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About the Artist




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Goodbye to Raspbeary Hollow
is a funny gift. Not only does it erupt in many forms, but it rarely remains stifled
for long. Like many teddy bear artists, I arrived at the craft by  a very circuitous route.

Having learned to sew from my grandmothers and a couple of aunts, I honed my skills on Barbie and Betsy
McCall doll clothes, an ark-full of stuffed animals, clothing for myself and gifts for family. Then in college, I
shifted through majors in veterinary medicine, zoology (animals are the theme), and finally graduated as a
medical technologist (switch to humans here). All of this took me pretty far from the sewing machine!

During a 12 year career in the lab, I managed to get married to Pat and have our first son, Sean. When the need
to be creative again struck, I found a calligraphy class and started a small side business doing original pieces
including family trees.

After a move to Massachusetts in 1983 and the birth of our second son, Drew, I began to look for a creative
outlet that I could accomplish between the interruptions of 2 small children. Calligraphy required way too much
concentration.

About that time, the teddy bear craze was beginning in the US. I combined my rusty sewing skills with that
aforementioned love of animals and started making teddy bears from a few of the commercial patterns then
available. About five patterns in, I began to develop my own style and my first original design, Noah, was born.
That was just a few weeks before our daughter, Caitlin, was born in 1985. A local shop owner was supportive
and in a very short time, the
Raspbearies company came into being.  Whew!

Then with 3 small children, I somehow managed to develop a few more patterns and decided to plunge into the
show circuit at the Amherst Teddy Bear Rally in 1987. I sold my whole inventory in less than 3 hours: months of
work! There were many more shows to come, many more designs and bears. Additionally, I enjoyed the
uproarious camaraderie of a wonderful group of fellow teddy bear artists known as the Teddy Bear Artists of
New England, most now retired.
Cheers, Ladies!

For the last 30+ years, I've been fortunate enough to do something I love and weave it around the lives of a
very busy family. Along the way, I've even entered a national magazine contest with a pair of bears
skating....and
won (see below)  Best of all, I have met some of the most wonderful and interesting people in the
form of collectors, other artists and those who can't believe I make teddy bears for a living!
In 1991, we built a house on a pond in a wooded hollow with a workshop in which to make teddy
bears. You won't find Raspbeary Hollow on any map and it is still a beautiful place. In 2013 we
decided to downsize and moved to a lovely, smaller home in Uxbridge, MA. It has since been
named
Raspbeary Cottage and it, too, has a room just for making teddy bears.
Fall 2007
A very dry pond!
December 2007
Let it SNOW!
Some pond views of Raspbeary Hollow. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photo
Evolution of a Logo

Recognize the bears in this photo?
Hint: see the
home page! That is the first Cody
that I made (he lives now with Joe & Jeanine
Lamothe) with Nicholas in front  and they are
sitting on my coffee table.....Cody is a BIG guy.

I made a line drawing of Cody and 'magically'
fitted it together with another, replacing
Nicholas with a line drawing of a
little Tundra (see
Archive) done by
April Whitcomb Gustaphson for me
and....voilá....a logo!

PS...Cody is still available by special order, but
Nicholas is a closed edition




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Cody and Nicholas
1995 Golden Teddy Award
The Skating Lesson
Nicolai and Mischa
Probably more than you want to know!
© 2007-2015 Vicki Stephan Updated November 2015
April 2010
Geese & Ducks
June 2008
Frogs & Lilypads

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