Meet the Bear Artist!
(and some of her Bears)
Hi! My name is Kris Meares and I’m the Bear Artist and chief Arctophile behind Tag Along Teddies.
I’m a Journalist by trade, having completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Journalism at USQ in Toowoomba , Queensland , and I worked as a Journalist/photographer for “The Western Herald” in Bourke, north-western NSW for seven years. My husband, Scott, and I both grew up in QLD, so were keen to return north of the border (particularly at State of Origin time!) We moved to a rural community 45 minutes west of Toowoomba in 1999 and thus began my bear making career!
While I’ve always loved bears, it wasn’t until we moved that I had the opportunity to attend a bear making class run by a friend of a friend. From the first, slightly loppy and soggy-in-the-middle mohair bear, I was hooked! I used commercial patterns until I visited a shop in Mooloolaba called “Bears On The Wharf” owned by a fantastic lady (and now great friend!) Jacqui Rose , who encouraged me to design my own patterns and offered to sell my furry creations. I still sell the occasional bear to Jacqui – though not as many as she would like, as my interests have diverged.
The pattern design side of Tag Along Teddies evolved after I was asked to teach bear making at a Church craft group. Many ladies weren’t brave enough to tackle mohair bears, as they felt it was a bit expensive to learn on. So, I came up with a range of bears made from toweling in simple styles perfect for beginners or people who prefer machine to hand sewing. The resulting patterns are now on offer through this web site, as well as a few patchwork shops, like Apple Cottage at Highfields QLD.
While each takes on its own character, I joke that my bears usually end up looking like me – short-legged, podgy-tummied, with big smiles and lots of character!! I still have lots of ideas in mind for new patterns, including a belly dancing bear, so watch this space. I’m also branching into stitchery projects, some featuring bears, to offer something for everyone. Most patterns are great for beginners or experienced sewers and have simple instructions, as I myself am instruction impaired and need simple directions!!
I am married to my best friend and though we don't have children, we have a Border Collie named Wombat, an ever-growing population of bears and country cloth dolls, as well as five nephews and two nieces that we borrow and give back when we feel clucky!! When I’m not designing bears, I love patchwork; appliqué; reading fantasy fiction, adventure and mysteries; home decorating and renovating (we have a Federation style house in need of lots of TLC!); singing; listening to music; watching movies; traveling; and belly dancing!