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ ….. WOW – Incredible!!

Until the next bear!!!

EDIT: Bear number 3 above has found a new home with my lovely friend Elaine - and Elaine has decided he should be called Constantine - thank goodness he now has a name!!

4 comments:

Deb said...

Julia they are absolutely gorgeous. In fact I think you should call the wee girl "Gloria" because she is so gorgeous. And the wee westie, well he could be "Mack", nothing original but still cute. I love them and for sure you could make a living supplement out of doing them. Anything you make is gorgeous so you are lucky to have a huge talent base to work with.
Go for it I say.
xx

Simone said...

I am so pleased for you Julia! I hope that you make a go of it. Your mohair bears are gorgeous and I think there is great pleasure to be had making things with quality materials. It was very kind of your friend to donate the bear making goodies. Keep us updated on your progress! x

Wendy said...

Aaaaw Julia,
your bears are just sooo scrummy, I am sure they will sell faster than you can make them! :)
I am a teensy bit disappointed that your new direction didn't involve cement blocks and a Jack hammer, hehe .. but there's still time! ;)
Lots of love and best wishes in your new adventure, you'll be entrepreneur of the year before we know it :)
Hugs Wendy xxx

lily jean said...

Julia...before I had completely read through your post I was thinking...'oh I wonder if Julia would sell me a bear for my aunt who absolutely loves bears'...then I read on and was delighted to hear that you hope to make more to sell. I really hope you can put your skills to use in your semi retirement. Charis xx