Sunday, 7 July 2013

100th Bear & A Giveaway!

This is Bai - her name means 100 in Chinese (according to Google translate) and she is my 100th bear! I decided before I started sewing that I would make her as a giveaway and I'm going to stick to that even though I've fallen in love with her myself! I attend a craft club at my local library once a fortnight, the next meeting is this coming Wednesday, 10th July, which is the date on which I'll get someone to draw the winning name out of a hat or something as that seems to be the fairest way to find Bai's new home.

One hundred bears sounds like a lot doesn't it? But I made my first bear back in March 1999, so its taken 14 years to reach this point!  For some reason after I'd made my 99th bear, I didn't pick up my needle and thread for days, I felt as though there was a lot of pressure to do something special for my 100th bear, but then thought that if I carried on stressing over it, I'd never get my 100th bear made at all!  So in the end, I selected a bag of bear bits I'd already cut out some weeks ago and just got on with things.  I have taken my time on Bai - firstly because my hands have been playing up lately, but also because I didn't want to rush such an important bear - I wanted to enjoy the process.

Bai, like the majority of my teddies is around 8cm (just over 3 inches) tall, she is made from Sassy Long Pile white and frosted lilac fabric with ultrasuede paws and black glass beads for her eyes.  She is NOT a toy, she is suitable for bear lovers/collectors over the age of 14.

I'm going to post Bai's photo here, on Facebook, and on my Flickr account so that hopefully most of my friends can have a chance at winning her if they want to. If you'd like to be included in the draw, please leave a comment below. I'm sorry I haven't allowed a lot of time for this but I don't want to get too attached and Bai is very impatient to find out where she's going to live.

Good Luck Everyone!

UPDATE - 10th July 2013 - Our Fibro group met at the local Wetherspoons this morning and a very nice lady who worked there drew the winning name out of the hat - I even found an actual hat  thought it looked better than a plastic supermarket bag! Anyway the person who won little Bai Bear was.... (drum roll) Clare from "Summerhouse by the Sea" who entered the draw via this blog page... there was an amazing 48 people entered in the draw! As Clare was sitting right next to me when she name was drawn, Bai has already gone to live her new home. xxx

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Inspired by Moby and Alice

Once a fortnight I attend a craft club at my local library and every so often we tackle a book related craft project.  Our first project was based on Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" and our second and most recent has been Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland".  Its entirely up to us as to how we interpret the theme, we just use the story or characters as our inspiration.  The club has only been running for a few months so far, but its lovely to get together with other crafters, enjoy the company of like-minded people, learn from each other and it's great to see how everyone else interprets the themes.

I meant to blog about my Moby Dick themed project a few months ago, but looking back through the posts I've published, I've realised Moby got away from me somehow, so here he is now...

I still need to get some dowels so the wall hanging can actually be hung up, but I was quite pleased with the finished piece even though I've never tried anything like this before - at least not in felt!  It made me realise my abilities to work a sewing machine need a lot more work, but it was fun to do.  Some of my inspiration for this piece came not just from the book, but from a piece of stained glass that hangs in my bedroom window.  Years ago before problems with my hands made it impossible to continue with the hobby, I used to love making things with stained glass and while most of the pieces I made were given away as presents, one of the pieces I will never part with is the glass panel in my bedroom.  Although I can't see the sea from my window, it faces the sea which is about half a mile away and is roughly east facing so it catches the sunrise.  Its not very often these days that I'm awake as the sun rises but I do love to watch dawn breaking when I'm able.  I used black thread for all the stitching apart from attaching the beads and anchor at the bottom, it was a deliberate choice because I wanted to make the borders between the felt pieces stand out like the seams on a piece of stained glass - I just wish I'd managed to get them a bit neater!

Apologies for the bad photo, but this was just a quick snap of the glass panel taken on a very dull day!  You've probably already noticed a few of them, but there are four fishes swimming around in the sea.  Most of the panel is made from transparent water glass which is made with gentle ripples which gives a sense of movement; the seagull is made from opaque glass to make it stand out from its background.

My first thought for our current theme was to make a white rabbit, but I haven't yet got around to sitting down with pencil and paper to make a pattern for my bunny, I'm not giving up on the idea but I wanted to be able to produce something for our last meeting so I made a bracelet.  I've had the card charms for some years and the bunny charms for a couple of months, though I did have to buy the rose charms and the dark grey/black glass pearls in order to put together the bracelet I had in mind.  Several times I wasn't sure it would work out but after a couple of false starts I finally figured it out.

I have very chunky wrists so sadly the bracelet doesn't fit me, but one of my daintier friends has tried it on and I was pleased with how it looked on her.  I could have made it bigger but it would have ruined the pattern, it was made for the exhibition we will eventually have at some point, so it doesn't really matter that it doesn't quite fit my wrist, it wasn't really intended for me anyway!  One of these days I'll have to make a start on that bunny and maybe then I'll be able get the song "We're Painting The Roses Red" from the Disney film, that was the main inspiration for the bracelet, out of my head!  :)