Friday, 29 April 2011

A Double Scoop!

I can't quite believe my luck today, not only did 'Lonesome' win a prestigious 'TOBY Industry's Choice Award' earlier this year, I have just learned he has also been nominated for the coveted international 'Golden Teddy Award'! 

Wonders will never cease!

'Lonesome'

This is my very first Golden Teddy nomination, so rather a special honour as you can imagine.  After several unsuccessful previous attempts and almost not submitting an entry at all this year, I'm feeling both surprised and if I'm honest, ever so slightly tickled pink!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Here come the girls!

I'm not sure what's going on, but after so many boy bears this year, the girls are now making their presence felt! 

16" 'Henrietta' is now available from www.allbear.co.uk

Bears tend to choose their own gender and would you believe, there are times when even the fairest, prettiest, piece of pink mohair assumes a male perspective?!  But there's none of that today ... today I'd like you to meet 'Henrietta', a demure girly bear, wearing her best straw bonnet in preparation for the Royal Wedding celebrations later this week!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Oh deer!

Good Friday was bathed in glorious, wall to wall sunshine, so I grabbed my best camera and Stuart grabbed his grandson, then we drove off in the direction of beautiful Knole Park in Sevenoaks


Regular 'Bearing All' readers will know this wasn't our first visit to the deer park and usually we find plenty of deer to watch, but not yesterday! It may have been heat that drove them into deep hiding, but I have a sneaking suspicion the boisterous six year old accompanying us probably had something to do with the disappearance of all but the most bold of those gentle creatures!


Nevertheless, as always, we enjoyed wandering through the grounds and come the Autumn, will no doubt be back to admire the park's breathtaking golden season and the stags in all their rutting finery.


I keep promising myself a visit inside 'Knole House' one day, but the park is so beautiful, I'm always reluctant to tear myself away for long enough!

Knole House

Knole House is an amazing property and has so many chimneys! Chimneys signified status in days of yore, so there's no doubt this place was built to impress.


 But even if, by some quirk of fate, the chimneys do fail make an impression on you, the stunning driveway, sweeping through the parkland from Sevenoaks town centre, right up to the front of the property, can't fail ... it really is absolutely fabulous!

Rounding off our lovely walk in the sunshine, with a well earned ice lolly!

If you would like to visit Knole Park, please visit the link below for further information:

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Summer Garden Collection

The Silly Bears shop in Aberdeen recently commissioned me to design three shop exclusive bears, for the theme 'A Summer Garden' ... and I am delighted to say, these contemporary classics debut at the shop today!

The Summer Garden Collection 12.5", 17" & 23"

If you would like to know more about 'Peaseblossom', 'Titania' and 'Oberon', please visit http://www.sillybears.co.uk/artists/index.cfm?page=96

Monday, 18 April 2011

In a forest, in a wood ...

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon yesterday, so rather than spend the day trudging through the usual round of Sunday household chores, we grabbed the opportunity to collect Stuart's grandson en route to the countryside, to hunt for bluebells ...


My dog owning sisters had mentioned Hucking Woods several times, so we pointed the car towards Detling Hill, to see if we could find them for ourselves.


And when we did, we weren't disappointed!  The display of bluebells was absolutely glorious ... a carpet of dainty blue flowers, as far as the eye could see.


I love bluebells ... they never fail to remind me of the woodland at the bottom of our garden, when I was a little girl.  Dad would take me and my sisters through the garden gate on a Sunday afternoon, into the woods to enjoy wild primroses and bluebells and to run and climb ... happy times.



Nowadays, Stuart and I take a great deal of pleasure from sharing his grandson's enjoyment of the countryside.  Like most lads of his age, he's keen to run, climb and explore the great outdoors ... 


And in his magical world, a fallen tree branch soon becomes a horse,


A stick ... his trusty sword ...


...  and Grandad, his evil foe!


I think there's something wonderfully mysterious about bluebell woods, so it's easy to understand how a little boy's imagination can run wild on a woodland walk at this time of year.


Getting out and about in the fresh air on a beautiful Sunday afternoon is always a treat, but for me, the most precious thing is watching this little lad have fun with his Grandad, knowing that for a few hours Grandad has completely forgotten the pressures of adult life, because he is having great fun too!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Shabby ol' bear

I've been mulling things over and as much as I would like this bear to come to the Teddy Bear Artist Event Show with me in June, I think I need to try and find him a new home before then ...


17" Bramwell

He's a lovely, shabby ol' bear with a growler and he's well qualified to give hugs a-plenty to a caring new owner ... so fingers and toes crossed, let's hope his Ebay auction unites him with someone very special!

If Bramwell is tugging at your heartstrings, please visit his adoption link below:

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Some things will never change.


My little boy turned 26 yesterday.  I guess at six foot three, working regularly overseas and with a mortgage in his own right now, it's time for me to face facts and accept he's not so little any more.  So, I won't whimper on about 'where did all the years go?'  Suffice it to say this year, rather than make his birthday tea myself, I was invited to share the celebrations as a guest in his new home.

Our Birthday Boy!  King of his very own couch.

Birthday cup cakes courtesy of Anthony's girlfriend Hannah - yum!

You'll always find us in the kitchen at parties!

It was lovely to share my son's birthday in his new home and I guess maybe in time, I might become used to not having to do the clearing up afterwards ...

Ants and Murphy

Happily some family traditions stay the same and as his Mum, I naturally maintain the right to embarrass my boy on his birthday; so here he is, aged a cheeky eleven or thereabouts, with his favourite bear 'Murphy' (made by Frank Webster) perched on his shoulder.  I smiled broadly to see old Murphy perched on the corner of Anthony's smart new living room shelf yesterday ... there's comfort in knowing some things will never change eh?!

Happiest of birthday wishes to you my boy,
with much love always,
Your Muva xxx

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Your turn to vote in the 2011 TOBY Public's Choice Awards!

'Lonesome' is in category 3

Do you remember how thrilled I was when my bear 'Lonesome' won his TOBY Industry's Choice Award earlier this year?  Well, now the time has come for the Public's Choice element of the competition and that means YOU have the opportunity to vote for YOUR favourite bears in this prestigious competition! 
Please spare a moment to support these important awards by visiting the link below to choose your favourites ... thank you!

2011 TOBY PUBLIC'S CHOICE AWARDS

Monday, 11 April 2011

An Englishman's home is his castle

After many years, my sister Tina and her partner Ian recently took a daunting plunge, sold their home and moved to Portchester in Hampshire.

Tina and Ian

Not wanting to miss out on the excitement, Stuart and I arranged a family visit with my sister Fiona and her other half Simon, to black our noses.  Once we'd had the official house tour, chatted about planned improvements to turn 'The Shrubberies' into a fabulously large, comfortable home for Tina, Ian and the girls, we basked contentedly in the afternoon sunshine, scoffing delicious sausages from a local butcher ...  all in all, a very tasty, sociable way to pass our Saturday afternoon!

Oi you rabble, stop talking and line up for a photo!

The Solent

My sisters and I have fond memories of growing up near the Solent and the smell of sea salted air never fails to transport us back to childhood trips spent collecting shells on the beach and hours spent rock pooling with our Dad.  We were thrilled to discover Tina now lives within easy walking distance of the sea front at Solent and magnificent Portchester Castle is only a short stroll from her new house, so after lunch, we decided to breathe in a little more of that wonderfully salty sea air and make the most of the gorgeous Spring sunshine ...

Big cheese from the six of us!

Inside the castle grounds

A quick photo call for me 'n him.

And one for Fo and Simon ...

The Castle Keep (and Tina marching by!)

Have you ever noticed how there's always one?!

View from the castle grounds to the Solent

The Famous Five look out to sea!

Three sisters

I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Portchester with Stuart, Fo and Simon. Tina, I'm wishing you, Ian and my nieces many years of happinness in your lovely new home and thank you so much for your hospitality this weekend, it was fun and yes, we should all make time to do it more often!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Sanctuary

When I look back to the arrival of 2011, I remember trying to embrace the coming year, but with an empty room upstairs after my son flew our happy nest and so soon after losing Dad, it wasn't the easiest of times.  When Stuart took matters into his own hands and began to talk about decorating and moving my workroom into my son's old bedroom, I decided I'd better get my act together and make a concerted effort to put on a brave face ...

An empty room at the start of 2011 ...

There were several noticeable benefits to moving my existing workroom, the first of which was a lovely big fitted cupboard in my son's old bedroom - perfect for storing all my craft supplies.  His room was also bigger and brighter than my current room, so the final decision was made and while Stuart filled the many holes left by my son's stereo and tv equipment, I set about the serious business of mulling over colour schemes and all things pretty ...


Stuart spent the next couple of months decorating in his spare time, patiently putting up with my 'left a bit, right a bit ... no left a bit ...' directions ... and gradually my new workroom began to take shape.


It was important to me the room wasn't only a practical bear crafting workspace; I needed it to feel like my room, a nurturing environment for the bruised inner Paula ... so I chose colours, pictures, ornaments, precious bits 'n pieces, many of them gifts from loved ones, with every bit as much care as the furniture items ...


And after all the weekends of Stuart working so hard to make everything perfect for me, suddenly my beautiful new room is ready to use!




I am truly looking forward to spending many, many, happy hours working in my special new room and also to spending many, many, more years with the very special man who made this possible for me!

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