Last week was spring break for my kids so we took a little trip out of town. I couldn’t head out without taking some mini bears to sew. I took seven. (smile) I would be lost without some bears to sew. That got me thinking about how I work, what my bears do for me, how they make me feel and I thought I would tell you about that today so that you know what you get when you adopt one of my bears.
It all starts with picking the fabric. I keep my fabric in a series of plastic storage bins. It’s not ideal but currently I don’t have a work area so this is my system for now. I start going through the fabric, touch it, look at the colours and move it around in the light until something connects with me. Recently I found an amazing miniature bear fabric supplier on Bearpile named Olga Sheogoleva and her fabrics are fantastic! So many colour choices and pile types. I get excited thinking about her fabrics!! All these beautiful options make it hard to choose, so I often cut out more than one mini bear at a time.
Once I choose the fabric and complimentary ultrasuede for paw pads, depending on bear size I head to my chair in front of the TV. I have a file folder there with my patterns in it for my miniature and micro miniature bears. If I’m cutting out bears over 7” I have a table set up at the foot of our bed where I cut them out, pin and machine sew some parts The head, foot pads and pawpads are all hand sewn, so for those I head to my chair. For my miniature bears I look at the fabrics I have chosen and work my way through my patterns until I find one that I feel works. Sometimes I’ll design a new one or tweak an old one. Currently I have about 30 patterns for miniatures between 0.75” to 4.5” tall, between bears and buddies. I have a lap table that I use to trace out my patterns and then I cut them all out and put each little mini bear in a ziplock bag with matching thread so they are transportable wherever I would like to work. My husband built me a tool box when I first started making bears and it holds everything I need for miniature bears and most things I need for larger bears so I can pick up and go anywhere.
From there I start sewing. Sewing bears for me is so relaxing. It’s almost Zen like. I suffer from chronic nerve pain in my face and my bears are my therapy. It’s incredible to see these bears come to life in my hands. I get very attached to each one! I talk to them as their little personalities come out. It helps me to decide eye size and what accessories to use if any. I make the entire bear, stuff it, joint it and sew on the ears. The last thing is that I do give them their little faces. Sometimes the bear I start out to make becomes something completely different once their eyes go on. It’s one of the joys of making bears. Each and everyone of my bears takes a little piece of me with them when they move on. They truly are made from the heart.
Recently I needed a self-portrait for a magazine article but I procrastinated and left it to the last minute. I hate having my picture taken! I would rather just share my bears and I was very tempted to hide behind them.
I moved them around, tried to stack them and yes, talked to them a little; then I took a deep breath, looked up at my beautiful daughter who was photographing me and smiled. She smiled back, told me I looked good and not to worry.
I realized I am so lucky to have such a supportive family who boost me whenever I need it and cheer me on. Lucky to create these little bears that make everyone smile and lucky to have met so many amazing people around the world because of my bears. So thank you to you all! I promise to always push myself to come up with new ideas and to create from the heart. That's what I want in the bears I collect and that's what you'll get in the bears you adopt from me.
Hi, my name is Logan. I’ve decided to appoint myself the mascot for Lanctôt’s Loveables Teddy Bears, and I have given myself permission to write this weeks blog post (The sky is the limit, just like Mom says!). There are all kinds of things happening around here. We are all getting ready to move to a new home in a new town. Right now we live outside of Peace River Alberta, Canada. We are moving to a really pretty place outside of Whitecourt, Alberta. Dad lives there already, and the rest of us are soon to follow. Mom is really excited about the move. Packing is gonna be a mess, but mom is happy to finally have her own studio!!! Right now she does he work partly in her bedroom and partly in her chair in the living room; Boy does she grumble about it… Don’t tell her I said that though, I don’t want to get in trouble!
Mom has been busy making bears for her sites, personalized orders, and online shows. This part she doesn’t complain about, hehe it makes her happy happy happy!! She makes everyone of us with love and let me tell you, we really feel it in the process. She’s always happy when she’s making bears, and she says we can always make her smile. Another thing that makes her smile is getting new fabric and there has been a lot coming in the mail lately! WOW! I am excited to see what little brothers and sisters she’s going to make next, and I hope you are too!
Tomorrow, Friday March 16, 2018 the Teddies Worldwide Online Show starts and I have 8 bears to offer. I've created some new designs in a range of sizes that I am excited to share! You can click on the banner below to get to the show page. Today you can vote on your favourite premier pieces in the show, tomorrow the show will go live and clicking on the bear's picture will take you to the artists' pages.
Every artist has created a Premier Piece specifically for the show. My piece is Flora and her flower throne. She loves flowers and spring is her favourite time but with silk flowers she can have her flower throne all year round. She was a lot of fun to create and she shines in her pretty purple fabric. She is 3" tall when standing and when she sits on her throne she sits 4" high. A pretty addition to any shelf. She will be available tomorrow at the show along with her 7 friends! Don't miss out!
Welcome to my blog! I thought I would start out telling you more about myself and my bears. I’m Canadian and have been making bears for 21 1/2 years now so much has happened in the bear world and in my world in that time. I have always loved stuffed animals, I never really grew out of it. There is just something about their sweet faces, soft fur and how cuddly they are. No matter the size. Yes, you can cuddle a mini bear! I’ve done it. Lol. When I first started dating my husband he was touring as the bass player with a country band. On one of their tours he brought me home a polar bear from Jasper, Alberta. I love that bear! He was a snuggle from Rob when he wasn’t there to do it himself. He started me on my collecting.
Then the first Christmas my husband and I were married he bought me a few more bears (a Boyd’s bear and a Russ bear) and The Teddy Bear Encyclopedia where I learned about Artist Bears. I had no idea such a thing was out there and I wanted to try. I’d always loved doing crafts and knew how to sew a little bit. I looked hard at my bears and tried to figure out how the pattern pieces looked and how they went together. At this time we didn’t have a computer or the internet yet and since I live in a small town there was no option to go buy a pattern. I still have those bears and they taught me a lot but thank goodness I was able to find a true bear pattern on a trip to the city. Some proper fabric too. As soon as I started making bears I was addicted! Within months I had created my own patterns and started developing my own style. We bought a computer and I learned HTML and was able to design my own website. It all took off from there. The very first bear I made from my own unique design (big nose, low ears, big feet) was a Christmas gift for me husband. His name is Shamus. This special bear and style choice was the start and basis of every bear I have created since.
Thank you for visiting we hope to see you again.