Sunday, June 23, 2013

TBAI is Out, but Creativity May be In!

Alas, I had to make a very, very difficult decision yesterday . . . I decided to cancel my table at the 2013 Teddy Bear Artist Invitational show (TBAI).  It's such a wonderful, wonderful teddy bear show and SO much fun for everyone.  It takes place in Binghamton, New York every year and benefits the Ross Park Zoo.  This year it's scheduled for August 22nd through August 24th.  With great artists, fun activities, yummy food, and raising money for a good cause, it's hard to find a better teddy bear show!
I've had fun attending TBAI these past few years, but it just isn't going to work out this year.  When I signed up to participate last fall, I knew that our oldest daughter would be starting her junior year at the university.  Her first year away from home!  (She did her first two years of college locally.)  I knew that her classes would be starting around TBAI time, but I felt sure that she would be moving into the dorms the week before TBAI.  Didn't someone named Murphy say something about this?--as in "Murphy's Law."  Yes, she needs to move in between August 22nd and 25th!  Cripes!
Well now, if I had no health issues I would just say that I would do them both.  But I do have health issues and doing them both could land me stuck in my bed with a terrible flare-up for weeks, if not months.  So a choice had to be made and, without any doubt, I HAD to be there for our daughter.  It was difficult to pull out of TBAI, both because of missing all of the wonderful people there and because I had missed the deadline and my $300 fee had become non-refundable.  It's funny, I had tried and tried to find the "move in" information for months and when I was finally able to find it, I was 2 weeks too late.  Oh, well.  BUT there is a silver lining to this story!
The "up" side to all of this is that I have decided to allow myself time to play around and try new things with bears and other crafts this summer.  I haven't told you, but I have been feeling a bit overdone creativity-wise.  Some may say my muse has taken a long vacation.  Between homeschooling and shop orders, I've started to feel a bit like a factory just trying to pump out bears as fast as I humanly can with the limited time and energy I have.  As you can imagine, my creativity has taken a nose-dive and I've lost a lot of the joy that I used to have in making the bears.  So instead of trying to make a lot of bears, I'm going to try to savor what will probably be my last summer with our oldest daughter and also to explore new techniques and mediums that I've been itching to try for the past couple of years.  I've decided that I will use the "lost $300" as a reminder to keep my focus on my family and my creativity.  Not a bad price to pay when you think of it like that!

Bears at Silly Bears

Now that Silly Bears has unveiled my three bears, I think I can safely show them to you.  I was pretty pleased with how they turned out.  In fact, I was quite smitten with the first one and really wanted to keep her.  Alas, I had deadlines to meet and no time to make another bear to replace her--so off she went to Silly Bears with the others.
10" Jessica

8" Skippy
14" James
I just peeked at Silly Bears' website and found out that Skippy and James have found new homes, but sweet little Jessica is still waiting to find her new mom or dad.  If you're as smitten with her as I was, go to , click on "Artist Bears" in the upper toolbar, and then scroll down to "Bingle Bears."  She's right in the middle!
Happy Summer!