|The "Bud" in Bears&Buds can mean just about anything. From rabbits, to mice, to raccoons, birds, fairies, and just about anything else you can think of. Each is an important part of teddy bear collecting because everything is linked in one way or another.
And so it is with Stevi T. of Stevi T.'s Alpaca Encounter.
She's taken her love of creating 3-dimensional, crocheting with her home grown Alpaca yarn, antiquing and drawing, combining it all together to create "Buds" of not only real life but of fantasy.
Originally an artist doll-maker, Stevi started her journey to be an artist when she was young. "Growing up in New Jersey, having a degree of artistic ability enabled me to get through my formidable years of school," she admitted. She would later take those talents and graduate from the School of Advertising Art.
She began creating soft sculpture rag dolls in the 1980's, then moved on to Polymer clay and eventually worked her way up to making needle-felted animals.
"I have raised my greatest creations, my children: Kristen, Austin and Devon."
When she faced a parental "empty-nest," she relocated with her Alpacas to New Milford, Pennsylvania and found herself on a whole new adventure.
Needle felting seemed like an easy transition.
Stevi was already raising Alpacas to create wigs for her one-of-a-kind pixies, fairies, hobbits and gnomes.
In 2000, when needle-felt fiber art was relatively new to the bear world, she decided to give it a try.
Hearts "Realism was the avenue I chose to take when designing my wildlife creations."
She even had a good friend in the taxidermy business who would critique her pieces for authenticity.