Sunday, 21 January 2018

Away with the fairies

As regular readers may know (forgive my assumption, but I am praying I still have a few regular readers as I have been blogging since 2007!) each new year, I like to try to give myself a challenge to learn something new.


After a brief and rather fanciful foray into drawing fairies last Autumn, I chose this year, to sign up for an online art course with the lovely Jane Davenport , a fabulously expressive Aussie artist.


Jane's 'Joynal' course is proving to be a lovely escape from reality; my imagine is on overdrive and I confess to having heaps of fun finding fairies here, there and just about everywhere!


Drawing is still a huge challenge for me. It never came instinctively and I have felt uncomfortable in this artistic department since I was a little girl, so throwing caution to the wind and sharing work now, is quite a biggy for me. However, since settling into my mid-fifties, I have reached the conclusion life is way too short for such inhibitions ... colour and fun should be shared!


As CS Lewis once said,

'You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.'

I couldn't agree more!

:-)





Come rain, come shine

Being a maker of teddy bears can be a very sedentary and isolating job ... in fact, I don't recall how I  stayed sane before this daft pair moved in and took over my life.


Come rain, come shine, Polly and Betty never fail to ensure I keep my priorities in order by ensuring we go out into the big wide world for fresh air, exercise, obedience training and most importantly, fun.  They also keep me sociable by introducing themselves to other dogs and their owners whenever they spot one. My girls love to say hello!

So, I may not have time to make quite as many bears as I once did, but thanks to my beautiful golden girls, I am no longer at my desk for such long hours and am thankfully, a much healthier bear-maker than I used to be!

:-)

Friday, 12 January 2018

Black 'n white

I thought I was sailing along with my bear-making this week but then hit a snag with this cute teddy; I wanted him to have a hat to match his jumper, but ran out of wool part way through my knitting. Annoying! There's nothing for it, I will have to exercise a little patience and sit him on my sideboard for a day or two, just until his new wool arrives.


I'm going to keep you guessing about the colours of teddy until I can photograph him properly. So until then, here's a little peek in good ol' fashioned black and white!

:-)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Going with the flow in 2018

I first started blogging over a decade ago, in March 2007. 
Back then I had no idea where my blog would lead me and to be honest, I still don't! I'm not one of life's planners, I tend to 'go with the flow', especially when I write, so this blog has seen me through times of great happiness and great sadness, it has steadfastly offered me a focus for my bear making and from time to time has guided me gently onto new creative pathways. My blog has expressed my innermost feelings when words haven't come so easily and has held the isolation of working alone for many years, at bay. If you have ever visited, I thank you for taking the time to read my posts and if you haven't visited before, please know you are always welcome here.


I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts as a blogger again in 2018.

 I hope you will join me. 💜

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A gaggle of geese

First day back with our dog training group this year and already it's been eventful! Polly worked hard in class this morning, doing a great job of showing off her obedience moves in our local park, before being allowed a free run with her doggy friends. Then, after a quick circuit of the bushes, she took off in the direction of the main lake and the next thing I heard was a splash and indignant squawks from a gaggle of geese as Polly chased them into the lake,  jumping in behind them! By the time I caught up with her ladyship, she had plonked her paws on top of a large piece of wood at the edge of the lake and was waiting helplessly to be rescued. There was nothing for it but to brave the muddy bank and haul madam unceremoniously out by her collar. Needless to say, she thanked me by shaking as hard as possible and soaking me. One thing's for sure, there's never a dull moment when you are a dog owner!


It has been a lively start to Wednesday and Polly and I have had a whale of a time together. She's snoozing at home in the sunny spot now while she dries off - this time after a bath and a banana and mango shampoo.

It would have/should have, been my Dad's 82nd birthday today and I know he would have enjoyed hearing about Polly's antics. I still miss being able to share these simple things with him over a cuppa, or on the telephone, like we used to.

Happy Birthday to you Dad, 
I miss you. 
Love always, 
PJ xxx

Monday, 8 January 2018

A new year, a new crop!

Whoo, it is time to introduce my first teddy bear of 2018. I feel very upbeat about my bear-making this year, so am looking forward to sharing the new season's crop with you!

16" Lonnie

Lonnie is a 16" teddy bear, a lovely 'not too small, not too big', size. 
I spent a very pleasant few days working on this bear last week, which was a welcome calm after the hectic festive period. I really hope you like him!

Lonnie is now available to adopt. I wonder where he will relocate to? It's always such an exciting time for a new bear!

If you would like to see more pics of Lonnie and maybe even invite him to live with you, please visit my website:

www.allbearbypaula.com


Thank you and Happy New year!

:-)

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Unwinding from the twinkly whirl

Christmas wasn't all festive dash. Thankfully I did manage to squeeze in a little quiet time between family visits, to unwind from the twinkly whirl.


This collection of 'Sketchy Teds' and friends, was fun to create. I have enjoyed learning to draw and paint throughout 2017 and am hoping to develop my new hobby further in 2018 ... it is such a lovely way to relax!

:-)

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New 2018!

Happy New Year everyone! 

I woke to dark skies, a downpour and a heavy cold this morning; probably not the most auspicious start to a new year. I do hope your first day of 2018 was more befitting the occasion!


After a lovely Christmas celebration with my family, the decorations have today been packed safely back into the loft for next year and our tree, unceremoniously chopped for recycling. Such is the way of these things!


Given the awful weather, Polly and Betty will have to make do with a local walk for their first of 2018 as I have very little enthusiasm for the great outdoors today. Luckily the weather was better on Boxing Day, so we took them to the seaside for a lovely sunny, breezy walk from Whitstable to Tankerton and back. It certainly blew away the Christmas cobwebs and was good to walk off some of our festive excess.

Christmas ended with a family trip to the panto to watch Aladdin. It was so much fun to share my three year old grandson's first ever panto experience .. he loved all the singing, dancing and daftness and I don't mind admitting, so did I!

So, there it was, a merry Christmas, full of family, just the way I like it. On New Year's Eve, my son and his family joined us for a simple beef stew and dumplings dinner at home as we didn't feel up to accepting party invitations. In fact a quiet evening playing Hungry Hippos on the rug with Toby was plenty enough excitement for me this year!

Now Christmas has been packed away for another year, it will soon be time for me to tidy up my workroom and think about creating my first teddy bear of 2018. Last year was a bit slow on production, so hopefully I will manage to organise my time better this year and make a few more bears to share in the coming year ... that's my plan anyway!

:-)

Friday, 22 December 2017

We wish you...

Our tree is twinkling, our cupboards are packed full of waist busting goodies, the pudding is made and all that remains now, is for us to sign off and wish you all a very happy Christmas!


Thank you everyone, for your kind interest in my teddy bears and beyond throughout 2017 and for taking time to pop in to read my blog.

I look forward to seeing you all again in 2018!

With festive hugs from me and my bears ... and of course, from Polly, Betty, Rodney and Puddle too!

Happy Christmas Everyone.

:-)

Monday, 18 December 2017

Christmas Spirit

I don't mind admitting, that the prospect of a wet muddy dog walk on a dark December afternoon, doesn't exactly overwhelm me with enthusiasm, but as my niece and her husband were travelling up from Hampshire for their annual pre-Christmas family catch-up yesterday, I donned my wellies, grabbed the dogs and headed to Mote Park to join some of my family for an afternoon stroll.


It was wet, it was muddy and it was cold, but that didn't dampen anyone's festive twinkle ... especially our four dogs, who had a whale of a time chasing each other through the mud as three generations of our family walked and talked in the rain together.


We are a large family, so not everyone could be with us in person this year, but it did feel as though the whole family was there in Christmas spirit and it was a lovely start to family festivities.

Happy Christmas everyone, it was great to see you all! xxx

:-)

Sunday, 17 December 2017

My final teddy bear of 2017!

On this rainy, grey, December Sunday, I would like introduce you to my last bear of 2017, a stunning red teddy, oozing warmth and seasonal cheer. 
I have named him 'Tam'.

20" Tam

This particular mohair is very special as it is Schulte's finest densely curled kid mohair and very hard to find in this wonderfully festive red colour. I have teamed it with gorgeous red velvet paws and a tartan bow, to create this lovely teddy bear. 

Tam has just been made available for adoption on my website. If you are in the UK and would like to find him under your tree on Christmas morning, please adopt no later than Wednesday 20th December and I will do my utmost to get him to you in time. If you are overseas and would like to adopt Tam, he would be delighted to fly to meet you in early January!

For full details and pictures, please visit Tam on my website:


:-)

Update: Tam has been adopted.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Christmas Wishes 2017

As we near Christmas, I would like to take this moment to say a big thank you to everyone who has adopted one of my teddy bears this year! Thank you also, to all my website visitors and everyone who has been kind enough to keep in touch throughout the year. Your continued support is as ever, hugely appreciated.


Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
I look forward to sharing my 'All Bear' teddy bears with you again in 2018

With festive hugs 'n smiles,

Paula xxx

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Peggy Sue flew!

You may have blinked and missed this pretty teddy girl on my website today as she flew off the site within a nanosecond of making her debut.

15" Peggy Sue has been adopted

In fact, she was adopted so quickly, I didn't even have time to post my mailing list newsletter! Please accept my apologies if you were wondering why you hadn't received notification of my latest arrival.

I have several more lovely teddy bears planned for my website in the coming weeks, so please don't lose hope, your special bear may be just around the corner!

:-)

Sad news

Away with the fairies is a lovely place to be on a day when the world might seem a bit too topsy turvy to make sense of ...


Yesterday I heard the sad and unexpected news of Beatrix Harries' passing. She was the creator of the most beautiful, sweet faced teddy bears and a truly generous teacher of the bear making art. Beatrix was well respected internationally but more importantly, well liked within our magical world of teddy bears.  Beatrix, you gave so much of yourself through your creativity and it has been my pleasure to know you. Your lovely smile and wonderful bears will be missed by so many. 

Goodnight and sleep tight, lovely lady x

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

One day, you will be old enough to read fairytales again

'One day you will be old enough to read fairy tales again' ... I stumbled across this lovely quote recently and for some reason, at the grand old age of fifty four, it struck a chord, inspiring me to start a new art journal. I plan to escape reality within those hot pressed pages, by filling it with fantastical characters and fanciful stories!


After all, no one should never be too old to believe in the magic of fairy tales, should they?!

;-)

Champagne and Oo-bi-doo

I've been working on a big teddy bear for a collector in the US ... 'I'll leave it up to you Paula' she said, when asked about mohair choices. So, I created this lovely big cuddle of a bear in the hope 'Champagne' might be the perfect bear for my collector and happily, he was!

22" Champagne

So yesterday was 'up, up and away' day for Champagne. I booked a courier collection for the afternoon and quite literally, jogged back from our local playground with my grandson and two dogs in tow, to ensure we could be home as the van pulled up, to hand our precious cargo over in person.  We waved the van off, then settled on the sofa to watch Disney's 'Jungle Book'. Oh how I love grey November afternoons snuggled with my Grandson, singing along to 'Oo-bi-doo!' and 'I'm the king of the swingers'! Fun, fun,fun!

:-)

Friday, 3 November 2017

Success on a whim

I very nearly didn't enter the EBAA's year, but at the last minute, changed my mind and on a complete whim, entered my cloth teddy 'Lolly' ...

Lolly is a 2017 Excellence in Bear Artistry Award Winner!

Then I promptly forgot all about the competition until I received an email a few days ago, telling me my cloth bear has been honoured with a 2017 'Excellence in Bear Artistry' Award" ... as you can imagine, I am thrilled to bits with this unexpected news!

:-)

Thursday, 2 November 2017

They're spooky and they're scary!

As regular readers will know, I have enjoyed the magical mayhem of Halloween since I was a very young girl. My favourite childhood stories always featured spooky witches and sad ghosts ... and even now, almost half a century later, I still clearly remember a picture from my favourite school library book featuring witches flying in silhouette across the night sky.

Halloween fun with my family

To be completely honest, I'm less than keen on playing dress-up these days (feeling my age I think!) but did scrape myself into a long black witchypoo cape, a pair of rather fetching black and orange striped tights, batty t-shirt and a small pointy hat, to join my family for some Halloween fun at my niece's house-warming party last weekend. 

Everyone rose to the occasion by dressing in Halloween finery for the evening. The house was dressed spectacularly in cobwebs, cackling witches, bats, spiders and carved pumpkins, with all manner of spooks dangling in dark corners. It was heaps of fun to see everyone in costume, although at first glance, quite tricky to work out who was who in some cases!

The party went with a swing and the dance floor quickly filled with an eclectic group of witches, ghostly pirates, skeletons, a vicar, a nun and even a ghostly jester! The children had a wonderful time (except my sweet little Great Niece, who is just a year old and was understandably a wee bit overwhelmed by the Halloween madness in her house). The older kids danced, apple bobbed and chased around excitedly, relishing the spooky atmosphere. As for our very own mini werewolf Toby, well, he soon had the hang of Halloween, dancing happily with the spooks, eating chocolate apples and at the grand old age of three, simply accepting the fact that sometimes adults behave rather strangely!

:-)

An INKRedibleTOBER inspiration

I am still busy teaching myself to draw and paint, so throughout October, took part in a fun challenge called #Inkredibletober.  The idea was to interpret Halloween prompts each day using ink in one form or another.  I didn't manage to complete the entire thirty one prompts, but I did do most, learned heaps and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge!

Here are a few of my favourite prompts ...






Last but not least, I squeezed in a little Trick or Treat teddy bear!


In fact I especially enjoyed drawing teddy bear scenes, so with Christmas on the distant horizon, I think I might try to paint a little festive teddy bear and if he turns out okay, could even be bold enough to turn him into a Christmas card ... fingers crossed!

:-)

Travelling Teddies

This teddy girl will be travelling far further than I ever have!  She will be heading all the way to Australia to meet her new owner.


It never ceases to amaze me when my teddies travel such incredible distances to meet new owners. Aside from the many who live in the UK, I have bears living in Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, America, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland and Ireland! 

Wishing this little girl a safe journey to her new home.

:-)

Friday, 27 October 2017

Autumn trompin'

If you have been a regular reader over the past few years, you will recall that each year, I gather my family together to share an Autumn afternoon in the beautiful Knole Park estate.


In past years my sister and her family have joined us for a ramble, but this year they needed to take a rain check, as they are very busy renovating my lovely niece's first home and helping her fly the nest towards independent life. I am sure we will find time for a get together once the final coat of paint has dried and her new curtains have been hung in place.


So, this year, it was just my immediate family who donned wellies and joined my husband and I for our annual 'family tromp' ... and of course, Polly and Betty too!


My son did a sterling job carrying not only a large rucksack around the park on his back, but also his son's bicycle ... and when those little legs couldn't manage any more walking, my Grandson also hopped onto Daddy's broad shoulders!


It was so lovely walking and chatting with my family in such beautiful surroundings. I love that they still want to do this as a family as it's hugely important to me that we make time for one another now that we live apart.


 I think the dogs were rather excited at the prospect of finding deer (hence their leads) and Polly was delighted to have my daughter to walk with. As for Betty, her excitement levels were so high she pulled like a steam engine, just like last year (!) then slept like a log in the car on the way home. Being young and excitable is exhausting apparently! Polly on the other hand, was on her very best behaviour for Fay.


I'd like to thank my daughter's fiancé for taking fab photos of our family visit. Although he was busy discreetly taking pics, he didn't quite manage to avoid the camera lens himself as I managed to snap him hard at work ... aha!


I was also determined to photograph at least one deer myself before we left the park, so my daughter and I left the dogs with the others and undertook a spot of deer stalking with my grandson. Fay collected chestnuts and the deer were happy to approach her for a snack while Toby and I watched from a safe distance.


Those fallow deer were so pretty!


To round off my very special family afternoon, a magnificent stag obliged by looking our way long just enough for me to take his photograph, then he bellowed loudly ... it's rutting season and I am absolutely certain all the ladies must be most impressed by this fine fellow!


Thank you family, for making time for our lovely Autumn walk. Here's to doing it all again next year!

Friday, 13 October 2017

There should always be cake

My Grandson is growing up fast and this week, celebrated his third birthday! Those three years have raced by and he is becoming more and more independent by the day. I still take care of him while mummy works each week and can't tell you how much I love our time together. We pack our days full of funshine ... climbing, reading, playing, creating, chatting and of course laughing. There is never a dull moment to be had with this all-action lad!


 I had no idea in my pre-Nana days, of quite how much joy becoming a grandmother would bring me. I feel truly blessed to have this little boy in my life.


So Tobysaurus, your Nana wishes you, not only a happy 3rd birthday, but most importantly, a happy, safe life, full of laughter, love and lots and lots of cake! 

All my love to you always,
Your Nana xxx

:-)

Brightening a grey day

It's a grey day here in the UK and the perfect day to introduce a little 'Candy Cotton' to brighten things up!

14" Candy Cotton

She's cosy in her handknits and a real cutie. 
All she needs now is someone to fall in love with her!

If you'd like to know more about Candy Cotton, please pop over to my website. Thank you!


Update: Candy Cotton has been adopted!


Thursday, 12 October 2017

EBAA Awards, Lolly's a winner!

I am delighted to blow my own trumpet today (and why not!) as I just received notification that my entry into this year's 'Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards' has been honoured with an award!


My head was nowhere near in gear for entering competitions this year, so I very nearly missed the EBAA submission deadline, but on a last minute whim, I put my tweedy cloth bear 'Lolly' forward for judging and was delighted to receive an email earlier this week telling me she has been successful.


I really didn't expect to win an award this year, but thought it might be fun to enter a hairless bear into the competition for a change, never once thinking my tweedy bear might stand a chance against all those glamorous mohair bears.


So the moral of my little story is, don't talk yourself out of things ...  whatever it is, give it a go and believe in yourself!

If you would like to help Lolly in the Public Vote category, please visit the final 'Judges' Choice' EBAA winners on the link below and cast your vote ... thank you! 


:-)

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Bramble

I love the delicate palette of my latest big teddy bear. The beautiful oyster pink Schulte mohair really lent itself to soft pinky-beige velvet paws and dusky pink highlights and I think, makes a lovely variation on the Autumn teddy theme. I hope you think so too!

'Bramble' is 22"

I am happy to tell you, Bramble has hopped onto my website and is now available for adoption. Please visit for further pics and full details. Thank you!


:-)

Update: Bramble has been adopted!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The road to obedience

I have been obedience training with Polly in my favourite park today. The trees were beginning to turn red and gold, sun shone through the early morning mist, dew glistened on the grass ... and my beautiful girl was in fine fettle!


Although at four and a half, Polly is now a well mannered girl, we thoroughly enjoy obedience work, so continue to attend 'Real Life' classes regularly. We have worked hard to overcome the typical golden retriever stubborn streak, to build focus and most importantly of all, to create a close bond between us.  I don't mind saying, I am very proud of all Polly has achieved since we first began training together four years ago.

If you would like to know more about the trials and tribulations of training a dog, particularly a golden retriever, please visit Polly's blog. It hasn't been updated for a while (I never seem to have the time lately but am hoping to bring it up-to-date soon) but there is plenty of information, a list of books I found helpful and many very honest accounts of the challenges Polly and I faced along the road to obedience.

I hope you can 'paws-a-while' to enjoy the read and if you are a new goldie owner, I hope the blog helps you meet the challenges that may come your way and also that it gives you encouragement to persevere with the training. It is worth the effort, truly! Golden Retrievers are such fabulous dogs when they trust you and are given positive, fun and enthusiastic training.


:-)

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