Thursday, 25 July 2013

New directions.

Well, here we are again, nearly the end of another month! Where on earth has 2013 gone?! It's absolutely whizzed by.  They say time flies when you're having fun, and I've certainly enjoyed this year, so far - I do hope it's been a good one for all of you, too! In June I did the first Bear fair I've done in many years, and it was very satisfying - not simply because my work was appreciated, but because several bear makers remembered me from Orkid Bears' previous incarnation, and expressed pleasure to see me return - that was very gratifying!  As a result I have booked 3 more, slightly higher profile, bear events for this year, and am making some bears specially with them in mind - here's a sneak peek!

These Bear events mean that I shall be, briefly, more accessible to those who like my bears but don't live in Dorset! The first is the Telford Teddy Bear Parade, at the Park Inn in Telford, on Sunday the 27th October - hoping to see a few of my friends from Wales, Shropshire and Gloucestershire!  Then I have 2 in the run up to Christmas, for those who would like huggy Christmas presents, either for themselves or friends, on the 1st December, I expect to be at the Beaulieu Bear Fair, where I'm rather hoping some of my old customers might discover I'm back in business!  Then I have a completely new direction to go in - on the 8th of December I expect to be at the Great Brighton Teddy Event in Hove Town Hall. Sussex was always a very 'beary' area, but I never did any shows there, though, back in the 60s, I did go to boarding school in Brighton! Maybe I'll have time for a quick nostalgic visit ;o)

The other bit of news, hot off the press, is that I will be running a 2 day bear making workshop on 4th & 5th November, in Seaton, Devon. There is a lovely coffee house/craft centre there, with excellent food, who close to general business on Mondays & Tuesdays specifically to have making workshops, and we have got together for this project. They will be supplying lunches, snacks and drinks included in the cost, and I will be providing all materials, tuition and pattern etc.  In 2 days we will go through the whole process, from scratch, to end up with a little velvet bear that you can take home. The bear will be fully jointed, with button jointed limbs and a split pin joint for the head, you will have enough fabric to make another bear when you go home, and you have free & full use of my pattern.  The bear will be a bit like this -

but without the complex paw pads, so get in contact if you're interested! (

Lots to look forward to! Hope I can keep up with myself ;o)  I'm experimenting with new pattern ideas, and have some new directions to go in bubbling at the back of my mind - when I can find a suitable fabric, I want to make dragons again, but the right 'scaly' fabric is eluding me at the moment :(  The elephants and rabbits/hares seem to be popular, so I will explore where else I can go with those in the near future - I love 'star gazing' hares, so I'd like to design my own version of those! Onward and upwards, all the latest is on my Facebook Page ( The website requires Jiffy to update it, so it tends to lag behind just a little :(

Friday, 5 July 2013

Stop the world, I wanna catch my breath!

Since the Alton Teddy Bear Festival on June 20th, life seems to have picked me up by the scruff of the neck and hurled me off in several directions at once! We had already decided that we wanted to stay in this neck of the woods, close to where we were both born, but putting it into practice has gone so fast, it feels like life is saying ' At last! Right, now you've made your minds up, let's get on with it.'
The bear world has also grabbed me and hurled me into a social whirl (online) that didn't exist when I was last making bears, I've joined several bear groups, resulting in bargain fabrics and appreciation of my work from directions I could only have dreamed of 10 years ago. Not at all sure I can keep up!  My bears are continuing to evolve, becoming more like those I made 10 years ago, with larger feet and longer muzzles - a bit more like real, adult bears, but with human characteristics, too.
We have cancelled the Bath fairs we were doing, as we weren't really doing that well at them, and it's a long way to travel - made for a very long, wearying day. However, Alton was such fun, we are booking more Bear Fairs and hope to be at Beaulieu in Decenber - and. of course, plan to do Alton again next year! I'm also hoping that the shows at Kensington Town Hall will give me a chance sometime, that really being the top show in this country, so an important showcase for any serious bear maker.

In terms of craft, rather than bear, fairs, we plan to do The Exchange fairs in Sturminster Newton on the first Saturday of each month, and the fairs at Digby hall in Sherborne every 3 months, run by the same person - the lovely Millie! *waves in the hope that Millie reads this* These fairs have a lovely atmosphere, and the other stall holders are all quality makers, so I heartily encourage anyone who can to give them a visit - you won't be disappointed! We will both be exhibiting at Sturminster tomorrow, and at Sherborne next Saturday - looking forward to seeing how Jeffery's paintings are received ;o)

If you would like to see more of Jeffery's work, check out his Facebook Page
If all goes according to plan, I hope to be running a 2 day bear making workshop, in Seaton, Devon, in early November. No details yet, as the venue are still sorting things out at their end, but let me know if you're interested and you'll be at the top of the list!