teddybearrepublic

Jenny Smith Plush Artist


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It’s Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Christmukkah, or Hanukkmas?

Well, as the holiday season approaches and the temperature is Los Angeles feels almost chilly, I have my feet up on the coffee table, the fireplace roaring(it’s gas) and the presents all wrapped.  The Christmas tree is small, only a couple of feet high and is covered in blue lights and many ornaments, homemade and special ones that I have collected over the years.  I celebrate Christmas.  I always have, but this year, I have been more sensitive to the fact that not everyone does Christmas.  I have caught myself saying, “Happy Holidays”, as opposed to “Merry Christmas”, as not to offend.  In a way, I feel that it must be difficult if you don’t celebrate Christmas, because the lights and music and food are everywhere.  I guess the said non-celebrating Christmas people are used to this, still, Happy Holidays to my non-Christmas friends, and Merry Christmas to my Christmas friends.  It’s all so complicated if you really think about it…

I have been busy crafting and doing some holiday craft shows and now it is time to relax a bit and enjoy the holidays.  Although I do plan to do some sewing today, I am also planning to make some scones and wrap a few last minute gifts.  Here is what I have been working on.

I ordered this really nice, thick green fur and made these two bear softies in overalls.  They are waiting to be stuffed and are quite adorable really. 

This is Horatio.  He is a sasquatch and he is quite well groomed.  His moustache was inspired by a trip to Silverlake where I saw many men with moustaches and beards.  I think he is quite handsome(for a Bigfoot anyway)  There is also a female sasquatch.  She isn’t named yet.  I also made a bunch of pocket softies.  They are only 3 inches tall and I left the stuffing out of their arms and legs so that you can curl them up and actually put them in a pocket if you like. 

I had an incident over the past few days and although I dealt with it, it was a difficult thing to deal with.  Let me explain and I welcome your feedback.

A woman messaged me on Etsy that she really liked one of my softies.  She mentioned that she has never tried making things with fur and then proceeded to ask me what kind of material I used for the face.  I politely thanked her and wrote her back, explaining that I used wool felt and even gave her the name of the friend’s shop that I support and buy from.  She then wrote me back today and asked about some of the techniques that I use and how do I attach the face to the fur etc.  This kind of mildly upset me.  I politely explained to her that Etsy was my store where I showcased and sold my designs and that if she liked my softies so much, she should buy one.  I went on to say that Etsy is not a free tutorial for me to share my craft and that I didn’t feel comfortable explaining my design to her. Obviously I realize that people look at objects on Etsy and get ideas and try to make things, but it’s all about being discreet.  Although this woman was very polite and gracious for all information that I could give her, I was not comfortable sharing.  My items on Etsy are part of my business and my art. 

And to conclude my thoughts with my own, original quote about crafting…”There are those that design and create, and then there are those that copy”


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Up for a busy weekend!

Hello Everyone!  I hope you are having a wonderful Friday!  I am just gearing up for a show tomorrow.  It is in Silverlake which is possibly my favorite part of L.A. for it’s hipness.  The show is Silverlake Art/Craft/Vintage and it should be great fun!  I have been very busy sewing this week and I made something especially for the Silverlake crowd of hipsters and artisans and just plain cooler than cool people.  I made retro holiday ornaments and I am quite proud of my accomplishments.  What do you think?

At first I was just doing an A side or a B side, but then I got more creative and started putting genres on the tapes.  I think my favorite one is either latin, or the 80’s mix.  Who doesn’t love a good 80’s mix?  I also really love disco! 

The other uber fun things that I designed and made are tiny record album ornaments.  They were really fun to make and I got to be super creative with them.  I like the rainbow stripe the most.

I hope that they go over well at the show tomorrow.  Message me if you need any of these.

There hasn’t been a whole lot going on this week for me.  Last week, I finished reading an awesome book called, “Ready Player One”.  It’s by Ernest Cline and it is a sci-fi/very hip/also very nerdy book.  It’s about these people in the future who spend most of their time in a virtual reality and are trying to solve riddles and challenges that were implemented by the creator of this reality.  It’s full of 80’s references to music, pop culture and video games of the past.  I highly recommend it.

Today, I made some new softies for this weekend.  There is a polar bear, a black cat(like my cat Reg), and two Yeti’s.

Now that I am doing shows and meeting  a lot of people I am perplexed by something that comes up a lot.  Many adults come by my table and they remark on my softies and bears and then they tell me that they wish they had a child in their life to buy it for.  It makes me a bit confused and frustrated because I don’t understand that concept.  If they like it, then why don’t they buy it for themselves?  Where did their inner child go and why can they not embrace it?  Why do toys and stuffed animals have to be for children only?  Obviously there is a time and a place for these things.  You wouldn’t carry a softie around with you in public and take it on the subway.  But, there’s nothing wrong with having it on your desk at work, or on your favorite chair at home.  My partner has an action figure showcase.  At first when we moved in together it became a topic of tension and I didn’t really care for it, but I have learned to embrace it because I know that he loves it.  It’s not like he’s taking out the Aquamen figures and playing with them and parking them in his mashed potatoes.  To him, they are art and if it makes him happy, it makes me happy.  It doesn’t make him immature or childish or less masculine.  He even loved me enough to sacrifice one half of the four shelves for my small Kidrobot/vinyl toy/snowboard smurf collection. 🙂

I challenge each one of you to get in touch with your inner child at least once this weekend and enjoy the process! 


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Motivation

I spent the weekend in gorgeous Malibu and I have to say that I enjoyed almost every minute of it.  I was at a Christmas Marketplace at a church/school and it put me in the holiday spirit.  The school was located up on a hill, just above the ocean and it was extremely scenic! 

The photo above is part of the school grounds at Our Lady of Malibu School.  It had a garden and a hidden soccer field.  Below is the view looking down towards the ocean.

The Marketplace was fairly small, but lively and full of great crafts and edibles for sale.  I sold enough to make it worth my while and now I am gearing up for Silverlake Art/Craft/Vintage this Saturday.  Here is me at my table and I am wearing my new raccoon puppet.

Craft fairs are fun places to meet people and talk about my art.  My most popular items were my softies and I sold many cats, bears, and a few foxes and one Sasquatch. I also sold many of my wool felt ornaments.  Here are a few more photos. At the bottom, I have put these into a small slideshow for you to enjoy!

This week, I will be feverishly re-making some of the items that I sold to replace them in my inventory and I also have a surprise holiday craft that I will be making for Silverlake.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Silverlake, it is a very artsy and somewhat bohemian type of community.  In Silverlake, you will find many hipsters and crafty people strolling around the streets, coming in and out of coffee shops, cheese shops and comic book shops.  It will most definitely be a different crowd from the group that attended the church marketplace where I was in Malibu.  Also, at this show, I will be selling comic books as well.  My partner used to have a comic shop and we have a storage full of his collection.  The more we get rid of, the more space we have.

As much as I would like to keep writing, I have a busy day of crafting ahead of me and I am very excited to get to it!  I will leave you with a few more photos of Malibu and the school grounds and I hope they will fill your Monday with serenity!  And yes, that is the best red velvet cake that I have ever seen, but no, I did not try it! 

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