Always Strange

Illustrator, Sculptor, Mixed Media Artist

Stuff-A-Bear

Anna SokolovComment

Every time I feel down or anti-social for some reason I turn to sewing. Back in college, right around the last Christmas before graduating, nothing felt better than cozying up in front of the TV with a wonderful sewing project to focus on. Perhaps it was the frigid western NY winter that drew me inside and into a warm blanket fort, or maybe it was the uncertainty that came with graduating right around the 2008 recession. 

Regardless of the reason, something special came from spending many hours with a needle and some thread - some of my 2D creatures started coming to life! The very first project was an ambitious ~40 inch tall gorilla monkey made from faux suede fabric, originally intended for a couch re-upholstery project that failed miserably. A dozen feet of great fabric weren't going to go to waste at my house, so the monkey idea naturally came to mind. The bigger the better, I thought. Oh, and regarding the stuffing - well, I had a big pile of old clothes I didn't need anymore, so in essence, the monkey also became a time capsule of old threads. 

Since this was so much fun and I still had a lot of time left before the spring semester rolled around, I decided to create a couple of other creatures to use as presents. They were #2 and #3 in the "Always Strange stuffed 3D collection" and they now live with my parents in upstate NY. My mom thoughtfully knitted them some warm sweaters and scarves, as winters in NY can be brutal. We wouldn't want their fuzzy tails to freeze and fall off.

Since then things were great. I didn't feel the need to pick up a needle in quite some time. But this fall, during such a stressful election, everything changed. I'm not one for dwelling on negativity so here I was again, with another dozen feet of re-purposed fabric in hand, ready to create something adorable. Something that I could look at and smile about. Enter the current teddy bear project! Here are some progress shots:

Sewing is a great way to relieve stress. I recommend you try it. You'll be surprised what creature will come to life for you to smile about on a rainy day.

This very bear is available for sale through my SHOP.