Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Like Finding Bluebells in January !

That's a strange thing to say isn't it ? Of course , neither my Papillon (above) or I , have really found actual Bluebells amongst the soggy , tired grass - but what I mean is ; sometimes life can delight you with its own metaphorical Bluebell clumps ! There are happy or lucky things which lift you way above all the gloom of the daily media news grinding , or the wan , grey strains of a UK sun with a sniffle !

I was absolutely thrilled to be chosen for the February artist profile on Teddy Bears and Critters Australasia . Sandi Smith , who runs this whole wonderful group , decided to introduce one of the Affiliate members in more detail and so I feel very lucky and honoured by it . The interview is beautifully written up , at a really busy time for Sandi when she is preparing for the Be My Valentine Show on 14th February - thank you so much :0)
You can click here if you'd like to visit TBACA and see the Feature Artist page .

Whilst mentioning the show , here are 2 tiny teasing pics for you :-

I also got my current copy of Teddy Bear Club International recently , which gives details on The British Bear Artist Awards . Reading the editor's piece about the judging and award placements was very interesting , but also she wrote some lovely things about Lily , who came 1st in the miniatures section . It totally made my head swell to see those words in print ... on a page in a magazine ! Wowie , I was delighted !

I have had some lovely messages from bear artist friends recently and I take genuine pleasure in being part of this community . A few years ago these warm and friendly ladies took me in from the outer fringes "of the fur" , so to speak , making me welcome and giving instant validation to what had become a rather isolated creative process . Well , each adds another little bloom to the bunch !
Imagine my surprise , and sincere pleasure in being handed back the Proximidade Award for a second time by Paula Carter of All Bear !!! And ( I just noticed) from Pauline , over at her super Valewood Bears blog !

Rosy cheeks here too Paula ! Many thanks for all your kindness , and tireless consideration for us all . Thank you too Pauline ; I appreciate your lovely words . Now I have a positive bouquet of smile raising moments !

In the spirit of the awards I hope that no one will mind if I now pass it on to all of you . I truly appreciate everyone who stops in on this blog , and I consider you all to be in "my neighbourhood" . Please be sure to take away a posy of virtual Bluebells with you too! :0)

T.T.F.N Ruth x

Friday, 23 January 2009

Tag : I'm It !!

I have been tagged by Tammy of Beckoning Bears with a challenge to reveal 6 random facts about myself . I've had to have a bit of a think for some remotely interesting things to tell ! Anyway , here they are :-

1. I was born with Segmental Heterochromia in my left eye . Really, it's just a fancy bit of "optician speak" for a different coloured segment of the iris .Mine is a much darker brown portion at the bottom on the left . It can also be caused by trauma ; think David Bowie and his scissor incident (!) Other people with Heterochromia - Alexander The Great , Kate Bosworth , and Kiefer Sutherland apparently . It's also flippin' difficult to get a photo of !!!

2. From the ages of 7 to 19 I lived in Royston , Hertfordshire , in a road just off Sun Hill . Why of interest ?? In the same town lived the late Geoff McQueen , a writer who came up with the original concept ( and first series scripts ) of a phenomenally successful , long running drama about police based at Sun Hill station . Yes , it was "The Bill" !
I have also read that 2 of the League of Gentleman went to the University of East Anglia , and passing through our town gave them the model for creepy Royston Vasey !!! Cheek !

3. When I was 9 I bought my own copy of "In the Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson .
I must have looked ridiculous going in to a record shop full of long haired prog-rockers and asking for this album by name - my music taste was always precocious ....
Sample lyric : " Cat's foot iron claw ,
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoia's poison door ,
Twenty first century schizoid man "

How funny that my oldest son who's nearly 19 , has lately "discovered" this album and rates it most highly , whilst betraying a slight glimmer of being impressed with my early discernment . LOL

4. I first saw my husband when I was 12
, and he was 13 . He was riding up and down the road outside my friend's house without holding on to his handle bars !! I was impressed ( not to mention smitten) although I don't remember thinking "that's the man I'm going to marry" exactly . Somewhat later on , bearing in mind I first read Gone With the Wind at 14 , I marvelled at how splendiferous it was that he had my favourite name of all : Ashley

( Here's a smushy photo taken when I was 16 , and he 17 )

5. I once bumped in to Fiona Fullerton ( English actress , who played Alice in Wonderland in the 70s ) in the ladies room in a swish Cambridge department store . We're talking small room here. Thank goodness I affected immediate insouciance , whilst she looked right through me ....

6. I once appeared in a hotel brochure . My parents still have it somewhere . Yes , this was a trip to Bizarre-o-World ! I was 16 ; it was the Angus Hotel in Bournemouth , which had tartan carpets (really) and the proprietor walked about in his kilt with dirks down his socks ( I'm not making it up ) My family got a call from Reception to ask if we'd come down to the lounge and be in the photographs . My sister and I had to pose with drinks by the bar (etc) with a scalpel salesman . I wore purple (what else ? ) He asked me if I was married . Eewwww !!

Well , that wraps it up folks . I will tag -

Baggaley Bears

Fenland Beary Blog

Valewood Bears

Bumpkin Bears

Walnut Tree Corner Bears

Donna and the Bears

Here are The Rules for this Tag Game :-

1. Link to the person who tagged you .
2. Post the rules on your blog .
3. Write 6 random things about yourself .
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them .
5. Let each person know they are tagged , and leave a comment on their blog .
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up .
7. Don't break the chain ( not actually a rule )#

T.T.F.N Ruth x

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

How Delightful !

I've been given a lovely surprise by Tina of Tiny Bear - I'm proud to have received my first ever Blog Award !

This one seems to have originated in Portuguese ; "Proximidade" loosely translates as neighbourhood , or possibly community . The spirit of this award is all about forging friendly links amongst bloggers and highlighting people who post with care and attention , whilst having an active interest in others - or (put more eloquently) "investing in the riches of neighbourhood and community "

Here is the official accompanying text :-

" The authors say that blogs who receive this award are exceedingly charming . This blog invests in proximity in space , time and relationships . These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends .
They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandisement . Our hope is that when the ribbons of these awards are cut , even more friendships will be propagated . Please give your kind attention to these writers !
Deliver this award to 8 bloggers who will choose 8 more , and include this cleverly written text in to the body of the award . "

I'm feeling very honoured to have been chosen , and completely chuffed to think anyone might perceive this little blog as "charming" ! And look ; even the sun is shining outside my window with solicitous indulgence !

Here are the 8 blogs I have chosen to pass on the award to , although there are so very many deserving others . Please be so kind as to pay them all a friendly visit :0)

All Bear - Paula Carter

Pandy Potter - Amanda

Bear Treasures - Melanie Jayne

Shantock Bears - Elanor Shantock

Fenbeary Folk - Sue Pemblington

Raggy Rat - Cat Owen

Ellen Borggreve Design - Ellen borggreve

Boot Button Bears - Christine Child

Right , must get back to more sewing now ,

T.T.F.N Ruth x

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Busy , Busy , Busy !

I'm very busy and focused at the moment , my brain seems to be flooded with all sorts of ideas for bears . As usual , the limiting factor is time - if I could order just a few extra hours per day ( well there is a website for ordering just about anything these days !) maybe I could bring them all to fruition . No sweat .

Actually that was a teeny bit of a fib ...... the best I can hope for is to emulate a swan ; hence my Photoshop fiddlings ( inner voice note ; "you haven't got time for that have you ?" ) You know what people say : all is calm and serene on the surface , but underneath the water the legs are paddling like mad !

I will be doing 3 bear fairs this year , the first of which will be the 24 hour online event on 14th February with TBACA
Next is The Winter Bear Fest at Hugglets , in Kensington , on 22nd February . I am so excited about attending my first ever Hugglets on the other side of the table ! I will be doing my very best to ensure I've got plenty of adorable little bears to bring with me ; so I must keep up with the limbs going at full pelt thing !
In the summer I shall be going back to The Teddy Bear Artist Event in Stratford , on the 7th June .

Phewww ! I will also be supplying a few bears to a lovely new bear business right here on the net - more details when they have taken delivery in February . I think February will be my busiest month ever ; especially when you add in the 2 family birthdays .

Altogether now ; "calm and serene , calm and serene ......."

T.T.F.N Ruth x

Thursday, 8 January 2009


Here are my goals for 2009 - illustrated with help from the animals at Chester zoo , as snapped last summer ..

To try not to lurk in the background ; instead seize the moment and make the most of all my opportunities rather than just looking on ....

To not stick stubbornly to a "comfortable " or easy place artistically - but to continue to push myself , and always strive for excellence ...

To wear a confident smile , be proud of what I can create , and be ready to show off what I can do !

There are some exciting things on the very near horizon this year which I will post about as soon as I can :0)

Bye for now ,

Ruth x

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy Frosty White New Year !

Just a quick post , on this very shivery New Year's Day .

The dogs have been out in their fleecy coats , the duck is roasting in the oven , and we await the return of the two older sons from wherever they crashed out after their New Year's revels . I've had plenty of time to reflect on the past year over our quiet Christmas ( quieter than it should be as I have blocked middle-ear canals apparently , which stubbornly refuse to clear ) 2008 was great for me and the bears , with many highlights - a Golden Teddy nomination , a first wonderful live show in Stratford , a magazine feature profile , and to crown the rest ; winning the miniature British Bear Artist Award !
I have enjoyed getting to know other bear artists better , and taking part in collaborative groups such as British Bears on the Net and Teddy Bears and Critters Australasia . It has also been a pleasure to me to play a small part in helping wild animals struggling in their environment - from garden birds (RSPB) to orangutans and bears .

There is still plenty I'd like to accomplish , and new decisions to weigh up or implement . I may even make a few New Year's resolutions ! For now , the duck is most pressing . Oh , and potatoes to roast until crunchy crisp . I'll be back soon so to everybody until then " Happy New Year ".

Ruth xx