Tuesday, December 30, 2008

two little fishies swimming in a pool...

I had fun doing this little grouping earlier this winter and put it up into my etsy shop.... but when my son came home for a visit, he asked for them. So my little fishies will be sitting on his new desk in his new office (promotion!). That makes me feel good! When we visit him in Atlanta this February I will see them there!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

it's catching

I guess when you make a new winter coat for one bear... the others take a look and want one too! So here is Rojo ready to sled down our tiny hill in the backyard in his new hoodie jacket.
All the local schools are closed.... because it's SNOWING!!! It wasn't supposed to until tonight! We headed out to the grocery store and the library to stock up on milk etc. and stuff to read. I'm not going to be "housebound" without new books to read!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wilfred decided he just had to have a felt jacket with fuzzy trim like the other bears... so here he is!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

100 "Hearts Me"

100 people have "Hearted Me" on my etsy shop!!! I have to figure out how to celebrate. ... a raffle perhaps...or a giveaway? Suggestions? Put it in the comments.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

new ornaments

Here are some of the latest ornaments... they range from 4.5 inch in total length to 7 inches

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmasy bears

One of the groups I belong to has been talking about Christmas bears using the colors burgundy and forest green.. So I went digging through my stash and came across some dense burgundy mohair and some sage green with brown backing..... and some forest green wool fabric. Tommy... the little guy above used up the last bit of burgundy. He and his "sister" are on Bearpile. Francie isn't the same except for the materials I used... I am pleased with both of them!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

ornaments are leaving...

These little guys and the reindeer are heading to new homes...Abilene, Ks., Wichita, Ks. and New York City! Another is in the works for Wichita! It is to be a surprise ( the buyers words!).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reindeer ornament

I really had fun felting this guy. I'm not sure how much he looks like a reindeer but no one can say I didn't try. He has German glass eyes, scrapbook elements and lilac bush twigs for antlers.
I put him up in my etsy shop.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mohair Divas

a new network site for artist bears has just been started! I've signed up and put a link on the side bar... Mohair Divas

I've been working on needle felted Christmas ornaments... they're up on etsy and my website ( holiday stuff). The first one has sold, but others are available.

If you have any ideas for ornaments... email me through the "contact me" link to the right!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

starting this year's Christmas ornaments

I just put my first Christmas ornament up on etsy! I'm pleased with his quirky face. My daughter thought I couldn't needle felt a 'carrot' nose but I did. More are coming and just like the pumpkins... each will be different!

Friday, October 17, 2008

new button

In case you hadn't noticed... I now have a contact me button on the right side bar. This is thanks to another blogger. I happened to come across her "tutorial" while surfing.
So.. use this button to email me anytime!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another Frosty!

I finished another Frosty last night. This is a new pattern... 10 inches tall and very big feet and BIG belly! I discovered a piece of mohair in my stash from Haida ( no longer in business). It's very distressed and different from mohair from Intercal or Edinburgh... but easy to work with and the end result was "kool"...
I put him up on BearPile .

Friday, October 10, 2008

drawing on another blog

Found this neat site for prims... and they're having a drawing for some great stuff... just right or this time of year.. here's the link!

Monday, October 6, 2008

another bear...

Summer is over even if the weather has been gorgeous lately. The urge to make bears has come upon me. I was "window shopping" through my stash of mohair and came across this nice big piece of long dense curly mohair..... deciding that a BIG bear was just the ticket, I set to work. Jimmie is the result. I had visions of an elaborate Christmasy collar and hat, but I remember a scarf and hat that I hat knit earlier. Finding it suited Jimmie to a "t"...so here he is!
I've put him on BearPile.

My ideas for Christmas are still percolating around in my head. They way my hands are feeling after working on Jimmie, most of them will be smaller.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Next Holiday season...

After making over 30 pumpkins my dh said, "Stop! You're getting obsessed!" So I did...I miss their quirky faces, but there will be another Halloween , next year.
So what's next. Christmas... here are the first of the 2008 season. I am still thinking about this year's ornaments. Suggestions are always welcome.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Munchkin's ready for the Great Pumpkin....

Munchkin's ready to sit out in Charlie Brown's pumpkin patch to wait for the "Great Pumpkin"!
To see him, go to my website or to BearPile. Guess what!? PayPal pending for Munchkin! At least that is what the email indicated... but I've waited and waited and no word. So Munchkin is available again.....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Omaha show

We left in the wee hours of the morning to drive up to Omaha for a small doll and bear show... its held in the Fireman's Union Hall on Grover Street. By small I mean three bear tables and maybe 20 doll ones.... but i really enjoy it. I meet great new people... see great returnees... and talk with great table holders. I don't sell enough to make me rich, but enough to justify 3 hours up and three hours back! Plus lots of nice compliments!!!
So hooray for Elaine's Omaha Doll and Bear Show!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Our Tennessee Groh family reunion went very well! We haven't had a big one, well... big for us, since 2003. We returned home last night...
Obviously there hasn't been much bear making going on.... but I did plunge back in this morning. I am getting ready for the Omaha Doll Show on Sunday . It's being held in the Fire Hall, 6005 Grover St.,Omaha, NE. It's small but a fun one for me. I will be taking the rest of the pumpkins with us...the total, so far, is up to 29! They've been so much fun. I'm also taking Emma, see above.... She's a big bear, over 22 inches.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

KC Jubilee

It was a lot of fun... the Big Bear has left my living room. She and her cub were auctioned off to benefit Good Bears of the World . They brought a tidy sum...I think the winner was set on having her!
The banquet was great.... food was good, the cheesecake desert bar was fantabulous and seeing people that I hadn't seen since last year was the best part.
The show/sale was good.... John Lamb, the teddy bear mystery writer, bought Pepper. Wild West Charlie won a third place ribbon in the competition! But the pumpkins stole the show... they started leaving during set up and it didn't stop till they were all gone!
We will be off to Tennessee for a family reunion on the 20th but back in time for a small doll and bear show in Omaha, NE. on Sunday the 28th!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bill Boyd's Kansas City Jubilee

if it stops pouring we'll be loading up the cars and heading out to the KCI Expo for tomorrow's bear show sale. Set-up is this afternoon followed by the banquet and auction....
Hopefully I'll see some of you there!

Friday, September 5, 2008

New bear...

well... not totally new but with a new look. Just "HAD TO" after I found this neat witch's hat!

I am still making pumpkins... I've already used up more wool than I thought I'd need. I've used two plus boxes of RIT dye and just bought two more.

By the way... my grand daughter Lili wanted to take this bear home with her... the moment she saw him, down he came and into her arms. Luckily I didn't have to say "no"... her mother beat me to it!

UPDATE!!! Hal will be moving to New Mexico along with two other bears!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

pumpkins...pumpkins..pumpkins and a spider

I've been having fun dying wool and making pumpkins ... and a spider. Everyone but the David Letterman look-a-like ( the middle one) has sold!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


The needle felting group I belong you has a monthly challenge... and this month's is Halloween.
Here is the first pumpkin of 2008! I think I will "alter" a small wooden cube for him to sit on. I used vintage glass eyes on wires for the eyes. They came from those mink wraps that were the whole mink... head, legs and tail! I have a jar full , leftover from the real fur bears days. I did use superglue to make sure they stay in place.
One of the needle felting challenge requirements is to list the item on etsy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fourth one

Here's my fourth little knit then wet felt basket.... and here's a new little rabbit beside it! Should I call him "Peter" after " Peter, Peter Pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn't keeper.So he kept her in a shell and there he kept her very well" ?

The basket is 4.5" in diameter, 4.5" in height and has a 2.5" opening. It fits nicely into the palms of your hands!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

new basket

This is my third basket. I learn more each time. I was amazed at how much it "shrank" and am wondering if I could have made it even smaller.
The fourth basket, which I will add after photographing it, started out bigger and more loosely knit than the first. But when it shrank, it got VERY fuzzy, though it did shrink a lot! I needle felted it to smooth it out and to give it its shape.
This whole process has proved itself to be quite engaging to me. I needed something a little different from "bears and friends"!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hickory Dickory

a new mousie... 8 inches tall! He's up on etsy.

I'm still having fun knitting and felting baskets. I think I may have finally gotten the wet felting part almost as rigid as I'd like. The only problem is that the basket keeps getting smaller and smaller each time I run it through the washing machine! My latest one is drying currently, but I will post a picture shortly.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

how about wet felting?

I fell in love with a little felted basket at a yarn shop we visited while on vacation... They didn't have a pattern, instructions or any really helpful advice.. so when I returned home it became playtime. I learned a lot... still wish it were "more felted" but I like it!
First I knit 100% wool yarn, in the round, into the basket shape. Then I added on a handle with twist... knitted in ribbing stitch for extra thickness... The came the wet felting process. After it dried, I needle felted a border and added glass beading ( see the picture to the right). It measure 4 plus inches in diameter and 5 inches to the top of the handle. The next one will be bigger! I've put it in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

not a bear

Yes... its not a bear. But I had fun felting them while at our vacation rental cottage on Keuka Lake, NY. Keuka is one of the Finger Lakes in the area south of Rochester and Syracuse. Keuka is the y-shaped one. We went to loads of wineries, swam in the lake, visited the Corning Glass Museum and took two of their hot glass workshops, climbed the gorge at Watkins Glen, visited old familiar places and generally had a great time. We even went to Hayes Auction Barn on Saturday night... we hadn't been there for over 20 years and were surprised to find they were still having the weekly auctions of "stuff"! Felting time came at night while we collapsed exhausted!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

another etsy treasury!!

Shelley has managed another treasury! Here the link. Baby Celina was the one chosen this time.

I have been working on a challenge for the NFEST team - needle felters. I had loads of fun making a tomato, carrot and peas in a pod for the "fruits and veggies" challenge. I included an inch worm as a salute to the "inch worm" song from Sesame Street.

We are headed to the Finger Lakes of central NYS this weekend for a week in a lake house rental! Since there is no Sprint for our cell phone, the chance of having WIFI access seems slim. When we were last there, there wasn't a Starbucks to be seen!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

another etsy treasury

I also belong to the needle felting team at etsy and found Miles had been selected for a needle felting treasury!
Here's the link ....I think it expires in another two days. A treasury lasts three days and this was put up yesterday (Monday 6/30)

Monday, June 30, 2008

etsy treasury

We have a treasury and a blog! Wow Shelley has been busy! Look at the treasury NOW because it expires early morning on the 3rd!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Milo... a little "newbie"

This is Milo.... I just finished him and uploaded him to my etsy shop. If you want to see him, use the link!
I hope he will be part of our new group's treasury really soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

new ideas for Etsy

I have resisted updating because I wanted as many as possible to read Bob's guest article.. but now it's time for something new.
I was contacted by Shelley Bossert of UrsaMinorMiniatures
(a fellow etsy shop owner) about setting up a team of bear artists so that we can have a team tag etc. She contacted 47 bear makers and heard back positively from seven. She's going ahead with the idea... which should make us "lots more visible"!

Monday, May 26, 2008

In Praise of Teddy Bear Show Promoters

A Guest Editorial by Bob Groh

First let me introduce myself - Bettina is my better half and I have been helping her in her teddy bear efforts forever - well, at least as long as she has been making teddy bears anyways. As a result, I have had the good fortune of making the acquaintance of many of the ladies and gentleman who organize and run the various teddy bear shows that Bettina and I participate in. It is no news that times have been rough in our little industry with a steady decrease in sales over the last 10 years or so. We've seen it, Bettina's fellow bear artists have seen it, the suppliers have seen it, the magazine publishers have seen it and certainly the show promoters have seen it.

We are all part of one big community and, frankly, we all rely on each other. With the recent withdrawal of ABC Productions, I thought it was time to state our appreciation for the often unappreciated efforts of the show promoters. The show promoters put a lot of effort and money into organizing, promoting and running the shows. A lot of the money and effort is put into the show before the doors even open up. The promoter's risk is substantial and I'm sure that, in today's environment, their risks are not always being rewarded - expenses are increasing (for space for the shows, advertising, etc), reaching the bear collector is is increasingly difficult due to fragmentation of the advertising marketplace, the number of bear artists is decreasing and the gate (i.e. the number of collectors who come to shows) is decreasing. It is, I'm sure, a losing proposition - expenses up, income down - not a recipe for success.

We in the teddy bear community need our shows! Yes, both customers and artists have alternative selling channels - the internet, eBay, etc. Yes, it is expensive for the teddy bear artists to participate in shows - table fees, transportation costs, housing and meals - all combine with decreasing sales to make it a flat out losing proposition in some cases. But we need our shows! The collectors and the artists need to be able to meet in person - the collectors to chat with the artists and actually see and feel the bears - the artists to get a chance to talk with the collectors, to see what they like, to see what turns them on, to see what other artists are doing. And, of course, to talk with the suppliers and look at the latest bear fabrics and accessories!

So what we (the teddy bear artist community) can do to help our show promoters? I would suggest the following:
  1. Try to participate in as many shows as you can. Financial considerations are, of course, important but, if you can, participate.
  2. Ask the show promoter what you can do to help! For example, some promoters are now putting on special events before the sales begin (e.g. short talks on making bears, etc) for early arrivals so maybe you can volunteer to give a talk or demonstration.
  3. Keep an eye out for opportunities to help other people (artists, suppliers, etc) setup or take down before or after the show.
  4. Get engaged with the collector's - talk with them - not just about your bears but about bears (and life) in general. Make them feel good about our little bear community.
And, finally, give your show promoter a big hug! Or at least a heartfelt thanks for putting on the show. Because, without them, our little community would be the poorer.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

April ... showers bring May flowers

April has been hard at work in her garden,,, while wearing her flowered overalls and felt gardening hat, just right to keep the sun off her face! She's up on BearPile.....if you'd like to take a look.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bright Star Atlanta show

We just finished the Atlanta show today... we had a good time. The advance tickets preshow was interesting ( even if I did give a little talk on needle felting myself!). We had a short magic show, a talk on fur bears and real furs, my needle felting talk and an interview with an artist from New Zealand. The attendees had a snack of coffee, iced tea, fruits, cheeses and luscious patries... and then they were off to look at the bears. When I get home I will set up another "slide" show so everyone can see who was there.
I visited with bear artists that I only get to see at shows and with the Atlanta collector crowd. IT WAS NICE TO CATCH UP WITH EVERYONE!
We head to Tennessee tomorrow and the TVPark/Trout farm for some family visiting. I doubt that the pool will be warm enough yet for swimming but I am determined to hike down to the bott0m to "see what's there"! My brother-in-law's place drops 300' in elevation and I 've never been down to the lowest part.

Oh yes, a bunch of bears will be staying here in Atlanta!

Friday, May 16, 2008

without MY files

Here I sit down in Atlanta without my "stuff".... so no new pictures for the blog. I will be adding them when we get home.
The Bright Star Atlanta show is Sunday and I brought most of my bears along. I finished a little "Georgia Peanut" bear the other day. He has the wildest needle felted muzzle and the goofiest grin. I am working on another Georgia bear while my husband and son play XBox games! Hope to see some blog readers at the show!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rory wants to be a cowboy

Rory's new clothes and his little hobby horse.

I really had fun with Rory's little hobby horse. Its made from vintage mohair with German glass eyes , fancy perle cotton reins , Ultrasuede ears and a needle felted mane. Its stuffed with polyester fiberfill and has been sewn and glued to its "stick" which has a wooden ball on the end.
Its really small ... Rory is less than 9 inches tall.
By the way, the fancy perle cotton embellishes the cowboy hat at well!

Monday, April 14, 2008

lunch anyone?

I just had to try needle felting some sushi! I dyed some wool felt dark green for the seaweed! And used colored wool rovings for the veggie strips... and a highly textured white roving for the rice. For a little added interest, I sewed on some tiny back beads for black sesame seeds.
It was fun! I did wonder whether or not to put a puddle of "soy sauce" on the plate... still haven't really made up my mind....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April .... new little bear

I've just finished this new little bear. She's 6 inches tall and comes with her own display box - an altered candy box! You can find her on BearPile . This is as small as I can manage... unless I needle felt.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Had fun with this little guy ( Rory).... I felted over the muzzle after cutting off all the mohair. He looks like he's laughing at all of us. He's rather small...8.75 inches and I weighted him with glass beads so he's a handful!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New look to needle felted face

I named this little guy "Miles" because he looks like he's full of smiles. The new part ... is the adding of a black edging around the mouth and bottom lip and the adding of a pink tongue. I also added some black felting within the mouth. All in all... I'm happy with him

Friday, March 28, 2008


I removed the scrapbooking slide and added one with bears....

Check out my Slide Show!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I discovered "slide" on another blog and since I can't figure out how to put it on my personal blog... I put it up on my Glass Dragon one! I used my digital scrapbook pages. Maybe next time I'll use some of my older bear pictures!

Friday, March 21, 2008


I am working on new patterns... and this little guy is my latest. He's a sparse matted mohair... and rather skinny. Mine are usually dense mohair and chubby! But, I really like how he came out. I put him up on BearPile this morning ... so we'll see what happens.

My half-dozen needle felted Easter eggs sold on etsy.com and were mailed to Washington State!
Then yesterday, the large egg was highlighted on a "treasury". Fantastic!

Monday, March 17, 2008

LiliBear... my March 2008 Bear of the Month

When I bought this fabric from Dale of Bear Street at the St. Louis Bright Star show, all I could think of was my grand daughter's red tangly hair. Not that hers is really this color... but the connection was there. So I had to make a new pattern and named her after Lili!
My husband liked the idea of a Bear of the Month... so there's a new page on my website. LiliBear will be my first... the March 2008 Bear of the Month.

I also sent her picture to Scalliwag's Scribbles Bear of the Month blog ... link is on the side bar.

Friday, March 14, 2008

new bear look

This is Floyd ( no, Laurel not named after your Floyd. I just liked the name!) He has a different look from my usual bears. I used a very nice soft tipped mohair. I'll be putting him up on Bearpile shortly.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bear a month

Scallywags Scribbles wrote decrying the declines in the bear world and suggested that bear people make a bear a month . She will post them on her new blog... "Bear a Month". I decided that I would take the challenge.... not that I don't normally make one, but one just for this . I have linked it so any reader can check it out.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

new needle felting technique

I was reading a craft magazine at the library the other day . It mentioned needle felting but not the usual "take a hunk of roving and felt it until it reaches the size and shape you want" but rather applying wool roving to a Styrofoam shape and using the felting needle to attach it. I immediately rejected the idea... but later decided maybe it was worth a try. This egg is the result of that. There's a Styrofoam egg inside but the flower and vines are applied in the "regular" way! It certainly is lighter and uses a lot less wool. I have been experimenting with making more traditional Easter eggs - stripes, polka dots, a felted ribbon bow and so on. Its been fun.