After 20+ years of breeding and showing top Siamese, Colorpoint and Cornish Rex cats all over the USA, and sewing elaborate cage decor for show cats of all kinds, I decided to "retire" to a less strenuous hobby. I had always collected teddies, beginning with my mother's antique mohair bear from the early 1900's, and I decided that unpacking my collection to sit under the Christmas tree for a month every year wasn't enough. I wanted to make a bear of my own, and I wanted to design my own patterns. I used my fabric knowledge and background in sewing clothing, draperies and all sorts of cat toys, and eventually progressed from using commercial patterns to designing my own pattern. Making my own bears from start to finish - from pencil outline on a piece of paper to three dimensional, furry "real" creature was so satisfying I was quickly hooked on bear making and didn't regret the addiction at all.

My bears were featured in the English magazine Teddybear Times in May of 2000 and I have exhibited them at shows around the southern USA. My bears are stuffed with polyfil, pellets and copper or steel shot, and have heads firmly defined with excelsior fill. I have had to stop making bears in recent months because of some repetitive motion stress injuries to my wrists and fingers, so I no longer offer to make new bears for a customer. I only offer the ones on this site should someone care to adopt one - they're my last and most unique, I think.

I began designing websites in 1998, when I wanted to change the graphics on my first bear website. My designer was swamped with work, so she suggested I attempt doing the work myself. After a few gulps and some false starts, I learned how to not only create the backgrounds, buttons, bars, etc myself using PaintShop Pro and Adobe PhotoShop. I began learning to set up the pages for my site. Another bear artist saw my website and asked me to design one for her, and I was off to the races!

I now have a fairly large group of long-term clients - mostly teddybear artists with some doll and bear shops, some horse farms and a few dog breeders thrown in for good measure - and am very happy doing the updates and maintenance on their web pages, plus designing for a new client when called upon. It's like coloring with very special crayons in a very unusual coloring book. You never know where a path will take you, and I'm very glad I went down this one, daunting as it was at the start. I hope you enjoy visiting my site and looking at my bears, cats, dogs, etc.  It's been a pleasure greeting you.

Marti

 

My friend Judy, her mom, and Yours Truly on the right

L to R: Judy Leonard (Taz's Bears), Dolores Adney
(her mom), and ME! At a show in Knoxville, TN
seated in front of some of our fancy show cages.
We lost Dolores November, 2004 - we miss her.

 

Suncountry Maximus aka "Max"
Red toy poodle - my latest obsession

Muffin, the chocolate poodle, belongs to Judy - he and Max do their best to look innocent.

 

The cats all have crossed the Rainbow Bridge now and are, I'm sure,
waiting for me on the Other Side, purrs and pawpats saved up for when
my lap is open to them once more.

 

Grand Premier Wintara Sunscream of Katseye
Red ticked tabby Oriental Shorthair

Grand Premier Elegance "Return-of-Emily??"
Gold-eyed white Devon Rex

 

 

 

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