Mailing List Update & New eMail Address

Hello there!  Just wanted to let you know that I am in the process of changing over all of my correspondence to my new eMail at :

kimbasta@icloud.com

You may wish to cut and paste my new eMail into your contacts list so I don’t accidentally get “junked” by your eMail provider!

Some of you receive automated notices from WordPress when I publish a new blog post…. those will continue if you are signed up for them.  I also maintain a Wild Thyme Originals Mailing List.  I send an eMail each time I have a bear available for sale.  I sometimes participate in on-line shows, and those bears may become available to the public before I have a chance to post a link here.  If you wish to have immediate notification of all available bears, your best bet is to sign up for the Mailing List.  If you’d care to do so, simply send an eMail to kimbasta@icloud.com and I will happily add you!

Thanks so much for your continued interest in my designs.  It’s people like you that continue to allow me to keep pursuing my passions!  I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have about my bears, or teddy bear artistry in general.  I love to hear from individuals who enjoy what I do!

Hugs,

Kim Basta

Wild Thyme Originals

 

Pansy Pin Keep

A pretty place to park pins!  It’s been a long time since I’ve done any ribbon work in earnest… but a long time collector of mine commissioned a very tiny miniature bear with a pansy theme.  Once the little bear was finished, I decided to grab some scraps and do a life sized pansy… but what to do with it?  A pansy pin keep.  

pansypinkeep2Hand made French wired ribbon pansy and leaf.

100% wool felt pin cushion stuffed firmly with poly-fill.

embroidery floss

seed bead accents

glass “dew drop”

 

Pinning today…

It’s been a busy day here today on the kid front.  My daughter had a friend over and they decided to make cupcakes for the entire gymnastics team!  While they were knee-deep in frosting and sprinkles, I did a bit of pinning.  I just use regular old quilting pins.  I’ve tried various other methods, but I always seem to revert to using what I started with.  You must tuck all the mohair back into the piece as you go.  Because I hand sew, I have the luxury of being able to continue to tuck as I sew.  My pinning isn’t the neatest I’ve seen, but with the hand sewing, I still have flexibility to ease the pieces into proper alignment as I stitch.
pinned legAs you can see, the area where the foot pad will be inserted remains open, as does a small area on what will be the top of the thigh.  The thigh opening will be used to turn the piece right side out after the footpad is sewn in.  Here’s a pick of what I am currently using as my pincushion…. an Amish puzzle ball!  These are so fun to make.  I made this one a few years ago out of some pretty scraps of cotton quilting fabric.  Here’s a link to some directions if you’d like to try one yourself..

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=102581.0#axzz2Olxr1TOf

pin cushion

The tutorial shows one being made from felt.  I hand sewed each of the “footballs” with the right sides facing together, leaving a small opening for turning and stuffing.  After stuffing each football with wool batting, I closed each one with a few stitches before sewing them together as directed in the tutorial.

Making a Mohair bear from start to finish

I’ve decided to do a little series on how I make my full-sized mohair bears… hopefully from start to finish (we’ll see how long I stay focused!)  All of my bears start out the same way, as a little pile of scraps and do-dads.  I sift through the vast stash of ribbon, beads, and materials and put together something that feels pleasing to me.

idea pileI generally put my little pile of scraps into a drawstring bag and carry them around with me.  Not all the elements will find their way into the finished bear.  If I’m at a fabric store or antique shop I can pull out that little bag and see how my fabrics might look with various other elements that I find.  For this bear, I am starting with some lovely pinks and creams.

I make decisions about the size and shape of the bear.  Will she have straight or bent legs?  Large ears or small.  Sometimes I sketch a completely new pattern… sometimes I take out an older pattern and modify it to suit my needs.  I trace out the pattern onto the fabric.  Then I begin to cut out each pattern piece with my sharp little crane scissors.  I take tiny snips along the back of the fabric, following the cutting line and parting the fur on the reverse side as I go.  You have to be careful to cut just the cotton backing… not the fur.

cutting the fabric

After all the pattern pieces have been cut out.  I carefully trim the fur that lies within the seam allowance at the edges of the entire piece.  Not everyone finds this a necessary step.  I like doing it because I think it makes the seams  feel tighter and look less visible in the finished bear.  It also lessens the amount of “seam picking” that will be necessary in a later step.  I am left with a little pile of fluff.

trimming pattern pieces

When the weather is nice I sometimes do this part while sitting on my deck.  No need to clean up that way!  The funny thing is, sometimes birds fly away with the fluff and bits of mohair scraps.  I always wondered what they did with my leftovers!  A few years ago, we had a robin make a nest in our crabapple tree.  As I stood on the deck railing to take a wee peek at the new babies, I noticed some of my mohair trimmings woven into the nest along with the usual twigs and grass .  What a cozy place to hatch!

More to come soon!

Just a quick note… Little Lindy sold within minutes of me posting her as available.  I didn’t even have time to press the “send” button to notify my Mailing List members.  Now that’s FAST!  Just wanted you to know that if you are looking to add a Wild Thyme Originals creation to your collection, I should have another miniature listed next week… maybe sooner if I can lure some housework faeries to visit me!  I am also stitching away on two very interesting “fantasy pandas.”  After Christmas, I splurged on some gorgeous vintage upholstery velvets, so look for some interesting color combinations!

Hope everyone is having a great start to the new year!  Keeping super busy here tending to various family members with sniffles and whatnot.  I was also asked to design a new custom singlet for my youngest son’s wrestling team. NO… there won’t be any teddy bears on it!  I’ve never done any design work for sports teams before, but it’s funny how I am using much the same skill set, picking fabrics, color combinations, patterns, logos, and fonts.  It’s been really fun so far!

Hugs,

Kim Basta

Wild Thyme Originals