The year book is almost complete. Today or tomorrow I will take the last photo of the last bear for this year.
Although the year was challenging with health issues with Jase etc we have pulled through it and are looking forward to the new year to come. It is only now that I am beginning to feel a sense of catching up and hope to maybe even get ahead with the gift wrapping and glide effortlessly into Christmas. It's a hope but I'm not holding my breath. I am further ahead than I have been all year which is a satisfying and delightful feeling.
Each year I create a year book of the bears I created that year and this year it took me until yesterday to get it near completion. I look back often on my books to see where it all began and compare it to where I am at today. This year there was a definate change in my bears. I love the new design and feel my work improved dramatically over the last few years.
A collector approached me at one of my shows this year and said... "you always do something different don't you?" I have heard that collectors might not like change but honestly... this is only going to be my fifth year creating bears. I know in the past I have talked extensively on the subject of finding "your" look when making bears and for some it comes immediately. For me however I wanted to try all that I was capable of before choosing an image for Seraphim Bears. I wanted to wet my feet in many ponds before I chose which one to swim in. I feel I am there now.. my bears have a distinctly different look to anyone else. Their body shape is simply adorable with their big fat bellies. They have personal touches that relate to me like their heart pockets and lucky Canadian pennies which will forever remind me and all my collectors of the experience I had of being diagnosed with my heart condition, making it through and wanting to share the luck with everyone I can. The bears have reached a place where I feel they are simply scrumptious and that is what I wanted to achieve. A bear that is unique to me and distinctly mine.
But that does not mean I am not going to try new things and take new avenues with the bears. That simply means I know the street I live on now... I know what I love and what I want to share with the world. So what are the plans for the coming year?
2014 will hold new adventures... I hope all good ones and fun ones! I have already begun to created an open mouth bear pattern with trapunto padded feet. These bears will be in the same pattern that I have spent the last four years creating ~ the Over Hugged style of Seraphim Bear. The new Huggy Baby bears will still remain a part of my line up as well as I love the freedom these dolly faced bears offer me.
I will be a part of the Teddies Worldwide online show in the spring and hope this will be the event for the release of the new open mouth bear... I hope. I will be attending the Binghamton show TBAI and have received confirmation of my theme for my gallery bear... I can't quite share that one in full detail but I can tell you my character is dear to my heart and I have been a fan for most of my life. I studied this person extensively over the years and am so looking forward to creating a bear in this persons likeness. The theme for this years show is "Rear View Mirror" and the theme in part that I have chose is Hooray for Hollywood. I cannot wait to get started on this bear!
Each year, we as artists, have a last piece... a piece that closes off the year for us. This year my last bear is super special... Last year I gave a bear to each of my aunts (except one whom... wasn't at the Christmas celebrations but I have not forgotten her) and my cousin Monica also received a bear as well as my Mother In Law and Step mother. After the festivities were completed I noticed a not so happy face in the group. It was my cousin Richard. He is a big lad and already in University. When I approached him to see what was the matter he meekly replied that all was well. Then it hit me... "Oh my God" I said "Did you want a bear?" He looked down at me and smiled and said "Yes please." It was the sweetest thing ever, this big man telling me he wanted one of my bears too. So this year, my last bear was created especially for him. He is all that I could have hoped him to be. He is big, fat and fabulous. He has touches of harlequin and carnival and has a name fit for a knight. I cannot tell you any more than that and of course, I cannot share a photo until after the holidays just in case he comes to read my blog. It's okay... if he finds out here that he is getting his bear... he still has to unveil him. The bear even has a growler... a feature that will forever remind me of my grandmother as she always put a growler in her bears.
So that's it... all that is left to be done is to take the photos of my last bear for this year and add them into the Year Book. Then it's off to print with the book and there will be another year to look back and reflect on. This year I created 34 bears and most have found homes with the exception of a few Huggy Babies and one wee bear. In total I have now created 163 bears! Whoowhoo!
Soon my post will be talking of the first bear of a New Year... but for now... it is a time of reflection. of contemplation of what is yet to come. A time to snuggle on the couch with my puppies and family under big fluffy blankets while the snow falls outside our windows and a time to quietly design for a the coming year.
THANK YOU EVERYONE for a wonderful year; for your support through my time with Jase and our cancer scare, for your adoptions and for your comments throughout the year that are always so very precious to me. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone...I will be back with more before the new year but this is my BIG message to end off this year... my Hallmark moment... now it's onto fun and getting to know me stuff.