Friday, November 30, 2012

Little dolls in my attic workroom

As the end of the year approaches, time seems to run faster and faster. Right now I would like to start slowing down, spend time with family and friends, and browse through all the delectable Christmas goodies on offer in the shops. Instead I’m trying to meet the demand for workshops, trying to fill orders, trying to get the calendar out for the first weeks of next year before all my customers disappear away on holiday. Sometimes in the evening I feel as though all I’ve been doing is trying to get things done all day! Such is the lot of the self-employed.

One can also see the state of ‘business’ when you look at my attic work room. Right now there’s no space for a new project on my painting table, and little dolls are scattered as though it’s Santa’s workshop. All I need is a few elves to help. What will help is that a friend is coming to visit for a few days next week. Nothing like an important visitor to encourage frantic activity, putting things back in their places and tidying away the late night sweetie wrappers!

Wishing you a creative and productive weekend.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Care Packages for the Elderly - We did it!

On Saturday morning bright and early a group of volunteers got together at Tin Soldiers to pack care packages for the elderly.
 We started with a tower of plain boxes
and sorted the donations that were going to fill them.
Then we got very busy covering the boxes with pretty paper
and filling each box with goodies.
Finally it was time to tie a bow around each box and the work was done.
We packed 46 boxes on Saturday, and have received several more pre-packed and ready to deliver.  Thanks to generous donations we were able to fill each box with a substantial number of items. 
A hearty THANK YOU to everyone who donated the contents of the boxes, and to all the ladies who gave their time to put it together.  Ina will hand over the care packages for distribution to Frikkie at the end of this week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winnie the Pooh - Family Picture

Kleintjie sent this photo of a collection of Winnie the Pooh characters that she made here at Tin Soldiers over the last few years. 
She says that her grand daughter loves them to bits.  Isn't it wonderful to have a set of hand made animals to play with, rather than the mass produced toys one sees everywhere?  I'm sure the little girl is going to grow up with happy memories of her grandmother and her childhood. 

Nellie - Scenes from the first Workshop

On Saturday we had Nellie workshop number one.  There have been lots of enquiries about the workshop, I will announce dates for January 2013 soon. 
In the quiet moments before the first ladies arrive, I'm always a bit nervous that I've forgotten something.  Fortunately the important things were all in place.
Once the workshop got going there was never a quiet moment.
Contemplating the next step...
Oh, no!  Someone lost their head!

As usual, by the end of the day I was so engrossed in finishing touches to the bears that I completely forgot about the camera and never took a picture of the completed Nellies.  As soon as someone sends me their photo, I will add it to the blog.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nellie - Open Mouth Teddy Bear Workshop

Ta-da, she's finished! 
Nellie, my open mouth bear with the full works.  She has a built-up lip line, sculpted tongue, teeth, hand painted eyes with eyelids, clay paws, waxed nose... Her mouth can open/close, and lots of subtle shading and sculpting went into creating the bear just the way I envisioned her.  I will be teaching a workshop to make Nellie on 17 November.  There is only one place still available in class and there's homework to do.  If you would like to join us, you need to jump to it.


Below I have added pictures that show the process of making a bear with this type of head. 
In the beginning, there is not much to see.  This bear could be anyone.
Sculpting the inside of the mouth.  This is the part I like least of all, but also the most important if you want to have a friendly bear who is anatomically correct.
By now the lips have been added, and shading done inside the mouth.  From here on the bear is heaps of fun, she was laughing all the while I worked on her.
Teeth in, and working on the nose.
Painting the eyes, and making eyelids.
Eye sockets coloured in preparation for inserting eyes.
Hard to believe that this bedraggled looking creature is going to be a beauty in a short while.  The fur still needs trimming too.
Now we are starting to get there!  Trimmed around the eyes so that Nellie can see properly.
Because the jaw is wired, Nellie's mouth can open and close.
Here Nellie is completely finished.  The crochet collar and flowers are a nice finishing touch, but not absolutely necessary on a realistic type of bear.  You can accessorize her in any way you like.
For this project we are using Loubear's new fabric Adele. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Megan's Happy Birthday

Yep, today is my happy birthday.  It's an ordinary working day though, I have too much work at the moment to take time out, will take a relax day soon.  You know you are getting old when birthdays are not the day when the world has to stop so you can eat cake :-)
I am grateful for all the things that surround me though, for having enough work, stimulating work.  For my family and friends and animals.  And I'm grateful to everyone who has phoned or sent a message to congratulate me.  It makes me feel loved.  Thank you everyone!
The internet is a large part of my life, I think some days I virtually live in it.  I also get a lot of clues about what happens in the world from my interaction with various websites and people by email.  When I opened Google to do a search this morning, the home screen had birthday cake on it.
I immediately clicked through to see which famous person shares a birthday with me, only to get a message that says 'Happy birthday Megan'.  So there you have it, I must be famous.  Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.  Who says the internet is impersonal?

And in case you wonder how the animals are celebrating...