Tag Archives: bears


19 May

Meet Alexander – the first Honeythorpe bear for 2009 (yes, I know it’s May already!).


Alexander was created from my favourite vintage velvet.  A warm caramel colour, this velvet has a matte finish and is sooo soft to the touch, helping give Alexander his baby bear appearance.

Alexander measures a tad under two inches tall when standing.  He has rounded limbs and a chubby tummy.   His nose and claws are stitched from dark brown cotton.  Alexander wears no adornment as I think  he is perfectly sweet without it.


Alexander is available from the website .


Wibble ~ a Honeythorpe elf

13 Oct

Although I’m fond of almost all the bears I make, there’s some that “speak” to me more than others and Wibble is one of those guys.  I was thrilled with the way he turned out and was surprised when he didn’t find a home either at the Auckland show or the online show.  Actually, at the Auckland show, he was picked up more times than any other bear I had on display so other people must like him too

For some reason he didn’t photograph particularly well.  Granted, I was hurriedly taking photographs in the middle of the most stormy winter weather you could imagine, so conditions were not ideal.  I think it’s more that the subtleness of the frosted sassy long pile is hard to capture.  It tends to look much harsher in photographs.  The trimming around his muzzle also doesn’t show well – I spent ages doing that!

I haven’t yet put Wibble on the website – I kind of made a deal with myself that the bears I had for the online show would only be available there, and not for sale through my site (not really sure why!!)….and I’m so very tempted to keep Wibble for myself.  So for the moment he’s staying with me.  I actually have his sibling “Dibble” half made so perhaps when they are both finished they will make their way onto the site.  Heaven knows it needs updating!

Upcoming shows

28 Apr

I have two bear shows on my schedule this year.  The first is the Rose City Porcelain Doll and Bear show on the 21/22 June in Palmerston North and the second the  Midwinter Doll Teddy & Craft Festival 12th/13th July in Auckland.

As I have just four little bears ready for my sales table so far, I had better get my skates on.  As usual, I am brimming with ideas and wondering how I’ll get them all done.  Work sure does get in the way of my bear time!!

Yikes, I forgot!!  Three shows on the horizon – the third is the online show for the newly organized Teddy Bears and Critters Australasia in September.  More details on that and the site soon!

Mollie Rose & Marco

11 Mar

Mollie Rose and Marco are now avaialable for adoption.  Yikes, I’ve tried for two days to get decent photos of this pair, but to no avail.   Mollie Rose is created from intercal mohair in a spiky crew pile.  I like this mohair a lot – just as well really, as I have a few different shades of it!  The pink is such a pretty shade.  Actually, probably the nicest pink mohair I’ve seen.  All too often, I find the pink mohairs to be quite ‘cold’ in coloring. It’s been nice to work in mohair again.  Much as I love sassy’s and vintage long pile, I do so like the varied textures of mohair. 

Both Mollie Rose and Barley were such a joy to put together.  Everything went so smoothly with both of them which is quite funny really as both had been sitting unfinished for quite some time.  I guess it’s a good lesson for me to learn, as I’m not so good at completing projects where I’m trying a new idea.  There’s quite a few ‘half-done’ bears in my work basket – I think I may have to complete a few more of them.  I have an order piece which I must do next. 

I have a special affection for wee Marco.  When I cut him out, I was iintending to create a dainty wee girly bear for Lisa’s Easter Softie Parade.  I intended to make a tiny bonnet in spring yellows and creams but bears have their own ideas of what they want to be.  As I stuffed and sculpted Marco, this sturdy wee man emerged.  I like the way he peeps out from behind his little fringe.  He wears a star shaped bead made of paua shell – though it shows up more green in the photos, the variagations of colour tone nicely with Marco’s fur.  I’m going to try to get better photos of him tonight – the ones I currently have are not doing him justice at all.  i think my laptop shows pictures lighter than they really are – I noticed just how bad they are when I got to work this morning.


8 Mar

Meet the new giant in the Honeythorpe lineup!  Barley stands at a whopping 6.5 inches.  That’s positively giant for me and in fact I almost chickened out of finishing Barley!

barley1.jpgIt was actually a nice change to work with such a big bear and I’m pretty pleased with the way he turned out.  I love the soft oatmeal ratinee – it has such an old fashioned feel to it.  Barley has much bigger eyes than I would have  used when I last made such a big bear, but I like the babyish appeal they give to his face.  I shaded his eyes and muzzle lightly with pencil and his paws too.

Barley wears a key on a vintage olive ribbon around his neck.  I really like the proportions of this bear – he has bit of a hump at the back – a nod to his early teddy ancestors.  His chubby little tummy and big feet reflect my Honeythorpe minis look.

I do so like mohair and I might just have to make another big bear so I can play with some more luscious fabrics…not too soon though, my thumb is still recovering from stitching Barley’s nose.

I included a photo of Barley with Berwyn – see 4 inches difference doesn’t sound like much when you say it – but when you see Berwyn next to Barley, you realise just what a different scale the two bears are on.    Back to a mini tonight for me!


On a roll!

7 Mar

Whew,  there was no relaxing on a Friday night for me last night.  I was up into the wee small hours finishing (almost!) a bear. I haven’t done that for a while!  Today I am out at my local teddy bear group and I hope to finish my bear  whilst I’m there, not that I usually get much done on these days – too busy chit chatting!

All going well I’ll be able to take photos when I get home tonight.  This bear is a tad different to anything I’ve done for a while and it’s been fun!   Much as I despair at the way I work – a gajillion bears on the go at once….I think it really is the way it works best for me.  If I try to force myself  to do things I’m not in the mood for, they either don’t get done, or get done badly.  This little guy’s been all sewn up for a couple of weeks now and while I was excited to see how he would turn out, I didn’t feel ready to finish him.  Probably because I’ve been headachey (four migraines now in the last 2 weeks) I haven’t felt like putting in intense concentration.    Anyway…enough explaining.  You should get to see him soon!

Three Welsh lads…

6 Mar

erm if a panda can be Welsh that is!! Meet Berwyn, Braith and Bran, three bears who have been in my sketch book forever and are finally coming to life. Just as 2008 is to be the year of finishing books, and cross-stitches, it’s also the year in which I hope to bring some of my sketch book pieces to life.

I am not a one bear at a time person much to my detriment I think. I’m good at ideas and big pictures – I’m not good at finishing. Hence, I have a box of halfmade bears and am always working on several at a time. I so admire those people who can design a bear, cut it out, sew it and finish it then move on to the next one. I also doubt my abilities a lot so more often than not I won’t make a piece from my sketchbook because I’m worried it won’t be as good as it is in my imagination. Stupid I know and in 2008 I am trying to break those bad habits…so here are the first of my sketchbook ideas brought to life.

I’ve always wanted to make a set of bears – one black, one white and a panda – give them the same accessories and see how different/similar to each other they are. A couple of months ago, with much trepidation I cut into my one piece of vintage black long pile and a soft oyster long pile. I know that I’ll probably never be able to get more of these fabrics so they are like gold dust to me. I started the bears and then chickened out. An all black bear just seemed so hard! How could I use that much oyster for just one bear! So they languished in my sewing box for a while longer. Over the last week I’ve finished all three. I hope you enjoy!

brantt.jpgBran (from the Welsh for raven) was the first to be finished. I was so nervous about this fellow. How on earth will I sell a black bear from a photograph? He’ll be one black blob! Lots of blacks that I’ve used for pandas in the past have been more charcoal or blue black but this has such a wonderful depth of colour with a fairly matte finish. It was so difficult to work with – very prone to fraying and I remade a few pieces to make sure that Bran was a sturdy wee man. Because of his diminutive size (just 2 inches standing) I wasn’t quite sure how to do the whites under his eyes – and he needed those whites to help define his face. Ultrasuede and wool felt were too thick – in the end I used ordinary white cotton floss to stitch the whites and they turned out so well. I’m looking forward to using that technique again. I really like the way he appears to be peering up at me – in fact he’s been coming to work with me and sitting on my desk each day.

braith.jpgBraith (Welsh: diversely coloured) is a panda and as you know by now, Pandas are among my favourite bears to create. Braith has bigger feet than both Bran and Berwyn and I wanted to make him a little different to my regular pandas so decided to trim his chops right down. It’s not something I usually do with my minis – mainly becuase the fabrics don’t normally allow it but the oyster long pile I used is really dense, so it was fun to do something out of my comfort zone. I also gave Braith quite large eye patches (for me anyway!). Although his facial features are quite different to my regular style I still think he looks Honeythorpe-ish.

b1.jpgBewyn (Welsh: fair-headed) was the last of the trio to be completed. My vintage oyster longpile is a carefully hoarded part of my fabric stash. I think the last piece I bought cost me near to $40 for a 9×9 inch square. Yikes! This particular piece is super dense and the base of the pile has a slightly richer creamy shade, which contrast nicely with the shiny tips when trimmed. Despite being made from the same pattern as Bran, he has a very different look. The cream fabric has a little more give than the black making him a little chubbier and taller. It’s lush denseness was a bit like working with a dense mohair on a bigger bear. It meant I could give him real chops! He has just a touch of shading to his eyes. Like the other two, he wears a frill from some vintage rayon ribbon. it coordinates perfectly with his nose and claws.

So all in all, I’m pretty happy with my experiment. it is interesting to see how every fabric is so individual. The black and oyster are the same grade of fabric, from the same manufacturer yet both act so differently. I’ve got a bear or two to finish and then I’ll be back to recreating some of my patterns from a few years ago. Now that shall be interesting….

UPDATE: Braith and Berwyn have found new homes