Thursday, July 23, 2015

After a while .............

Once again it has been quite some time since my last blog update.  I have been busy with orders, an on line show and summer gardening with rather little time to spare ... so a short update and lots of pictures.

First the garden,  the clematis have thrived this year after a good pruning and this is one has produced a waterfall of flowers.

The Alice in Wonderland rose in my garden, some one slipped up when grafting this mini standard rose, both pink and white flowers.


Hanging baskets with a fuchsia called 'Blackie'.



Beautiful pink peony flowers with a little matching pink bear called Peony.



The recent on line show was a great success, all the little bears finding homes within a few hours of the show opening.  The theme was a little difficult as both of us found it rather difficult thinking Christmas in the middle of summer.

I did make one very special little bear with a holiday theme. Bright red and appropriately called Holly Berry.
  
I also made a little girl rabbit called Emily with Megan creating her tiny little companion 'Wabbit'.
 

A new pincushion design,  a starfish with sea green bear called Sea Foam.

We have a small local show scheduled for early August and Hugglets in London in early September.  With outstanding orders to complete the next few months look to be busy with lots of stitching to do.

Some of my precious time has been spent sitting with my husband at the hospital's eye clinic.  The good news is that the injections have been successful and he is due for a final check up next week.  He will then be put on the waiting list for laser surgery.  Just wish the seating available at the hospital was a little more comfortable so that I could sit and perhaps knit, sew or crochet while waiting.

After a very long wait of almost twenty two weeks, my consultation with the dermatologist was not a great success.  She considered my psoriasis not too severe, hardly surprising really as it is mid summer and I have been able to spend some time outside in the sun and the initial flare up was sometime in March. I was sent home with a prescription for steroid cream and put on the waiting list for photo therapy, my first appointment will be at the end of this month.

Many years of sitting sewing and working on the computer has not proved very kind to my neck and shoulders and the osteoarthritis in my spine is sometimes rather painful.  The physiotherapist informs me that it is posture related and has offered little help other than suggesting that I take more pain killers and sit up straight!  I guess that the age thing is catching up with me.

They're not gray hairs. They're wisdom highlights. ~Author Unknown

Friday, June 5, 2015

A summer garden, the story behind a name and of course some new bears ......

It would appear that summer has arrived,  somewhat violently but the weather is warmer,  the evenings light until late and the garden is flourishing. The first day of June arrived with very strong winds which threatened my precious peonies and fuchsias but fortunately they are all still looking good.

Early last year I purchased seed potatoes and a grow bag from an offer in the newspaper. Included in the deal was a selection of garden plants. The potatoes were not a great success producing rather poor results but I planted the assorted flowers in various parts of the garden and did not give them much attention. I planted the foxgloves along the side garden wall after removing a hodge podge of overgrown shrubbery. This year they have finally started flowering and are a haven for the bees and actually look quite pretty.





One little fluffy English bee in the last picture who was not impressed with my photographic endeavours and would not co-operate and keep still!  I confess to having an insatiable curiosity and wondered why they were called 'foxgloves'.  Did some Google research and discovered the most fascinating website on poisonous plants and discovered that - 'There are a number of explanations offered for the name 'foxglove'. It is said that it was originally named 'folk's love' meaning the fairies loved the way the flowers point downwards as it gives them a place to shelter. As home to the fairies, children were told it was bad luck to disturb the plant as this would lead to the fairies being homeless.  It is also said to come from 'fox glove' as the fairies gave the flowers to foxes to wear as gloves so as to leave no trace when raiding a hen house. This explanation was popular with people inclined to raid the rich man's hen house for themselves.'  Think I rather like thought of the foxes wearing flowers as gloves!

A Mother's Day gift some five years ago this beautiful Campanula has thrived in a pot and is a welcome splash of colour by the back door.


At the Hugglets show in February I came home with some new fabric including two pieces of random dyed rayon with co-ordinating linen for foot pads.  Rather faded and 'aged' looking I made two little 'handfuls', the first is Emily in shades of pink.  Her dress is made from the sleeve of a vintage christening gown which I dyed pale pink to match the fabric.  I used the sleeve edge for the top of the dress and added a band of embroidery around the hem. Unfortunately this fabric is extremely fragile and needed very careful handling.


The second little girl I have just completed is in shades of blue.  Eloise is wearing a blue dress with crochet cardigan. I have used the same yarn to embroider her dress and made a selection of crochet flowers to trim her head.

My husband's eye treatment appears to have been successful after a third injection.  A follow up visit in a month's time just to check progress and possible laser surgery later in the year.

The on line show 'Christmas in July' is next month,  finding it a little hard to feel creative to this theme in mid summer!  Really need to get busy stitching, hoping the ideas will start flowing soon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring flowers, outings, bears and life .............

Looking back over past years when I sometimes updated my blog some five times in one month I have been somewhat slack with updates recently.  So at long last an update, to my two new followers, welcome to my ramblings!

Still facing some health issues of my own,  I have also spent many hours sitting at our local hospital waiting for my husband who has been having treatment for a vein occlusion in his eye.  The eye clinic is always busy and previously I used to drop my husband off at the hospital for his routine check ups but as he is now so frail,  I do have to be there to 'hear' for him and also help him if necessary.   The hospital has benches for waiting patients that I think must have been designed to ensure the utmost discomfort.  I have tried to crochet,  sew bears as well as read with little success as my back starts to ache and I spend a lot of time wriggling around to get comfortable.  I have resorted to 'people watching' which rather reminds me of my years of travelling to bear shows around the world and the time spent sitting in airport departure halls observing the passers by.  Those patients awaiting retinal eye surgery have a variety of tests carried out returning to the waiting area between each one.  On my first visit I observed a gentleman sitting waiting with a large black spot over his eye and I sort of wondered if he knew that he had a dirty smudge on his forehead.  Rather embarrassed to realise that this was so the doctor knew which eye needed treatment!  Fortunately the injections into the cornea seem to be working for Mervyn,  a third one is scheduled for later next month and hopefully that will be the last one.

Now on to the happier events in life and a lot of pictures!  My garden is starting to look quite colourful with all the spring flowers in full bloom.  The daffodils under the crab apple look so pretty.


sunny yellow daffodils on the dining room table


In November when driving home from London I noticed a plant nursery was having a sale.  I bought two hanging baskets,  one with pansies and the second with an assortment of pansies,  English (bellis) daisies and of all things a tiny conifer tree.  They have thrived on the wall next to the conservatory right through winter snows and frost and look good to last for several more months.  I love pansies and have always had some in my gardens in various parts of the world.  These purple flowers are quite magnificent.



I have been busy working on bears for various orders but did complete a little pink bear sitting on a pincushion.  Fleur is bright candy pink and is sitting on a two tier pincushion set.  The top section is made from black rose print fabric which is left over from a dress I made for myself in my late teens when granny print was so much in fashion.  This little bear is now available in our Etsy store.


Megan has an ever increasing collection of resin ball jointed dolls.  After so many years dressing teddy bears, spreading our wings to make clothing for these wonderful dolls seemed a good idea.  We recently opened a new Etsy store 'Magpie's Secret and these are some of the items now available.




Earlier this month for a family birthday treat we visited Framlingham Castle in Suffolk.  All that remains of this twelfth century castle are the high walls which offer an incredible view of the surrounding countryside. High places rather terrify me but I braved the curtain wall which is 10.5 metres high walking with a 'you can do this' refrain running through my head and not looking directly down!






I also discovered that wallflowers do actually thrive in walls ...........


Finally a picture of our little Radcliffe kitty sleeping peacefully on his blanket in our work room.


Now back to work with several orders to complete.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Teddi & Friend on line show

The past few weeks have been the usual hectic rush with the London show and an on line show.  The Teddi & Friend on line show opened today with a wonderful selection of bears from artists around the world.
  
This is Violetta, wearing a dress made from a pretty violet print vintage handkerchief and her tiny kitty friend Cleo.


A little rabbit called Sophie dressed in vintage lace.


The Hugglets show at the end of February was well attended and as always a wonderful opportunity to meet up with old friends, both fellow artists and collectors.

The vintage lace decorating our table always attracts attention!

Finally some pictures of the furry children in the family.  Our rescue kittens have settled in so well.   Belladonna is gained so much in confidence and has turned into a beautiful cat with perhaps some Maine Coon ancestry. 


My little black kitty always rather camera shy is the last of the Cape Town foursome. Now getting on in years she views the young upstarts with a certain disdain.

Radcliffe has also blossomed and is a total little monster into everything with a fascination for paper and scissors.  He seems to have some oriental ancestry as he is extremely talkative.  Sitting on the sewing machine was a new trick!


One final picture of the colonial pin case I made as a Christmas gift for a friend.  The embroidery was done on my fancy Brother sewing machine which I bought so many years ago and hardly get to use

.

Now that the two main shows are over it is time to get working on several overdue orders.  I would like to do some beading and embroidery and of course make clothing for the ball jointed dolls to stock our Etsy store.  There are also letters owing to friends around the world, definitely need some more hours in the day.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

After a somewhat long absence .............

It is almost the end of February and I have been somewhat absent from blogging for some weeks.  So far this year our family have had more than their fair share of winter 'flu and other nasties.  I have psoriasis which is usually under control but does tend to worsen in winter due to a lack of sunshine.  As it affects my ears this causes a secondary problem and I developed a severe ear infection last month.  Unfortunately this has made my psoriasis flare up and I am presently red and splotchy and extremely itchy. With upcoming shows and feeling somewhat stressed it has most probably made it all a lot worse. Planning to get back on to a very low protein diet in the next few weeks,  this does definitely help but it is rather a bother.

The Hugglets Winter Bearfest takes place tomorrow in London. Our table display will be a little sparse unfortunately as production has been somewhat affected but we do have some rather special bears for the show.

I had great plans to make a whole variety of my 'handfuls' using some of the wonderful vintage rayon fabric I shared on my blog some months ago. I only managed to complete three of this slightly bigger bears and this is Cerise a special little red bear dressed in cream with vintage lace trim.


A little black bear dressed in cream and trimmed with pale blue called Cailin


and finally a little boy bear called Casimir made from mohair
 

I have uploaded a preview of all the new bears on our web page.  Looking forward to the show and catching up with fellow artists and collectors.

I am planning a quiet week after the show then it will be back to work to complete a selection of bears for the upcoming on line show and complete a backlog of orders.

Spring is in the air with all the bulbs starting to appear in the garden and I am looking forward to getting out and doing some much needed work. 

Have a good weekend, until next time ...............


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year begins .............


"Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each 
new day. " ~ Michael Josephson




 ...........and so another year begins.   For all the followers and readers of my blog I wish that 2015 be a year be filled with good fortune,  joy and much happiness.  Let us practice random acts of kindness and help a stranger,  pray for peace,  understand,  say 'thank you' and sing for joy.    An abundance of blessings to you all.


"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.  Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.  So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.  Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.  Make your mistakes, next year and forever." ~ Neil Gaiman

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Christmas Wish ........

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ” 
~Norman Vincent Peale

On this Christmas Day,  for each of the wonderful people who take the time to visit my blog, read my ramblings and sometimes leave a comment ....


my wish for you is that this will be a very special Christmas, far removed from the over-commercialisation surrounding us.   Make time to remember what this day is all about,   to enjoy the togetherness of being with family and friends, the joy of giving and receiving of simple gifts.

"At its best, Christmas is a mirror in which we see reflected the very best life can be. Where we see ourselves moved by generosity, inspired by hope, and uplifted by love, not only for ourselves but for the whole evolving universe" ~ Bruce Sanguin 

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