Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's a Blog Party: Where Bloggers Create II

The time has come for a blog party...a very big blog party! Welcome to Where Bloggers Create II, hosted by Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage. (Note: There is now a blog that archives all the party participants' blog posts so you can visit them whenever you like: Where Bloggers Create.)

I am so glad you dropped in for a visit. Come on in, and I'll show you where I create! But first, let me tell you just what it is that I create.

I design and hand make original soft sculpture teddy bears and other works in my home studio. Though they are not meant for children because of the small parts, I hope the members of New Avenue Crew remind you of the joyful parts of your childhood and help you remain a kid at heart. (Pictured above is Herr Grünhosen, one of my favorites, who was adopted by a lovely lady.)

And now, on to our tour!

Out here in the Wild, Wild West of Colorado, there are wide open spaces for wide open thinking. I enjoy this bright, sunny room and its mostly empty floor space for thinking about new designs, occasional sewing, stuffing bears, oh, and...

...spreading out.

Here you can see many of my pieces of mohair and alpaca, which is the "fur" I use for my bears. These fabrics feel so lush and soft.

Sometimes ideas come just from seeing and feeling a piece of mohair and its texture, color, and finish. (Mohair fabric is made from the hair of the angora goat. The goat is shorn, and the hair is cleaned and carded much like wool would be. Then it is spun and woven into a cotton backing before being treated to a dye bath and texturing techniques.)

I have had this particular piece of mohair for many years. Holding it makes me think I would like to make a sweet, traditional-styled bear from it.

And then there are the bold colors. This orangy one makes me think: clown bear.

Most of the time, my mohair stash is kept neatly folded in boxes. But it is fun to spread out on occasion!

Come on in to the family room and my favorite chair.

Here, I can draw out my ideas and sketch and doodle away. Drawing is a lifelong pastime for me. You'll often see me here accompanied by a cup of tea and a bear or two. I've even been known to stuff bears here, and you can occasionally find me sitting on the floor surrounded by bags of stuffing, plastic pellets, and excelsior (wood wool), bear and stuffing tools at hand.

Let's climb the stairs now. I understand if you're a little winded at the top; we live at approximately 6,700 feet above sea level!

This is the loft, where many ideas become reality. I work on my sketches here, draw out pattern pieces, cut the pieces from fur, and write my blog. (I also work here full-time as a proofreader for a fabulous advertising firm, Garrigan Lyman.) Of course, my desk isn't always so neat and tidy.

It usually looks a little more like this when I'm in the middle of an idea session. You should see it when the fur's flying!

The loft is also a favorite place to get down on the floor with fabrics and stuffing materials and to be inspired by the old playthings that belonged first to my uncle (the big bear) and my mother before I played with them as a child. I remember taking Uncle Bill's bear out to the sandbox with me. Such a patient bear! Yes, the Steiff truck is new--from the '80s?--as is the little brown bear, but they belong together. And the coat? I believe my mom made it when she was a girl. My dollies wore it when I was young.

Let's wander down the hall to what's officially known around our house as "the studio." I share this space with my sweet husband, who likes to paint landscape paintings when he has the chance. (You can see one of his paintings above my favorite chair, above.)

Here, armed with my trusty Pfaff Hobby sewing machine, I sew my bears' parts. (A bit of trivia for you: a basic traditionally styled teddy bear typically has 21 pieces that need to be sewn together.) After a few frustrating years of using hand-me-down sewing machines that liked to create huge thread balls on the back of my mohair, my wonderful husband bought me this Pfaff shortly after we were married. Bless his heart!

Teddy bears need a lot of hand sewing, too: embroidering the nose, attaching the ears, closing the body and limbs after stuffing, and more. You can find me in any of these spots around the house doing handwork if there's enough light. And sometimes, I'll sew outside in the sunshine.

Back in the loft with sweet Logan the bear is where we'll part--for now. Very soon, I'll share Logan's special story with you here on the blog. And, I'm excited to say, I'll also be offering a few of my bears for adoption very soon. Three of them have made appearances in this blog post. They just couldn't pass up such a fun party.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to New Avenue Crew's studio. We sure enjoyed having you! Please feel free to make yourself comfortable and stay for a while. (Here is the link to the full New Avenue Crew blog. We hope you'll become a follower and come back to visit often!) And be sure to visit the archived party blog so you can see more places where bloggers create. Thank you, Karen, for putting together such a fun event!


  1. Hi Debora,

    Thank you for the "grand tour". Prudence, Sister and I sat and read every word and love all the pictures.

    Thank you for sharing.

    The 3 of us

  2. I loved the tour! I'm jealous at your mohair stash, so many beautiful pieces. I am anxiously awaiting the release of a couple of bruins. I just adore your bears. Logan is a dream of a sweet face. Thanks for sharing this!! You have a lovely home!

  3. I must begin with saying how lovely your teddy bears are. Such classic beauty and style. And what a great place to spread out your mohair! I can do that but then you can't walk around! ha ha!

    It's been a treat seeing where and how you work! Thanks for stopping by my place too.


  4. Hi Debora!

    Thank you, that you've shown us your studio. I enjoyed every word and every picture. Your home ist lovely!

    Bear Hugs


  5. What a talented woman you are! I am envious of all that lovely space! Your creations are amazing! Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse of your creative space and of your life! Come by and visit me!


  6. OH so cute! Love the Teddy bears! Great post and space!

  7. Great tour Debora! The news bear crew that's on its way look beautiful. The painting your husband did is fabulous! And ooooooh all that wonderful delicious mohair! Love that front room too with all that light and astounding high ceiling witch is fantastic for the creative brain! Had a great time here this morning sharing your space, thanks.

  8. I use to make teddy bears. Love how they each take on their own personalites. So, enjoyed my visit with you. Enjoy the rest of the party.

  9. It's nice to meet you. Your bears are just wonderful! Your space looks so nice and roomy and light. We visit Colorado almost every year and just love it. How fortunate that you can work from home! Connie

  10. just can say "wow"! your bears are so wonderfull! love your style very much! best wishes.

  11. Loved seeing your creative space! Your bears are terrific! The mohair is to die for!
    Queen Bee Studio

  12. Everyone, thank you so much for dropping in to visit and for your sweet comments. I am so touched that you like my bears and that you've enjoyed your visit to my creative space. I wish I could have an open house where you could all come and visit in person. Wouldn't we have a grand time?

    Blessings and bear hugs to you!

  13. So fun to see the process you go through!

  14. Loved the tour of your space! And the little bear just too adorable!
    Best wishes,

  15. What a wonderfully creative space!

    I adore your storage solutions. They have inspired me.

  16. I love your little bears! Looks like you have lots of space to work with! :)


  17. Thank you for your lovely comments, ladies! I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit and that you like my bears and creative space. Come back anytime!

  18. Hi Debora,

    It was lovely to come and visit you and see your wonderful home, work space and some gorgeous New Avenue Crew bears.
    Thank you for kindly showing us around.
    I hope all is well with you.

    Happy week

  19. I love that you work all over the house! Your bears are just adorable. Thanks for sharing your space with us.

  20. What a wonderful blog! Thank you for telling me about it...I really loved your tour and WHAT a mohair stash you have! Your bears are breathtaking!
    Bear Hugs and Blessings,
    Bramblewood Bears

  21. Hi Debora! So glad you made it to the party! I love your creations! They are so fantastic! A wide open space is good for the mind. ;)
    Hugs to you my friend!

  22. Your bears are adorable! Sitting surrounded by mohair has to be so much fun too. Thank you for having us over.

  23. Ladies, thank you so much for your generous comments. I am honored that you like my little bears! And it is indeed fun to play in the mohair. Reminds me just a wee little bit of visiting Edinburgh Imports back in the '90s...sigh...

    So glad you could visit my home studio! Come back anytime.

  24. Your bears are adorable and what a lovely, bright and spacious house to create in!


  25. Debora your bears are some of the sweetest I have ever seen! Believe it or not, even thought I don't have any place that is empty like you do, I can totally understand the pleasure of laying things out in a wide open space. Thank you so much for sharing your special places to create. I really enjoyed seeing them all.
    My Desert Cottage

  26. Hi Debora
    What a great tour - loved to see all you inspiring mohair and to see where you sit and create.
    Wishing you a wonderful sunday
    xo Tina

  27. I love the photos you took to depict where you create. And your mohair bears are amazing!

  28. Wow! How grand is that, Debora! I loved peeking in on your lovely surroundings and most of all loved the glorious light! I'm glad you let me know about this so that I could enjoy your wonderful posting. I don't often have time to visit around and would really like to do more of it.
    My "main machine" is a Singer that I bought shortly after Travis and I were married (36 years ago) for less than $100. I later bought a wonderful computer machine, but sent that with my daughter when she moved to Pennsylvania. The old one is an extension of me! Now, however, I do most everything by hand. I've shared feelings about that with other hand sewers and realize that, technically, I'm moving backwards, but feel that my heart travels through my fingers into the stitches. Hand sewing is very portable as well so I usually have a little bag of sewing with me wherever I go!
    Your home is so wonderfully bright and tidy! No wonder those wonderful bears are born there. I especially like the shot of the little smiling bear in profile! Thanks again for the tour!
    Lotsa hugs,

  29. I loved the tour around to all your favourite spots! Your bears are utterly charming and have so much personality. I like how you are able to be so miobile in your work!

  30. Oh I want your design space! Actually, I want the space full stop lol Wouldn't mind any of the bears either... :o)

  31. adorable bears-thanks for the tour!

  32. I've been admiring all your adopted bears on your sidebar ~ they are all wonderful! I had no idea there were that many pieces to sewing a bear. It is amazing how they come together.

  33. First, your bears are EXQUISITE.. beautiful and adorable all wrapped into one. And if I followed this tour closely, you pretty much have the run of the house as your creating space! Thanks for the tour!Xo, sue

  34. Beary wonderful creations! Thank you for sharing your creative haven.

  35. Thank you, Debora, for lovely tour through the studio - very inspirational, ocean of colours, sunny studio.
    Your bears so adorable.

  36. Your bears are so sweet. I get a sense of peace from you, your bears and your home. Thank you for sharing it!

  37. Your bears are lovely and so are your spaces. I love all the open space.

  38. Everyone, thank you so much for your lovely comments! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed your tour and that you like my little bears! This is a big encouragement to me to continue creating and using my wide-open spaces to their best advantage. (I had no idea so many would crave a space for spreading out. What I thought was a mostly empty room really does come in handy!)

    Blessings and bear hugs to you all! I hope you'll come back to visit again!


  39. Oh I wish I had all of that space! You looked so small in the pix by yourself. I could most definately fill er up.... LOve your bears too!

    BTW~ I am having a giveaway to celebrate the 30 day anniversary of my blog... Yes, only 30 days! I would love it if you would come by and visit at Hope to see you there~ Sherry

  40. Thank you, Sherry, for your nice comments! I am learning to enjoy my bright open spaces, even though my desk gets to be so crowded when I'm working on bears and sketches, LOL!

  41. Wow - your bears are simply gorgeous! Loved reading the story Geneva and Logan and seeing all your beautiful work.

    You are so lucky to have such an amazing open area to dream and spread out in! It's fun to imagine all those creative thoughts swimming around in the two-story space. :D

  42. Really gorgeous and well laid out space. I love all the colors and the bright airy feel as well as all the goodies and eye candy. That little golden carriage container is just the BESTEST!
    Thanks for sharing!

  43. I have been ‘hovering’ and meaning to join since before it started! Wow…talk about a procrastinator! And busy Momma….Whew! I’m in!

  44. Oooh I LOVED seeing your creative spaces Debora!! Absolutely gorgeous rooms and all that beautiful mohair! Wow!! Loved this tour!! :) Warmest wishes and lots of hugs, Kimi


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!