My name's Chloe, and I'm the rather ominously named 'creator' of the strange creatures littering this corner of the web. I'm now officially a secondary school Biology teacher which is dead grown up and serious and leaves me with very little time for sewing! I started bear-making in the weeks running up to Mothers Day, 2007. Sadly I have 'one of those mothers' who's a little difficult to buy for, and has her birthday and Christmas at that end of the year too. I decided to make her something personal, so bought myself a kit from Bear Basics here in the UK and began. The result was Tedward, a bear I am still proud of. He sits proudly on my mum's dresser at home in the East Midlands, and you can see him to the left.
Well, I had to do something with that leftover bag of stuffing, didn't I? It snowballed, and the result is what you see before you today: a lot of dozy looking creatures inspired by our own natural world.
Why Je Suis Lugly? Well, the word 'lugly' was kindly donated by the owner of Boar, a 'Lugly gone by', and it's a combination of 'Lovely' and 'Ugly', just like my creatures! As for the 'Je Suis' part... I have no idea. I've never been able to speak French, but it sounded so much nicer than 'I am' (or even 'Ich bin', I suppose!)
I welcomed a real lugly in July 2015: my first dog Boris! He's a bit of a wimp when it comes to my creatures, so he stays away from them, you can see him to the left here staring them out... I have also recently been appropriated by a cat called Hedy whose favourite hobbies are madly purring on your lap followed by madly biting your knees.
2015 saw Pancake the Bear gaining First Place at the Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards. I was able to attend this award ceremony and collect the beautiful trophy in person with my good friend Tami Eveslage. I was really proud of this win as Pancake represented an entirely new direction in my sewing designs.
In 2012 Seymour the Sailor was nominated for a Judges Choice award in the first ever Bear Artistry Awards! Although this is a very new competition entering gave me a great feeling as I got extensive feedback, a statistical analysis and a lovely trophy and badge for Seymour.
In 2011 I was blessed with my first ever first place award at the British Bear Artist Awards! the lucky candidate was Bombardier, a brand new design for me which makes the win even more delicious... I have always found bear designs much harder to make so to finally have one that is good enough for first place is a huge achievement for me.
In the 2010 British Bear Artist Awards, Rowan the Stargazer bear came third in his category. To me this felt like first as the two ladies who came in first and second (Puca Bears and Katie Rae Bears) are such amazing artists that really only third place was up for grabs!
I was very privileged in 2007, my first year of sewing, to come third in my category at the British Bear Artist Awards with a bear called Marmite, who I made after only five months of experience and entered on a whim.
Jack the Hare came in second place in the Furry Friends category . His design was also brand new, making me want to keep designing and working on novel ideas.
I have enjoyed attending Hugglets and The Great Yorkshire Teddy Bear Event in the past, but am currently taking a break from shows to focus on my design work.
In Spring 2011 I began working on a new pattern for a hare. I’m happy to write that the finished creation ‘Jack’ was featured in both ‘Teddy Bear Review’ and ‘Teddy Bear Times’ magazine. The article for the review was focused on our design processes: mine is very involved!
Teddy Bear Times ran an article on people making animals other than bears, which I seem to do a lot of the time… I was so glad to see Jack included!