Bears the old fashion way.
When a family member living in Florida encouraged me to send some items to a shop with which she was associated, I was very excited. The idea that my creations would be purchased by others gave me the confidence to try another venue – craft shows. Bears and Critters evolved as I spent the next several years traveling to various shows in the Midwest.
Originally, I made a wide variety of items to sell in my booth, but I most enjoyed making teddy bears. My first bears were definitely not either collector-worthy or child-safe. In fact, I struggled to find a way to make them stay together! When I was nearly ready to give up, I found a book with clear, detailed instructions. By the time I mastered its techniques, the book was dog-eared and worn, but I had learned to make bears that held together and were appealing. Once I had mastered the basic bear-making skills, I branched out to do my own designs.
At this time, I have 20 basic designs that are my own, four of which are new in 2012. Making bears continues to be appealing for me because even though I use a design many times, each bear is unique due to the variety of fur and all the detail work that is done by hand. Even after years of making a particular design, each bear ends up with a different expression and personality.