I have been a professional Teddy Bear Artist since 1988. I specialize in creating handmade One Of A Kind teddy bears and other animals from vintage mink stoles, coats, and collars. My bears have appeared in various books and magazines over the past two decades.
It's time to get back to sewing!!! I ended up resting my right hand and arm for most of May and June. This was a forced "rest" because of my "Tennis Elbow" apparently from over-using my arm (no, not from playing tennis). Not only did my arm really hurt but I could not grip a needle. Since I only hand sew I had no choice but to ice my arm daily and nurse it back to hurting less, so I could at least pick up a needle again.
I did keep myself busy by working on the photos and page set-up for last weekend's online show. Fortunately I had completed my show inventory early. I also challenged myself to design a pattern of an animal with hooves. I've always wanted to design a Miniature Donkey so when I received a request to create Miniature Cattle I decided to experiment with a hoofed animal pattern by first trying to make a donkey.
Designing a new pattern:
Designing a new pattern is very time consuming... especially if it is an animal that I've never made before. Of course, the first step is to research the animal and to start a file with lots of photos for reference. I took years of life drawing classes when I was an art student so that is probably why I also have to study the animal's skeletal and muscular systems. For me it is just a natural part of the process. Then I do some sketches to try to figure out the pattern design.
This is my first attempt at the donkey head. I'm quite pleased with it. Does it look complicated? There are 14 pattern pieces in that head and the ears are jointed. Next is to see if the body that I designed will look good with this head. I'm trying to make detailed notes as I'm figuring out the donkey process ... so I can eventually try to design Miniature Cattle too.
I also had more time to work in my garden:
My "Herb Bed" : I recycled my daughter's old day bed.
I hand-painted the bed and it's just outside my
kitchen door for easy access when I'm cooking.
I have a small flower garden. These blooms only
last a day ... so I take photos when I see them.