After dabbling in other crafts such as decorating Faberge style eggs, scrapbooking and beaded bracelets, I chanced upon teddy bear making while visiting a craft show in Sydney with a friend. It was the beginning of my obsession!
Unlike a lot of other bear artists, I donít have a background in design, art or fashion, having worked in administration for all of my working life, and I must admit to not being all that interested in sewing in my earlier years.
I work full time as a Department Manager in a chemical manufacturing plant, and have now completed a Diploma of Logistics, after achieving a Diploma of Business - Frontline Management in 2009.
I am self-taught in my bear-making, and have been designing and making my bears since 2007. Iím thrilled to say that Iíve enjoyed competition success during that time, most recently winning TOBY Industry Choice Awards in 2013 and 2012 as well as URSA Awards in 2012, 2011 and 2010.
Each of my bears has been hand-sewn from mohair or alpaca (my favourite) and I spend a lot of time hand-painting their eyes. They say that Ďthe eyes are the window to the soulí and I like my little creationsí eyes to have a depth of character that speaks to people.
I am inspired by beautiful colours, and I love the fantasy and mystery of shows such as the wonderful Cirque du Soleil, and the beauty and culture of the Fanta-sea shows in Phuket, Thailand.
I enjoy dabbling with different design techniques (which I am still learning) and canít wait to see a little finished face staring back at me. I admit to having a penchant for collecting mohair at bear shows (lucky I still have my day job!!!) and somehow my bear making supplies and bears have taken over our spare bedroom where there is now little room for visitors!!!
I live in the beautiful Shoalhaven area of New South Wales with my family, an energetic black kelpie called 'Zac', and two neurotic cats! My husband and I are proud grandparents to our 3 gorgeous granddaughters Mikaela, Isabelle and Ava - and because of our very hectic and busy lives, we very much enjoy family time together.