Sunday, 22 December 2013

Have a Good Christmas!

Nearly Christmas everyone!

I'm hoping to get in a little design time after Christmas or possibly just work on smoothing out the Baby Bomb Bear design, but I'm having a lazy week right now... Hope you like the Christmas hats on my sloths above! (I'm shipping them with any adopted sloth, squirrel or rabbit from the main shop site, accessible here:

I will update my creation of Baby Bomb story when I'm on my own computer, but until then here's the finished chappy: I just realised I have no direct link on my website to my Facebook page so that's something I need to update, as most of my spontaneous updates happen there these days...

Anyway, hope you have an excellent holiday, and see you in the New Year!

Chloe and the Lugly's xxx

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Starting to Make a Bear (Bear Club 1)

Hi All!

Well Half Term is finally upon us, which means I have a bit of bear making time.  Just before school broke up myself and six interested students came together to begin Bear Making Club: it's the first time I'll be teaching people of their age (although I did show three girls at my American University, but that was a bit more informal!).

For us, the process has begun with DYEING FABRIC (always dramatic, generally coupled with witch-like cackling and stirring of suspicious looking pots of bubbling liquid).  All of my students have chosen their colours, but I was trying to match a paint chip for a commission: hopefully you think I was successful?  Student selections were mostly brown with some lilac and green thrown in.  Next fortnight we'll start drawing out and cutting patterns, before the real fun begins.

Meanwhile (because I won't have a club update this week due to the holidays) I thought I'd chronicle the real first step for me as a bear maker: pattern design.  I've done this for my hare before, but thought it might be useful to have a bear reference in time for the inevitable club assembly at the end of the year.

I always start with a simplified sketch and plasticene model of my creature, generally made piece by piece rather than whole model at once, hence the disembodied head.... I'm aiming to make a baby version of my big Bomb bears: they'll have a traditionally positioned neck but I want them to have the head dimples I like in my Gem style bear and the tendency towards obesity of the Bombs.  The aim is to have a 'one day' bear which would be more affordable but have the look of a chunky bear.

So, once I have my model I will lay plastic from plastic wallets onto the model and pinning it in place: this helps me to work out my darts as you can see from the top of the head here.  It takes a while to work out the best layout but I prioritise the front of the face and try to avoid too many seams there.  Once I have the whole of the head covered, I will peel off the layers, draw them out on paper and try to make a mock up. I make my trial bear heads in mohair now, having learnt too late that the difference in stretch is difficult to compensate for.  If it's a massive body (like a Bomb or Sloth size) I will make a canvas version first, but I often ruin good mohair because I can't wait: bad habits die hard!

 I'm now at the stage where I have something like the head I'd planned! As you can see it is MUCH BIGGER than planned: I always forget to take pile length and type into account... this is a hand dyed alpaca from Intercal so it's very fluffy.  What was hopefully going to me a 'minimal adjustment head' has become a 'mega needle sculpting head' but ah well, I like the look so far.  Sadly this is my last 4mm eye so I have to wait for an order to arrive before I can finish his face off!

Going to work on the body next: planning a fairly chunky one similar to Gems, but the arms and legs will hopefully be stubbier so I need to take that into account... might need to make a set of limbs at the same time to balance him out...

'Till next time!

Chloe and the disembodied heads xxx

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Post Hugglets Shop News!

Hi All!

Well, it's hard to believe that this time last week I was already in London, praying that my bag of lugly's had made it through the journey ok and thinking ahead to my first show since 2010...

Hugglets was a great day for me as I was very nervous about dipping my toe back into show land after a couple of years of limited time for sewing and design work.  I met loads of lovely new people including the lady and gent from Heirloom Bears who were on the stall next to me.  There was a lot of interest in my new rabbit and squirrel which was very satisfying as this was the first time they'd been seen in full (as I still don't have decent photos of them!). 

Anyway, the reason I'm updating is that I've just opened a shop on my website: finally!  I figure now I'm teaching full time I should be making the effort to have creatures listed on my site at all times, as I won't always be able to post direct to Facebook or mailing list... I hope you'll have a look: the shop is here but you can also find it by clicking the new 'Gallery + Shop' tab to the left on my website.  I will be adding more faces as soon as I've photographed them, and will be refunding any excess shipping costs until I've worked out how to set them fairly on the site: I think they're pretty good right now.

Unfortunately I didn't have much success with operation 'try and use Paypal via phone' at the show, in fact I think the technical issues may have cost Bruce a new home... if anyone has any ideas or experience with card readers I'd love to hear from you?

Thanks a lot,

Chleo and the Lugly's xx

Monday, 26 August 2013

Sneaky Hugglets Preview and a Payments Question

Morning all!

Well, it's getting close to that time again for me; hectic Hugglets time!  I had thought I was doing pretty well as I started on the newbies way back at the beginning of July but of course I have under estimated accessorizing and photographing time... Ah well. At least I can show you a couple of new faces today. These are two of the faces in this years flyers (I'll leave them in the entrance hall) so they are pretty much done, thank goodness!

Robin is one of three sloths coming to Hugglets this year: I've modelled his face on my older style of sloth to keep with my general whimsical seaside theme. He's the biggest of the bunch, around 11" sitting, and currently has a little felt lolly (although I may have added to him by September 8th!).

Sammy has been in the works for some time but I only just finished his hand crocheted hat. Crochet is something I taught myself in America to distract from the fact that I still can't knit, and I do like working on little projects like this one! In addition to his hat, Sammy will be bringing his hand made felt ice cream cone.

I do have a question for people planning to come to Hugglets, and it's about payments. I was planning to offer Paypal payments via my smart phone on the day, but appreciate that not everyone has a smart phone or is comfortable using Paypal.  I can buy a card reader that feeds off of my iPhone, but wonder how people would feel about that? They're set up by HSBC bank.  I'd love to be able to offer a more immediate form of payment as I know a few people reserved critters the last time I was at Hugglets but didn't make the journey back from the cash machine in one piece...

Well, that's it for now! If you're not there already, please join me on Facebook where you'll get more frequent updates, snap shots and random queries!

Chloe and the Lugly's xxx

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Hiya all!

So, I'm at what seems to be a natural pause in a British teachers' year; just before May half term with the majority of my exam classes out on study leave. At this point having so much less to do whilst everyone else revises for their end of year tests is really, really strange. I mean... what do I do?

Well naturally for me, thoughts turn back to bear making.

I would never have revealed my 'weird' hobby to the students at my training schools as I think there'd have been enough kids in each class to turn everyones opinion against it. In a way that's the beauty of my school: most of the students are very open minded about skills and hobbies because they all have A LOT of them. We've got champion golfers, riders and actors as well as talented musicians and singers. I'm sure there's some fabulous artists in there because there's plenty of art hanging around the place too!

I first told the current year 7's about my hobby early on when warming them up to the idea of a cross-curricular, science and art project, in an attempt to show them that they're not always seperate things. This week in a fit of madness I have proposed to a wider audience that I will run a bear making club next year and have asked for interested parties to let me know they'd like to join me... and I'm pleased to say I have about 12 interested people so far!

Now don't get me wrong, there's been the odd 'put down' (or attempt) from some students: the old 'sign up older male student for the lolz' has been applied, but really the response has been good, especially after taking a few creatures in. Mentioning money seemed to have the biggest impact on the boys: once they learn that something's sold for $17,000 in the past, ears perk up! Trouble is, most want to go straight in at the sloth stage, and I am sticking firmly to my 'bear first' guns as I think that's the best way to learn the skills before turning to your own patterns.

Anyhoo, thought I'd update you all on how my life is going. The squirrel is a new design for me: might offer her for sale in a few weeks if you're interested, but I'm still enjoying playing with her locline neck and tail right now...

Hope you're all well,

Chloe and the Lugly's xxx

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Amouretto the 2013 Sloth of Love!

 Phew, finally got some glamour shots of my first sloth of 2013, now named Amouretto!

I wanted a name that was linked to almonds (like his lovely creamy brown tipped fur) and love as he's ready just in time for Valentines Day and my usual 'Sloth of Love' release time, and I'm afraid Amouretto won't become unstuck from my head despite the fact that I was given a few more sensible options! I found my camera's SD card firmly wedged under my sofa cushions (hanging out with a lovely collection of hair pins, red marking pens and crumbs) and managed to get it working (phew!) so I have some nice pics to show off today.

As you can see, he's a smiley little guy. I shaded his face and eyes to match his lovely curly Schulte fur: an off cut from a much bigger sloth that just managed to fit all the pattern pieces! It's so dense that his seams are virtually invisible which adds to his realism and also helps around his claws. The claws themselves are old-style claws made from a transparent clay: I wanted to give this clay another go, despite it being slightly weaker than epoxy, because it does have a more natural look and feel to it. To balance the costs of the clay I've removed my usual package of steel shot from him so he's very light and should cause no problems when hanging from his claws.

He does have armature in all four limbs and a double jointed neck that gives a nice range of movement: he has some particularly quizzical poses! As always, he has a secret rose quartz heart sewn securely into his chest which you can just feel through his chest: rose quartz is meant to absorb and reflect love.

At 10" tall (depending on neck position), Amouretto is a great buddy for teddies and dolls and is currently chillaxing on my book case waiting for his new home to appear. If you would like to adopt him please contact me at je-suis-lugly (just take out the space). His adoption fee is £165 and I will happily send him free Special Delivery in the UK and pay the recorded costs myself for abroad if he is bought before St Valentines Day is over.

Here's hoping he finds his home soon!

Chloe and the Lugly's xxx

Monday, 11 February 2013

A New Face!

Hurrah, first new face of 2013!

Phew, it's tough work being a teacher but finally I've devoted enough time around the edges to finish of a sloth who's been in the works for some time... Meet "Insert Name here!"

Sorry, I haven't named him: to be honest I'm not sure if I'm accessorising him or anything right now but I can confirm he has all his limbs and his quartz heart so he's almost ready to go: just got to finish those last details. I'm thinking he may need an almond-y name for some reason? He's a little sloth at just 9" sitting but totally cute: I have reverted back to the old style claws with him for a bit of variety so they;re a little weaker but with a much more natural appearance: I've lightened his stuffing to minimise the risk of any claw based damage. His eyes are hand painted to match his sweet shaded face and his lovely tipped Schulte mohair fur.

Anyway, as soon as he's finished I'll be putting him us on eBay, but if you'd like to stake a claim on this sweet little boy sloth please get in touch! As always, my e-mail is je-suis-lugly (just take out the anti-spammage space!).

Thanks a lot!

Chloe and the Lugly's xxx

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Guess Who I Found?!

Well, you know it's a bad sign when you forget about a sloth you've made!

Rooting around in my Mums' cupboard at home looking for Bert we found Scraps: a contemporary of Berts from the olden days. It's pretty clear: she also needs a home! I really don't want to have to make her over, so once again I will offer her at a reduced price.

Scraps is a small sloth, about 11" sitting (I've added a photo with Leo who's a standard size, so you can see the difference). She has a darker hand needlefelted face to compliment her tipped fur made from two different length tipped Schulte mohairs, and expressive dark brown glass eyes. Her eyes are lidded in ultrasuede and her face has been sculpted and tinted to give her a mischevious smile. I think she has a sweet tortoise-y smiley face!

Scraps has strong epoxy claws and a bendable armature inside all four nut and bolt jointed limbs. As with all lugly's, she has a rose quartz heart secure inside her chest: she clearly needs someone better than me who will actually return her love!

She was originally for sale at around £170 ($275) but (due to my negligence) I would love to find her a home as she is at £130 ($210).  There's loads of photos of her on Flickr here and at my website. If you think Scraps could fit into your family, please contact me at, or via Facebook.

Hope you had a great New Years Day!

Chloe and the Lugly's xxxx