Friday, June 9, 2017

Woburn Abbey Teddy Bear Festival Preview

We are in the process of changing web site service provider and our existing web page is no longer accessible.

I have put together a preview of a selection of new bears and friends who will be available at the  Woburn Abbey Teddy Bear Festival on Sunday 11th June 2017.


  Oberon & Forget-me-not

 Tabitha Mouse

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New Teddy Bear show at Woburn Abbey

The next few weeks will be a somewhat busy time as we stitch bears for a new Teddy Bear show.

The Woburn Abbey Teddy Bear Festival will be held on 11th June with is an interesting mixture of artists from various parts of the world as well as a wide selection of old bears including Alfonzo. This beautiful red Steiff bear now lives at the Teddy Bear Art Museum in Denmark.

I have a new little boy bear listed on E-Bay. Winston is wearing a bright yellow sweater with a kitty design on the front. Have not made a miniature knitted item of clothing for some time and this design using a cross stitch diagram, was a little fiddly but looks rather cute.

The potatoes are all in the ground, now to plant beans, tomatoes and whatever else I can fit into the pocket handkerchief vegetable garden. Wish the weather would make up its mind as the last few mornings have been rather cold with a light frost.

Until next time .............

Friday, May 5, 2017

A milestone in life's journey

Yesterday I celebrated something very special, my 47th wedding anniversary.

Mervyn and I have shared many things over the years, heartache and loss, incredible journeys together and an abundance of joy and laughter. Sharing a picture taken on that auspicious day, very young (and skinny) with my proud Dad. It seems such a lifetime ago. 

Busy working on bears for the forthcoming show at Woburn Abbey in early June. Megan has been a wonderful help in setting up our vegetable garden, many hours of work and it is finally all ready for planting. Something unusual for England, we actually need some rain.

Hopefully some pictures of some new bears next time.

'Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust'

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's been a long time ................

A very long absence from my blog for a myriad of reasons, life, caring for an increasingly frail husband, health issues and that precious thing called 'time'.

I started my blog in 2008, seems such a very long time ago, we were still living in Cape Town before the epic move across the world with four cats and lots of craft supplies. Some nine years later and only one of my old kitties still with us, we have settled into our lives in rural Cambridgeshire. A few regrets perhaps and I still miss my special friends from all those years ago but we are blessed with many things. My two little granddaughters have brought much joy into our lives, we have acquired two new rescue kitties and are enjoying exploring the beautiful countryside around us. Our most recent visit was to Anglesey Abbey on a rather cold day but I managed to take some pictures of the beautiful gardens and the house.

I have been busy creating bears for shows Some pictures of my handful of bears, all adopted and living in various parts of the world.




Some more 'beary' news. We have made a somewhat difficult and sad decision to discontinue our web page so the blog beckons for promoting our creations. We will continue to sell on E-Bay, Etsy and at shows in the UK. All the bears presently listed as 'available for adoption' have been reduced in price until mid May when I will start winding down the web page and its contents.

Planning to attend the two Huglets shows in London this year as well as the new show at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire.  Plenty of stitching ahead and time to start thinking of designs.

Until next time ............

To live content with small means.... To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion.... To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich.... To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly.... To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart.... To bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.... In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common....
...........this is to be my symphony.

William Henry Channing

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.


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