Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Christmas Keepsakes

My Christmas began in Wormshill with a lovely family 'do' at my sister Fiona's house on Christmas Eve.  The house was bedecked in fairy lights and filled with warm hospitality.  Three of we five sisters gathered with our families, to raise a glass (or several!) to welcome in our 2014 festivities.

Sisters, sisters, never were there such delightful sisters!

We had a fun Christmas Day with my daughter and the lovely new man in her life ... (gotta love a Christmas romance eh?!)

A new romance for Christmas!

And after pressie openings, followed by a very tasty turkey dinner prepared by my husband (thanks Stuart - nice work!) the four of us wrapped up warmly to tromp off the pud in our local fields and pear orchard, with Polly dashing between trees and leaping into muddy puddles, with all the festive excitement only a young goldie can muster!

Muddy Christmas Polly!

For me, Christmas is all about sharing time with family, so this year was especially important because it was my gorgeous Grandson's very first Christmas.

Walking with Toby and his mummy

Little Toby snuggled into a sling with his mummy to come walking in Wormshill with us for the first time on Christmas Eve ...

Our Boxing Day walk

... then again on Boxing Day, when we took Polly and my kids for a very muddy tromp along the River Medway at Teston Country Park after a tasty cold turkey and pickles lunch.

Playing airplanes with Daddy

At just three months old, Toby is  a proper little character, full of sunny smiles, wide eyes and delightful talky sounds ... and he gives the very best cuddles.  As you can imagine, I loved us being able to spend Boxing Day together!

Toby's first Christmas gifts

I was delighted with the generous gifts received from my family this year, but to receive my very first 'Nana' gifts, was extra special.  I was so touched by the care, creativity and thoughtfulness Toby's mummy and daddy put into the design of these beautiful keepsakes, together with the beautiful reindeer footprint cards Hannah made to accompany them ... these mementos of my Grandson's first Christmas will always be very precious to me.

Christmas snooze time

It won't be long until I disrobe the Christmas tree, vacuum up all the fallen needles and tidy away our baubles and tinsel until another year.  Christmas seems to become more and more commercial each year, but above and beyond all that tinsel and sparkle madness, I still believe the heart of Christmas is intact.

 I have loved sharing these precious few days with my closest family!

Friday, 19 December 2014

TBAAF WINNERS!

I entered this year's 'Teddy Bear Artists and Friends' awards several months ago and had all but forgotten the competition, so to learn my bears won 1st place and 3rd place in their respective categories, came as rather a lovely surprise this morning!


'Kingsley' was voted a 1st place winner in the 'Rustic Bears' category and this delighted me as he was one of the few bears I really wish I had kept.


You may remember 'Chester' from the front cover of Hugglets' 2013 UK Teddy Bear Guide; as you can imagine, I am thrilled he has also been awarded 3rd place in the 'Touching Tradition' category of the TBAAF Awards this year!  

And as a firm supporter of our traditional teddy bears, I am even more delighted this particular category has been so well subscribed with gorgeous traditional bears from all around the world.  It is good to know the traditional teddy bear never grows old!

A big thank you to Lanie and Darren for organising this lovely competition to help promote teddy bear artists. :-)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Winter Tucker

Been promising the arrival of this little Winter Tiddler bear on my website for what feels like ages! I finally gave up trying to find time to set up my studio and yesterday, snapped him 'au naturel' by our Christmas tree instead ... 


Cute eh?


The cosy Christmas lighting has made Tucker's mohair appear a little lighter than it actually is, but never mind, this little fellow is every bit as cute with or without fairy lighting!


If you are interested in adopting Tucker, please pop over to  my website where full details can now be found: www.allbearbypaula.com

Update: Tucker has been adopted!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Festive Spirit Tiptoe

I took my eye off the ball and didn't see December coming this year ... talk about unprepared!  So, despite a raging sore throaty-cold-bug of the kind only the threat of Christmas can bring on, I cast a steely eye over the situation this weekend and came to the conclusion there was nothing for it but to grab hold of the impending festive season by its coat tails and get on with it.


By handy coincidence my sister Fiona is the real Christmas Tree Fairy (!) and as it happens, she and her fiance own a truck.  They were kind enough to help me hunt down a lovely bushy tree last week, without a single pine needle dropped in my car, which was such a big help!  Fo and Simon, whatever would I do without the two of you?!


I missed 'Stir up Sunday' by a country mile this year, yet didn't want to give up on making a home made Christmas pudding, so instead had a late 'Stir Up Saturday' afternoon at the weekend, shutting myself in the kitchen with a large mixing bowl, glorious array of sugary, fruity ingredients and the remnants of last year's Sherry bottle ... which I duly guzzled as I mixed, in the search for  my festive spirit.


Between scribbling Christmas cards on Sunday (still haven't bought any stamps) and frantically ordering gifts online (not to mention praying they will arrive in time!) I also squeezed a little time to smear melted apricot jam over the cake I baked a few weeks ago, then rolled out marzipan in the hope I may actually manage to ice my calorific creation next weekend - that really will be a Christmas miracle!  I confess I've given in and bought mince pies this year as fiddling with pastry when our local supermarket sells such yummy buttery ones, seems a trial too far.


By the time Sunday evening turned up, my husband and I were both tired with colds in full snotty swing, so the last thing either of we grumps felt like doing was decorating our Christmas tree but with glasses of brandy to hand (purely medicinal you understand) and fairy lights twinkling merrily, a sneaky hint of Christmas spirit tiptoed into our living room without invitation.  

So whether we're ready, willing and able or not, begrudgingly I have to concede, it really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Keeping pace with Christmas, or not!

Finding it a bit of a challenge to fit in my Christmas bears this year ... eeks!


I've been busy behind scenes proof reading a forthcoming teddy book for a publishing company, so Christmas bear making time has been limited this year. With a little luck, this work will soon be finished and I will be able to squeeze in one or two bears for my website before Christmas Eve ... not to mention a promised shop order for 'One More Bear' in Stoke-on-Trent. 

I completed the little fellow above, as a special commission this week, but of course, he's already spoken for.


There's no doubt in my mind, Christmas is looming way too fast for this teddy bear maker to keep pace this year!

Please keep an eye on my website for new introductions.  
As soon as I am able, I promise to add new bears!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Special Birthday Wishes

Today is a very special day, because it is my sister Fiona's birthday. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FO!!!!

 

Fo is an amazing Granny to her gorgeous Granddaughter Ella ...


A very proud Great Auntie to my Grandson, little Toby ...


A much loved mum to her lovely daughters Leah and Lauren ...


A friend, love and dancing partner to fiance Simon ...


A trusted, loyal, fun and supportive auntie to my kids ...


A generous, thoughtful, caring sister and daughter ...


And above all, I think she's the glue that cements our family together.


So Happy Birthday to you Sis! 
Thank you for always caring, never doubting 
... and never being afraid to tell it like it is.
Much love to you, always xxx

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