Friday, 28 November 2008

3rd Prize at BBAAs

A Proud Moment - 3rd Prize for Loretta

I would like to share my special moment. I was so proud on Sunday at Hove that my Loretta came 3rd in the dressed bear category. All the entrants were outstanding creations so I feel especially honored to receive this award.

My other entry Mungo was also a finalist in the miniature section.

I have my thinking cap on for next year now, I think competitions could perhaps become addictive, I just have to find more hours in the day somehow to bring all of the ideas in my head to life!


Wednesday, 29 October 2008

British Bear Artist Awards!!

British Bear Artist Awards!!

Good news for me and the bears!!

I am so happy and proud as I just found out yesterday that I have 2 nominations in the British Bear Artist Awards for my bears - Mungo in category one (miniatures) and Loretta who is in the dressed bear category. The final judging will take place on the 23 November. How exciting!


Sunday, 14 September 2008

Where has summer gone!!

Well, I must have blinked and missed it - I am talking about the summer, have we had one, we must have because it's September AGAIN. I can count on one hand the times we have mowed the lawn, got the garden chairs out, only to take them in again as soon as we sat down either because it was too cold or it rained after 10 minutes, hung the washing out in sunshine. I could go on!!

I have to say though that Autumn is lovely in its own way (of course it would be better if you had had a bit of sun through the summer!), I love the colours outside, love the cosy fire, the cuddly jumpers that I can hide my bigger bits under and the shops starting to get festive goodies in to buy. With Autumn approaching I have just completed my first Halloween bear. Ghostie was a commission for a special collector. I will miss him as I have a soft spot for him but I know he is going to a lovely home so it's on with the next bear now.

Enjoy the Autumn and lets home for an Indian Summer, if not a better one next year!


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A New Elephant

A New Elephant

Hello, just thought I would pop on to show my new creation. Little Libby is the 3rd miniature elephant I have made. Apple Blossom was the first I made in spring and then Fleur, the second one was born. I tweaked the pattern a little each time and think I now have it how I wanted it to look and Libby is my favorite of them all. I knew she was going to be a girl before I started her. Most of my bears and animals are boys. I do try to make a few girls but sometimes when I dress them they look at me like thunder and demand the girls clothes off immediately. It's difficult with some bears though to decide what sex they are until you start to accessorise the bears, most times they only ask for a nice matching bow and other times - well I get carried away and one of my favorite parts of making the bear is finding the right accessory at the end. Libby has decided to go on to Ebay this week to look for a new Mum or Dad.


Tuesday, 8 July 2008

New Design

A New Bear Design
I have been busy for a while now improving my needle felting and wanted to incorporate it into my bears in some ways. I do love trying out new tecniques, some I never try again but with needle felting I wanted to persevere until I mastered it as I could see the potential detail I would be able to add to my bears. I finally came up with a bear design that I am very pleased with. These are the first two, with needle felted faces and feet detail. The khaki coloured one is called Corky and was adopted last week and is now living in Scotland and the little blue one is Bugsy, who is now on Ebay looking for a new home. There are more in the pipe line but I am awaiting a lovely mohair order arriving and can't wait to get started when it arrives.


Monday, 16 June 2008


Just thought I would pop in post a bit of news of what I have been up to. Besides a little holiday in beautiful Scotland (a few pictures to see), I have been mega busy with fairs and craft fairs this year, I now have a break from fairs though until October and then it all starts again. They are so much fun and I get to meet loads of people. I quickly realised that the craft fairs do not result in the sale of many bears but they are a good opportunity to promote the work of a bear artist and hopefully gain new collectors in the future - or even a few new bear makers, so this has compensated for the lack of sales at the smaller craft fairs. I have started taking along small bits and pieces of hand made things to sell which pays for the stand. However, I have decided to cut down next year on how many I do as I haven't been able to make as many bears and will book maybe just 2 craft fairs nearer home and then still do the bear fairs but maybe not as many as I have this year. It is easy to sit and sew bears at the fairs I know but I always feel it rude to sit behind my stand and sew, I to chat as much as possible to anybody who comes to look and also chat to other exhibitors. But as much as I have enjoyed them I will enjoy the summer break from them and catch up on some new bear designs that have been ticking over in my head.

Warm wishes

Monday, 21 April 2008

Spring Bears


Its a while since I last posted on my blog, I have been really busy with bear fairs and craft fairs and just had time to look around and I think, I hope, spring is here, daffodils in the garden is a sure sign and after making Apple Blossom my little pink and green elephant I seem to have continued with the spring theme in my bears. My latest creations are Blossom a miniature pink bunny, Meggi a delicate apple green 6 inch sweetie and Yoshi an 11 inch cream and smoky blue panda. It is fairly unusual for me to work with these bright colours, most of my bears are browns and creams and a lot of them aged. However, I am finding myself increasingly drawn to pretty bright colours at the moment, it must be with the cold and dreary winter we have had. Blossom bunny is on Bid4Bears
until Sunday. Meggi is on Ebay until Sunday and Yoshi the panda is available direct from my website (the link is on the top left of my Blog).

Warm Wishes

Monday, 24 March 2008

A Lovely Break

A Lovely Break

Just got back from a lovely break in Wales which I needed to recharge my waning batteries. My daughter Charlotte had a few days holiday to take before the end of March so we decided to meet up and take a break together and we stayed at Bodelwyddann Castle Hotel just outside Llanduddno. The weather was cold but sunny and dry and the castle had acres of land which was lovely to wander around, would be even better in the summer months. Being an historical castle there was a super museum to look around with most of the original rooms still furnished and paintings on the walls and the upstairs there was a play room set out with Victorian puzzles which visitors were encouraged to have a go at, we spent a good hour or so in there.

I took some bears to sew up but didn't get any done at all as there was so much to do in the castle during the day. There was regular dance classes, painting classes, archery, shuffleboard, beetle drives, quizzes, air rifle shooting, indoor bowls to name but a few. Also there was a leisure center with swimming pool, sauna, gym etc. You could also have beauty treatments in this building.

The evenings started with dinner, followed by early evening dancing, quiz and bingo...... followed by an amazing musical theater show by the entertainments team. After this there was dancing to the resident band music until the early hours. For those who wanted a quieter time there was another place to go where you could sit and have a drink and listen to the resident lounge entertainer who played the keyboard and sang.

Now back to work on the bears as I have a show at the end of the week and Charlotte has gone back to her job in Suffolk where she is an entertainer at the sister hotel to the one we stayed at.


Thursday, 6 March 2008

A new design for spring

A New Design for Spring

The promise of oncoming spring in the air and a few green shoots popping up in the garden prompted me to dig out a piece of green mini bear fabric I have had stashed away for a few months. I designed a new baby elephant pattern a few weeks ago for a challenge on Teddy Talk and felt this was the ideal time to bring him/her to life. The outcome was Apple Blossom, she is just 4 inches high and I am really pleased with how she turned out. To my mind she was definitely a girl and told me she wanted to be dressed. I created the little dress specially for her, crocheted in very fine cotton yarn and finished it off with pink to match Apple Blossom’s inner ears and feet. I feel she may have some brothers or sisters soon but I have a few bears to finish for a forthcoming show at the end of the month.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

New Year's Resolution!

New Year's Resolution!

Well has everybody that made New Year resolutions stuck at them? I make the same one every year to cut out biscuits, sweets and cake only to find myself a week after with such a huge craving (it’s like a drug) that I cram more of those goodies into my stomach than I normally do to satisfy the week long craving. I seem to gain about 5 pounds in weight each year and it sticks around my middle for some reason.

This year I decided not to make the resolution and just to have the goodies when I feel like them but cut down on the amount and thought, instead I would do more exercise. I hate the sweaty, greasy gym equipment so my favourite way is to dance. I love to ballroom and Latin dance but have let it slide over the last few years so that just before Christmas I wasn’t doing any at all but I signed up for a new ballroom and Latin course this year in a bid to burn some calories AND…. Wait for it….. an Egyptian belly dancing course, oh my, the shimmying and waggling of the tummy doing this is, I am sure going to do the trick, I think I may lose so much weight that it won’t matter how many chocolate bars I eat a week. Honestly though it is so enjoyable, I can highly recommend it.

The belly dance class has just ladies of all ages and shapes, some wear belts full of dangly coins that tinkle as they shimmy. The ballroom class I attend with my hubby so he is getting exercise too, nobody gets too dressed up at this class just smart trousers or skirts but the place where we go just to social dance (without lessons) is very, very dressy, its usually on one Saturday night per month and the ballroom floor is huge, it ends up in 3 lanes as the better dancers move into the middle and centre for more room so it is like the motorway, slow and beginners around the edge, improvers in the middle and the inside with the professionals doing the quick step at about 40 miles per hour, it can get a bit dangerous if you don’t have much floor craft (we are not the centre ones by the way!!)

The funny thing is I am less tired with these classes, I can feel worn out in the evening and after a couple of hours at dance class I come out (at nearly bedtime) feeling less tired than I went and on such a high I don’t want to go to bed. I usually do an hour or so bear making to unwind before bed and the next morning, I am full of energy I seem to get more done through the day.

I don’t know if this will last or if I am going to be disappointed when I get on the scales, but I am sure whatever the outcome it is good for the body and such fun. Everyone should try it.


Friday, 25 January 2008

I'm Neele Felting at Last!!!

I'm Needle Felting at last!!!

Well, at last I think I am conquering the needle felting phobia…. I have longed to try but had this, big phobia going on for ages with the needles, I eventually took the plunge and got over it. The first try was just a hard round ball which I just discarded. The second try was this red bear head, not sure if I will treat him to a body and am thinking about this at the moment. The third try was to felt onto an already made bear’s face and this white bear is the result and I think I personally prefer this to making a bear from scratch. I didn’t find needle felting easy, I found it quite difficult to shape a bear’s head with a needle, sponge and bit of fluffy wool… amazing, and I am now in awe of the talented needle felt artists that make whole and beautiful creations. I am still in disbelief that I did not prick myself once …I did come very, very near… but I must admit I did use that needle very, very, very, very slowly ha ha, Charlotte had a bit of a laugh through this little challenge.

I do not love this technique but I am so glad I know how to do it now and I feel it will be a valuable addition to add to my bear making techniques for the future.

Warm wishes


Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Needle Felting Mania

Happy New Year to All

Just a few pictures to start off 2008 with – Charlotte has still got the needle felting bug, she hasn’t made any mohair bears since getting started, I am amazed that she still has all her fingers intact she gets sooooo near with that needle!! I sometimes can’t take my eyes off the process and watch her pricking and shaping for hours with little bits of wool that looks like fluff and turns them into these cute bears. Chip, Nutmeg and Gretchen are the latest 3, I think they are getting prettier with each one.

I have had a little go and am still so scared of the needle that I cant use both hands so there isn’t much shaping getting done, I would like to master it and am trying to devise something long to hold the piece well away from my hand and then prick with the other, I tried with pliers but it was just squashing the piece out of shape (much to Charlotte’s amusement, she is trying so hard with me) – there must be a way, I will find one soon!! But in the meantime I am happy to carry on making my usual mohair bears.