Friday, 26 March 2010

Bears Chat...

I got this candid photo snapped whilst the bears were occupied. I've noticed that miniature bears really enjoy getting together for a good old gossip ; particularly when they're still in "holding" trays - before I've given them their final finishing touches.You can separate them out , eyes front, to patiently wait their turn , but when you look again they'll be re-grouped! I'm not even joking ....

I know what these 3 might be talking about in very slightly growly whispers .... when are they going to get their finished final "look"? This is what happens (unfortunately) when you're in the middle of 3 separate consignments of bears; all of which are exclusives so you can't even photograph them! Any bears who appeared just before that are going to be in holding trays for a while, with quite a bit of time on their , um, paws.(I could say here that the cotton reel is left in there for it's recreational value , but it isn't ; it's so I don't forget which shade matches the red bear!)

I will get back to them eventually.I'm working the long hours as fast as I can ... and then my mini-bears will be rather like buses- none appear, then 3 come along at once!

T.T.F.N  Ruth XX

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


I wish I could say this is a real coin of the realm, featuring my little "Miss Majesty" - but no; it's just a bit of mischief for a Wednesday morning! I must have coins on the brain.....I went to a very large antiques fair at the  Staffordshire show ground on Sunday and silver threepenny bits were some of the very few items I brought home. Most of the stuff there was more in the "aspirational" line! I sorted out 5 very nice ones - the oldest minted in 1874 - with Queen Victoria's head on one side (2 of the coins have a more mature profile from later years) It was only when I examined them more closely at home that I noticed one of them looks a bit bent. Well duh .... I expect someone dislodged a filling when they chomped on it in a Christmas pudding or something! Can't say my family ever went in for that sort of culinary / dental Russian Roulette!

On the same stall they had Roman Coins - loads in a box at £1 each - great! We started sorting through them to get one for youngest son , but unfortunately it was really just a big disappointing box of smooth green discs. The minting was no longer raised or visible ... they could've been mouldy chocolate drops for all we knew...
Thank goodness for Vintage Button stalls; they did have some teeny tiny ones , and the price tags didn't involve too many decimal points.A few more magpie bits to hoard.

Talking of hoarding reminds me that I tried to see the famous Staffordshire Hoard a few weeks ago, before it left the nearby town for its next destination (touring to raise money to keep it locally, where it was plucked from a field) It's a huge , monumental, cache of Anglo Saxon gold burial artefacts; the biggest ever found - some pieces are worth hundreds of thousands of pounds apparently. I was at the museum just 10 minutes after official opening time , and there was a short queue of people. The doors opened and a few started going in , whilst a museum official proceeded down the queue with the news that from where Brett and I were standing it was a 2 hour wait!!! Neither of us could face standing there all that time so we left. Brett's friend who arrived later in the day declined a 4 hour wait.
It is thousands of years old though ; and Time is Money so they say!

T.T.F.N Ruth xx

(You can see some of the pieces here)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Views of March

We still have sun! Lots of it - it makes me glad to have large windows to sit by whilst I'm working so I can bask in this sun-dazzled spell.
As Ashley is away at the Focus show - big photography expo' at the NEC, Birmingham - I thought I would appropriately trawl his files for some March photos to share.

Fungi at Apedale Woods

Beloved Goldfinches

Sunny gold buggies - wonder what they are?? Wakey wakey!!

A toad at Apedale

I also found some amazing photos of March evening-skies ; which reminded me of a poem I saw when I was doing my last post. At the time I thought it was a little odd ; a bit fanciful perhaps .... you decide - maybe not then!

(No filters used)

March - Toni Atchison

Listen to the spring wind hoot
and holler round the corners of the house.
Trees dance mad as the wind moans
and groans between the houses.
The lion has come to March,
which has been lamb-like until now.
And all the wee small children of the sun
come slow and blinking from winter dens,
and sunset looks
like strawberry soda.

Right , back to work after these reflections. I was very excited to be asked to contribute some unique "one off" pieces for the Teddy Bears of Witney 25th Anniversary party , on April 25th , so I'm headed straight for my fabric boxes!

T.T.F.N Ruth XX

Friday, 5 March 2010

Can It Be Spring Now?

It really did feel like Spring in the last couple of days ; it was so sunny and warm behind the glass of my conservatory that I had to open the door to cool down yesterday! It's been such a relief to get away from all that bitterly cold dreariness - and a joy to actually hear my little Goldfinch visitors singing their tinkling songs just a few feet away from me. I wonder what it is about the sunshine which is so motivational? Although I have plenty of ongoing projects to keep me busy for the next 2 months (at least !) my brain keeps summoning up inspiration for all sorts of bears and themes, so that I have to keep jotting things down in my notebook in case they disappear never to return! I have a whole series of bears planned .... just need the time to create them! Hopefully I can introduce a few of them at June's Teddy Bear Artist Event in Stratford.

In fact, Spring motivation has even led me to hop on to Ashley's brand new exercise bike which was bought to rehabilitate his newly improved knee ligament. I am fairly rubbish on it (no stamina) and it is a fairly boring piece of equipment (just black and white and uncomfortable) but.... there's no escaping the fact that bear making is sedentary and seems to be encouraging in me a little *polite cough* "softness" , or "cuddlieness" as my father would say.....

Anyway , back to the Spring ; here's an enchanting poem to herald its approach - hopefully a lot sooner than April.

A Child of Spring by Ellen Robena Field

I know a little maiden,
She is very fair and sweet,
As she trips among the grasses
That kiss her dainty feet;
Her arms are full of flowers,
The snow-drops, pure and white,
Timid blue-eyed violets,
And daffodillies bright.

She loves dear Mother Nature,
And wanders by her side;
She beckons to the birdlings
That flock from far and wide.
She wakes the baby brooklets,
Soft breezes hear her call;
She tells the little children
The sweetest tales of all.

Her brow is sometimes clouded,
And she sighs with gentle grace,
Till the sunbeams, daring lovers,
Kiss the teardrops from her face.
Well we know this dainty maiden,
For April is her name;
And we welcome her with gladness,
As the springtime comes again.

T.T.F.N , Ruth XX

(Above is "Tommy" ; 1.6" tall , who likes to be planted in his own little flower pot!)