I made these bears a long time ago. They came out this year because the kids wanted to put the tree in the front window and that meant it had to go in the purple room. While I am pretty flexible in what they do, I just could not see having our traditional green and red ornaments in the purple room. Besides, being the mother of all boys I saw my chance to have a girly tree.
We spent a long time picking out a few perfect green and purple bulbs and a ribbon for a garland. They found the perfect purple and green velvet skirt that they waited patiently until the after Christmas sale to acquire. And the bears that pre-date the boys came out of the box and went on display.
This moose is sitting on my old rocking horse. (The room wasn't all girly as the boys pulled out all of the wooden toys their papa made to put on display under the tree.
I made these bears during one of my crafting blitzes. They really aren't anything more than craft bears dressed in fabric and antique trims. I entered them in one of my first craft fairs. I had a beautiful display (If I can say so myself). It had a dark blue cloth and the bears were all seated or standing. I had big expensive bears like the angel you can just make out on the top of the tree.
I hand some medium bears like this purple one.
and this choir bear
I even had a boat load of little tiny ornament sized ones. Unfortunately, I have given most of those away over the years and didn't find any to get out and photograph.
I felt I had a decent display and wide range of prices. My spot wasn't the best, but I did have about as much traffic walking by as most of the rest of the booths. However, I didn't sell a single thing. Not even one tiny little bear ornament. In the mean time, the lady next to me sold out. Every last thing. People flocked to her booth. They told their friends about her booth. They bought it all. And what might you ask was so fantastic that everyone completely overlooked my little Victorian dressed bears at reasonable prices?
Happy meal toys. Yes. The woman next to me had painted wooden plaques and attached sets of happy meal toys to them. Not collages. Not altered toys. Not even artfully arranged. Just a semi-circle of little plastic toys glued onto a painted wooden plaque. The colors didn't even necessarily match the toys. You could see the puddle of hot glue they were stuck into. I'm not saying that I don't have any happy meal toys stashed away. In fact I do. But.. I didn't do another show for almost 20 years. (Lots of things got in the way but this was definitely a contributing factor.) .
The good thing is that I have a box of ready made, new to my kids bears to pull out and decorate their purple tree! And they all agreed it was one of the best trees ever.
After re-reading this, I realized that I don't want to leave the impression that I am arrogant about my project or that I didn't see any merit in the happy meal things. It was about the same time people were really getting into collecting, but well before they started getting things like beanie babies and madame alexander dolls. So on that level I could understand it. I had done a bunch of other shows prior to that one where I sold a lot of painted clothing and flower arrangements. But I did think that the bears were far better than any of the other things I had been selling. I just wish I'd had a craftster around then to help me figure out what I was doing wrong and what I could do better. I probably wouldn't have stayed away so long.
I also just realized that the only I photographed with antique trims in the purple bear. However, I made them so long ago that if they were cars they'd only need a couple more years before they can get antique plates!