Thursday 31 January 2013


Still feeling somewhat fuggy, but perhaps ever-so slightly less now that I have managed to set aside two finished bears for the Winter Bearfest show.  This is of course, a long way short of a full table of furry new bums, but at least it's a start!

18" Periwinkle is made from beautiful hand-dyed alpaca ...

And his little buddy 'Tod' is just 12".  I know you've seen him in an earlier post, but here he is again, this time after his official photo shoot.  Incidentally, he is made from alpaca too ... I love that it makes such cuddlesome teddy bears!

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Play Time?

I've been in a bear-making fug for the past couple of weeks and yesterday, even dumped a bear head unceremoniously into the waste bin.  It's the same old problem ... dark days flatten me, I've over committed myself on the run up to one of the most important shows of the bear making year and there just aren't enough days, bright or dark, in such oh-so-short weeks. I know, I know, what a sulky grump!

It wouldn't take much to sort out my sulky creative self; a few daffodils and a burst of sunshine would make such a difference and one or two extra days in each week with no commitments would be all it took to give me time to make the new bears and dolls dancing in my head ... 

This bear maker needs time to play!

Monday 28 January 2013

Birthday Boy

Because I know he won't be able to resist taking a peek today ...

Happy Birthday to my ol' relic,
With loads of love,
from 'Er Indoors xxx

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Here, there and everywhere!

Only five weeks until 'The Winter Bearfest' and as usual at this stage, I seem to have bits 'n pieces all over the place - but very little finished and needless to say, an ominous sense of impending panic!

There are new fabrics I'm still hoping to find time to work with ...

My desk hidden under piles of 'bears-in-progress' destined for the show and also an impending shop order ...

A yet-to-be-started basket of teddy bear pieces waiting for their turn on the sewing machine ...

... and of course, as it's a winter show, sweaters and scarves in various stages of completion (not to mention the knitted teddy waiting patiently for her dungarees, a gift for my Great niece!)

Oh, that reminds me, I also have a balls of my new favourite yarn yet to be cast on!  (By the way, I'm loving this random stripey stuff from Turkey as it reminds me of the gorgeous colours in my framed photo of my kids and nieces taken on my wedding day!)

So as you can see, I am nowhere near ready for a major show yet, but I remain ever hopeful that when the big day arrives on the 24th February, I will have a collection of lovely new bears to take to London with me!

Monday 21 January 2013

It's Snow Day for Cats!

After covering most of the UK last week, the white stuff finally reached Kent at the weekend ... brrrrr!!!!!

Daisy couldn't work out why her world had turned white.

I'm sure she was thinking 'Mum, did you do this?'!

Goodness knows how she still found her favourite paving stone under the snow, but find it she did!  So she plonked herself down and pondered the wonder of her cold white world for a-while ...

... then seemed reassured when she noticed there were still birds in the sky!

Puddle on the other hand, refused to step on the snow, taking avoidance tactics round the edge of the patio to avoid chilly paws on her very quick trip back into the house!

As for we humans, Stuart dragged me out in the falling snow on Sunday morning to buy a newspaper, so I made good use of the snuggly scarf I knitted last year ...

... and was very content to spend the rest of snowy Sunday tucked up cosily indoors with our cats!

Thursday 17 January 2013

Positive Planning

The first couple of weeks of 2013 have flown by with me catching frantically at their coat tails, a phenomenon which seems to become more and more familiar the older I become!  However, despite days speeding up faster than ever before, I am pleased to report I have managed to make a few bears both for customers and the impending Hugglets show in London.  I have also overhauled my website, ordered new bear fabrics and components, put together a portfolio of last year's work, together with a 2013 calendar for my workroom - jobs I prefer to complete as early as possible in the new year as they help me to organise myself.  I am also delighted to be able to tell you that two new shops, plus my existing outlets, have asked to stock my work in 2013, so it appears 'All Bear' is definitely back in business for another year!

The Hugglets 'Winter Bearfest' show is only a matter of weeks away, which means I really must work hard to make bears both for my stand and also for the shop flying in from the US hoping to collect from me.  Each day between now and show day has been carefully planned and written on my new wall calendar to ensure sure I use my time wisely and don't waste any of those precious days!

Putting together my portfolio of designs quickly highlighted I didn't make as many bears in 2012 as I usually would in a year, which I suppose, was due to the time involved in planning my wedding.  No such excuses this year though (although I'm guessing a new puppy in the Spring may prove a little diverting)! I am  determined to be more businesslike in 2013 and make more bears.

Having said that, I am pleased I found time to make a few Prim Dolly Doodles last year ... they were such fun to make! I am hoping to work a few new dollies into this year's work schedule, alongside my new bears.

Puppy???  Did I mention a puppy?!  Oh yes!  Well, I need company while I work and am hoping an able assistant will help keep me fit and be the perfect antidote to long days spent working alone ... hopefully I will  have a little more news to share with you on that subject later in the Spring.

So, that's the planning sorted, now to the doing!

Thursday 10 January 2013

A Birthday Wish

A birthday wish
for you, my Dad
who left too soon ...

A birthday wish
for you, my Dad
who left too soon
with no goodbye ...

My Dad as a young man, being cheeky with his sister and mother

A birthday wish
for you, my Dad
who left too soon
with no goodbye,
save the twinkle
forever in your eye.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Staying true

I really enjoy creativity in bear artistry, but am far more likely to gasp in awe at a well designed traditional bear than I am a trendy modern bear and that's the beauty of bear making, there really is something for everyone.


Over the years I've been known to dabble with many a contemporary technique and I always enjoy the process of creative exploration, but the older I grow, the less I feel the need to make my point with trendy embellishments and the more my inner bear maker tells me to stay true to what first captured my creative soul so many years ago ... classic bears, made from the heart.  

I was very touched earlier today when someone I respect enormously described 'O'Grady,' the bear above, as 'magnificently traditional, with a twist' ... I must admit, I couldn't have hoped for a greater compliment to begin my eighteenth year of bear-making!

Sunday 6 January 2013

If it ain't broke ...

Today I would like to introduce my first bear of 2013. I decided to start my 2013 bear work by creating the kind of bear I enjoy best ... big, beautiful and quite classic in style.  New Year may well imply new beginnings, but as the old saying goes, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and as I prefer to evolve without the call for radical change, that suits me just fine ... after all, there is something very soothing when it comes to time honoured tradition!


So, this is 'Janvier', a rather handsome cinnamon bear of some considerable stature.  He lays no claim to modernity and rather than a fashion forward fellow, he is proud to be utterly timeless ... in fact just how any respectable traditional teddy bear should be.

Welcome to 2013 Janvier ... and here's to many more months of happy bear crafting ahead!


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