WE DID IT!
All of the orders for Christmas 2018 are done and out of the studio. Thanks to my team: Meagan, Lynn, Lindsey, Amber and Rachel for all the hard work in making sure all the memories got out in time to make it to their destinations before Christmas.
Besides the 100 plus bears we made, we had quilts, Christmas tree skirts, tree topper angels, christening ensembles, pillows, memory flowers . . . quite a variety of heirloom gifts to make this year.
So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I frequently have people ask about a lower priced fur bear option. They are just looking for an option that allows each family member to have a little keepsake of the original garment. So, I’m thinking about adding my “Friendship Bear” option but am very conflicted about it.
I prefer to make the jointed bears from fur because they are a higher quality final product that should last a lifetime if taken care of. However, they are time consuming and the price I have to charge reflects that.
I created a little pattern for about a 10″ non-jointed bear many years ago. I call it my “Friendship Bear”. It is much simpler to make than a jointed bear so I could bring it down to a price point of $65-$75. However, it doesn’t convey near the quality that my jointed bears do and I don’t want to dilute my brand. Any thoughts?
I posted this on my Facebook Page when it was first done but this was such an interesting project that it needs to go here as well. Rita Manogue asked me to make a unique wall hanging from several fur coats she had. I did quite a bit of research to see what kind of fur wall hangings/blankets etc. are out there. My first instinct was to look for Native American themed blankets but all of the images I could find on the internet were very basic so I decided to step off the cliff and see if I could make a sculpted wall hanging with a wolf theme. This is one I’m really proud of.
I frequently have people call and ask what I can do for them with their wedding dress. Although FGC offers several options, they tend to be all over this web site so I created a new sub-page under Heirloom Gifts called “What to do with a Wedding Dress” that gives links to all of the different items through the web site that can be made from wedding dress fabrics/materials.
I am planning to expand our Wedding Dress Conversions services this year to include a selection of purses, some additional Christening accessories and Communion accessories and a couple more Bridal gift options as well so check in every now and then.
People often ask about the patterns I use and, with my bears, it is complicated because the patterns are an amalgamation of several patterns that I combined and then, those patterns have morphed over the past 16 years as I adapted them to work with every kind of material thrown my way However, I don’t get to do different animals that often in an average year so I usually use an existing pattern.
This was the first time I’ve used this monkey pattern. I normally like to use the monkey pattern from the book Adventures in Toy-Making by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith (published in 1976). It is a fun pattern and I like the look. However, there was a pattern in another book I have Sew Soft and Cuddly Animals by Donna Childers (published in 1978) that has had me intrigued for some time so I decided to give it a try. It is a more difficult pattern, but I do like that the features are more defined. The face, ears, foot and hand pads are made of doe suede. It had the right texture to go with this fur.
This pony pattern is also found in Sew Soft and Cuddly Animals. It is my favorite for thicker fabrics or fur usually. There is another really good pony pattern in the book Easy-to-Make Stuffed Animals & All the Trimmings by Jodie Davis (published in 1992) but the legs are somewhat thin so they don’t work as well with thick fur or fabrics. For this pony, I chose to add some of my own contrast black mink on the hooves and found some died black fox for the main and tail. To help him stand, I did sink small dowel rods wrapped in poly fiber fill into each of his legs
For the dog, I have a lot of different dog patterns to choose from–including a variety of breeds–however, I keep coming back to McCall’s Crafts Pattern #M6620. I’ve used this pattern many times and really like it for a basic dog even though it has a couple of different breeds represented. It isn’t a particularly easy pattern, but the finished dog usually actually looks like a dog