Monday, 30 April 2012


I love flowers.  One of my favourites is the forget-me-not.  It is in bloom in my garden at the moment.  Its small blue flowers are a wonderful foil for my tulips and bluebells.  They seed themselves all over the garden and are incredibly easy to grow.  The photo below was taken on one of the very few sunny spells we've had over the past week!

I normally take some bear making materials with me when we go on holiday, but this time, decided to take a couple of beading kits with me instead.  I bought the kits a few months back, but life and bear making commitments had got in the way.  One of the kits was for a lovely forget-me-not necklace and earrings set from Spellbound beads.  They have a wonderful selection of kits available online. 

Although I have strung beads together to make neckwear for my bears, I have never attempted jewellery or a kit before, so was very pleased that my necklace looked very like the photo that came with the kit!  The instructions were very good.  I still need to finish the other necklace.  I have a feeling it may accompany me on my next holiday! 

I discovered while we were away that Spellbound Beads is in Lichfield which was within easy reach of where we were staying, so managed to combine a trip to Shugborough Estate with a little shopping at Spellbound Beads.  The shop is an absolute Alladin's cave and well worth a visit if you get the opportunity.  I came away with another couple of kits, a couple of strings of turquoise beads (for bear wear!)  and a book on beadwork.

I think it did me good to take a week's break from the bears as I came home invigorated and have created and made three new designs for the Friends of Teddy online show in July.



Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Joy of Bear Making

There cannot be many artisans that get to work with such fabulous materials as bear makers!  I adore natural fabrics such as mohair, alpaca and silk.  There is something about the softness, silkiness and pure luxury that these materials  afford.  The way the fabrics can be moulded into three dimensional teddies and other animals seems to me to be almost magical. 

I luckily managed to accumulate a decent stash of materials before I retired.  Whenever I start a new project, I drag out lots of different fabrics before I choose the one that I feel will work best. Alpaca is wonderful, dense fur for realistic bears.  Thick, wavy or dense straight mohairs are great for classic teds.  Curly and matted mohairs are great for aged bears and other animals.

Some ladies like shoes...others love handbags.  I love fabrics!  Anyway, I don't think I will need to buy more for a while! 

I am very busy at the moment producing bears and other animals for summer shows.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Back to Work!

We returned from a week's holiday last weekend.  Although the weather was mostly cool and wet, it didn't stop us from enjoying our break.  We stayed in a lovely cottage in countryside near Royal Leamington Spa.  We had days out in Leamington, Warwick and Coventry.  We also visited the Black Country Living Museum and the Shugborough Estate.  We went for a nice walk along the Grand Union Canal at Hatton Locks. 

I am now working to create bears and other animals for summer shows.

 View from the cottage



 Black Country Museum Tram
 Grand Union Canal
 Limestone Mines - Black Country Museum
 Hatton Locks
 Limestone Mines

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Easter Outings

We awoke to beautiful weather on Good Friday, so headed to the Royal Horticultural Gardens at Wisley with a picnic.  The Spring flowers were a delight, especially the camellias.

The bees were busy!
The glasshouses were full of orchids and other delights.

The weather on Easter Sunday was cold, wet and windy, but that didn't stop us visiting the Steam and Transport Show at Chathan Historic Dockyard.

There was plenty to see and we enjoyed our visit, despite the weather doing it's best to spoil the day!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Panda Pals

I have been working on trying to improve my panda design.  To that end, I have been drafting and redrafting my pattern.  Li Ling is the result of my latest efforts.  I feel like I am gradually getting nearer to what I am trying to achieve.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Panda Chai

I have just finished Chai. Hope you like him!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Evie - a new Ellie

Evie is the second ellie I have ever designed and made.  She was made using a lovely rust coloured German mohair and her ear linings and paw pads are made from a fun, spotty cotton.  She has four nut and bolt joints in her limbs and a cotter pin joint in her neck.  Elephants should be a good weight and Evie has been stuffed with polyfill, plastic beads and has a calico bag of stainless steel balls in her tummy.  She has black, English glass eyes.  She has been aged to look like she has had a life.   She is wearing cream, lace ribbons and two rusty jingle bells.  She is 9 inches tall and looking for a new home.