Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Mapping out my stationery

The trouble with change is that it can sometime catch you out. After building my new website, and organising a smart new dot com domain address, it took a little while to dawn on me that I should also update my hang tags and advertising postcards to avoid sending collectors to my old website now that it is defunct.  My apologies if you have already had one such wasted journey!

Teddy bear hang tag

Those of you who already own an 'All Bear', will know that besides the satin stitched in 'tush tags', each of my bears wears a card hang tag tied around his neck detailing my contact details, bear's name, date and materials on the reverse side.  The tag also states the legally required 'This bear is an adult collectible and not suitable for use under the age of 14', because components such as cotter pins and glass eyes are not considered legally safe for young children.

Advertising postcard

I spent yesterday afternoon engrossed in 'Photoshop', working on new advertising stationery for my bears, whilst trying to fathom how to keep the text inside the required parameters for printing.  After several unsatisfactory attempts, I eventually arrived at this hang tag and postcard, featuring Twig, Logan and little Acorn. I do hope you like the new artwork as these cards will be accompanying all new bears in future ... just as soon as they arrive from the printers!

And just to make absolutely certain you all know exactly where to find us in future, here is a link to our lovely new website!

Monday, 13 October 2014

It's a new day ..

My telephone was set to ring as loudly as possible throughout Thursday and into Friday.  The message I was waiting so anxiously for, finally came from my son in the wee small hours of Friday morning ... my first grandchild had arrived safely in the world at 12.30 am precisely!

So far, Master Toby Carter is a very calm young man, no doubt because he has such incredibly relaxed parents.  Anthony and Hannah are making deft work of their new arrival, taking every new experience one step at a time and loving the learning process.  I am completely confident they will be the very best of parents and can't tell you how delighted I am to see the oh-so proud grin permanently spread across my son's face - I don't think I have ever seen him quite as happy as he is right now!

As for me - well where to begin?!

Holding my grandson for the first time was beyond words.  I am so thrilled to be Nana to this precious little boy and absolutely over the moon for my son and Hannah, now that they are a family.

Welcome to our world little Toby xxx

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Twig's Posh Paws

I saved hard to buy my first leather sofa so when, after many years of good service, the time finally came to accept it had served my family well but was no longer comfortable, I decided to recycle the areas of leather which hadn't been worn and put them to good use as teddy bear paws.

As you can see, that rich conker colour is perfect for my latest Autumn bear!

I used my pointiest needles to stitch in those leather paws and despite the extra effort required to sew them, am delighted with how well they suit my new bear 'Twig'.  Once I'd assembled him, I decided he would suit a waxed nose ... a technique requiring nerves of steel and a very steady hand, but I hope you will agree, the lovely soft shine is well worth the effort.

20" Twig

And here he is, complete with posh leather paws!

If you think Twig would make a wonderful addition to your collection of teddy bears, I am happy to tell you this fine fellow is now available to purchase direct from my website ...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A feather in my oh-so-traditional cap

Over the years I have often wondered if traditionally styled teddy bears can really hold their own against the bells and whistles of contemporary artist bears, when it comes to being judged on techniques employed and whenever I enter one of my classic teddy bears into a competition, I confess, it is usually with a fair degree of determination to have the typical teddy bear remembered and represented, whether or not he stands a chance of selection in this, the day of artistic impression.

'Beau'' - honoured with a 2014 Judges' Choice 
'Excellence in Bear Artistry Award' 

Well, today I am delighted to be able to share a little news with you ... 

I have just learned that my entry into the 2014 'Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards' has been honoured by a panel of elite teddy bear judges ... thus proving without a doubt, the traditional teddy bear still has as much place in competition as the most experimental of teddy bear interpretations!

The public voting element of this competition is now live, so please visit the link below and express your opinions on teddy bear design by casting your votes, thank you!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Shuffling through Sunday afternoon

The only clues to Autumn today, are the leaves turning wonderful browns, reds a golds!  The sun is hot, the sky blue, it sure is a beautiful day ... a little too humid for me though, so I've been keeping cool this fine Sunday afternoon, while my Itunes library keeps me entertained on 'shuffle'. 

8.5" Acorn 

How odd, as I type this post, Itunes has shuffled and hit upon one of my Dad's favourite songs, 'Nine million bicycles' by Norah Jones - I haven't heard this for years!  It's made me remember Dad coming to my house for a cuppa one afternoon and just before he drove off up the road, he told me I must to listen to this song ... it was playing on his car radio and he was bowled over by it.  Isn't it strange how music has the power to transport you somewhere you didn't expect to be?!

The real reason I popped on here on this lovely Sunday afternoon, is to let you know about the little bear above ... I've called him 'Acorn' and he is now available to adopt from my website.

Enjoy your Sunday ... memories and all x

Update: Acorn has been adopted.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Surprise, surprise!

Once in a while my blog throws up a surprise! I was recently contacted by a novelist and asked if he might use one of my photographs of Polperro as the front cover for his brand new Kindle book.  It just goes to show, you never know who might be reading your blog!

Behind the Mona Lisa smiled

I was happy to oblige as this novel is set in wonderful Polperro in Cornwall, which as regular readers will know, is my most favourite place to spend time!  I photographed this early evening view of the inner harbour by poking my lens out from the window of 'Daisy Cottage', a charming fisherman's cottage nestled along 'The Warren'.

'Behind the Mona Lisa smiled' was written by Paul Lines and is now available from Amazon on download:

Wishing Paul every success with his new novel!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

On the edge ..

I have always wanted to walk across the White Cliffs of Dover but somehow never quite found time, so last Friday I grabbed my camera, my dog and my husband and that is exactly what we did.

Once the morning fog lifted, the views were spectacular - even if those nightmare drops did play havoc with my vertigo!

We walked along the cliff top until we reached the lighthouse, which to our delight, had been turned into a charming 1940's tearoom complete with gramophone and fine English, quaintly mismatched, tea services.

Drinking from a dainty china cup might prove to be a bit of a fiddle for a usually borderline neanderthal bloke, but even my husband couldn't deny it did provide our pit-stop in the September sunshine, with a very pleasing sense of occasion.

We heartily recommend a cuppa at:

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Cutting it fine!

Last minute dash to submit my artwork for advertising in the 2015 'UK Teddy Bear Guide'!

 The annual guide, published by Hugglets for the past twenty-seven years, is a terrific resource for all things teddy bear related and will be available to order from October.

To order your copy please visit

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Chin Up.

18th September will always be bittersweet ...

Words don't come easily today, so I pledge to spend my 18th September, four years on, keeping busy with Polly, then spending time later having fun with my sister Fiona - today the bears can wait.

Thank you so much Hannah, for this, the last pic taken of me with my Dad xxx

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Hugglets done and dusted for another year ..

So that's Kensington done for another year!

My exhibition stand

I think my first Hugglets' show would have been back in the mid/late 1990's and it hardly seems possible I have been exhibiting at this show for the best part of twenty long years! 

Peeking out from behind my stand five minutes before closing

As usual I spent the entire day chatting ... in fact every time I popped behind my stand to grab something to eat or drink, another collector would arrive at my table - this truly is a very sociable show!  It was lovely to catch up with many old friends, good people who are the backbone of these shows.  Also such a privilege to make new friends discovering artist bears for the first time.  Thank you to everyone who shared their time to chat with me on Sunday and special thanks to those of you who took home one of my teddy bears - it is always a huge compliment when a collector commits to my work from among so many fabulous artists exhibiting at this prestigious show.

16.5" Logan is now available to adopt

19" Huckleberry is now available to adopt

16" Pomegranate is now available to adopt

I am happy to say only three of my bears came home with me after the show.  Each enjoyed a lovely fuss from many enthusiastic collectors, but either those kind folk had purchased already, or were simply unable to adopt on Sunday.  So, time now for me to pop Logan, Pomegranate and Huckleberry onto my website in the hope new owners will soon be found from around the globe.

Please let me know if any of these very special teddy bears tugs at your heartstrings ... I will be thrilled to hear from you!

Update: Huckleberry has been adopted!

Friday, 12 September 2014

My Autumn Celebration

Autumn is my favourite creative season, I love the colour, the smell, the dewy sense of anticipation ... 

An Autumn Celebration

And I am especially grateful to this most glorious of seasons, content in the knowledge my Dad woke to the joy of a perfectly golden Autumn day on the 17th of September, four years ago, his final day here with us.

 My Autumn Celebration Collection will be making a debut at the 'Teddies 2014' show in London on Sunday.  If you would like to say hello and meet me and my bears in person, we will be tucked in the corner of Hall 2, on stand 75.  

For full show details, please visit the organiser's website:

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A Tiddler of a show update!

This may well qualify as my smallest show update ever, but nonetheless, it IS a show update!

8" 'Thimbleberry' will be coming to the Hugglets show

There were moments when I questioned if I would actually succeed in making enough bears to display on my stand at this year's 'Teddies 2014' show (on Sunday 9th September) but by some miracle, have managed to create a select group of Autumn flavoured bears just in the nick of time to show visitors on Sunday - phew!

My Autumn collection of show bears ranges in size from 8" to 19".  This group of bears is sized smaller than usual, so hopefully, those of you who are space compromised and in need of more compact teddy bears, will be able to find a lovely new teddy to fit your needs.

If you would like to know more about the 'Teddies 2014' show, please visit the Hugglets website:

I am looking forward to saying hello in person!

Monday, 1 September 2014

A show update?

Let's just say, there have been times when I have been better organised before a show ...

Here comes Hugglets and yet I am still ploughing through piles of mohair between dog walks, housework and general 'life'.  Not quite sure how this will resolve ... all I can say is please watch this space and hopefully I will have updates any day soon!!!!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


A soggy August Bank Holiday Monday found me snuggled in my armchair watching 'Mandela' on DVD, whilst knitting a pretty white baby cardigan ... and yes, I confess to wearing my slippers, even though it is still supposed to be British Summertime!

Saturday and Sunday were better weather days, so we spent much of our time trompin' around outdoors with Stuart's cheeky grandson and my equally cheeky (if not more so!) daughter.

As usual, whenever the kids come to see us, Polly was in the thick of things - she's never happier than when she has her family around her; I guess that makes two of us!

On Saturday evening, I enjoyed a precious few moments watching my son build the crib he first slept in almost thirty years ago, in preparation for his own baby's arrival in October ...

There was a slight technical hitch with the crib ... having stored both crib and fixings in readiness for my first grandchild for the past 29 years and four months precisely, I discovered when I brought it down from the loft, I had failed to keep safe the bloomin' swinging hooks - heaven only knows what I did with those!  After Googling frantically to find replaements, I eventually had to resort to buying another entire crib complete with similar hooks from an Ebay seller ... so now I have a spare secondhand swinging crib, yet again with no swinging hooks!

 Ants 'n Han are also currently in full swing, creating a beautiful nursery for their first child and of course, I am on Nana tenterhooks as we all count down to their exciting event.  I know for certain my Dad, a commited family man, would have been absolutely thrilled to know his grandson is soon to be a daddy and that his family line will continue into a new generation.

So time for me to wish Hannah a safe journey into motherhood and to thank her for giving my son the opportunity to be a daddy and for giving me the very special privilege of becoming a Grandmother for the first time! 
With all my love xxx

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Teds in Tweed!

After receiving fabric samples from a couch maker recently, I couldn't resist ordering a cosy old fashioned wing chair and cushions to be made from Harris Tweed for our living room ... and being the bear maker I am, one thing naturally led to another!

Paying homage to the war time tradition of using alternative fabrics for making teddy bears ( I will be making a few special teddy bears in Harris Tweed, complemented with pure wool felt paws, for the forthcoming 'Teddies 2014' show in London on 14th September.  This fabric has a lovely autumnal essence, perfect for creating cosy traditional teddies with olde worlde appeal.

If you would like to come along to the show to see my latest bears, please visit for further details.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

On the crest of a wave

Before Summer slips into Autumn, I have one last pretty girl to share with you.


Naturally, after my recent holiday by the sea, this gorgeous girl teddy needed a nautical flair!

'Mary-Rose' is quite a substantial girl at 19" tall, so will no doubt provide a pretty pink statement in any teddy bear collection.  If you are yearning for clear blue skies and a life on the ocean waves, perhaps she could be the bear for you!  

For full details of this special teddy bear, please visit my website: 

Update: Mary-Rose has been adopted.

Monday, 4 August 2014

I spy ..

I spy with my little eye, blackberries ripening in the summer sunshine!  

It isn't yet quite time, but those blackberries leave me in no doubt that Autumn's delicate footstep will soon tiptoe through our English countryside, weaving early morning mists and lace webs, before taking a final flambuoyant bow in September and October.

The 'Teddies 2014' show will take place in London on the 14th September and I am looking foward to exhibiting in Hall 2, as usual; this wonderful specialist show always provides me with the perfect focus for my Autumnal inspirations. I am delighted to say, if Autumn is just around the corner, it is now time to gather together cosy fabrics and start work on my golden season teddies!

For further details about the 'Teddies 2014' show, please visit the organiser's website:

Friday, 1 August 2014

Making friends in Germany

As a teddy bear maker, one of my greatest pleasures is receiving delighted messages when a new bear meets his owner for the very first time.  Now and again those owners are also kind enough to send me a photograph of their special bear settling into his or her new home ... 

Beau and Robinson: making friends in Germany

Needless to say, I rarely know in advance which bears will ultimately live together, so when I received this particular photograph from a lovely collector recently, I was thrilled to realise Robinson had gone to live in Germany with Beau, the large clown bear I made earlier this year.  I think they look fabulous together, don't you?!

Thank you so much to their thoughtful owner for allowing me to share her beautiful photograph.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Forever in blue jeans

It's was a long time in the making, but last week they finally sealed their sixteen year deal - my photographer sister Tina and her partner Ian were at long last married!

A very relaxed, happy couple - Tina & Ian

The wedding service took place in secret on Friday, then on a very sunny Sunday afternoon, they threw open their home to invite family and friends to celebrate with them, in a super relaxed 'I do in denim blue' garden party celebration.

Making bubbles - Tina and Great Niece Ella

Tina and her daughters must have worked incredibly hard to create the denim garden decorations and pretty blue and white trimmings, not to mention the super denim mugs Tina and Ian printed for everyone to take home!  Ian's hard work in the flower beds and decking looked absolutely beautiful and he cooked up a huge lunch for everyone on his enormous barbecue.  The lawn was full of fun games for the children and the rifle range in the driveway was a stroke of genius, keeping all the big boys and girls entertained for hours!

Fun on the rifle range: Annie Oakley move over, here comes my daughter!

Tina and Ian's reception party was a true reflection of my sister and her new husband ... fun, relaxed, creative and most of all, full of family warmth.

Opening wedding gifts

The one person I know Tina would have wanted present, was definitely with her in spirit throughout the celebrations.  Our Dad never missed a good family knees up and certainly wouldn't have missed this one!  We five sisters were delighted to be able to share Tina's happiness with Auntie Mona, Dad's sister ... and thanks to Tina's generosity with her photographic studio throughout the afternoon, we were thrilled to secure our first ever group photograph with our very special Auntie.

Auntie Mona and her five nieces - Tina top left, Fiona top middle, Laura top right,
Me bottom left, Auntie Mona centre, Lynda bottom right

Ian has been part of our family for many years and it doesn't feel quite right to welcome him into our family at this late juncture when he's been part of our family furniture for donkey's years!  So instead, I'd simply like to wish this very happy couple many more years of happiness and partnership together ...

The groom's speech

Cheers you two!!!

'Forever in blue jeans'

And in case you were wondering ... yes, of course I made a bear to celebrate!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Refreshing Read!

A very dishevelled, undeniably sweaty bearmaker stepped through my front door after dog training this morning, only to find a copy of the latest 'Teddy Bear Times' magazine waiting on the mat.  Published in its hallowed pages, was not only my new advertisement and one of my recent clown bears in the forthcoming Hugglets show preview, but also a rather lovely 'My Workroom' article, featuring an entire page of chat about little ol' me 'n my bears!!!

I may have been making bears for the past twenty years, but believe me, seeing them in print is a privilege I never take for granted - it is every bit as much of a buzz today, as it was way back in the mid 90's.  Seeing my bears published today refreshed up my hot, sticky self instantly!

If you would like to buy a copy of this month's 'Teddy Bear Times' magazine, please check out your local WH Smith store (UK readers) or alternatively, if you are unable to visit your High Street, or you live overseas, simply pop over to where it can be ordered online and delivered straight to your door ...

Happy reading everyone!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Postcard from Cornwall

The sun shone, the scenery beguiled and Polly made a wonderful walking companion ... Cornwall last week, was a fabulous breath of fresh air!

Here are a few of our Cornish holiday snaps, I hope you enjoy them.

I have been visiting Cornwall for about twenty of the past thirty years and if you have ever walked the Cornish coastline yourself, I am certain you will understand why this magical county has the power to draw me back time and time again.

We hiked across the Lizard Peninsula, which I think has to be one of the most beautiful walks in the UK.

Tangy sea air invigorated us as we gazed from pretty St Mawes castle, across the Fal Estuary.

And wherever we went, Polly came too .. even up on castle ramparts!

We visited picture perfect English castles ...

Spectacular English gardens ...

Lands End ...

And of course, no visit to Cornwall would be complete without time to paddle on a few of those glorious unspoiled Cornish beaches!

Cornwall steals my heart every time I visit and I never ever tire of it, no matter what the weather ... but sunshine and Cornwall?  I defy any other destination in the world to beat such an amazing holiday combination!!!


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