Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Miss Choccy, Clarissa and a Found Leg

I have just sent these two little ladies off to Alice's Bear Shop in Lyme Regis.
Mini Clarissa (Clarence's girlfriend)
Miss Choccy
Sorry the photos are not great, I just took a couple of quick snaps before I posted them.
They are both 5" and open editions, although no two will be exactly the same.  I will use different paw fabrics and coloured ribbons etc.

Whilst finishing them off and filling their tummies with polyfibre, look what I came across hidden in the bottom of the filling bag. 
The mystery of Mini Clarence's missing leg is solved.  I am
sure I looked in the bag when we were searching  for this elusive leg.  Oh well the next Clarence will only need one leg making.

Mini Clarence and little Tara sitting with their wise
old friend Henry, a 1950's mohair bear
All available in my online shops (see to the right of this page)

Monday, 30 July 2012

Roses and Radishes

Thought I would cheer everyone up after all the damp weather we have had with
some photos of the beautiful climbing Roses blooming in my little garden.

The plants are not perfect, they have terrible blackspot, but the flowers themselves are beautiful and smell lovely.

Alan has now sprayed for blackspot, greenfly and mildew.  It's a bit of 'shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted' though as the poor Roses have no leaves left for the first 2 foot of the plant.  We must get them sprayed earlier next year.


The other part of the title of this blog refers to a Radish that I was preparing for inclusion in our salad tea. I sliced it up and a couple of little faces were looking up at me.  I didn't have the heart to eat them.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Anniversary Fishing and Geese

It was our 23rd wedding anniversary on Wednesday and Alan asks what I wanted to do. He has just started to go fresh water fishing so I suggested a picnic at the local fishing lakes. I knew that I would enjoy the peaceful surroundings and he jumped at the chance of taking me fishing with him.

It was a beautiful day, the best we have had for ages, so off we went, loaded up with fishing tackle, picnic, my sewing stuff,  and a sun lounger for me to sit on (I would not manage to sit in a folding fishing type chair for long).

The setting at the lakes is lovely, and we found a shady spot at the side of a Willow tree.  We had not been there long when the curious Geese family turned up.  They are very tame and used to anglers.
I managed to get some photos of them, some were quite posers.
This one seemed to be posing for the camera.

What a cutie, the bravest of them all,
and very curious.
Alan gave them some crumbs.  They were as greedy as our dogs.

It was a lovely morning, I stitched up a bear and enjoyed taking photos of the Geese and Goslings.  They were so cute and fluffy.  The Dragonflies were huge, but I cannot move quick enough to manage a shot of those.  I could photograph the Geese whilst sitting in the chair.

Alan caught quite a few fish, not big one's, but it gave him a lot of practice in baiting the hook (yuk - maggots), casting and removing hooks from fishes (yuk again, I am a softie and always feel sorry for the fish). 

                  See, I told you they were only little.
You should have seen the one that got away though!  No, really - it took the line half way across the lake, then doubled back, then stole the hook and got off.  Obviously the hook was not tied on tight enough, although Alan said it was not his knot, but the one on the line that came with the hook.

A more experienced fisherman may have landed it.  We were told it would most likely have been a large Carp as they double back like that to slacken the line, then they can get off.
I suppose the idea would be to reel in to keep the line tight, but Alan was not quick enough as it took him by surprise when it shot off.

We only stayed for the morning as I had forgotten one lot of my tablets (I knew about it later in the day) and rounded off the day with a meal in a local Hotel Restaurant. I had a pleasant Wedding Anniversary, thank you Alan, and here's to many more.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Mini Clarence New Leg and Rosie

I haven't found Clarence's leg yet, but I did manage to find a small piece of the paw fabric so made him a new one. :)
He is now a happy (but still a bit worried) little bear.

I have photographed him with Rosie a 6" bear made from one of my favourite mohairs, a pretty cream/pink tipped.  This mohair always makes up into lovely bears and is so easy to sew.

I have quite a large piece of it, so as with Mini Clarence, Rosie will be an open edition, although I will not especially try to make the bears look the same.  They may have different paw colours/fabrics and will look slightly different.

Look out for them both on my websites (links to the right of this page).

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Clarence Has Lost His Leg

Do you remember Mini Clarence, the little bear with the eyebrows?
Mini Clarence No 3 for sale on my websites

I had just finished stitching a lighter coloured version of him this morning.  His arms and legs were fitted with the cotterpins and I sat down after lunch to joint him together and finish him off.

Only one leg!  "I've been here before" I thought.  The last time I lost a leg it turned up under my daughter's sofa.  I've not been to my daughter's this time, only sewing in my recliner with all the pieces on my sewing tray. 

"It can't have gone far".  How wrong could I be.  I have just spent the last 2 hours searching everywhere in our small bungalow that I could think of.  Under chairs, behind plantpots, both bedrooms, even looked in the fridge in desperation :).  It's nowhere in sight.

Poor Clarence is looking even more worried than normal.
Clarence patiently waiting for a new leg

The best guess at the moment is that I dropped it on the floor, then Foggy Puss decided to play with it when we were in the garden having our lunch.  He has a habit of losing things under cupboards.  Alan has checked under everything on his hands and knees with a torch but cannot see it anywhere.

I've got plenty of the mohair to make another, but unfortunately it was only a small piece of the cream paw fabric that I had left.  That means I have to make both arms and both legs again. :(

I'm fed up now and really don't feel like sewing any more today.  I was looking forward to finishing Clarence.  I love making this little bear, he always makes me smile.  Not this time though - grrr.

On a happier note I will show you a little girl bear that I finished a couple of days ago.  She is available on my websites (see to the right of this page for links).

Tara 4.5"/11cm

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Friday, 13 July 2012

June-July Ups and Downs

It's been a strange few weeks.  My sales over at Etsy have dipped dramatically, although I have had quite a few enquiries the last few days so fingers crossed the lull will soon be over.

The bear shop on the Cromer seafront, Allsorts of Bears took 11 of my little bears and I decided to try renting a space at Alice's Bear Shop, Lyme Regis.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they had sold two of my bears within a couple of days.
Snowball 6" SOLD

Tyler 6" SOLD

I also decided to up my artist bear listings on Folksy.  I am sorry to say I had neglected them whilst building up the vintage bear side of the Etsy shop.

Here are the two latest little bears, Jade and Miss Teddy.  You will find the links to my online shops and website to the right of this page.
Jade 8"

Miss Teddy 6"
I had bears listed with photos that I was not happy with so I took new photos.  These show the bears off much better.   There are still a few that I need to redo.
Hairy Harry 7"

Minnie 5.5"
I have been deciding all week what to do about ESA/JSA - could I work - can't I work - sign on to JSA - appeal against ESA turning me down? It was really stressing me out and after much deliberation, I decided a couple of days ago to go for the signing on option.  I know I probably should have appealed, but it is so difficult to put down in words how the arthritis affects me on a day to day basis.  I feel quite a sense of relief and calm now I have made a decision.

I was tired of the whole process and, if truth be known I would like a little job if anyone would take me, given that I walk with a stick and have days that I move like a little old lady!
The ESA say I am capable of work, so I will give it a try.
I have not worked now for 12 months since having to stop doing my previous retail job (too much standing/walking).
There are many limitations in what I could do - no standing or sitting for long periods, no lifting, no distance driving.  Must be part time as I would never get through a 40 hour week without seizing up completely.  Temporary to cover a maternity leave would be ideal as I am due to get my state pension in 8 months.

With that in mind I checked out the Job sites and found two part time receptionist jobs to apply for.
One is 20 hours a week and the other 24 hours for maternity cover.  I will keep my fingers and toes crossed (it will hurt, but I will try it) for success. 
I have never had to sign on in my working life and have always worked, apart from bringing up the childred as babies.  To have to do so now with 8 months to go is so annoying.
On the plus side, it cheered me up this week when I got a small tax rebate - thank you Mr Taxman :)

Note to self - must get the 2012 tax return in - they might give me another rebate!

I will leave you with a photo of a Chiltern old timer that I listed on Etsy and my website last week.
He is a Chiltern Hugmee c1930 and a handsome bear.  I had moved the two bears to photograph some others,and just loved the way Tumbleweed the Pud Bear was cuddling against Chester the Chiltern Hugmee.  Not a set up shot, just how they fell together when I put them down.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Sidney and Harry Posing With Their New Hairstyles

Just come back from the grooming parlour.  Harry and Sidney my two Cavaliers are looking very dapper and slim after their wash and brush up and haircuts.

Not being show dogs, and both having very thick and wavy unmanageable coats I take them for a trim regularly.
I used to do it myself and keep them longer coated, but since the Arthritis kicked in I have found it increasingly difficult to keep their coats under control.  Hence the trips to the grooming parlour.

I've just noticed the banner at the top of this page and it is amazing how long Sidney's ears used to be, before I had to get him professionally trimmed.  I just can't do the combing and brushing required to keep them like that any more.  Such a shame as he had beautiful ears.  His new 'bob' earstyle suits him too though I think.

I now have two lovely clean boys - a black and very white Tri Cavalier (Sidney) and a black and tan (Harry) that looks like a puppy with his smoothly trimmed fur. I noticed that Harry, although he is younger than Sidney by 2 years, is starting to go grey on his body.  Sidney is only going grey on his ears.  Sidney is 7 and Harry is 5.
Alan has joked with people that Harry is a Rottweiler puppy.  It's surprising how many believe him :)

Anyway here are the photos that my beautiful boys posed for in the garden.  The last one I took to show my daughters that Harry is not really fat as they thought, it was all fur, but Sidney has such a great look on his face I thought I would include it.

Sidney is smiling for the camera as usual.  He loves to have his photo taken.

Harry looking serious and Sidders giving his lovely (but very gummy) smile

A more serious Sidney showing of his new No 1 name tag

Look at the mischief in those eyes

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Busy Making New Little Mohair Bears

Having taken 11 bears to the Cromer seafront bear shop, Allsorts of Bears and sending 8 to Alice's Bear Shop in Lyme Regis, I am now busy trying to build up my website and Etsy stock.Here are my latest creations -

Mini Clarence (3) 4.5"
Ted Bear 4.5"

Sweetie 4"
Tumbleweed 8"

Sweetie is the smallest bear I have ever made at 4".  I have enough of the pink tipped mohair to make more of these little bears so I have marked her as an open edition.  However I may use different paw fabrics and will not especially try to make her facial features exactly the same so they will all be slightly different.

The same goes for Mini Clarence.  He will be made in different shades of mohair in the same type as this one, and with different coloured paws. 
This is the 3rd Mini Clarence so here are all three together  to show how different they can look (the first two are at the above shops).

Find me at Alice's Bear Shop, Lyme Regis

Find me at Allsorts of Bears, Cromer

Find me at www.pollysvintagebears.weebly.com