Okay, so I’m a little bit late, as it’s after 3:30pm on this side of the world, but my dreamtime subject was just a leeetle bit of a diva!

I always dream up my bears, imagining them in all sorts of outfits and accessories. They all have their own personalities, and I imagine the way they would behave and the things they would say and do even before they’ve made it into the fur.

So what did I dream of? Well as a photographer and bear maker, it was inevitable that the two subjects would collide in my mind one day. So along came Birch, the latest member of the Wood family, who will be up for adoption at The Great Yorkshire Teddy Bear Event in Sheffield in November. Birch has the features of many photographers I know, the rather large tummy and bum, enhanced by all the honey sandwiches he has crammed down after early morning sunrise shoots, and all the Guinness he has downed after the evening sunset shots. He has a wobble joint in his head to allow him to tilt his head in all directions to examine his photographic subjects, while the rest of his joints are nut and bolt. He has the standard Littlest Thistle BIG feet, with pulled toes, and he can both stand and sit.

I will confess that I originally dreamed him with a growler, but it seems that perhaps I should also have been dreaming of a ruler, as although I always leave plenty of room in the back opening to put the joints in, I apparently didn’t think to measure the diameter of the growler to see if it would fit – doh! Oh well, I’m sure his portrait subjects will be grateful that he’s not growling at them lol.

Birch has his Contica camera with him. Now I believe that if I ever sussed out how to open the back of it (and numerous photgrapher friends have endeavoured to work this out, always unsuccessfully!) then one could put a film through it and develop it, albeit that the shutter mechanism is a bit sticky at present. I think a bear’s eye view of the world would be very cool, however that will be up to his new mum or dad to achieve with him. When I went into Merchant City Cameras to get a camera I think I may have asked the strangest question ever of the owner: ‘Have you got a bear sized camera? It doesn’t actually have to work, although that would be nice.’ To be fair to him, he pulled himself together fairly quickly, and I think he was secretly really getting into the idea in the end :oD

I will also confess that I seem to have created a bit of a diva. Oh yes, our Birch is a ‘professional’, so he assures me, and there were many arguments about the studio set up (what is it they say about never working with children and animals?!). He also insisted I couldn’t photograph him without all his seams being closed (I ran out of time last night), hence the delay today, however now he’s all complete and sitting here quite smugly in my bear making beanbag (he may get a bit of a shock at the eviction notice that he will shortly be receiving from there!)

Hope you enjoyed your visit, remember to take your party favour bags (otherwise the bears would tuck in, and, well, they’re quite rotund enough!). Don’t forget to check out all the other partygoers by clicking on the party invitation button to the right of this post.

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