Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Getting To Know You Too !

I will take up Sandi's blog invitation to post something about myself as yet unknown - no , I don't dress up as a Victorian girl and talk to rabbits ! LOL !

I have a fear of heights . That is to say I have an actual fear of heights ; of being vertiginously imperilled .... of being dashed against the ground , of hurtling uncontrolled to my doom . Standing a few rungs up a ladder (unlike some people) doesn't give me vertigo - which , incidentally , in latin means "whirling round" and describes the symptomatic effect a terror of heights can produce. I have an irrational notion that IF I were to walk along cliff edges /roof tops etc I would be compelled to lean over and jump right off by some irresistible force lurking there *shudders*

This photo was taken at The Roaches ; a nearby undeniably beautiful range of Staffordshire "peaks". I don't just see two climbers - but rather two deeply crazy people ! I seem to totally lack the "adrenalin junkie" gene . My family all know this well ; one of my mantras is "I don't do gradients ! (or mud) "

Theme parks are not the best place if you share my fear . Oh how I remember that time I went on Nemesis (at Alton Towers) with my sister . "wheeeeee , it'll be fun !" she said and persuaded me against my much better fund of self knowledge . When the ground first began to drop away ,and then the ride gathered pace , swooping us over a PRECIPICE I shut my eyes tight . I could hear her chuckling merrily somewhere , although I don't actually remember the point at which my mouth came open ...... and I screamed for the entire ride . It wasn't a happy scream . I lost my voice for 3 days afterwards . I was also once persuaded on to a "harmless" looking ride by my oldest son which tipped and tilted end over end (why do I try to compete with all those gung-ho mums ??) Suffice it to say I gripped my child and the seat back with white knuckles and kept my head firmly down , and I actually jerked awake that night with palpitations and a good impression of post traumatic stress !

I was not actually present when this pic' was taken of Brett at Ramshaw Rocks (they just don't bother with me anymore) There's a fairly scary drop this side .... but on the other is a nearby 200ft one . I feel sick ....

Terra Firma is the best place for me . I appreciate wonderful scenery , but that doesn't mean it doesn't occasionally scare me senseless ! Well it's not natural to be up high - is it ?

T.T.F.N ,
Ruth XX

Thursday, 16 July 2009


In fact it's the 2nd smallest room in the house which has been distracting me somewhat from my sewing lately ! At long last the whole en-suite has been gutted and re-fitted for a completely new and fresh look .... only 3 weeks to wait before we go through the whole procedure again with our horrid worn out bathroom . Woohoo !

It may be an extremely small space but the re-planning still required much scurrying from shop to shop , brochure comparisons and , naturally, a pretty meaningful shake of the money tree at the bottom of the garden (!) No wonder my head was finding it difficult to conjure up bears when my mind's eye wanted to imagine tiles , sanitary ware and most importantly STORAGE solutions , which would give me the perfect little ablutionary bolt hole . After all , I have to share the other one with the 3 young men of the house :0(

Plus ;I've finally found a home for my gorgeous Art Noveau plaques ; they've been squirreled away for forever , and I have a fantastic huge one ready for my bathroom - I could never have too much Art Nouveau if you know where I'm coming from ;0) These 2 draw the eye nicely up the wall creating a feeling of height and space . I pounced on the cute little mirrored jewellery cabinet, which has flower knobs and a tiny drawer , and decided to stick it right there - totally out of context - housing nothing but my contact lens paraphernalia !

I finally have the mirrored wall cabinets (one above the sink , one in the corner) which I always wanted / needed - I can actually see , and choose from , all those lovely bottles of "nice stuff" for scrubbing , cleansing and improving , all neat on their shelves .

The shower now has a vertically sliding head ; so I won't feel I'm about to drown like I did under the old fixed position one ! Inwardly concertina doors add to space saving ... but all these small details do take time to get right don't they ? I think I better stop admiring my excellent choices and GET ON WITH MY SEWING !!!

Mirrored sparkley Hugs ,
Ruth X

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

An Award Honour

I am very honoured , and sincerely flattered , to receive a really special blog award passed on from Tina ; The Bella Sinclair Award . I think Tina herself , was very deserving of it as her blog has the most wonderful and inventive pieces of altered art and her bears to enjoy , and she is one of the most caring , sharing ladies I know :0)

The originator of the award , Ces (Ces and Her Dishes) states that :- " I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honour the value of friendship , sisterhood , sharing and caring . It is to be awarded to the gifted , accomplished , eloquent and talented blogger whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best . It is symbolised by the Quercus Lobata , or Valley Oak , a handsome and graceful tree ." A visit to Ces' blog will reveal the moving story behind her creation of the award .

There are no formal rules with this , and I have had a very long think about how I might carefully pass on the commendation . Whilst all my blogging friends are highly worthy I have decided to highlight 3 ladies who totally inspire me on to do my best , and whose friendship and influence I truly value :-

Sandi Smith (Bearly Sane Teddies) - for her innovative art , her invaluable contributions toward promoting bear artistry, and her tireless work behind the scenes of TBACA and beyond . Sandi is a great friend and the best "Mother Hen" ever ; always there , and always sharing .

Paula Carter (All Bear) - Paula's blog is impeccably maintained , and a great place to view the highest bear art , whilst behind the scenes she works so diligently to unite bear artists - The Guild of Master Bear Crafters being one example - fantastic B.F to us all !

Donna Griffin ( Donna and the Bears) - amazing artistry to sigh over , and the kindest , sweetest lady who I am honoured to call a friend ; Donna also promotes the work of bear artists with altruistic generosity . "Good Luck" with the up-coming presentation to collectors !

I have known all these dear ladies since we all joined (the late) Bear Artists Online , and it is a pleasure to still belong to the wider teddy Sisterhood with them !

Now then , so you don't think I'm only ever serious and not much fun , here's a piece of "art" I created earlier (look it's even in a gallery , wink , wink ....)

Which reminds me ; I'm longing to see the current issue of Teddy Bear Review as there is an article about British Bear artists in it , and my little "Miss Majesty" has put in an appearance !
Happy Days !

T.T.F.N Ruth xx

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Summer Treats and Lovely Things...

I thought I would share some of the lovely , pretty treats I've acquired so far , and I've also got some photos of my challenge piece for the Teddy Bear Artist Event last month .

Lovely , lovely Tina (of TinyBear) gave me the sweetest little package when we met up on the Saturday before the TBAE - as you can see above ; romantic little looped hearts and pretty tags/markers which I'll be keeping all for myself ;0) I was totally enchanted by the beautiful picture she attached as the gift tag ( I think I will frame it) and also the embellished sea urchin dangling from it - even the outer wrapping braid will go in my squirrel-stash! Ooooooooh I love pretties ! So "Thank You" once again Tina .... I hope everyone will visit your pages and treat themselves !

"What's in these lovely boxes ?" wondered Tiddy

Whilst we were walking round Stratford I came upon The Montpellier art gallery , where we were all welcomed in out of the rain with the offer of wine and canapes ( although it seemed a bit over indulgent to accept !) I was so glad we went in because Ashley and I treated ourselves to the most darling little bronze sculptures of hares and one of an otter in the weeds . We have 2 similar little bronzes on our mantelpiece , but these are really small at 2.5" for the largest .

On a slightly different note :- I was absolutely delighted to hear recently that the Wedgwood Museum had won "The Museum of the Year" award for 2009 . As you may know , my husband worked at Wedgwood for 18 years , some of this time was spent doing hands-on modelling for them . Having gained a degree in ceramics there was only one sensible place in the country for him to move to and so we made The Potteries area ; which encompassed Wedgwood , Royal Doulton , Spode , Minton , Masons , and a host of small "pot bank" factories , our home .

Like so much other great , British manufacturing , the industry has been beleaguered and could really do with a boost right now . Ashley has retained very close links with the museum staff throughout his career and its changes , and so he was incredibly pleased for them all when the award was announced . A visit is definitely on my summer agenda - there are priceless pieces exhibited , which are National Treasures for sure !

Anyway , I decided to celebrate The Potteries part of the world in my Exhibitor Challenge piece for the TBAE ( theme Around the World" ) Although it didn't receive a placing I was still really pleased with how it turned out . The 3" bear is created in a Wedgwood blue , and the medal is intended to recall blue Jasper cameos - of course I just had to make a bear's head ! I felt quite proud to highlight 250 years of ceramics heritage .... please let there be 250 more !

You can check out the museum details here :

Well , it's the last few days of Wimbledon so Ta Ta For Now ,
Ruth XX