SOPHIE

viscose rabbit
Hello & welcome. I'm very pleased to introduce this NEW DESIGN in which I have developed and perfected several new techniques which allow me to be even more creative in my work. I spent many many weeks (well, actally months) blisfully creating Sophie and her toys into a wonderful one-of-a-kind vignette.
At the end of 2013 I decided to enter the TOBY Industry Awards with this piece. It was my first competition ever. To my surprise I was honoured with a 2014 TOBY Industry Choice Award for this vignette. The TOBYs are one of the most prestigious awards in the bear artist world. And upon today I'm over the moon to have won this prestigious award!


viscose rabbit, TOBY Industry Choice Award 2014
Few words can express the frenzy I experience when I lay eyes on a blank canvas. I'm always very eager to bring the idea in my head to life and to improve my skills. Once I developed an artistic vision for Sophie, I started by drawing the pattern. But it remains a surprise at how 2D will look like in 3D. The idea for this vignette is based on one of the pictures from one of the very well known books by Jill Barklem: BRAMBLY HEDGE.
brambly hedge

Once all the pattern pieces are approved I started making Sophie and her toys....and only supreme materials were used in Sophie's creation eg. roving wool, it smells so delicious and it is by far the best material to fill the bears.

teddy bear supplies

I've always been a kind of fashionista and I love to dress my creations. So the best part of teddy bear art in my case is designing and making outfits. Below you see Sophie's elegant body in full glory and let's dress her up.....
viscose rabbit
She wears a darling dress that I especially designed for her. It's made of cotton and trimmed with beautiful fine French laces. Some parts were too small for the sewing machine and therefore are stitched by hand. Underneath an underskirt made of ultra-thin cotton gaze trimmed with a piece of ruffled blue lace. I was very anxious to age the dress. By using a new technique I added aged and old worn areas and I even turned the fine laces into frumpy ruffles for that well loved appearance we all love so much. I'm over the moon at how it turned out.

vintage cotton dress

viscose rabbit

viscose rabbit, cotton gaze

viscose rabbit

frayed cotton lace ruffles

I'm so in love with this vignette. I've had many moments of great joy and pleasure whilst making it. Sophie's viscose is hand dyed in a kind of suntan brown by using a totally different technique. She has unique hand tinted markings on her face and lopped ears (yes...they can swivel!) I gave her a beautiful vintage rayon bow, marked with a copper oxidied flower and crystal bycone.
Her nose is sparse stitched in two colors and then aged. And she has a fully posable neck joint, also done in a new technique. It took many hours until I had found a technique that works well.
Her pretty cardigan is made of cotton in sandstone beige with old raspberry edges. It was difficult to knit a perfect fit and I had to knit it at least 3 times. Third time lucky I suppose.

viscose rabbit

viscose rabbit

viscose rabbit

viscose rabbit

viscose rabbit

Did you notice Sophie's shoes...? I made similar shoes for Alice my first cloth doll. They were far from perfect i.m.h.o. I managed to improve the design and technique and I made a pair of beautiful fabric shoes. Not only do they look like genuine leather, they even feel like leather! I also made the shoelaces too and the knitted sock edges to complete the looks. All in all a very fiddling and time-consuming process.

fabric prim shoes
viscose rabbit
 
Sophie's entire set is consisting of several toys & accessoiries: the fabric ball, the rocking horse, two little itty-bitty bunnies, a wooden block with graphics and the box in which she is to keep her toys. 
First of all there is the rocking horse. I found him a few years ago and put him in a box amongst lotsa other toys where it was kindly waiting......I "stripped" him and please believe me when I say that the painting required a great deal of time and patience to give him this new look. I even managed to root his tail and horse manes. They are made from super-fine and very soft dark brown silkish mohair. Didn't he turn out fabulous...?

miniature rocking horse 1:12 scale

Sophie is holding a ball between her paws. It is hand stitched of cotton fabric in faded old blues & raspberry reds and then aged. And if you look at the photo below you can see that she is holding the ball without any support. 
I wanted Sophie to be able to sit on a box. In order to realize that, I've designed bent legs. Believe me when I say that it was easier said then done. It was quite difficult to design the correct proportions and the correct angle of the bent legs. I've made 7 prototypes...but voilà, she's able to sit on her box all by herself.

viscose rabbit
prim fabric ball
viscose rabbit, Toby Industry Choice Awards
miniature rocking horse 1:12 scale
The box is made from wood and its front & back are covered with beautiful embroidered pieces of linen. I embroidered the word "JOUETS" on the front label which means TOYS in French of course. I painted the box using a different new technique and then it's heavily altered for an old look. It looks as if it has been used for many many years. On the back I embroidered the alphabet in very tine cross stitches, only 1 strand over 1 thread. All in matching colors. And you see a very close-up detail of the tiny embroidered rose buds.

hand embroidery

vintage box, prim ball

miniature embroidery


cross stitch alphabet

cross stitch embroidery

primitive bunnies

These little itty-bitty bunnies were such fun to make. They are made form cotton (left) and viscose (right). The left one's inner ears & foot pads are made from burlap. From the right one they are made from cotton. Both bunnies are hand tinted, aged and very loosely thread jointed for a wobbly effect. Their size: 12 cm - 4.5 inches from the tip of the ears to the tip of the toes. Probably you say: "I've seen the left one before?" Yep, that's right! I used the bunny in my profile picture (below) on various social media.

cotton bunny


viscose bunny
The bunny in the above photo is sitting behind a wooden block and posed this way you can read the word SHE. But wait.....there is more.........I painted a letters on each side and when you see all 6 sides next to each other they spell SOPHIE, yes correct, this way it became a very personal block!

vintage wooden blocks

SOPHIE HAS BEEN ADOPTED

viscose rabbit, Toby Industry Choice Award 2014
Believe me when I say I live by precision and excellence when it comes to bear making. The complete ensemble and everything else that you see is handmade. All my work is created with deep love and passion.
I take a lot of pride in my work and spend hours upon hours to give them their own personality, details, lovely designed clothes and accessoiries. It is what I call pure artistic love.
Sophie's description is 100% accurate, and you will not be dissapointed if you decide to adopt her. If you do have any questions about this item, please feel free to contact me. Or you can email me if you would like to be added to my customer E-list, where I notify you by e-mail when new pieces become available.

Please note:
As with all my work, including, clothing & accessoiries: it is for the ADULT collector only and NOT for playing!
All my pieces are created in a smoke-free home. Only items stated in the "listing" will be sent home with her.