Thursday, 30 July 2009

A not so little Tinker

There's just enough time for me to share my latest design with you, before I don my chef's hat to prepare the evening meal! Introducing 'Tinker', a 20" scruffy bear with a waxed nose ... I hope you like him!

20" Tinker is now up for adoption at www.allbear.co.uk

31.07.09 Update: Tinker has been invited to Singapore to live!

Everything comes to she who waits!

Teddy Bear Times millenium issue, January 2000 - featuring my Chiltern Hugmees

You may remember me telling you I have been hunting for some bear magazines from several years ago ... I'd lost my copies in my recent house move and sadly, they contained articles about my bear work over the years. One of the mags I was particularly sad about was the January 2000 millenium issue of the Teddy Bear Times, which featured an article about my collection of Chiltern Hugmee bears. Well, I'm delighted to say everything comes to he (she!) who waits! Unbeknownst to me, those precious magazines were closer to home than I realised - my sister Fiona had a large stash of back issues stored in her cellar and lo and behold, a couple of weeks ago we found most of what I was looking for - including that illusive Chiltern article!

If you'd like to see the other articles, why not find me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/allbearbypaula) where I have stored them all in a photo album, ready to share with you!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Ahead of her time ...

As a teddy bear artist myself, I can't help but admire the talent of other makers. Miniaturists for example, I mean how on earth do they manage to capture character in such precise detail? As a maker of big bears, I don't mind telling you, those tiddlers intrigue me! Then there are the realistic grizzly bear makers, a rare breed of bearmakers with the patience to study real bears, capturing animal characteristics, as they transfer nature's lumbering form into soft sculpture. Amazing!

24" 'Bon-Bon', runner up in the 1997 British Bear Artist Awards

Sandra Wickenden, a talented UK bear artist, paved the way for our current representational grizzly bears and in 1997 I had the honour of being placed second to her inspired 'on all fours' grizzly bear 'Yona,' in the British Bear Artist Awards. First and second places couldn't have contrasted more that year - my entry 'Bon-Bon' was a crazy, bent legged, flamboyantly pink girl bear with a striped nose and Sandra's fabulous Yona was ... well, judge for yourself ...

'Yona' by Sandra Wickenden. First place in 1997 British Bear Artist Awards.

Yona featured a sculpted leather nose, mouth and claws and was multi-jointed, making her extremely poseable and way ahead of time in terms of teddy bear design ... besides having an additional neck piece to lend added expression to her poseability, this magnificent bear also had a rotating mid tummy section.

So what happened to Yona and Bon-Bon? Well, the original Bon-Bon was invited to the Hong Kong Toy Museum to live after the competition and four sister bears were created exclusively for 'Theodore's Bear Emporium' in Richmond (no longer trading). As for Yona, I have a confession to make ... I was in awe of that wonderful bear and after a quiet whisper to lovely Sandra, I was allowed to bring the original bear home to live with me!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Apple Strudel!

A certain someone has been bursting for me to finish her special bear this month and after sewing on his buttons this afternoon and sending a photograph for her approval, I can now unveil him! So, please meet 'Apple Strudel', a dear little 14" bear created especially for a lovely lady in Wales - keep 'em peeled, he'll be with you on Tuesday Joni!

14" Apple Strudel

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Photoshop foibles

I've had to tackle Photoshop again today because apparently I've expired on Teddy Talk ... well, that is to say my advertising campaign has! Yep, it's time for a new banner to let the bear community know I'm still alive and kicking! Photoshop and I are not exactly in tune with one another's little foibles, but with perseverance, a wrinkled brow (or two!) and time to ponder, we get there in the end! Anyway, this is what I came up with ... hopefully it should show up on www.teddytalk.com shortly.

Summer 2009 advertising banner for Teddy Talk

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Postcard from Polperro

Polperro Harbour, Cornwall

There's nothing quite like hiking over rugged Cornish cliffs to clear away cobwebs and that's exactly what I've been doing of late; in case you were wondering why bear production and blog updates have ceased recently, I've been away on my hols!

View from our Daisy Cottage: Polperro Harbour, early evening

Looking out to sea from the beach at Polperro

The weather in Cornwall was what the Met Office politely described as 'changeable', which really meant 'be prepared with flip flops, cagoules and umbrellas, because the weather will do almost anything from blazing sunshine at you, to hammering down torrential rain and hail on you, in any one day!'

Prepared for all weathers! Flipflops, shorts, shades and cagoule - a very soggy Paula at the Talland War Memorial in torrential rain!

The perfect setting for Talland Memorial - I returned to take this photo on a sunny day!

Despite the unpredictable weather, we had a wonderful time and only suffered one washout day, spent in Port Isaac wandering up the cliff path clasping my umbrella against the tug of the wind, in search of Doc Martin's house ... (for anyone unfamiliar with the Doc, he's a character played by lovely Martin Clunes in one of my favourite tv shows 'Doc Martin', filmed in Port Isaac - aka 'Port Wen').

Doc Martin's house is the stone house in the middle with the black door!

The harbour at pretty Port Isaac

Cliff walk to Talland Bay

1911 lighthouse at Polperro

We stayed in my favourite historical Cornish fishing village 'Polperro', on 'The Warren', which is a terrace of ancient fishermens' cottages built on a winding cliff path overlooking the harbour. The view from 'Daisy Cottage' was picture postcard perfect and the cottage hadn't changed at all since our last visit five years ago. That's what I've always loved best about Cornwall since first holidaying there twenty four years ago, it retains all the charm and mystery of its rich heritage and makes absolutely no excuses for not moving with the times.

Talland Bay

Cove at Talland Bay

We visited Restormel Castle at Lostwithiel, the County Town of Cornwall

On the ramparts at Restormel Castle

Another day out, this time walking through spectacular Lydford Gorge, in search of the mystical Gubbins!

Stuart at Lydford Gorge

And finally, the two of us snapping happy holiday memories, on the bridge at Polperro

We've had yet another wonderful holiday in Cornwall and for now, it's time to return to reality, but I'm certain we'll be wending our way back to the West Country again someday soon!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

A little July Rhubarb!

My nose has been firmly pressed to the grindstone this week because I wanted to keep my promise of making a new Half Pint this month - I'm happy to announce the arrival of my new bear cub 'Rhubarb' on the All Bear website, before July slips from my grasp!

14" Rhubarb

At just 14" I think 'Rhubarb' may be my smallest clown bear so far and I think he's as cute as ninepence! I've used lovely yellowy gold and antique red mohair for this little cub and am really pleased with how the colours complement each other ... just like rhubard with custard ... I hope you like him too!
08/07/09 Update: Rhubarb has now been invited to live in Finland!

Whittering on ....

Ah well, if you can't beat' em, I guess it's wise to join 'em ... so, if you are an All Bear collector, or friend of All Bear, with a Facebook account, you can now find me whittering on Facebook too!

Paula Carter

Monday, 6 July 2009

A new Old Timer!

16" Silas

It's been a while since I worked with vintage mohair, so this week I decided to put my last few pieces to good use to create a bear in 'Old Timer' style. 'Silas' is slumpy, a little care worn and a delight to hold! Do you remember Cornelius? Well, little brother Silas is created from that same wonderful burnt orange and rich burgundy vintage mohair, full to bursting with authentic character and sense of history. I do hope you like him, he's a striking fellow!

06/07/09 update: Silas has now found his new owner and will be living in the US very soon!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

A rose by any other name ...

Roses, roses, roses! As you can see, they've been the inspiration for my two latest shop exclusive bears, both destined for www.edwinasfriends.co.uk early next week. Rosa and her little friend Rosita are lovely summery bears, I hope you enjoy their preview today!

20" Rosa

14" Rosita

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