Saturday, November 29, 2014

10 things to say to an artist or crafter at a craft show.

    We've all seen the posts and blog entries highlighting the rudest, dumbest and most ignorant things people say while walking past vendors at a craft show. 
   As true as each of those sound bites are (I've heard many of them myself) I thought it would be a good idea to share the 10 nicest most encouraging things that have been said to me at various craft shows over the past 8 plus years.

10. "Your work is so unique, I LOVE IT!"
9.  "Oh wow! This is great!"
8.  "Each face is so different, how do you come up with so many different styles?"
7. "Your bears have so much character!"
6. "I was waiting on you girls to get done that I see what your looking at I WANT ONE!"
5. "You have a great imagination."
4.  Every little kids totally amazed face
3.  Every stern grown man's totally amazed face
2.  They all look so alive and feel so real!
1. "You must really love your work because it shows."

So I hope my fellow vendors hear more statements like these and less hurtful stabs at our passion.  I hope it gives potential customers alternative talking points and inspiration on what artists work really hard to hear :)

-Karen with Tindle Bears

Friday, October 3, 2014

The $1.00 no reserve auction on ebay.

When I first started selling over 12 years ago, ebay was in it's prime. It was popular among doll and bear makers to do a one dollar auction and watch the bidders clamor to your listing. Your view counter would tick over 600 and watchers would stack up almost hourly.
I've been away from ebay for a long time but I thought I would try the $1.00 auction again to see if it is as it once was. The risk is low, and I was hoping to bring more attention to the name Tindle Bears.
However I find the rumors are true and ebay is no longer amass with curious collectors. 
But this could be an epic chance for you! I have listed a mini Tindle Bear for $1.00 no reserve. As of this posting the highest bid was only $10.50!!! Lil' Waif is a sweet little suede bear valued much higher than his current bid. So have a look! Make a bid! Take home a Tindle Bear :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The importance of artist collaboration.

   One thing I have discovered about myself in recent years is that I love talking to people about making things.  I love to share how I made something and then hear how it inspires them! Usually there isn't anything I won't tell you. Whether it's where to buy the crazy fabric, how to make moving eyes or what to do next on drafting a pattern, I will do my best to share what I have learned over the past 15 years.

 -Leonidas  The first Tindle Bear made in 2007

   I think collaboration with fellow artists, crafters and novices is not only pivotal to self growth, but it's also what makes our products better.  It makes us go farther and do more. It inspires us!
  When I first got my start, it was working with reborn dolls.  I wanted to make one but at the time there wasn't really a manual. It was a new art, where artisans took a vinyl baby doll and transformed it into a lifelike keepsake with rooted hair, perfect baby lips and even something called baby fat.
  I asked one simple question to an artist who made them and what I got in return was a mentor.  She told me everything. She told me how to do it, why we do it specific ways and where to get supplies. Our correspondence was through email, I never met her or even saw a picture of her yet she was still willing to help a novice crafter and expected nothing in return.
 After the market began to grow so did the pool of artists and the techniques that were tested and tried. I never ran into a single artist that wouldn't divulge information. The same happened when I chose to make teddy bears. There are whole forums of hundreds of artists from all over the world that collaborate on things like "how do I wax my bears nose?" and "Help, my airbrush splattered on teddy's face!" even, "I found this teddy at a garage sale, can some one identify it please?"
 An online forum teaming with ideas, techniques and inspiration. Now that I have acquired some 15 years of experience I can share what I know with anyone! I would love to try to answer your crafting questions. The ideas of others are always thrilling to hear.

My husband and I at a show with Nitro, our dancing bear.
 My bears are now evolving into interactive puppets and marionettes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Hidden Tindle!!!

 wanna play a game?????
This is "The Hidden Tindle". I have placed this emblem in a photo of one of my current listings in my etsy shop. If you find it, YOU WIN! Just email/message me the listing with a brief description of where in the photo it is (ie. "its on the blue bears foot" or "its on the bottom right of the 3rd picture") and I will ship you a free prize!

Now for the rules...yeah, we gotta have em'.

Only one winner per listing. I will move The Hidden Tindle to another listing as soon as there is a winner. SO KEEP LOOKING! The emblem will only be present in product photos. Happy hunting and THANKS FOR PLAYING!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Karen Knapp of Tindle Bears

For over 10 years my name was synonymous with Tindle Bears.  Customers could search for Karen Searls and find a prolific number of links directing them to my many available creations. Now however, it would seem people still search that name and find broken links or empty pages.
So in the hopes this might help, my name is no longer Karen Searls. After a rough divorce I was so very lucky to find my husband which gave me a new name and a fresh start...

Karen Knapp of Tindle Bears

Thursday, August 7, 2014


New business card!!

Soon my blog and website will be changed to this  new design. So the next time you see this, you won't wonder if you're in the right place.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Who doesn't love a sale!!! In my large bear section of my etsy shop...
you will find I have reduced some prices for some of my best bruins.

WHY? you ask?  I've got lots of projects and new styles in the making and I need room to house them!

Stop by and see if any of them tickles your fancy!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The teddy bear to the teddy bear artist.

I thought it might be more personal to add a bit of teddy bear background about myself.

I'm not fond of having my picture taken, but my teddy bear doesn't seem to mind.
This is my first teddy bear I received shortly after I was born.
He never had a name (and still doesn't) but I do know he is a Knickerbocker crib bear 
from the late 70's early 80's.
He is approx. 34+ years old.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hey! It worked!

I have a new thing I'm trying...hand painted glow in the dark eyes.

So my dear sweet husband thought it would be funny to leave this little guy on my nightstand.
Of course I did not notice until I turned off the light.

It looked a little like this.
I about jumped to the ceiling!
He said "Hey! It worked!"

Sure, we're all laughing now...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A teddy bear you can't find anywhere else this Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is right around the corner!!! 

Don't forget to get your love the flowers, the candy...OH and THE TEDDY BEAR!

But wait! Don't get a "made in China" bear bound for a thrift store in three months, support the world of handmade and get the most special person in your life an heirloom quality artist teddy bear!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Original Floppit

 In response to the lagging economy I tried to come up with a fun product that could easily be afforded...
Enter The Floppit!

The concept art for the Floppit actually originated on the back of a restaurant place mat
during a visit to a local restaurant while waiting on our food.
I thought, "That's actually pretty cute!" and I took the place mat home and filed it away. 
I still have it LOL!

Each Floppit is number numerically in the order it was made...

I'm currently on #133 as of this posting :)

When I started perfecting the pattern for my Floppits I realized how versatile they were. I could make ANY face, animal or character I wanted. But it took the idea from a 7 year old to get me to realize that not only could I make limitless faces, SO COULD YOU! hence the blank Design Your Own Floppit pictured above.

Of course as a teddy bear artist I have a huge stockpile of fur...
so what happens when a Floppit falls into a batch of leopard print fur?
I give you "Mini Tindles"

And here is what happens when a Mini Tindle falls into a vat of high grade caustic chemicals...
well not really hehe.
The MadD Katz collection

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tindle Nuggets

  Designed to fit comfortably in the hand
 (and utilize a great many fur scraps I do not have the wear with all to throw away.) 
to ease tension and stress.

Each nugget features hand painted eyes and bodies full of poly pellets for a great squishy feel.

They feel great resting in the hand and can be tucked in out of the way places 
so you can enjoy a teddy bear anywhere!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't my child play with your bears?
     Tindle Bears are artist teddy bears made specifically for adult collectors or older teens. They are weighted for a heavier feel. Their jointed limbs can not support the weight during the rigors of play. Every Tindle Bear also has small parts and fine details that are not meant to be stressed during playtime activities. For the safety of your child I advise against giving your Tindle Bear to anyone under the age of 15 or 16.

Why are they so expensive?
    Several reasons!
    A lot of time goes into creating each bear individually. It can take upwards of 16 hours to make a single large Tindle Bear. There is no assembly line in my studio.
    Each pattern was drafted and tested before it became a viable product. Plus, you won't find these bears anywhere else as I do not sell my patterns.
    I use premium supplies to bring you the highest quality artist teddy bear.
    You're not just paying for a bear, you're paying for an heirloom piece of hand crafted art,  quality materials and hours of labor.

Did you make them yourself?
    YES!!! I make each Tindle Bear from start to finish! Each different design you see is a different pattern that began as concept art. The concept art was then adapted into a paper pattern that has been tested and tried to perfection. Most of the accessories that come with your Tindle Bear were also handmade by me.

Do you do custom orders?
    Yes and no.  Yes, I can make a custom order during the off season.
    Unfortunately I am not able to take custom orders during the peak times of July thru Christmas.

Are you on Etsy?
    Visit our website at
    I am also on artfire at
    Follow my Blog at
    Like us on facebook at
    We are also on Pinterest, Twitter and Flickr
    You can also email us anytime at

Do you ship internationally?
     Absolutely! Contact me with your city and post code so that I can get you a quote. Be advised though, I am not familiar with the customs fees internationally so be sure to check with your post office as to what charges you might be responsible for I have sent many bears internationally and know there can be high fees on your end.

Where are you from?
    I live in Xenia, Ohio in the United States. With my wonderful husband, son, dogs and cat.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Updates and More!!!

 Have a look see!! Like us on facebook!

New faces on my Flickr account!!!!


At 24" Serverous is a monster of a hug!

Find him on etsy or artfire!

I promise he won't use the shell claws I gave him :)