Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Michele and Nancy

Hello blog friends:

It has been a long time since I have been this excited and I must admit even a bit scared to write a post!

Have you seen the movie or read the book Julie and Julia? Well... I have decided to do something similar on my blog! I am hoping that it will not only be an excellent journey for me as an artist but also for you.

I am not sure if my journey will take me 365 days but I will continue on until I am done!

For those of you who follow me on Facebook you will know that today I had a meeting with an acquaintance who has been given a fur coat. This coat was purchased for a friend of hers from a Saudi Arabian princess and she asked me to make a bear out of the coat! 

I don't work in fur and have explained this to her before but she doesn't seem to understand that there is a big difference in working with fur and working in mohair and alpaca! Well, there is a big difference and I know that! Needless to say she arrived today with the coat and in the end did not want to pay the price I required to take on the task of making a bear from the coat! So instead she has simply donated the coat to me...

Now I have read on making bears out of fur coats and I have really mixed feelings about ME making one... and although I do not condone the killing of animals for fashion and luxury I have come to terms with the fact that the vintage coats came from a different time and I would essentially be giving meaning and bringing love back to an act that was once acceptable and no longer is! If I bring a coat back to life by making it into the most loved toy in the world... I can live with that!

So in my possession I have not one but four fur coats that I have either been given or rescued myself.
I also have a wonderful book called Teddy Bears With a Past by Nancy Tillberg... so I have decided to take this book and work through it just as Julie did with Julia's. 

I will not be following Nancy's patterns, I will use my own and in the cases of patterns that have things that I have never done I will make adjustments to my own patterns to allow me to learn even more in the process! This should be an exciting and challenging experience and I will surely come out the end an even better artist. I have several of Nancy's books and have even taken a course or two in the beginning of my bear making with her online Teddy University: Ebears University

Nancy Tillberg

You can still purchase this book used through Amazon and possibly online somewhere else if you are lucky and the price ranges from $24 to $99 for a copy.

So I am going to call my posts "Fur Friday" just to give them an identifiable name! I will post on Friday each week and you will be a part of this journey in which ever way the journey is taking me.

If all goes well, by the end of this journey I will be a more well rounded artist weather I choose to work in real fur or not. At least then I will be making the choice to not work in fur or work with fur with something to base it on! Right now it is all based on fear! Hahahaha

So on Friday we will start the journey and until then this is your heads up to start following my blog now. I will not hold anything back and I will share lots of pictures and talk all about the trials and all the errors I am having! I will be sure to mention the great tips that I learn from Nancy and will put them into my real life living in a small town where access to things can sometimes be a challenge!

So as I have read this book several times over the years... I thank you Nancy for standing by me virtually while I take this journey. You are a pioneer in this business, a fellow Canadian and a wonderful business woman whom I have admired over these years working in the business myself. I can only hope that your view of me does not end up the same way as Julia's in the movie towards Julie. But if it does I am sure mine will be as Julie's was... I will still love you and be grateful for all you have shared and all you have given to this business!

Big Hugs to all and I will be back on Friday with the first "Fur Friday" post!


  1. I look forward to your new bear making journey with Nancy.

  2. Thank you Joanne! I am really excited too.

  3. I just wanted to post on here the comment Nancy left for me on The Guild of Master Bearcrafters:

    Comment by Nancy Tilberg 9 hours ago
    Delete Comment
    Hey...I wish you the very best in this undertaking and thank you for all your kind words! Very, very much appreciated. I love to hear that people enjoy and get good use from the books, using them as a springboard towards their own creative design. I have not seen the movie or read the book about the Julia's, so I have no idea how the plot ends. Might have to put that book on my ipad. :-)
    Teddy Bears with a Past will be renamed this year as 'Take Your Old Fur Coat and Stuff It' and will be released as an ebook. '101 Bears to Make is already available as an ebook on CD on my website, and will make an appearance in eformat on Amazon in a couple of months. The CD is autographed. :-)
    Thanks again and have fun!

    She is such a wonderful Lady! It is nice to know I have her blessing in this journey... not at all like Julia acted towards Julie!