Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas To All

I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year and to thank you all for visiting and leaving your lovely comments. I feel blessed to count you among my friends, and I hope that our journey together continues through the coming year. Some of you, I know I will encounter on my travels, and I look forward to perhaps meeting more of you too! Where ever you are in this world, we come together here and share a bond. It truly is a "small world".
So, enjoy the season however you choose to celebrate it. I wish you all the best in the New Year.
Beary Hugs
(BTW this is my 100th post, so look out for another giveaway soon!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What On Earth Was I Thinking?

You know my bears, you know that I like to make realistic bears. You have seen my stash and seen all the lovely "beary" colours I have in it. Soooooooo...... what was I thinking when I bought these two pieces of hand dyed alpaca recently? And what am I going to do with them? Sometimes a gal just has to break out I guess :o) I'm sorry, but you will have to wait until the new year to see what comes from these. I'm quite looking forward to having a little play, but right now I'm busy with a few last minute Christmas orders and I have a plum pudding to make! Late (I know) but it's a super recipe I have been making since I was a teen and it always tastes so good, even when it hasn't had the customary months to mellow and mature.
All the lovely "beary" colours in my stash
And what was I thinking?

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas Treat

Once again I took part in a Christmas swap with the TBACA. I was lucky to get Robyn Roe from Mima's Bears as my swap partner. Greentwinky Jnr is the bear I received from Robyn. He's such  gorgeous bear in silk plush, with the most beautiful handpainted twinkly eyes! He looks very sassy with his little bottom sticking out, as he pulls a Christmas tree along behind him in his little Christmassy wagon.

Rollo and Ding are what I sent to Robyn. I had such fun with this duo, I thought they looked quite the part in their red Chrissy hats :o)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Family Talent

This is one of my neice's pencil drawings, the daughter of my very talented doll maker sister, Susie McMahon. I have never know Selty not to be drawing something, even as a little girl she needed to get her daily "fix" with pencil and paper!  Selty has an incredible eye for detail, and amazing patience in capturing it on paper. If you would like to see more of her work you can visit her blog. She has just started it and I'm sure she would love to have a few visitors.......and maybe some comments to encourage her.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We Have A Winner!

Late, late last night, Sue Jenning's name was drawn from the hat. I want to thank you all for your lovely comments and welcome to my new followers. Stay tuned, I'll be having another giveaway draw soon to celebrate my 100th post! This is number 96 so hopefully it won't be too much longer :o)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wee Bear

This is Wee Bear, I'll be making one just like him as the giveaway gift. I thought he looked a little Christmassy and it being December and all........
For such a small bear ( 2.25"), he has lots of features. He is made in alpaca fur, has a tiny sculpted leather nose, sculpted feet and paws and he even has claws! His little jingle bell hat is sewn from the softest leather.
So if you want to be in with a chance to win this little bear, become a follower of this blog if you aren't one already and leave a comment here or on the previous post. If you mention the giveaway and add a link to your blog I'll add your name twice.That's it, nothing to it really, I'll draw a name on the 10th, in the mean time I'll put my skates on and get the bear done!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where I Come From And A Giveaway!

I grew up in a family that was always doing and making, our parents encouraged us in all our creative activities and as adults we have all continued to make stuff. This little bird was made by my mother, it's stumpwork embroidery and is a late birthday present from her. When I went to visit back in August, just after my birthday, Mum said I'd have to wait for my birthday present because she'd sold it! That's ok with me, this little wren was well worth waiting for. I wanted to show it to you, so that you can see where I get my love of textiles from. Mum is 85, and I've never known her not to be busy with some kind of handcraft. I only hope that I manage to keep going like her, somehow I doubt that I will. I have aches in both hands at the moment after a really intense week of workshops in Victoria. But that might be because I had several weeks off from sewing while on holiday and then got straight into a big day (it was a bit like going back to the gym after a break). I'm hoping that after a while things will settle down and the pain will ease. I'm busy with new bears, I have a show in 11 days and more workshops. After that I can be home for a while.

I've just noticed that I now have 200 followers......time for a new give away! Now I don't yet know what it will be, certainly a little something made by my hand. If you want to be in the draw; become a follower if you aren't one already. Leave a comment here, if you have a blog spread the word with a link here and I'll add your name twice. (You can grab the button for you sidebar if you like) I'll draw a name on the 10th of December.

Keep checking back, I should have a photo of what's up for grabs after I get back from NSW

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I have spent some time on the computer today, doing a little catching up. I feel like I have really been out of the loop for too long! DID YOU MISS ME?

I've been away for the best part of eight weeks, some of which was business. I taught three workshops, (one in Germany and two in England) and traded at the Hugglets show in London.
With business out of the way, I was joined by my husband and daughter for some down time in southern Spain and Morocco. Now, if you want a relaxing holiday I suggest you don't try Morocco! What an assualt on the senses our visit there was. Eventful, colourful, smelly, dirty, astonishing, overwhelming, amazing, beautiful, bountiful and completely stunning, but definitely not relaxing! I thought I'd share some photos with you and let you know I'm still on the planet. When I'm feeling a little less jetlagged I'll share some tales.
This is the entry to Casa Perleta, our accomodation in Chefchaouen (Ville Bleu)

One of the less crowded markets in the Medina in Marrakech, yep that's my back view :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Can Definitely Feel It

I'm sitting in a pool of sunshine in the bay window, it's real frosty outside but I'm feeling as warm as toast. Lately it has definitely felt like spring is on the way, the wattles are bursting into bloom, and in a few days the bush around here will be golden and abuzz with bees. The birds are certainly gearing up, our little Blue Wrens are becoming extremely vociferous and the other day I spotted the first of the returning Welcome Swallows wheeling above the house. Yes, I can definitely feel it :)We have bought a new camera, it's a little one to take travelling with us, so I have been "practicing" with it. I'll have to get used to not looking through the viewfinder, though (it feels kind of odd) but I'm pretty happy with the pics I've been taking. Here are a couple of test photos I took of a bear I've been working on, I wanted to see how close in I could get it. These are with the bear sitting in my lap as I was working. Not bad for snaps! I think it will be a great little camera to take with us to Spain and Morocco, much less cumbersome than the SLR which tends to stay in the bag becuase it's such a pain to get out and use. So hopefully I will have lots of great travel pics to share with you when we get back from our trip :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Teo, the Sunbear

Hi everybody, I have finally finished the sunbear sample for my UK workshops. This is Teo, named with the help of my dear friend Ruth.

Teo has a wired jaw and a long tongue. Sunbears are also known for their claws, so I have made quite a feature of these using a natural leather which contrasts nicely with his black mohair. He also has a locline spine and jointed wrists which make him very poseable. Of course he has my trademark leather nose and appliqued, sculpted leather feet. Now all I need to do is email his photo to Susan at Bear Basics and send her the list of ingredients, the pre-sewing instructions and the pattern.

I can't believe how quickly this trip has come around, I'll be off in a few short weeks! I'm not sure if I'll reach my 100th post before I go, I've been quite slack with my Blogging lately. I promise I will let you all know when the time comes, so keep an eye open for a giveaway in the not too distant future :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Beautiful Gift

I recently donated some mini T pins and discs to a doll maker friend, who was making a bear companion for one of her dolls, and this beautiful watercolour painting was a surprise gift to me in return. I was so overwhelmed when I saw it, she has captured Ralph so perfectly. Linda's other work can be found here

I have almost completed making a sunbear which is the sample for my workshops in the UK in September. I ended up making two heads for this bear, I was wanting to put more and more into it but had to restrain myself, remembering what is achievable in the two days of a workshop. Still, there will be plenty to learn and I have to say the bear is looking pretty cute :) I just need to think of a name for him, suggestions?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Signing Off

Tomorrow morning I'm off to the Gold Coast in Queensland, so I'm signing off for a week. I'll update when I get back next week, with hopefully some photos. I'm hoping the house will still be in one piece when I get back, with my ramapaging two year old grandson here without me to keep an extra eye on him :)

Another Award

You may have seen it elsewhere, but I though I would blog about it too. Aurora won the vote in the "People's Photographic Choice" in the ACDAs, which surprised me somewhat as I found it very hard to photograph her and show her at her best. She's flying off to her new home in America, not under her own steam, but in a box with plenty of bubble wrap to keep her comfortable.

I'm inching my way towards my 100th post so it's coming up to time for a new giveaway, I think :) So watch this space, as very soon I'll be announcing it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Three Bears

As I've said before, I had real difficulties coming up with "Fantasy" themed pieces for the Fantasy Ball. I like bears, and I really like making them, so here are the three bears from Goldilocks! Pappa is 15cm tall, Mamma is 14cm and Baby is 7cm, the larger bears have wired arms, so that they can cuddle their baby. There is more information about them on the Fantasy Ball page on the TBACA website.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Fantasy Ball Is Now On!

The Fantasy Ball is open and there are some wonderful creations available for adoption. I hope you all find time to take a look at what we have all been doing. While you are there, don't forget to cast your vote for your favourite critter in the Australasian Creative Design Awards.

Right now I'm busy making bears to take with me to Queensland next week, it should be a good week of catching up with friends and, hopefully meeting new ones. I hope you're all having a great day, the sun is out here in Tasmania, so the day should be pleasant enough.......curled up in my chair in the sunshine with my sewing......

Here's a photo of Petula pig, she's one of the creations I have available in the TBACA Fantasy Ball.........go on I know you're curious, get on over there!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Thought You Might Like To See

In a couple of weeks I'm flying off to the Queensland for the International Bear and Doll Show at Jupiter's, on the Gold Coast. This is a two day event, held over the Queen's Birthday weekend, and it will give me a welcome break from our wintery weather here in Tasmania. After the show, I am giving two workshops, each one runs for one day, and deals only with the head of the bear. This is a bear I've been teaching for some years now, but I have added some new techniques to it , so the workshops should have plenty of interest for those who are participating.

Included in this workshop are an open mouth with trapunto tongue, leather nose, leather eyelids, shading and detailing and also leather claws for those who wish to add them. It will be a very full on workshop. The kits have been sent out in advance so that the bodies can be prepared, and hopefully by the end of each day we will have all the bears completed.

Meantime, I've got bears to make for the show; so it's a good thing this cold weather we've been having lately, makes me want to huddle up inside by the heater with my sewing!

I know this photo looks weird, I took it when I'd finished the head so that Patti and Graham could use it for promotional purposes, and it does show what the workshops will entail. I have since finished the bear and sent him off to play with the other bears at the Kympatti Studio, I'm sure he's having fun in the Queenland sun :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

For Your Entertainment

I have put together a little preview, sneak peek of what I'll have available at the Fantasy Ball starting on Monday 31st May, at 8am Australian Eastern Standard Time. (If you click on this link it will take you to the website and you'll find a time converter in the sidebar, so you'll be able to find out what time it starts in your neck of the woods)
I hope you like what you see and that you'll find time to pop into the show, it's open 24/7 for a whole week.
Click to play this Smilebox collage: Fantasy Ball
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
This collage customized with Smilebox

Sunday, May 23, 2010

TACDA Nominee

This is Aurora, she's an Arctic Angel and she's been nominated in The Australasian Creative Design Awards. I used a gorgeous piece of Japanese alpaca fur fabric for this bear, it's incredibly soft. Her wings are fashioned from Japanese silk velvet. A very "tame" interpretation of the fantasy theme, but I think a beautiful bear none the less :) If you visit the TBACA website you can see a slide show of all the entries.
On Monday 31st, the ball begins and you will be able to view and vote for your favourite critter in the TACDA's. I'm keen to see how the other ball participants have interpreted the fantasy theme of this show, I had a real struggle but in the end I was pretty pleased with my efforts. I hope you will all find the time to drop into the ball, it will be open for a whole week.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Bingle Bear Up For Grabs

Take a look at this gorgeous little bear. This is Sammy and he's Cheryl Hutchinson's Anniversary Giveaway. If you click on his button in the sidebar you'll be taken over to Cheryl's blog where you can enter the draw, but don't bother he's MINE!!!!!( (only kidding) He's such a sweet little fellow don't you think?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

AAAAARH! What Have They Done?

It was "crazy hair" day at my grandson's day care, and this is what they did to him! He apparently wasn't too impressed. It reminded me of when his daddy and aunty were little, they were both very bald (my father nicknamed them a "bucket of whitebait" because they were all big blue eyes looking out of the twin stroller) Anyway people used to stop me to admire the babies, and on being told they were boy and girl, assumed Sam was the girl because he had a little more hair than Laurel. So, as soon as I could drag Laurel's hair up into a top knot, I did so, denoting her as the girl.......only trouble was, when Sam saw it he wanted one too! :D He tried a dress once too, but I think he decided that it was too inhibiting for boisterous play (or is that "boysterous"?)

Late yesterday I walked with Lily down to the lake, it had been a gorgeous Autumn day and (very rarely for Tasmania) there wasn't a breath of wind, so I knew it would be lovely to watch the sunset over the water. As we strolled along, the pastels of the sunset were reflected perfectly in the still waters of the lake. We saw a group of swans, they were calling out to each other and their voices carried easily over the glassy surface. There were trout leaping, breaking the surface with mighty splashes as they fell back into the water. I love these gentle autumn days, there's a little bit a sadness and introspection about them as the days draw in, but there comes with them the welcome relief from summer's arid heat. The only thing that spoiled the idyll, was the clamour of logging operations in the distance, the noise carried rather loudly through the still air over the lake.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fab Flynn Fun

I have returned from Bear Essence in Victoria, after two very full Flynn workshops. It was a very tiring, but also very fulfilling four days of intense bear teaching. The girls all went home well pleased with their achievements, while in the evenings, despite my exhaustion, I was able to make progress on my pieces for the Fantasy Ball.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Off To Melbourne

I'm off to Melbourne later today, for four days of workshopping. We're making Flynn, a lovely brown, alpaca bear with a gorgeous face and wrist joints.

As usual I will have my work cut out for me, with lots of new techniques covered over the two days of each workshop. I will hopefully have some photos of the completed bears when I get back next week. I had better go get myself packed, I need to take plenty of sewing to do in the evenings with the TBACA Fantasy Ball photo deadline looming large. I have had lots of trouble with the fantasy themeof this show, my feet are just too firmly planted on the ground! Still, it will do me good to get out of my comfort zone and try something a little different, which is Sandi's intention.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Desertmountain Bear Giveaway

Joanne Livingston is giving away a gorgeous little repro girlie on her blog. If you want to take part, click on the button in the sidebar and you will be taken over to Desertmountain Bear's blog, where you'll find the instructions for the draw.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Off To A New Home

Just letting you know that Luna has found a new home. He will be flying off to keep company with quite a few other Benson Bears in a very special hug :-) I thought I would show you just how cute his feet are before he goes. This leather is a beautiful deep, reddish brown, and I have added oil paint to enhance the sculpting.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some New Bears At Last!

Wow lookie here! I've got two new bears to show you :) I haven't been idle at all. I have just sent my photo to Sandi for the Australasian Creative Design Awards, it was really hard to get a good photo of that creation. Some things just never seem to come out so well in a photo, unlike the house which always looks alot tidier and cleaner than in real life ;-) I guess the camera doesn't really focus on the dog hair balls hiding in the corners or the drifts of bear fur floating around............. Ah the bears! Here we have Luna (the brown bear with contrasing ears) and Rosa. Each has a double neck joint and Rosa also has joints at her wrists. They are both made from beautiful tipped Schulte alpaca. Luna's fur is brown with black tip while Rosa's is a gorgeous chocolate brown with an almost dusky rose tip (hence her name). Of course they both have some really cute sculpted leather feet, made from some wonderfully soft leather I brought back from England with me last year. I'll try to get them up on my website with some more information a little later, right now the dog is hassling for a walk and I need the exercise.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ginger's having a Giveaway!

My dear Blogging friend Ginger Brame is having a Spring giveaway. The sweet little bear in the photo is Blossom, and she's up for grabs over at Ginger's Blog. Just click on her photo and you'll be whisked away over to the right place :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

You've Gotta Try This!

I have been using this thimble for some weeks now and I'm totally converted! It looks very insubstantial, but therein lies it's practicality. It is a small, concave and dimpled stainless steel disc which attaches to your finger with strong double sided tape. When I'm sewing it stays there for hours, in fact the longer it is attached to my finger the stronger it's hold, and I forget it's there. I have quite a collection of various thimbles that I have accumulated over the years, some are homemade leather protectors, some I have bought. My mother gave me a lovely antique silver thimble many years ago, which I used constantly until I wore through the tip. I took it to a jeweler for repairs and he thought he was doing me a favour when he smoothed out all the dents on the tip! Obviously he had never sewn in his life and didn't realise why they were there, the thimble was rendered useless and now resides in a display cabinet with a few other "treasures". And no I'm not left handed I just popped the thimble on my other hand so I could hold the camera for the photo without contorting myself and doing myself a mischief :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Giveaway Winners

I was so caught up in the banter over at the TBACA show last night that I forgot to draw the winners for my giveaways! The two names that came out of the basket (not a hat) were.......DRUM ROLL.......Robyn Roe from Mima's Bears and Peterbear who I know from over at Teddy Talk and who I have also had the pleasure of meeting in person at Hugglets, Teddies 2009! So, Robyn and Peter, I will need to get your details so that I can post out your surprises :) Thankyou to all who participated in the draw, I've really enjoyed reading your comments and visiting those of you who have blogs.
Meanwhile the Be My Valentine show yesterday was another success for me, with all my bears finding new homes. Many, many thanks to Sandi Smith who once again did marvelously well to keep us all on track and inspired.

Now that the show is over I can let you see them all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Don't Forget!

Tomorrow the TBACA "Be My Valentine" show starts at 8am Eastern Aussie Summe Time, if you pop over to the site you'll find a time converter in the side bar where you can figure out the start time in you own neck of the woods.
I'll definitely need to set my alarm for the morning after a very disturbed night last night, curtesy of my grandson! After leaving him to himself for a while I thought I'd try him in bed with us.....big mistake! It was like trying to sleep with a rooting piglet in the bed! Eventually I had to decamp with Tobias under my arm, so that Chris could get at least a couple of hours sleep before going to work. How can someone so small take up so much room in a Queen size bed?
Here's to a good nights sleep tonight :)
I'd also hoped to have photos of my giveaways before now, but it just hasn't happened. Hopefully sometime tomorrow all will be revealed, so be patient with this poor ol' sleep deprived Nanna.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Not Much Going On Here

I have my 20 month old grandson, Tobias, staying with me for a couple of days, so the only time I can get anything significant done is when he's gone nunights! Even though he seems to be extremely self contained and entertains himself really happily, I have to keep a very watchful eye on him, particularly as he seems to be attracted to all the sharp things associated with sewing bears!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sandi Sent Me A Button

Sandi Smith over at Bearly Sane has sent me a button for my give aways, feel free to lift it and use it on your own blogs :)
Thanks so much Sandi, you're such a gem to find the time to do this for me when you're in the thick of it!
In case you didn't realise, Sandi's in the middle of getting the TBACA Be My Valentine Show ready for our opening on February 13th, check out the TBACA website for the details.

Imminent Danger!

I'm in imminent danger of having to add another Blog giveaway! In celebration of 100 followers I will be adding another bear to my giveaway. So on the 13th of February when I do the draw for my first anniversary, if I have 100 followers, I will be drawing not one name but two names from the hat! If you have already signed up you're in, the same rules apply. Sign up as a follower and leave a comment, if you add a link to your blog mentioning the giveaways you will get two extra chances in the draws. You can leave your comments here or in the earlier giveaway post.
Woohoo this is FUN!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010


I spent all of yesterday in therapy. Not really but it sure felt like it. I've started the enormous task of sorting out my bearmaking supplies, starting with my huge stash of fabric! Wow, I never realised how much I had until I saw it all in one place, not scattered in boxes all over the house :) I also realised that my penchant for alpaca is more than evident when I perused the pile, I would say that is constitutes around 90% of my stash!

And the leathers! I spent several hours stripping down various pieces of opshop leather clothing, getting rid of linings, zippers, studs, shoulder pads and ended up with a big pile. I found some small pieces that I've had for years from which I may be able to squeeze some fabulous feet, but I seem to have mislaid them again.......perhaps swallowed by the heap. I'll have to go through it all again to locate them because I really, really want to use those pieces! Though there are lots of other pieces to choose from :)

You know all those bags of scraps you accumulate, the bits that are too small to do anything with but are too big to toss? You know, you've had them for years and still they accumulated, well I TOSSED them! Yep, I know I was never going to use them and they were taking up precious storage space. I have a friend who teaches primary school and I will donate some of the better pieces to her for the children to use in their art, with Easter around the corner they can make some furry bunny collages.
There is still so much to do, all the incidentals like hardware, I've dealt with the software ;) sewing thread, the magazines which seem to breed, the bits and pieces scattered far a wide all need a home where I can lay my hands on them without spending precious hours rummaging. I'm determined to be more organised this um I think I said that last year, perhaps if I keep saying it, it will happen but maybe not over night!
Thanks for listening, I may take a break today and actually do some sewing......after all there's a gorgeous pile of alpaca beckoning and bears in my head.
Oh and don't forget to sign up for my blogiversary giveaway, I should have some idea of what it will be in a few days, Bye for now :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Sneak Peek 2

This is more like it! With some email help from Linda at Lombard Bears ( I managed to get this! What fun!

Not Quite What I Had In Mind

Click to play this Smilebox collage: Valentine
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox collage
Well this isn't quite what I intended, but it looks like fun :) This is a sneak peek at the bears I will have in the "Be My Valentine" online show next month. I'm sure Sandi was spitting at me and my limited computer abilities on Sunday night, but after a few hitches I got the photos off to by the skin of my teeth again! I will have to be more organised next time, to save Sandi some anxiety. It is all in her capable hands now as she gets the site ready for our opening on February 13, I sure hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Blogiversary and a Give Away!

I've been thinking lately, that with my first blogging anniversary just around the corner, it's time for a Blog give away :) I haven't actually decided what it will be yet, but it will be a bear made by me. So here's the deal; if you want to be included in the draw. If you aren't already one, register as a follower and leave a comment. If you mention the give away and add a link on your blog you will be entitled to 2 extra chances in the draw. When the time comes, ( February 13th at 9pm AEST) I'll use a highly scientific method to choose the winner (ie;names in a hat)
In the meantime I'll put my skates on and make the bear so that it's ready to post out to the lucky winner. I will also take a photo to show you all what's up for grabs :) Good Luck and many thanks to you all for your support during the year it's been a blast!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Keeping the Monsters at Bay

It's high Summer here in Tasmania with long days of sunshine, but not too hot on the whole. We have been eating strawberries harvested daily from the garden along with salads of picking leaves, (oak leaf lettuce, rocket, baby beet, spinnach) but best of all we have just pulled up the garlic grown from cloves pushed into the soil deep in Winter. As the bulbs cure I've been stringing them together to make a garlic rope and there is an all pervading aroma of garlic about the no self respecting vampire will be visiting us any time soon!