Saturday 30 April 2016


I seem to have made a run of Spring girl bears lately, so about time I balanced things up with a boy I think ...

 This is 'Bud', little brother bear to my 15" alpaca girls ...

I hope he makes you smile!

If Bud tugs at your heartstrings, please pop over to my website for further details and a couple more pics.  He is currently available for adoption and is happy to travel worldwide to meet you.


Update: Bud has been adopted and will soon be living in the US!

Wednesday 27 April 2016

My little ray of sunshine

In other news, Tuesdays alone with my Grandson, are an absolute joy. I really look forward to them.  We laugh, explore, play, read, sing, dance and chat together, all day long ...

In fact, being Toby's Nana is the best job ever ... this cheeky little man brings sunshine to my day, whatever the weather!


A breath of fresh air..

Our local woodland is carpeted with magical bluebells at the moment and I am so disheartened by the prospect of them being destroyed by developers next year.

It seems to me, some arrogant someone somewhere, must have overlooked the fact we need trees to enable us to breathe.  According to Louis Villazon, science writer for the BBC Focus magazine a human breathes about 9.5 tonnes of air in a year, which when calculated by someone far more clever than me, works out very roughly, to seven or eight trees per person. By the time our little patch of woodland has been torn down and turned into a road serving an additional five hundred properties planned for the field that aligns the woods, nature's fragile equilibrium will never be quite the same here again.  So sad.


Monday 25 April 2016

Shades of April

I created 'April' for a customer who fell in love with 'Lily' (the pale pink sister bear I created earlier this year) but was pipped to the post on the day I offered her for adoption.  I hate when collectors are disappointed so put my thinking head on and found this soft 'duck egg' blue alpaca.  I was also lucky enough to find a matching alpaca/merino blend yarn to knit her a hat and scarf.  I do so love it when a teddy bear crafting plan comes together!

'April' will be jetting off to live with her new mom in the USA this week.

Bon voyage bear!


Friday 22 April 2016

In the Purple Rain

It was the 80's ...

The lights went up and my sister and I waited as the auditorium emptied. We made our way to the front of the stage where a handful of hopefuls gathered ... a few moments of anticipation and then Prince strolled back onto the stage, guitar in hand!

We could hardly believe our eyes, or our ears, as he grinned right at us, then played one last amazing song.  He didn't quite make it to the end of his performance because 'Management' dutifully pulled the plug on his electric guitar ... but not before we were given a gift we will never forget.

3rd October 2007 ...

" Mum, how would you feel about coming to see Prince at the O2 with me?"

My forty something grin, spread rapidly from ear to ear and two days later, high heeled boots cast carelessly aside, my twenty four year old daughter and I willingly submitted to a beat I have loved her entire life.

I last had the privilege of watching the genius who is 'Prince', play live in London, twenty years ago.  His performance was breathtaking ... and two decades later, twenty thousand purple glow sticks waving in the dark to 'Purple Rain', laid testament to the fact his unique magic remains unclouded with time.

21st April 2016 ...

Sexy, sassy, passionate.
A musical talent created somewhere beyond the stars ...

Rest in Peace Prince.
May you dance forever in the Purple Rain.

Listening to my all time favourite Prince song as I write ...

The Cross

Monday 18 April 2016

Mote Park

I'm sure I've mentioned this many times, but I love walking in Mote Park, a place I have visited regularly over the past forty years and enjoyed in all seasons.  Over the years I've witnessed new paths being laid and fresh vistas cleared, so don't mind admitting, that from time to time, I have been concerned such 'meddlings' might change the nature of 'our' park ... and I suppose to some extent, they have, but not necessarily for the worst.

Strolling past the Volunteers Pavilion, with Betty

In fact one of the more recent projects (2010) was to renovate the long forgotten, much overgrown, 'Volunteer's Memorial', originally built in 1801 to commemorate a visit by King George III and Prime Minister William Pitt, when they paid a visit to the park to inspect around five thousand assembled troops of the Kent Volunteers. In addition to the troops, twenty thousand visitors turned out that day to catch a glimpse of their King, guns were fired, a feast held and the next day it is reported that the leftover food fed six hundred starving 'Maidstonians' ... I reckon that must have been one heck of a party!

Nowadays the Volunteers' Pavilion stands proud and the park is as popular with locals as ever it was. Families gather with picnics, children ride bicycles along the new paths, wheelchair users have greater access than ever before and of course, we dog walkers relish the opportunity to stroll in such a beautiful open space, in the heart of our town.

And if like me, you have walked in the park for many years, you will know the most peaceful areas in which to walk, avoiding children on bicycles, families with picnics, playgrounds, Segway machines (how I hate those!) and so on.  Polly and Betty love to explore the less cultivated areas of the Estate, so that is exactly what we did yesterday afternoon.  In fact, Mote Park covers 440 acres, with a perimeter walk of around four miles, so there really is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy!


Friday 15 April 2016

Mr Grey Skies

After the gorgeous Spring sunshine we've had here lately, I received a right royal soaking when I took the girls for their walk earlier this morning, so to prove even the darkest days can have a silver lining, I have called my latest bear ... 

'Mr Grey Skies'!

I hope, wherever you are, 'Mr Grey Skies' will remind you that the sun will shine again and when it does, it will be ever more beautiful after those dark skies.

Speaking of which, something I noticed on my rainy walk was how beautiful the Spring blossom looked against such heavy skies. I couldn't resist taking a photograph to share with you!


Update: Mr Grey Skies has been adopted!

Thursday 14 April 2016

Family man

Yesterday was my son's thirty first birthday. 

The number surprises me because those thirty one years raced by so fast.  It truly doesn't seem possible the little boy who snuggled on my lap to watch Warner Brothers cartoons, pushed Corgi cars around my living room carpet and delighted in being thrown in the air, could possibly be a grown man with a family of his own already.

But he is!  

In fact I'd go so far as to say, that little boy grew to be the best adult son this mum could ever have wished for.  He has been a shoulder to cry on whenever I have needed one, unfailingly loyal in challenging times, a lovely family man, amazing daddy to my grandson and ... always knows how to make his mum laugh!

I am so very proud of the man you have become Anthony.

Happy Birthday Boy,
With all my love always,
Your Muva xxx

A reason for being ..

From time to time, I receive a telephone call reminding me exactly why I am a bear maker.  Today was one such day.  The 'phone rang just as I was about to give Polly and Betty their breakfast, so I asked them to wait while I picked up the receiver ... 

On the end of the line was a lady 'no longer in the first flush of youth' (her words not mine!) asking if I was the person who made teddy bears 'for the Auntie Bears firm'.  I smiled to myself as I told her yes, I had made bears in the past under the 'Auntie Bears' label, way back in the mid to late 1990's.  It was then she told me about a very special teddy bear she had recently purchased, after much careful deliberation, from a local antique shop.  The teddy was large, ivory white and wore a delicate net collar, now yellow with age.  She told me she came with a beautifully handwritten tag, bearing the name 'Lilian' ... did I remember when I made her?

Sometimes, when a collector rings with such a question, try as I might, it's not easy to remember their bear after so many years because I have made so many teddies over the past two decades ... but I knew this lady's bear in an instant.  'Yes I remember Lilian,' I told her with a smile, 'I named her after my Grandmother'.

My caller espied Lilian tucked away among the antiques and fell instantly in love.  Being a lady of sensible disposition, she left the shop without Lilian in her arms, but the bear wouldn't leave her thoughts.  The next day she decided the only answer would be to return to the antiques shop and claim Lilian as her own.

Lilian was a beautiful bear, one of the few I made that even tugged my own heartstrings.  I recall being reluctant to sell her and for quite some time, kept her with me, until I had no choice but to find her a new owner.   I don't recall who bought her back then, but sometimes a teddy bear's path takes twists and turns and their first owner may need to find them a new home. Lilian was one such bear.  

I couldn't be more delighted that the beautiful white bear I made twenty years ago and named in memory of my Gran, found her way to that antique shop, then into the life of the lady who rang me this morning.

Sadly I no longer have a photograph of Lilian teddy to share with you, so  I will have to leave that to your imagination and instead share some pretty white Spring blossom.


Monday 11 April 2016

Up hill and down dale

Now she's the grand old age of eleven months and has some obedience training under her belt, we've been able to take Betty on more adventurous walks at the weekends.  She still pulls like a steam train if she has to wear a lead in new places, but her recall is pretty good, so we let her off lead as much as possible ... she is so excited by having freedom to explore the big wide world for the first time!

We took the girls to White Horse Country Park on Detling Hill on Sunday.  It was a beautiful afternoon, a bit breezy on the hill, but glorious in the April sunshine.  We hardly saw a soul while we were there and the girls had a fab time sniffing, chasing and sticking their doggy noses into every available rabbit hole.  It's an 'up hill and down dale' walk, very steep in places, so we sat on the side of the hill to catch our breath a few times (we're not quite as young as we were and sad to say, definitely creak a bit more than we used to!) to admire the spectacular views.

Today I must admit I'm feeling the burn after yesterday's long hilly walk, but I have managed to walk Polly and Betty locally (a boring ol' pavement walk followed by a game of ball on the local playing field) and am now looking forward to a quiet afternoon working on my latest bears, while my sleepy girls snooze on the living room rug.


Wednesday 6 April 2016

Happy Birthday Mum

It's my Mum's birthday today. 
Happy Birthday Mum!

 Several of we five daughters, a variety of partners, a selection of her ten grandchildren and both her gorgeous great grandchildren, gathered at her house to celebrate Mum's seventy fourth year last weekend ... cake, candles, you know the routine ... just like Mum, it never grows old!

Oh and the reason we celebrated at the weekend, rather than today? Well, Mum works tirelessly in her role as volunteer hospital driver and wanted to shift her birthday gathering forward a few days, so that she could still ferry the elderly to and from appointments today.

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday doing what you enjoy Mum,
With much love,
Paula xxx

Monday 4 April 2016

Outdoorsing ..

The sun shone, shades were dusted off, the dogs given a free pass and ... er, the mud squelched its 'squelchiest' (and guess who forgot her wellies? Doh!)

Spring may well have sprung in Kent, but it sure is going to take a while before that mud dries out!

Not that Polly and Betty minded of course. The muddier the better as far as the average goldie is concerned!  In fact, they had a whale of a time racing through swamps at 'Shorne Country Park' on Sunday and Polly couldn't have been more thrilled to find a special 'doggy pond' to swim in (Betty less so after falling in and scrambling out rather clumsily. I think she may need some of those inflatable water wings - call yourself a golden Betty Boo?!!!)

Yes, Spring has definitely arrived and with it an opportunity to share 'outdoorsing' time with my family. I loved our long swampy walk with my daughter and her fiance yesterday ... great fun and great company!


Saturday 2 April 2016

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Took a break from my pile of mohair this morning, to make the most of the April sunshine ... it's absolutely glorious out there, way too glorious to stay indoors!

Polly and Betty enjoyed their long walk and a lovely romp on 'Big Field' and now that my batteries are recharged, I am ready to face the world again.

Oh what a beautiful morning!


Friday 1 April 2016

The spirit of Spring

I always think Spring is a season of hope for the year ahead ... fresh buds, pale green shoots and a palette of pastel pink blossom, paint a landscape of happier days to come, after winter's grey gloom.

This is 'Hope', an alpaca teddy girl, who I hope you will agree, embodies the spirit of Spring!


Updated: Hope has been adopted!


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