Without using an opaque paint I think it would be pretty impossible to lighten black without bleach. If the bear is already made I wouldn't try it will be impossible to rinse the bleach out efficiently. Why not sew a lighter piece of similar fabric in place and shade it to match in with the teddy.
Just be aware that if you intend to sell bears, whatever you weight with must be some thing which is not going to rot the fabric , work its way through the fabric etc. Steel shot unless it's stainless steel can be quite messy so you need to make bags to put them in. Also consider that if you intend to export bears that you must comply with customs ....I've heard of people adding organic matter to stuff bears and this just gets turned away at customs ....for example I have heard of people using bags of sand etc. which might eventually work through the fabric since it's very fine, and also would cause a problem with customs.
I use stainless steel ball bearings....they aren't cheap but they give a nice weight and they are safe to use.
I pretty much always use cotter pin joints in the neck. I like that they are posable and can tilt slightly...but occasionally I use locline too...though it is fun to pose up and down and tilts very nicely I sometimes prefer fact that with a cotter pin joint you can swivel the head ...so I spend lots of time thinking of ways to do both....but I haven't thought hard enough yet!
Someone gave me great advice once..
" no matter how slow you machine it will always be faster than you can hand sew'
I have learned to sew pretty much everything on the machine...it's faster and once you get used to it is neat and takes to donkey work out of it. Occasionally I will sew the nose and muzzle in by hand ...and rarely...the footpads if I do trapunto ones and they won't go under the machine.
To me it's a case of ' why have a dog and bark yourself'
If I have a sewing machine to do the boring bits I let it! It means I get to do the nice bits faster.
One way to do it is to buy some of the aluminium ear lining foil style stuff that you get from taxidermy shops...you just cut out a piece and sew it inside the ear ...then stitch it on normally...as long as you catch it a couple of times as you stitch it to the head it stays put. Don't ask me for a link as I bought mine ages ago. But just google it. With wire I just whip stitch it to the stitching line of the seam....I make a loop on each end and I close the whole ear around the wire leaving the loops inside. I stitch it to the head and sew through the loops a few times..
Works for me
I don't put a knot in the ends when starting off...if you take a length of thread and fold it in two and put the ends through the needle...then draw the needle through the head leaving a loop ...going back through the head coming out through the loop will anchor the thread without the need for knots....start off in neck area and you won't see a dent...you can then sculpt the head.
Hide the ends in the neck area...then you won't see them. I finish with a tailors knot. I separate each thread...rethread the needle... Make a knot in the thread an inch or do from the head ...then go back in exactly where the thread comes out and pop the knot inside through the fabric. You can't see anything on the outside.
Me too...I just like to have a regular flow of visitors . Be aware that more photos less text gets more priority in the news feeds...so I do post photos as much as possible ..even if it's the dogs.
Generally though it's bears that keep people coming back so even if I am not selling one I do put photos up. I tell you the best thing I have found, and I can't take any credit for this as I took a leaf out of Kelly Deans book and now everyone is doing it...is the work in progress. Kelly does it with much more panache as his workshop is so amazing ...he does his ' On My Workbench this week' pictures which I am sure drive business. I don't do anything more than
show the odd nose, or foot pad..or face in progress. But it does stimulate interest. Which is the aim
Yes you can buy likes from loads of companies....2000 for £30 is about average. I have no idea what good it does anyone though...other than create a false impression and lead people to think the page is more popular than it really is...I don't think it means anything though...it doesn't actually mean the page is popular. It just means they bought likes.
When I check my stats nowadays I am always amazed by the amount of visitors from Pinterest and Facebook since
I have been doing my Facebook business page. I started my page probably about 5 years ago. I update both pages every day with photos if possible as apparently Facebook likes photos and that gets you more priority in the news feed. I try not to update my business page more than once a day as I've read that doing that can have the reverse effect.
In that time I've got 3700 plus followers and some regularly interact. The reach last week was 5709 and 845 people engaged. It's taken time Paula but I have sold bears, gained followers... Lost some too.. It connects seamlessly with sites like
ABI and Teddy Talk..allows me to promote my eBay auctions , mailing list etc and I know that my bears have been bought on occasion by people who have never even seen an artist bear before. So I think despite the people who knock it, for a bit if consistent regular effort you can be successful. In The beginning, and occasionally now, I pay to promote my bears. I will set the campaign at around £5 or £10 sometimes. That really helps expose my work to new people. But I don't do it often nowadays.
Neither do I buy likes.. I know some do but I don't see the point of that because it's just a vanity thing really. You can buy a couple of thousand likes online for £30 or so but it's not real so I don't get why anyone would bother.
Good luck with it!
Well firstly once you sell to a shop, unless you have a signed contract that is pretty much it...you don't have the right to set the price. What you have to remember is that shops usually have to pay VAT, overheads, staff wages etc and that is why they will charge more as they need to make a profit. Usually shops will ask for between 20%-50% trade discount...which is why..when you arrive at your selling price, if you intend to sell to shops you need to work it out on the basis that you will still need a profit, even after you deduct trade discount. Otherwise it's not wise to sell to shops.
As far as removing your tags and selling them as their own then that is sort of theft of your intellectual property....so I think that you have every right to complain there. It doesn't matter if you get paid for supplying a shop with something, they do not then have the right to claim they made the item, they simply bought the right to sell it. They can't for example, take your bear apart and make a pattern and reproduce your bear...they can't use your photos unless you give permission. They bought the bears and they can sell them. That's it.
So if you are worried you need to speak to them and get assurance that they haven't removed your identity.