Online, Monthly Teddy Bear Magazine

Bev White         Happy Tymes Collectibles      August 2009

 

Revisiting Bev in January 2021 - see below

 


Mother Goose Bead Doll

M

Teddy Bear
Made from beads
M

Mr. Brewser
M


Laurel and Hardy

M

Michelangelo’s Creation

M

Mona Lisa - 'Bearly' a smile!

M


Van Gogh's Self Portrait through Bev's eyes.

M

Infant bear is a
Prayer Bear pattern

M

Nativity


American Gothic

 


General George Washington

 


Teddy Roosevelt Trilogy

 


The Beatles


Bev's rendition of Munch’s painting
called 'The Scream'

 

Bev White

Happy Tymes Collectibles
Member since March 2009

 

Bev White, wife, mother of five, grandmother of 13, nurse, and maker of teddy bears has resided for the past 30 years on four wooded acres just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There, she became inspired to put her nursing profession in the background and begin her business which she calls, Happy Tymes Collectibles.

Her craft has developed from its origins of making wood dolls depicting the illustrations from her favorite childhood books.

Using her sewing skills that she taught herself when she was 15, Bev continued honing those skills through making her children's dolls and household items. She created nursery rhyme characters and historical figures from beads, clothespins and fabric. After creating Goldilocks and her three bears, in which she used wool fabric over the head bead, she found that she enjoyed embroidering the little faces as much as painting the doll faces.

"One day, someone gave me my first Teddy Bear Review magazine. Imagine that, a magazine dedicated to just Teddies." Bev soon found herself clipping out the magazines' pattern for a jointed bear and began to experiment from that moment with her own patterns and eventually moved to using mohair fabric.

Two of her first original patterns were her Prayer Bear and her Mr. Brewster Button Bear.

Brewster became her signature bear and over the years, she made 150 of him. A miniature manufactured edition of 1000, celebrating her 10th anniversary, sold out quickly.

Lacking any formal art school background, she drew on knowledge that she had gained from classes she took on figure drawing and portraiture following her graduation from nursing school.

"I believe that my Portrait Bears, which have given me my niche in the teddy bear world, came from the enjoyment and inspiration of those fundamental classes so many years later."

However, her nursing experience, along with the learned people skills and hand skills including the surgical ladder stitch with a curved needle, are still very evident and useful in her personal and business life today.

Inspiration for creating a bear can come from anywhere; at anytime. Sometimes a conversation, a name, a dream or a picture provides an unexpected "idea attack."

"That's how my Portrait Bears started in 1992.  I had this idea to try to make a bear that would look like a recognizable human," she recalled, "So when I walked into our local video store and came face to face with a poster of Laurel and Hardy it all crystallized for me. 

I talked the shop keeper out of the poster, took it to my studio to absorb for a few weeks and then set about making the patterns. It worked the first time. They were a resounding success, not only personally, but they garnered a very high auction price at Disneyland's first convention, won three TOBY awards in 1993 and set me on a path to the future. 

Next up was W.C. Fields, just to prove that I could do it again!"

Bev's bears have always been recognizable by her hallmark stitch that just skims over the eye of almost every bear she's made. "It gives them a worried look, fitting I think, and is a carry over from the painted faces of my nursery rhyme dolls."

"Once I had the need to create the distinctive heavy eyelids for the Laurel character, I used them on other bears and then the eyelids also became a common trademark that gives recognition to my work and all my Portrait Bears really need them."

In the years leading up to 2000, she created numerous designs which were then reproduced for the Franklin Mint, Cooperstown Bears, several others, plus manufactured lines for herself.

"I thoroughly enjoy museum commissions for special dynamic work and found that the Disney events were a wonderful challenge and a new direction in licensed character bears."

In 2001, she introduced a new manufactured line that is still with her today, Teddies To Go®

"Originally my intent was to provide an easy "Bear making 101" experience in a simple, self-contained kit that would reach folks, young and old, beyond the collectibles world.  I think I can call it a success. 

"Whether at a Girl Scout event, a birthday party, a picnic, a festival or a hospital, the joy of sharing a fuzzy hug goes way beyond the boundaries of marketing and merchandise."

"Next month I return again to my favorite place, Children's Hospital in Philly for the annual fun-day party. It is such a joy to share the smiles and tears."

In recent years, her love for portraiture and art has rekindled a dormant interest in painting. 

Bev began incorporating the two interests just to see if could be done, respectfully. This marriage of interests has resulted in a number of three dimensional, or high relief "Bear Parodies" of famous artwork.

Quickly recognized, even with bears as the subject, these paint and fiber creations are, in Bev's words, "a struggle but so very rewarding to accomplish." 

Currently they include Michelangelo’s Creation and Mona Lisa along with Van Gogh’s Self Portrait created in 2001, Wood’s American Gothic and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers made in 2005, Klimt’s Kiss in 2007 and Munch’s The Scream in 2008. 

Bev relishes the inspiration saying,
"So many faces, so little time!"

Beyond the awards, magazine covers or articles and appearances, there is a greater reason for doing what she does because it has never been a financial necessity for her.

"I make teddy bears because I love to. I enjoy, beyond words, being able to create something that evokes emotion and soothes the soul. It satisfies the artist in me, the nurse in me and the independent person in me. It reaches out to everyone; family, friends, collectors and folks I don’t even know.  It says who I am, what I think, and how I feel through a three-dimensional, fuzzy, huggable form; simply called…a teddy bear."

Klimt’s Kiss as interpreted
by Bev

W. C Fields




Bev's version of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers made a perfect front cover for Bears&Buds Teddy Bear Magazine too.
 

In the past decade since this 2009 feature article was composed, much has changed in in Bev's professional and personal worlds.

 

"Nevertheless, I continue to enjoy the challenge of making teddy bears, just fewer of them."

Mike and I will celebrate 55 years of marriage, and my 36th year creating Happy Tymes Collectibles in 2021.

 

Once a nurse, always a nurse but I have officially retired from the medical profession and have also completed a 20-year adventure with my manufactured Teddies-To-Go toy line.

Our family of grandchildren has grown and we will soon be great grandparents for the first time.

 

In 2014 we downsized from our home in Pennsylvania, to live in Delaware and Florida, enjoying family and the best weather in both locations. As the world changes, we adjust and will be downsizing once again this year.


Over the decade, my work has evolved to include additional Portrait Bears, an entire D’Bear line with editions and one-of-a-kinds along with unique collector requests.

 

Be assured that I’ll continue to create and diversify wherever I go, with whatever it takes. Life is a journey.


Except for this past pandemic-centered year, I’ve enjoyed the world-wide travels that my thriving business has provided, with trips to Hawaii, Alaska, Korea, England, Scotland, China and Japan.

 

With the decline and loss of so many teddy bear venues over the years, prior to 2020, our world now looks to the internet and digital media for connectivity to everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a whole new appreciation for the continuity and dedication of the Bright Star Online Teddy Bear Shows.

 

However, we still need to hone human touch through outreach and communication in many resourceful ways; sharing, respecting and celebrating our diversity in the teddy bear world and beyond!


So my optimistic advice for the next decade is, "do what makes you happy today, and keep looking up for each new tomorrow" and all that lies beyond.

Bev

 

Sweet Treats are very popular with collectors, and Bev enjoys creating some many 'flavors'. Each one unique.

Sweet Treat bears can be used as pin cushions or decoration for your kitchen!

 

Each little 'sprinkle is a bead, hand sewn on to the bear.

Bev captures her signature bear-smile, in each piece.

Bev recreated "Whistler's Mother" portrait in
a 3-dementional bear with clothing.

 

Collectors - if you like reading articles like this, why not subscribe to Bears&Buds?

Just $15.00 a year. You'll receive a collector's lapel pin and a password to enter the Collectors' page where you'll find more wonderful articles..


Artists - would you like to be seen by our worldwide readers each month? Become a Professional Artist-Member of Bears&Buds today!  Your membership password will take you to the B2B section loaded with selling,
making and how-to ideas.


 
free hit counters
 

 
Copyright © 2005-2021 BearsandBuds.com
DBA: Bright Star Promotions, Inc, 3428 Hillvale Road Louisville, KY 40241 USA
All rights reserved.
Phone/Fax: (502) 423-7827