Saturday 30 March 2019


Blossom, blossom everywhere! 

Spring is such a beautiful season, isn't it?! 

It has been a fabulous Saturday today, blue skies, warm sunshine, trees bursting with blossom and even a few freckles making a cheeky appearance across my nose! I had a lovely walk with my dogs in the orchard this morning, then after lunch at my little garden table, finished this pretty new teddy bear.

15" Just Peachy

I have called her 'Peachy' and if you are interested to know more, full details can now be found on my website:

I hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend and a Happy Mother's Day tomorrow!


Monday 25 March 2019

Cherry Blossom Skies

A cherry blossom sky ... how positively perfect!

It doesn't matter how many years pass, the first sight of a cherry blossom sky never fails to lift my spirits after the dark days of winter. This was the picture that greeted me as I walked my dogs along the lane yesterday afternoon ... isn't it beautiful?! 

At last, Spring has officially sprung!


Saturday 23 March 2019

Tweedy Ted

So here is my newest Tweedy Ted, finished just in time for tea!

I love the simple stripe with that gorgeous turquoise herringbone tweed ... 

I hope you do too!

Have a great weekend everyone.


Update: Brodie has now been adopted.

Friday 22 March 2019

Awesome grace and a kind heart

It was 1983 and I had recently celebrated my twentieth birthday. I remember laying on the hospital bed as I gazed in complete awe at the tiny warm bundle propped against my knees ...

Those thirty six years have flown past and my tiny bundle has since blossomed into a beautiful, talented, caring, loyal and totally awesome daughter, a daughter who has always faced life's challenges with grace, humility, determination and a kind heart.

So today I would like to say 'Happy Birthday' to my totally awesome Daughter.
Wishing you the happiness and love you so deserve.
With all my love always,
Your Mum.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Creating teddy bears in cloth

After working with Magnolia's fluffy, nose tickling, alpaca last week, I decided to have a break from all things fluffy and work with the other end of the teddy bear fabric spectrum this week ...

As regular readers will know, I love Harris Tweed, a beautiful pure wool fabric, woven in a fabulous array of colours and patterns and perfect for making creative cloth bears. For my current project, I have opted for a herringbone pattern, contrasted with a simple stripe (but I'm afraid you will have to wait for the colours to be revealed when he is finished in the next day or so!)

Designing and making a cloth bear is a slightly different process from creating their furry cousins and I tend to pick and choose techniques used in both cloth doll and teddy bear making, to create my own range of 'Tweedy Teds'. 

For anyone considering making a cloth bear, here are a few thoughts that spring to mind:

Keeping an eye on proportion at the pattern design stage is very important, as tweed has a looser weave than the usual mohair backing, which means a body and limbs can easily looked overstuffed and far too wide, which in turn can make poor teddy look very uncomfortable and far too big for his own head!

Closing seams and inserting glass eyes is also a challenge because of course, without fur, there will be nowhere to hide any finishing stitches ... and as any professional teddy bear maker will tell you, finishing work must be as invisible as possible! Nose stitching can be tricky too, as it's not easy to stuff the nose area as firmly as you can in a mohair bear, without distorting the muzzle shape, so the tension of your embroidery thread becomes all-important to achieve a perfect finish. 

When it comes to stuffing a cloth bear, care has to be taken to not only ensure the weave of this wonderful fabric (if using tweed for example) isn't pierced with the pointy end of a stuffing tool (easily done!) but also to make sure teddy isn't lumpy, is suitably firm to hold and won't have misshapen paws ... and speaking of paws, I line those with wadding so they have a nice smooth finish when stuffed. I prefer to add a few plastic pellets in the centre of teddy's tummy cavity to weight, whether furry or not, so I contain those in a separate bag to ensure they don't pop through the weave when cuddled.

Jointing can be done with hardboard joints and cotterpins/nuts 'n bolts, but depending on the cloth used, size of your bear and it's purpose, (ie., will it be a gift for a child* (please see note below) or  is it intended as an adult collectible?) you may prefer to reinforce the fabric at the site of the joint and line the joints. Alternatively, why not try buttoned thread joints? They are often used in doll making and can look fab on teddy bears too, especially if you make your own buttons!

Lollipop, an award winning thread jointed cloth bear 
designed by Paula Carter

For anyone wondering if making a cloth bear is easier than making a mohair bear, the answer I would give is a resounding 'no'.  In fact creating teddy bears from fur-free cloth is a great way of laying bare any teddy bear artist's true bear-making talents! That said, it is great fun to choose fabrics which reflect your own themes and ideas and have the freedom to create truly unique and original teddy bears! 


*NB: if creating cloth or fur teddy bears for children to play with, please do not use glass eyes or any parts which could be a choke hazard. Use plastic safety joints rather than hardboard/cotterpin joints to attach limbs. If preferred, you could stitch head and limbs to body with extra strong thread, rather than jointing. Don't include plastic pellets in the tummy cavity and most importantly, check very carefully that all pins have been removed from teddy before he is given to the child to play with.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Artistic Inclinations

I hit a bit of a lull in enthusiasm for my 'learning to draw' project over the past few months, so put down my pencils for a while, but now I'm feeling the creative urge again, so it's time to have another dabble, before my fragile inclination crumples forever ...

I would like to learn how to draw realistic animals, but for me, they just don't happen and instead, I am more likely to find a fun teddy bear making an appearance at the tip of my pencil. Ho hum.

With the old adage 'draw what you know' (or should that be 'write what you know?!) dancing in my head, I thought I'd restart my artistic endeavour with a picture of Polly and it looked reasonably promising to being with, but eventually I became frustrated by my clumsy attempts to reproduce her fabulous wavy fur.  Back to the drawing board Paula ...

At least this week's free hand pencil portrait of my daughter can be said to bear a slight degree of resemblance and is an improvement on a previous attempt from a couple of years ago - but my goodness, I struggle with noses and angles! That said, I can see I am starting to get the hang of hair, so yes, I guess that can be called progress?! Hopefully, one day, I will have learned enough to do my beautiful girl a little more artistic justice. 

So, I suppose the moral of my sporadic drawing story has to be don't give up ... and in particular, don't be so self-critical, that along with any rogue pencil marks, you also erase the joy of learning! 

I know, it's easier said than done eh?!


Saturday 16 March 2019

Magnolia Blossom

Hello from a grey and stormy UK!

Spring has taken a step backwards here this week and my dog walks have been decidedly gusty for the past few days! I am hoping this stormy weather will soon blow itself out and give Spring the opportunity once and for all to arrive. I would dearly like mud free, warm, dry walks for a change please ... and while I am on the subject, it would be perfect if the local magnolia blossoms I see in neighbouring gardens, could have a chance to bloom properly, without being blown at gale force from their branches!

Despite rain and gales, it has at least, been a great week for bear making and I have been working with alpaca, a lovely natural fabric, perfect for creating comforting chunky, cuddly, teddy bears.

16" Magnolia

So, on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I would like to introduce you to my latest teddy bear 'Magnolia', hot off the press! She is a beautiful oatmeal coloured alpaca girl, now available for adoption ... and of course, cuddles!

 For further details, please visit:

And if you are able to offer Magnolia a kind home, I would be delighted to hear from you!


Update: Magnolia has been adopted!

Thursday 7 March 2019

Happy Birthday Polly!

It has been an action packed, poo roll filled, barky, welly wearing, hard working and sometimes completely exasperating six years, but during that time Polly has taught me that life should always be enjoyed to the max in wide open spaces, fun can be had almost anywhere ... and loyalty and trust are almost as important as cheese and sausages. We have worked hard, played hard and snuggled together, every single day, without fail.

Polly, now aged 6

Polly at 7 weeks of age, on her first day at home.

Happy 6th Birthday to my beautiful 'Big Bird' today ... the really rather fabulous, Miss Terjack Terzi!



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