Thursday, 31 May 2007

Yay!

... I heard today that one of the bears I sent to Sue Pearson's shop in Brighton a couple of days ago has already found a new home! What lovely news!

Just finished my third bear for the Bear Artists Online Summer Show this afternoon and I will begin work on the fourth tomorrow. There's not much time before the deadline, but with luck I should have five or six special bears ready in time for the show. I'm relishing the freedom to create these bears, there's something very inspiring about a show on the horizon!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Buttons 'n brambles.

Oh dear! What a weekend! The rain poured heaven's hardest, the wind howled and the weight of sodden clematis proved too much for the rotten fence. I woke to find a tangled mass of greenery and crushed wooden slats leaving a gaping hole at the edge of the garden. I spent the whole of Sunday with Stuart, clearing the site and getting soaked to the skin in the process. Now our beautiful garden is a shambles; the saddest thing being that I won't get to see the clematis flower this year after all. On a brighter note, at least the fence will be replaced and I will be able to start work on the garden again ... after all, I do love grubbing around in the mud!


That aside, this week I've been nice and cosy in my sewing room, working on designs for the 'Bear Artists Online Summer Show'. The online show takes place at www.bear-artists-online.com on the 30th June, so I really do need to get my nose pressed firmly to the grindstone.

I'm really looking forward to this show, I think it's a great idea for showcasing bear art, so when the organiser invited me to take part, I couldn't resist. Today I'm working with some beautiful tipped alpaca and lately, I've been hunting for interesting bits 'n bobs to work with and came across these fabulous buttons from the 1930's . I'm certain they will be perfect for a special couple of bears.

I'll let you know how I get on with everything at a later date, but I'm afraid I can't tell you any more than that today, because I will unveil all the new bears at the BAO Summer Show and until then I'm sworn to secrecy!



Thursday, 24 May 2007

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside.

"So, where are the bears Paula?" I hear you say! It's true, I've been a little quiet on the subject of my bears recently, but don't worry, I haven't been neglecting my work ethic in favour of lazy days, sipping pina coladas in the sunshine ... what a thought! (Mmmmn!)

No, instead I've been a busy little bear maker, hard at work creating three shop exclusive bears to travel to Sue Pearson's lovely teddy bear and doll shop, in
Brighton.

I've just settled them into their box and tomorrow, Bertie, Popcorn and Twiglet will be en route to make their debut at the seaside!




This is Bertie, a lovely honey coloured 20" alpaca growler.

And here are little Twiglet who is 15" and his panda bear friend Popcorn, who is 17.5".


See, didn't I tell you I'd been busy!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

I'm it???


Remember 'tag, 'you're it!' from your schooldays? I was a hopeless runner, all gangly legs and arms, so I remember those days all too well! Laura has tagged my blog (and there was me, toddling along in my own sedate way, oblivious to such fun and games in blog land!) so apparently I am now obliged to reveal seven hitherto unknown snippets about myself, before I reach out and tag YOU!

Ready, get set, here I come ...

1. My favourite perfume is Paloma Picasso.

2. I can't bear judgmental people ... it doesn't hurt to be kind, so why not be kind?

3. My Dad bought me this great 'woolly jumper' money box for my birthday this year - isn't it fun?! I love it!

4. 'Sitting on the dock of the bay' by Otis Reading, is my all time favourite song.

5. Confessions of a weeny bopper: In 1976 I saved my pocket money for ages so that I could see the Bay City Rollers in concert.

6. I can't bear mice, they give me the heebie geebies ... something about their tails and the way they scamper ... shudder!!!

7. After only getting two thirds of the way through several books before losing interest in the storylines, I've just picked up Dicken's 'The old curiosity shop' in the hope of a darn good story to keep my attention.

Okay that's my lot, now I'm off to tag seven 'someone else's'!

Settling in.


The show was great! Such fun ... my foot didn't stop tapping the whole time. Trumpets, trombones, the ohsosexy sounding sax, Jools on piano, Ruby belting it out, superb musicians, superb boogie-woogie. What a joy! Needless to say, we got lost both on the way to Croydon and on the way back home, making a very late night for this ol' lady, and would you believe the car park barrier broke down after the show so no cars could exit?! Such is my life!



It's a beautiful day here today, sunny and warm. This afternoon, I'm going to sit at my patio table in the garden while I sew. I've been enjoying my new garden since moving here several months ago and even though the fence is in desperate need of attention around the boundary, I'm determined to wait until the Autumn to replace it so that I can continue to watch the plants blooming throughout the summer. It seems as if there is a new plant to discover almost daily! The previous owners were obviously green fingered and it was their pretty garden which ultimately sold the place to me. It's such a peaceful place to spend time and these days I have the sound of birdsong to listen to, rather than the wailing sirens I used to hear at my old house!


I've even planted a small herb collection and am using the fresh herbs in my cooking! How domesticated is that?!


After twenty three years in my last house, I thought the move here would be tough, but oddly enough, it was only the leaving that was hard, the new start is proving to be just what I needed and I'm pleased to report, I'm settling in just fine and as you can see from the pic below, so is Toffee, my cat!












Friday, 18 May 2007

Simple pleasures.

I'm sat here with a steaming cup of strong coffee, made in my favourite mug, bought from potter Roger Iving's studio in beautiful Boscastle, Cornwall. One of the simple pleasures I enjoy, is my daily ritual of supping my morning coffee in the peace and quiet of the house, after everyone has left for work. Heaven. I love that this mug was handmade by a local potter in one of my most favourite places.

I've walked along the pathway to the cliffs in this photograph, scrambled over the rocks and braced myself against the strong winds gusting in from the Atlantic, many times.

After a visit, my ritual is to stop at the pottery on my return and purchase several pieces of Roger Irving's unique pottery to bring home with me. Needless to say, after more than twenty years of Cornish holidays, I now have mugs aplenty to share cuppas with family and friends and for those of the tea drinking persuasion, I have several very special double spouted teapots too!




This afternoon I will treat myself to another little pleasure. It is Friday after all, so surely an escape to the hairdresser's can't be classed as too self-indulgent? After all, a girl has to make the effort to 'maintain', doesn't she?!

Besides which, tonight is Jools Holland Night! We're off to see him in concert and I just know that listening to his fabulous boogie woogie will be an absolute treat!




Don't worry, I'll be hard at work again on Monday, but in the meantime, just this once, I'm allowing myself some Paula time!

Monday, 14 May 2007

Let's bring on the clowns ... there ought to be clowns!

I'm often asked how I find inspiration for new designs and it's a hard question to answer because there are so many things that trigger ideas.

I absolutely love working with colour and after working with the more muted, traditional shades of my Timeless Teds, I felt instinctively it was time to inject some colour back into my designs.

One Sunday morning, I was watching a re-run of 'Antiques Roadshow' in bed (!) and I saw the most beautiful Steiff clown bear from the mid 1920's. He was similar to this bear, but in beautiful shades of faded grey/lilac with a gentle burst of watery purple shades in his collar and hat ... such a beautiful bear!

I hadn't realised clown bears were quite so early in design and it led me into a little research. What a pleasure that was! These pictures are from the early 1920's and 30's ... a golden era for teddy bears! American bears, German Steiff bears, English Chiltern bears ... I was delighted to find such fabulous manufacturers introducing bold colour so early on in the history of the teddy bear.
Pictures of vintage clown bears are quite hard to track down, but via the internet and through browsing my collection of 'Christie's Auction House' catalogues, I began to develop a feel for these fine old bears and that of course, led me to want to develop my own range!
So, this week I've been working on a plan to draw these wonderful early designs through to our present day, incorporating a few gentle contemporary 'brush strokes', to bring them up-to-date, but ensuring I retain their original charm.

I'm very pleased with my first big bear in this new collection ... but no, you can't see him today, sorry!

You'll have to be patient because he's under wraps for the time being! I'm sure you won't mind me sharing these pictures with you in the meantime. We have a wonderful heritage of fine bears with many a silent tale to tell and these particular beauties make me smile ... they were the flambuoyant bears of their day, stylish bears with a devil may care attitude! Teddy bears with a certain 'je ne sais quois'!
Bears with flair!
My own 'Billy Buttons' will debut at the 'Bear Artists Online Summer Show' www.bear-artists-online.com on June 30th, so I hope you will join me in making this a firm date in your diary to log on for his grand unveiling!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Sssshhhhh!!!!

Sssshhhhh ... don't tell a soul, I'm hard at work on a competition entry ...

I thought it might be fun to enter a bear into the Teddy Bear Scene magazine's 'Readers' Choice Awards' ...

I'll let you know if I get nominated!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Poetic Licence

A glimpse into some of my poetic twiddlings, some whimsical, some much less so...
YOUNG AGAIN
If I had my chance, so brief
to glance again the dream of youth’s sweet hope,
I’d grasp a magic shooting star,
whirl breathlessly, carelessly, ‘til afar ...
Hitch a ride to Neverland.
Hold passion preciously in my hand.
Then borne upon a unicorn,
sprinkling fairy dust from dusk ‘til dawn,
I’d catch a raindrop glimmering bright
and freefall gaily through my velvet night.

MY BOX
There’s a box in my head
where I go to hide
when life stabs deep
and bleeds inside.

LONDON'S PAIN
Stabbed in her back
Heart attacked
Viral infection clear
Bandaging wounds with national pride
As her bowels haemorrhage fear.



SUSPENDED IN SILENCE
“It’s not too late.”
Words unspoken
t’wixt you and me
suspended in silence
weigh
heavily.

PAST TENSE
Girl of his dreams I used to be.
Bittersweet memory.
Loved me once the words he says.
Used to know me.
All past tense.

DOES THE BREEZE BLOW A KISS?

Will the world stop turning
If the sun stops yearning
To shine
Each and every day?
And does the breeze blow a kiss
When the sky’s all a-mist
To cheer up
Its miserable ways?
Do the stars ever croon
When they gaze at the moon
As they float
On their Milky Way?
And does thunder ever wonder
If it's really made a blunder
When it rumbles
Through a Summer's day?
Can the wind really tickle
The leaves of a thistle,
Pick berries from the mistletoe?
And when all is said and done
Can a moonbeam truly hum?
These are the things
I'd like to know.


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