Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm often asked how I started into the wonderful world of bear making..... so here's my story.
I was walking through the Riverside markets in Brisbane one Sunday morning with my daughter, Emily and we came across a lady selling bears. They looked so gorgeous that I thought then that I would have to find out how to make one. When I questioned the seller about where to buy fabric she was totally unhelpful and wasn't going to divulge her secrets!! The following week I was collecting the fees from one of the YMCA playgroups ( I used to work for the Y) and the playgroup leader knowing that I was into all sorts of crafts asked me if I knew of anyone who taught bear making. She then told me about a good book she'ds seen ( The art Of Teddy Bear Making by Jennifer Laing) and where I could buy some supplies. So on the way home I picked up the book got some fur - Synthetic and plastic joints - and that weekend my world into bears started. I went to the craft fair to buy eyes and there I bumped into Gerry's stand. A visit the following week to Gerry's ( she used to work from a very small room off her house at Rosewood) and I was never to be the same again. I just had to keep making bear after bear. Everyone (friends and family) thought I'd completely lost the plot! That was in 1993 and in 1995 I was made redundant from the YMCA and so bears became full time and I also started working for Gerry in her new shop which opened in Brisbane Arcade.

But my bear making goes back many years before when I was about 7 or 8 yrs old. I grew up in England and at primary school we used to spend some time learning a variety of crafts. I remember sewing dolls clothes and I made a little bear then with glass eyes - more like a koala. He sits in one of my cabinets along with Sooty the first bear I made in1993.

Sooty and my first bear


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this thread Lesley!
    Nice to read that there is another fellow artist, who's rellies think is crazy...LOL!

  2. Aww! How cute are they, Lesley? Thank you for your greetings on my blog. I notice your followers have all gone out for a coffee too. It seems to be sweeping Blogger by storm at the moment. Cheers,