Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bargain Basement Bear Entries


Winner of the Best Bargain Bear and Most Appealing bear



by artist: Natka Nakamura

with honorable mentions going to:

Spare Parts Bear by Deborah Atkinson for



Sophie by Joanne Noel for


Bargain Basement Bear Challenge


January 2009

Please read each entry and then go to


to vote for

#1 the most appealing bear (the one you like the most as far as looks, composition, color, etc). They are listed by name in the polls.

#2 the BEST BARGAIN bear. Please decide, based on the descriptions, which one of these bears are the BEST bargain! They are also listed by name in a separate poll.

vote at this link

The winners will get a prize of yarn to continue recycling!

Spare Parts Bear
I've been making bears (mostly from leftovers) since October 2008. As I tried to use up some of the yarn I've had in storage for years, I occasionally would start a bear and run out of yarn before I finished. A lot of my yarn is so outdated, I can't match it at all now. So I wound up with a bunch of spare parts by Christmas and wasn't quite sure what to do with them until the Bargain Basement Bear Challenge was announced.My Spare Parts bear is made from white yarn left over from a sweater I knitted during the 2002 Olympics, inspired by the snowflake design in the logo. The peach and purple yarn are left over from an afghan I made in 1998. The blue is left over from a baby blanket I made in the early 1990s. The yellow is left over from hair for a doll I made in the mid 1980s. The "ocean mist" green is left over from a vest I made in the early 1980s. The glow-in-the-dark pony bead eyes are left over from a 1998 trip to Alaska with my kids, who fell in love with beaded Inuit T-shirts I could not afford. So I bought bargain Alaska T-shirts from a discount store, cut several inches into the hem on each to form fringe and then taught my kids how to string the pony beads onto the fringe and tie a knot, and the finished project was every bit as good as the expensive shirts I couldn't afford, and they glowed in the dark, to boot!The bow is left over from when you could buy five spools of ribbon for $1. I can't even remember when I bought them, only that I bought 20 spools for $4, and I've been slowly whittling away at that collection over the years, too.Some of the stuffing is the cotton used in vitamin bottles.It was a fun bear to design, and it is very good to not have a completely full drawer of spare bear parts anymore!
Artist: Deborah Atkinson
Baby Blue is made out of thread handed down from my mother after she passed away.So it was a true bargin when I was able to make the thread come to life like mymother use to when she would do all her beautiful crafts.Thanks.
Artist: Joanne
Thrifty Bear

My bear is Thrifty Bear & I believe that he is the best bargain because alltold I have less than $1 in material in him. The yarn was .50 at SalvationArmy, and everything else was scavenged from my house from left overs ofprevious projects. The embroidery floss for his nose & mouth were bought ina huge bag of floss that I bought at Goodwill for $1 & I've been workingmy way through it ever since, probably have about .01 in the embroidery floss. They eyes are buttons that I bought at Joanns w/a 50% off coupon, these are thelast of the buttons from the package, I paid .94 cents for the package which had6 buttons, so the buttons used for Thrifty come to .31. The ribbon was the verylast of a spool of ribbon bought at Salvation army for .30. I've used thatribbon for so many other things that I'm sure that what I've used herewould be maybe .02 of that spool. The stuffing I bought at Joanns w/a 50% offcoupon, so paid $1.50 for the bag and have been using it for months, probably .02 worth of stuffing in Thrifty. So thegrand total for Thrifty Bear is a whopping .86 cents!As a plus, Thrifty is very soft to the touch & was a chance to practice thenew way that I'm doing arms...I like the way he looks like he's ready togive a hug.

Artist: Michelle Kirby


I bought Sophie's thread as a close out from Hobby Lobby back in 1999.I thought maybe the thread would be good for little sweaters and hats.At the time I had no idea what the thread was used for. I paid about 70cents a roll. It's called Wonder Craft by Lemon Enterprises from Ontario, Canada. It is called Wonder Crafts made in Ontario, Canada by Lemon enterprise. The Hobby Lobby in this area has never carried it again. I bought up every color they had left. It is the same as that punch thread we are using now. Maybe a little finer, but still two ply.Had no idea that I'd be crocheting bears with it three years later or that it was acrylic punch thread.Thanks.

Artist: Joanne Noel(joannesweebears)


I think Patches is the best Bargain because he was created from recycle damage sweater that I found my mother had thrown away. When I unraveled the sweater I found it was a fine eyelash thread that I could reuse for my crafts. His is stuffed with stuffing from my husbandʼs old comforter, which were on the way to Goodwill. His glass beads eyes came from an old coin purse that had a broken zipper and faux suede patches were from my sonʼs old Halloween costume which had been destroyed after a long night of trick-o-treating. The embroidery thread I got as a gift from my grandmother. So, materials were FREE, it was the best bargain. I made Patches without using any pattern. He is 2.5 inches tall. He is loved by all my family and I hope you will like him.

Artist: Natka Nakamura

Little Bear Blue

My bargain basement bear is little bear blue.My bear is a great bargain because in a very small way he helped me reduce my ever-increasing stash of yarn. When the challenge came, I first thought-"Oh goodie, I can go shopping!". But alas, I glanced at the tallstack of 4 very large totes overflowing with yarn in my family room (I won'tmention the 5 smaller totes in my bedroom closet, the embroidery floss in thesewing machine cabinet drawers, etc.) and I figured that I must be able to findsomething to work with. Now given, most of my stash is yarn, but I did rememberhaving some finer yarn and thread somewhere. After hours of enjoyable diggingthrough my mountains of yarn, I discovered some leftover sock yarn. It wasburied in the bottom of the fourth large bin in the family room. I rememberedmy first pair of crocheted socks, and how I loved the fun striping effect theyarn had and thought that it might be fun to see how the stripe would work on aminiature bear. So with my size 7 hook and Berta's basic pattern #2, Iworked up my little bear blue. I used a small amount of blue ribbon I foundwhile I was looking for the black embroidery thread that I used for the eyes,nose and mouth (yes, those were in the sewing machine cabinet). Now, I supposeI should work on some of the other fun ideas I came up with while I wassearching through my "bargain" supply.Thanks!

Artist: Kathleen Stuart


HI this the story of the thread and why I made a puppy (Charlie) this thread has been following round my travel for years from when I first arrived in Australia85.I can't remember what I brought it for now, but I guess it been like a puppyall way following at my heels Thanks.

Artist: Donna B


I think Ian is a Bargain because He is made of #10cotton thread that I bought last summer at a yard sale for $0.25. It was almost afull spool. He was the last project that I got out of the spool. Allof the other things made with the thread I sold for profit. The pattern is free form. His glass eyes are from a
necklace given to me by my mother to use for my crochet jewelry. So he costnothing to make.I'm on the shy side and unexperienced so I'm not sure if he is the best looking Bargain Bear. But I think others are so cute and well contructed.
Thank You

Artist: Ronda


I believe that my bear, Snuggle, is the best bargain because every inch of this 9.5 inch bear from head to toe is completely made of love. I did not spend a thing on this bear other than the time that was put into making him. He is made of left over: chenelle yarn, size 10 crochet thread, poly fiber fill, a red ribbon ( given to me on a Christmas gift), plastic button eyes and a size F hook. My bear and I feel the same way; its not the amount that you put into something its the love that you get in return. I hope that this qualifies for the challenge. Thank you so much.

Artist: Kristalee

Bargain Betty

Bargain Betty is made with thin sock thread that my friend Bev gave me at Xmas which she bought at a Ladies Thrifty store by her house for .50 cents and the clothes were made from wool that l got 3 skins for $1.00 at a church garage sale in the summer. The eyes were 12 in a package for a $1.25 and the little noise was the same and they were bought form a craft store. The buttons were given to me in a exchange on the Thread group and the pattern for the bear is from the Red Robin patterns that we got last year. I used Straw-Beary. Well that is my Bargain Betty she is dressed as if all her clothes were a Bargain find. Which my friend Bev and l go to Thrifty Stores once a month to see if we can find Bargains on patterns and wool.
Well thank you so much l had fun. Take care.

Artist:Karmi (Carmen)


Glitzy is the very first thread bear I've completed, but not the first I've worked on (I have several pieces of at least one bear waiting to be jointed). I got the yarn from a sellout at Joanne's-- a glitter, fuzzy worsted weight white yarn. The pattern something I already had even before joining Thread Animals Group. The eyes are of plastic beads and floss are both something that was on hand even before announcing the challenge.

Despite the seemingly cold and glittery exterior of my Bargain Basement bear, Glitzy, the fact that it was meticulously worked on, has a lot of heart in that it is capable of filling an eight year old girl's (my daughter) heart with so much joy. Indeed, the best bargain during these financially difficult times.

Artist: Mylyne
Bo the Bargain Bear

The question was "Why I think my bear is the best bargain" well, quite honestly I don't think it is the best bargain compared to all the other bears. But on a personal level it is, it is the BEST FOR ME because you see, I hate to shop!I hate to shop even when there's a great sale. My husband likes to shop but I dont ... I know, I know, It's not normal. My sisters all like to shop, my mom loves to shop but me, I don't see the pleasure in it. it's almost painful, I hate it. Maybe I was switched at the hospital where I was born and my mother got the baby that does not like to go shopping from the woman down the hall or whatever, but I hate it.Crafts and art supplies are different. I don't go looking for it but if I am aware of a good sale on craft supplies I WILL go shopping I don't know why. I will go and buy it in different colors, different sizes different shapes just so I can stock up on it. This time I bought 8 skeins of the yarn in eight different colors so that I can make bears with it someday and I used 4 colors on Bo the Bargain Bear.He looks quite handsome in his 50% off yarn that I purchase during a 2 day sale doesn't he? :)Thanks.

Artist: Maria

Bargain Beartram

I named him "Bargain Beartram". He was a lot of fun to do.He's a real bargain in more ways than one. The Bernat sable yarn I bought on sale for $2.00 last year when my DD needed yarn for a school project. I knew there would be plenty left for me to play with and she only used a slight bit of the skein. The other material used is Royale metallic crochet thread. This also came from Michael's (but at a half off of $1.50). I couldn't resist it for that price even though I really didn't need it at the time. The stuffing was given to me for free by my mom who loves going garage sale shopping and picked it up for 50 cents. The only other material used was a small piece (1" by 1/4") of plastic canvas that I found inside a box that I keep of recycled items I don't throw away.Another bargain surrounding "Beartram" is that he's made up only of combinations of the thread and of the yarn completely. His head, arms and legs are yarn and threadd crocheted together. The eyes are of thread only with french knots of 2 plys of the yarn for eyeballs. The ears are of yarn edged with the thread. The combinations seemed endless in creating him, which made him quick and enjoyable to do. Also, the biggest bargain of all is that there was no searching for a pattern. He is my own creation, something that jumped into my mind and something that took life into its own as I started tinkering. There will be some tweaking but since he is my very first bear I've created of my own, he is special.What do you think of him?

Artist:Teresa P.


Annikki is an especially bargain bear for these reasons: (1) she's tiny--only 4 inches from tip of ear to tinytoes--so she hardly used any yarn at all; (2) she's madefrom yarn I spun myself from Finn sheep fleece purchasedfrom Misty Mountain Farm when the Canadian dollar was at itshighest exchange rate over: worth $1.06/US! The raw fleeceis only $5 (US) per pound, so Annikki's yarn would have costonly a few cents; (3) she is stuffed with the wool fluffthat came off when I made some felted hats this winter fromAlfa yarn I'd purchased at my LYS for 50% off!An added bargain feature is that Annikki comes with her veryown picture-book story, the rough draft of which you can seeon my blog http://westcoastsupernatural.wordpress.com/on the "Annikki is ready to play" post (scroll down a bit). Annikki was a lot of fun to make, start to finish. With aprinted booklet with her story, she will be a present for mybrand new baby granddaughter.Thanks for having this challenge--it helps having a deadlineto finish things up!Cheers!

Artist: Wendy

Johnny Freedom

Johnny FREEdom is made from Omega nylon thread (size 2) that was brought to me from Mexico. It is about the same size as our size 10 crochet thread here. I used the Old Tyme Bear pattern that was the free pattern of the day from Annie's Attic. He is stuffed with stuffing that was given to me by a friend that bought too much for a project she was doing. The eyes are beads my Mother-in-law gave me and the nose is embroidered with thread from her also. Not to leave my Mother out---he was crocheted with a hook my mother gave me many years ago for my birthday. He is called Johnny FREEdom bear because he was free to make and I made him patriotic in honor of all the military guys and gals that have and are fighting to keep this great nation a free nation. In the picture he is supposed to be saluting the flag--which by the way was given to my husband, so even the prop is free! I plan to give him to my friend who is now free after being in prison for 10 years.

Artist: Pat Owens

Here is why I think she would make the "Best Bargain Basement Bear" Kate came literally from the basement and all items used in her making were found items. We are settling up my husband's Aunt Kate's estate in New York, we are from PA, and while we were cleaning out her house I ran across Kate's sewing can in the basement. In the can were some old needles, pins, a partial skein of black yarn in a baggie, various colors of thread both on the spool and in baggies, and some buttons, etc. I brought the stuff home and decided to make a little bear for my mother-in-law, Aunt Kate's baby sister, so that she would have a reminder of her sister. (my mother-in-law lost her husband, two sisters, a nephew, and a sister-in-law all within six months of each other so she needed something to hold on to I felt) I finished the bear all except for the eyes, nose, and panties in Sept of 08 but because of our move and Christmas hadn't finished her. When I read about the challenge, I knew "Kate" was meant to be in it. Shown in her picture are the thread I used for her nose, a spool of Coats and Clark extra strong, button and carpet thread that cost .15 cents which I used for her nose and panties, I couldn't find any buttons small enough for her eyes so I used two tiny snaps I found in the can, also pictured with her, that are a brand I have never heard of, Scovill Clinton Sew-on Snaps, that cost all of 20 cents. The pink thread in her dress and the black thread used to make her was found in the baggies inside the can. I was challenged in making her because it is the first time I have made a bear using a thin, mohair-type, thread. Even her stuffing, some old knee-highs that we also found in the drawers upstairs, are from Aunt Kate's in New York. So everything that was used for making "Kate", my bargain basement bear was found items that came from Aunt Kate's basement in New York. Therefore I think she would qualify as the Best Bargain Basement Bear, but even if she doesn't she will be a good reminder of the Aunt, and Sister, that we lost in June of last year and will now reside with my mother-in-law. By the way, Kate is only 5 inches tall, and I had to squeeze her ears out of some very small scraps of the yarn I found in the bag with the other yarn to get her made so it took all of the black yarn in the can to make her. I hope you like her.
Artist: MammaSue (Susan Dolfi)
The materials used to make my bear, Freda, was all FREE. The crochet thread,beads for the eyes and flowers,and the stuffing came from my mother-in-law. After she crochets something and if there is any leftover thread and what knots she gives them to me.(She hates to have things laying around her house that she may not use again).The pattern for the dress is my design,(FREE). The pattern for the bear is the Danby pattern from the threadbears site,FREE.My time put into making this bear was my FREE time( I am a stay at home wife and mother). So you can say that to make my bear (Freda) cost me nothing to make, everything was FREE, even the crochet hook (my mother-in -law also gave me the crochet hook when I starting to learn how to crochet).I think this is the best BARGAIN you can get anywhere!
Artist: Mary Lowery

Thanks for Reading all the entries....Now PLEASE GO VOTE!!!

And PLEASE leave a comment to let me know how you like the blog.

love, deBBie