Well, let’s see. My name is Samantha and I’ve been making miniature teddy bears, dogs, and other animals since about 1990. I started with bears that were about 6-8 inches tall, and gradually they got smaller… and smaller… and smaller! Now, my critters mostly fall into two size categories: The minis, which are generally 2-4 inches head to paw (standing), and the micro-minis, or as I call them, the teensies, which are right around 1 1/2 inches standing! Once in a while, I’ll make a slightly bigger (5 inches or so) guy, but that’s not often.
Miniatures have always been my passion. I not only make them but also collect these adorable teensy creatures from various other artists. As far back as I can remember, teensy, tiny things have always been what I was drawn to and were always quite special to me. I not only collect bitsy critters but also bitsy dolls as well! So, when I started making bears and animals, it was only natural that I made the teeny ones.
The first bear I ever made was about 8 inches tall (he was supposed to be about 4 inches!) and looked far more like a Scottish Terrier dog than a bear! I still have him. He’s a mess,
stitched really badly (I didn’t have a clue how to stitch from the outside to close a seam!), and a bit goofy looking, but I love him all the same! 🙂
I taught myself to make bears and never learned to use a pattern. I now purposely make critters the way I did when I first began: I lay the fabric out, judge what sizes I’ll need of each piece, and cut. This is both good and not so good! Good, because you, the collector, are assured a one-of-a-kind creature, but not so good because I cannot ever exactly reproduce a really popular animal. I take great pride in my work and always strive to produce adorable, high-quality work.
My bears and other animals are all complete individuals and always unique. I never force them to look a certain way or fit a “mold.” Because I’m not using patterns, I have only a very vague idea what the animal might look like as I’m working on her (or him). I allow her to come to life and show her face and personality all on her own—no rigid expectations from me! They tend to spring to life under my needle and thread as I sew. And yes, they absolutely do let me know who they are and what they should look like! Somehow, I seem to have very little to do with it! They are all sewn by hand by me with tons of love, and stuffed with personality and bitsy little hugs! Some are shy, some silly, some bold, some sweet—but each and every one has a definite personality of his/her own. I mean for them to touch your heart and bring a smile to your face—I truly do hope they are able to do that.
I exhibit at bear/doll shows once in a very great while (when I’ve enough unsold bears to bring!) but mostly sell direct from this site. I also offer a very occasional critter on eBay, as well.
As to me personally, I’m a professional dog trainer – a job I love a lot. I have a young son who has to decided that he, too, wants to make bears and dogs and bunnies. Maybe another artist in the making!
And hey! Nice to meetcha! 🙂