Saturday, April 23, 2011

Springtime with Kalinka and Malinka

I have been wanting to share the story of sweet springtime sisters Kalinka and Malinka with you. I was inspired to create them by the lively Russian folk song Kalinka,* which is about a garden in bloom. Sometimes I'm inspired by things and people right here in my home. Our daughters are from Ukraine, and their first language is Russian, so the Ukrainian/Russian culture is a good source of inspiration for me.

Kalinka (Калинка in Russian, pronounced ka-LEEN-ka) means little snowball tree blossom. I created Kalinka from beautiful soft ivory kid mohair. She is lovely to hold! Kalinka's sister is named Malinka (Малинка in Russian, pronounced ma-LEEN-ka), which means little raspberry blossom. Raspberry blossoms made me envision a bear in pink, so I created Malinka from pink wavy distressed mohair. She is a sweetie.

*Here is the song Kalinka sung by Nikolai Baskov. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm Tickled Pink: An Interview

I'm not one who likes to toot my own horn, but I do love to share my bears and my life with you. I'm tickled pink today because Chrissie of I Love Teddies interviewed me and has put the resulting article on her site! Thank you, Chrissie!

This is such a thrill for me; it's the second article about me and the Crew that's been published in the nearly 15 years I've been creating my bears. I am humbled that someone was interested in learning a bit more about me and my little guys.

I hope you'll drop in to visit I Love Teddies and read the interview. Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Then and Now

See the photo above? Garth found it today and scanned it into his computer. I just love it! It was taken 11 years ago this month (April 2000). It hardly seems possible that so much time has passed! Let me tell you a little about the picture. (You can click on it to see it larger.)

The blond bear in the foreground is Trudi. Early in 2000, I created a pattern I called Bear 2000. The first bear from that pattern is named Trua, and she looks very similar to Trudi. The bears from that pattern had the look I had been wanting to create since I started New Avenue Crew in 1996! The pile of black fur and the tiny pile of golden fur next to me on the ottoman became Gunnison (pictured down near the bottom of the right-hand sidebar), also a Bear 2000 bear.

Behind me (yes, that really is me!) is Garth's setup for painting. We were newly married, and this was our first apartment. We had the living room set up for painting and bear making--it was our very first studio. I really enjoyed our time creating together! And to my left, out the window, was a balcony, and beyond was the Santa Ana River (we lived in Southern California). We were able to watch so many different varieties of birds visiting the riverbed, such as cormorants and falcons and pelicans. Beautiful!

And above is a picture of me in our home in Colorado. I'm pictured with Sprout; he is such a sweet, cuddly bear. I finished him in early March of this year, and he was adopted during the Blooming Bear Show. He is not a Bear 2000 bear, but I suppose you could call his pattern Bear 2010!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Little Birdie Told Me...

...that it's somebunny's birthday tomorrow! Happy, happy birthday to my sweet, talented, rabbit-loving friend Michelle (Shell) May of the Raspberry Rabbits! Much love and many blessings to you on your birthday and always, Shell! (Why not hop on over and visit her little corner of the blogosphere? Her creations are darling, and so are her rabbits, Sugie and Sir Harrington.)

You're also invited to hop on over to birthday party central to see everyone's birthday wishes for Shell.

This is just a little sketch I was inspired to do last year.
Two of my friends love bunnies, and one of them also loves dragonflies.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Only 6 Hours Left in the Blooming Bear Show!

It has been a lovely show so far. There are so many beautiful bears! Two of my Crew members are still available for adoption:



These sweet sisters are both 13.5 inches (34.3 cm) tall. They are both so wonderful to hug and carry around. My sister came over yesterday and bonded with them in real life, especially with Kalinka.

To see more about Kalinka and Malinka, pop on over to the Blooming Bear Show at and look for Debora Hoffmann, New Avenue Crew. See you there!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's Showtime!

Ladies and gentlemen, the biggest online bear show has started! Click here or on the banner above to visit the website. Be sure to look for Sprout (below) and my name, Debora Hoffmann, New Avenue Crew. There are three spring-themed Crew members available for adoption. Enjoy the show!

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Almost Showtime!

The Blooming Bear Show starts tomorrow, Saturday, March 12. I am excited to show you the three sweet bears I've been working so hard on! To see my Crew members and the bears by 74 other talented artists from 12 countries, click on the website link. Today, you'll see the preview photos. Tomorrow, the photos or names will be live links to each artist's creations. Look for Sprout (below) and my name, Debora Hoffmann, New Avenue Crew!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sneak Preview for the Blooming Bear Show

I am so excited to introduce you to cuddly Sprout, a bear with lovely light green and ivory mohair! He is one of the three spring-themed Crew members who I will be offering for adoption during the online Teddies Worldwide Blooming Bear Show coming up March 12 and 13. (To see the other artists' sneak peeks of their bears, visit the show website. How fun to see creations by 75 international artists in one place.)

I've been working hard on creating my bears these last few months, and I can't wait to share them with you during the show. Less than two weeks to go now! I hope you'll visit the Blooming Bear Show--did I mention it's all online?--and maybe you'll even find a cuddly friend or two!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Show Preview on Tuesday

I've been working diligently on my bears for the upcoming online Blooming Bear Show...and it's been hard to not share them with you! (We're to keep our bears under wraps until the show opens on March 12.) But on Tuesday, March 1, I'll be able to show you a preview of one of my bears. Can't wait! And the other artists in the show will also have a preview photo of their creations to share on the show website.

I'm off to finish sewing on an ear. Ta-ta for now!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I've Fallen Off the Face of the Earth!

I've been quiet here on the blog lately, but I haven't really fallen off the face of the earth. I am just working hard on my bears for the upcoming online Teddies Worldwide Blooming Bear Show happening March 12 and 13. Did I mention that it's online? Yes, you can visit in your pajamas, if you like! I would love for you all to visit me here in the New Avenue Crew studio, but since we live in such diverse places around the world, visiting online is the next best thing.

Speaking of visiting online...from all around the world...I love seeing where you all come from. There's a fancy free gadget that will do just that for your own site: Google Analytics. I live here in Colorado, and it's a thrill to see visitors coming from as far away as Brazil, India, and Russia, as well as from here in the States and in Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Israel, Singapore--what fun!

So what am I making? I am not able to show them to you yet, but I can tell you a few things about them. I'm creating three bears with a spring theme for the show. It has been nice to think of spring and its warmer weather, new growth, and lovely pastel colors during these cold winter months. Spring is definitely something to look forward to! Today I'm working on stuffing, and then I hope to start trimming one of the bear's faces so I can start to see him emerge from all that fur. It is always fun (and a little nerve-racking) to work on a bear's face. With a trim here and a stitch there, a face and a personality slowly come to "life."

Here are two of the bears I made for the November online Teddies Worldwide show: Goldenstern and Cinnamon. This is when I had finished cutting them out of the mohair fabric and assembled their parts to get a glimpse of what they would look like when they were all complete. It's fun to watch bears go from flat to fluffy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Avenue Crew Is Published

I'm excited that Small Town Living has included an article about me and New Avenue Crew in its online publication! What an honor. And if my memory serves me correctly, this is the first time I've been "published" (I wrote the article myself). I hope you'll read the article and let me know what you think!

Photos of Crew members have appeared in a few teddy bear magazines before, which was such a thrill for me. If you take a peek at the right-hand sidebar, you'll see a small section called Where You May Have Seen New Avenue Crew that lists those appearances as well as the shows I've done, both in-person and online. I would love to meet you all in person, but for now, the World Wide Web will have to do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I must confess that I'm lacking somewhat in the motivation department of late. Maybe it's the colder winter weather. Maybe it's the days that get light so late and dark so early. Maybe it's just me.

Yesterday, I received a nice package from a friend of mine, and inside were all manner of trims and trinkets. Many of them can be adornments for my bears! I know I'll have such fun mixing and matching. Thank you so much, Anna!

So I'm still not completely motivated, but I think I'll turn off this computer and start trimming seams on the bear I finished sewing recently. I'm eager to see what she'll look like. She'll be one of my Crew members for the online Blooming Bear show coming up in March. Can't wait! (OK, I guess there's a little motivation there, after all.)