It's hard to believe this was so long ago. I was a newlywed and my hair was still brown. I named my teddy "Overmier" after my husband. He was voted the favorite by the class, hence the blue ribbon. Diane Gard came to Illinois to teach a class in bear making. I was the first person to sign up. I had been making bears using other people's patterns, however I wanted to know how to make my own designs. I've never looked back. Using another person's directions has always been difficult for me. I find it easier to find my own way of doing things. When I design patterns for others, I try to keep in mind a simple way of explaining how to manipulate the material. I find that thinking of the bear of creature as a sculpture, a malleable thing in one's hand rather than a step by step list is what helps inspire the crafter's creativity. The other day I found an example of one of my patterns designed for Create and Decorate made by a crafter on Pinterest. She put her own touches on it. I felt like a proud parent. She had done well.