5 May 2011

May Day...and mayhem

Well, the village May Festival was a HUGE success! My best stall so far in terms of sales, and one of the cheapest ones to attend as a stallholder, so it more than made up for the one where I barely made any profit at all.

This was my first outdoor stall, and I managed to borrow a gazebo from a friend (who then very kindly came over early in the morning to help me put it up). I was really pleased with how the stall looked, but judging by how big the gazebo is I could have easily had two tables and more stock. Maybe next time...

The lavender hearts which my Mum and daughter so kindly stuffed went down a storm. I'd have made a lot of money if I'd charged for every sniff that was taken too, no-one could resist picking them up and inhaling deeply!


But I think the best part of the day was seeing this little customers face when his Mum bought him a new bear:

Isn't that just adorable?! I'm sure that bear will be very well loved!

With the success of the May Festival I now need to make a lot more stock ready for the next one on the 30th. But first I think I need to tackle the sewing room. I think what you'd call this is organised chaos...or maybe just chaos...

24 April 2011

Family...and a little taste of fame!

It's only when I look back at my old blog and the posts I wrote before we moved house that I realise how much my day to day life has changed in the past year. Posts then were full of stories of chickens and ducks, and vegetables growing. Now all that has gone. I'm not complaining of course, I'm very content, but writing a day to day blog just isn't possible these days. Partly because I'm so busy, but also because if I did I'd probably bore you all to tears as it would go something like this:

Took girls to school. Came home. Sat at sewing machine. Forgot to stop for lunch. Picked up girls from school. Sat at sewing machine. Girls made their own tea. Said goodnight to girls. Sat in front of tv...sewing.

And that is pretty much how it goes most days. Of course I occasionally do eat lunch, or leave the house for something other than the school run. But most of my time is spent sewing...and I love it. The girls get involved too, sometimes making their own things, sometimes helping me:

The garden has sadly been neglected. So much so that my wonderful Dad is coming to sort it for me! I will be stepping away from the sewing machine for 2 days to help him, and hopefully by the end of it there will be something growing out there other than weeds.

Bubs Bears won't be out of action for two days though. My Mum will be taking over and filling up these hearts with lavender ready for my stall at the May Festival next week.

So, what have I been making these past few weeks? I've managed over 16 bears since I last blogged, countless tea-towels, cards, buttons, magnets and other bits and bobs. Here's some of the bears:

There's a real mixture there. Some vintage fabric one-offs, some custom-made using baby clothes. There's also a couple made from school t-shirts to help raise funds for the school. The white one is going on my stall next week and we will be running a "Guess the name of the bear" competition and hope to raise £100 for my girls' school. Talking of raising money, a little bear which I donated to a cancer charity evening was auctioned for £131! How fantastic is that?

I've had 5 minutes of fame recently which was lovely. There is a new magazine out called Simply Homemade which has great craft projects and inspiration. One of their regular features is "Found on Folksy" and that's where my little shop was shown in Issue 3:

Despite all the sewing, I have managed to take a week off to spend some much needed quality time with my girls and my sister Nam. Nam lives in Brighton and we had a fun but hectic week with a trip to London (I finally got to go to Liberty!), and lots of eating out...Choccywoccydoodah was probably our favourite :)


21 April 2011

It's been a while...

I realise it's been a while since I've posted, and this is only a short post to say sorry! I've suddenly been inundated with orders and have been sewing furiously from morning until bedtime to try and keep up. I have lots of new bears to show you, but they will have to wait. In the meantime I will just show you this beautiful photo of my stall (with me and my gorgeous daughter) taken at the It's Darling Fair in Bath. I'll be back soon to do a proper post, I promise!

28 March 2011

Hearts and Flowers

The bears this past week have had a bit of a loved-up theme! I found out that Emma Bridgewater is now selling fabrics, so I bought some of the pretty hearts one. So far two of these three gorgeous girls have been snapped up already:

The one at the top is still available through my Folksy shop (just click on the link to your right)

It's been a while since I made a wedding dress bear, so it was a pleasure to make this one for Caroline last week. Her dress was absolutely stunning, and I think her bear looks just as beautiful. Especially with her "something blue" flower!


22 March 2011

It's Darling!

Just a quick reminder to you all that I will be here on Saturday:

 Do pop in if you are near Bath. It's free to get in!


16 March 2011

Bear...or bare?

I'm not sure my feet have touched the ground this week, I've been so busy! Or, to be more truthful, that should be that my backside hasn't left my sewing chair! But it's all been worth it...let me show you what I've been up to.

The first project I finished this week was this beautiful bear made from baby Gracie's clothes as a present for her 1st birthday.

Gracie was clearly a very well dressed baby...just look at all the pretty details on her clothes:

It was a real pleasure to work with such gorgeous clothes and I was really pleased with how the bear turned out. Judging by her face, so was Gracie!

 My next project was something a little different. As some of you may know, I made some bears last year for Mel at Finleys Footprints, for them to give to bereaved parents at our local hospital. Mel approached me with another idea a few weeks ago and I was more than happy to get involved. She has written a children's story called "How Rainbows Are Made" and it will be produced as a personalised book to help families with young children come to terms with the loss of a baby. Each book will be tailor-made to suit the family, with the names of their children, and the pictures will be arranged to match.To give you an idea of my involvement, here's the front cover:

All the individual pieces of the pictures are made of fabric and can be moved around (a little like Fuzzy Felt) to suit the story. The books will be printed and laminated, bound with ribbon and will arrive in a lovely presentation box. The cost will be £15, will all proceeds going towards supporting bereaved families. For more info, or to order you can contact Mel via her website Finleys Footprints.
The rest of the time this week has been spent making sure I am ready for the first craft fair of the year this weekend. It's only a smallish one so it should break me in gently! As well as the usual stock of bears, bags and buttons, I now have some smaller bits and bobs to tempt people. My favourites are these cards, which are made by sewing fabric directly onto the card itself...simple but very effective I think, I love them :)

And the last thing I've done this week...well I may start to regret this one but I'm literally going to bare all for a cancer charity calendar! More on that another time... ;)


7 March 2011


I mentioned in my previous post what very special thing it is to be trusted with someone's treasured fabrics or clothing. Especially when the clothing belongs to a loved one who has passed away. As you will all know after seeing my last raffle, my friend lost her sister Anna to cancer after Christmas. I was asked to make some bears from Anna's clothing as keepsakes for the family. I sadly never met Anna, but have been told she was bright and bubbly and this definitely showed in her clothing. One bear was to be for Anna's nephew, so we chose her jeans to make that one, the rest are for girls so we used some of Anna's colourful summer tops:

The bear on the bottom left is ribbonless for a good reason. My friend is going to make it a necklace using some of Anna's jewellery and it will be a Mother's Day present for their Mum.


More memories have been captured in this gorgeous bear. Made from Jacob's baby clothes (he had some great striped and checked trousers!) this bear was ordered by his Grandmother Liz as a present for him. I hope he will treasure it forever.

Lastly, I just wanted to say a few words of caution. I have noticed in the past few weeks (especially on Facebook) some other people who are making keepsake bears, rabbits, cushions etc from baby clothes etc. While some look well made, others really don't (and their very low prices reflect that). I would urge anyone to carefully consider the options before sending their most cherished clothing to be made into something else. Check the photos carefully to see the workmanship, check for customer feedback, and check the price. A good quality item should take many hours of work, and if the price is very low you really have to wonder why.

3 March 2011

Piran's bear

Those of you who have read my blog (in it's Wordpress form) for a while may remember two wedding dress bears I made for Kelly. Her beautiful dress had been made by a friend, and she wanted it made into one bear for herself and one for her friend as a thank you gift. She wanted me to include as many of the details of the dress as I could, including the handmade fabric flowers and the "something blue".

Well, Kelly came back to me recently and ordered another bear, this time to be made from her son Piran's baby clothes. Here he is:

He is such a lovely soft bear, Piran really had some gorgeous clothes. As usual I kept as many of the little details from the clothes as I could:

Kelly is now awaiting the arrival of baby number two. Somehow I think I may be getting another email from her in a year or so...!

It makes me very proud that people like Kelly trust me with their most precious fabrics. To know that the bears I create will be cherished by their families (possibly for generations) is a very special thing.


26 February 2011

We have a winner!

Firstly, I must say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who donated money to enter our charity raffle. You have all helped to raise a fantastic £402 for St.Margaret's Somerset Hospice.

The draw has taken place* and I am pleased to announce the winner is:

Hollie Pearson

Well done Hollie, I hope you like your bear!

So, thank you all again. I will be raising more money for charity through the year with my bears, so if you have a charity in mind that you'd like to help, and you'd be willing to help promote another raffle, then please do contact me.

*All entrants were allocated "ticket" numbers reflecting the order in which, and how much, they donated and the winning ticket was chosen using an online random number generator. 

22 February 2011

Spring flowers

I'm determined to believe that Spring is on the way despite the gloomy weather, so I am gradually adding some pretty Spring-inspired bears to my stock.This is the first one, made from a lovely floral linen - upcycled from a no longer worn skirt, so she's done her bit for the environment too.

Also added to my stock are these colourful polka dot bears:

They have been made from fabric kindly donated by Rachel at RayStitch and I will be donating 50% of the sale price to the British Heart Foundation.

All three bears can be found in my Folksy shop.

17 February 2011

Win a bear!

Just after Christmas a very dear friend of mine lost her sister Anna to cancer. She was an amazingly strong lady who fought the disease for 5 years. She will be very sadly missed by all those who knew and loved her.
In the last 18 months of her life she received fantastic care at St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice. They provide free hospice care to those living in and around Somerset and seek to improve the quality of life for those suffering with an incurable illness while also providing a support system for their carers and families. St Margaret’s is mostly funded by public donations.
In Anna’s memory, I would love to raise some money for St Margaret’s so they can continue their good work.
So, for just £2 for 2 “tickets” you can enter into the raffle to win this lovely handmade teddy bear. For every extra £1 you donate, you will get one extra entry into the raffle, the more times you enter the more chances you have of winning. I will close the raffle on the 25th February at 8pm UK time.

To enter just click on the link: www.justgiving.com/bubsbears

16 February 2011

Starry starry night...

Now if you've read the title and you know any Don McLean songs you will now be singing the words "paint your palette blue and grey...."

Why have I got you singing that? Well, it's because this new bear below is called Vincent, as is the song, and anytime I  hear the name Vincent I start singing!

He's a very sweet bear, who I made for a very dear friend of mine, Adam, who is approaching his 40th birthday. I met Adam at art college 20 years ago and for as long as I have known him he has always had a paintbrush or pencil in his hand. So when I saw this watercolour palette print fabric on the Liberty website I knew it would be just perfect for the bear he'd asked me to make. I left the naming up to Adam, so Vincent he has become.

He even has little pencil buttons...

11 February 2011

It's feeling quite like Spring here today. The sky is blue, the flowers are pushing their way up through the soil, and there are little bunnies multiplying by the day!!

 All of these have been made from pretty vintage floral fabrics which were kindly given to me by Donna Flower. They are all one-offs so completely unique. All are available to buy from my Folksy shop, with 10% of the sale price going to charity.

Now the bunnies are made, I will be going back to my ever growing list of custom orders. I have some remembrance bears to make, plus two baby keepsake bears from these lovely baby clothes:
I can't wait to see how they turn out!

9 February 2011

Hop, hop, hop!

This little Bubs Bunny has hopped it's way into my Folksy shop today...

It would love to find a new home soon...and you never know, it might just come with an extra little surprise!

8 February 2011

New banner, new blog!

I've been having some new designs created for me by the lovely Catherine over at Bumpkin Bears. Not only does she make gorgeous teddy bears, but she is a very talented artist too. The banner above is the first thing she has designed for me, there will also be some others which I can use as business cards, labels etc. So to make the most of her beautiful artwork, I have decided to start up a new blog here. Wordpress is great for blogging, but it's not so great for pretty backgrounds and colour schemes, and I really wanted something to compliment Catherine's designs.

I'm still finding my way around blogger so bear with me. Things may get changed along the way, until I find a layout I'm happy with. 

For now I will just leave you with a quick reminder that it's Valentine's Day on Monday. Any bears purchased from my shop, as a gift for your loved one, will come with a little embroidered heart. I will be able to post as late as Saturday morning, so don't leave it too late!