Friday, 16 August 2013

The fun of finishing bears

Welcome blog tourists and welcome back to all my regular readers. I hope you have enjoyed the blog tour - I know I have explored some fascinating blogs that were new to me.

Let me tell you a little more about the Silent Companions blog and me. I set up this blog in July 2011 to share my creations but also to do a little more than that: to share my ideas, inspirations, struggles and successes. So this blog houses the stories of my one-of-a-kind bears as well as other stories from my creative journey. 

And me? Well I make stuff. All sorts of stuff! Crafts have always been a part of my life since a very early age - something I owe to my mum who is always sewing, cross-stitching or knitting. I started making teddy bears in my teens, when I was bought a kit for a simple button jointed bear. As my enthusiasm for bear-making grew, the actual bears shrank and I now love making miniature bears. In order to clothe and decorate my miniature bears, I have explored a variety of other crafts including knitting, crochet, embroidery, wire work - all of which had to be scaled down of course!

And that brings us neatly to the subject of my blog post today.

I'd like to share the process of finishing bears. By this, I don't mean attaching limbs, eyes and ears.

I mean creating the character of the bear. Adding the embellishments that will give the bear a story, a personality and, ultimately, a name. This can be a bit of a challenge when the bear is only 5cms tall.

Most bears spend a little while in this pre-character state while they try out a few styles. They usually try out a bow first to see how they get on. Some are happy to just wear a smart bow and the embellishment stops there.


Other bears seem to be asking for more than just a bow and so the journey begins. Bears also like to wear hats and scarves (like Harry), glasses...

...and flowers... fact, any trimming that is small enough is appropriated by the bears!

Some like more complicated costumes that include wings...

...blankets (like Christopher)...


...and even googly headbands (Henry loves his headband)! 

Some bears can be VERY demanding! My regular readers will remember the story of Benny and how difficult it was to find the identity of this tiny bear.

 The possibilities are really endless and only limited by my imagination (and my dexterity). Each new bear gives me new challenges as it struggles to assert its character.




I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Silent Companions blog and this glimpse into my bear making world. To celebrate the blog tour stopping by, I am offering a 10% discount in my Folksy and WowThankYou shops. Just quote "blogtour" when you order and I will send you an amended invoice.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Brigit's Bell

All aboard for the penultimate stop on the Creative Crafting blog tour; Brigit's Bell. Here you will find a blog post all about wooden-peg dolls. They are very cute!

As always, click on the image below to be whisked off to New England.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


The start of a complicated renovation project can be found at stop 14 of the Creative Crafting Blog Tour: Cassiefairy.

I'll definitely be popping back to see how she gets on!

Check out Cassiefairy's blog post by clicking the image below...

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Amanda Addison

Stop 13 of the Creative Crafting Blog Tour finds Amanda Addison who shares all about her "Year of the Tulip". She also has a great competition for blog tourists to get involved with.

Click on the image below to be shown the way...

Monday, 12 August 2013

Lilly My Cat

Stop 12 on the Creative Crafting Blog Tour takes us to Southern California! The cute tutorial offered on blog "Lilly My Cat" reflects Pat's Danish origins and is well worth a look...

As usual, click on the image below to be taken straight there!

Sunday, 11 August 2013


During a rather busy day today, I have to confess that I alsmost completely forgot to post the link to today's Creative Crafting Blog Tour stop! 

So here it is, and it's far too good to miss, "Pastelesta". Kristin has shared the process of drawing an animal portrait in pastels - a fascinating process with a beautiful outcome. She is also offering a giveaway to celebrate the blog tour.

Click on the image below to check it out.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Berry Bakewell

'Berry Bakewell', Lilian's blog, is stop 10 of the Creative Crafting Blog Tour. She has shared a cute crochet tutorial (which I shall have to dig the crochet hooks out for!) and also a giveaway.

Click on the image below to visit Berry Bakewell.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Beaded Bazaar

Next stop on the Creative Crafting Blog Tour is 'Beaded Bazaar' - Joy welcomes everyone to her blog with a giveaway and photos of her lovely jewellery. 

Click on the image below to be taken to Joy's blog post.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Personal Space Interiors

Today we are visiting the blog of Gill Davidson "Personal Space Interiors". Gill has a recent make, a scrummy looking recipe, a giveaway AND a discount to share so this blog is well worth a visit.

Click on the image below. Have a lovely time!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Arlene's Blog

I hope you're all enjoying the Creative Crafting blog tour so far. It's a bit of a long journey today - all the way to Australia - but I think it's worth the distance! 

Today the bus will be stopping at "Arlene's Blog" where Arlene explains her exciting new project combining her beloved embroidery with new technologies. 

She's also offering a giveaway to celebrate. Click on the image below to continue the journey and visit Arlene.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Hot off the kiln

Today the Creative Crafting Blog Tour bus is stopping at Glasspiration's blog "Hot off the Kiln". Tracy will give you a sneak peek into the craft processes she uses to create beautiful pieces of glass.

Click on the image below to visit.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Stitchers Anon

Today the Creative Crafting Blog Tour bus will be stopping at Gaynor's blog "Stitchers Anon". 

Gaynor likes to experiment with new crafts (nice to know it's not just me!) and she talks about some of the many in today's blog post. She also has some lovely items to give away and would love it if you could stop by. Click on the image below to be taken straight there!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Anyone for a swim?

Vicky Myers of "vickymyerscreations recycled bags" shares some excellent ways to recycle an old shirt at stop four of the Creative Crafting Blog Tour.

So many great ideas - time to raid the fabric stash I think! Click on the image below to visit Vicky.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Next stop: Denmark!

For stop three on the Creative Crafting Blog Tour, we must take a quick hop over to Denmark. Susanne Ostergaard welcomes visitors to her blog: Susses spindehjorne. 

She shares where her enthusiasm for yarns came from and also offers a fab giveaway. Click on the picture below to be whisked off to meet her!

Friday, 2 August 2013

A 'completed' doodle

Yesterday I posted my battle with perfectionism in my quest to start a creativity journal. Today I have finished my doodled cover. Well, as finished as a doodle ever gets I suppose! There isn't very much space left to fill anyway...

I have filled in the background with the doodles from around the word 'journal'. I think it looks a bit like the beach with all the dots, spirals, stars and circles!

I had great fun and I am so pleased that the journal is finally under way. I'm sure I will keep adding to this page and, of course, I need to find that photo. Hopefully the next page will be much easier to start!

I hope you enjoyed visiting The Old Button yesterday! Today's stop on the blog tour is at Loopy's Place. Jane Galley has included a tutorial for a lovely bag and a chance to win a prize. Click on the link below to be taken to this blog stop.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A battle with perfectionism

I have been thinking for a long time that I would like to start a creative journal. Somewhere to collect my ideas and inspirations; somewhere to store photos and magazine cuttings: somewhere to experiment and practise new techniques.

Just over a month ago, I bought this pretty A4 scrapbook from Paperchase.

For a month it has sat on the shelf: looking pretty but unused. I think this picture sums up the problem...

...large, blank pages. Blank pages that offer endless possibility. Blank pages that are crying out for embellishment, improvement and life.

But also, blank pages that are as terrifying as the blank page of an exam paper.

Those blank pages have awakened the worst of the perfectionist in me.

The perfectionist questions everything:

"What if you make a mistake?"

"What if it's not good enough?"

"Why do you want a creative journal anyway? You're not an artist!"

Until last night, the perfectionist won and the scrapbook stayed on the shelf.

And then the voice of reason (in the form of my other half) stepped in and said,

"Why don't you just do a cover page? You're not going to cover it (since you bought a pretty book) so you should make a cover page to make it your own. You could do some doodles. And you can always work in pencil first, if you're worried about making a mistake. And if all else fails you can take the page out and start again."

And I knew he was right.

So last night, I finally committed pencil to paper. And pretty soon moved onto pen. So now the first page at least is no longer blank.

So far, there is a large ring of flowers which will have a photo of me in the centre (if I can find a nice one)...

... and some doodled lettering to make it my own.

And do you know the best part? I'm REALLY enjoying it! After all, it doesn't have to be perfect! That was the whole point. This journal was meant to be a place for experiments and for fun.

And it's very relaxing!

After a couple of very stressful weeks, it is a real joy to be able to focus on something so completely and drive all the worries out of my head for a little while.

I'm not quite finished yet - there are still some spaces to fill - but I wanted to share the journey so far.

Talking of journeys, the Creative Crafting Summer Blog Tour gets under way today. The first stop is The Old Button where you can sign up for a Christmas craft swap. Click on the picture below to join in.

You can also find the latest edition of the Creative Crafting magazine here.
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