Wednesday, 26 January 2022




A simple red heart says so much doesn't it? A teddy bear made with love, a gift given with love, a hug shared with love..

This teddy bear put me in mind of an old pop song called 'Cherish the love', by Kool & the Gang (and now playing in my head!) ... 

'Cherish the love we have, we should cherish the life we live
Cherish the love, cherish the life, cherish the love
Cherish the love we have, for as long as we both shall live
Cherish the love, cherish the life, cherish the love

Cherish the love
Cherish the life'

A verse with a positive message all those years ago (mid 80's I think)... and it occurs to me that after two years of pandemic heartache, these lyrics could easily apply to today too...

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

The green shoots of hope..



I always think there is something so fresh and hopeful about a green teddy bear and this new year, found myself drawn towards creating thi lovely apple green teddy, full of promise for the new year, as my first teddy bear of 2022.

Happily Myrtle was adopted quickly from my website and is now on her long journey to Australia, to share her message of hope for the future, with teddy bear friends 'Downunder'!

Monday, 3 January 2022

Portfolio of a Numpty



Over the Christmas holiday I have been busy creating my annual portfolio of teddy bears. This is something I have done since around 2006, which would have been around the time I first became aware of the convenience of photobook software. I find photobooks a handy way to record each year's collection of teddy bear designs and it's lovely to be able to flick back through previous years' work; a great way of sparking new ideas, or developing old favourites.

I usually add a page of personal photographs taken during the year too, the idea being that they place my work within the context of my life. For me, making bears isn't a separate element of my life, it is very much part of the whole and ideas for teddy bears are often inspired from snippets of daily life.

When I finished adding last years' creations to the portfolio, I noticed colour was a dominant force throughout 2021, with lovely lilacs, pinks and soft pastels being particularly popular, pandas made a welcome return and the few festive teddy bears I made, were adopted straightaway.  Also, for the first time in a while, bigger bears were very much back in demand, leaving me little time to develop smaller ranges... in fact, I only made one 8" Tiddler Teddy this year! Regrettably, I didn't make a single Tweedy Ted in 2021 either, so there will be plenty of creative areas for me to consider working on during this coming year. I am delighted to say, all the bears I made found new homes and now reside in countries around the globe.

Happily, I started work on my first bear of 2022 yesterday. Not so happily, there was a bit of a disaster in my workroom when, for the first time in almost forty years of sewing machine ownership, I managed to sew a perfect stitch right through my fingernail and fingertip... not my finest hour and apologies to the universe for turning the air bright blue in my workroom while I extracted said throbbing digit from my faithful Pfaff. I now have firmly embedded, pale gold thread, hanging from my throbbing fingernail. Needless to say, after almost thirty years of injury free teddy bear making, I now feel rather a numpty...

As I approach the end of a year, I always ask myself if I think I will have any more teddy bears in me left to make in the coming year and so far, the answer has always been a resounding 'of course you do Paula!'  So, I hope you will be happy to hear that 2022 will be no different as I am buzzing with plans for lovely bears and can't wait to start sharing them with collectors again. I have new mohair on order, a tidy workroom and the first bear of 2022 in progress! 

Hello 2022. Here we go!

Thursday, 16 December 2021




Sometimes it is fun to incorporate a little contemporary design flair into a traditional teddy bear and Christmas is the perfect time for this!

Introducing Rudolph, my handsome red-nosed teddy bear. He was snapped up almost as soon as he arrived on my website and will shortly be flying 'Downunder', to live in Australia. So glad I found the time to finish this lovely boy before Christmas!

Monday, 13 December 2021

Where there's a will..



Here we are with less than two weeks until Christmas Day and no team of elves to weave magic in my workroom! No matter, there may not be many more teddy bears before Christmas and for that I am truly sorry, but I am so pleased I decided to go ahead and order the stunning vintage red mohair direct from the United States. It took a while to arrive but made such a wonderfully festive signature teddy bear for 2021. Yuletide is now on his way to live in Australia and fingers and toes are crossed that he arrives in time for the big day.

I have one more teddy bear to finish this week, a beautiful traditional boy with vintage red velvet paws. I think he will be a lovely, nostalgic bear and I am looking forward to sharing him with you on my website later this week.

Time is running away from me this year, no Christmas pud mixed, or Gran's fruitcake baked, no mince pies made and no tree sparkling in my window yet! The tree was purchased from our local garden centre yesterday, a wonderfully curvy girl. She is stood in a bucket of water in the garden at the moment, but when I find a quiet hour or two, I will set her in pride of place in our bow window and dress her with the ornaments I have collected over many years. Once the fairy lights are twinkling, I will raise a glass of the amber nectar to my Dad, then welcome Christmas 2021 into our home. I plan to enjoy the festivities with my family this year, come what may. 

So, this week I will finish my teddy bear and maybe cut out one more little one, then next week, I will mix a very late Christmas pudding, bake an even later Christmas cake and ... purchase some shop bought mince pies! Where there is a will, there is always a way.

I hope you are enjoying your seasonal preparations and wish you all a very Happy Christmas this year, full of warmth, love and peace.

With love,
Paula and the Bears.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Well done Meg!



It is always a thrill to see one of my teddy bears in print, so as you can imagine, I was delighted to discover 'Meg' featured as part of the 'Autumn Bears' article in issue 245 of the Teddy Bear & Friends magazine, when it dropped onto my doormat recently.

Teddy Bear Times & Friends has featured my bears many times over the past twenty five years and for that, I will always be grateful.

Thank you so very much Teddy Bear Times & Friends!

Friday, 22 October 2021

The Big 'Uns



When I first began collecting vintage and artist designed teddy bears over thirty years ago, it was always the big traditional mohair bears who captured my heart. There was something reassurring about them, something solid and true, something that captured the very essence of childhood. It was that sentiment which inspired me to want to create my own teddy bears for grown-ups.

I believe we should all hold on to our inner child because the purity of childhood is where we all began to understand the most nurturing aspects of life, those of reassurrance, friendship and kindness towards others. Of course size isn't always important and little bears can be every bit as important as bigger bears when it comes to offering comfort ...but it should be said, there is something particularly heartwarming about a hug from a big teddy bear.

In marketing terms, it isn't always practical to concentrate on creating big bears as they require a higher price tag, extra time to make and a little extra space to display ... but I won't ever step away from making big bears because they are the heart and soul of who I am and always have been, as a creator of teddy bears.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Up close and personal!



I am often asked how I create my teddy bear noses...

A teddy bear's nose is very important. I believe it should be neatly stitched, expressive and perfectly shaped to suit teddy's character and facial proportions. Embroidering a traditional teddy bear nose is an art form, honed over years of practice and in my view, is one of the most important aspects of teddy bear making as it is the bearmaker's unique signature.

Sewing a good teddy bear nose can be tricky as it relies on so much more than simply needle and thread. To embroider a good teddy bear nose, the head pattern must first be carefully designed with a perfectly symmetrical muzzle. When the pattern is transferred to mohair for cutting, it is essential to ensure it is cut accurately, as the odd couple of millimetres here or there may prove disastrous when a nose is sewn. It is imperative that the muzzle is stitched into the head precisely, ensuring it is kept central, either by hand or machine. If muzzle and chin seam are slightly 'off' centre, it will become glaringly obvious when a nose is sewn ... and is if that isn't enough to terrify the most stalwart of makers, stuffing a teddy bear head unevenly, or not firmly enough, also has the potential to cause all manner of problems when the nose is sewn!

Before I tackle the nose, I prefer to fasten in eyes and trim the muzzle prior to settling into my chair, with a long slender needle and embroidery thread. I like to be relaxed and able to take my time for this job! I sit with my bear's head firmly gripped between my knees, at a right angle, ie., his chin pointing towards my knee. Then I take my first stitch, burying a tiny knot under the mohair backing with a firm tug and bringing my needle out in the centre of the muzzle. Taking care to maintain a firm and even tension and keeping the thread central, I take my first stitch down to the chin, just under the seam, then back up to the muzzle to stitch towards the right keeping my stitches equal in length, returning to the centre to stitch an equal number of stitches towards the left. Then I repeat the process to create a second layer with slightly longer stitches across the top of my embroidery (I am left-handed, so imagine right-handers may prefer to stitch from the centre to the left first; either way is fine). A little tip: if the muzzle is cut and sewn in correctly, it should be possible to use the tiny holes in the backing as a guide for your needle ... but woe betide you if the muzzle is slightly adrift! 

To finish my teddy bear nose, I take long stitches across the top, bottom and along the sides of my nose, using a deliberate tension to create a slightly rounded shape. Using the remaining thread, I exit through the chin seam, stitch an inverted 'V' shaped mouth using glass topped pins to guide me and finally, make a couple of long stiches from the top of the mouth to the bottom of the nose, along the chin seam.

Teddy bear noses can be stitched in a variety of styles and shapes. I have become known over the years for my classic block noses, neatly embroidered in satin stitch, but have also created many waxed noses, striped noses, sparkly noses, festive noses and even careworn noses, deliberately distressed to give an impression of age. A teddy bear's nose is limited only by the imagination of his maker!

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Seaside Follies



I recently received an intriguing request to create this 21" commemorative teddy bear. He celebrates the life of my collector's Great Grandfather 'Jack Bellamy', a successful music hall act and Pierrot clown in the early 1900's. My collector emailed a blurry black and white photograph for me to work from and as a nod to Jack Bellamy's original Pierrot costume, included a request for pom-poms to be included in the design of his tribute teddy bear.

Pierrot troupes were a feature of almost every seaside town in the first half of the 1900's, raising funds and morale during the war years. They were obliged to be 'smart, charming and available at all times' and ready to entertain with music, dance and comedy, whatever the weather!  Many of our legendary British comedians such as Arthur Askey, Lesley Crowther and Max Miller, began their comedic careers as Pierrot Clowns, providing charming family fun at the seaside until the 1950's/60's, when overseas travel and foreign holidays became more accessible to British families and the Pierrots' heyday came to an end.

For a more detailed glimpse into the world of the 'Seaside Follies' Pierrot troupes, please visit

Friday, 23 April 2021

Summer Love Sensation



Remembering my own childhood 'Summer Love Sensation', on the death of lead singer Les McKeown, aged 65, yesterday...

Summer of '76. En route to Southampton's Gaumont Theatre with my two 'bezzie mates' Sharon and Kimberley. Polaroid photo taken by our chauffeur, my rather bemused Dad. When we reached the theatre, a queue of excited teens stretched for what seemed miles, so we took our place at the end and waited for hours to take our seats in 'The Circle'. As the curtain raised and the Bay City Rollers bounced onto the stage, the audience as one, leapt to their feet, a mass of waving arms and streaming tears. We could only guess the song as it was drowned in deafening white noise, fans screaming their undying love to Les, Eric, Derek, Alan and Woody. Rollermania had arrived.

The Bay City Rollers were a worldwide pop music phenomenon in the 1970's. They sold more than a million records and songs like 'Bye Bye Baby', 'Shangalang', and 'Give a little love' had us queueing outside record shops clutching our pocket money, desperate to buy 7" vinyl copies so we could listen to them over and over again in our poster plastered bedrooms. The band topped the music charts as a generation styled itself in top-to-toe tartan and stripey socks. 

The BCR's were a right of passage for many young British girls at the time ... you picked your favourite, fell hopelessly in love for the very first time and dreamed teenage girl dreams to the sound of the Bay City Rollers.

Springtime Pals



After creating Hyacinth Bunny and Bluebell Ellie-Bear earlier this month, I decided to make a teddy bear pal for them and Buttercup Bear came into being ... then I kept looking at the trio and thinking knitted jackets in appropriate colours might be a lovely detail to bring them together as a collection ... then last week, my poor dog Betty hurt her leg on a walk so I couldn't work upstairs in my workroom (bear with me, this does all make sense in the end ...!) as the vet forbade Betty from using stairs until after surgery (Betty always sleeps by my workroom door as I work). I took the opportunity to move my new collection of bears downstairs to keep Bets company and to cut a long and rather painful story short, knitted them sweet little jackets, with Betty sleeping peacefully at my feet.

I sometimes find that bears (and their friends) need a little time to let me know exactly how they would like to present themselves. The design process isn't always clear at the start of a new project and this sweet group of friends had clear ideas about how they wanted to look. I love the soft pastels they chose for Spring; they are so pretty!

As for my sweet Betty, she continues to put on a brave face whilst waiting to see the orthopaedic specialist. She loves to run and play, so this has been a worrying time, but I am sure that with expert care and plenty of love, she will soon be on the road to recovery.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Life in the fast lane



Betty has always been the kind of dog who loves to live life in the fast lane. She is full of joy, a true delight to watch as she races like the wind, returning at the peep of a whistle, good girl that she is.

Unfortunately, it now transpires that my sweet girl has developed cruciate ligament failure, which will most likely require invasive surgery and a long, slow recovery period. Needless to say I am heartbroken for her, although relieved that we are now on the path to specialist referral and hopefully, Betty being able to run freely again one day. For now, we are restricted to short, careful walks and plenty of tender loving care.

Thankfully, Betty is currently managing her pain well and is as always, full of smiles, nose nudges and gentle licky kisses.

Please bear with me if I am a little slower with your orders during this time; I will continue to create teddy bears, but may need a wee bit more time now and again, in view of having to manage Betty's specialist hospital visits and after care.

Thank you x

Friday, 26 March 2021

Dolly Days



I wonder if you recognise this dolly? If you do, I am guessing you were probably a child of the fifties or sixties, like myself. I stumbled across dolly by chance on Ebay recently and before I could talk myself out of it, had contacted the owner to see if I could buy her...

She reminded me very much of a slightly larger version I owned as a little girl. I think my dolly was around 19" tall, and a more substantial doll. This smaller, more manageable version, is just 15" and fits comfortably into my granddaughter's dolly pram. Izzy promptly named her 'Grumpy Dolly' and took her to the local playground for some fresh air. Grumpy Dolly (also named 'Rosemary') arrived at my house tightly sealed in a plastic bag with two other 1960's dolly friends, a little Rosebud doll and a larger Palitoy baby doll. I like to think she appreciated her new dress, hairbrush and a caring young owner to take her out in the pram for walk and a play on the swings after being stored for over half a century.

Tucked away in my knitting pattern stash, was a vintage knitting pattern featuring the 'Chiltern Babykins', so I knitted her a pink dress and matching knickers to cover her modesty. I think I will make the socks this weekend. After so many years, she was due a new outfit!

For anyone still wondering, my sweet dolly was designed by the Chiltern Hygenic Toy Company, the same UK company responsible for creating our wonderful Chiltern Hugmee teddy bears. She was modelled to suck her thumb, with knees bent, just like a real baby. All Chiltern Babykins dolls had hair that looked as though a child had been left alone to hack it with a pair of scissors!

In the days of glamorous dollies, these dolls were sturdy, a more unusual style with their 'grumpy' faces but nonetheless, very endearing. In fact, I have rather a soft spot for them!

Sadly, my original Babykins doll 'disappeared' in my teens, most likely in a garage sale. As you can imagine, as one of five daughters, it wasn't always possible to keep childhood toys, so I have loved this trip down Memory Lane with my little Granddaughter, sharing dollies and making new dolly memories together.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

A teddy bear legacy



I was delighted to receive my subscription copy of 'Teddy Bear Times & Friends' this month and couldn't wait to open it to see an article celebrating my 25 years as a teddy bear artist! It is always a tremendous boost to see my bears in print and a huge honour too. Thank you so much TBT!

To have work published is always a thrill as it gives my teddy bears their place in history. Print publications validate an artist's work in the teddy bear world and share the bears long after they have settled into homes around the world. I hope that one day, when I am long gone, my grandchildren will stumble across an old magazine, or a dusty teddy bear book and be proud of their Nana and her teddy bears. Wouldn't that be lovely?!

If you would like to order a copy of Teddy Bear Times & Friends (My bears are in issue 250) copies can be purchased online. Please pop over to 

With love from me to you



I wonder, what style of teddy bear do you like best? It's a tricky question, I know! There are so many wonderful teddy bears available online these days, it must be very hard to choose that one special teddy bear...

Since the start of the pandemic I have stayed home and shopped online. I learned that I don't actually need shops in my life and a good photograph will suffice in most cases when choosing what to buy. I don't miss stuffy changing rooms, queues or busy car parks and I certainly don't miss being hustled and bustled in busy stores. No, online shopping suits me just fine these days. I even managed to order a lovely new rose for my garden last week ...(although, if I'm honest, I did feel a twinge of nostalgia for mooching along rows of roses at the garden centre, umming and aahing over which would be my perfect choice).  I suppose one day I may rediscover the urge to visit a shop, but until then I am content to scroll, click and wait patiently for my deliveries.

I think in the case of teddy bears, choosing a companion bear from a photograph must be quite a trepiditious affair. Teddy bears are by nature a cuddlesome purchase so when buying online, a sense of touch is swapped for sight ... and imagination. It becomes ever more important to trust your bear maker when buying online. Thankfully, the wonder of the internet provides us with opportunities to 'chat' fact probably more so now than at an actual teddy bear show where time was always so limited!

I used to love watching collectors reaching for my bears at teddy bear shows. It was always a privilege to witness those first few seconds in person, when a bear caught the eye of a collector and the collector couldn't resist picking him up for a cuddle. Nowadays of course, that precious moment happens after a teddy bear has already been purchased, packed into his box for travel to a distant horizon and safely delivered to a new owner after I have wished him a safe journey. Times have changed but fundamentally, the process of falling in love with a special bear does still happen... a teddy bear catches the eye of a collector across the internet, rather than across a crowded show room and when he (or she!) arrives at their door, I like to imagine the box being carefully opened and the same joy on the new owner's as they reach inside to hug their bear for the very first time ... 

I may not be able to share smiles and conversation in person with collectors these days, but my bears will always share them on my behalf, wherever they travel in the world ... with love, from me to you.

Monday, 8 February 2021

A child of the sixties


It was my birthday a few days ago, a strange one under the current restrictions, but quite fun nevertheless. It is only a couple of years until I turn sixty (my goodness, seeing that in print is odd!) so I thought this could be the perfect year to indulge my inner six year old girl by purchasing a doll from my childhood in the sixties to share with my little granddaughter, who also loves her dolls. My childhood was very traditionally filled with dollies, several precious soft toys and a big Chiltern Hugmee teddy bear, who sat on the end of my bed for many years (I also recall a box of toy cars including a Batmobile... my Dad's nod to the son he always wanted but never had I think!) I still have the softees, now rather floppity and threadbare and my Big Ted bear of course, but sadly my collection of dollies disappeared over time.

One of the dolls I particularly remember was Chatty Cathy, by Mattel. She was a rather glamorous blonde doll who wore a pink candy striped dress and smart black shoes. She spoke in short sentences when I pulled a cord on her back - that is until the day her words became more and more garbled, then completely indiscernible! Chatty Cathy was a precious Christmas gift from my Gran, sadly no longer with us... oh how I wish I had kept that special dolly to share with my own granddaughter!

The other doll I never forgot, was a large walking talking doll with short hair and a more robust, no nonsense appeal but after so many years apart, I couldn't remember her name. After a spot of frantic 'Googling' and more than fifty years later, I finally located her, or to be more accurate, her exact lookilikey. My Patti Pitta Pat 'The Electric Walking Doll', was waiting for me to claim her on Ebay! Such moments should always be born of impulse, so I threw adult caution and middle aged commonsense to the four winds and snapped her up before some other nostalgic child of the sixties did. By some miracle of sound, simple engineering, a couple of hefty D batteries and the good care of her previous owners, my Patti was soon toddling dutifully across the workroom carpet, arms outstretched, while I grinned broadly, brimful of nostalgia, much to the confusion of my husband. I can't wait to introduce Patti to my granddaughter on our next 'childcare bubble' day!

Lockdown birthday was an odd experience. Instead of the usual lounge full of family eating cake, I had time to take a private trip down Memory Lane, walk my dogs in the deep dark woods where the bauble tree grows and eat a cosy steak dinner with my husband and daughter. I met my mother in the pouring rain for a birthday walk a day earlier and received lovely messages, either in person or virtually, from my family throughout the day, so all in all, it turned out to be a not bad birthday, just a different one.

I very much hope that by next year, birthdays will be legally shared with loved ones once more but as a one-off, I don't mind telling you, this year's birthday turned out to be pretty good after all!

Friday, 7 August 2020

Memory Lane

I was sorting through a cupboard earlier this week and came across a box of old teddy bear magazines. I had to smile when I pulled out this issue, as it was my first ever front cover, way back in October 1997. The coverstar was my 'Gently', a huge teddy bear with the most gentle expression...

So much has changed in the teddy bear world since 1997...

The arrival of 'internet for all' heralded an explosion of teddy bears online, with collectors discovering exciting new teddy bears at the click of a button. I remember the excitement I felt at taking this new direction when I created my first 'All Bear' website way back in 1999. The opportunity to showcase my work globally from my own home, seemed daunting, yet utterly thrilling too.

Teddy bear shows across the UK, previously the highlight of any bearmaking/collecting calendar, soon began to struggle under the weight of undeniable competition from the World Wide Web. More and more teddy bear artists taught themselves technological skills to sell bears through websites, online auction houses and social media outlets. Who would ever have thought our humble teddy bears would be swept along in a tide of worldwide globalisation and digital revolution?!  One thing is for sure, teddy bear artists have certainly had to prove themselves versatile if they want to survive in the fast paced world of the internet!

With so many teddy bear artists offering beautiful bears for direct sale from the comfort of their homes, eventually many bricks and mortar teddy bear shops found they could no longer compete, so beloved teddy bear shops ultimately disappeared from local towns. At the same time, here in the UK we began to notice that the teddy bear magazines we once clamoured to have our work published in, also began to quietly fade away. Favourite monthly publications became bi-monthly, then eventually stopped publication altogether. Ultimately, Hugglets, Teddy Bear Scene and The Teddy Bear Club magazine all went out of print. The immediacy of the internet, featuring latest news and brand new teddy bear designs often within moments of teddy's final ear being attached, seemingly diverting eager collectors' attention.

Shows, shops and magazines have been left in the wake of the digital teddy bear revolution and the thrill of a front cover on a magazine in the UK is now an experience usually only known to six lucky bear artists a year, thanks to the last specialist UK teddy bear publication to successfully withstand the internet onslaught, our old friend of thirty years standing, 'Teddy Bear Times & Friends'.

The online teddy bear business rollercoaster has been a thrilling ride in many ways, but of course, it should be noted that in the race to compete globally, we may have lost a personal touch, not to mention the delicious sense of anticipation and cosy permanence we once took for granted, in the days before the click of an internet button made everything so emminently disposable.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Lockdown Grandparents

I created Rosie to celebrate my granddaughter's 2nd birthday back in May ... which of course, happened during Lockdown. Sadly, under Lockdown Law, this meant my family wasn't able to gather for a traditional party celebration, so instead, we all sang Happy Birthday into our computer screens, while little Izzy watched and wondered. 

That morning, I drove my dogs close to my grandchildren's house for their daily walk (permitted under UK Lockdown law) and while my husband got the dogs out of the car, left 'Rosie' and her smart new dolly cot, on the doorstep, then rang the doorbell, stepped back to maintain the required social distance and watched with my Nana heart in mouth, as my delighted granddaughter discovered her special birthday gift on the doorstep and her Nana at the bottom of the garden path! Strange times indeed, but the smile on Izzy's face as she cuddled her new dolly was the most precious smile of all ... and enough to keep this Nana smiling too, as she blew kisses to her two excited grandchildren ... and in line with Lockdown legislation, turned around, wiped away a rogue tear ... and walked off into the woods with the dogs.

It has been so hard to be a Lockdown Nana, but I have tried my best to stay as close as possible to my grandchildren, whilst being forced apart by Lockdown. Each time restrictions eased a little, I scoured the Government website for the finer details, desperate to find a way to spend time proper time with the grandchildren I used to care for in my home each week... and each time it was clear that my life as a Nana was no longer under my own jurisdiction. The last time grandparents were legally allowed to care for grandchildren in the UK was prior to the 23rd March 2020. In more recent weeks the Government gave permission for us to spend time with our grandchildren at a social distance of two metres, which meant we were able to share walks and have some fun in the garden ... but still no hugs...

From 4th July it is my understanding we will at last be permitted to have grandchildren back into our homes ... but once again, at distance, minus hugs. I can't tell you how much these restraints hurt my heart, so goodness only knows what our precious grandchildren make of it all. 

Sadly, I don't believe our Prime Minister has given our youngest generation's feelings about being torn apart from beloved grandparents for months on end, very much consideration at all. I worry about the effect this may have on them, as they have so little voice of their own. It is for adults to consider what is best for these important little citizens and I worry that our Government has become so swamped with all things Coronavirus, that their feelings and needs have become something of an afterthought...

Maybe now that it has become economically critical for UK parents return to work, the true value of grandparents will become clearer to him.

Sending hugs and much love to all Lockdown Grandparents.
May we soon be recognised... and fully reinstated!

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Simple pleasures and the price of 'freedom'

Throughout our Lockdown days I have found the simplest things in life have given me the greatest pleasure ... long walks with my dogs, creative freedom, the warmth of sunshine on my face, the dapple of woodland shade on a hot day, a gentle breeze through long grass, clear blue skies and the beautiful bloom of Summer. These are the things I will remember with gratitude when the Lockdown restrictions finally lift. 

June the 1st was a significant day for me and many other mums and grandparents, for two reasons. The first was that after ten agonising weeks, it was as though someone had waved a magic wand; at quarter past ten in the morning, my doorbell rang, I opened the door and there, stood grinning from ear to ear on my driveway, were my two beautiful Grandchildren and their Daddy, my son. 

At last. 

The second significance on Monday, was that after a completely joyous morning exploring the local woodland together, with light heart and a spring in our step, there was an announcement made at teatime, by the Government...

It will henceforth be against the law to invite anyone into your home who doesn't live there, including your own flesh and blood. No longer a Government guideline, no longer Public Health guidance, now a Law. 

In just ten weeks, an Englishman's home is now no longer his castle. 
Freedom to be with our loved ones outdoors, has it seems, been granted at a worryingly high cost from under our own roofs.

Hopefully if we keep focused on what we can do, rather than what we can't, the rest will follow ...

Monday, 25 May 2020

Bumblin' along..

I'm still bumblin' along here at All Bear. Making teddy bears is who I am and as I really don't know how to be anyone else, even in the midst of a pandemic, I have continued to create bears whilst 'locked down' and without doubt, will continue so to do, as and when the dreaded Lockdown eventually ends... whenever that may be. As yet the end of UK Lockdown restrictions still lies somewhere beyond the rainbow, a glistening mirage of hope and prayer...

That said, thankfully we have recently been granted an additional freedom privilege from on high... that of being permitted to meet one other person, from another household. The meeting must take place in a public space and be socially distanced by a required two metres, so it is still not possible to meet with younger grandchildren. However, with the required attention to detail in mind, I am thankful that it has at last been possible to take a relaxed walk in the sunshine and enjoy a picnic with my daughter in our favourite local park.

Given this new freedom, it has been necessary of course, to choose between offspring as only two people may 'gather' in public at any given time. I can only imagine how some families reconcile such divisive ruling among their nearest and dearest, but in my case it was quite a straightforward decision, no toss of a coin, or favourite child selection required. My adult daughter lives alone and has been almost completely isolated from the 'real' world for nigh on three months, with only her three cats for company, while my son has the household hubbub of his wife and children to keep him on the straight and narrow.

Spending time walking and talking in the fresh air with my lovely daughter, was a relief, a very precious moment, a heartbeat of our normality. I so long to have both my kids put their keys in my front door, let themselves in and have them raid my biscuit tin like old times, but until that day returns, I am just grateful for the small but significant mercy our UK Government has now seen fit to grant.

A small step maybe, but a step nonetheless.

Friday, 24 April 2020


April has been such a beautiful month, with the exception of a few chillly days. The weather this month would have been perfect for celebrating my son's 35th birthday, had we not been quarantined from one another under the UK's Lockdown rules, at the time. It should also have been a wonderful month for exploring our local woods and enjoying the bluebell with my grandchildren. Instead, we have had to make do with virtual contact online and the one thing that proves, is that virtual lives are simply not enough for anyone...

I so miss the chaos, the cuddles and the smell of my real life. I want to hear squeals on a Tuesday, shrieks of laughter, mischievous whispers. I want to feel the warmth of little hands in mine, to read stories snuggled together on the sofa, to chase around the garden together, to wipe spaghetti hoops from chins and snot from noses. 

I just want this Lockdown to be over, so I can be Nana again.

That's all.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020


Never in my wildest dreams (not that my dreams are usually particuarly wild!) did I imagine I would be sharing my teddys under home confinement, due to a worldwide health pandemic and Government Lockdown. It seems the world has turned upside down, inside out and back to front of late and it is all extremely discombobulating, to say the least...

Nonetheless, the little things of life continue here without much interruption and I am extremely grateful for the calm of my teddy bear sanctuary, during these unfathomable times...

We have now completed our first full week of Lockdown here in the UK and I must say, it has been most strange to be prohibited by the Prime Minister from visiting my own family! I miss my children and grandchildren hugely, but at least we are able to keep in frequent contact via the magic of 'Facetime' and of course, by chatting on the telephone. Receiving a video call from my Grandchildren is a rowdy affair and seeing their excited faces and race to share news of discoveries, games and treats, makes my Nana heart absolutely sing!

I purchased writing paper last week, so plan to dust off long forgotten handwriting skills and send a few old fashioned penpal type missives t0 my Grandchildren by snail mail ... that will surprise them, if nothing else!  I have been recording stories for them too and it has been fun to revisit Winnie the Pooh and share his world with Toby and Izzy thanks to the miracle of modern technology. Not quite the same as snuggling together on the sofa to read of course, but at least a good way to keep our life as normal as possible until we can see each other again ...

... and I pray that won't be long.

Stay safe.
Stay busy.
Stay positive.

Tick. Tock.

Much love,
Paula x

Monday, 23 March 2020


The world has fast become a scary place to be and teddies in the window can bring a smile and a sense of comfort for children and adults alike.

Please join in and show the little ones in your area that you are thinking of them during these dark days.


Tuesday, 18 February 2020

A new arrival!

What a weekend! 

Storm Dennis blew in and as the wind howled and rain crashed, a precious baby girl, my third Great Niece, made her way into our world in the wee small hours of Saturday...

It seems only a blink of an eye since I had the privilege of being present at her mummy's birth, an unforgettable, beyond words, experience, one I shall always hold dear.

The older we get, the faster the years fly it seems and now this brand new generation is growing fast and bringing my family such joy.

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter Lauren and Terence, I am so very happy for you!

Welcome to the world Miss Millie Louise, 
wishing you a safe world of opportunity and love.

With all my love,
Your Great Auntie Paula.


Friday, 14 February 2020

A many splendoured thing

On this Valentine's Day..

13" Love

A sweet little pink bear, to celebrate that thing called 'Love'.


Monday, 10 February 2020

A wild weekend..

On this lovely sunny (if windy!) morning, it is time to introduce a new 15" bear ... I would like you to meet Dorian.

Dorian is a lovely pastel bear, created from beautiful dense Schulte mohair ... and best of all, he is very huggable!

Available from my website:

15" Dorian

What a weekend it has been for walking dogs. Storm Ciara swept across Great Britain yesterday, creating high waves and havoc as she raged through the country. I managed to take Polly and Betty out for a short walk in the morning, but standing upright was quite a struggle at times! By the time the storm took a real hold, we were back home with our drawbridge pulled firmly up ... definitely a Sunday for catching up with episodes of 'The Crown' on Netflix and my knitting.

It's still pretty windy out there today, but a little less dangerous now, thank goodness!


Thursday, 6 February 2020

Words of wisdom from Pooh..

It was my 57th birthday yesterday and despite it being a work day, my special people still made the time to remind me, our lives are interwoven and that is worth celebrating...

So, thank you everyone. I hope you will always know that I am so grateful to be part of your lives and to have you in mine.  Being your Mum, Wife, Nana, Mother-in-law, Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Great Auntie and Sister-in-law, roots me in this world and makes me who I am...

In fact, I couldn't be me without all of you ... and that truly is the greatest birthday gift of all.




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