30 October 2007

How to make a teddy bear out of moss

One of my bloggfriends asked me how I made the teddy bear. So please be welcome to the teddy bear making lesson! I wish you good luck and hope you have fun while doing it! ( I always have....)

You need: chicken-wire, thin steel wire, cutting nippers (pliers) and moss. I sometimes use ordinary sewing thread instead of wire because it is easier to work with and not so visible as wire is. If the moss seems dry then spray it lightly with water and put it in a plastic bag over night.

Cut two pieces of chicken-wire with the pliers. One piece is going to be the actual body of the teddy bear and the other piece is the arms. You can make the teddy bears any size you like but if you make them too large the head sort of gets to heavy and it’s difficult to get them to sit up straight. The largest I’ve made was 70 cm in all but mostly I make them 40-50 cm tall.

Start making the body by shaping the largest piece of chicken wire in to a cylinder shape. Let the two ends of the netting meet in the back and “sew” 2/3 of the cylinder together with wire ( this makes the head and body of the bear)but leave the last 1/3 open. (this is going to be the legs). Now you cut 1/3 of the front side of the bear open too and you have two legs. To make the legs more stable you can shape them by “pressing” the netting together. Now you have a cylinder with two legs. Then shape the head, ears and the neck by pressing the netting together.

To make the bears arms you roll the second piece of chicken-wire into a smaller and more firm cylinder. Mark where you want the arms on the body and cut two holes in the netting with the pliers. Pull the cylinder through the holes and the bear has arms. If the arms seems unstable fasten them to the body with wire.

Now the skeleton is finished and you can start covering it with moss.

I usually start with the head and work my way down. I fix the moss with very thin wire or with thread. To make the nose you first cover the head with moss and then add a second piece of moss and shape it into a nose. Put it on top of the "face" and fix it with wire. When I pick moss in the woods ( you are allowed to do that in Sweden) I try to find large but rather thin pieces of moss. Then I can sort of drape the moss over the netting like a piece of fabric. With moss that grow on stones you can usually remove the whole piece without it breaking.

If you want the bear to have a more Winnie the Pooh look about him you can make his tummy bigger by adding layers of moss in the same way that you shaped the nose. When your bear is all covered with moss you give him a finishing touch by bending his arms and legs in the position you want. If you want him sitting down, standing up or maybe hold something in his arms. The good thing about chicken-wire is that it’s so flexible.

The finished result.

I sometimes sell my teddy bears. Then I usually give them a name and put “adoption papers” on a ribbon around their neck. Usually it’s quite hard to part with them because every bear you make gets its own personality.

29 October 2007

Fireplace, moss and unwelcome house guests

Do you know what this is made of ? Read on and you will see!

The fireplace is finally in place. The long johns will have to be in use for a while yet though since the inner roof still isn’t quite finished and the heat goes right up the attic instead. But we are getting there…. Me and my husband have a weeks vacation and the daughters have autumn holiday so a lot of roof “making” can be done….. And hopefully a lot of creative stuff and nature walks as well.

As a matter of fact I already started with the creative stuff yesterday. And I combined it with a nature walk! I collected moss in the woods. It was beautiful in the woods. The sun was shining and the colors were spectacular. Moss is my favorite material. It`s great for making all kind of outdoor decorations. You can get it for free and it’s so easy to work with that you can create almost anything with it. I love the texture of moss, its color and its fairy tail quality…I even have a t-shirt with a “moss saying” on it rolling stones don’t grow moss! The saying is quite fitting for me since I never slow down long enough for any moss to get growing….

During my walk I came upon a flock of roe deer grazing. Unfortunately I scared them before I could get a real good shot with my camera. They looked like ping-pong balls flying through the air. Back home I made a mobile, a chair and a teddy bear out of moss! So the answer to this posts first question is .....MOSS! I made two circles with wire and covered them with moss. The leaves are made of rusty sheet iron.

An old jumble sale chair covered with moss.

Teddy bear
Body made of chicken-wire then covered with moss.
So what about the unwelcome house guest? Do you remember I told you about us finding a rat’s nest when we laid the new flooring in the hallway? Well let me tell you this, the owner is back and boy is he looking for somewhere else to camp for the winter. Last night we heard him on the attic and by the sound of him we are talking mayor size rat here! More like beaver size rat stomping about seriously pissed off and looking for a new nest.! I googled rats and believe me the reading wasn’t fun. A rat can have 800 – 1000 young ones in a year! And that’s just the one rat. What if he likes our house so much he invites his relatives as well? Yuck. I can barely think about it. I might be an animal lover but I hhhate rats! Tomorrow I’ll be phoning the pesticide company!

21 October 2007

Vintage lace........and wrist warmers

I love old lace. I already have a lot but I’m always on the lookout for more in antique shops, jumble sales and vintage shops. I bought my first piece of lace when I was 18 years old in a vintage shop in California. And after that I was hooked…..Some years later I visited the States again and went back but needless to say the shop wasn’t there anymore. During the years my “collection” of lace has grown mostly due to the fact that I never do anything with it. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to start creating something with it, the amount of lace risking taking over my work room…..

That’s when the idea of wrist warmers took form. As you could read in my earlier posts it continued to be just an idea for some time ….. but today I finally got started.

My dear blogfriend Jane in San Diego asked me “what the heck is a wrist warmer?” and I suppose a wrist warmer isn’t a key item in a California wardrobe but in the Swedish “artic” climate it’s a very nice thing to have….
So dear Jane this is a wrist warmer !

I made these out of wool decorated with vintage lace, old handkerchiefs , beads and embroidery. You can wear them to keep warm, as an “accessory” or for the mere beauty of it…… I hope to do some in black wool and maybe some green ones too. I plan to sell them at our annual Christmas fair. Do you think I will get any buyers?

16 October 2007

Birthday cake

My dear friend and colleague needed a birthday cake to use in an exhibition. It was to stand in room temperature for several days. What to do? Then she had a splendid idea. Why not wet felt one! Now there was a challenge I couldn`t refuse. Of course I had to try and here you can see the result.
Needless to say no wrist warmers were done today either…. But I’m getting there!

14 October 2007

Wrist warmers

I don’t know what’s happening with time but one thing is certain it flies…. I mean it was only just Monday morning and now it’s Sunday evening and what on earth happened to the days in between? As you understand it has been a hectic week both at work and at home. On Monday I started making vintage wrist warmers.

I`m going to have a stall at the annual Christmas fair and this year I’m determined to start in time not having to work around the clock to get everything finished. But already on Tuesday evening I had to put the sewing machine aside. Our fireplace was delivered (in pieces) and we had to drive down to the house and get it indoors.

All the 250 kg of it!!!! It took a while but I won’t have to do any work out this week I can tell you! The builders are coming in two weeks to put it all together.
On Wednesday evening I had just started sewing when my husband came home and looked like a study of guilt….after a long story about how he had needed a new screwdriver but had found this fantastic bargain on his way out…..he finally got to the point. Can you believe this? He went to buy a screwdriver and came out with

......THIS !!!!! Jeez. It’s like I would go to the shop to get a pair of socks and come out with the entire Dior collection! So of we went again but this time to put his new “toy” in the garage. It was pitching black when we got there and I was hungry and in a foul mood but my heart just melted at the sight of him driving round and round the flag pole with an expression of pure joy on his face. Thursday evening came and went and on Friday I went for a drink after work with a friend and one thing led to another and no wrist warmers were made.
On Saturday we took our eldest daughter to visit a school she plans to go to. It`s a boarding school called Bollerup were she plans to study science and horsemanship. Saturday evening and Sunday we spent at the house. We took an evening walk in the woods

so beautiful with the autumn colors and back home we sat silently watching the spectacular sunset.

Who needs a television when you can watch the sun set through your living room window? Not me anyway. We are longing for our fireplace though. The house was so cold that we had to sleep in long johns…..We woke up on Sunday morning

to frosty fields and a clear blue sky. The garden is full of different birds and this thrush, Rödvingetrast usually lives in the northern Sweden but probably stopped by on his way to a warmer winter climate.

I worked hard outdoors all day but also managed to finish decorating my hallway.

Well not really finished - I want another mirror, an old and shabby chick one but haven’t found one yet so this one will have to do for a while. I’m especially satisfied with the Hydrangea their color of purple, pink and blue matching the blue of the table.

And now I’m back home again. A whole week has gone by and no wrist warmers made! Better luck next week eh?

08 October 2007

Pink Ribbon campaign

Both my daughters are keen riders and belong to the local riding club. They spend a lot of time in the stables and the eldest is also secretary in the riding clubs youth section. One of her “duties” is to help out in the cafeteria whenever there is a club championship. Last week she read in the paper about the pink ribbon campaign and decided that she was going to bake pink ribbon cookies to sell on all the club championships in October for the benefit of the breast cancer foundation. The youth section thought it was a faboulus idea and sponsored the ingredients that she needed for the baking.

For the first championship she made 50 cookies with the help of her sister and they sold the lot. So for the next one she’s making a 150……

She and her sister had great fun while baking and were very precise with the ribbons. They had to look exactly right!

Making ribbons of pink marzipan!

20 cookies ready and 30 to go.....

The kitchen looked a mess but I don’t mind. I am very proud of the both of them. We live in a time when most people think only of themselves and most of her schoolmates are only interested in making money for their own benefit. She worked hard for a very worthy cause and I am proud of being her mum!