Friday, November 26, 2010


I am pleased to introduce Mullins to you!

Mullins was inspired by the smells and tastes of Christmas, but he is a bear who can keep you company all year round. He is named for the mulling spices used in spiced cider or wassail, many of which are also used in gingerbread. His name is also a nod to Linda and Wally Mullins, who did so much to promote our furry friend, the teddy bear, through teddy bear shows and books.

Mullins wears a solid brass "petal" sleigh bell. I love the tone it makes.

Here's a little more about this sweet Crew member:

Approximately 10.5 inches (29 cm) tall
Brown wavy distressed Schulte mohair
Muzzle of cider-colored wavy distressed Schulte mohair
Ultrasuede paw pads with pulled fingers and toes
Embroidered nose, mouth, and claws
Stuffed with polyester stuffing and plastic pellets
Bent legs; designed to sit

Here, Mullins is pictured with brother Goldenstern and sister Cinnamon. I love this photo of the three of them. I hope you have enjoyed meeting Mullins!

A Little More Cinnamon

Thank you all for coming out to see the online Teddies Worldwide holiday bear show last weekend. Did you enjoy the show? I very much enjoyed visiting all the lovely bears, and I've even met some new friends as a result.

I'm happy to say that sweet Cinnamon found a new mom during the show! She should be arriving at her new home anytime now.

I was inspired to create Cinnamon by my memories of the sight, smell, and taste of the delicious cinnamon apples my Grammie made each Christmas. I made Cinnamon from a new pattern I created this summer. I found that I really liked her size (13.5 inches / 34 cm); she's nice to hug and carry around. And her wavy, distressed mohair (from was fun to work with. I love the beautiful red color! I adorned Cinnamon with a solid brass "petal" sleigh bell that makes a lovely tone.

I love to create classically styled bears with long muzzles, long arms, and a slight hump at the shoulders. I've already started working on my next bear from this pattern.

We will miss Cinnamon here in the New Avenue Crew studio. But knowing she'll be loved in her new home makes me happy. I will just have to make more bears!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Showtime!

It's finally time for the online Teddies Worldwide holiday bear show and sale! Visit the website to find the participating artists and their special bear creations. My very own sweet Cinnamon will be there with bells on!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sneak Preview for the Online Teddies Wordwide Show and Sale

I am so excited to introduce sweet Cinnamon to you! She is one of the bears I will be offering for adoption during the online Teddies Worldwide holiday show and sale. (To see the other artists' sneak peeks of their bears, visit the website.)

I've been working hard on my bears and can't wait to unveil them bright and early Saturday morning. I hope you'll drop in to the show--maybe you'll find a cuddly new friend or two!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teddy Bear Tidbit Tuesday: Show Scramble

Today on this teddy bear tidbit Tuesday, I want to give you a taste of my final 11 days before the online Teddies Worldwide show and sale opens on Saturday, November 20.

As the title of this post suggests, I am scrambling to get everything ready for the show. Many things have happened these past few weeks that have derailed my bear making, but I am determined to finish the three bears I've been creating especially for this show.

Let's back up a bit.

I signed up for the show back in September and right away started brainstorming about the bears I wanted to make. Because the show has a holiday theme, I decided I needed to get in the Christmas mood. I didn't even have to bring the holiday music CDs up from the basement; my head offered up a ready supply of Christmas carols for inspiration. I started jotting down many ideas for special bears and then thought about them for a couple of days.

The next step was to paw through my stash of fur for the perfect colors from which to create my little Crew members. Memories from Christmases past and the sights and sounds and smells of that special season filled my head and helped me select just the right mohair pieces.

Out came my patterns and scissors, and I was off and tracing, cutting, trimming, pinning, sewing, combing, turning, and stuffing. I worked on all three simultaneously, which is not usually how I make bears. Most of the time, I create one bear from start to finish before moving on to the next one. It has been kind of fun to make them at the same time and see them progress together.

My favorite part of making bears came next: finishing the head. I partially stuffed all three bears' heads and then chose one to move forward with. I stuffed the chosen head all the way and then trimmed the muzzle area, paying particular attention to the area where I would be embroidering the nose with pearl cotton floss.

After the nose was complete, I sewed the mouth on and then put two black-headed pins in position for the eyes. The next step was sewing the neck joint into the head. And then it was time to put the real glass eyes in. Sinking the eyes on a bear is my favorite part of working on the head because that's when the bear's personality starts to emerge.

(Above is a photo of Juniper when I had just completed his head. I am holding on to the cotter pin neck joint that goes into the body to fasten the head to the body.)

Once the eyes were in place and tied off, I then sewed the bottoms of the ears closed and pinned them in place on the head. As I do when I position the eyes, I view the head in a mirror to check the ear placement before sewing them on.

I also enjoy shading the bear's face to give it some depth. A little here, a little there, and bear #1's head was finished. And you know what? I love this bear.

Moving on, I completed bear #2's head (another cutie!) and then stuffed both bears' paws and feet and added claws. I am now ready to move on to bear #3. And you are up to date on my progress!

There will be some new sew-in labels coming in the mail this week. I am very excited about them; my New Avenue Crew logo has been printed on Ultrasuede labels. When they arrive, I will sew one into the back seam on each of the three bears' bodies and will be able to joint their heads and limbs to their bodies, stuff them, and sew the openings closed. But can I complete all three bears in time for the show? I sure hope so! I am determined to have three sweet Christmas-inspired bears to present to you.

Remember to visit the online Teddies Worldwide show and sale website on Saturday, November 20. Look for the link to Debora Hoffmann and New Avenue Crew, because this blog is NOT where the bear show is being held. If you would like a reminder e-mail from me, you can sign up for my mailing list in the sidebar at right. I hope you'll drop in to visit me and my bears during the show, and I hope you'll like my new Crew members!

Oh, and one more teddy bear tidbit: I updated my blog header last night. What do you think?