When I got up this afternoon I came down with my usual death grip on my coffee and plopped down at my computer. I about fell out of my chair when I saw how many e-mails I had gotten. I have been answering them for hours. But I love that! It tells me that you do really read what I write and that you cared enough to take time from your busy days to respond and help me out.
Every single person was very kind in their critiques and comments. But what you said was also very illuminating in several ways. For one thing I learned that a LOT of people are having trouble posting comments on blogger and aren't really as shy as I thought you were. There are two things that are causing problems, one is how you have your settings and the other is an incompatibility issue with Internet Explorer 9. This is also what was causing the problem with the blurry header images a couple weeks ago.
I use AOL (yeah yeah I know, but I have been using it for so long that I don't want to change my e-mail address) and Firefox. While I don't technically use IE on it's own because I am not fond of it, AOL does use it in the background. When I use Firefox, I have no problems. The other thing is how you have users set to comment. I have mine set to registered users as opposed to followers only and that seems to be working for a lot of people. I also have the captcha thing turned off. I really get very few bots posting, so it's not a problem to delete those rare advertising comments when they show up.
Now as for the bears and how I was feeling last post...I really learned some things through your comments. But first I want to tell you that I usually make these posts right before I go to bed early in the morning, and I have been up alone all night with my thoughts and sewing, so sometimes I think my posts read like I am a crazy and/or neurotic person. But that's what happens after you have been up for hours in the quiet all night. I tend to over think things, and I can't quite always see the big picture.
I did figure out what was really bothering me. It's not a desire to go back to what I used to make style wise. But the thing is Joe (shown in the previous post) was an 18 inch bear. I made a lot of big bears back then. More than I did the smaller ones. I love the smaller ones I am doing now, (thank you Heather, that was such a great thing you did by wanting me to make those smaller bears!) but I think I was going into big bear withdrawal. I think that's what was at the root of my desire to get that old pattern out. It's not that I want to go back, it's that I haven't made a big bear in 15 months!!! You made me see this by asking if there would be more sizes of the new style and so many of you asking for larger ones.
In answer to that, I have pretty much got the new pattern that was like Cupcake, and Cupid shown above, to the place I want that pattern to be. The next step is to draw it into larger bear patterns, which I will be working on soon! So hopefully you will see some larger bears in that style in the coming months. It takes a bit of time because you can't make a bigger pattern properly by just slapping it on a copy machine and enlarging it. You really have to draw them individually.
Through reading all of your feedback I came to another interesting realization. I no longer have an end point in mind. Back in those old days I was working toward that "perfect" pattern. But I have realized at this stage in life I like the bears being in a state of flux. While I want to make each pattern I do at any given time as good as it can possibly be, I also know that I will never have another pattern that I use hundreds and hundreds of times. I like being able to change things a bit here and there as I go along. I don't actually want to have that perfect pattern/end goal anymore. I think that's a good thing, it keeps it interesting.
I don't need to go back. I need to keep going forward. That doesn't mean that I won't ever circle back to a style I did before, but it does mean that if I do it will be in a new and fresher way. I am feeling content again, and I am truly happy that you liked Joe so much! I am also happy that overall, you like the new bears better! This year I have decided to embrace the unique and sometimes strange ideas I have and color outside the traditional lines a little more. This is something I have wanted to do for three years, but it can be hard to allow yourself to do that when you have done things a certain way for so long. So this year you will be seeing some interesting ideas come to life that I haven't done before, but that have been lurking in the shadows of my brain for a while!
In the mean time I would like to let you know that there will be a Valentines-ish update coming January 18th at 5 PM EST. Also I am still going to strive to get a new piece added every week or two along with those bigger updates!
Again I can't thank you all enough for your comments, they really did help me see the bigger picture of what was bothering me.