Monday, 29 July 2013

You can take a dog to water ..

There's definitely a pattern emerging with our Polly ... show her water and she can't help but immerse herself!


It began in early June with her first tentative paw dip when she visited Leybourne Lakes Country Park with my daughter and her boyfriend.


A couple of weeks later, inspired by a large chocolate labrador, she suddenly leapt into the River at Teston Bridge Country Park and managed her first ever official swim!


On our visit to Shorne Country Park earlier this month, Polly couldn't resist a splash in the 'dog pond' ...


Turning herself from a pretty cream and gold pup, into a stinky, swampy mudwump!


Then after quite literally dragging us onto the green slimey beach at Riverside Country Park this weekend, she dug in and absolutely refused to budge when we tried to move her away from the water!


We eventually managed to convince her the path was where we needed to be, but as you can see, our fledgling swimmer made her disapproval very clear!


We took pongy Polly to Mote Park yesterday afternoon and she tugged forcefully towards the lake as she circled it with us. When we reached a shallow outlet, we  finally allowed her some muddy fun in the water, after which she squelched and oozed her way cheerfully back to my poor little car, feeling very pleased with herself.  Needless to say, all windows were wound down for the journey home ... phwoar, stinky dog!!!! 


Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera to the park yesterday, so no more mudwump pics to share - instead, here is my beautiful clean fragrant Polly, fresh as a daisy after her much needed bath!

Polly says our local country parks are great fun for dogs, so if you are visiting Kent with your furry friend, don't forget to bring their water wings!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Hip hip hooray!

It's time for me to get back into full-on bear gear ... the all-important Hugglets 'Teddies 2013' show in September is creeping onto my horizon and I have customers' orders to finish before I can start work on my Autumn crop.  Word to the wise for any bear maker planning to adopt a puppy, they sure do knock a hole in your production!  

19" Melba

Thankfully, Julie the owner of 'Teddy Bear Hollow' in Loughborough, has been very understanding, waiting patiently for her shop exclusive bears since the Spring.  I am so grateful to Julie for her patience and relieved to have at last completed two large bears who will arrive in store tomorrow ... (now to finish work on Julie's remaining four smaller bears!) 

17" Georgie

After almost twenty years of bear making, it is sometimes tricky to conjure up names for bears, but I hope you'll agree, 'Melba' suits her pretty peach mohair and as Prince George of Cambridge, a future King of England, was born yesterday, I have called my other bear 'Georgie' in celebration of this happy event! 

Congratulations to Wills and Kate.  
May our new Prince have a safe and happy future.  
Hip hip, hooray!!!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Mama Mia!

It seems their current Greek holiday on the Island of Skiathos has unveiled the hidden romantic in my sister's partner ...

Simon 'n Fo

After the incredible amount of support they gave us by witnessing and arranging our own wedding last year, I couldn't be more thrilled to offer my congratulations to Fo 'n Simon on their Official Engagement to be Married!


Apparently the ol' smoothie dropped to one knee to pop the all-important question at the foot of the mountain where the church wedding scene was filmed for 'Mama Mia' ... and yes, his very own 'Dancing Queen' accepted!!!!!

Wishing you both heaps of fun planning your special day and so looking forward to sharing it with you!!!!!! 

xxx


Time to smell the roses ..

Walking, running, climbing, gardening, cycling, game playing, chatting, batting, throwing, writing, reading ... these were just a few of the activities on our busy agenda with Stuart's eight year old grandson this weekend.


Polly thoroughly approved of her young house guest, following him everywhere he went ...


And when she wasn't following him, he followed her!


When the non-stop boy child action occasionally quietened, listening to him read was such a pleasure - there's something quite magical about watching a child immersed in his storybook ...


 Needless to say, my bear-making has been pushed to one side for a few days, but hey, it's Summer! I reckon that means it's time to smell the roses and share some special family time.  

After all, all work and no play will make Paula a very dull bear maker!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Back to School!

So it will be back to school for me this summer!  Well not just me ... at nineteen weeks of age, Polly is fast approaching the 'testing teens', so I've taken the plunge and booked an appointment with professional dog trainer Kevin.  We spent two hours deep in doggy conversation yesterday while Kevin put us through our paces, planning how best to polish Polly's lead manners and generally teach me to help my cheeky pup become a polite young lady. 


Poor ol' Poll was so tired after concentrating all morning, she slept like a log all afternoon!  Heel work, clicker training, staying, coming, fixed and variable treating ... goodness me, there's a lot for us to learn!


We will be joining one of Kevin's very popular outdoor obedience classes in August.  As a police dog trainer of many years standing he comes highly recommended, but most importantly as far as I'm concerned, Polly responded well to him. 


Me 'n Poll began our formal lead practice this morning before breakfast; there will be no more 'Polly walking Paula' in the future - listen up pup, Mum's back in the driving seat!


I'll keep you updated with progress reports when me 'n Polly start school, but in the meantime, Polly girl, we need words ... that bench is for Mum to sit on, not you!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Ding Ding, Round One!

Yes, it's that time of year again, competition fever has begun!

  
After um-ing and ah-ing about whether to enter or not, this bear maker eventually submitted to three Summer competitions and the first, the 'URSA Awards' has just started and needs you to vote cast a vote for your favourite entries!

Applejack has been entered in Category 5 of the 2013 URSA Awards

It would be much appreciated if you could spare a few moments to support the  competition by browsing each of the URSA categories and then selecting the bears (and friends) which stand out of the crowd in your eyes.  

In this competition, your vote really does count!


Thank you!

Hey Sista, Go Sista!

I was invited to my niece's 'hen-do' on Saturday and much as I tried my best to wriggle out of the nightclub element of the saucy shinanigins, after a Chinese meal in town, somehow found myself sat among a gaggle of about sixteen girlies, barely bedecked in Moulin Rouge style burlesque corsets in a local nightclub.

Bride-to-be Leah, 'Yummy Mummy' (my sister Fo) saucy sister 'Luscious Lips Lauren' and cheeky cousins Kezzilicious Kerri, 'Sugar Honey Han' and 'Fanny Fanackerpants Fay', vamp it up in town.

It was fun to see the girls partying hard, but by gum did it make me feel the years!

'Sugar Honey' & 'Fanny Fanackerpants' hit the town!

My daughter and niece livin' it large!

The girls hit the dance floor (and my sis and I decide it's time to discreetly leave them to have their fun, while we dial the taxi bus to make our escape!)

Leah's mum Fo and I managed about an hour in the nightclub, then discreetly called the 'party bus' to be rescued from the girls' lively antics by Fo's lovely partner (and my buddy!) Simon, who generously put himself on taxi service all day and night to ensure sure Leah's guests were safely escorted to and fro in style at their leisure.  He even gave his mini bus a special 'hen-do' makeover with sparkly feather boas, party drinks and snacks and flashing butterfly lights on the ceiling; that man is a star!

Soon to be married, my gorgeous niece Leah.

It was great fun to share Leah's 'Hen Night' and I am so pleased she had a fun time with all her important girlies (and honorary 'girlies' .. thank you Leah, lol!) but I think I ought to accept my night club days are best left in the corner of my memory marked 'Forever 21'!

An excited bride-to-be!

Leah and her fiance Gary will marry in church in August, which means there should be just enough time for the stag and hen hangovers to settle, before full blown wedding panic sets in!

Leah and Gary

I am a very proud auntie and so looking forward to seeing my niece walk down the aisle in her beautiful white dress.  Leah and Gary are a lovely couple who have earned their special wedding day and a lovely long life together.  

Wishing them a fabulous day in August!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Bears of Significant Stature

In this day of little bears, it is so refreshing to work with a shop that still has confidence in selling beautiful big bears.  'The Bear Shop' of Norwich is one such UK retailer and I am delighted to be sending these three 'bears of  significant stature' to them today!


Heading to The Bear Shop!

Introducing 19" Chester ...


18" Beau ...


And 18" Clement


Three traditional big bears, no frills, no flounces, just heartfelt heritage.  Yes, I am delighted to be able to tell, you the traditional bear is alive and extremely well in 2013!

For details of these bears' availability, please contact www.bearshops.co.uk

Monday, 1 July 2013

The Picnic Collection

Introducing my 'Picnic Collection', a lovely summery gang of bear friends!  Little Carousel (clown) has already been adopted, but if  any of his friends tug at your heartstrings, I am sure they would love to share Summer (and beyond!) with you ...

'The Picnic Collection'

'Clover'

'Patchouli'

'Meadow'

'Butterfly'

If you would like to know more about this new collection, please visit my website for full details ... thank you!

Special Birthday Treat!

After my disastrous birthday in February, I finally celebrated my 50th in true style with my daughter on Saturday.  Fay took me to see the amazing 'Les Miserables' musical at Queen's Theatre in London, followed by an impromptu 'point 'n shoot' walk to take in the local tourist sights ... we had such a fun day together!

Arriving at Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

The show was absolutely everything a West End musical should be ... classy, seamless and completely engrossing.  Geronimo Raunch singing 'Bring him home' was so moving, it gave me goosebumps!  I sat absolutely spellbound for three solid hours.

Chinatown

I hope you will enjoy some of the landmark sights with us through these snaps, taken as we strolled together in the glorious June sunshine.  If you haven't yet been to London and ever have the opportunity to do so, please come visit! London is such an exciting, hustling, bustling, colourful city.

Fay at Buckingham Palace

Doing her tourist thing!

Horse Guards Parade

The Guard's Memorial

Enjoying an ice-cream in St James' Park

Checking out the Queen Victoria Memorial

'Big Ben'

Big Ben and a red bus ... no doubting you're in London!

The magnificent Houses of Parliament

Westminster Abbey - that's one heck of a wedding venue!

Westminster Abbey .. even the back entrance is breathtaking

Downing Street 
Where the serious business of British Government occurs

Strolling along The Embankment in the evening sunshine, 
view of the 'London Eye' across the Thames

Posing on Westminster Bridge

South Bank and the London Eye

I loved sharing my special birthday in London with Fay, it was a wonderful treat and one I will always remember.  

Thank you daughter, 
with my love always, 
Mum xxx

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