Sunday, June 20, 2010

Me and My Teddy

Once upon a time,,, a very long time ago, in the decade of the 80's, I was a Teddy Bear Artist. I designed my own patterns. The real reason for that is, I for the life of me, cannot understand commercial patterns. The directions might as well be written in German. Anyway, I figured out how to draft my own patterns and read all about the Art of Teddy Bear Making. Back in the late 80's and early 90's there were so many talented artist out there making some amazing bears. There still is, but I think its a smaller group. I fell in love with mohair. This is the most amazing fur fabric to work with. I was told that once you started working with mohair you would never want to use fake fur again. That was so true. Its a dream to work with, but very expensive. Back then it was an average of $100.00 per yard and sometimes even more. I remeber the very first time I took a pair of scissors to mohair. It took me 20 minutes to do it! lol But as things often do, my life changed. I had to follow another direction and my Teddy Bears did not get made anymore. At this time I have a huge desire to start making them again. I feel like for the first time in many years I can. Now that I am working I can splurge and purchase some mohair. I am also working on some satin roses and vintage trims and mother of pearl buttons. I hope to combine some beadwork in my new designs as well. I have been doing some research on where to get some of the supplies I will be needing. The type of hardware I used to use for making them jointed seems to longer being used. But I am looking forward to making some more of my furry Teddy friends. One thing I remember about working with mohair,,,,cats LOVE it. You have to guard your cut out legs and ears or the may disappear, and you just cant have that at those prices!

I thought I would share of few of the bears I still have from my life as a Teddy Bear Artist. I saw this piece of fabric and immediately saw the ocean, and that thought process lead me to making a mermaid teddy bear. It was pretty cutting edge for the 80's. I made the momma and baby bear from a pretty pink mohair. It was always my favorite color. They were rescued from a fire when my apartment went up in flames. (Thank you stupid neighbor, but thats a different story.) But the color is a little faded now. I made the flower fairy bear with wings and the little bear head in a rose is a pin. The golder curly hair girl and the blue curly bear were made all by hand. (I lost my machine in the same fire.) Thanks for joining me down memory lane. I will keep you posted on my new designs. Have a pretty week and happy creating...


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

These are GORGEOUS Gail!! LOVE them! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Carolee Crafts said...

Gail they are beautiful and know that Teddy Bears are very popular here over the Pond. We have an excellent supplier of all things beary from noses, eyes and joints to yes mohair. Let me know if you want the details, not sure about the postage costs though. Have a good week x

Susie said...

You are so talented Gail! Teddybears are so precious!
Pink hugs,
The Polka Dot Rose

Michelle May said... totally need to make them again!!! They are fabulous!!!!!

lisa said...


Your bears are amazing! I can't wait to see what you create.

Have a fantastic week.

Marie said...


Kath' said...

I so enjoyed your story and the love of Teddie bears. I love love love the mermaid one. What talent you have. I have a site that I go to once in awhile that loves Teddie Bears here it is I think you will love her and all of her followers. Kath'

Janet Bernasconi said...

OMG Gail I love those teddy bears! You should start making them again. Everyone loves bears. I love the one with the pretty white dress and purse. You are really very talented.
Have a fun Monday!

Vera said...

Gail, those are just adorable! I can't wait to see what new one you will come up with!


Mary Patterson said...

Gail - I simply love what you are going to do and I think it is a VERY wise choice. Your bears from the past are WONderful and I cannot wait to see your new creations!
Mary Patterson

A Write Life said...

Those are such lovely bears. What an artist you are. Can't wait to see what you create next.

Dawn said...

Oh my goodness! I probably have one of your bears - I was a serious teddy bear collector in the 80s and 90s!

Mimi said...

WOW those bears are really dressed up and sure look cute!!!
how are you keeping cool this hot summer!!!!
Well it's going to get real hot real soon!!!!
time to get away!!!!haha

A Rose Without A Thorn said...

Gail, I love teddybears and I cannot wait to see some of your creations up on your site. I know they will do well because everyone loves bears, how could they not, take care, Maureen

A Rose Without A Thorn said...

Just wanted to stop by again and say my favorite is the yellow bear. I have a thing for yellow teddy bears, what a lovely collection!! Maureen.