The Original Online Teddy Bear Magzine

Old Coat to
New Treasure


Tampa Teddy Bear Show                               February 2019

The 14th annual Tampa Teddy Bear Show, sponsored by Bright Star Promotions, Inc., was held on Sunday February 17, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Westshore.


Each year a competition is offered for the artists to spark their imaginations and to engage with the show attendees, who then vote for their favorite bear on the contest table.

“When it comes to being creative, we feel teddy bear artists are on top of the list,” said Valerie Rogers, the show’s promoter.

Eight of the attending artists competed in an “Old Coat to New Treasure” contest and what they presented was truly terrific.

Artists were asked to purchase an old coat from a thrift store, model the coat or hold it, take a photograph and frame it, then make the bear from their own design.

We wondered what they would create!

Artists placed their bear, along with their framed photo
and a scrap of material left over from the coat on the display table. We were absolutely amazed by seeing what was made from the old coats. It was quite a metamorphosis!

Bears ranged in size from 8" to 27" tall and made from
a variety of re-purposed furs, mohair and one Air Force camouflage shirt.

Show attendees, artists, friends all voted for their favorite.

A hard decision for sure!

Meet the Contestants

Diana Watts (DiBears) from Naples, FL entered “Bebe”, a 15 ½" tall bear made from a vintage Bebe jacket of sheared rabbit and design rabbit fur.


The hat and jacket, worn by the bear, were constructed from the shaved, decorated part of the original jacket, with complete 5-way joints and extensively scissor sculpted face.


Josiah Hadley (The Country Bear) from Haines City, FL with “Jackie”, a 15" bear that was created from Jay’s original pattern using all the embellishments from the camouflaged jacket. Bear was fully jointed with shoe button eyes and an embroidered nose.

This bear holds a significant amount of memories, as the jacket belonged to Jay’s daughter, Jackie, who retired from the Air Force in 2000 and passed away a few years later from a heart attack.

She was 50 year old and was buried with Military Honors in the National Cemetery at Bushnell, FL.


Cindy Malchoff (My Apple Tree) from Plattsburgh, NY entered Quinn, who is 20" tall and made from a coyote fur coat, is fully jointed, has a trimmed muzzle and wears a big red plaid bow.
Michelle Lamb (One & Only Bears) from Littleton, CO with Zamara, in which she used a combination of pink Tibetan Lamb from the vest, along with pink mohair to create a 27" tall bear, along with a sheared muzzle and air brushed accents, bent arm/leg design, making the bear perfect to sit on a chair.

Pat Fairbanks (PRFect Pals) from Tampa, FL with Dusty, who was created from a short jacket of curly lamb, 17" tall, and is 5-way jointed.

Dusty has a hand-embroidered, stitched nose, with German glass eyes with big lashes. Paw pads are Ultra-suede.

Dale Crocker (Wicked Bear Fibers) from Milwaukee, WI created Caleb Little Bear who is 12 1/2" tall and made from a Tissavel faux fur resembling mink.


Dale used one of his first-ever bear patterns.

After Dale sent the photo of him wearing the mink coat, temperatures in WI dropped to minus 35 degrees in Milwaukee. “Sort of bad timing having to cut up the coat, eh, Dale?” Valerie asked.
Elizabeth Taylor (Elizabeth Taylor Studio) from Forest Home, AL. Fitch was made from acrylic fabric from an Ambercrombie & Fitch coat lining. He is 7" tall and completely hand-sewn. He has black Ultra-suede pads and inner ears, along with black glass eyes and a purple embroidered nose that compliments his sheer bow.


Diana Ussery (Diana’s Merry Bears) from San Jose, CA placed Lilla, a 15" tall bear on the contest table which was made from a short fur coat, she purchased at an estate sale.

The bear is fully jointed, has blue glass eyes with a leatherette nose.

And the Winners Are . . .

Before the Tampa teddy bear show closed, Valerie Rogers announced the winners and presented the certificates along with cash awards!

Congratulations Michelle Lamb (One & Only Bears)

Congratulations Diana Watts (DiBears)

Congratulations Josiah Hadley (The Country Bear)
The Runners Up

Dale Crocker

Patricia Fairbanks

Cindy  Malchoff

Diana Ussery

Elizabeth Taylor


“What impressed me the most,” began one customer, “was the photographs of the artists modeling the coats. I could see the before and after. The bears were marvelous!”

“We are putting on our thinking caps to find a topic for next years teddy bear challenge,” said Valerie. “The artists are truly creative and their imaginations mixed with their talent, make for breathtaking pieces of 3-D art - teddy bears!” was established in 1981 - connecting the teddy bear artist with the collector for 38 years at shows, exhibits and online events.


Read the Tampa Teddy Bear Show Review
Click on the word "largest"!




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