Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All I Want For Christmas….

….. Is “Mew” ….

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Merry Christmas from Katrina …

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Two New Bears!

Finally, I’m ready to post two new additions to Custom Teddy’s ready for adoption. The first I’ll introduce is little Whipper. She is made from faux fur and has my recently incorporated “open-mouth” style.

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And here is little Gracie! She is made from apricot-colored mohair and stands 6 inches tall.

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They are both available on eBay at this time. Click on their pictures and that will bring you to the listing.

Thank you!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where Have You Been?????

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In the land known for it’s beautiful sunsets;
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It’s abundance of floral life;
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Palm trees, banyan trees, ocean views;
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And the occasional Christmas tree.
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OK, you guessed …. we’ve been in Hawaii for close to three weeks. And, yes, I realize how absolutely fortunate I am to be able to experience that … and, yes, we are happy to be home with our kitties and our Mom and our teddy bear world.
Just wanted to share a bit of the Islands with you. What an amazing and wonderful place to visit.
Hugs from Vicki

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

See this lovely old mink coat…

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This has been my project of late. I am lucky to have been commissioned to make two bears out of great grandma’s mink coat.

And they are both sitting here looking at me with their beautiful wide eyed teddy bear wonder.

And I can’t post their pictures because they are going to make someone a very special Christmas present.

So, it will have to wait.

In the meantime, just thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been working on.

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This is what my work space looks like right now. I have four bears waiting for names and finishing touches and three bears cut out and pieced together.

We are going on vacation here in a few days. I’m so ready to get out of rain country for a little while… ! I’ll have some pictures of that to post here too within the next few weeks.

Until then, love and teddy hugs…. from Vicki and the bears

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Real Bear Story

Living in Alaska gives one an opportunity to view bears in the wild. Unfortunately, one also has the opportunity to view bears in our own neighborhoods.

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This picture was taken from my deck this past summer. The bear was in a neighbor’s yard across the street from where we live.

Although bears are amazing and fun to watch, what you don’t want to see is a bear in your yard or in your neighbor’s yard.

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This picture was also taken from my deck in July of 2006. The bear was right below me as you can see from the following picture.

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We have a big problem with “garbage bears” here in our community.

A few weeks ago, our neighbors were continuing to have problems with a bruin who had gotten into their garbage weeks before. Once a bear has found what he is looking for in your yard, he is very persistent and will continue to frequent the vicinity until he is removed.

After numerous visits from what my neighbor referred to as “a very aggressive bear,” Fish and Game was called in to set a “live trap.”

A few days after the trap was set, I awakened to loud clanging sounds at approximately 11:30 p.m. on a Friday night.

The bear was caught. As he continued to clang and struggle to get out of his cage I felt scared for sure, and sorry for him that his path in life had led him to a cage and subsequent transport into unfamiliar territory.

Fish and Game arrived within the hour to attach the cage to their truck and cart the bear away from our neighborhood, hopefully to an island far away from people, where he can live out his life in peace.

To my surprise after conversing with my neighbor the next day about the bear, he admitted he was angry at the bear. He was angry because the bear continuously came around his yard and showed no fear when confronted by the man. My neighbor told me he wanted to torment the bear and punish it for getting into his garbage.

Although my neighbor didn’t follow through on his desire to torment the bear, I was taken aback by his comments.

The bears are not the problem. People are the problem. My neighbor’s garbage was accessible to the bear.

A bear’s sense of smell is many many times that of a human and this particular bear was able to smell my neighbor’s garbage through the shed that the man had it stored in.

Consequently, the bear broke into the shed.

Bears are simply following their instincts. We have moved ourselves into their territory. And we provide easy food.

I am sorry for the bear. Sorry for my neighbor. And sorry for all the other garbage bears out there that we have forced into our properties.

My neighbor didn’t know what was to be done with the bear. Normally Fish and Game will try to transport the bear to a vicinity unpopulated by humans. My hope is that is what happened.

The second alternative is to put the bear down. Especially an aggressive bear that is not afraid of humans. My hope is that this alternative was not taken.

I watched as the Fish and Game truck transported the wheeled cage containing the bear down the hill from our house. I felt good and bad at the same time. I felt bad for the bear’s uncertain fate; I felt good that we no longer had to worry about a bear in our neighborhood, at least until next time.

Because there will be a next time.

At least once a year a bear wanders into our neighborhood and finds what it is looking for.

It’s up to us humans to ensure that doesn’t happen.

I wonder how we’ll do next year.

Friday, September 23, 2011

“Oh My, What Big Teeth You Have!”

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Introducing my most recent creation, Landau, and yes, he does have teeth!
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I’ve been obsessed for many years with not only the teddy bear, but with real live bears like the kind that live in Alaska. Mind you, I don’t necessarily want to run into one of them while walking in the woods, but I find them fascinating creatures and incredibly beautiful.
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One of the directions I envision my art leaning is in the creation of more realistic type bears and Landau is my best so far.
I’ve picked up a number of picture books that have the most awesome pictures of bears in their natural environment. I use these books for inspiration and to help me with the details of airbrushing and yes, even the placement of the teeth.
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Another book that has helped me in my endeavors is “101 Bears To Make” by Nancy Tillberg. This books tells me the how of it all and gives detailed, easy to follow instructions on how turn what I envision into a work of art. So if you are a teddy bear enthusiast and need a little help creating your own awesome teddy bears, I highly recommend purchasing this book.
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Thank you all for joining me! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! If you are interested in adopting Landau, he is currently listed on eBay.

Hugs from Vicki and Landau!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Two New Teddy Bears!

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Miss Abelene is 15” tall and made from feather finish off-white mohair. She is wearing a crochet collar that kind of drapes around her middle. I like it.

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And her buddy, Graham.

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…also made from the same mohair, only dyed a golden tan.

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Graham sports my new “open mouth” style. Both bears are available for adoption. Please visit my website www.customteddys.com for more information.

Thanks for the visit!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One of my FIRST Open-Mouth Teddy Bears is the Wonderful Walt!

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And the reason I say “one” of my first is because I dabbled in the “open-mouth” style when I first started making bears a very long time ago. I just couldn’t get the hang of it so I gave up.

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I have recently been working harder on quality rather than quantity in my teddy bear world. So I decided to dabble a bit with the open mouth style.

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I must say I am pleased with the results and will have to try another one soon.

I had a very hard time with the photo session yesterday. I am sure I took over 100 pictures indoors using my black background and then practicing with white. I could not get the photos to accurately display this bear.

So, I took him outside and sat him on the deck.

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Pontus wanted to know who the stranger on the deck was (and he wasn’t getting any closer than three feet).

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Katrina said “hey, who’s the new guy?” and went right up to say “Hi!”

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I am grateful for a day without rain here in our Northern rainforest Juneau. It helped with the photo session and also the demeanor of the photographer, as we have had steady pouring rain most of this month.

Love and hugs to all. Thank you! Vicki

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mo Li & Ping, Mama Panda and Cub

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Mo Li and Ping are my two most recent creations. I had two bears cut out of this beautiful mohair I purchased a few weeks ago.
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Both bears were gorgeous white; one was big the other very small.
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I’ve never created a mama bear and a baby bear before. So I thought it would be a splendid idea to just that!
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Their sweet little faces are sitting and smiling pretty over on eBay. If you are interested in purchasing the pair, please check out my listing.
Thanks for the visit! Vicki

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Time to Meet Juno from Juneau!

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Another sunny day in Juneau means my most recent creation, Juno, gets to pose outside in her natural habitat here in Alaska.

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Well, natural habitat meaning under our deck or sitting in the rocks … it’s good enough!

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She was great fun to create. I dyed some white mohair this stunning gray, airbrushed a little around her eyes and ears, used my Alaskan Grizzly pattern, and she’s ready to go.

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I’ve listed her for sale on eBay and thank you for the visit.

Hugs, Vicki and Juno

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why do I do it?

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I honestly can’t tell you. But it drives me crazy when I do… and a month or so later, I’ll just do it again.

What is “it” you ask?

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See this, this is “it.”

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One of those teeny, tiny, hand-held little critters that I almost have to wear magnifying glasses to create.

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It is difficult to describe the process and the hours it takes for me to make one of these guys. And this particular bear, I HAD to make those silly little clay footpads that I’ve been adding to my bears of late.

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His face must have taken me two hours to do… at the very least.

He had three different sets of eyes, before I finally settled on the onyx beads.

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He is tired. I am tired. But here we are again… ready to introduce my latest bear, my mini named Smitty.

I know after this almost week long project that I won’t soon get the urge to do “it” again any time soon, but trust me, I will….

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….I just don’t know when.

Heavy sighs, yawns and hugs from Vicki and the mini bears.