Monday, March 24, 2014

From my Studio - a new ribbon rose Panda!

Last week I showed you my newest love - creating beautiful ribbon roses. I now want to show you my latest panda - Li Wei - who is now available here directly from my website here.

As you can see, she is adorned with wonderful ribbon roses I created using quality ombre ribbon in muted dusky pink and an understated maroon. These ribbons have to be seen to be believed - I've tried to capture their amazing hues in these photos: spectacular is an understatement I'm thinking! The dusky pink gives off a shimmering gold and violet tone, and the maroon also gives a shimmering gold and vibrant ruby red tone - very striking against the muted maroon base colour.

Incidentally, in keeping with her theme of Imperial Chinese princess, Li Wei's Chinese name means 'beautiful rose' - I always love researching and choosing just the right name for my bears and pandas - it's funny, sometimes a name will come to me straight away, and other times it will take a lot of musing over several names as I create before the right one fits.

I hope you love what I've done with my new found craft! I'm looking forward to incorporating quite a few more bears decorated in floral costumes in the future!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My New Love!

I wanted to let you know what I've been up to these last few weeks - I've always been a fan of embroidery, in particular ribbon embroidery. Beautiful embroidery just seems to be a lost skill these days - my late Mum had some gorgeous embroidered doilies and table cloths and as a young girl, she taught me how to master a lot of the intricate stitches. Unfortunately these days, a lot of people are so busy working and with family commitments that there's not a lot of time to spend on the art.

I sometimes spend my precious little time of an evening(as most of you know I also work full time in a regular day job) browsing the web for ideas for my bears - I love to look at beautiful things, whether it's fashion and costumes, collectable art figures, Faberge eggs and jewellery ideas. I also happened to chance upon ribbon work as a 3-D art form!

I was so struck by the beautiful images - fanciful designs created from a flat ribbon! Who would have thought ribbon could be crafted into such wonderful pieces?

And so I discovered ribbon work - and in particular the awesome work of Candace Kling!I've since purchased her wonderful book 'The Artful Ribbon' - jam packed full of easy to understand tutorials, loads of tips - an excellent book if you're interested in the art.

I want to incorporate ribbon design as another aspect of my bears - in fact I've been making a few 3D designs so far, and am planning to launch a new panda in the next week or so (another from my Imperial Panda series) using a lot of the ribbon work techniques I have learned.

In the meantime, here's some of the wonderful designs created with simple ribbon - you can see why I'm now hooked!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A little peek at my family ...

Well, I promised that I would upload some photos of our wonderful sweet granddaughters in my next post, and especially since we welcomed little Tori into our family in January!

Beautiful Mikaela, our eldest who turns 7 this year, and is now a 'big girl' at school in Year 1 this year!!
Little Ava - our little 'pixie girl' who turns 2 this weekend!
Adorable Isabelle, turning 4 this year and just loves animals!
And of course, little Tori, our new addition! Just gorgeous - of course I'm biased, but who wouldn't be?

Monday, January 20, 2014

I'm Back!

It's been a long while since I wrote here on my blog, as you can see from the date since my last post.

A lot of general life and family things just seemed to get in the way of my bear-making passion, and I've got to be honest: I felt like I had lost my way for a while - after returning from our holiday, my job was just so busy at work, and I was always so tired: and then Christmas preparations ... like so many others, I just simply lost my enthusiasm for creating and designing new bears: I'd lost my mojo and I didn't feel like I would ever get it back. I'm sure this happens to all of us at one time or another, but it's a really depressing thought to be surrounded by fabulous alpaca and mohair, loads of hand-crafted bear claws and hand-painted eyes - and not have the inclination to put them all together.

We did however, enjoy our trips to Thailand and Hong Kong, and then to Cambodia for a very dear friend's wedding back in November - a whirlwind trip of one week - I hope you enjoy this little peek:

Here's a view of the Tonle-Sap River where it joins the Mekhong River at Phnom Penh, overlooking the Royal Palace complex at night - just breathtaking!

The sad reality of the Killing Fields memorial shrine in Phnom Penh, where tens of thousands lost their lives at the hand of Pol Pot in the 1970's:

Beautiful relics in the National Museum in Phnom Penh:

Looking back now, that holiday seems like a lifetime ago!!! I'll post photos of our Hong Kong trip in another blog post!

When I packed away my bears for a while, I had 3 bears on the go and great plans for a swap bear with my great friend Wayne Lim of Wayneston Bears in Singapore.

Only last week, Wayne and I chatted about when we would conduct our swap and we've decided on a time frame - hoping we can swap in person! It's just the lift I needed! It's of course early days, but I have already finished sewing Wayne's bear, I'm updating my blog, and I'm going to have a new Nikkel Bear available for adoption in the next week or so!

I think my mojo is slowly returning - with the announcement of the 2014 TOBY awards this week, I've rekindled my interest in work other artists are doing and the wonderful pieces everyone has created, so I'm hopeful of getting back into the swing of bear creating! I've got a few design ideas ... just got to get them on paper!

Wish me luck - I think I'm going to like being back!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Noses have It!

I thought I'd do something a little bit different to my usual posts here on my blog, and talk to you about noses.

As you've no doubt noticed, I've been needle felting noses on my latest bears - doing this is a complete change for me: in the beginning I embroidered all of my noses, trying to perfect the ultimate system for keeping all of the threads uniform and neat. Then I tried baked clay noses for a while - and while both of these mediums were lots of fun, I wanted to learn more ....

.... and so I found needle felting!

I really love the realistic style of bears produced by Joanne Livingstone of Desertmountain Bears and Heidi Hollis of Citico Ridge Bears, however, I still wanted to keep my own contemporary style bear but add nuances of realism here and there.

So I studied all types of noses - here's just a few!

Once I started studying noses in the animal world, I couldn't believe how very different they all are - as you can see from these photos!

Here's a sample of my latest bears - all with needle felted noses - which I'm very proud of!

I hope you like the direction I'm taking with my latest bear cubs ... I'm sure there's plenty more for me to learn, but for the moment, I've learned a few new things, and am having lots of fun doing it!

Until next time,

Marg xoxo

Monday, August 12, 2013

URSA Awards Finalist!!!!

Wow!!!! My bear JIA LI announced as a 2013 URSA Finalist!

I can't begin to tell you how happy I am: I've just heard the news that my beautiful Chinese princess bear Jia Li has reached the final round of the 2013 URSA Awards!

At the moment there are 3 finalists in each Category so each of us do not know yet whether or not we've won 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, and the organisers have already said that there's not many points between some of the competitors! How close is that!!! There were some really fantastic pieces entered this year - I'm not surprised that the voting was close!

Thank you to all of you for taking the time to vote for JIA LI - you guys are just the best!

The final round of voting is open from August 12 to September 9 - I would love it if you would find the time to place your final vote for Jia Li in the Diva's Category - just follow this link to take you to the voting page on the Bears & Buds website.

All of these final round votes add on to the votes already placed for each entry - a few votes could be the difference!!!

Good luck to all of the other finalists - it's certainly been a nail-biting finish this year. The overall winners will be announced in the Bears & Buds Online Magazine on October 1st.

As you can imagine, I already have my fingers and toes xxx'd!

Marg xx

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Website News and Other Stuff!

I'm so excited to have launched my brand-new website - I do hope you can find time to pop over and have a browse ... and I'd love to get your feedback - just click here for the link.

I'm so grateful to the help given to me by Helen Gleeson from Bear Cub Designs and Easy ArtSpace - the site was so very simple to set up and I've been having loads of fun adding new things ... a bit here and a bit there ... it all takes time, doesn't it?

For the first time EVER, I also posted a brand new bear on my website for sale, and offered him only to my lovely, loyal mailing list members and he was adopted pretty much straight away! I couldn't believe it ... it was a lovely surprise!

Just the tonic to boost an aching heart from losing my mum to a short illness the same week - I'm sure my success is due to her watching over me - here's a picture of my mum on her wedding day ... isn't she beautiful? I miss you mum xoxo