Tuesday 31 July 2012

A Straightforward Fellow

Very occasionally, a new bear watches his friends fly off to new homes, while he patiently waits his turn.  My lovely Noah has been one of those bears, but after seeing the reaction he received when I took him to the Stratford show in June, I just can't understand why he hasn't yet found someone to take care of him.  He received so many compliments at the show, almost moving one lovely lady to tears as she fell head over heels in love with him on the spot ... yet still he travelled back home with me when the show ended and has been keeping me company in my workroom ever since.

Poor Noah is starting to wonder if he's simply not fancy enough for today's teddy bear collectors.  He is a straightforward fellow there's no doubt, but I think that's where his charm lies ... he truly is 'teddy' through and through.  

If you are the kind of collector who could love an honest, 'no frills' teddy bear, Noah would love to hear from you!  This week he has put himself up for adotion on Ebay in the hope of finding a kind teddy bear person to share his days with ..

Could it be you?

UPDATE: I am very happy to be able to tell you, Noah has been adopted!

Thursday 26 July 2012

It's all Ticketty Boo!

Just to prove I have been working during our mini heatwave here in the UK this week, here is 'Ticketty Boo', the bear you saw in pieces on my worktable in my previous post!

17" Ticketty Boo

I will be offering my lovely English gent 'Ticketty Boo' for adoption on my website later today, but first I'm going to enjoy my lunch under the parasol in my garden and take a little time to smell the roses ...

Super Woman I'm not!

Usually at about this time of year, I would be writing to tell you about my preparations for the 'Teddies 2012' show which takes place in September in London, but this year I have had a change of plan. Stuart and I are to be married a week after the teddy bear show and when I originally booked the show, I was under the illusion I would be able to organise everything in plenty of time ... well, it turns out I'm no Super Woman (!) and with only a few weeks until both special events, the pressure is mounting, so I have made the unprecedented decision to cancel my stand at the Hugglets show and give myself a little more breathing space to enjoy the preparations for our wedding, rather than worrying myself about them.

Bear in progress today!

I am so sorry if you were looking forward to meeting my bears in person at the Teddies 2012 show and hope you will be happy to hear I will still be creating a few new teddy bears between now and September, but rather than setting them aside for the show, I will be making make them available for adoption from my website as and when they come to life. That way, I should be able to work at a more relaxed pace and I am sure my new bears will be so much the better for it!

For details of the 2013 Winter Bearfest show, please visit www.hugglets.co.uk

I will be back at the Hugglets' show with a new collection in February 2013, so I look forward to catching up with you in person then.  In the meantime, I hope those of you visiting or exhibiting at the September show have a fabulous bear-filled day in London!

Monday 23 July 2012

Hey, you're never too old!

A short while ago, I mentioned that after the thrill of wobbling along on my daughter's bicycle for the first time in almost forty years, I was thinking seriously about trying to own my very own cycle at some point later this year.  Well, suffice it to say, a certain someone took me by surprise by helping my dream bicycle to become a reality and 'Miss Marple', my lovely 'Dawes Duchess' heritage cycle complete with padded saddle (!) girly shopping basket and traditional bell, arrived just before we left for our Cretan holiday.

My lovely Dawes Duchess!

Before we left the country, I had a practise ride under the careful tutelage of my son and it wasn't long before I began to get the hang of using gears for the very first time ... thanks Ants xxx

Cycle practise with my son

Stuart and I are both conscious that neither bear-making, nor accounting are good for the waistline (!) so as soon as we came home from our hol, we bought Stuart a smart hybrid cycle and yesterday took both new bikes out for a spin; I cycled along happily at a sedate pace in dignified 1950's 'postmistress' stylie, while Stuart played 'Wacky Races' as fast as he could, back and forth across an empty car park.  Despite our alternative approaches to cycling, somehow we both arrived home later, gasping for breath, with legs like jelly!  

Anthony test drives 'Miss Marple'!

The fresh air and exercise will no doubt bring forth positive health benefits in time, but right now the best of it is that cycling has succeeded in making these two 'facing fifty year olds' feel just like kids again, which is worth its weight in gold!

So, a personal message to my ol' grunter ... 

Stuart, thank you so much for making this possible ... here's to fresh air, sunshine and lots of fun together!

Thursday 19 July 2012

Be careful what you wish for ..

Deluges, floods and threatening dark skies ... yes, needless to say, it's Summer again here in the UK, so we packed our cases and flew off to Crete to enjoy some much anticipated guaranteed Greek sunshine last week and boy oh boy, did we find it ...

In fact with temperatures soaring into the high forties every day, we found a little more sunshine than we actually bargained on.

Although it was very relaxing to float in a rubber ring and read novels uninterrupted by real life, by midweek both Stuart and I were stir crazy because it was far too hot to do anything more than hide under the hacienda with a cool drink until tea time each day ... phew!

So all we saw of Crete were the beautiful mountains surrounding our villa and the local beach at sunset, which as you can imagine, was a bit frustrating for someone who loves to visit new places with her camera ...

Still, on the plus side, we did enjoy eating al fresco in the Bali tavernas (the local town which is a little like a Greek version of Margate - prettiest in the dark!) and the extreme heat forced us to stop in our tracks and rest, which I suppose is exactly what a holiday should achieve.

After our enforced inactivity, heat exhaustion, tummy bugs, over heating hire car, mains water being turned off at the most inconvenient times, grouchy Greek villa owner, goats in the geraniums and a rather intimidating escaped working dog hammering on our villa doors as we tried to sleep in temperatures hotter than Hades, we flew home over beautiful snow capped Alps towards the rain laden skies of England and without wishing to sound ungrateful, I couldn't help but think, as far as sunshine goes, you truly can have too much of a good thing ....

Come rain or shine, it's good to be home!

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Cycling through the generations ..

We've been teaching Stuart's grandson to ride a bicycle independently and last weekend, were delighted when he mastered starts and stops, so we popped round to share the news with Stuart's Dad.  Gramps couldn't wait to hop on his own bike to join son and Great Grandson for a celebratory cycle along the lane!

Great Grandson leading his Grandad & Great Grandad up the lane!

Paula's Pedal power!

As I mentioned in a previous post, it's been almost forty years since I last cycled, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I borrowed my daughter's bicycle for another practice on Saturday afternoon and absolutely loved it!  I'm still a bit wobbly if I peddle too slowly and heaven only knows what you do with gears (they didn't have them in my day!) but it was so much fun!  I am now determined to purchase a cycle this year ... I'll be fifty in a few months and have decided it's about time this bear maker swapped her sedentary swivel chair for a (hopefully!) soft saddle, to start having some fresh air fun!


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