My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #353: Finishing Touches on the Polar Bear

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 05-28-2011 01:17 PM 5478 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 352: Rambling and Some Pictures for Dennis Part 353 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 354: My One Year Birthday Here on Lumberjocks! »

Yesterday was one of those fun days of working. I spent most of the day putting the finishing touches on my Polar Bear Pull Toy. Sometimes, as with a project such as this, that is my favorite part of designing. All the gritty work is done and it is time to have fun and do all the little things that complete the project.

I went to my favorite little store where I get a lot of the craft and jewelry supplies that I use. Actually it isn’t even a store in itself, it is a grocery store that has a section on the side that has craft supplies, giftware and fabrics. I am always amazed at how much nice stuff they have in such a small area. Everything is quite organized and there is one wall section that has hundreds and hundreds of little bags of jewelry making supplies and findings.

I have come to know the woman who works there fairly well over the couple of years since I moved here. Her name is Simone and she is very friendly and helpful and also very creative. The last time that I was in (when I was getting the rusty bells for the grizzly bear, I think) she had asked me what I was making and I was describing these fun little animals and she asked me to bring them in. I always feel funny bringing stuff in, but many times I am there and I see women with quilts and other crafts showing their creations to Simone and she really seems to enjoy seeing them. I suppose that I why she is so good at her job – she has a genuine interest in what others do.

So I brought the three little toys in and she made a big fuss over them. She called some of the other workers to show them and even called the owner over to look. I always feel uneasy at times like this. It just feels odd to me.

After a couple of minutes, I got down to business. I wanted to find the perfect adornment for my little bear. Being a polar bear and all, I felt that the natural choice would be to look for silver. At first I picked up some small silver bells, but since the grizzly bear had bells on it already, I wanted this one a bit different. Besides, you don’t really see polar bears with bells on them anyway.

Simone showed me a length of sterling silver chain that was very small and delicate and I thought that would be a nice start. The price was not bad and besides, I only needed a couple of inches of it to go around the bear’s neck. (I did get some extra to have on hand – you never know!) I then saw some beautiful swirl cut silver beads and bought a small package of that. I was beginning to picture what I wanted in my mind. Then, the final touch, some beautiful Swarovski crystal beads. They had several sizes and I took full advantage of that.

I made a necklace, with three of the silver beads and a single medium sized crystal. I wanted something that reminded me of a cascading icicle and I think that this did the trick:

From Polar Bear Antique Pull Toy Replica

I then used four small crystals and drilled small depression in the hubs of the wheels to add a subtle sparkle to the cart:

From Polar Bear Antique Pull Toy Replica

The largest of the crystals, I used to embed into the snowflake shaped pull. I think this tied everything together nicely:

From Polar Bear Antique Pull Toy Replica

I also finished painting him as Dave suggested yesterday. I painted little claws on his feet, as well as dry brushed a bit of black (very lightly) around his muzzle and in his ears. This gave him a nice, finished look:

From Polar Bear Antique Pull Toy Replica

I even found some small plastic snowflakes in the scrap book section and decided to use them to photograph him and give a nice, wintery effect. I was debating whether to use the jute again for the pull cord, but I had some beautiful white ribbon with silver edging on it that I thought looked perfect.

From Polar Bear Antique Pull Toy Replica

I really enjoyed this project. Especially finishing him up and making him look so special. These toys are so much fun to make! It is truly fun to see each one come to life.

I spent the rest of the afternoon taking the pictures and working on getting them to my editor to see if he wants the project for the magazine. By the time I sent them however, it was already around 4pm and I knew that I wouldn’t hear from him until at least Tuesday (they have a long weekend in the States) Either way it will be good. If he chooses not to use the project for the magazine, I will be able to sell the pattern right away. It is one of those win/win situations that we all love.

So for today it is on to new things. I haven’t decided what to do next. I have some ornament sets that I want to do and also more trays and of course more animal toys. The list is long and I am happy that I have so many choices. I still have to get the newsletter out too, but we are making some more adjustments to the site and we wanted to finish those up too.

I feel very fortunate that I am in the place that I am. I can honestly say that I look forward to every new day and what it brings. And for that I am truly blessed.

Have a great weekend.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

5 comments so far

View huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2672 days

#1 posted 05-28-2011 01:44 PM

Shelia , the chain and the icicle look crystal looks great ! I believe you added just the right amount of black to the ears an muzzle as being total black I think it would be to much. The wheels when I first looked in reminded me of the moon hub caps . Great job Shelia I see no reason the should not except it Have a lovely day and enjoy the rest of the weekend

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2977 days

#2 posted 05-28-2011 01:51 PM

Thanks, Dave! I was asked if I was going to put a little mouth on him, but to be honest I am kind of chicken and don’t want to muck him up. I am not sure if he needs it or not, but I don’t want him to look silly either. I suppose I am still debating on it. I appreciate your comments and hope you have a great weekend!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2672 days

#3 posted 05-28-2011 02:17 PM

Take a piece of paper black or anything you can fine and place it on temporary to see what it looks like.for the mouth
Not to sure on that one

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View Steve Good's profile

Steve Good

96 posts in 4012 days

#4 posted 05-28-2011 04:19 PM

Hi Sheila, I really like this project. It has so much appeal on so many levels.

-- Steve Good,

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3561 days

#5 posted 05-28-2011 11:37 PM

The Polar Bear is great. I will definitely pick that up either from the magazine or from your site. I like it just as it is now. Thanks for sharing the pictures Rick

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

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