Saturday, 28 December 2013

All I want for Christmas ...

We pulled up our drawbridge to celebrate a cosy family Christmas in time honoured tradition with gifts, turkey and of course, plenty of laughter.


And Polly enjoyed her very first Christmas with us!


She plonked herself right in the middle of the floor with my kids to open her pressies from Santa ... 


... and was delighted to find a rather large orange octopus with her name on it!


Stuart's grandson was thrilled with his football shirt and I have a feeling, will be wearing it day in and day out, for some time to come.


Stuart was especially delighted with his 'fart shooting Minion', a cheeky gift from my son and his girlfriend. I, however, was less than delighted with this particular present, as I appear to be its designated target!!!!


This year, we walked off a superb Christmas lunch (thanks Stuart!) with a muddy tromp through the local woods and pear orchard with Polly ...


... and were treated to a spectacular Christmas Day sunset as we headed home!


After the crazy dash to prepare, Christmas Day is always over in the blink of an eye but for me, this year was special because it was my first Christmas with Polly and my kids were home to share it with us  ... which was all I truly wanted for Christmas!  

So thanks you lot and much love to you all xxx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Deck the tree with ..

The countdown has started and as we all know, this is the one deadline no-one can afford to miss.  Whether we are ready or not, Christmas is only six  short days away ...  


As my children are now adult, it's been a while since the bright-eyed excitement of Christmas truly gripped me but I'm happy to admit, it is always lovely to have a real fir tree, bedecked in fully cluttered finery, parked in a cosy corner of our lounge.  This year my daughter undertook decorating honours, introducing her unique 'Fay' flair with the addition of several multi-coloured glass robots ...


I guess it doesn't hurt to embrace a hint of modernity in our traditional celebrations!


And I concede, the robots do look cheerful hanging cheekily from the branches!  Mind you, there is a somewhat irreconcilable conflict with my oh-so traditional angel perched a-top the tree, which will no doubt please my son hugely when he visits as he dislikes this tree topper with a vengeance and usually hides her at the first available opportunity.


The Christmas spirit even touched rather unexpectedly on Stuart's boss this year ... he's probably the last person I would expect to send me a gorgeous festive floral token, but it just goes to show there is often more to Christmas than meets the eye ..

My two youngest sisters with Dad on tree decorating day, back in the mid 1970's.

When me and my four sisters were kids, Christmas was a big deal in our house and dressing the tree with Dad heralded the start of our family festivities.  Dad would always bring home a huge real fir and once he'd dressed it with fairy lights, me, Fiona, Tina, Lynda and Laura, would go to town adorning it with the gorgeous concave glittery glass baubles our parents had collected from Woolies over the years (these days similar baubles are sadly relegated to second-hand listings on Ebay!) and of course as much tinsel and 'lametta' as those feathery branches could hold, the more garish the better!

It hadn't dawned on me that my heavily bedecked Christmas tree is to this day, a reflection of our childhood tree, but having found the photo of Dad decorating the tree with my two youngest sisters back in the mid 1970's, I don't think there can be much doubt about it ... give or take the odd robot or two.


Incidentally, I think my Dad would have approved of his granddaughter's festive robots, don't you?!

Wishing my 'Bearing All' readers a warm and peaceful Christmas, full of happy memories.  

Merry Christmas everyone xxx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Last Orders Please!

It's time for me to call 'last orders' as I will be hanging up my stuffing stick from Friday onward, to spend Christmas with my family. 


 So, if you are still hoping to adopt a bear from me this side of Christmas, the bears below are currently available and can be with you by Christmas Eve (if you live in the UK - if you are overseas, they will still be very happy to fly to you, but will probably arrive a little late for the festivities!)

Jolly is an 8" Tiddler clown.
Mohair with black glass eyes and felt paws.
£135

Little Nick is an 8" Tiddler in vintage style.
Mohair with black glass eyes and felt paws.
£135

Gentle Star is a 15" modern classic.
Dense ivory mohair with black glass eyes and UltraSuede paws.
£185

Merry is a 20" centre seam bear in traditional style.
Pale gold mohair with black glass eyes and UltraSuede paws.
NOW SOLD!

And as a seasonal gesture of thanks, I am happy to offer
FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING 
if you order either on or before Friday 20th December 2013!

Surprise, surprise!

Just as I was planning to take a rest from competition, the TBAAF Awards have been announced and two of my entries have scooped first place in their respective categories ... such a lovely surprise to start my day with!


'Jubilee' won the 'Jubilee Memories' category ...


... and 'April Annie' won her 'Sunday Best' category.

Thank you so much to everyone who voted, you've made my day!!!!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas is coming ..


As Christmas scoops us all towards the usual festive frenzy, my poor Polly
is wondering what on earth happened to her world ...

Mum, why is there a tree in our lounge?

Hmph!

Never mind Polly, Christmas will soon be over and normality will resume
in a week or so ... I promise!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Santa's Sack is now open!

The brighter side of missing Sunday's Brighton show is that I have been able to fill 'Santa's Sack' with the Christmassy, wintery bears who couldn't make their debut in Brighton ... they are now available to travel to collectors across the world!

My 2013 Christmas Collection

Big Balthazar (back) has been adopted, but little Jolly and Wee Nick (8") are both currently available to share in your Christmas fun!

20" Merry, a beautiful traditional centre-seam teddy bear, is also hoping to share Christmas with you!

And 15" Star promises to share peace and harmony throughout your festive season!

  I plan to add a couple more special bears before Christmas too, so I hope you can pop back soon!

Please visit my website www.allbear.co.uk to meet these lovely seasonal bears ... they are all eager to hop onto Santa's sleigh to spend Christmas with you!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Best laid plans ...

My best laid plans have been scuppered today.  It has been a tiring few weeks, then I was hit with a throbbing tooth and sinus infection in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago and much as I hoped it would ease, this morning I had to face facts, smiling and chatting are out of the question today, so there was nothing for it but to make my apologies and bow out of the Brighton show. I feel so bad for letting everyone down.  My sincerest apologies to you if you were hoping to meet my Christmas bears at the show.

22" Balthazar

Now the bears will miss their big day out, which is such a pity, so I have decided to offer them for immediate adoption from 'Santa's Sack' on my website this week ... 

Big 'ol Balthazar is my first offering.  He is an impressive 22" fellow, with vintage boot button eyes, guaranteed to make a statement under any Christmas tree and throughout the new year ahead!  If you would like to find him in your Christmas stocking, please visit my website at:


Balthazar is happy to hop onto Santa's sleigh straightaway, to travel to you, wherever you are!

Update: Balthazar has now been adopted ... please visit my website to see which other bears are currently available for adoption, thank you!


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Please Santa!

A pre-Christmas show looming, teddy bears to make, dog training/walking/cleaning, plus general household duties and a head which insists on entering wake up mode at 4am every morning this week, have this bearmaker worn to a frazzle today ...


So time for a well-earned cuppa before heading back up to my workroom to stuff my latest 'big 'un'.  I wonder, does anyone think I might get away with setting the Christmas dash aside this year, so I can sleep through December instead?!


Hmmn, thought not!  Better make that coffee good 'n strong Paula huh?!  

I have at last squeezed time to spruce up my website ready for Christmas and will be introducing the first of my new Christmas bears from next week.  If you would like to check out the festive makeover, please pop along to www.allbear.co.uk

I think if anyone asks me what I'd like for Christmas this year (besides a snuggly snow-proof dog walking jacket, please Santa!) I might put in a request for 'time to read a book,' because after fifty years of frantic family festivities, I reckon it would make a welcome change to claim a little corner of Christmas to actually relax in.  Not a hope eh?  Ah well, a girl can dream!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Happiest of days to Fo ..

This little girl celebrated a birthday yesterday ...


Her name is Fiona and I am proud to say, she is my sister.

With our Dad, me (left), Tina (centre) and Fiona (right)

We're all grown up now, with grown up children of our own and last year, Fiona was made proud granny to little Ella, the first baby of a new generation for our family.


Time has flown past in the blink of an eye and we've shared so much over the years ... sometimes significant, sometimes just plain silly!  Not only are we sisters, we are also friends and for that, I am and always will be, so very grateful.


Happiest of days and years to you Fo, you deserve the best.
Much love, Paula xxx

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Chasing squirrels ..

With Christmas only four weeks away, 'what's happening in the All Bear workroom?' I hear you ask ...  well, with only a week and a half until my Christmas show, I'm running way behind as usual.  I do have three lovely teddy bears under my belt for the new Brighton show, but with only a week and a half to go, this is definitely not as many as I would prefer by this stage!  Hopefully with a fair wind to blow a team of elves in my direction and a generous sprinkling of fairy dust to help us, there should be at least half a dozen brand new teddy bears to sit with my Christmas tree by the end of next week ... (and if I buy a tin of wrapped chocolates to share with visitors, that should also help fill a little more space on the stand!)


This is a quick peek into my workroom this morning ...


The shelf spaces are at last starting to fill ...


The knitted neck warmers I made last week are being worn ...


There are teddy bear pieces piled on my desk waiting to receive some of that magic fairy dust ...


And the reason for my oh-so-slow show progress is parked here on the carpet, hoping I'll put down my bear-making very soon to take her out chasing squirrels in the woods again!

Polly may have slowed down teddy bear production but I don't begrudge her a single bear ... my beautiful girl has been very time consuming since her arrival back in May, but in return, she has brought me so much joy each and every day!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Twinkle and Sparkle time!

I just finished this cheery little Tiddler clown for a collector ... 


She has been named 'Ophelia' by her new mum and will be meeting her later today ...


 Little Ophelia brings my order book to a close for this year, so time now to think 'twinkle and sparkle' and start work on a few Christmas bears in preparation for the 'Great Brighton Teddy Bear Event' on the 8th December. There are only three weeks until show day, so I'd better embrace the season, dust off my Christmas playlist and get cracking ... fa la la la la, la la la la!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Happy First Birthday Ella!

It was my gorgeous Great niece's first birthday on Sunday ... goodness me how the year has flown!


Naturally I couldn't allow such an important occasion pass without a teddy bear, so set to work making 'Lily Marie', a pretty pink teddy bear, for our very special little lady, Miss Ella Marie.


I hope Ella and Lily Marie will become firm friends and share their secrets in years to come.


Ella's mummy and daddy put on a lovely family party yesterday so we could share Ella's very first birthday.


Happy Birthday Ella, may magic and sparkles be yours forever!


With much love,
Great Auntie Paula xxx

Monday, 4 November 2013

First things first ..

First things first please!  Before we bedeck in tinsel and sparkle, let's take a moment to enjoy Guy Fawkes night!
 
 
I don't think my kids (ages 30 and 28) will ever be too old for 'big bright shiny things going bang' (my son's words!) so it has become an annual ritual for us to tromp down to our local community firework display to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, stopping along the way to pick up fish 'n chips to eat as we walk ... yum!
 
 
My Dad always loved Guy Fawkes night and I remember clearly, the last bonfire party he held in his garden ... a large rogue rocket shot across the lawn instead of up into the sky. I don't think we've ever moved so fast!  Fortunately no harm was done and now whenever I see fireworks, they always make me smile and think of my Dad.
 
 
 
So even though the shops in town are filling their shelves with Christmas already, I absolutely refuse to think 'Christmas' before Guy Fawkes is done and dusted.  There is a time and place for everything and this week is neither the time nor the place for Christmas as far as I am concerned!
 
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Guy Fawkes Night. 
Wheeee, wizz, bang!!!!

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