Hi, my name is Annabelle Evans. I'm 28 years old, married, no children (yet). I work in the Civil Service in London. Making teddy bears is my passion in life, other than my husband, Neal!
It all started last Christmas (1997) when we were in Bath for the day. I remember popping into The Teddy Bear Shop and being amazed at the range of bears available there. Sadly I my wallet wouldn't stretch to the cost of buying one of these adorable bears, so I bought a magazine instead, and in it was a pattern! Jan Glossop from the shop then invited me upstairs to the workshop, where I was introduced to all the components of bear making, and pointed in the direction of Oakley Fabrics in Luton. I was so excited after this visit that I couldn't wait until we got home to get started!
My first bear was made out of an old boucle fur coat, using the pattern in the magazine. I thought he was quite brilliant for a first try, but I cringe now whenever I look at him, with his joints the wrong size, one leg higher than the other, and a great big soppy grin on his lopsided face! Still, I thought he was adorable!
I then began designing my own patterns, and making my own bears using synthetic fur fabric. It wasn't too long, however, before I began some tentative forays into mohair and crushed velvet, and then I was well and truly hooked! Through trial and error I progressed, and was pleased to see my bears evolving.
Every bear I make is unique, though I sometimes use the same pattern but with different combinations of mohair and suede/ultrasuede. Each bear has its own individual character and charm. I like to use a variety of materials such as steel shot, glass beads and plastic pellets. My tradename is Bearheart Designs, as all my bears bear (!) my trademark - a heart-shaped suede/ultrasuede/velveteen nose.
Some of my early bears can be seen for sale at Hug N Treasure in Brentwood. More successful so far are my bears in The Eton Dolls House at 44 The High Street, Eton, Berkshire, in the shadow of Windsor Castle. My bears there have gone to good homes in America and locally here in England. There was a mention of one of them, Thundercloud, in the October 1998 issue of Teddy Bear Club International. Like all aspiring bear artists, I hope to be "discovered" some day soon!
I hope you will enjoy looking at my gallery of bears. As you can see, I am quite adventurous with my choice of colour combinations. As the bears are all one-offs, those you see in the photos will have already gone to good homes. I welcome commissions, however, and would be only too pleased to discuss your very own personalised bear with you. Just e-mail me for a chat, I enjoy talking about bears and bear-related subjects. I have made some great friends through the Internet, and some of my bears have been adopted by persons in America and Singapore as well as in England.
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