Sunday, 13 March 2016

Making Tutorials

I've had a lot of fun this weekend making my first tutorial!

Obviously it's not a full-on bear making tutorial.  I did think about trying to perfect one of my patterns but the truth is my working patterns are incredibly rough and ready, lots of bits I know need to be longer but aren't and markings that don't exist, so it's more than a weekend job... so I thought I'd try out the format on something else first.  I hope you think that the video works: I'm wondering if I'd be better off switching the camera view as my active left hand blocks some things, but other than that I'm pretty happy!

The little guy in the photo above is a weeny version of this guy- they're called Alpacasso and are an import from Japan.  I first came across them a few years ago but they were really hard to get a hold of then.  Now there's a bigger international market for them so I finally got my hands on my first two!

I treated myself to two after Mac found a new home (more on this later) but immediately had to hide them from Boris as he has a real fetish for synthetic plush (although not mohair thankfully!).  There's an in-betweeny size too which I'd like to get at some point in the future but maybe not from the USA: I got charged £30.71 to release this parcel from customs! Grrr!

As I said earlier, Mac is the latest Lugly to find a new home.  It's great when I sell one of my newer, dolly style bears because I know they are too big for many collectors homes, but what was even better about this was that two of the bidders (including the eventual winner) were past collectors, and one of them was the person who bought Pancake, my first dolly bear!  That makes me really happy, because if you like one enough to want another despite their sizes, I must be doing something right :)

I have added a booklet to the tutorials page on my site too, which I used to run my beginner Bear Making Club at the school where I teach.  I'm hoping that when I do produce a proper bear pattern I won't have to explain too much as that booklet will cover most things- fingers crossed!

Chloe and the Lugly's xxx

Friday, 29 January 2016

An Awarding Update :)

I'm pleased to announce that Pancake came First in his category in the 2015 Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards!  You can read all about the winners here.  I'm really excited as it's my first First Place in this award since it began, and doubly pleased because my good friend Tami Eveslage was also a winner and we were there together to collect our shiny trophies.

I have decided to take a bit of a break from doing shows in 2016 because of the fact that I'm still unable to drive (but learning!) and so shows are very expensive for me to do, plus time-consuming and badly placed for a secondary teacher (why are they always on a Sunday at a busy time of the year?).  Hopefully when I can drive and don't have to lug a suitcase down the night before and stay in a hotel I can get back into doing shows :)

Just a short update, hope you like the pics!

Chloe and the Lugly's xx

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Lots of Autumn News!

Well it's been a while so I have a lot of news to promulgate :)

Firstly, woo hoo! Pancake the Bear has won Judges Choice at the Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards!

This is the second Judges Choice in my career so I'm very pleased, click here to vote before 31st of October!

Secondly, I'm now getting ready for my second trip to Sheffield for the Great Yorkshire Teddy Bear Event.  I'm very excited as it will also be a reunion with my good friend Tami Eveslage in her first bear show outside of the US, can't wait. I'm going to try and make some Christmassy creatures this year as my Hugglets dates have always felt too early to go festive.

Thirdly, I've joined Bearpile for a month, to see how it goes... the link's here if you'd like to check it out! Jack is listed, amongst others...

Last but not least, if you've not seen him already I welcomed Boris into my life in July!  Life is much better with a dog but I've got to be honest, he's getting too big to plonk in my lap while I sew... think some adjustments may have to be made!

Hope to have lots of photos for you soon, but in the meantime don't forget to follow us on Facebook where my posts are much more regular.

Chloe and the Luglys xxx

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Getting ready to do my first ever Non-Hugglets Show!

Morning all,

Well it's the day before The Great Yorkshire Teddy Bear Event in Sheffield, and this will be the first time I've been to a show outside of London.  I have been invited to others before but the lack of car has always put me off: travel via train means an inevitable stay on a hotel as shows are usually Sunday events, PLUS I generally need help from someone else so it becomes an event that needs much more careful planning.

ANYWAY, I took my one day off a year from teaching yesterday to get everything done (for September Hugglets I can usually rely on the holidays) and to take my photos.  I'm a bit nervous this year as I'm taking a lot more creatures, having learnt at the last Hugglets that it's ok for faces to reappear more than once (especially as I'm a known emotional hoarder of my own work).  I also have a few new styles and ideas coming too so I'm looking forward to hearing opinions on the more unusual designs in my collection.

We're off to get a good English Breakfast now before our train, then off to see family and friends in Sheffield before the show.  Hope my suitcase is a bit lighter and easier to store on the train home!

Hope you like the photos,

Chloe and the Luglys xxx

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

What I'm (Slowly) Working On

Hi everyone,

It's been a while, but I thought I'd update you on what I'm doing at the moment. My work rate has to drop during the school terms, but I'm still designing and working on patterns in the hopes of taking on a new show in the North this year!

Anyway, my new design is one I need to hurry up with really, given the time of year, and that's a rabbit.

As usual, I started my design with a sketch and then my plasticene model which you can see to the left - I know some talented people can just draw out an idea, but pattern draping makes much more sense to me! Actually I kind of reinvented the wheel here and made the same shaped head as a previous bear, but ah well... The plan was to have a triangular head with lower set eyes which hopefully you'll agree was a success from the photos below! I left my prototype with little eyes but will make them bigger before he finds a home...

 Now I had planned to make a bigger version of this guy so whacked his pattern into my scanner and printed it out on a larger scale... bigger than I thought actually, but percentages are deceptive when it comes to pattern sizes!

 One of the reasons for increasing the size is because I've recently invested in a small airbrush to help with my shading, normally done with copic markers on very small areas; I love it! It's even shaped like an elephant... hope you like the results of the first coat on my bun.

Well, he's still just a head resting on an egg cup in my living room, but hopefully this weekend will give me a bit of time to work on his body, or he'll be a very out of season rabbit... speak soon!

Chloe and the Lugly's xxx

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Post Hugglets Update

Hi All!

Well it's a week since Hugglets 2014 and about time I updated you all on what happened I think! I've added my preview photo above in which you can see the bulk of my tweedy gang, inspired by my holiday in the Lake District earlier this year... From the left they are Grizz the titchy sloth, Rigby Bear (who has found a new home with a gang of other Luglys), Montgomery bear and Sapwood the Rabbit.  I still have some tweed left and did enjoy working with it so I'm sure I'll be using it again in the future.

I was pretty nervous as usual as I only do one fair a year at the moment so I know I'm a new face to many, but I was pleasantly surprised as three of my creations found their new homes within the first hour or so!  I was very pleased to see my bears picked up as I've worked hard on unifying the different patterns I make so they all look like Lugly bears.  In addition it was nice that no one thought my sloths were hideously deformed bear this year: I think I have a certain BBC documentary and Neil the sofa advert sloth to thank for that!

The last creature to find a home was Boris the sloth, the only big sloth on my table this year.  I did have two little ones, and all three are trialling my latest addition: hand cast resin claws.  Boris was so new that I didn't have any official photos of him, so I hope you like this one taken by his new owner of him wearing a lovely scarf: doesn't it suit him?
All in all I think it was the best show yet, although better footwear is going to be my priority next year... thanks for coming to say Hi if you did, and hopefully I will be at a few more fairs in the coming years, especially if I can finally learn to drive!  I think having the Paypal Here machine was a big help this year, although it's a pain having to log the wi-fi on every single time, but people were very patient and waited for me to sort my codes out.

 I will be listing the remaining faces on my shop, as well as on Facebook and probably Bear Artists International as well but it might take me a few days, so if you saw anyone you loved on the day, let me know :)

Since the show I've the feeling of being in the lap of luxury: what do you mean I get two whole days where I can choose what to do?? I have so far filled that time with a few new PlayStation games, reading a growing pile of books and also trying once again to learn to knit.  I am already ok at crochet and working on a mega rainbow granny square blanket, but knitting foxes me because I learned left handed and now want to convert to right... You can see my first attempt below with the cast on stitches carefully hidden as they were the more tense loops of yarn I have ever had the misfortune to work with ;)  The woman in the book is definitely too happy in my opinion! I keep getting massively baggy edges (anyone know why?) but otherwise it's not too bad... don't think I'll be cable-ing any time soon though!

I think my next project will be a revamp of the website, with the mobile market in mind, but I've fallen behind in my understanding of web coding so may have to enlist the help of a professional... if anyone knows a good place to start, that'd be great!  I'm also in the mood to work on foxes, more sloths and possibly a few more British critters; got to use up that tweed somehow!

Anyhoo, speak soon,

Chloe and the Lugly's.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Rigby Bear and a Question About Accessorizing

 Hi all!

Well it's been a while since I last did a proper update on the blog... too long really!  I've been a little more consistent on Facebook because it's easier to add work in progress photos via my phone, but no excuse really!  I finally finished a little bear that I'm really proud of so I thought I'd make a show of him.

His name (after much discussion) is Rigby Bear: I want to keep with old fashioned names for this style of bear I think.  He's the second finished bear of this style, but the first started as I had to order more fur from America in order to finish his left leg, oops!I really think he was worth the wait, he looks very different to his twin who was made in matching blonde fur and has definitely highlighted how important the finish is to the look of the bear over the pattern itself!

He's about the same size as one of my big sloths albeit skinnier so I will have to take some photos of him with one as I think that'd be a cute couple.  His fur is fancy kid mohair and a gorgeous chocolate brown, the same shade as Bombardier my first Bomb style bear.  The facial pattern is very similar to his as well, but as you can see he has a more traditional neck joint as well as cotter pin limb jointing.

I often concentrate on entries for the years competitions around this time as I have the Easter holidays to get my act together, and I definitely think Rigby is a good contender! Now it's just the eternal question "to ribbon or not to ribbon" to answer.  I do admire those people who conjure up elaborate costumes for their bears but I can't see mine in them (beyond a hat, bow or waistcoat perhaps?), which puts me generally in the Bare Bear categories.

For me this presents a bit of a challenge as I have entered the same competitions with bears from similar patterns (such as Seymour the Sailor Bear and Bruce the Bomb, shown below) and the accessorized bear has gotten nominated, even when I have preferred the totally bare one... it makes me wonder if it's important to think up something that gives my bear that little extra character before I submit his photos... what do you think?

Anyway, I hope you like seeing Rigby after a long absence.  I hope I can finish a small scale sloth I've been working on with help from my first ever resin cast claws (exciting!) before long, as he's looking pretty cute so far too! At the last Hugglets I went to (by the way I'm there again in September!) quite a few people said they wished my creatures were smaller and whilst I think some of the designs (Bomb bears especially) need that large footprint, I'm happy to have a go at a little sloth shrinking!

Let me know if you have a "to ribbon or not to ribbon" opinion :)

Chloe and the Lugly's xxx