Monday, 26 November 2012

See you soon-ish!

There may be a slight break in "transmission" here on my little blog; I'll be going in to hospital tomorrow morning for some surgery (nothing to worry about / women's lot etc) but it does mean a longish recovery time, so I'm not sure when I might get back here! I have more than plenty of sewing to get on with, and luckily that will probably be an ideal occupation whilst otherwise largely out of action. Just what Mum-in-a-household-of-5 needs before Christmas eh? Ah well, I'll sit back and await the Christmas Fairy's return, LOL!!!

TaTa For Now!


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cloud Nine!

I'm still feeling as though I need to pinch myself after the wonderful time I had on Saturday night at the Gala Presentation for the Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards. This took place at the Hilton hotel in Sheffield, where the Great Yorkshire Teddy Bear Event was due the following morning, so I met up with lots of  bear artist friends, and even a few collectors who attended.
I am totally over the moon that "Lilibet" - who received a Judges Choice award in September - was chosen as the Winner in her category (Miniature Dressed Bear) so I would like to thank all the lovely people who voted for her! Thank you so much!

(Just a little phone pic I'm afraid; so not brilliant!)

We all had a wonderful evening, with the tables looking an absolute picture; perfectly Christmassy with red crackers, and candelabra, and red goody bags stuffed with lovely things like gold teddy chocs, Deb Canham teddy baubles, Bear Bling and lovely diaries from Apple Pie House (the "other halves" didn't miss out either!) Katherine Hallam (Katie Rae Bears) who organises the fair had worked so hard to make it all so festive and pretty. We had a great dinner - I had baked salmon; mmmmm :0) - and then it was on to the charity auction in aid of Sheffield children's hospital, and a fabulous raffle just for the attendees, where the first prize was a gorgeous bear by Michelle Lamb.My lovely friend Lisa Page (Arcas Designs) won it, and another sweet young friend on my table won the 2nd prize bear ; so we were all very lucky on the night!!
Susan, of Bear Basics, who organised the EBAAs gave a really excellent presentation all about the aims, organisation and judging of the competition, and then as my category was first I suddenly realised I'd have to go to the front (I was a bit stunned to be honest!) As you can just about see I received a really lovely crystal trophy, and I was bowled over to also be given a huge basket of beautiful flowers! I was hoping to get a pic' to put on here as they are delightful - maybe later on.

I'd like to send congratulations to all of the nominees; as all the pieces were amazing, and also very many Thanks to Susan for bringing this competition to us all, which she is clearly passionate about. You can catch all of the winners on the Excellence in Bear Artistry website here, together with details for 2013.

Phew, my feet are just about touching the ground now, lol,

T.T.F.N  Ruth xx

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Virtually Real!?

Course; I don't really have a cat (I'm a definite dog-person) and this "book" only exists in my imagination.OR; does that make it real enough??? I will soon be joining the millions of technologically informed people who own virtual books. And magazines. And .... well, all sorts of intangible text and visual matter which add up to what might formerly have been packaged between 2 printed covers!

The postman has indeed just handed me the Amazon* parcel (*Boo Hiss - sort your UK tax out pantomime villains!!) and it contains a Crimby present from my lovely Father - a Kindle Fire HD! I'm beyond excited. You see I fell for them in Waterstones in Chester ... and there was no turning back. They are small sleek objects of desire, and importantly, not too frighteningly techy. Yes, I LOVE real books, I really do. I've devotedly collected them my whole life. I've heeded the dictionary definition of "virtual" (Adj: "being something in effect, though not strictly in fact.) and scornfully dismissed these upstart interlopers with their lack of ink smell, and non-rustling, non-fiddley pages. But; I'll be able to surf the net or watch BBC I-player, or catch up with radio I've missed. Not to mention squillions of other things within its 32 Gigabytes of something or other I won't be clever enough to use! I'll even be able to talk to people on Skype!! And it's seductively small and sleek - and I can choose pretty "clothes" for it! **

Even a Luddite can change can't they? Quick, where are some trusty old fashioned scissors so I can get in to the parcel? :0)

TaTa For Now (Obviously I couldn't stay long today, LOl!)
Ruth XX

** Definition of seduce - "attract or lead astray by offering temptations." That'll be a Kindle Fire HD then......

Monday, 5 November 2012

Doesn't Time Fly?...

I certainly didn't intend to be absent for so long without posting!!! It can get quite difficult to blog if you don't have anything visual to share, and I haven't been able to get hold of any photos for a while now. Autumn will soon be waning in favour of Winter at this rate! My head has been well and truly down; producing Limited Edition pieces, and others. All of the Fairmont and Clio designs from my previous post have now sold out, which is wonderful :0) My household is back to normal with youngest son at college (studying A levels) and oldest back at University.Frustratingly my middle son has had to sign on for Jobseekers Allowance as apparently nobody wants to offer work to a fit, trained, hard-working young man with a spraying licence and Horticultural qualifications. It would be polite if potential employers at least bothered to let him know they'd filed his application in the bin, but "meh", he's just another economic casualty, right ?....  To keep him out of the doldrums I've bought in a huge mixed batch of Winter vegetables, which need to be raised and planted out, so I'm quite looking forward to cooking some Swiss Chard, and Kale, and lots of other yummy things :0)

The leaves have all turned those pretty shades, and the frost was thick and sparkley this morning - I'm not sure we've had frost on Bonfire Night in recent years (?) think it will be a cold one for all those intrepid Firework Display Co ordinators (..Dads, in other words, lol) It will be interesting to see if many people on my estate actually bother at all this year. I must admit I preferred the fireworks of the long-gone past which were more "whizz" than "bang", with fountaining colours dwarfing the back garden, rather than relentless shot-cakes and monumental deafening explosions! My little doggies will be safely indoors all the same.

Safe fun tonight wherever you are!

Ruth xx

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Limited Editions

Now available in the latest catalogue for Teddy Bears of Witney:

"Everleigh and Iona" (2.25" bear with her 1.5" lavender toy rabbit)

"Fairmont and Clio" ( 2.5" bear with his 0.5" fluffy duckie)

Both of these sets are Limited Editions of 5 pieces, priced at £160 and £150 respectively, and can be found in the brand new 2013 book .... a little bird tells me Fairmont, in particular, is very popular so hurry; whilst stocks last as they say! Lol :0)

Pheww! What shall I do next? I've already had a play in my stash of coloured vintage Malden Mills velvets, and my mind is running to Spring and all things pretty-pretty. Hmmmmmm..........

T.T.F.N   Ruth xx

Monday, 24 September 2012


....until I complete a Limited Edition order for Teddy Bears of Witney... Look; a pretty kitty dressed in strawberry pinks and reds. She could just as easily be carrying a pot of just-made jam home from Granny's couldn't she? I have jam on my mind a lot now - since I made 2 different flavours in the last 2 weeks.It is soooo much easier than I thought it would be, and I can't think why I never tried before! There really isn't any mystic alchemy involved after all; in fact you can practically make it up as you go along*... which is what I did with this Strawberry / Blueberry Jam.

You will need: a large stainless "Dutch Oven" pot, or a maslin pan, a long wooden spoon, a small muslin bag (or a square to tie) a jam funnel, jam thermometer (not essential) and 4 or so jam jars. I bought the fruit straight off the shelves at Tesco when I found that a 1kg "crate" of strawberries was loads cheaper than buying lots of little punnets.

Strawberry / Blueberry Jam (with a hint of Rosewater)

1kg Strawberries
150 gm Blueberries
1kg jam sugar (this is the one with added pectin in it)
1 lemon
Bottle of Rosewater concentrate (available from Lakeland; for those in the UK)

1. Wash fruit, remove any stalks, and strawberry leaves. Pare 4 or 5 large slices off the lemon rind. Juice the lemon (reserve this) then place rind, pips, and empty halves in to the muslin bag, tie securely.
2. Cut the strawberries; large ones in to 4 or so, smaller in 2 and leave the little ones whole.
3. Put the oven on (120 c ish) and place the washed jam jars on a tray upside down inside. I filled 1x 250ml, and 4x 150ml screw top Kilner jars with my finished jam.These will then be sterilised. Spread the jam sugar on a flat oven proof dish to warm through - pop in the oven.
4. Start heating the fruit in the pan, on a medium heat. Add the lemon juice, and the bag of lemon. Stir a little to encourage the juice to flow.After about 15 minutes the pan will be full of liquid with some whole stawberries and most of the blueberries visible. I did squash a few of the blueberries against the side to burst them. Add the warmed sugar slowly - stir to dissolve but don't allow the contents to boil yet.
5. After checking the sugar crystals are no longer visible, turn up the heat and boil, whilst stirring (you don't want any fruit to burn on the bottom) You can remove the muslin bag as the fruit bcomes more syrupy. The official temperature on the thermometer is 105c for "setting point", but you can tell by eye when the jam is starting to cling from the spoon and fall in drops rather than a stream of liquid. It takes roughly 15 to 20 minutes to get to this stage. Another way to test for setting is to put a little glass dish or saucer in the fridge when you first start, then drop a blob of jam on it when you think it's ready. After a minute see if the jam wrinkles when you touch it, and looks , well, like jam!
6. When the jam is the right thickened consistency, take pan off the heat and leave it for 10 minutes. Stir in a teaspoon of the Rosewater ( you could add more; it imparts a lovely Turkish Delight accent). Take the jam jars out. Place the lids in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Fill the jars using the funnel (it really makes things easier!) Use tongs to take each lid out, shake water off then place on the jar - it should suck in slightly, then you know the seal is tight.Screw the rings on if using. Turn each jar upside down for 2 minutes to distribute the fruit and sterilise tops fully. Then leave to cool.
Finally: Label jars with the date, and feel smug whilst the family "nom" the jam as often as possible, and give you loads of compliments!! Suddenly I have another culinary string to my bow ... and the 4 men round the table think I'm ever-so-clever. Smirk!

Go on , have a go .... you know you always wanted to!!!

TaTa for Now,  Ruth xx

* Reading through jam recipies gives you an idea of fruit to sugar ratios, and also if fruit is lower in pectin, like "soft fruits". Pectin basically "sets" the jam.

image from Graphics Fairy

Friday, 7 September 2012

Hugglets on Sunday!

Just time for a hasty preview of a couple of pieces I'll be taking to Hugglets, Kensington, for the Teddies 2012 fair.

Tailors of Gloucester mice, on their cotton spools.

Three of the micro Hobby Horses.

Close up of "Tea with Sugar" (no.3 in the Teatime Treasury)

I'm leaving tomorrow morning, to enjoy Saturday at the Greenwich Maritime Museum, The Observatory and hopefully The Queen's Palace - there's sure to be loads of photo opportunities! For now, I need to do more rushing around; sorting out what to take, and what to leave - for my little dogs and 2 older sons!!

Until next time, TaTa for now!,
Ruth XX

Friday, 31 August 2012

Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards

Whoooo! The secret is now out which I've hugged to myself for a few days, with a smile as big as the sun (!) - I'm really honoured and delighted to have won a Judges Choice Award, in the brand new EBAs, in the Miniature Dressed category.

This is "Lilibet"; a 3" tall bear created from 2 shades of Vintage Long Pile, wearing a yellow organza dress overlaid with antique lace. I really loved adding the tiny detailing in her costume; lace straps, ric-rac braid and glass beads, with silk appliqued bows, and a tiny AB jewel. She carries a hanky with her initial "E". I had seen some tinted photos at the beginning of the year, of our Queen as a little girl - still just little Lilibet, but destined for higher things, and I wanted to re-create that yellowy tinted image as a bear with a sweet expression. I added the diamante heart in keeping with the Jubilee Celebration, and I was really happy with how she turned out!

I really think that the Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards will go from strength to strength, and Susan (of Bear Basics) deserves so much praise and support for her vision in creating them. So, "Congratulations" to all the other Judges Choice Winners, and many "Thank yous" to the panel of judges. There will be online voting (at the link below) for the category winners who'll be announced at the gala dinner in Sheffield in November.

                             Please click here to cast your vote!

With thrilled Hugs....

Ruth XXX

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

New Zealand Teds

Hey there everyone, I haven't really disappeared! I've been on holiday throughout the gloriously exciting Olympics, and so I've been dashing here and there (staying in York and Lincoln) whilst managing to never miss anything important! Such are the wonders of technology ... iphones , Radio 5 Live, and lovely, big, hotel flat screen tellys!! Ashley and I have discovered that merely listening to tennis commentary is just as nerve wracking and emotion wringing as watching it! Also that it's actually possible to visualise what is happening in a Taekwondo match just from commentary. Who knew! These last two weeks have been stupendous - and unforgettable :0)

Aside from all that, I received a complimentary copy of "New Zealand Teds" last week, and I wanted to give a shout-out to this plucky little publication run by Hazel O'Brien and Pam Hurly.

Hazel very kindly contacted me and asked me if I'd like to write them an article about my bears. I felt really honoured to be asked, and so I set about trying to sum up how my bears have arrived at their current evolution from out of the past ten years. I've also passed on some little creating tips which I hope the readers might find useful.
It may be small - but it's perfectly formed (!) with plenty of pictures , a tutorial, articles and useful contacts for bear makers in New Zealand and elsewhere.It is clearly a labour of love; which springs from a complete passion for "all things beary" - and that is something we can all relate to! If anyone would like to know how to get copies, or subscriptions do drop me an email and I'll pass on the relevant details.

With many Thanks to Hazel and Pam :0)
I hope to post some pics of my very interesting rovings soon,

Ruth XX

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Galloping up on the Rails...

I very much enjoyed creating the animal pieces for the Teddies Worldwide show, but I now feel the urge to get some "proper" beary bears made! The next deadline I'm working for is Teddies 2012 at Hugglets in September - I can already see it clearly on the horizon, and it's fast approaching! I do like to be well prepared in advance (with a bit of leeway for eventualities) and so all my creative thoughts are bent in this direction. There will definitely be a new "Teatime Treasures" piece; no. 3 in the series celebrating the beauty of English bone china tea ware and bears together.

Over the last 2 weeks I've been beavering away with some micro hobby horses to take along too. I've had lots of enquiries about availability of them as stand alone creations, and it was ages ago that I last made one - here they are almost finished:

In my Grand Plan I'll have another 2 hobbies to accompany a couple of Bygone Bruins but , ummmmm.... we'll see! :0)

In the meantime I'll be glued to the screen day and night (whilst still sewing obviously) for the Olympics. Hurrah! Having followed Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish through the whole of the Tour de France, which is a summer favourite in this house, we can't wait for the cycling events. OK, so Ashley didn't get tickets for the fantastic velodrome, but tele' is the next best thing! I have to say this year has been a great time to be a bear maker working from home - so hurrah again!!

Mini Hugs, Ruth xx

Friday, 13 July 2012

"Friends of Teddy"

The Friends of Teddy online show started last night, and will continue on until 9pm on the 15th July, UK time.I created 6 pieces for the show, but I now only have two hamsters left to be adopted.



Thank you so much to all the collectors who have adopted new friends from me :0)  There is still plenty to see at the show so it's well worth stopping by!

Click here to visit.  

T.T.F.N  Ruth xx                    

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Another Show!

"Welcome to my home!"

This little robin has made a very comfy moss lined nest inside the ornamental fish at the bottom of my garden! Ashley managed to get a couple of snaps, through the fish's gaping mouth, with a long lens.In spite of the never ending rain this little family seems to be doing OK, and it appears the fish shape is actually keeping the wet off them. We see both the male and female dashing all round the garden collecting buggy bits, and popping in and out tirelessly! How resourceful of them! I hope they come back next year :0)

What a sweet little lodger!
Ruth XX

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Online show Preview

The preview of the "Friends of Teddy" Online show has now started over at

My preview piece is "Maudie and Minnie"; a 3.5" hamster and her little companion.

Do drop over to see all of the exciting different critters on show - and don't forget to vote for your favourite miniature and full size creation!

click here

T.T.F.N  Ruth XX

Monday, 18 June 2012

Stratford weekend

I was so busy with the next set of deadlines last week, that I didn't have time to post, after the Teddy Bear Artist Event in Stratford upon Avon. Ashley and I had such an enjoyable weekend; and the fair was a really wonderful event where I had lots of lovely opportunity to chat with collectors and other artists.

On the way to Stratford we stopped at David Austin Roses for coffee,cake and a quick whizz round the gardens. It was noticeable that lots of the blooms were far behind where they had been at the same time last year.

We both enjoyed visiting Stratford itself. I found some gorgeous Antique jewellers shops - strictly for window gazing! After a lovely lunch Ashley snapped this pair of dray horses who were looking so handsome, and somehow more in tune with the immediate environment than the cars!

I waved goodbye to quite a few bears on the Sunday, so I shall start creating replacements soon. First I have Friends of Teddy to create for the Teddies Worldwide online show; including hamsters and micro dogs which I've currently sold out of.

The Frivols on the table managed to get some mini hugs of their own on the day! These pictured are still available.

T.T.F.N.  Ruth XX

Friday, 8 June 2012

Quick Preview.....

I just have a few minutes to post up a couple of the bears that will be available at The Teddy Bear Artist Event, this Sunday, at the Civic Hall in Stratford.This time I've been working right up to the last minute.... so I already feel exhausted!!

Here is one of my new Fairies ; "Briar Fae"

and a new Bygone Bruin; "Louisa"

Together with some cheeky rabbity Frivols -

They'll have plenty of other friends on the day - who are all safely packed up now!

I thought I'd just end with a reveal photo of "Delaney" ; who is the 2.5" little beary to win in this month's issue of Teddy Bear Times. I was really thrilled with the article, and I'm looking forward to sending her to a lovely new home! :0)

Hugs To All,

Ruth XX

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Coming Soon...

Sometimes nice things happen at just the right opportune moment; leaving you to wonder if an invisible hand is "pulling the strings"! Out of the blue I recently had a request for an artist profile interview, for the next issue of Teddy Bear Times.Of course all artists love talking about what they do - it is a passion after all, so I was more than happy to take part, and I was not expected to take out any extravagant advertising or anything like that. Anyway in the course of completing all the questions it dawned on me that I've been making and selling miniature bears for 10 years! That's a whole decade; and I was really surprised to find myself on the point of a significant anniversary!!

Hopefully, readers of the magazine will help me with a quiet little celebration, when it arrives on the stands.It should be out from the 24th May, so I'm crossing my fingers the article does get in to this issue.
 Maybe there might be a celebratory clue on this page somewhere. LOL!

I think I might arrange something on my blog too .... so keep watching this space friends!

With Beary Thanks to everyone; collectors, friends and family,
Ruth XX

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Lovely Day...

 My niece was married a couple of weekends ago, in a pretty old "coaching inn" not far from Cambridge. Although the weather didn't totally behave throughout, we all felt priviledged to be part of such a happy day for all the family.Here is the beautiful bride, Rebecca, with her younger sister Nathalie. Amazingly, my sister Gail, spent hours upon hours creating all the buttonholes, and the bouquet, from beads threaded on to wire. You can just see an embroidered blue felt shoe peeping out from where it was tied to the bouquet, which I made for the bride, to hold a lucky sixpence inside.
The overjoyed new husband and wife also brought their two gorgeous little dogs along - my favourite photo of all!!

I'm sure we'll all enjoy many happy memories of such a wonderful celebration for years to come. Enjoy the pics Rebecca!! ;0)

T.T.F.N  Ruth XX

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

.... more on the Peregrines

What a difference a week makes. Sadly we have had the wettest April since records began, here in the UK; the result being such cold temperatures and driving wind and rain that it was inevitable the Nottingham peregrine's family would be devastated. We watched the 4 eggs hatch just over a week ago, and delighted at the fluffy little chicks, but there are now only 2 left alive, one of whom is fading fast.Such is Nature. No one can expect live webcams to sugar-coat the harsh and awful truth of what is the precarious reality of being a wild bird or animal.
We saw the local resident peregrines in Hanley on saturday morning - still not nesting, and clearly without a care in the world at the moment! I hope they have much kinder luck when the time comes.

Apparently there are numerous live cams on peregrines around the country, so I think I will add others to my sidebar links - I would dearly love to follow some other families as they grow. It is such a priviledge to be able to do this these days thanks to technology!!

On another note completely; I totally loathe all the changes to Blogger. Bleeeughhhhh! Why does everything have to be messed with? I takes me ages to get used to anything.I can't even begin to keep up with the Facebook changes either .... makes me feel like a grumpy old woman!!!! To cheer me up I shall post pics from my niece's wedding two weekends ago.Just give me a day to wrestle them off Ashley's camera......


Ruth XX

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Best thing on tv!!

I've only recently discovered the Nottingham Trent University live webcams and informative blog all about their resident Peregrine Falcons. Apparently the nesting pair are living very happily right on top of the University building - and aren't particularly camera shy! I'm so excited because both Ashley and I will be fascinated by watching the progress of this little family (four eggs cosily under the female!) right up close and personal.

Whenever we go to Hanley; which is our nearest major shopping town, we must mystify a lot of people who see us craning our heads up to "the heavens" as we walk past the super-tall British Telecom building, which is on the way from, or to, Tesco's car park. Although we probably resemble Chicken-Licken and his wife, we are in fact looking out for the resident Peregrines who have treated us to some spectacular aerial displays and often perch on the extreme top corners of the edifice. When you know they're there, they are highly visible and it's so thrilling to glimpse a little of their world. We noticed them by chance about 6 months ago ... so we now feel part of their "inner" circle of admirers! Very often the evidence of their meals is plonked right there on the narrow pavement - as you round the corner ; a bright red little pigeon foot, or a blackbird wing (ahhh sad for them :0(    We noticed there is a nesting box too, but presumably no eggs yet because up to recently we've seen them flying together in the vicinity, the bird above dropping prey to the one below to be caught on the wing. Last week we watched as a shower of feathers puffed in to the air around one of them whilst perched.

So there you are; it definitely pays to scrutinise the skies; there is some enthralling stuff going on up there. Very tall buildings in dense, urban areas with a bit of a pigeon population glut are prime real estate for the fastest animal on this planet ( 200 mph when diving steeply through the air to fix on prey) and their latin name; Falco Peregrinus, means "wandering falcon" - they are found on every continent except Antarctica, so maybe you too have neighbours you hadn't noticed?!

I'll be glued to the screen........

Ruth XX

Thursday, 5 April 2012

"Happy Easter"

I just wanted to wish everyone a lovely Easter holiday, with whatever chocolate, cakes or other treats take your fancy. I'm never quite sure what I'm "supposed" to do at Easter - should it be providing fancy middle-of-the-day meals (like Christmas) or taking advantage of extra shopping days? Should I drop hints about chox I'd like myself or just provide those sort of calories to other people?? Is Easter just another card-shop phenomenon represented by desperate green, yellow and pink window frippery (oooh cynical me!)

In any case I shall enjoy the proximity of my precious family, and I expect I'll bake something nice; it's too good an excuse not to! I'll try and think about chickies and eggs and new beginnings but....... I can't promise! :0)

Wherever it leads you : "Happy Easter"!!

Ruth XX

Monday, 26 March 2012

Feeling Spring-y!

I've been thoroughly enjoying the beautiful Spring sunshine here in the UK over the weekend. I realise it's a total cliche but skipping and "tra-la-laaing", through the town on Saturday, probably wouldn't have raised anyone's eyebrows! I saw plenty of English-men-of-a-certain-age wearing shorts - which is just unheard of frankly! In fact it's amazing what a transformation comes over everybody in these drizzley little Isles when the big yellow thing in the sky shows an unseasonally smiling face, and graces us with its presence. People look less.... grumpy, and definitely less careworn.

In the spirit of all this sunny, "flowers are looking pretty" mood, I've framed up the last one of my current Bygone Bruin collection bears. He does look a little wistful now all his friends have left :0)

This gorgeously soft little fellow is "Lucian" - just a tad over 2.5" tall, made from an extra long pile Upholstery velvet. His fur is a pale robin-egg blue (I might have some of these in my garden soon!) and he's wearing an Antique lace ruffled collar with a silk ribbon trim. Lucian is priced at £68 GBP.

Wishing everyone all the joys of Spring,

T.T.F.N  Ruth xx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Ashley sent me this pic via his phone whilst he was exhibiting at the Focus photographic show in Birmingham. This little photo printer looks a bit fed up doesn't he? Maybe he's saying:

"You seriously think I'm interested in your photos??" 
"You have how many pictures of the same beach - yawn!!"
"When I spit these photos out you'll be soooo embarassed; try taking the lens cap off next time! Ha!"

What do you think he's saying?? :0)

Ruth XX

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Poor little Florian is feeling a bit sorry for himself! I entered him in to the Teddy Bear Total Golden Georges, in the Dressed Miniature category but he didn't make it to the nominees (three per category.)
Of course that is what competition is all about; sometimes the bears you lovingly craft don't make the grade. And sometimes you get that email which sends your confidence sky-high, and your smile beaming round the room. I wouldn't be human if I couldn't admit I was really disappointed about Florian - I really love all 3" of him!

Despite his flunk-out you can still visit him on the Teddy Bear Total website, where all of the entrants are displayed for each visitor's single online vote for their favourite piece. It might cheer him up a bit..... but I don't think I'll be posting him off to Germany on the offchance that the fair's visitors will pick him as their preferred choice. Instead I'm turning my sights to the brand new Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards , as hosted by the UK's Bear Basics company. I was so impressed by the sheer professionalism of the set-up and organisation, and I have a feeling this competition will quickly become highly respected.

So onwards, ever onwards! Challenging yourself is the best salve for artistic "hurt", so I've started creating my new pieces and the inspiration is flowing. Like the spider swinging on its thread I'm compelled to try, try, try again!!

T.T.F.N, Ruth xx

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Wonderful London Weekend

We came back tired, but very happy, after our visit to the nation's capitol.Although it was only two days away we seemed to squish in all the best ingredients for a break; fantastic sunny weather, historical sites of interest, (that's Tower Bridge above) great food..... and a brilliantly buzzing bear fair too!

Before I go any further I must give a huge "Thank You" to all the lovely people who came by the stand and gave a special new home to my bears.Six of them went off to Abracadabra teddy shop in Saffron Walden; including Azalea and Jasmine the pandas pictured in my previous post. Hugglets was soooo busy this time, and there was such a sunny atmosphere all day - which wasn't only down to the glorious Spring weather.As always I really enjoyed chatting to everybody and the day seemed to be over in a flash!

On Saturday the three of us visited The Tower of London, where it goes without saying I was beyond excited to see the Crown Jewels. All I can say is: they literally take your breath away, and..... I'm amazed that diamonds can even be that big!!!! No wonder the building has thick vault style doors and anyone taking photos is made to delete them immediately (we saw this happen!)

"Traitor's Gate"

Originally prisoners would have arrived at the Tower through this gate, in barges conveyed directly from the Thames.They would already have passed under London Bridge with its grisly severed heads displayed on pikes.

"The White Tower"

Originally started in 1066 by William the Conqueror, it was continually whitewashed which gave rise to the name. This is the strongest point of the buildings' concentric circular layout, and would have provided living quarters for the King. It houses The Armourey - which is full of interesting exhibits including Henry VIII's armour, together with all sorts of hideous looking weaponry, and also a line of wooden horses which used to display figures of the Kings of England:-

If you're not paying attention these 10 horses appear odd and even bizarrely cartoon-like, but then you notice that they all date from 1690. So I forgave them instantly! The third in the line (with the very dipped head - hard to see in this snap) was carved by Grinling Gibbons who was an amazing sculptor in wood; we've seen his work in several stately homes.

"Lanthorn Tower" - so called because of the lanterns placed in the top turret.

London from the battlements walk - notice the elegant "Gherkin" building.

Intriguing wire mesh animal sculptures are dotted about the place at the moment in recognition of the fact that the Tower buildings once housed a fantastical menagerie started by King Henry III in 1251, and only closing in the 1850s. Lion skulls dug up here have been dated back to Medieval times.
I thought the sculptures almost looked like needle felting!

Well, I hope you enjoyed a quick bit of site-seeing. Until next time,
T.T.F.N  Ruth xx