make-do leg warmers, the buddhist way

"the garments of many of the brothers are in rags; i am going to distribute the garments among them."
what will you do with the old garments?
we will make bed-covers out of them.
what will you do with the old bed-covers?
we will make pillow-cases.
what will you do with the old pillow-cases?
we will make floor-covers out of them.
what will you do with the old floor-covers?
we will use them for wiping cloths.
what will you do with the old wiping cloths?
we will use them for floor-mops.
what will you do with the old mops?
...we will tear them in pieces and mix them with mud and use the mud to plaster the house-walls.
-from The Teaching of Buddha.

i habitually repurpose things if it can be put to good use. not only in the studio, but anywhere in the house. this doesn't mean holding on to junk "just in case"... it must be useful on a daily basis. "what will you do with the old garment?" there are a few fun ways to look at that first question. for example: i've wanted to knit my own leg warmers (have to learn to knit first, lol) but it's cold and i need warmth now. i thrifted a nice solid brown sweater for DH but it was too small for him, and too big for me. so i had the idea to cut the sleeves off and use them for leg warmers! the wrist part keeps them up snug and the raw cut end goes around the bottom for a slight boot flare. this works best with a machine washable sweater, not a fat cable knit or one that will unravel. i went further and cut the tight neckline off and it now it looks pretty rockin' in a rustic-vagabond kinda way, great to wear over long sleeves. project in a pinch:

instant make-do leg warmers:

  • one "too big for you" sweater (or boyfriends old sweater, lol. machine washable, won't unravel kind).
  • scissors
cut off sleeves (a few inches below shoulder seam) for leg warmers. optional: cut off neckline of sweater and use as short-sleeved vest. 1 sweater=2 garments. great for kickin around the house or under long skirts. do you have a neat repurposed idea? please share!



fritz- silly. little. fritz. he's a prototype for a new bear design (he is already spoken for, btw). i think he resembles my early bears with his slightly naive primitive look. i'll begin working on new valentine's bears after wrapping up some special orders / shop orders first. and big hugs to those who adopted bears from my anniversary update! thank you so much :)


Anniversary Update today!

yuku rose 20118 bears for our 8th Anniversary!
mohair hedgehogs
mini master teds
master ted familycome see the new bears today on my web site! the little family above is already thinking spring :) it's minus 2 degrees here in chicago, so a handful of mohair bear is just the thing to stay cozy with. hope you like my new creations as much as i enjoyed making them...as always with happy heart and hands :) here's to another wonderful 8++ years (who's counting? lol) xoxo


puttin' on the ritz

the bears are getting dressed and ready for tomorrows update! and it's looking pretty darn cute. (in "Fantasy Island" Ricardo Montalban voice) smiles, everyone, smiles!


golden hedgehog

i had a feeling this unusual color combo could somehow work- gold and deep purple. love it! i used two kinds of mohair that are very dense and thick (ie: not easy to sew a mini hedgehog with) so i'm relieved the "hard part" is over! now to finish his face and sew on the ears. then a cup of tea :)


* 8th Year Anniversary Update Announcement! *

the day is almost here! drum roll please....

Peng Peng Bears * 8th Year Anniversary Update * will be happening on my
web site
January 20th at 12 noon Central (10am Pacific/ 11am Mtn/ 1pm Eastern)!

International friends, click here for worldwide time conversion.

sorry no pics today... i will post another sneaky peeky tomorrow ;)

happy MLK day!



a collector suggested to me many moons ago that i should make a hedgehog, and finally i have done so! my first one came out really cute... so i may start another one today. perhaps a pair o' hedgies will be debuting in my upcoming update ;)


yuku rose revisited

big anime mohair bearyuku rose, the original- without her silk dress. i just found this pic buried deep in a folder on my computer. yuku was one of my few big bear creations, circa 2006. she was featured on the cover of Teddy Bear Club International UK magazine:

mohair bear in progressfor my anniversary update, i am making a "yuku 2011" version, smaller and with some modifications. i'm happy to have been able to get a resemblance, while muttering to myself now how did i do that? since the original pattern was used only once and discarded. yuku 2011 is a lot of work, many pattern pieces but so worth the results!
mohair bear patternand a special treat: i will have *yuku epattern available this month! *thanks to sarah for her suggestion. take a look at what sarah made with my blu bobo ePattern:

amazing or what?! peng peng ePatterns you can purchase in my etsy shop. i will keep you posted as things progress! xoxo



my studio the other morning... that sunlight really shows every dust particle!

and on my sewing table tonight- patiently pinning a very thick but smallish piece of mohair. looks like a lot of pink bears in progress but really not so much ;) more pics to come.


pfatt sneak peekero!

brrrr... it's chilly out there, but some bears enjoy a romp through winter wonderland. tomorrow is the 10th of the month, which means PFATT Marketplace update... stop by first thing to see my january bear! have a splendid sunday evening. Ike is SOLD


excelsior in wonderland

a bowl of bears

and the case of the hiding yo yo clown.
how's that for surreal sounding?

speaking of... you must check out ALICE, 1988 film by Jan Svankmajer!! its a wonderland adaptation like no other. all stop-motion animation, none of that pixar-computer generated crap. the rabbit is constantly filling himself with excelsior through a tear in his chest. yes. i give it 5 stars. go netflix it! now i must make like a rabbit and start stuffing bears...

p.s. when you see the caterpillar in the movie, think of me. i don't want to give it away..but you'll know what i'm talking about. and please NO google image searches to spoil it!


preparing the palette

step 1: mohair inventory

step 2: hand dye mohair

step 3: bake bread (recipe here)

step 4: thank god there are mushroom burgers in the fridge, cos i am beat!

sewing (re)commences tomorrow!
have a nice evening...xoxo


Peng Peng Bears 8th Anniversary!

"you've come a long way, baby..." my 1st ever mini bear/ eBay offering- Charles, from 2003!
happy 2011! hope your holidays were fun, toasty and filled with love. can you believe this month marks my 8th year of bear making? that's the longest "job" i've ever held down! to celebrate this occasion, i will be having a special *anniversary* bear update this month and will try to get some new patterns in my etsy shop. some designs may spark a memory to two :) check back here for sneak peeks through out the week... may your new year be off to a fabulous start!