Thursday, May 31, 2012


Earlier this week I went to the grocery store in search of 'alphabet' noodles.  Not to eat, it's for a polymer clay project that I have in mind.  While browsing the shelves I came across these gorgeous little teddy bears too.

Who could eat that???  Although, now that it is winter, soup is delicious in the cold weather.  Some teddy bears floating in there could look quite interesting.  I will let you in on the polymer and pasta secret soon soon.

Here in South Africa winter is starting properly.  The nights are cold and most of the pretty autumn leaves have fallen.  Colani says that he will still guard the studio door, but only if there is a blanket...

For the next few days I am going to be quite busy.  I am cutting out teddy bears for the workshop this coming weekend, trying to stay up to date with the homework for my sculpting course, and dealing with month end admin.  Doing it all with a glad heart, I am so HAPPY!  Just heard that a special friend is coming for a visit in June!

More Bunnies on Wheels

This week some more bunnies on wheels were completed in class.

This is Alet's bunny.

And this cutie was made by Lena.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bling and Useful Things

For the last few days I have been unpacking a rather huge shipment of supplies.  It is always fun to stock the studio with things that I like, and think I might use.

 We have lots of bling and colourful accessories to play with .
 We are also well stocked on staples such as needles, pins and scissors.

These little polka dot scissors are just the thing one's sewing box needs.  I'm getting one in every colour for myself!

Shame on you, Hannelore Cleven!

It came to my notice recently that the owner of, Hannelore Cleven, is photocopying and selling my original patterns on EBay. So far my attempts to contact her have been met with stony silence.
I have reported her to EBay.
Shame on you Hannelore Cleven!

Hannelore Cleven’s information:
Address: Dorf 45
47589 Uedem
Tel: 02825-8395
Fax: 02825-938871

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Friends are a gift, and the art of Zentangle

On Monday I had a visit from Cobus and Gideon, two bear makers who emmigrated to Canada a few years ago.  It was lovely to have a chat with them about crafts and hobbies in Canada, and how their lives have changed since living there.  It is heart warming to see them doing so well, to know that the things we taught them here at Tin Soldiers went with them, and that they are keeping the hobby alive in the cold north.  They also came laden with presents, I feel spoilt rotten.  One of the things I will treasure is a Canadian 2 Dollar, with a polar bear in the centre.  Somewhere I'm going to work it into a mixed media project.
Isn't it darling?

Another gift was a teddy bear for ages three and up.  That means I'm in the right age category to appreciate it :-)  The bear is made from white fabric, with a design printed on it.  It comes with a set of fabric markers so that one can colour it the way you like.
I'm going to have fun with this.  It reminded me of the Zentangle bear project we did a few years ago.  Remember how much we enjoyed that?  It was one of the quietest workshops I ever taught!
Here are some pictures from the Tin Soldiers archives.
From plotting on paper...

To drawing the design with permanent ink on fabric...

To adding embroidered and bead embellished elements...

To sewing it all together...

The completed teddy bears!
Missed the Zentangle project?  Rick and Maria are masters of the art.  You can learn about Zentangle HERE.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Finished it on Friday

This week I spent a lot of time at the clay table.  The doll with the eyes that have been bugging me so, got eyelids, ears and a neck a with flange so that it can be attached to a cloth body.  Once the paper clay has completely dried, I will be able to cover the head with fabric and start painting the facial features. 

I have never painted a cloth doll face before.  This is an adventure I am looking forward to!

Viola Ruth got arms this week.  Making hands with fingers are also a first for me, I love the way that they turned out.  If you look closely you will see a little heart on her chest.  It is not a heart at all... it's her ears, ready to put on her head later!  She is ready to have her head covered in cloth now, and then will follow several layers of gesso and lots of sanding.
Isn't the bird feeder just the sweetest thing?  Henning brought it home from the greengrocer.  I think it is too lovely to put in the garden, I will play with it here in the studio for a while first.

I have a new photo editing program.  Am still finding my way around in it and learning lots. All this doing things for the first time is quite exhausting, I feel as though I am spraining muscles in my brain.  What a privilege to have the time to experiment and learn though!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Doll Sculpting

I have been working on this doll face since December.  The eyes keep getting the better of me, don't know how many times I've taken them off and done it over.  When I had a look at it this morning I discovered the head is covered in mould.  I need to work a little faster... or get back to teddy bears, they don't go mouldy... another reason why I love them so much!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Online Teddy Bear Workshop

I teach an online teddy bear workshop... there are many people living in remote areas who can not get to a class.  The worksop runs over ten weeks, with a lesson by email every week.  You can find more details HERE
These two bears were made by two sisters, Bets and Marie, who are participating in the online class.  Bets and Marie are both showing potential to become first class bear makers! 

Easter Bunny Parade

This week half a dozen completed bunnies from our Easter bunny project came rolling through the studio.  It is lovely to see how everyone interpreted the pattern in their own way.
Hannelie's Rabbit

Tharina's Rabbit

Phillys' Rabbit

Gerda's Rabbit

Annemarie's Rabbit

Rachel's Rabbit