How It All
My name is Dana Ardiel and I have been making bears since about 1997. I grew up in a
very small town called Breton, Alberta. I was always doing some sort of craft and
entering them in all the country fairs. You could get prize money for 1st, 2nd & 3rd.
Just after college I discovered miniature doll houses. I immediately wanted to build my
own. So a 10 room, 3 floor house kit became my birthday present. Simply put, I have
always had a fascination with anything that was a miniature version of something else!
Then my sister gave me a kit to make a teddy bear. I have always been crazy about
bears but it had never crossed my mind to make one. When I had finished that bear, I
was hooked. I found Teddy
Bear & Friends and
Teddy Bear Review magazines. I never knew this "world" existed. I also found a kit
for a 5" bear. After completing it I knew I could combine my love for bears, miniatures
and working with my hands, all in one.
I had been making minis for about two years. Then something happened to confirm all
of this. I made a 12" bear from a fur coat to give to my grandmother-in-law. Though she
cannot speak or move due to a stroke, the joy in her face when she unwrapped him, told
me all I needed to know. She loved him.
As they say, the rest is history. I continue to love making bears and watching
people's faces as they look at them. I do a show a year and am trying to become more
I currently live in Keene, Ontario with my husband Mike and 17 year old cat
Crickett. My husband is great at putting up with my supplies lingering around and tries
to make sure I don't take over the whole house!