Friday, 23 April 2021

Summer Love Sensation

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A 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

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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

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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

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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

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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 https://www.teddybeartimes.com/issues 

With love from me to you

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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' ...in 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


PATTI PITTA PAT AND CHATTY CATHY

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!
xxx

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




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

Hickory-Dickory

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

#teddiesinthewindow



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.


#teddiesinthewindow

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.

xxxXxx

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.

:-)

xxx

Friday, 31 January 2020

Making a splash!

I think January has to be the bleakest month of the year with its short, dark days...



 It seems to drain the colour from everything!

14" Merriweather

Hopefully the bear I have just finished will help put that right, by adding a very welcome splash of teddy colour to our dreary Winter days...

So, if, like me, you too are craving a little colour in your world, please pop over to my website to meet my latest teddy bear 'Merriweather'!


I hope he makes you smile while we wait for Spring to arrive.

:-)

Update: Merriweather has now been adopted!

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.

:-)

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