About the Critters

IN THE BEGINNING . . . I entered the world of handmade bears in 2003, at a time when my own world was in turmoil. With many difficulties at work I found it hard to turn off the tension. Then one day, while browsing through a second-hand shop with a visiting friend, a pre-loved teddy bear with a funny face called out to me from the shelf it sat on. Of course I had to adopt it! Shortly after this, thanks to the encouragement of my friend, I found a book on bear-making in the local library, and began work on my first bear.

Action Bear!
Made in a hurry (as I did most things in those days), Action Bear was rather strange looking, his arms and legs being at right angles to his body, but I thought he was cute, and so I had to make another, Bluebeary, whose arms and legs were better placed, but still, I could do better . . . I was hooked!

Soon, thanks to the encouragement of my dear husband Martin, I plucked up the courage to attend a teddy-bear making class at a local fur warehouse, and was warmly welcomed into the world of bear makers and handmade teddy bears. I learned that to successfully make a bear, you have to slow right down, work patiently through each step, and learn the joy of discovering the personality of the little critter hidden in the material. My absorption in this process also had the beneficial effect of ‘de-stressing’ me – what wonderful therapy!!

IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME . . . It wasn’t long before I just had to try designing a bear ‘after my own heart’, and Kayzy’s Critters began. There are many types of teddy bears in the world, but I wanted my little critters to reflect the love displayed in the creation—love that fills my heart with joy at the sound of the many birds in our garden, or the colour of autumn leaves, or the voice of a loved one.

Every bear I create is a gift, given to share, and I discovered this to be especially so after I spent many months recovering from a serious road accident, first in hospital and then at home. The process of bearmaking and my involvement with the ‘beary’ community helped enormously in my recovery, because bear-making was one of the few things I could do lying down! (I still do most of my bearmaking this way.)

The view from my bear-making sofa


What I love most about this 'beary' handcraft is that a little personality comes to life with the placement of the eyes or adjustment of an ear and seems to say, “Here I am, Mum —what took you so long?!” and then my joy is complete!