Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers

Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Work In Progress ... Custom Order

 I am currently working on Custom Order #9 for Dawn

Dawn sent me a really beautiful black mink stole and requested 3 teddy bears.

Beautiful fur!

I love the reddish brown undercoat!
This will be more obvious when I trim the teddy's muzzle ... they should be amazing teddies!

Dawn included a brown mink collar but there is no place where I can use it with the black teddies.

Look at the wonderful sheen of the fur.

This is what the inside of the pelts look like after I removed the lining.

I could tell that there was not enough pelt for me to "find" 3 of my 11 inch teddies
so I cut out patterns for my 9 inch teddies
and ....

I had JUST enough pelt for 3 9inch teddies ... with not much reserve for error ... so I need to keep my fingers crossed that I don't need to recut pattern pieces.

Well now it is time to start cutting ....

Update: November 25

Pattern pieces cut out for 3 teddy bears

I counted 96 pattern pieces!

Now I have to trim away the outside edges of EACH piece before I can start sewing ...
this will take awhile ....

Update: Dec 13, 2016

I've been busy sewing and sewing ... and sewing ... all by hand because these are my 9 inch teddies with a 1/8 inch seam allowance. 

I really prefer to sew my animals by hand because I have more control with the tiny details. Of course after all these years of hand sewing my hands have suffered but I still persist on torturing my hands for the sake of my mink creatures. I will occasionally use my machine for a few of the larger pattern pieces but my sewing machine and I are not very compatible. 

This little mountain of sewn together pattern pieces will eventually become three adorable mink teddy bears!

Next steps: 
  • turning pattern pieces
  • making and inserting wire armatures
  • jointing
  • stuffing and closing
  • and my favorite part: scissor sculpting and finishing the head

Dec. 27 update :
The three teddy bodies are ready and waiting for their heads.

I used the Pattern #2 (that can sit puppy-style).

I always try to use the stole lining for the paw pads ... this stole had very decorative lining.

I'm finally getting to my favorite part ... working on the heads ....

Update: Dec. 30, 2016 .....
(I'm determined to finish these teddies before the end of the year ... at least I'm going to give it a good try).
Yes !!!!! I knew this mink would make beautiful heads! This is the first one and I still have to do the detailing on the head but look how wonderful the face is with the undercoat of the mink being a lovely reddish brown. I love it!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

In need of a new home ...

I was just contacted by one of my long-time collectors, Alyssa.
Unfortunately due to medical bills she has to re-home some of her collection.

I can verify that this mink bunny and mink teddy bear are my creations:

This is a photo that Allysa sent me so it isn't very clear so if you are interested you will have to contact her for more photos and information.

Due to my busy Custom Order Schedule (and busy family life) I have not had any time to do what I love best ... design new creations to offer to my collectors ... so this may be a good opportunity for anyone waiting to adopt one of my mink creations.

Please note that I had plans to "retire" this bunny pattern and design a new one ... so far, I have still had collectors convince me to make just "one more" for them so I'm not sure that this pattern will ever be completely retired but I'm not planning on making more of this pattern bunny anytime soon.

Please DO NOT contact me if you are interested in either the bunny or the bear.
You need to contact Alyssa: 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Custom Puppies

Talk about finally finishing an order ... I started on these puppies August 8 and just now finished them ... two months later!

Custom Order for Melanie

To see more photos of these Puppies ... please CLICK HERE

Of course I took September off to help my daughter with her wedding plans.

My last post was about me "getting back to work".... well ...

I only thought that my life was getting "back to normal" after the wedding. My daughter was diagnosed with diabetes (Cystic Fibrosis related diabetes) ... so more doctors visits for her and new stuff to deal with. Then my husband was suspected of having Prostate Cancer ... so lots of tests for him. The good news is that his biopsy was cancer free. And my daughter does not currently need insulin for her diabetes. AAAUGH there are days when I don't get much done other than dealing with doctors and medical insurances.

but another reason I have not been able to sew ...
A few days ago my daughter adopted another sweet little rescue from our local animal shelter. A tripod (3-legged) Chihuahua. Yes, we have learned to love special needs animals after living with a blind poodle for 19 years. Needless to say we didn't get much done this past weekend other than trying to make our newest family member feel welcome (we have two other dogs and a cat ... all rescues). While this little sweetheart gets around fine on 3 legs her two back legs have bad knees so she will need expensive surgery in the future.

Monday, October 10, 2016

... back to work!!!!!

Thank you to all of my collectors who have waited patiently for me to get back to creating my mink teddies and other animals.

It's been over a month since I worked on my teddies ... finally time to get back to work after helping with daughter's wedding plans (that had to be changed "at the last minute"!!!)


My daughter's wedding was the most beautiful that I've ever seen !!!!


I made all the signs for her wedding.

My amazing daughter achieved the impossible ... she re-planned her entire wedding in three days ... yes, that's what I said, 3 days! She had to cancel the destination wedding (that she had planned for over a year and scheduled in Big Sur, CA) just 10 days before her wedding due to the continuing fires in that area. She canceled her original wedding on a Sunday and by that Wednesday she had booked a new venue, catering, a wedding coordinator, a DJ, an officiant, and a wedding cake. Obviously my darling daughter works well under pressure ... she is truly amazing.

To be honest, I think that this last minute wedding was sooooooo much better than the original destination wedding could have been. More people were able to attend which made it so joyous! The venue she booked was perfect, the food delicious, the officiant was funny and endearing, the DJ was amazing ... it was a beautiful day that will be remembered forever.

I snapped this at my daughter's dress alteration fitting .... she was so beautiful.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Temporary hiatus ...

I may as well admit it ... I keep trying to do it all: sewing and preparing for my daughter's wedding but her wedding is definitely my priority. She has given me the task of making her wedding signs! This is a task that I take seriously since it gives me a new outlet to put my Art Degree to work.

So far, so good. She is happy with the signs that I have finished so far. But she has requested several more for me to make.

So to my collectors and those patiently waiting for me to start on your Custom Teddy ... thank you! I'm pretty sure that my September will be busy with wedding preparations and very little teddy sewing. Next month, after the wedding, my work schedule should get back on track.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Custom Order #8 ... Work In Progress


I had promised to make Melanie custom puppies from her two mink stoles 
before I decided to limit my Custom Orders to Teddy Bears only.

Melanie did request "puppies" rather than "dogs" ... all I can say to that is: I'll try my best to keep them young-looking but these creatures to tend to create their own personalities as I am working on them. I try to coax them gently along but sometimes they insist on looking the way they want to look.

I'm making one dog from each mink stole because even though the colors are similar the pelts are very different. This pelt is my favorite to work with because they are full pelts, you will see the difference when you look at the photos of the other mink stole ....

This is the other mink stole's pelts, can you see the difference? Instead of full pelts this one is little strips of mink sewn together. I tried to avoid the strips and found small areas that were more solid pelt. Why don't I like this type of pelt? Because the areas on a pelt that are most likely to shred are those areas that have been sewn together. Of course I line all of my teddies for extra strength but the other reason I prefer solid pelts are because you can sometimes see the little ridges created by the sewn together strips.

The patterns for the two dogs are all cut out and trimmed. Now I have to sew and assemble all 67 pieces!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Custom Order #7

for Dorothy

Please Click Here to see photos and details
of this Custom Order

Thursday, July 14, 2016

WIP ... Custom Order #7

For Dorothy

Sorry, Dorothy, I'm really off to a late start on your teddies. This is what happens when my husband takes his vacation when I'm still trying to work on my teddies ... ha ha ha ... I didn't get any teddy work done while he was home "resting" because I one more person to take care of.

Also I'm trying to help my daughter as much as possible for her upcoming wedding ... the date is soon and there is always something to do.

But I have FINALLY started on your teddies ... thank you for your patience:
Two teddies from mink stole
using Pattern #1 and Pattern #2

I like the lining ... I had not seen one before with velvet ribbon
I can make lovely little sitting pads with this lining
Wow! I had JUST enough mink for both teddies.
Now I have 58 pattern pieces ... eventually they transform into 2 adorable teddies.
Two adorable heads!!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

My Website was hacked !!!

Well, Happy July 4th to me! My web server sent me an email early this morning to let me know that they detected some bad code on my website. So after spending an hour trying to figure out where it was I finally called a very nice tech guy at my web server who helped me to figure out that it was not my main website but the extra Word Press website that was attached to it. Well, the only important page that I had on that website was my Custom Teddy Bear Service information ... so I just deleted the entire Word Press website !!!

Now I have to rebuild my Custom Teddy Bear Service information page

not to mention updating a lot of links that now lead to nowhere.

Oh boy just what I wanted to do, work on the computer instead of making bears ... AAAUGH!
Wish me luck (I'm an artist not a computer person).

Happy July 4th to everyone!

UPDATE: I've decided to add my Custom Teddy Service page to my blog, here, instead of on my website ...  (see it on my pages listed above)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Custom Twin Teddies (smaller version)

For Vaunell

To see the photos and details of this custom-made order

To see why I had to choose the smaller version of Pattern #1 
please see the Work In Progress post below

Monday, May 16, 2016

Work In Progress ...

Custom Order #6

Two teddy bears from

 a small mink shrug

once I cut it apart I found that there was not enough mink pelt for my usual 11 inch teddies so I will be making two of my 9 inch teddies (which is the same exact pattern just a reduced size).

I had enough mink pelts for the two  9-inch teddies.

At this point I have 62 little pieces of shaped mink pelts
that will eventually become two adorable little mink teddy bears.
Now the hard work begins ...

Friday, April 8, 2016

WIP ... Custom Order #5

Two Custom Teddies
for Lee and Linda
from their family's mink stole

I will be using the cashmere/wool coat for the paw pads

I'm so happy that the coat had a mink collar that matched the color of the mink stole
because I needed to use it! As I was laying out my pattern/lining I realized that I was
quickly running out of useable mink pelts that I needed for my larger pattern pieces (the
legs and feet). There was not much mink left after cutting out all of the pieces so I'm hoping
that nothing needs to be recut.

It takes sooooo much longer when working on two teddies at the same time ...
Saving the best for last ... those sweet-faced heads ...