Monday, 14 August 2017

Mermaid Magic

I always think there is something quite magical about Cornwall, especially the dramatic coastline and beautiful seascapes.

Not only have I been walking in Cornwall with my family this Summer, I also squeezed in a little 'Paula playtime' with paints and ink pens. Lo and behold a little mermaid appeared from nowhere ... I can only assume that wonderful Cornish scenery worked some magic on my paintbrushes!


Monday, 7 August 2017

A family postcard from Cornwall

 So there I was, thinking we probably wouldn't manage a holiday this year and at the last minute we managed to find a spare week, invite the kids, grab the dogs and take off to beautiful Cornwall together! 

It has been an absolute joy to spend time with all my family in the place I always loved to visit while my kids were growing up.

And Polly 'n Betty have had a wonderful time playing on beaches, climbing cliffs and walking with all their favourite people!

My son, daughter and I have revisited old memories with great fondness whilst visiting these special places as a family and made wonderful new memories this year with my husband, Grandson, daughter-in-law and future son-in-law.

And speaking of my future son-in-law Neil, I'd like to thank him for taking care of our holiday memories by taking these beautiful photographs. I'd also like to thank my husband for making this holiday a possibility and everyone for seizing the opportunity to drive over three hundred miles to share time together under one roof as a family. It has been a very special holiday and one I will always remember with great happiness!


Thursday, 27 July 2017


I have never have had a head for heights, regrettably failing to inherent my mother's daredevil gene ... (she has bungee'd, white water rafted, abseiled and even done that 'dangle from a parachute' thing. Her most recent madness being a crazy-scary face down plunge from a mountaintop in Wales, along a mile long zip wire ... at the age of 75!)

Despite being a complete wuss and having a long way to go to match my mother's adventuresome spirit, I will try my hand at almost anything if it puts a smiles on my grandson's face and this week, was by far the oldest participant in our local 'Jungle Gym', as my intrepid adventurer scaled rope bridges, urging me to 'up here Nana'!  It was hot, it was slippery and by gum it was exhausting, but we had an absolute blast together!


Friday, 21 July 2017

A little Schulte luxury

If I had to choose, from all the mohair I have had the privilege of creating teddy bears from over the years, this one by the world renowned Schulte Company would have to be my all time favourite as it's silky, curly, luscious and put simply, pure luxury.

15" 'Tiffany Rose'

Tiffany Rose is my latest teddy bear. I finished her today and stitched her ears on this evening. I think she's an absolute stunner and am hoping there is someone special waiting in the wings to adopt this pretty teddy girl!

If you would like further details, please visit Tiffany Rose on my website. 
Thank you!


Update: Tiffany Rose has been adopted!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Cut from the same cloth

Oops, 'Lolly' was adopted so quickly I was caught up in a flurry of parcel tape and completely forgot to share her here on my blog, so I'd better set that straight today.

18" 'Lolly'

 After making exclusively hairy bears so far this year, I recently experienced a creative urge to work with a fabric other than mohair. I remembered some beautiful pure wool, English Harris Tweed I'd purchased and tucked away in my cupboard a couple of months ago, so I hunted it out and hey presto, 'Lolly' was born!

I love these bright pink 'n purple tweeds, so much more cheerful than the dreary brown tweeds my old school maths teacher used to wear as he raised his eyes heavenwards whilst trying to explain mathematical processes to this less than interested teenager.

Unlike my maths lessons, Lolly was fun to work on! I used bear making and doll making techniques, so she's part dolly and part teddy bear; what you might call a 'dolly bear' I suppose.

I really enjoyed using cloth and have more of the Harris Tweed in lovely autumnal shades, so please watch this space for future teddy developments, if this style of hairless teddy bear appeals as much to you as it did to Lolly's new owner in the USA!


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Ripening plums

Rodney found his climbing legs this week and his favourite lookout is now perched high in our plum tree.

At five months of age, this cheeky kitten has us enchanted. He is such a sweetheart and even has my dogs wrapped around his needle sharp little paws.

He wakes me politely each morning by walking along my back and settling between my shoulders, purring loudly ... and if that doesn't work, puts his nose  softly to mine until I open my eyes and say good morning!

It won't be much longer before young Rodders wants to explore further than the safety of our back garden; cats are such curious creatures after all. It always makes me nervous when first they take off into the Big Wide World beyond the garden fence! I will be taking him to visit the vet for removal of his own ripening plums (!) in a few week's time ... hopefully that will keep his wanderlust in check and ensure we don't have a neighbourhood of 'mini Rodneys' arriving beyond our fence in a few months' time!

Stay safe Rodney x


Saturday, 15 July 2017

In an English country garden

I finished this lovely pale pink traditional teddy bear yesterday and while I was running through potential names in my head, kept being drawn towards cottage garden flowers as cottage gardens are always packed full of the prettiest flowers! One of my favourites is the hollyhock ... I love how tall and elegant they are!  So, I've named my teddy 'Hollyhock'. I think it is the perfect name, I hope you do too!

17" Hollyhock

Hollyhock is now available to adopt. 
For full details, please feel free to pop over to visit my website, thank you!


Update: Hollyhock has been adopted!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

A pencil 'n paint day

Another hot summer's day today and oh boy am I wilting! It has been a day to play, rather than a day to attempt sewing teddy bears with sweaty hands - shudder!

So, I set myself up with paints 'n pencils and had a lovely relaxing time, sketching and sploshing purple paint around.  By the time the heat of the day had eased slightly, a pretty lady had appeared on my paper and I felt sufficiently inspired to head up to my workroom to start work on a new teddy bear dancing in my head ... definitely a good day for creativity! 

(By the way, to give you a tiny hint, I think the pinks 'n purples of my paint palette may have inspired my inner teddy bear designer today!)


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Stars 'n stripes

I am delighted to report that 'Star', born yesterday on the 4th of July, was snapped up within moments of appearing on my website this afternoon and will soon be residing in the Good ol' US of A. How perfect!

Wishing all my American friends a very happy Independence Day.  
I hope you enjoyed your special celebration!


Friday, 30 June 2017

The great spin cycle of life

Friday, so soon? I'm not quite sure where my week disappeared to ... I had hoped to share a lovely new white teddy bear today, but he's not quite ready to make an appearance after a week filled with hiccups, not least of which was my mobile 'phone giving up the ghost. How did we ever manage without those annoying little gadgets I wonder? I swear my 'phone ownership was jinxed this year when, after buying a brand new shiny one a couple of months ago, I accidentally loaded it into the washing machine with some towels. Sadly it didn't live to tell the tale after the  800 rpm spin cycle! I went back to using my trusty old mobile but now that too has decided enough is enough, so now I have had to order another new 'phone and I am still waiting to be connected. Yawn! What a palaver modern life can be! I'm sure it was much simpler in days of yore before everyone's ears were glued to these wretched communication devices but as you will no doubt agree, if we can't live with 'em, we sure as hell can't live without 'em nowadays!

Anyway, in 'other news', young Rodney is now a cheeky four months old and has settled beautifully into family life. In fact he is a wonderfully sweet natured fellow, full of fun and very cuddlesome. He wakes me every morning by hopping up onto my bed and snuggling ... it's not a bad way to start a day let me tell you!

So, given that it is Friday afternoon and I have no teddy bear pics to share today (tut!) here are a couple of very recent Rodney snaps instead. I hope they make you smile and help ease away the strains of the past week.

Wishing you all a very happy, relaxed and stress free weekend!


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The things of no moment

What a beautiful month June has been!

This is a photograph of one of my favourite places to take Polly and Betty for a good run. It's a huge field, covered with wonderful grasses and meadow flowers throughout the summer months.

My girls are so happy when they visit the field and watching them bound through the long grass is an absolute joy.

Sadly though, this is yet another local field under threat of development. It really is heartbreaking to think that such a beautiful area will probably become yet another housing development, as so many others recently have.

It makes me very sad to see our local green spaces destroyed forever in the name of progress. I wonder how losing so much of our natural environment can possibly be progress?


 Some wise words for our town planners to mull over ...

How does the Meadow flower
its bloom unfold? Because the
lovely little flower is free
down to its root, and in that
freedom bold.

                                                                                  by William Wordsworth


The great events of life often leave one
unmoved; they pass out of consciousness, and,
when thinks of them, become unreal. Even the
scarlet flowers of passion seem to grow in the
same meadow as the poppies of oblivion. We
reject the burden of their memory, and have 
anodynes against them. But the little things,
the things of no moment, remain with us. In
some tiny ivory cell the brain stores the most 
delicate, and the most fleeting impressions.

                                                                   by Oscar Wilde

Friday, 23 June 2017

Lavender's Blue

The lavender is spectacular at the moment and happily, I just happened to have the perfect shade of mohair for a lavender inspired teddy girl.

Dilly has been adopted

I am delighted to tell you, Dilly will be winging her way to live in the good ol' USA next week.

Lavender's Blue

Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly
Lavender's green
When l am King, dilly, dilly
You shall be Queen!

Call up your men, dilly, dilly
Set them to work
Some to the plough, dilly, dilly
And some to the pond.

Some to make hay, dilly, dilly
Some to cut corn
While you and I, dilly, dilly
Keep ourselves warm.

I have happy memories of singing the nursery rhyme 'Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly' as a young child at school but had no idea until researching this morning, that the earliest version originated as far back as the 17th Century and was then considered quite a saucy song! 
We live and learn eh?!


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Blowing through the cobwebs in my mind

Goodness it's been hot! Way too hot 'n humid to work comfortably with mohair that's for sure! Rather than struggle on, I've been busy updating the Guild of Master Bearcrafters website, playing in the paddling pool with my grandson, reading arty type books, sketching and painting, eating ice-lollies and generally staying as cool as possible at home.

It has been fun to give myself a little time to mentally meander while it has been hot, but now the heatwave has broken with a lovely cooling thunderstorm this morning (horaay!) I find myself looking forward to making my way back into my workroom later today, to try to finish a pretty teddy bear I began work on before I began to overheat.

My poor dogs and cats struggled with the heat too, so we've been making the most of the beautiful evenings, by walking and playing in the garden just before the sun sets. It has been refreshing to be out and about at that time of the evening.

Rodney, now the grand old age of seventeen weeks, has had a great time exploring outdoors in the evening and learning how to climb Dad's plum tree.

And Polly and Betty have loved evening walkies through the orchard and across the field.

As for my elusive Puddlecat, she has been prowling through shady patches in the garden like a small black panther. She's always so hard to spot with a camera lens, but I did just about catch a black shadow lurking behind the lavendar bush yesterday evening.

I am dreaming of coastal holidays of course, but as much as I love a sea breeze on a hot Summer's day, unfortunately a holiday will have to wait until Rodney is a wee bit older. Until then, I plan to be outdoors as much as possible and who knows, I may even find time to write a few more blog posts! After all, everyone needs a Summer break to recharge their batteries ... even we teddy bear makers!

Happy Summer Everyone!


Monday, 19 June 2017

My Father's Day Wish

Dear Dad,  
I know you won't mind one bit, if in your absence, I pass my Father's Day wish to your Grandson this year ...

Happy Father's Day Anthony! 

I watched as you and Toby laughed together yesterday, I watched too, as your son was so excited to share his discovery of snails in the shed, with you, his Daddy. I watched when you ran to scoop him into your arms as he fell on our walk to the ice-cream shop and when you carried him and his bicycle, in this flaming June heat, until he was happy to try independence again. Later I watched as you helped him at the dinner table and as you took him for a quiet chat when he needed a little help to remember his manners. I saw you keep your cool when his inner naughty two year old bubbled up and I saw how my grandson listens to you with the love and respect a toddler only ever grants someone he truly trusts. I watched the two of you together and couldn't help but think what a great daddy you have become. 
Toby is one lucky little munchkin to have you (and his very special mummy) guiding him and loving him. 
Happy Father's Day Son.
You make me so very proud.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Political pathways

Yesterday was General Election Day here in the UK and to be honest, I hadn't a clear view of which party I felt could safely lead the country towards a future I would like for my children and grandson. This election, nothing seemed quite clearly enough defined for my simple head and despite trying to unravel pledges from the main parties, it seemed to me what I needed was a 'pick 'n mix' option in order to select my ideal world! Sadly that wasn't available so I did what I could to read and research, asked my friends to share their thoughts and then strolled down to the polling station, still muddle headed, with my husband after dinner.

Polly and Betty accompanied us and enjoyed saying hello to the polling station officials as we collected our voting slips. They sat patiently and politely in the booth, while I pondered, pencil in hand, before finally committing my vote.  It may not have been a completely confident 'X' in the box this year, but it was a cross made with hope for our future, love of my family and gratitude to those women who fought a determined battle a hundred years ago, to give women their political voice.

'Emmeline' has been adopted

As my poor head pondered the political pathways yesterday afternoon, I finished this teddy girl and given the importance of her birthday, named her Emmeline ... it seemed appropriate!


Thursday, 8 June 2017

A cheeky offer

It's time for some summer sale fun!

11" Tabasco

11" 'Tabasco' is currently available on Ebay. He is a super little mohair bear in a very smart colour combination of tomato red and black, definitely a bear to stand out in a teddy bear crowd!

This sweet wee bear has a 'buy it now' option with a lovely £40 discount and free shipping available ... or, if you fancy your luck, you could even take a chance and make me a cheeky adoption offer; you never know your luck!

Better be quick though, as Tabasco's Ebay page will close in 2 days' time!

Bon chance!


Update: Tabasco has been adopted!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ten years on

On the 26th March 2007, I wrote my first blog post ...

Are you sitting comfortably?

"Then I'll begin ... although, to be honest, I'm not quite sure where to start! So, how would you feel if I just let my fingers do the walking and we'll see where they take us?

Do you like the teddy bear? That's a relief! She's my latest creation. Yes, I'm a teddy bear designer, does that surprise you? If you recognised the quote by AA Milne, probably not. My guess is there may be an elderly bear sitting quietly on your pillow, or a little more discreetly at the foot of your bed. You've had him for years and years, he's a wee bit threadbare these days, maybe missing an ear, or an eye, but there's something about him, something very special ..."

Back then I had no idea I would still be writing here ten years later. In fact I didn't begin my blog with a plan at all - I had a loose idea I wanted to share my bears through my writing, but beyond that, I simply followed my heart and allowed my fingers to do the talking.  

Besides making teddy bears, so much has happened during my ten years here as a 'blogger' and my quiet corner of the World Wide Web has generously provided unending blank 'pages' for me to share my thoughts. This blog has witnessed happiness and heartbreak, success and occasionally failure. It has flowed along my life's tributaries, gently carrying me through some of the most challenging times in my life and I have both laughed and cried as the words left my fingertips.

My blog has been and always will be, written from the heart about the things that matter to me both as a teddy bear designer, but also just as me.  Ten years on and I still have no clear idea of where my blog is heading, but I've no doubt my fingers will continue to do the walking!


A postcard from All Bear

I like to enclose a business postcard with my teddy bears when I ship them around the world and I've just about run out, so it's time for a new design for 2017!

Gorgeous Gulliver and his handsome buddy Tabasco modelled for my new postcard. I think they will do a sterling job for my little business and I hope my collectors enjoy receiving their new postcards! I am looking forward to enclosing one of these lovely new cards with each newly adopted teddy bear.

Looking good ... thanks boys!


Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A Horrid Walk

With a name like 'Horrid Hill', the location for our Bank Holiday walk didn't sound nearly as fun as it actually was!

We had heaps of fun crossing the causeway to explore this tiny 'island' at Gillingham's Riverside Country Park. I love the landscape here, the backdrop of the power station on the horizon contrasts with the natural shoreline and many rotting boats, laying peacefully on their sides, long since reclaimed by the sea. I think it's a fascinating place and it was a super way to pass a Bank Holiday with my son and his family.

As for the dogs, they had an absolute blast and I was so surprised to see our Betty (she who usually steps round puddles rather than walk through them) undertake her first swim in the sea, under the watchful eye of big sis Polly ... way to go Betty Boo!


Monday, 29 May 2017

On the prowl

At a little over twelve weeks of age, our young Rodney is fast learning how to be a cat ... and a dog! He has decided he prefers to hang out with Polly and Betty, rather than our older cat Puddle, as she's still a bit grumpy with him but the dogs love him and he loves them right back. In fact he has even opted to share their big bed at night. He's a cheeky scamp, that's for sure!

Yesterday evening, our intrepid explorer succeeded in slipping into the garden as we were enjoying the last of the day's warmth with a glass of cider and the obligatory barbecue, so I decided to let him explore for a while and grabbed my camera to record his first moments outside in the big wide world ...

He wasn't sure about the feel of grass under his paws to begin with, but soon got the hang of things and had a lovely time prowling through the shrubs.

He looked just like a mini tiger, crouching with ears pricked and eyes saucer wide whenever he spied a bird, I have a feeling our local feathered residents had better pack up and ship out for the Summer - just to be on the safe side you understand!

Mind you, if he continues to climb my trouser legs and new curtains with those sharp little claws, he will have his garden privileges rescinded before they've even been officially granted ... naughty boy!

Rodney is now one of the family and all you would hope for from a scrappy ginger tom-cat, full of mischief, affectionate, bold, bright and curious. Definitely my kinda of cat!


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Fairy flowers

The bluebells have been absolutely beautiful here in the UK this Spring, so when I found a pretty blue mohair, of course I had to make a 'Bluebell' teddy for 2017!

15" 'Bluebell'

I have loved walks with my grandson and dogs through our little patch of woodland along the lane this Spring and pray the local developers are refused permission to plough a road through the heart of this much loved ancient woodland.

Every Spring our patch of woods is carpeted with these gentle fairy flowers and the air filled with their soft perfume. I love these peaceful bluebell walks, they really are quite magical!


Update: Bluebell has now been adopted.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A rose called Peace

I was washing dishes by my kitchen window yesterday evening, when a fresh new bloom caught my eye ...

A rose called 'Peace'.

Music, joy, innocence.
Thinking of Manchester.



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