Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tenterhooks!

A soggy August Bank Holiday Monday found me snuggled in my armchair watching 'Mandela' on DVD, whilst knitting a pretty white baby cardigan ... and yes, I confess to wearing my slippers, even though it is still supposed to be British Summertime!


Saturday and Sunday were better weather days, so we spent much of our time trompin' around outdoors with Stuart's cheeky grandson and my equally cheeky (if not more so!) daughter.


As usual, whenever the kids come to see us, Polly was in the thick of things - she's never happier than when she has her family around her; I guess that makes two of us!


On Saturday evening, I enjoyed a precious few moments watching my son build the crib he first slept in almost thirty years ago, in preparation for his own baby's arrival in October ...


There was a slight technical hitch with the crib ... having stored both crib and fixings in readiness for my first grandchild for the past 29 years and four months precisely, I discovered when I brought it down from the loft, I had failed to keep safe the bloomin' swinging hooks - heaven only knows what I did with those!  After Googling frantically to find replaements, I eventually had to resort to buying another entire crib complete with similar hooks from an Ebay seller ... so now I have a spare secondhand swinging crib, yet again with no swinging hooks!


 Ants 'n Han are also currently in full swing, creating a beautiful nursery for their first child and of course, I am on Nana tenterhooks as we all count down to their exciting event.  I know for certain my Dad, a commited family man, would have been absolutely thrilled to know his grandson is soon to be a daddy and that his family line will continue into a new generation, with his Great Grandchildren.


So time for me to wish Hannah a safe journey into motherhood and to thank her for giving my son the opportunity to be a daddy and for giving me the very special privilege of becoming a Grandmother for the first time! 
With all my love xxx

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Teds in Tweed!

After receiving fabric samples from a couch maker recently, I couldn't resist ordering a cosy old fashioned wing chair and cushions to be made from Harris Tweed for our living room ... and being the bear maker I am, one thing naturally led to another!


Paying homage to the war time tradition of using alternative fabrics for making teddy bears (http://www.bourtonbears.com/bears-mohair.php) I will be making a few special teddy bears in Harris Tweed, complemented with pure wool felt paws, for the forthcoming 'Teddies 2014' show in London on 14th September.  This fabric has a lovely autumnal essence, perfect for creating cosy traditional teddies with olde worlde appeal.

If you would like to come along to the show to see my latest bears, please visit www.hugglets.co.uk for further details.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

On the crest of a wave

Before Summer slips into Autumn, I have one last pretty girl to share with you.

'Mary-Rose'

Naturally, after my recent holiday by the sea, this gorgeous girl teddy needed a nautical flair!


'Mary-Rose' is quite a substantial girl at 19" tall, so will no doubt provide a pretty pink statement in any teddy bear collection.  If you are yearning for clear blue skies and a life on the ocean waves, perhaps she could be the bear for you!  

For full details of this special teddy bear, please visit my website: 


Update: Mary-Rose has been adopted.

Monday, 4 August 2014

I spy ..

I spy with my little eye, blackberries ripening in the summer sunshine!  


It isn't yet quite time, but those blackberries leave me in no doubt that Autumn's delicate footstep will soon tiptoe through our English countryside, weaving early morning mists and lace webs, before taking a final flambuoyant bow in September and October.


The 'Teddies 2014' show will take place in London on the 14th September and I am looking foward to exhibiting in Hall 2, as usual; this wonderful specialist show always provides me with the perfect focus for my Autumnal inspirations. I am delighted to say, if Autumn is just around the corner, it is now time to gather together cosy fabrics and start work on my golden season teddies!


For further details about the 'Teddies 2014' show, please visit the organiser's website: www.hugglets.co.uk

Friday, 1 August 2014

Making friends in Germany

As a teddy bear maker, one of my greatest pleasures is receiving delighted messages when a new bear meets his owner for the very first time.  Now and again those owners are also kind enough to send me a photograph of their special bear settling into his or her new home ... 

Beau and Robinson: making friends in Germany

Needless to say, I rarely know in advance which bears will ultimately live together, so when I received this particular photograph from a lovely collector recently, I was thrilled to realise Robinson had gone to live in Germany with Beau, the large clown bear I made earlier this year.  I think they look fabulous together, don't you?!

Thank you so much to their thoughtful owner for allowing me to share her beautiful photograph.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Forever in blue jeans

It's was a long time in the making, but last week they finally sealed their sixteen year deal - my photographer sister Tina and her partner Ian were at long last married!

A very relaxed, happy couple - Tina & Ian

The wedding service took place in secret on Friday, then on a very sunny Sunday afternoon, they threw open their home to invite family and friends to celebrate with them, in a super relaxed 'I do in denim blue' garden party celebration.

Making bubbles - Tina and Great Niece Ella

Tina and her daughters must have worked incredibly hard to create the denim garden decorations and pretty blue and white trimmings, not to mention the super denim mugs Tina and Ian printed for everyone to take home!  Ian's hard work in the flower beds and decking looked absolutely beautiful and he cooked up a huge lunch for everyone on his enormous barbecue.  The lawn was full of fun games for the children and the rifle range in the driveway was a stroke of genius, keeping all the big boys and girls entertained for hours!

Fun on the rifle range: Annie Oakley move over, here comes my daughter!

Tina and Ian's reception party was a true reflection of my sister and her new husband ... fun, relaxed, creative and most of all, full of family warmth.

Opening wedding gifts

The one person I know Tina would have wanted present, was definitely with her in spirit throughout the celebrations.  Our Dad never missed a good family knees up and certainly wouldn't have missed this one!  We five sisters were delighted to be able to share Tina's happiness with Auntie Mona, Dad's sister ... and thanks to Tina's generosity with her photographic studio throughout the afternoon, we were thrilled to secure our first ever group photograph with our very special Auntie.

Auntie Mona and her five nieces - Tina top left, Fiona top middle, Laura top right,
Me bottom left, Auntie Mona centre, Lynda bottom right

Ian has been part of our family for many years and it doesn't feel quite right to welcome him into our family at this late juncture when he's been part of our family furniture for donkey's years!  So instead, I'd simply like to wish this very happy couple many more years of happiness and partnership together ...

The groom's speech

Cheers you two!!!
xxx

'Forever in blue jeans'

And in case you were wondering ... yes, of course I made a bear to celebrate!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Refreshing Read!

A very dishevelled, undeniably sweaty bearmaker stepped through my front door after dog training this morning, only to find a copy of the latest 'Teddy Bear Times' magazine waiting on the mat.  Published in its hallowed pages, was not only my new advertisement and one of my recent clown bears in the forthcoming Hugglets show preview, but also a rather lovely 'My Workroom' article, featuring an entire page of chat about little ol' me 'n my bears!!!


I may have been making bears for the past twenty years, but believe me, seeing them in print is a privilege I never take for granted - it is every bit as much of a buzz today, as it was way back in the mid 90's.  Seeing my bears published today refreshed up my hot, sticky self instantly!

If you would like to buy a copy of this month's 'Teddy Bear Times' magazine, please check out your local WH Smith store (UK readers) or alternatively, if you are unable to visit your High Street, or you live overseas, simply pop over to www.teddybeartimes.com where it can be ordered online and delivered straight to your door ...

Happy reading everyone!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Postcard from Cornwall

The sun shone, the scenery beguiled and Polly made a wonderful walking companion ... Cornwall last week, was a fabulous breath of fresh air!


Here are a few of our Cornish holiday snaps, I hope you enjoy them.


I have been visiting Cornwall for about twenty of the past thirty years and if you have ever walked the Cornish coastline yourself, I am certain you will understand why this magical county has the power to draw me back time and time again.


We hiked across the Lizard Peninsula, which I think has to be one of the most beautiful walks in the UK.


Tangy sea air invigorated us as we gazed from pretty St Mawes castle, across the Fal Estuary.


And wherever we went, Polly came too .. even up on castle ramparts!


We visited picture perfect English castles ...


Spectacular English gardens ...


Lands End ...


And of course, no visit to Cornwall would be complete without time to paddle on a few of those glorious unspoiled Cornish beaches!


Cornwall steals my heart every time I visit and I never ever tire of it, no matter what the weather ... but sunshine and Cornwall?  I defy any other destination in the world to beat such an amazing holiday combination!!!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Real Time

To spur me on to finish this little bear before teatime yesterday, I decided to have fun by tweeting work-in-progress pics from my mobile 'phone in real time throughout the afternoon ...


I had previously drawn out, cut out, trimmed, pinned and stitched all the pieces together and stuffed my bear's head, so the first job of the afternoon was to carefully stitch his nose.


Then I set in one eye ...


By the time both eyes were fastened, kind Tweeters had begun to 'favourite' and retweet my little bear's progress among their followers!


I zapped my pics through 'Photoshop Express' on my Iphone to liven them up with a colour filter ... I love using this little gadget to personalise pics.


Without the Twitter pics, I might have talked myself out of finishing my new bear yesterday, but interest from generous Tweeters is a great creative motivator, so I worked hard, tapped my foot to the blues guitar of fabulous Albert Cummings and stuffed and sewed ...


My little bear made good progress during the afternoon and by the time Polly came to collect me from my workroom to make her dinner, 'Marvin' had created a lovely stir among my Twitter friends.


Ready or not, my new bear was consigned to the worktable overnight.  Polly had been very patient with me while I worked during the afternoon, so it was only fair to feed her and indulge in some daft dog rough 'n tumble playtime on the living room rug, before cooking dinner for my husband and daughter and settling down with them for the evening.


This morning we were at dog training, so Marvin had to wait a little longer for his formal photos.  Polly worked hard at school so thankfully, by the time we came home, she was very sleepy and ready for a long, lazy nap (I was too, but no such luck!) I set up the studio in my lounge, grabbed my Canon SLR camera and these are the results ... 


Cute eh?!

Marvin is now ready to find a new home, so I've popped him onto my website in the hope he might catch a kind collector's eye ... 


Fingers crossed!


By the way, if you would like to follow me on Twitter to gain an informal, real time insight into what goes on in my workroom (and beyond!) you are very welcome to join me at:


Update: Marvin has been adopted.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Dreaming of Dreckly Time ..

I confess to dreaming of Cornish cliffs and cream teas when I should probably be planning ahead for the 'Teddies 2014' show in September ...


 It's always hard to focus on work when days are long and skies are blue ... if I'm honest, much as I enjoy bear-making, I'd far rather be tromping with Polly in the countryside, or sitting in a deckchair with a cuppa and a good book, (preferably a thriller!)


I'm delighted to tell you my latest collection of five teddy bears all found new homes and shipped out to reside in America, Germany, N. Ireland and the UK.  Receiving lovely emails from delighted new owners has been a pleasure and a relief ... it has been good to hear the bears arrived safely, but even better to hear they were well received because that made all the summer sewing worthwhile!


I have a small bear waiting on my worktable and as it's overcast outside, I won't begrudge him the time spent working today, but while I sew I may indulge myself in a little Cornish dreckly time daydream ... and yes, it may involve fresh scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream! YUM!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Creative Clutter Clean Up

After seven years of waffling in the form of 857 posts relating to my life, the universe and almost everything in between, not mention over 331,000 'visitor hits', I think this blog earned the right to a smart new makeover for 2014, don't you agree?!


Since I wrote that first post all those years ago, my blog has accumulated so many links, photographs and heaven only knows what else, I grudgingly confess it has become rather overly cluttered, so earlier today I decided to make a determined attempt at sweeping clean with as much minimalist style as I am ever likely to achieve.  

The trouble is, when every photograph is a precious memory and every widget a link to creative impulse, it's really not easy to clear my blogging deck absolutely, so rather than a completely clean slate before bedtime, I have instead achieved what I hope will be a tidier, fresher, slightly smarter corner of the World Wide Web, in which to host my waffle.

I hope those of you who regularly pop in will find this somewhat more contemporary blogging outpost every bit as comfortable as the old one - but hopefully a little better organised.

Before I sign off and head up the wooden hill to bed, I want to say a very special thank you to those of you who have been reading my blog since that fateful day in 2007 ... you know who you are and I hope by now you also know how important your support continues to be to my inner writer.

With warmest hugs and eternal gratitude from,

Your De-Cluttered Blogger xxx




My first ever blog post (March 2007) can be read by clicking the link below: 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

An important business

It has been a very positive week for All Bear adoptions with Tuppence, Papa Bear and Marshmallow all finding lovely new owners over the past few days.

Papa Bear and little Marshmallow have been adopted in the UK!

Tuppence has been adopted to the good ol' US of A!

Robinson and Tootsie waved their pals off with exceptionally good grace, but were naturally a little envious as they hopped back onto my workroom shelves to wait patiently for their own someone special to invite them home ...

Robinson is still waiting hopefully to be adopted ...

And Tootsie is looking forward to meeting her special someone ...

We have received a great deal of enthusiastic interest for both Robinson and Tuppence, but adopting a new bear is an important business and not to be undertaken lightly, so they understand the need for patience and I have told them there is always the right person for the right teddy bear, but sometimes it takes just a little while longer to find that special person!

If you would like to find out more about either Robinson or Tootsie, please pop over to my new website as they are very eager to meet you!


29/6/14 Update: Tootsie has been adopted!

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