Monday, 24 April 2017

The arrival of Rodney

When I heard whisper of a ginger kitten needing a home locally, I knew just the right owner (!) and so 'Rodney' arrived in our home on Friday afternoon. Three days later and this scrappy little kitty cat has already made a big impression on us all ... I'd almost forgotten how much fun and mischief a kitten brings!

He made himself right at home, boldly snuggling himself down in the dogs' bed on his second day with us. My golden retriever girls Polly and Betty are rather bemused by our tiny new addition, but I am happy to say, with careful supervision and a bag of training treats to hand, I have been amazed at how restrained and gentle they have been with him.

Puddle Cat, now ten, is taking her time with this cheeky young upstart as her nose has been put a little out of joint by young Rodders' arrival; she'll come round in a day or two, I'm sure. She's a kind and gentle girl, but a wee bit shy, so this lively youngster has been a surprise to her. She's tolerating him from a distance at the moment and in true pussycat style, will no doubt befriend him on her terms, but only when her ladyship is good and ready.

By the way, I do hope you enjoy these beautiful photographs of Rodney aged just eight weeks. They were taken on Saturday by my daughter's talented fiancé (copyright Dotpix Photography) when they popped in to meet Rodney for the first time. I was thrilled with them ... I think Neil has made my scrappy ginger kitty look like a feline movie star!


Thursday, 13 April 2017

My boy

My little boy is now thirty two years old!

I don't know where the time goes, really I don't. It seems only yesterday my boy was toddling around and playing football in the garden in his bunny slippers, yet here he is today, a husband, a father and of course, still my son ... one I couldn't be more proud of.

Happy Birthday Ants,
You're doing great.
My love to you always,
Your couldn't-be-more-proud,

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A pretty Petal

Gardens everywhere are bursting with pretty Spring flowers at the moment. I am enjoying them immensely in my local area as I walk Polly and Betty each day, so much so in fact, I was inspired to make a Tiddler teddy girl called 'Petal' this week ...

8.5" Petal has been adopted

I am delighted to tell you, my little Spring Petal caught the eye of a collector as soon as she made her way to my website and will be flying overseas on the Spring breeze next week!


Friday, 7 April 2017

Time for a Tiddler!

Little Jim is such a cutie!

'Little Jim' has been adopted

Little Jim will meet his new owner in person next week and hopefully this sweet wee bear will make a big impression upon arrival!

If you have been waiting patiently for a Tiddler to arrive, you might like to know I will have a Tiddler girl teddy arriving on my website in a few days' time. 

Please visit a bit later next week, if you would like to meet her. 

Thank you!


Friday, 31 March 2017

Colour me happy!

As I've mentioned before, whenever the mood takes me and I can squeeze a few spare hours, I have been trying to teach myself to draw ... not only to battle old artistic demons, (leftover from disappointed art teachers whilst at school!) but mostly because it now completely absorbs me and I find it very relaxing. I have been keeping an art journal and with the help of an online course, recently completed my first pastel face ...

I genuinely had no idea I could ever achieve this!  

Now of course, I have the bug and am itching to learn how to draw anything and everything, so have treated myself to a posh set of pastel pencils and am looking forward to colouring my world!


Sniffin' the breeze

It's been all about dogs today. :First, a town based obedience training session for Betty featuring scary traffic, echoe-y subways, crazy people (!) busy pavements, litter, the river, ducks, pigeons, steep steps, a wobbly bridge, ... you name it, we had it thrown our way. I was so proud of my little 'un, she coped brilliantly and definitely earned a run in the park with her little staffy pal afterwards.

Home for a bite of lunch, then 'ding dong, round 2'!  A lovely off lead walk with Polly through pretty woodland and an orchard, then across a couple of huge fields, pausing to sniff occasional blades of grass, leaves and of course, the breeze! Eventually we turned back to retrace our steps and headed home at a leisurely pace. I love walking with my big girl in the Spring sunshine and except a few bulldozers carving up the local landscape (grrr!) there wasn't a soul to be seen today.



Monday, 27 March 2017

Mother's Day

I not afraid to say, I absolutely love Mother's Day! 

Whilst others may complain of its crass commercialism, I delight in the opportunity to spend time with my children, both of whom now live independently. I love the gentle fuss of Mothering Sunday of course, who wouldn't? (!) but most of all, I just love having my kids back home with me for a few very precious hours, laughing, joking, teasing me and making sure I know that grown-up as they now are, they will always care. Yes, they do that other days too, but the point is, they never fail to do it on Mother's Day.

I loved our time together strolling along the riverbank and sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows in the Spring sunshine yesterday afternoon.

Thank you so much kids, for always making the time to be with me.

Love you loads,
Mum xxx


Saturday, 25 March 2017

A Primrose

I finished work on a lovely teddy bear yesterday, a commission to celebrate the new season.

20" 'Primrose'

As I have mentioned before, finding pretty yellow mohair for large bears isn't always easy, so I was thrilled to find a gorgeous primrose yellow mohair recently. It has been fun to knit for this project, although I confess, calculating the sizing for her short sleeved cardigan proved a bit of a headache! It was worth the struggle though, as that purple yarn and yellow mohair look stunning together. Oh, and I hope you'll agree, my pretty crochet flowers add a perfect 'Spring time' flourish to this lovely teddy girl's outfit!


Thursday, 23 March 2017

A view point ..

I took this photograph of Westminster Bridge, The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, from a river boat, whilst bobbing on the Thames one rather chilly April day, three years ago. My husband and I were in high spirits, enjoying the sights as we celebrated his 50th birthday.

It's impossible not to be awestruck when you experience this view of the heart and soul of our democratic nation, either from the river ... or if you happen to be strolling across Westminster Bridge.

Since I was a child I have loved visiting London. The architecture makes such a proud statement against the horizon, a statement of steadfast belief in freedom, respect, equality and the future. It feels as though the River Thames pulls you on its journey through the Capital's history, right into the here and now.

Like so many other tourists, I have paused on Westminster Bridge, to take happy snaps of my loved ones, enjoying the colourful hustle and bustle, whilst hoping to hear Big Ben declare the hour.

And like so many other tourists over so many years, I have also wandered through Westminster, eager to photograph the bricks and mortar of our country's Government.

When I heard the news of yesterday's terror on Westminster Bridge, perhaps selfishly, my first thoughts were for the safely of my children because they work in London. Thankfully I was quickly reassured. The timing for other families was tragically less fortuitous ...

I really don't understand how anyone justifies terror, nor how anyone believes human lives should be so instantly dispensable. 

No-one has the right to steal the future from innocent bystanders. 

No-one has the right to strike terror.

I fear that crossing Westminster Bridge may never feel quite so free again.

Happy National Puppy Day!

So today is 'National Puppy Day' ... who knew?!

Never one to miss an opportunity to share pics of my girls, here they are at 7 weeks old, the cutest puppies you ever did see. 

Gotta love a puppy pic eh? One, two, three, all together now ... aw!

Happy National Puppy Day everyone, 
with love from my pair 'o pickles, the delightfully chunky Miss Polly Dog (top right/bottom left) and her adorably cheeky little sister, Miss Betty Boo.


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Thirty four years..

I remember so clearly, reclining in a hospital bed with my firstborn child swaddled against my knees, gazing at that tiny bundle in complete wonder. Today it really doesn't seem possible that the incredible day which changed my life forever, was thirty four years ago!

I couldn't be more proud of the gentle, loyal, clever, funny, thoughtful, generous, caring, beautiful and determined woman, my daughter has become. She has always faced life's challenges with dignity, grace, humour and wisdom ... she is a very special girl indeed.

Happy 34th birthday to you Fay,
You make me so proud, each and every day.
I wish you the world.
All my love to you, forever.
Mum xxx

Monday, 20 March 2017

A Spring Kitten

Who can resist a Spring kitten needing a kind home eh? 
Not me apparently!

This cheeky little scrap will shortly be taking up residence with us. He will need a name (and just to complicate matters 'he' may well turn out to be 'she', which is unlikely, but not completely unheard of for a ginger cat) so I had better put on my thinking cap.


Since losing her pal Daisy a few weeks ago, my lovely Puddle has become a bit mopey (cats know ya know), so I am hoping a new kitten will help brighten her days as she has never been without kitty company. Moggies have been part of my family for more than thirty years and at one point, I had as many as five furry felines living together (and a dog!) ... all rehomed from uncertain futures. Now there is only Puddle at home, so I think it's time to move forward from Daisy's sad demise and squeeze in a brand new scrappy cat to keep her company.


Fingers crossed Puddle accepts her new playmate - cats can be contrary after all! She is a very gentle girl though, so I think catty curiosity is most likely to win her round.  I look forward to sharing further news and pics when little 'un joins us in a few weeks' time.

And of course, I am very excited about our new addition to the family ... kittens in springtime are so much fun!


Monday, 13 March 2017

Signs of Spring

I've just returned from a walk with my girls ... the sun is absolutely glorious today! Daffodils are bobbing cheerily on grass verges and yes, Spring is most definitely in the air. The sun didn't quite manage to shine on our Sunday afternoon walk from Teston to Nettlestead yesterday, but the weather was noticeably milder than of late and we thoroughly enjoyed our long hike, spotting the first signs of Spring along the riverbank. Polly and Betty enjoyed their walk too, taking every opportunity to gambol around like Spring lambs.

I love Spring, it's always such a delight to watch the countryside wakening from Winter's grey slumber.  It is also a season which never fails to inspire creativity!

Drawing in progress

As I have mentioned before, I am teaching myself to draw and funnily enough, the gentle Spring palette in the picture above, wasn't actually a conscious decision ... I think the change in season crept up on my creative self!

Primrose teddy bear commission

And of course, Spring is a wonderful time for creating new teddy bears.  I am currently working on a special commission for a collector who wants to celebrate the new season with a primrose yellow teddy. This afternoon I intend to sit in the sunshine in my conservatory for the very first time this year, to knit her a cardigan.

Spring has sprung along the River Medway

Incidentally, I am holding a mini Spring sale on my website this week ... Lisette and Treacle are hoping to find new owners, so who knows, perhaps a Spring discount might help them!


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A very special friendship

I am so very grateful for the past four fabulous years of very special friendship with this big, beautiful golden girl ...

Happy 4th Birthday to my Polly today!

:-)<3 span="">

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Mmmn Treacle!

So, life goes on, storm 'Doris' rages around the UK and amidst everything, a new teddy bear is born!

15" Treacle is available to adopt

This mohair is one of my new favourites from Schulte ... it creates such characterful bears, as you can see!

I finished Treacle yesterday and making him has cheered me up this week. Thank you for that Treacle Teddy!

Treacle is now ready for adoption and hoping someone who likes chubby bears will invite him home to live in comfort with them ... and if there happened to be a pot of honey in the pantry, so much the better!

For full details, please visit Treacle on my website:


Update: Treacle has been adopted

Monday, 20 February 2017

A Daisy in May

A sad weekend, saying goodbye to our fat little cat Daisy, a springtime kitten who sadly didn't quite make it to her seventh birthday.

Daisy was such a gentle, sweet tempered girl and she has left us far too soon. Sometimes that's just how it is with cats .. I have owned cats all my adult life and you never can tell how long they will stay. Saying goodbye always hurts, they are such unique characters and so much a part of our family. 

 May 2010 - February 2017

So my pretty, lazy girl, sleep tight in your garden, free from pain. I am so very sad you have left us.


The story of my cats ...

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A travelling companion?

After compiling my 2016 portfolio of teddy bears, I noticed I hadn't made any little bears last year ... not even one! I had a piece of Doodle's mohair left over, so I decided to put it to good use by making a tiddler sized teddy. I think this cheeky wee chap would make a lovely companion for a bigger bear, so am hoping he will find a special friend to sit with, after he is adopted.

8.5" Little Mac

I don't think I will ever make a smaller bear than this as little bears are quite fiddly and almost as time consuming as the big 'uns, but I do like this size. Little Mac sits comfortably in the palm of my hand and would happily slip into a pocket to keep his owner company on an outing.  In fact, now I come to think about it, he would make the perfect travelling companion!

If you would like more information about this pint sized teddy, you are very welcome to visit my website. Little Mac will be delighted to see you there!


Update: Little Mac has been adopted!

Monday, 13 February 2017

The annual teddy review!

At the beginning of every year since 2006, I have set aside a little time to create a portfolio of my teddy bear creations. Having a book of the previous year's work to flick back through from time to time, is very satisfying and also a great way to remind myself of where I was with my designs and where I would still like to go ...

2016 All Bear portfolio

My 2016 portfolio arrived a few days ago and although there are fewer bears featured than in previous years, I was very happy with it.

2006 All Bear portfolio

Back in 2006, the first portfolio was designed to be part of my exhibition display, so my photographer sister Tina helped me by taking some fabulous photographs of my bears in her studio - this is still one of my all time favourite portfolio books!

Looking back through these old photographs always makes me smile but not only that, I find it interesting to see my work evolve across the years. To help me recall what was happening in my world during any given bear crafting year, I have more recently started to include a brief review on the first page.

2016 review

I wish I had made portfolios for my earliest teddy bears, but unfortunately, I didn't think to do that. However, I do still have a few old photo albums featuring some of the first bears I designed (sadly not all) so perhaps it's time to buy a little scanner to create a book of my first decade of work (1996-2006) and keep those precious teddy bear memories safe too!


Monday, 6 February 2017

Time together .. a birthday celebration

Yesterday, yet another birthday crept up on me, so determined to enjoy it to the full, I invited my husband, kids, their partners and my grandson to my favourite local park for a family tromp with the dogs and then later in the day, my sister, nieces and great nieces came to my house to share birthday cake with us. 

Happy Birthday to me - a fun family selfie taken by my daughter.

February birthdays are always chilly, so we wrapped up warm and kept on the move.  The dogs had an absolute blast charging around together and young Toby made the most of his time exploring for sticks. As for me, I had the best walk of all laughing, chatting, strolling and generally loving having my family around me for some special birthday 'outdoorsing'!

Polly and Betty enjoying their birthday blast

Exploring the playground with my grandson

My thoughtful future son-in-law made certain my happy birthday memories were kept safe, by discreetly photographing my day as it unfolded. Thank you so much Neil, I will always treasure these super birthday photographs.

Strolling with Toby and Betty

And of course, there was a birthday cake and candles ... and believe me, by the time you reach my age, a little help blowing out all those candles is much appreciated! 

Never too old for candles and birthday cake!

To my very precious family, thank you so much for your lovely cards and gifts, but most importantly, thank you everyone, for showing me you care by sharing time with me on my birthday ... I loved spending it with you xxx


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