Thursday, 17 January 2019

Practically Perfect in every way

For me, one of the most magical things about being a child of the 60's, was growing up with 'Mary Poppins' on film, sitting glued to Bert's chimney sweeps, as they belted out 'Chim chim cheree' whilst twirling across London's rooftops, laughing and singing with Jane, Michael, Bert and Mary Poppins, as they levitated to the ceiling to join Uncle Albert for an 'I love to laugh' tea party and having my little girl heartstrings tugged by the elderly lady, who every day warbled 'Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,' on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.

I was inspired to try a little sketch!

 I don't mind admitting, I have been a die hard Mary Poppins fan all my life and of course, brought my children up watching it too, so to be honest, I was sceptical that a modern day 'Mary Poppins Returns' could possibly live up to my devoted childhood expectation ... but thankfully, I couldn't have been more wrong!

My daughter, daughter-in-law (both in their thirties) and I, went to watch the new film on the Big Screen last week and were completely swept along, as the new 'Practically perfect Mary Poppins' brought back a world of wonderment and laughter to Cherry Tree Lane, more than half a century after the wind last changed...

I can happily report we all agreed it was every bit as joyful to watch Jack's lamplighters 'Trip the light fantastic', as it had been to see Bert's chimney sweeps dancing across the rooftops all those years ago, it was a delight to enter Topsy's laughter filled upside down life and an absolute breath of fresh air to see London cast in such a spectacularly magical light.

And the new Mary Poppins herself? Well, she has a slightly more mischievous twinkle to her eye perhaps, but there can be no doubting she is exactly who she claims to be ... Mary Poppins has indeed returned!

:-)

A slow start

I'm off to a slow start with my first bear of 2019!


Introducing 'Jack', a sweet-faced modern classic teddy bear, wearing one of my cosy hand knitted scarfs. I'm happy to tell you, Jack was snapped up from my website within a nanosecond of making his début this week, so now it's time for me to start work on my second bear of 2019 and this time, I think I'll stay with the modern classic theme, using a beautiful shade of cinnamon mohair. 

First things first though! Being self-employed means the Tax Man takes priority at this time of year. His deadline for Self Assessment Returns looms large at the end of January and needless to say I've left mine until the last minute, as usual!

:-)

Friday, 4 January 2019

It's just another New Year's Eve..

I'm not really the biggest fan of New Year's Eve, it always makes me feel a bit sad to be waving away another year and my dogs are frightened of the midnight fireworks. This year I spent the wee small hours of 2019 on my living room rug, with an anxious Polly and Betty pressed tightly into my sides as they fretted about the 'war zone' happening outside.


Whilst New Year's Eve doesn't float my boat these days, I do always enjoy a good walk on the first of January and this year, invited my family to Teston Bridge Country Park which meanders along the River Medway. The weather was was crisp and dry for our first walk of 2019 and we were treated to the most fabulous winter sunset on our return.


Starting a brand new year 'outdoorsing' with my family, gave 2019 the best possible start for me and hopefully for each of them too. We all love a good welly walk together!


This year my Granddaughter joined us for her very first New Year's Day walk. She snuggled safely in her sling, smiling and chatting along the way, while her big brother, now a lively four year old, sploshed through muddy puddles and collected sticks to tease his auntie with.


It was a lovely walk, relaxed and fun, with beautiful scenery, shared with the people who are my world.  In fact, I'd even go as far as to say, the perfect start to a New Year!


So, time to say goodbye to 2018 and hello 2019. 

I am looking forward to a year full of family, fun and time to create. I am not making New Year resolutions, just a promise to myself to make the best of every day.


Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

May 2019 be all you hope for.

Paula.

xxx

Sunday, 16 December 2018

The All Bears in 2018


The All Bears arrived at a steady pace throughout 2018, finding new homes around the world, with most settling in America, Australia, Germany and the UK. They made their débuts in a lovely array of colours, some traditional, others more flamboyant ... and they welcomed 'The Tweedy Teds' to their midst, a collection of colourful cloth bears, created from traditionally hand woven Harris Tweed.  It was also fun to reintroduce large panda bears after a long break and to squeeze in a rare mischievous black bear, just in time for Halloween!  

Sadly we lost dear Strudel bear in our first ever delivery disaster in twenty five years of international shipping, but thanks to my extremely kind spirited and patient collector, I was able to remedy this heartbreaking loss by creating a beautiful new Strudel teddy, now living happily in the US with her delighted new owner. All bar one teddy bear, found new homes this year and I am certain Douglas will soon join the list of happy 'All Bear' adoptées. In the meantime, I am enjoying the company of this handsome teddy very much! To bring my year of teddy bear making to a close, I introduced my final teddy of 2018 to my website today, a sweet fuchsia pink girl named Ivy.

After a busy year, it is now time for me to set down my stuffing stick, tidy up my workroom in readiness for 2019 and welcome in the spirit of Christmas, but first I would like to thank you all for sharing my blog and for your kind interest in my teddy bears throughout 2018, with extra special thanks to those of you who were kind enough to adopt one of my bears.


Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year,

With warmest hugs,
Paula ... and the bears xxx

Update: Ivy and Douglas were both adopted before Christmas!

The time has come..

It hardly seems possible that, with only a few days until Christmas, it is now time to introduce you to my final teddy bear of 2018. Ivy is a lovely 14" teddy girl, created from a pretty, dark fuchsia, mohair (please note, her mohair is slightly darker than the photograph but as usual I have struggled with my photography with this fabulous coloured mohair!) To find out a little more about Ivy, please pop over to my website: www.allbearbypaula.com

'Ivy'
2018 raced by and besides making your teddy bears, I have also been busy looking after my cheeky Grandson every week (he is now four years old and full of mischief!) ... as well as obedience training my bouncy golden girls. Somehow I also managed to squeeze in a lovely family holiday in beautiful (but windy!) Cornwall in September, which despite the inclement weather, was the absolute highlight of my year. It sure has been a busy one!

So, the time has come for for me to wind down and welcome in the spirit of Christmas but first, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind interest in my teddy bear this year. It has been my absolute pleasure to send my teddy bears around the world to live with their special people!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
:-)

Updated: Ivy has been adopted!

Monday, 10 December 2018

Christmas is coming

Big bears can occasionally take a little longer to find new homes than their smaller, less expensive pals; especially in the current economic climate and now that I don't exhibit at shows. As we run headlong towards Christmas this year, I find I have two big bears who have remained with me for a few weeks and as I always prefer to have all the bears I make adopted before the end of a year to enable me to begin again with a clean slate in the New Year, I have decided to offer these two beautiful teddy bears at a special seasonal discount on my website, in the hope they will be able to start 2019 with their special people.

Douglas

Conkers

Reducing the price on teddy bears is always a tricky decision ... the bears are as beautiful as they were on the first day they were made and I am just as proud of them, so I would hate anyone to think they are less than fabulous teddies! These bears are special heritage teddy bears, beautifully handcrafted originals, created from fabulous luxury mohair, they are teddy bears worthy of a place in any serious collector's hug, but at this time of year, I understand that demands on a purse can be many, making luxury purchases a stretch for collectors. As it is almost Christmas, I would prefer to find homes for my bears at a lower price if possible, as my gift to you, rather than have them sat on their lonesome in my workroom indefinitely ...

I will run this special offer until Christmas.

If you would like full details, please popover to:

www.allbearbypaula.com

Thank you!

:-)

Update: Conkers and Douglas have been adopted!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Cuddles, cake and chaos

It was my sister's birthday on the first of December, so we headed over to visit her and spent a celebratory evening catching up with our now grown up kids and enjoying our Grandchildren playing together ...


Everyone leads such busy lives these days, which makes it even more important to us as sisters to draw our families together whenever we can. We brought our children up together, shared family holidays when they were younger, looked after one another's children whenever needed and generally made sure our kids always understood they were part of a one big family. Now, in their twenties and thirties, two of them with children of their own, it is lovely to see their childhood relationships are still firmly in place and our amazing little crop of Grandchildren, are now playmates.  We are proud that our adult children share special times together and that they know they can always call on one another whenever anyone needs a hand, or a shoulder to cry on, because to coin a cliché, that is what family is for.

Happy Birthday Sis! xxx

:-)

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Seeing Red

Red has to be the most tricky of colours to photograph and boy have I struggled with these today! It's a shame the pics aren't better, because this little bear's mohair is a gorgeous deep velvety red in reality.

12" Pip
If you would like to know more about 'Pip', he is now available on my website:


(And if you happen to have any suggestions about how I can photograph red bears more successfully, I'd be delighted to hear them!)

;-)

Update: Pip has now been adopted.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Snowy

We had a dusting of snow a couple of nights ago but it didn't stay long. There's no doubt Winter is around the corner - my dog walks are definitely getting colder and muddier as the days pass! I suppose it's time to start thinking about big coats, boots, scarves and of course, the festive juggernaut that is inevitably heading our way ... 


18" Snowy

I can't say I'm feeling very festive yet, but December is still a week away, so I daresay it'll creep up on me. I couldn't resist making a wintery polar cub with a cheery red nose this week, so perhaps my festive cheer is bubbling under after all!

'Snowy' is now available to adopt, so if you have a corner of your sofa, or a comfy armchair needing a teddy, please pop over to my website for full details. 

Thank you!


Update: Snowy has been adopted!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Douglas

I would like to introduce my latest teddy bear to you! I have named him 'Douglas'; a lovely traditional name for a lovely traditional teddy bear and it reminds me of the beautiful Douglas Fir trees on the Knole Park Estate in Sevenoaks.

20" Douglas

As we can't fail to notice, Christmas is now only six short weeks away, so if you would like to adopt this very special bear to arrive in time for Christmas, please get in contact with me as soon as possible so I can arrange for Santa to pop him in the sleigh!


Monday, 12 November 2018

A green and pleasant land

We walked into town to watch the Remembrance Day Parade yesterday morning, standing silent with the rest of the town at 11am, to pay our respects to those fallen in war.


It was a moving experience to watch regiments marching smartly across the old bridge, especially the veterans. Polly and Betty wore poppy neckerchiefs to show support and made us proud by sitting to attention at the kerbside as the soldiers marched past. They posed for photographs and gave a polite paw to anyone when asked ...  they raised many smiles and many compliments. I was proud of them, so to say thank you, we bought a large freshly cooked sausage from a nearby kiosk to reward them after the ceremony. It had been well earned!



As we paid our respects and gave thanks, I thought about how far we are now from the days when fear permeated our entire country and the world beyond. After all, we are only a century forward from those obscene trenches of war where sons, husbands and fathers, fought on foot for our freedom, so many never to return to their loved ones. 

Peace is so fragile and for our freedom, I think we owe more than we can ever fully know...


Dulce et Decorum Est

by Wilfred OwenLaunch Audio in a New Window

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

A nod to the dark side!

Halloween is only a few days away and I will be tut-tutting with the best of 'em, while I pull up my drawbridge to discourage those mischievous 'trick or treat tricksters'. Children knocking on strangers' doors eager for sweeties is something I heartily disapprove of ... for their own safety. That said, there is something about the magical mayhem of Halloween I have loved since I was a child and it has nothing to do with parties, fancy dress or tricks; no, for me it has always been far more about imaginative stories and mischievous characters gathering together in the dark of night.

Speaking of whom ...


20" 'Mischief'

Well, I couldn't let Halloween pass with at least a gentle nod to the darker side now could I?!

It has been absolutely ages since I last made a black bear and after a week sewing black thread on black mohair, now I remember why I don't make them often! I am so glad I did though, Mischief is tall, dark and handsome, with a twinkle in his eye. The perfect Halloween cuddle in fact.

Available now from my website:



Wishing you all a safe and fun Halloween 2018!

:-)

Update: Mischief has been adopted!

Friday, 19 October 2018

Autumn, season of mists and .. pandas?

I'm not sure why, but it has been a good few years since I last made any pandas, so this Autumn, I have tried to rectify that situation with a handful of these rather striking teddy bears!


First there was Bamboo, a beautiful gentle panda bear created in soft shades of brown and cream.


After Bamboo, I then received a special request from a collector for a pink and chocolate brown panda ... which turned out to be a truly delicious colour combination and was named 'Luna' by her delighted new owner.


As I watched leaves turning orange, red and gold on my recent daily walks with the dogs, I couldn't resist one more panda before Winter sets in and I had the perfect coppery coloured mohair waiting in my workroom! My latest panda is called 'Conkers' and for me, he is a celebration of Autumn, a season I love. He is a stunning teddy bear currently looking for his special someone and now available to purchase from my website ...



www.allbearbypaula.com

Autumn, may well be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but it also seems to be the perfect season for pandas!

:-)

Monday, 8 October 2018

Don't bug me!

It should probably be said, I am not the biggest fan of all things bug, but when my soon-to-be four year old Grandson decided he would like a bug themed birthday party, it's safe to say there wasn't a bug large enough on the planet, to stop this proud Nana from accepting her invitation!


It was a complete joy to watch Toby experience his special 'bug roadshow' party. He was thrilled to meet 'The Bug Man' and his amazing insect friends. It was a day I am certain, he will never forget!


Given that Toby and his pals are usually typically boisterous lads, it was amazing to see them all so inquisitive, yet so gentle handling the big wriggly bugs!


My own kids have always enjoyed the natural world and grown up as they now are, they were excited to meet the big bugs too ...




Watching my son and daughter's own delight as they carefully held these amazing insects, reminded me of their childhood, when their Dad would call them into the garden to inspect caterpillars, or chrysalis he came across. Those early experiences stayed with my kids and I love how this fascination with nature now passes to my Grandson.


Not only were there bugs to meet yesterday, with the help of Toby's Granny, my lovely daughter-in-law worked hard to create a fabulous bug themed chocolate birthday cake for her son and laid out a tasty bug style party table ... there was even bug coloured jelly and insect fruit kebabs!


The little ones had great fun turning a couple of willing adult volunteers into chrysalis by wrapping them from top to toe in toilet paper and they also made moth brooches and raced around the hall on Scuttlebug bicycles, while our youngest party goer, my four month old Granddaughter, played happily with insect themed sensory activities, created by her clever Mummy.


Thank you for coming to the party Great Auntie Fo and Co.
It was lovely to spend special bug time with you and your family and especially fun to see my great nieces enjoying the bug games!


Toby had a super time at his party and for me, it was an opportunity to share happy time with the people I love most in the world.


Thank you for inviting Nana to your special bug party Toby. 
I had a fab time and wouldn't have missed it for the world ... bugs 'n all!!!

xxxX

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Wild 'n Windy in Cornwall

Just back from a late holiday in wild 'n windy Cornwall with my family.


We have walked our legs off along the West Coast of Cornwall, seen seals and sea lions, visited a castle, eaten pasties and cream teas, laughed heaps and been blown to pieces by gale force winds!


I loved the opportunity to spend quality 'away' time with my family, especially my son and daughter as work takes so much of their time in the real world.


The scenery, as always, has been spectacular, whatever the weather ...





And family laughs have been a-plenty!


Polly and Betty also had a lovely holiday with their favourite people around them and returned home very sleepy, after their week in the Cornish fresh air!





Thank you family, for making time for us to share together in Cornwall. 
It has been so much fun and I am so glad we made it happen!


Oh and Happy Anniversary to us too ... unconventional perhaps, but we celebrated our wedding anniversary with a hike to Lands End and a Cornish pasty for lunch. 

Perfect!

:-)

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