Friday, 21 November 2014

A tasty seasonal inspiration!

Every year, my daughter and I love to start our Christmas with a couple of  thick slices of moist Italian panettone slathered in butter, with marmalade on the side and a glass of fresh orange juice to sip ... this has become a bit of a family tradition over the years.

All Bear by Paula: teddy bear designed by Paula Carter
14" Panettone

So, inspired by our favourite Christmas breakfast, my first seasonal bear of 2014 is a chubby little panda bear named 'Panettone' ... I hope he helps ease you gently into the festive spirit!

Panettone is now available to share your festive celebration.  
Please visit my website for full details: 

On the right track..

So, this little beauty arrived in the post yesterday ...


Such a thrill to receive a lovely crystal trophy!

To receive an 'Excellence' award from a panel of internationally respected industry judges, is an honour, but also a validation of the somewhat less than 'normal' path I have chosen.  

Throughout the past twenty years there have been many times I have questioned my creative direction, so thank you judges, for letting me know I'm still on the right track.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Open Day at The Bear Shop

This week I have been working hard to complete an order for lovely Robert, the owner of The Bear Shop.  I am delighted to say, I now have three beautiful bears ready for their journey to Norwich. They will be heading there this week, just as soon as I have taken their posh pics in my studio.  In the meantime, I hope you don't mind making do with a quick end-of-day Iphone snap of one of the bears... 


Robert has organised a very special Christmas Open Day at his shop on Sunday 30th November, so please pop along to say hello and meet all the wonderful teddy bears ... what better way to start this year's festive season!

Monday, 10 November 2014

A Perfect Princess

It is my Great Niece's 2nd birthday today and yesterday, I went to her 'Frozen' (which I am told is the latest Disney film - must keep up with the trends Auntie Paula!) birthday party.  Ella had a lovely time celebrating her special day and was a perfect little princess throughout ...

Happy Birthday Ella!

Ella is the first child of a brand new generation for our family, an important role for any princess.  She has already taken our latest addition, my Grandson Toby, under her wing and is proving herself to be a very gentle, caring, second cousin to him ... her mummy told me yesterday, all babies are now 'Tobies' as far as Ella is concerned!

Meeting cousin Toby

Ella kindly invited Toby to share her birthday celebrations yesterday, providing him with the perfect opportunity to meet their Great Gran-Gran for the very first time ...

Toby's first cuddle with Great Gran-Gran

It seems our new generation of little people instinctively understands how to share joy and bring family together.  

Walking with Ella

Happy Birthday Ella, 
With all my love always, 
From
Your very proud, 
(Great) Auntie Paula 
xxx

Friday, 7 November 2014

Christmas Countdown

It's hard to believe there are less than seven weeks until Christmas ... my goodness, this year is flying past so quickly!  

Work in progress

As regular readers of www.pollyandpaula.blogspot.co.uk will know, I have been very busy obedience training my gorgeous goldie girl Polly throughout 2014 and to do her training full justice, I had to fit my bear making around her needs, so apologies if you noticed a slight reduction in my bear production this year!

Training Polly

I confess, I also squeezed a little time for some baby knitting to help keep my baby Grandson cosy this winter.

Little Toby, modelling one of Nana's hand knits

Aside from dog training, little Toby's arrival in the world and building a smart new website for my bears at www.allbearbypaula.com I have of course been running 'The Guild of Master Bearcrafters' and blogging throughout the year - as you know, I do love to blog!


So, as I was saying - here I am, with less than seven weeks until Christmas, which of course means only four or five weeks in actual bear making terms!  I have two shop orders and a couple of urgent commissions to complete before I rediscover my desktop ...



And once those bears are safely on their way, I will be working on the pile of pretty new wintery mohair fabrics in the photo above.  Fingers crossed I manage to turn them into beautiful teddy bears for my website before Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Meet the folks

We celebrated my grandson's arrival with a family party at the weekend ...


I haven't baked with my daughter since she was a little girl, so it was heaps of fun working together to create cute cupcakes for Toby's guests on Sunday morning.


Toby was a little star throughout the afternoon, snuggling contentedly with his guests and quickly winning their hearts!

Meeting Great Auntie Laura

Snuggles with cousin Leah

I am proud to say, my son has already proved himself to be a thoroughly modern and very 'hands on' Daddy, sharing feeding duties and nappy changes without qualm.

Dinner time with Daddy

And it is a true joy to watch Hannah, who I have known since she was a shy young girl of sixteen, blossom into her new role as a mum. Toby really couldn't have two more devoted parents!

Toby with his mummy

It was lovely to be able to introduce my Grandson to members of my family and also to catch up with them for a relaxed natter over a cuppa and a cupcake or two. 

My Great niece Ella having fun with her Granny, my sister Fo

Two of my cheeky nieces

Auntie Fo and our cheekiest niece Erin

Catching up

Family

With everyone's lives as busy as they are these days, sharing family time becomes ever more important, so thank you little Toby, for doing a grand job of bringing your family together and thank you family for making time to welcome my very precious Grandson into your lives.
 xxx

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Hester Harvest Witch

My 'Prim Dolly Doodles' have been on the back burner for almost a year now and needless to say, they are not at all happy about it.


With Halloween only a few days away, I simply couldn't ignore their pleas any longer, so decided it was time to set aside the bears and squeeze in a Prim Dolly Doodle Witchypoo in time for some All Hallowes Eve fun.


My dollies don't aspire to high artistry, they are proud of their primitive cloth doll roots.  Simplicity they say, allows a cheeky personality to shine through!


They begin to come to life as soon as their eyes are painted and as you can see below, by the time I create the hairdo, there's no holding these saucy little misses back!


I finished 'Hester Harvest Witch' yesterday evening, so didn't have time to hunt out her broomstick and take a studio photo before dinner ... but as you can see, she was determined to introduce herself anyway, the moment her little witch hat was stitched firmly onto her head!


Happily, Hester was content to pose for her formal Witchypoo photo this afternoon!  She was adopted within moments of making herself known online and will shortly hop onto her broomstick to spend Halloween with her lovely new owner.

Hopefully I will find time to make one or two festive Prim Dolly Doodles in time for Christmas ... please watch this space for further dolly developments!

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, www.allbearbypaula.com 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 www.vistaprint.co.uk 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 dot.com 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 www.hugglets.co.uk

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 sold

16" Pomegranate is now sold

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!

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