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.


Monday, 22 May 2017

The original Schulte mohair

This is the traditional teddy bear I was working on last week. Taffy was a joy to make for his new owner as his mohair was just so silky and luxurious!


Over the past twenty plus years, I have created teddy bears in many fabrics, but in my humble bearmaker's opinion, the dense 'original Schulte mohair', manufactured in Germany since the early 1900's, is a teddy fur to rival all others. I have always loved working with this beautiful fabric!

Long may the Schulte Company continue to produce such fabulous teddy bear fur!


Thursday, 18 May 2017

A hang tag history

As I work pretty much at a snail's pace these days, a box of hang tags lasts me quite some time but I was almost caught out recently, when I realised I have only a very few left ...

A new 'All Bear by Paula' hang tag for 2017

I decided to create a new design for my future teddy bears to wear, something fresh and representative of my style of work. The first box has just arrived in the post and I am very happy with them ... I hope you will be too when you receive a teddy bear from me!  It dawned on me that the postcards I send with my bears could also do with updating, so that will be my next task.

The mid 1990's - my very first hang tag

It has been more than twenty years since I attached my very first hang tag to a teddy bear (back then I traded under the name 'Auntie Bears') and in those days, they were all made and written by hand and tied to teddy's wrist with ribbon ... I wonder how many are still in circulation?!

2000 - my first 'All Bear by Paula Carter' hang tag

My first 'All Bear by Paula Carter' hang tags were made from black card with a gold foil logo on the front back in 1996 and were designed to tie in with my stand, back in the days when I exhibited regularly at shows. I can't imagine too many have survived over the years, unless carefully preserved by their owners, as that black card was quite flimsy!

The mid 2000's - a hand laminated hang tag

When the hot foil man went out of business, I had to make my own hang tags on the computer and laminated them myself on a little portable laminating machine. That was a fiddle!

2006 hang tag

2007 hang tag

2008 hang tag

2010 hang tag

2012 hang tag

About ten years ago, my photographer sister told me about an online company called Vistaprint and since then, I have used their software to create my tags and postcards, which has made life much easier!

My current hang tag, about to be retired

There have been many hang tag designs for my work over the years and now that I look back, I see they chart my history as a teddy bear designer. Each tag was attached to a bear about to make his way to a new owner and I always attached my hang tags with a sense of pride in my work and pleasure that someone somewhere in the world, wanted to adopt one of my teddy bears and was looking forward to receiving him, or her.

So when you purchase one of my teddy bears, I hope you will enjoy the fact that that little card attached to him, telling you about his components and year of creation, is actually also a tiny historical 'All Bear' document, with love, from me to you! 


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My sweet girl

Hard to believe it has been two years since our Betty first made her way into the world, but on Monday, we celebrated her 2nd birthday.

Seven weeks old

Our Betty Boo is the sweetest natured and most gentle of girls, always so full of fun ... in fact she loves nothing more than to entertain everyone around her with daft antics!

One year old

When we first decided to adopt a second pup, we were under no illusions and knew it would be extremely hard work. The first year of training and organising routines took time, determination and much effort, often leaving me plain worn out! That said, the work has all been so worthwhile as Betty has since grown into a delightful young lady, eager to learn, even more eager to please and an absolute joy to share my days with. 

Our Betty Boo, aged two!

So Happy Birthday to you my sweet little Betty Boo. 
There is never a day goes by that you don't make me smile and think how lucky I am to have you in my life!


Monday, 15 May 2017

The important little things

Goodness it's been a busy weekend ... fun though!

I especially loved strolling through our local nature reserve with my family and dogs on Saturday afternoon. Toby, my grandson, now a determined and chucklesome two year old, bravely scooted his way along the paths on his 'balance bike', stopping often to search for spiders, 'dinosaur' leaves, sticks and bugs. His Uncle and Daddy couldn't resist teaching him how to climb a tree, (boys will always be boys after all) and he kept us all entertained with his lovely sense of curiosity and natural enthusiasm for everything around him. In fact I think we all enjoyed the privilege of witnessing the wonders of the natural world from the vantage point of such young eyes. There's nothing quite like a youngster for making everyone stop in their tracks to take notice of the important little things in life!


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Variety is the spice of life

This spicy little chap just made his way onto my website ...

11" Tabasco

He's a lovely tomato red mohair, so I called him 'Tabasco'.

22" Gulliver and 11" Tabasco

This morning I popped into the garden to take Tabasco's photos for my website and just for fun, sat him on my stone bench with 22" Gulliver ... they looked so handsome sat there together; I love the contrast of size and colour!

Hopefully they will both find a special new home soon and maybe even a lovely garden to enjoy.

If you would like to know more about either of these teddy bears, please pop over to visit them on my website ... thank you!


Monday, 8 May 2017

The other side of the line

We've often wandered what lies on the other side of our local railway line, so yesterday we took our girls over the tiny railway bridge and went a-wandering, from Barming, through to the village of East Malling.

Polly loved her Sunday afternoon stroll, toddling cheerfully along at her own pace. Betty is still at the charging everywhere at-a-hundred-miles-an-hour stage of life, so she walked on her lead until we found suitable places for her to explore freely.

As for me, well I loved the beautiful church and graveyard we found in East Malling village ... it was just so peaceful.

And my husband? Well, from the grin on his face I think it's safe to say he loved his pint and crisps in the lovely garden we settled ourselves into at the local village hostelry!

The girls loved their run in the pretty village park.

And we all enjoyed the fabulous views across the fields, as we trundled, fresh air sleepy, all the way back home for a well earned cuppa!

This was a Sunday afternoon walk with something for everyone, so definitely one we will be taking again soon!


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Don't rain on our birthday parade

Since we were first 'encouraged' by our mother into ballet shoes at a tender and clumsy young age, my sister Fiona and I have always loved the ballet. As a special birthday treat, Fo recently took me to The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury to watch a magical performance of the Hans Christian Andersen story 'The Red Shoes' created by the amazing Matthew Bourne (he who can do no wrong in our eyes!) We left reality on the pavement and sat mesmerised, as this enchanting fairy tale swirled us through a wonderful evening together.

Last night, it was my turn to treat my sister to a birthday special. I surprised Fo with tickets for the West End musical 'Funny Girl' to celebrate her birthday and after a lovely sisterly natter over dinner and a rather naughty pud in a local restaurant, we settled ourselves back into our theatre seats to enjoy yet another superb musical performance, woven with laughter, tears, cracking good songs and magical story telling. It really was an absolute joy of an evening.

Sister time is very important to both of us and sharing things we have loved since childhood makes it even more special. Thank you so much for our time together Fo and a big 'fifty somethings' 'Happy Birthday to us'!


Protectors of our teddy bear heritage

Reminding myself of the bear maker I truly am, with this fabulous new big bear!

22" Gulliver

Those who have followed my teddy bears since the mid 90's, will best know me for creating large, traditional teddy bears with soulful faces.  

I love these stately bears, protectors of our teddy bear heritage, guardians of our childhood memories ... and I am so proud to continue to make them for collectors around the world, twenty three years after creating my very first traditional teddy bear.

If you would like to know more about Gulliver, please visit him on my website:

Thank you!



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