Thursday 18 April 2024

Camellia-Rose


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It is several years since I last used my dye pot to create a teddy bear but last week, I remembered just how much fun it was...


I had a beautiful piece of ivory mohair in my box but it wasn't quite hitting the high notes for me to want to start making a teddy bear, so I decided to use some beautiful silk dyes to mix up a little teddy bear magic! After mixing my dye, I hung the mohair to dry in my garden near the camellia plant my dad gave me for my birthday, about thirty years ago. The plant, originally in a heavy ceramic pot, was eventually transported to our new home and transplanted to the garden about seventeen years ago. It settled into the flowerbed perfectly and has since grown huge over the years, bearing the most stunning pink blooms in April. The colour of my mohair was the colour of the Dad's camellia blooms, which made me smile and inspired me to create my Camellia-Rose teddy bear last week.

Happily, Camellia-Rose was adopted shortly after I popped her onto my website and she will be flying out to America to meet her new owner this week.

I am feeling inspired to create my own palette of pretty teddy bears over the coming summer months, so have ordered a lovely selection of dyes and am looking forward to sharing the results on my website!

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Teddy Bear Gold

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After a pretty Spring full of pastel teddy bears, Treacle teddy bear's mohair has been calling my inner traditional teddy bear maker...


For me, there is always something very special about finding the perfect gold mohair, so when I spotted just such a fabric on one of my supplier's websites recently, I couldn't resist ordering half a metre to see if might live up to my expectations for a perfect teddy bear fur ... and luckily, it did! 

It may seem strange to non-teddy bear people, to learn that the discovery of a particular mohair can be an exciting moment for someone, but I am certain all teddy bear creators have their own special preferences and mine has always been luxurious, richly coloured and traditionally gold. I have created many types of teddy bear over the years and have always enjoyed exploring alternative design, fabric and colour but my heart remains true to the traditional teddy bear and I never lose the desire to recreate him in my own sweet way, with the perfect mohair..

Collectors the world over have loved the classic proportions and natural shades of traditional teddy bears for over a century and continue to do so today. Treacle was adopted as soon as he made his appearance on my website yesterday and happily, he will be heading off to meet his new owner this week. 

Monday 18 March 2024

The Spring Ball

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THE SPRING BALL

After the wettest and muddiest of winters, Spring has at last arrived in the South East of England...

... and it is such a joy to watch gardens and the local countryside, waking to a swathe of pretty pastel blossoms dancing in the breeze... from the palest, to the most bold and flirtatious. Mother Nature at her most feminine!

There are also daffodils in heartfelt yellows and oranges, swaying gently in the borders, guaranteed to warm the chilliest of walkers, frilly hyacinths in pretty tutus of pink, blue and lilac, the shy purple crocus (almost at an end now) and sturdy camellia shrubs adorned in the most fabulous pinks and reds, demanding the eye of any passerby.

This week, the most spectacular sign that winter has now passed, has to be the breathtakingly beautiful magnolia trees, their branches dramatic with glamorous pink and white blooms, inviting us all to enjoy the show as they reach for the sky. Definitely the Belles of our Spring Ball, for a few more days at least, until wind and rain sweep back in to claim them... but never mind, it will soon be the turn of our magical Bluebells, currently waiting patiently in the wings to take centre stage!

It is such a lovely time of year and for this teddy bear maker, the 'Spring Ball' is always an inspiration!

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Steadfast and true


Henry 16"


When I was first introduced to the world of artist bears way back in the 1990's, the bears that always captured my heart were soulful, traditional gold teddy bears. I loved them then and love now.

Steadfast and true.
In my eyes, they embody childhood and will never grow old.

This is my latest traditional bear, a lovely 16" fellow called Henry.
I hope he makes you smile. 🙂


Update: Henry has been adopted.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

“ONE DAY, YOU WILL BE OLD ENOUGH TO START READING FAIRYTALES AGAIN.”

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“ONE DAY, YOU WILL BE OLD ENOUGH TO START READING FAIRYTALES AGAIN.”

“This is the land of Narnia,' said the Faun, 'where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea.”

― C.S. Lewis 'The Chronicles of Narnia

After a hectic family Christmas holiday, I was ready for a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air but little did I know I was about to be transported through 'The wardrobe', into the snowy landscape of Narnia with my mum, on New Year's Day!

As we pushed through hanging fur coats, Mum and I spilled out into a snowy landscape, where we had the pleasure of meeting Mr Tumnus next to the legendary glowing lampost. He gave us a whispered warning not to linger long should we stumble across the White Witch. Intrigued, we thanked him, said our goodbyes and continued on our journey around a wintery corner... and there she sat, every bit as imperious as her fabled character! The White Witch's icy voice invited us closer as she declared her evil plan to destroy the wardrobe and claim the kingdom of Narnia as her own. After a quick pose for photos (!) we were summarily dismissed and directed passed statues frozen in time... then onwards towards Cair Paravel. We were eager to see Aslan the Great Lion, so followed his fearsome roar in the distance, enjoying the most beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wintery scenery, until we spied him gleaming gold ahead. Through one heavy wooden portal, we met Father Christmas warming his toes by the most beautiful fireplace and despite our advancing years, felt the thrill of childhood envelop us once more. It really was magical to see how much fun my eighty one year old mum was having!

Leeds Castle is only a short drive from my house and the Narnia Experience was beautifully crafted for castle visitors to celebrate Christmas 2023. Mum and I hadn't expected to visit Narnia yesterday, instead we had planned a walk in the castle grounds... but our last minute decision to pop inside and indulge our curiosity, proved completely magical, the perfect start to the new year.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

And the wisdom of C.S. Lewis...

'There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind'.



If ever you are in Kent, you won't be disappointed with a visit to Leeds Castle and although tickets are a little on the pricey side, 
once purchased you can visit as many times during the year as you like!

https://leeds-castle.com/
 

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