Monday, 3 February 2014

A new year, new approaches.

Well, that was certainly a frantic end to 2013! Several astoundingly successful craft fairs, and one disastrous Bear fair, leaving me with only about 20 bears at the end of the year, which is barely enough to make the stand look interesting!   Above is 'Noah', the first of my new pattern for this year, he only sits about 2 inches high, so quite pleased with how the proportions of the mohair fitted the design. Aiming for bigger, more interesting feet, and more impressive noses this year.  Have also started making some rather larger bears again, using split pin joints throughout, as my poor hands can't cope with the accuracy required with a long needle for buttons!

'Guthrie' is my largest bear in a long time, sitting about 5.5 inches tall. He's partly filled with pellets and steel shot, so he's quite a saggy, cuddly little handful!   I have draughted a pattern for one larger still, but don't yet have big enough joints for it - that's a purchase for my first bear fair of the year, on March 30th, at the Park Inn, Telford.  I have also been playing with some hand dyed mohair from Barabara Ann Bears, which is a bit more expensive, but so worth it! As well as the beautiful, mingled colours, the washing of the mohair fabric gives it such a soft 'handle' - very sensual bears!

This is 'Larch' in one of the hand dyed mohairs, I love the subtle colours, don't you? He is from the same pattern as Guthrie, and about the same size, but without the pellets. I love the zingy green backing.  I am also making a few dolls, which I will be taking to Telford on the 30th March, 'Primavera' is the first.

 They are similar to, but smaller than the dolls I made a year ago, as I found the larger size difficult to accomodate, and I think my customers may have the same problem?!

'Winter Warmer' is also partly made from one of the hand dyed mohairs, which takes a bit of the ferocity out of the red, I think. I plan to do the craft market at Cirencester on the first Saturday of each month this year - more often if Jiffy gets a job at home, but that's in the lap of fate! This will give a place where I am easy to find on a regular basis, if people feel in need of a beary cuddle! However, many of you can't get to Cirencester, and rely on seeing the bears online, so I'm looking at how best to make them available to you there. I have several ideas churning around in my head, and would appreciate your feedback on them.

While I have a website at present ( it's not an ecommerce/shopping cart site, and I'm wondering if you would find it easier to use, if I were to make the investment in a 'click & buy' arrangement? Not everyone is comfortable with emailing and having a fairly personal engagement with me, I know. Also, my present domain name is personal rather than the name of my bears, so perhaps that makes me hard to find?  The investment could be quite expensive, so another thought might be to start another 'Orkid Bears' blog, and post each bear as they're available on there? Though you would have to scroll through quite a few posts to see them all :(  I thought about just selling through Facebook, but many of you aren't on/don't like Facebook, so that idea doesn't have any legs at all!

I really would be grateful for your thoughts on this, as it's all about you, my beary friends, at bottom, and I want you to be happy with what I do.  I hope to see some of you at Cirencester or Telford, in the meantime I wish you all a wealthy, healthy and fortunate 2014!

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