Wow, big name for a teddy bear show. It does live up to it's big name, though.
This year will be the show's 25th anniversary and my second year as an exhibitor at the show. I've attended the show many years as a collector and I'm so happy to be able to participate on the other side of the table now.
The show dates are April 4th, 5th and 6th. Yes a 3 day show. Friday- noon to 5, Saturday - 10:30 to 5 and Sunday - 10:30 to 3. I think one of the things I love best about this show is getting to know the other bear artists. We've communicated on Teddy Talk and Edinburgh's Teddy Bear Forum for a couple years and meeting them in person is just the best. A wonderful bunch of people, we bear artists are, if I do say so myself.
I've so looked forward to being a grandmother. My daughter, Tracy, satisfied my longing on December 15th, 2007 by giving birth to a bouncing, and rather big, baby boy. Sullivan Shawn was born by C-Section, weighing in at 9 lbs, 2 oz. Tracy and Tyson are absolutely wonderful parents. I'm so proud of them both.
I was fortunate enough to spend Sullivan's first 3 weeks with him, but it's now been 3 months. I'm missing it ! ! ! Waaaaaa. I'll be making the trip to Nashville in April to spend 10 days with them. I hope Sullivan hasn't forgotten me.
In 1986,I worked with a nurse who mentioned she had a bear-making class coming up. My daughters were aged 2 and 7 at that time. I had made a few bears from a McCalls pattern for my girlies and was interested in expanding my bear making abilities so took her up on it.
My first bear was made of inexpensive plush and very loosely jointed with cotter pins. Not too impressive, but I kept trying and after I discovered mohair, there was no stopping me. I soon started designing my own patterns. After everyone in my family and many friends had received bears as gifts, and to support my mohair habit, I decided to make my bears available to collectors and started Swan Valley Bears.
I had considered BaroneBears which sounded pretty good, but we pronounce it Baroney (like baloney). Most people pronounce it Barone (rhymes with loan). Everybody Loves Raymond's family pronounces it that way. And, really, BaroneBear pronounced in the "loan" version just doesn't sound right. So . . . when doing research for a new name, I discovered that Swan Valley, Montana has the largest population of grizzly bears in the lower 48 and they have an area where the bears are protected. I loved that, and with visions of one of my bears riding on the back of a swan, it was decided. So January 1, 2007, Swan Valley Bears was born.