Monday, 20 January 2020

Be mine?

This dashing fellow is currently en route to Germany to share a Valentine's Day hug or two, with his new owner...

17" Romeo

 Gute Reise Romeo!

:-)

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Dark January Days

When the wind howls, days are dark and the garden is like a muddy swamp, the best thing to do is snuggle on the sofa to share a good book ...


We have had a stormy few days here in Kent and I don't mind admitting, I am weary of gloom and longing for the brighter days of Spring. 

Yesterday my Granddaughter and I spent the day playing dollies, singing and reading books together. Thank heavens for time spent with Grandchildren ... these amazing little beings have the power to brighten even the darkest of January days!

Once I have braved the stormy elements with my dogs today, I plan to head back into my workroom to work on a new teddy bear. 

Please pop back soon for pics ... hopefully the sun will be shining by the time I'm ready to share this bear!

:-)

Thursday, 9 January 2020

New Year, New Inspirations!

I don't know if anyone remembers, but about ten years ago I created a my own range of raggedy style cloth dolls called 'Paula's Prim Dolly Doodles'...




These dollies were so much fun to make! As I haven't made a doll for absolutely ages, I have decided to try and find time to explore doll making alongside my teddy bear making, in 2020.  To kickstart the new year, I started work on a large felt doll project in the Christmas holiday, using a 1998 pattern created by Janet Clark ... Janet used to make the most wonderful bears and dolls and I have always loved her work. I am hoping I can do Jan's pattern justice! I promise to share pics of my finished dolly when she is ready...




Besides working with felt, I have also been exploring 'Waldorf Dolls', a lovely gentle style of doll, created using natural fibres and needle felting. I would love to design my own dolly based on this interesting method of doll-making, so have gathered a box of bits 'n pieces and several, now out of print books, to teach myself the necessary techniques. I do love a new project in the new year ... it is always the perfect time to learn new skills! Who knows, I may even make the occasional Prim Dolly Doodle between bears too...

Here's to a super creative 2020!

:-)

Monday, 6 January 2020

Little Bear Blue

And of course, a new year should always herald a new teddy bear...

Little Bear Blue 14"

'Little Bear Blue' is my very first bear of 2020. He is a 14" mohair teddy, in the most beautiful sky blue Schulte mohair. Let's hope he brings us blue skies and sunshine throughout this new year!

For the teddy bear fans among you, 'Little Bear Blue' is now available for adoption from my website:


Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and a year of hugs and smiles ahead!

:-)

Update: Little Bear Blue has now been adopted.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

New Year's Day Molehills

2020 squelched off to a boggy start when my family and I met in Mote Park for our first welly walk of the year, on a rather gloomy New Year's Day.


I love this park in all seasons and no matter the weather, always enjoy a walk here. It was doubly special to walk with my kids and grandchildren as we entered another new year together. I used to love walks here with my kids, thirty something years ago, when they were 'nowt but a pair of cheeky mini munchkins, sploshing on the edge of the lake in red wellies and I am touched that they still recall our games of poohsticks under the old stone bridge and adventures as we searched for Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and Rabbit in the woods.  The best childhood memories should always be magical enough to last a lifetime.


And now of course, my grandchildren also don wellies to explore this beautiful park with us. This year Toby decided he was hunting for bears, which involved some very muddy adventuring, not to mention a jolly good splosh in the lake with Betty. Little sis Izzy, was happy to collect sticks as she toddled through mud and across molehills, somewhat determindedly picking herself back up every time she tripped over.



This is a walk we have done countless times before as a family, but each time there is new fun to be had for everyone... and as I watch my children, grandchildren and dogs playing together in what has always been my favourite local park, the years fall away easily and fond memories of my time here as a young mum happily 'outdoorsing' with my son, daughter and our dog Harvey, can still make me smile, so very many years later.


Some walks are about more than scenery and fresh air... some walks have the power to evoke memories of your happiest times and to remind you that despite the muddy molehills of life, what truly counts is walking through it together.

:-)

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

It's just another New Year's Eve

It's another New Year's Eve with our year almost at an end and to be honest, I'm all for a quiet night in with the telly tonight. It always seems to me there is something a wee bit maudlin about ringing in a new year after a family Christmas, then letting the old one, full of memories of loved ones, slip like grains of sand through the fingertips on the stroke of midnight...


So 2019, I thank you for my family times, for the fun times ... and for the days of sunshine. I wish our time together could have lasted longer; maybe less of a race from start to finish, perhaps more of a gentle stroll with warm sun on our faces but here we are, just another New Year's Eve, another one like all the rest.

And of course tomorrow a new decade will dawn. May it be full of hope, possibility and of course, love and laughter for everyone.

2020, I ask that you take good care of my family, continue to fill my grandchildren's days with magic and above all, keep safe our world for them.

xxXxx

Thank you Blog Reader, for sharing a glimpse of my creative world this year, for reading my ramblings and simply for being out there ... wherever there is. I wish you all a kind and gentle 2020 and hope to see you here again soon.


Happy New Year!

:-)

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Christmas Magic

Christmas 2019 crept up on me, so my preparations were very impromptu this year but somehow, everything came together at the last minute and as always, we enjoyed our traditional family holiday at home together. 


Somehow, despite the festive rush, I did manage to fit in a pantomime with the Grandchildren and make a pudding, cake, mince pies and a cute new angel tree topper ...


Miracles can still happen at Christmas it seems!


Then in a blink of an eye, almost as quickly as it had arrived, our Christmas magic vanished, along with Father Christmas and the shreds of leftover wrapping paper. 


Having my children and grandchildren together under our roof for Christmas is something I never take for granted and am always very grateful for ... because for me, being together around the table with my family at this time of year, is the true magic of Christmas.

:-)

Monday, 9 December 2019

Robin's Red

After yesterday's far too luminous photographs of my latest teddy bear, I thought I'd better try again, so I went back out to the garden this morning, armed with my faithful Canon EOS 400D SLR camera...


There is occasionally a teddy bear who is determined to be more of a challenge than most of his easy going pals and Robin Red is certainly one of those bears! He is the sweetest of teddy bears and his mohair is very beautiful, but I don't mind telling you, it really is quite a challenge to photograph for a simple 'point and shoot' photographer of teddy bears like myself!


I think I'm just about there and for now, these photographs will suffice - they aren't perfect but at least they are an improvement on the virtually fluorescent pics snapped on my mobile 'phone camera yesterday.


I think I will update my website with these photographs for the time being and just keep trying with the photography of little Robin Red ... fingers crossed I figure out my camera settings soon.

In the meantime, if anyone has any handy tips on how best to photograph red teddy bears, I would be happy to hear them!

:-)

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Robin Red

Well, I couldn't let Christmas pass without a red teddy bear now, could I?! 

12" Robin

While I was out walking with my dogs earlier this week, I spotted a cheeky little robin redbreast sat upon a branch with his chest feathers fluffed, as he watched us, watching him. He made me smile and think of my Dad, so I have named this red teddy bear, Robin Red.  

Incidentally Robin teddy is not flourescent red as his photograph suggests, he is in fact a beautiful deep Christmas red, but heaven only knows how you convince a camera lens of that! Cameras seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to red fabric ... I may try to photograph my little Robin Red again tomorrow, please wish me luck!

In the meantime, if you would like to adopt this sweet festive teddy bear, he is now available from my website and ready to hop into Santa's Sack!

www.allbearbypaula.com

:-)

Update: Robin Red has now been adopted.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

A frosty start!

The world turned white in my little corner of the UK earlier today. It wasn't quite snow, but the heavy frost covering the garden first thing this morning was absolutely beautiful and the spider's webs woven through my washing line were so lacy and delicate!


I braved the cold to take a few photographs of my latest bear 'Neve', a sweet 14" teddy and her larger pal Brandysnap, a rather fabulous 20" traditional boy.


I wasn't sure about the studio pics I took of Brandysnap last week, so thought I'd try again in the natural morning light ...


I must admit, I like the outdoor shots best ... but the question is, which do you prefer?!

Both Neve and Brandysnap are now featured on my website, so if you would like to find out a little more about them, please pop over to:


Thanks!

:-)

Update: Neve and Brandysnap have now been adopted!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Santa's Sack

So here it is, Merry Christmas!  
(Well, almost!)

20" Plumduff

Yes, Christmas is just around the corner and for this bearmaker, it is a time to cosy up in my workroom and simply enjoy creating a few special teddy bears, with a gentle nod to the spirit of our most festive season.

20" Brandysnap

The first two such teddy bears are Brandysnap, now wearing a cheerful Christmas collar tied with seasonal gold ribbon and Plumduff, who jingles happily whenever he is hugged. Both of these beautiful teddy bears are now on my website, hoping to hop into Santa's Sack in time for Christmas Day!


:-)

Update: Plumduff and Brandysnap have now been adopted!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Bigger Hugs!

I recently began putting an annual portfolio of teddy bears together and as I sorted through photographs of my 2019 bears, it dawned on me, there have been fewer big bears this year, which, I must admit, was something of a surprise to me.

20" Brandysnap

Years ago, most of my designs were substantial, truly 'hug me' teddy bears, the kind of bears who demanded their own armchairs. I have always been well known for creating big bears and of course, still love to make them but am aware that such teddies take up considerable space and so many collections nowadays are feeling the squeeze after years of loyal teddy bear collecting.

It has been refreshing to work on medium and small sized teddy bears this year, but I would hate for my 'big 'uns' to become the dinosaurs of the bear world, only to be found in storybooks and imagination!  There are so few bear artists still making proper big teddy bears that I am very reluctant to let mine go.  So, as we roll towards Christmas Day, I plan to include at least one or two 'bears of stature' on my website, because as you may already know, bigger bears give bigger hugs!

Hopefully there will be a collector or two, with a cosy corner waiting in their collection, for just such a special teddy bear.


:-)

Sunday, 10 November 2019

They sit no more at familiar tables of home..

Our town honoured the fallen with a parade on Remembrance Sunday, so we stood watching, as uniformed soldiers, service personnel, First Aiders, Air Cadets and of course, the British Legion veterans, marched proudly across the old stone bridge to pay respect to their comrades, at the War Memorial.





It was a beautiful, cold, crisp November day.


Polly and Betty, wearing poppy bandanas as a mark of respect, were on their very best behaviour, as we followed the march up the road, to join in the Service of Remembrance.


After the service, we headed to a little snack bar for hot drinks and freshly cooked sausages to thaw us, before walking back to the memorial to see the poppy wreaths and to pay our own respects.


It was lovely to witness the town coming together to honour those who gave their lives to protect us, to hear the congregation singing the National Anthem together and to listen to the bugle play the 'The Last Post', but the most moving moment was as we read the hand written message on a tiny wooden cross laid at the end of a row of similar such crosses in the garden, placed discreetly behind the main War Memorial...

It read simply.

'For my Dad'.


The Fallen
Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.


Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;


As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Juniper

A new little bear to share ...

12" Juniper

This isn't the official website photograph, but it's so cute, I couldn't resist sharing it here. It was taken on my mobile 'phone in my living room on Saturday evening, just as I finished knitting and took a moment to dress my little bear in his cosy new jumper for the first time.

It made me smile. 
I hope it makes you smile too.

:-)

Update: Juniper has been adopted.

Guy Fawkes Night

Fireworks are a strange entity for me ... I hate how they frighten my dogs, but since a little girl, have always enjoyed celebrating Guy Fawkes night with my family.  So, after settling my dogs into their beds with cosy fleece blankets, a plug-in herbal calm thingummy and the radio turned up, we headed out into night to a local organised display, completely overdressed for what turned out to be, the mildest of November nights...


My Dad always enjoyed bonfire night and I have happy childhood memories of dressing a 'Guy' in his old pyjamas to sit on the bonfire in the garden. On Guy Fawkes Night, there would be an old biscuit tin in the shed containing a selection of rockets, fountains and Catherine Wheels; Dad would hammer the Catherine Wheels onto the garden fence where they never quite spun freely, but enchanted us kids nonetheless. The fountains usually made a half hearted effort to flare and fizzle at the bottom of the garden and rockets, which were launched from empty milk bottles secured in the flower bed, would either zoom heavenwards leaving a magical trail behind them before landing in our neighbour's gardens, or, more alarming, would shoot unpredictably back across the garden towards we kids, as we ran shrieking away from them as fast as our legs would carry us!


These days we are of course, far more risk averse and sensible, so opt for an organised display for our annual family celebration ... and as I watch my Grandchildren and my grown up children enjoying the sparkling Bonfire Night sky, there is always a moment when I sense my Dad is still enjoying that magical night sky with us.

:-)

Traditional British poem

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow.

By God's providence he was catch'd,
With a dark lantern and burning match
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah!
Hip hip Hoorah!

A penny loaf to feed ol' Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.

Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head,
Then we'll say: ol' Pope is dead.

:-)

Saturday, 2 November 2019

November days..

There is definitely something about Autumn that has me reaching for my knitting needles...


My latest teddy bear Violet, is modelling a pretty jacket I knitted earlier this week. I have a stash of vintage dolly knitting patterns which I collected over the years, so I adjusted the measurements of this sweet vintage knit to fit my teddy girl's slightly more curvaceous proportions. 

Happily, Violet was adopted from my website a couple of days ago and is now on her way to meet her new owner in the US.

It is such a gloomy day here in Kent. I can hear heavy rain hammering against my windows and the wind howling around the back of the house, so once I have braved the great outdoors with my dogs (not looking forward to that today!) I plan to light candles and cosy up in front of the tv with my knitting needles, as I have a new teddy bear to dress. I promise to share him with you just as soon as this miserable rain stops and I can take him into the garden to photograph on my little bench...

In the meantime, sending you soggy grey hugs, from a rain soaked UK!

:-)

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Pumpkin Huntin'

On Sunday afternoon, we set off in the car, welly booted and with cameras primed, in preparation for our autumnal deer spotting outing at Knole Park in Sevenoaks. However, our plans for a fun family tromp were thwarted, as for some reason unbeknownst to us, Knole Park had closed its rather grand gates to the public. Determined not to give up on our planned family walk, we drove past the park opening and rang my son and his wife to see if they had any bright ideas ... which, thankfully, they did!


Five minutes later, we met up with everyone at a mystery destination, the lovely Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, which despite having lived in Kent for forty plus years, I had never heard of before ...


So rather than deer hunting, we spent a fun afternoon exploring beautiful gardens and hunting for pumpkins instead!


Riverhill is a family owned property and the Estate is managed today, by the Great-great-great-grandson (and his wife) of John Rogers, who bought this fabulous property back in 1840. We thoroughly enjoyed the dog-friendly (on leads please) gardens and were made very welcome.  The gardens were a magical blend of the formal and the more mysterious ... absolutely perfect for exploring with my grandchildren.


In fact we had such a fun afternoon at Riverhill, we very quickly forgot all about our original plan to visit Knole!


:-) 

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