Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A Peek in at Hugglets

Who's that through the door in to Hall 4 , slurping a drink before opening time - good grief it's me ! Yes , I really did attend my first ever Hugglets as an exhibitor , and what a day I had !

There is a very special atmosphere at Hugglets , although it's difficult to sum up ; " busy expectation " or "vibrant warmth" both sound inadequate but come close . The show's organisers Irene and Glenn do the most amazing job of making everybody feel welcome and at home , whether exhibitor or visitor . Despite my rather nervous start to setting up we glided smoothly to 11am when the doors opened for the enormous queue of excited collectors , and the halls remained bustling until closing time at 4.30pm .

It's always a great pleasure to meet up with fellow bear makers , and I managed to speak to quite a few ( and tease All Bear's Paula with my teeny little bag of supplies !! ) I was also very honoured to have 6 pieces sell to a very distinguished venue overseas ... not sure if I should mention it so I'll keep it under my hat for now , and I made contact with a most prestigious bear shop which may lead to something interesting . Without trowelling on the hyperbole I can honestly say I had an amazing time !

I met some wonderful new people who had great enthusiasm for my little creations - it really does boost the confidence to hear compliments on your work , which after all comes in to being in a somewhat isolated and intently focused environment . I must thank each and every person who decided that a Flutter-By Bear would be welcome in their Hug :0)

My stand ; with my BBAA award in the centre which I couldn't resist showing off !

I've got a few snaps of Kensington to share in my next post - 'til then -

T.T.F.N Ruth x

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

It's a Small World After All .....

The "Be My Valentine" show was a great success and lots of fun too! I find it amazing that a whole bunch of geographically diverse people can gather around their respective computers and at the touch of a couple of buttons converse , laugh , "sing" (!) and generally enjoy being in the company of other like-minded folk .
There is usually an ongoing chat thread opened on the forums where these 24 hour online shows are held , and it's so interesting to hear what everyone is up to , and the differences in the time of day - and just how opposite the weather can be , right then , on the other side of our little spinning blue and green planet ! I took some orders from Australia and the USA - whilst the bears themselves were sitting in the tiny blob , on a globe , which is Great Britain .

The bears who were not adopted will be coming with me to Hugglets on Sunday ; which prompts me to say this will have to be my last post until I get back - I have a trillion things left to do , and I haven't written any lists yet ! Ahhhh , where's a pen and some comforting paper ? I'll feel so much better when I've made some lists ! :0)

Here is "Amy's Darling Ducky" - a piece for the Valentine show , and now Hugglets . She was also very lucky to appear in the Spring bear feature in this month's "Collect It!" magazine . She'll be hoping to find a new home for herself and her 5/8th inch little duckling , at the weekend .

I'm so excited ; I think I need to add Bach Remedies to one of my lists to help with the nerves !!

Ta Ta For Now ,
Ruth x

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Official Sneak Peek

Here is my official picture to entice everyone to visit the Teddy Bears and Critters Australasia online show :
Be My Valentine" ; starting on 14th February for a full 24 hours .

I can also reveal that I'll have 6 participating bears , plus the charity bear for Bobo's Sun Bear fund .

Please note that in the UK the show actually starts at 10pm on Friday 13th ( but we're not superstitious are we ? :0) and also in the USA ( e.g Los Angeles : 2pm - Washington : 5pm ) as we lag quite a way behind all our lovely Antipodean friends !

I do hope you can pop over to visit (here) on the day !

And now , back to my emerging little panda - not a black and white one - who will be going to Hugglets !

T.T.F.N Ruth x

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

What Price Culture ?

I was so excited when I saw that the new touring production of J.B Priestley's "An Inspector Calls" was stopping off at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre . Apart from the fact that I really , really wanted to see this resurrected , and now rave-reviewed play I thought it was the ideal opportunity for the 12 year old to experience a bit of culture . The only time he's been in a theatre was when he saw a truly dire local pantomime ( never again ) so I thought it was a lucky break !

The play is a stalwart of English Literature study, and I must have read through it several times both in school and long after leaving those chalk and paint smelling "E Blocks". It concerns the sudden arrival at an upper-class , Edwardian family dinner of one Inspector Goole ; a shadowy figure who seems to know the movements of each member of the family in minute detail .The name is a pun on the word "ghoul" - oooooh creepy shivers ! He is investigating the sad demise of a young woman whom it turns out they are all connected to , and have wronged in various ways (she being of an under-class they barely notice) The purpose of his probing questions is to throw in to stark relief each individual's lack of humanity and social conscience .

Stirling stuff just right for a thoughtful pre-teen . I'd read the reviews : "spine tinglingly good . Wildly imaginative , urgent and thrilling "- The Guardian ... and I knew the production was using an innovative set of a weird 1914 house and its interiors on the stage , perched on "crumbling" hydraulics , whilst all around the house was 1944 , and moving non-speaking actors . As if none of that was enough to whet the appetite alone it's being directed by Stephen Daldry who has won film making awards for Billy Elliot and The Hours . So far so good . Tootle off to the website to look up Birmingham Rep's ticket booking . Hmmmmmm....

Now , here's the crux of the matter ; I really , really want to go and see the play . I really , really want to take my young , emerging sensitive teenager person to see a fantastic production in a wonderful theatre - but do I really , really want it £75.00 for 1 hour 45 minutes much ???? Because that's the cost of 3 tickets - although there are a few at £29.50 each not including booking fees . Oh , and one single seat on the extreme outer edge if you don't mind screwing your head around at £18 !!! These £25 seats are on the back row of the auditorium - that's a long way from the stage at 71p a minute !!! I momentarily had that "if you need to ask the price then you can't afford it" feeling ; which I avoid with horror by never dreaming of going in to certain jewellers to look at their wares ( thinking of trips to Chester here , where there are some delicious jewellers for window shopping only which display no prices and have "heavies" standing permanently at the doors !) Then I felt completely cross . Hello , do they know there's a recession on ? Isn't theatrical culture for everyone , or is it an elitist "event" which mere plebs will have to save up for ?? Rationalising the costs just doesn't help me out frankly , probably their profits are tiny - maybe they're even being charitable , the fact is it's a whole lot of moola . Ouch .

I could book seats for Cambridge Arts Theatre in May , when the production gets near to my parents neck of the woods . I've been there loads of times back in the dim and distant past , and seen plays ( educational) and the famous Footlights reviews with Stephen Fry , Hugh Laurie , Tony Slattery to name just a few , all before they hit fame and fortune . I remember the one with Emma Thompson - the theatre programme credited her wardrobe as being from Snob ; the very shop I bought my own clobber in !
Even then tickets will be £36.00 , including £2 booking fees per ticket ; maybe they're the equivalent of behind a pillar ? There's a steep jump to the next ticket price too at £21 per seat .

Oh well , I'll have to think about it . Perhaps I could get hold of that black and white film version with Alistair Sim as the Inspector . It's not the same though is it ?

T.T.F.N Ruth x