Thursday, 31 December 2015

A New Year's Wish

The final day of 2015 has arrived here in the UK in a sunny, gusty, showery kinda way, making it crystal clear Christmas is now over with and a new year beckons ...


I loved Christmas Day this year. My kids and their partners came home and as they are all adults with busy lives of their own, I never take that for granted.  It was extra special to have them back around my table, sharing Christmas dinner as a family ... and this year, for the first time, celebrating with my little Grandson Toby.


I think Toby brought with him the true spirit of Christmas this year ... as only a child seeing the magic of Christmas through innocent eyes can.


Being able to spend Christmas Day with my family was very special and to share in Toby's Christmas magic, the most precious Christmas gift of all.


So here we are today, our family celebrations done and a New Year waiting for us. As the final hours of 2015 tick by, I don't have a New Year's Resolution, but I do I have a wish ... 

I wish for a happy and safe year ahead for my family.  I wish for my children's hopes and dreams to be treasured and I wish for my Grandson's life to be held precious by his family and the world around him.

Happy New Year to you all,
With my love. 
xxx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Step into Christmas!

I am sure there are many ladies of a 'certain' age who like me, are mums with kids who grew into adults without warning, then flew the coop.  It sure takes a while to adjust to making festive preparations without excitable youngsters at home to share the tinsel and Christmas sparkle ...  


But I have always enjoyed the approach of Christmas and taken a pride in making our home cosy and filling it with the aroma of festive cooking spices, so although it may have taken a while for my Christmas spirit to waken this year, waken it did ... the moment my kids told me they wanted to come home to share Christmas!


So, my cake is now baked and covered in marzipan, a fruit pudding mixed and steamed and my red and green biscuit tin is heavy with home baked gingerbread. The Christmas tree is twinkling merrily and my husband has even hung fairy lights outside our house to welcome guests!


Tomorrow I will ice the Christmas cake (better late than never, my son loves the icing!) and wrap the kids' gifts.  I may be late with preparations this year, but I am determined to be ready on Christmas Eve when my daughter and her fiance come home.  We will be joined on Christmas Day by my son and his family, so as you can imagine, I am excited about sharing the magic of Christmas with them all and of course, with my little Grandson!


So, despite a quiet house in the lead up to Christmas, it's fair to say I am enjoying my tinsel and sparkle preparations this week ... as I wait for my family to come home and step into Christmas.

:-)

Monday, 21 December 2015

Catching up for Christmas

Met with my nieces from Portchester yesterday afternoon. They drove from Hampshire to Kent for a Christmas catch up with family and arranged for us to meet at beautiful 'Mote Park' for a fun walk with our dogs.

Our Christmas family catch up in the park

Unfortunately my sister Fo and I don't get to spend nearly enough time with our Hampshire nieces now they are all grown-up and working so far away, so it was great to have an opportunity to spend some time walking and chatting with  them. They brought their mum's (our sister Tina) cheeky Cockerpoos, Woody and Jessie, with them and my sister Fiona and her husband Simon brought Autumn, their magnificent German Shepherd girl.  My son and his family donned wellies to meet us there and of course, if there's a doggy party to be had, my gorgeous goldie girls, Polly and Betty, are always happy to attend!

Cousins catch up!

In fact all five dogs had a wonderful time racing around and re-acquainting themselves.  It was so much fun to watch them enjoying their family Christmas catch up too!  


So thanks for taking the time to travel up from Hampshire to see us all Justine, Kerri and Mark. The dog walk was a great idea - we all thoroughly enjoyed it and Polly and Betty wish Jess and Woody a very Happy Christmas!

Safe trip home girls and Mark.  
Have a great Christmas ... and let's catch up again soon! 

xxx

Friday, 18 December 2015

Shedding new light on Malteser

By the way, I took new pics of Malteser sitting on my little bench in the garden today. I wasn't entirely happy with how the studio lights had affected his colouring, so thought I'd see if daylight was better for him ... and the result is so much better in natural light!  Let's hope they help Malteser to find the new home he so deserves. He really is a lovely traditional teddy bear.

20" Malteser

If you would like to see Malteser's new photographs and full adoption details, please pop over to my website:


Good luck Malteser!

:-)

Update: So the new pics did the trick and Malteser has been adopted!

Christmas Past and Christmas Present

I confess to making only one Christmas bear this year.  I know, shocking isn't it?! Much as I would love to have made more, not to mention some Prim Dolly Doodles too, between training Betty and minding my Grandson, time conspired against me.

  
While Polly and Betty snoozed after their very muddy walk in the woods this afternoon, I filed photographs on my computer and came across several Christmas bears (and dolls) I made in better organised years - I think they span about ten years. They made me smile, so I made a little 'Christmas Past and Christmas Present' collage to share here with you today.

I hope they make you smile too.

:-)

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Stepping into my Christmas stride

It has taken a little while to get into my Christmas stride this year and as yet, it is still a work in progress, but we do at last have a bauble bedecked tree in the window, a collection of friendly snowmen waiting patiently on the hearth and two excited young Golden Retrievers, who are wondering what on earth is happening.


Yep, Christmas is now definitely on its way and if I listen very, very, carefully, I can even hear the tinkle of sleigh bells far away in the distance .... !

:-)

Saturday, 12 December 2015

What the Dickens?!

Introducing a little festive spirit at last!



This is 'Dickens', a sweet 14" teddy bear in the most heavenly velvet soft red mohair.  He'd love to share Christmas with someone very special.  
I wonder, could it be you?

For full details, please visit: 



xxxxxx


Wishing all my lovely teddy bear owners, past and present, a wonderful Christmas and above all, a peaceful 2016 wherever you are in the world. 

Thank you all so much for your generous support and kindness.

With warmest hugs,
Paula and the All Bears 
xxx

Update: Dickens has been adopted!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

A mum always knows!

I knew he would be 'The One' the very first time I met him.  
Something about his open manner, easy smile, the way he looked at my daughter ... and how her eyes sparkled and softened when she was near him. 
They were two halves of a whole, even then.
A mum always knows!


So when Neil asked me for my daughter's hand in marriage on Friday, I couldn't have been more thrilled to formally grant my permission and more importantly, to give him my blessing.  A little later I received an excited call from Fay on holiday in a wild and wintry Cornwall, to tell me what I already knew would happen, she had accepted his proposal!

I am so happy Neil will be my official son-in-law.  Not only is he perfect for Fay, he has already become a very welcome member of our family and is a perfect fit for us too!

So,
Congratulations you two!
I am bursting with happiness for you both and so proud of you!!!

With loads of love and pride,
Mum xxxxx

:-)

A pan of Christmas cheer

What with one thing and another, I completely missed 'mix-up Sunday' this year, so on this rainy Sunday afternoon, I am taking full advantage of two sleepy dogs and a husband working all weekend, to bag myself some 'Paula play time' ...


The kitchen radio is bouncing out cheery 70's hits (SO my generation! Abba's 'Waterloo' is playing as I type, reminding me of my Dad's penchant for the lovely blonde singer who wore a blue satin jumpsuit with a heart shape cut out revealing a cheeky tummy button!) ... and the dogs are snoring contentedly at my feet as I mix my pan of Christmas cheer.  It's odd, but I never feel in the least bit festive until I have made a Christmas cake and pudding for my family ...

Well, well, well, I do believe there may be a tiny hint of something festive tiptoe-ing up on me at last!  Better late than never eh?!

:-)



Wednesday, 2 December 2015

An inviting decision

I um-med ah-ed for quite some time when invitations for next year's Hugglets' shows arrived, because after so many years exhibiting at their lovely London shows, committing to a change of plan, had me feeling very torn, but the truth is, I have been struggling to create enough bears to set aside for shows since Polly, Betty and my Grandson arrived and to be absolutely honest, after twenty years of bear-making, much as I have enjoyed the shows, I no longer have an appetite for the inevitable deadline crisis that always has me in a last minute twirl of bear-making madness.


Preparing to exhibit at bear shows is time consuming and costly, so I have come to the conclusion that in preparation for 2016, it is time to put on my big girl pants and make a firm decision about how to move forward. The result is, I will be taking a break from shows for the foreseeable future.  

There. I've said it, so that makes it real. Phew!


So, I am looking forward to working at a more gentle pace, creating bears from the heart, walking each day with my girls, taking care of home, hearth and  husband and of course, sharing time with my precious Grandson while he is still little enough to need me. 

Yes, I think it's time to put the brakes on a little and maybe even smell those roses!

I will continue to share new bears via my website and will of course, keep in contact as usual, through my blog, mailing list, Facebook page, Twitter, Bearpile and ... well, you get the picture. 

You can take the bear-maker out of the shows, but you can't take the bear-maker out of the ... er bear-maker!

:-)

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