Wooly Topic Bears ~ Oh my!

~Woolly, cute, tiny, friendly, big nose, expression, happy, cuddles, soft, travel, secrets… these are all the things I think of when I think of a Wooly Topic Bear.  aaammmmnnI wanted to share more about my plans for Wooly Topic bears and tell you a bit more about The Northern Collective sale that is coming up on Feb 3rd!  profileforfebThe Northern Collective is a group of Canadian makers, who create various handmade items in our homes.  We upload to our store on Hyena Cart, the first Tuesday of each month.  click here to view The Northern Collective store  Our sale starts at 9pm EST and we generally keep listings active for a few days, but go quick because more often than not, items sell out in a flash.

At this month’s sale, I will be showcasing 3 different sized bears.  I’m doing this in an effort to introduce the kind of bears you can expect to regularly see from me, the sizes and their details.  I LOVE bears.  I just do!  Their innocence and sweetness.

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Bitty Bears – Small wool bears, approx 2.5-3″ tall.  They are jointed and can sit on their own.  I will make them in any colour and add extra whimsy when I can.  The Bitty Bear you will be introduced to on Feb 3 at The Northern Collective, is Bonker: bonker1 Another example of a Bitty Bear would be Harvey: harvey3 And:alynn123reading

Pocket Bears – These woollies will be approx 4″ tall and fully jointed.  I will love to keep adding whimsy to them.  Perfect best friends.  Neat for dollhouse families.  The Pocket Bear I will introduce you to on Feb 3 is Emelie:  Emelie1emelie2A beautiful shade of green for the torso, shades of brown make up her limbs, head and ears and then a wonderful cowl with a vintage button.  So love!  More examples of Pocket Bears include:  venice4tiffywantsatutuzoltanspampazgirlseamus3forjulie

Teeswater Bears –  These luxurious friends are made entirely with curly locks that have been left in their natural colour or hand dyed to the most beautiful tones and shades.  These bears will be 5-6″ long.  Their arms are jointed and their legs are attached in a floppy manner using wool yarn.  At The Northern Collective, I will introduce you to Kai 🙂  kai1kai2 Kai is all bright pink curly locks!  She can’t wait to meet her new friends.  An example of more teeswater bears:  abrownbearopiejudewinnieI also love to make Teeswater lambs ❤  foretsy4bella4jojoplaytime

I will make Special Edition bears every so often too!  Ones that are tall and wear shoes and stand…little ones that have clothes, themes, and sets in boxes.  A Special Edition bear that I can’t wait to post at our sale on Feb 3rd is BeeBear and his beehive (by the amazing Jenny at The Hollow Root) :  beehiveandbeebear1gangforfebtnc

It’s a sweet loving journey when I bring each and every woolly to life.  I connect with the critters I make.  Thank you for letting me create!

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It Does My Soul Good…

Something a little different from me today!  I want to share a new piece I’ve decided to offer as a listing option in my  Etsy shop and what it’s all about.  artballforetsy1I’m pretty good at making woolly balls.  (snicker snicker but there’s just no other way to say it!)  ~  I can tightly needle felt them into perfect spheres.  I’ve done several versions over the last few years and this latest project is the most gratifying and fun!  These are Fiber Art Balls.  Art pieces, textile art, 3D art, 360degrees of floral garden scenes.  artballforetsy2They end up being approx 11″ around in circumference and that’s comparable to the size of a cantaloupe fruit.  artballforetsy3I use a base colour, hand dyed by me or something from my roving stash.  These particular ones are generously stuffed with organic lavender buds.  That makes them just as sweet to smell as it does to look at.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey are quite firmly felted.  Then I get to work on the floral designs over the entire surface.  artballforetsy4artballforetsy5There can be no pattern or actual plan when creating these pieces.  I have to let the creation process guide me as I go.  It’s the only way to make this work… the story unfolds as I felt.  I use art yarns, vintage buttons, roving, cotton floss, fabric pieces, felt…whatever seems to fit.  artballforetsy6The theme always ends up as a floral garden.  Every inch of the ball is a different story.  This is why I refer to these as 360degrees of art… or 3D art.  yellowball1aquaball1It does my soul good to get to make these pieces.  The freedom and the possibility and the fun!  My friend Laura is the owner of these current pieces… and she tells me one is in her work space at home, one beside her bed and one at work!  This makes me so happy 🙂  lauraball2pinkball2I think these are really unique for gift giving.  I love to wrap them up nicely for folks.  aquaball2Customers who commission me to create one of these for them, have the option of no lavender inside.  I’m suggesting that customers choose their base colour and I can help them decide upon a tone and shade for their chosen colour…then the rest you can leave up to me 🙂  You would be receiving a random, surprise creation similar to the pictures I’ve shared here.  I can’t wait to get creating! click here to go to my Etsy shop and find the listing for these Fiber Art Balls

Teddy Bear Picnic ~ A Mini Set

I can’t wait to show you a wee set I’ve completed.  It is a custom order for a friend’s daughter for her birthday!  I do love creating mini sets.  I haven’t done too many of them yet, but that is because they require a lot of attention and a lot of planning.  But when one is created I’m so into it and so excited!  I will collect items for months in preparation of working on a mini set with a ‘theme’.  I’ve done another “Teddy Friend Tea Time” and “Old Wild West” and now this one.  amna2Everything fitting snuggly inside the box.  amna4amna1I keep my eye out for special boxes.  I find them at antique markets, craft supply stores and home decor places.  This particular one is a pine box with hinges and metal detailing.  I stained it using a light purple wash.  When I make these sets I feel tiny garlands are a must!  Since this set was traveling to a different country, I thought making a garland using pieces of a map was a neat idea.  amna16amna17 amna15Meet Millie & Harold.  They are going on a Teddy Bear Picnic together!  (everything pictured is included with this set).  They dressed up for the occasion.  Millie in her favourite knitted sweater and bead necklace and Harold in his best navy pants and ivory bow tie!  (sssssshhhhhh don’t tell them I told you, but I think they are going on a DATE!) amna18First and foremost…one must remember the flowers.  amna5We have roses, poppies and some lavender(which actually is a lavender scent thank you to essential oil!).  The rose and poppy are in tiny ceramic pots.  The lavender was bought at the Teddy Bear Market and carried home in this green market bag by Harold and Millie.amna6 Also purchased at the Market was a fresh baguette and some bacon!  They are neatly wrapped in parchment paper and baker’s twine 🙂  amna7How do they get to the park?  Well on a bike of course!  What is a lazy day in the park without your favourite book to read.  They are tied to the back of the bike, but easily come off when the teddies need them. amna8When in the park it’s hard not to enjoy the birds.  Harold and Millie have their very own, a wee green bird in a nest and it’s perched on top of a wooden spool that I’ve felted some lively colours onto.  It all comes apart.  amna9A perfect picnic blanket that rolls up neatly and can easily be shaken clean to get all the crumbs from lunch off!  amna10A cotton bag to store all the tiny pieces that come with this set.  I have stamped it with a lady bug.amna11Part of the picnic!  of course we need to discuss the food, yum.  Pancakes to start.  With syrup and butter.  They are on one of the ceramic serving plates.  So tiny and cute! amna12Carrots….perfectly perfect.  amna13The carrots and apples fit into a delightful little basket.  The bacon is in a tiny metal bowl.  A layered birthday cake to enjoy!  Sitting on a wooden food crate.  The set also comes with a wooden tea set.  amna19Here is the whole shebang!  I’m so excited to mail this off in time for a very smart and special girl as she celebrates her birthday.  I hear she’s having a tea party for her birthday, so this is a neat addition.  Happy Birthay Maya!  ❤

I have another mini set in mind to start on next.  It will be “Teddy Bear’s Playroom”…

Maura – Special Edition Bear. Or as we like to call her: “the mirror loving one”.

Maura is a Special Edition Bear for Wooly Topic. maura1What does it mean to make it to a Special Edition list you ask?!  Well first of all, the bear must be a bit of a Diva. That miss Maura is.  She is outfitted in a more detailed way than the Pocket Bears and she is a bit bigger.  She took me way longer to create and frankly…she has parked herself in front of a mirror and won’t stop parading around!  maura2 She wears ballet slippers, her favourite colour is green.  maura3 She wears a green bow on her ear and loves her wool cowl! maura4 Her wee sweater is quite detailed, it was purchased at a Miniatures shop that I visit in Port Perry Ontario.  maura5 A lovely handful she is!

Miss Maura and all her pocket bear friends are now in the Etsy shop!  click here to go to the Etsy shop

Weensy Woolly Wittle Wacky Pocket Bears (say that 3x fast!)

pocketbearsforupload  I’m seriously in huge bear love these days.  I’m not even certain what’s gotten into me!  For the last week, I’ve fallen asleep each night while googling “artist bears” and oogling teddy pics from all over the net.  I can’t get enough of these tiny personalities.  Each more expressive than the last.  Every little teddy is responsible for who they become.  All I do is scan my rovings… then when a colour jumps out at me & it’s ON!  I don’t generally know if they are going to be a boy bear or girl bear until they really come together.  The extra little details happen afterwards…they seem to tell me what best suits them for extra whimsy.  Then for the naming… at the risk of sounding like the wackiest felter around, I’m going to have to admit that they pretty much name themselves too 😉  flossy1This is Flossy.  She is the girlie girl of the bunch.  Light pink and adorned with some wee beads on her belly.  Was she ever patient as I sewed each bead into place.  In fact, she watched a few episodes of “Fresh Prince Of Bel Air” while I did so.  She swooned over Carlton (heehee).  BeauOh miss Beau.  She’s pretty proud of that wool cowl.  She helped me make it!  She also picked out a vintage metal button to finish the look off.  Quite a fancy girl she is being a shade of Tiffany Blue. marvin6Marvin Marvin bo barvin, me my moe marvin!  Just a little spec of a thing.  He’s kind of a runt if you will.  A little brown guy with a rainbow mosaic print on his belly and a bright wool scarf.  He’s actually in the etsy shop now!  Go take a look:  Wooly Topic Etsy

annieOh Annie!  She just makes me smile.  All that chubby goodness and her ivory bow and her candy coloured bead necklace… I can’t even!  She has a red smiling mouth.  Something I don’t do too often.  CoalCoal is one of my personal favourites.  Quite distinguished.  I used black roving to create Coal.  He has a rainbow mosaic on his belly and has a wool yarn scarf in bright colours.  Probably his copper nose is what makes me eeeekkkk most.  coralCORAL!  Just.  OH MY.  coral swoon!  First of all I need to say that it’s hard to impress a 14 year old girl.  When I showed my daugther Coral… she ‘aaaawwwed’…  Coral has a purple hat with wool tassels. Notice her purple mittens and black boots.  SUCH a cutie!

I’m also working on a mystery bear.  She’s a little more detailed, but also 4″.  She just happens to have demanded some extra things is all.  I will introduce her when she’s done parading in front of the mirror.  She’s pretty excited to go out and enjoy her duds though.

These little friends will go into my Etsy shop.  I’m going to work on doing so for Friday January 23rd.  I can update here when they are in there and ready, as well check the FB page or instagram to find out when the pocket bears are officially on Etsy looking for love!

See you soon!

Harvey – The Instagram Giveaway Bear!

Happy Monday!  I’m doing a giveaway over on my instagram page and Harvey is the sweet love who you can win!  It’s open to world wide and Wooly Topic pays the shipping.  harvey3Harvey is an all wool bear and stands 2.5″ tall.  He is 5-way jointed and his ears are sewn on.  His torso and head are strung securely together as well.  Harvey wears a golden bell around his neck.  Each person is allowed to enter 5 times.  This giveaway ends on Thursday Jan 20th at noon EST and the winner will be picked by a random generator.  All you have to do to enter over on IG, is tag a friend on the official giveaway post.  Have fun! Good Luck!  harvey1bears 049Click here to go to Wooly Topic on Instagram

Greta – not your average Panda (don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

A rather daring creation for me… but there is a back story to how miss Greta came to be.  greta1She might look like your average woolly panda, but indeed she isn’t.  True…she’s all wool.  True… she’s a nice handful at 6″ tall.   Adorable brown marble eyes she does have indeed.  greta2She has floppy legs that help her sit on her own and stand with assistance.  She’s a cuddle bug.  greta3It all started with me mentioning a certain toy to my 3 year old…maybe you have heard of them or seen them, they are called “Puppy Surprise” or “Kitty Surprise”.  Plush animals that have a hollow belly and they close shut using velcro.  Each animal comes with babies inside and you don’t know how many you get until after you’ve purchased the toy.  My little son LOVES plush dogs and cats.  I told him about this puppy surprise toy and he was wild with excitement at the concept of this toy.  I hadn’t expected this level of interest from him.  He started discussing this toy with his siblings even.  I personally am not a huge fan of the look of the toy, but that’s my own personal preference.  I admit, I did look for the toy… I knew my son would play with it for hours.  I wasn’t able to find it ANYWHERE in my area.  I started to become slightly obsessed trying to find this item and had to step back and give my head a wee shake 😉  It was decided that I would try to make my own version of this toy.  Panda it was. greta11There were a couple of things in mind when creating my own version 1)  I preferred to make a wild animal instead of a domestic animal just simply due to the fact that I don’t want to promote breeding (I am a rescue pet person) 2) I wanted the birthing part of this to be more anatomically correct  I chose Panda because I love them and also, they normally only have one cub at a time.

Ok, here we go.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  I’ve been greeted with several reactions while introducing Greta to folks.  It’s completely understandable if birthing toys aren’t your thing. Greta makes me giggle. greta4Baby Panda is tucked up inside mommy, she has a completely hollow torso.  The bottom is closed by a draw string wool cord.  When closed, the cord tucks up inside  Greta.  greta5Push Greta! PUSH! greta6I see a baby!! greta7A wee Panda!  wow!  Good job Greta 😉  greta8Panda cubs are born pink with some very light fur only.  This cub of Greta’s has it’s eyes closed.  greta7greta9There you have it! What do you think?

When I showed my little boy my Greta, he was interested but said “Nah, I want puppy surprise”.  0.O  (oh dear me).

Well…then I guess miss Greta needs a home!

Greta is all wool, made using core wool, white roving and black roving.  Her arms are floppy and attached using cotton floss.  Her legs are attached using black wool yarn, are floppy in manner and jointed.  Her black wool ears are sewn on.  She has brown eyes that are marble.  Her bottom is a wool draw string and it opens and closes. Panda cub comes in and out(ouch, poor Greta!).  Panda cub is only 1″ long and made using light pink toned wool.  He is 5 way jointed.  His eyes are closed and his nose and mouth are grey.

Click here to go to my Etsy shop where you will find Greta