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Friday, January 27, 2012

Meet the Crew's Studio Manager: Sebring Austin Slater

Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I would like to introduce you to New Avenue Crew's sweet, ultra-cuddly, no-nonsense studio manager: Sebring Austin Slater. I love this guy!


(This introduction is long overdue; I've been keeping Sebring to myself for far too long. You'll see what I mean by "far too long" when I tell you his story.)

It all started with an idea for a big bear, a new pattern design, and some luscious wavy batik mohair. In the picture below, you can see the batik mohair in the bottom right corner. (As always, if you want a closer view, click on the photo.)


Did I forget to tell you when I started work on Sebring? Sorry about that. It was in 2002. Ten years ago. And I didn't finish him completely until late 2010...if I'm remembering right. That's a long time for a bear to wait to be finished! Sebring is definitely a patient fellow.

I had an idea for a bigger bear pattern and set to work on it. I designed the head, ears, and body, and then I laid out the gorgeous batik mohair and traced and cut out the pieces. It was a flurry of activity: I sewed, stuffed, trimmed, embroidered, and otherwise finished Sebring and then came to a halt. No arms. No legs. Just Sebring's head attached to an envelope of a body. I loved him right away, but I was stumped because I found that I had made his body too large. Uh-oh!


During this time, I took a few years' hibernation from bear making. When I started making bears again, I still didn't know quite what to do for poor Sebring. He watched as more bears were completed and adopted. But finally--finally!--in about 2009 or 2010, I decided I had to remove his head from his body (while he was under anesthesia, of course) and make his body smaller. This was no small feat, but once it was done, I felt so much better, and he looked so much better. Of course, there was still the issue of him having no arms and legs because I had never designed them.

So I set to work again and made his arms and legs. I'm certain he was relieved! I attached them to his body with joints (discs, bolts, and locknuts), and then commenced stuffing him. I was delighted to see him sitting up for the first time.

About this time, I was creating bears for an online show and thought I would offer Sebring for adoption during the show. Here he is with sweet Cinnamon.


I even had his photos and description as part of my show site--but before I went to bed the night before the show, I found that I just couldn't sell Sebring! So I removed him from the show site and went to bed, thrilled that he would be staying with me as my studio manager. (Sebring is only the third bear I have kept in my 15 years of creating New Avenue Crew. You can see J. Cub, a bear I made in 1997, on the mantel in the photo below.)


Now, Sebring usually watches over the smaller bears as they're being created and keeps them out of the honey jar. I have used his pattern again; Sprout, the green springtime bear, was the result. Here is a group picture. It is not often that so many Crew members are together at one time, so this is a rare photo.


I hope you've enjoyed meeting Sebring!

18 comments:

  1. Sebring, welcome to Blog Land. A beary interesting thing has been happening - Funny Friday is becoming a little "elite" teddy bear club. There are 4 of us now.

    Any chance you could join in the fun? Ask Miss Debora in a sweet little teddy voice. Giggle.

    Hugs,
    Prudence

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  2. Aww, love the new studio manager :o)

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  3. Oh he is so lovely! Just perfect!

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  4. welcome Sebring, have a happy time helping other new baby in the New Avenue Crew studio.

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  5. Welcome to join the studio, Sebring. You looks mature.

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  6. Oh hello Debora,
    sooo a long time I read nothing from you and your wonderful bears, so I was very happy to read from Sebring. He is really fantastic and this story, great :)
    I wish you and your family a very nice year 2012 and many warmly beary hugs from Germany
    nicole

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  7. Hi Debora
    I can SO see why you don't want to part with him. He is absolutely beautiful, It's funny how a bear can really find a special place in your heart. For me, I have a bear called Cheekie who was an early prototype for my realistic bears. He is a polar bear with a very large hump. His proportions are all wrong, but he has the most wonderful, heartwarming smile and I could never part with him.

    Hugs

    Sue

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  8. Sebring is definitely worth the wait. After reading his story, I was surprised when you reported that he was in line for adoption ... then when you decided to keep him, I was relieved. He belongs to you. And for him to be designated "Studio Manager;" it's perfect. Thanks for the visit into your teddy bear world again. Hugs, Vicki

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  9. Hi Debora, I have just found your bears and I really want to tell you how delightful they are. They have such endearing faces, I love them.
    Hugs
    Kay

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  10. Love your bears! Beautiful! They are all amazing!
    Bear hugs,
    Carol

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  11. Hi Debora,
    thanks for stopping by stickers and stuff.
    It looks like Creative Accidents has closed up shop :(
    You might like this ring - (I know its not a bear but its incredibly cute)
    http://us.asos.com/ASOS-Bunny-Ears-Ring/wrzfu/?iid=1723426&r=1&mk=na&mporgp=Lw..

    Adorable bears by the way.
    Have a fabulous day.

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    1. Thank you, Stickers! (Or should I call you Stuff?) ;o) I appreciate your sharing the bunny ring; it's darling. I am bummed about the bear ring, but maybe I'll find something similar one day. I'm glad you like my bears! That makes me smile. Happy Monday to you!

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  12. Debora, Hello Thank you for visiting my blog :) A wonderful story about a bear, waiting his time appear in all their glory throughout the world. The bear is fine and all of your adorable bears, I like your author's style :) Nice to meet you. Greetings from Ukraine (Kiev).

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    1. Зарина, привет! It is nice to meet you, too. Our daughters are from Ukraine; we were in Kiev for about a week in 2009. I am happy that you like my bears and my blog. :o) Hugs to you!

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  13. Какие чудные,милые,добрые мишки.Ох и люблю же я их!

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    1. Большое спасибо за ваши комментарии, Ленточка. Я счастлива, что Вы любите моих плюшевых медвежат! :o)

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We love getting comments here in the Crew studio. Thank you for taking a peek at New Avenue Crew and leaving us your calling card. Blessings and bear hugs to you!