Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Memories

I think the best Christmas memories are the simple ones just filled with love and last Thursday I was part of one that I know I'll be telling for years to come!

I am a regular on a pub quiz team, every Thursday for the last year or so I have been down The Bell in Studham arguing over answers with my fellow team mates in "The Team with No Name"!!!!!!!! Our team is made up by my fella Lex, who is of course not in the country right now so has been replaced for a while by Chris who works with Christine who is married to Jerry who's daughter is Kim my best friend! Oh and there's Phil too, mine and Kim's bestest mate and Jerry and Christine's surrogate son.

Well last Thursday was the last quiz before Christmas, it had a festive theme with crackers and hats on the table and Christmas themed questions, I did quite well at this and knew a few that the others didn't! Well half way thought there was a game of bingo, this is done every few weeks and there's £100 up for grabs, there's one catch you have to sing for your money, every time I say I'm not sing if I win I rather loose the money and I never get a full house so don't have to worry, well this week I only go and get a full house don't I before I can say "I'm not getting up there to sing" Jerry jumps up to sing on my behalf, I was so touched that he came to my rescue and was really quite tearful that he would have done that for me, so Jerry's up there there in front of a pub full of people and he sings Silent Night, he sings the first verse perfectly but then gets a little stuck on the second so then everybody in the pub joins in, it was such a special moment, friends and strangers singing together, it was a truly magical Christmas moment and one I shall treasure forever!

I really hope you have had some special moments this year and
I wish you a very Merry Christmas filled with love and happiness.xx

Its a Christmas Parade

Please go and check out Ellen's wonderful Christmas Parade, it is full of beautiful images! I have looked over it many times today trying to work out whats my favourite and I just can't decide they are all so lovely!!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

What a success


All my hard work paid off last Sunday when my web show was a complete success, all the bears and mice found new homes for Christmas!

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me and came to visit the show and an even BIGGER thank you to those of you who brought a bear!

Now I must get myself organised for Christmas, I've started my Christmas shopping but don't seem to be very successful in getting much or any inspiration! I spent all day shopping yesterday and found about 3 things! This morning though I've just done some massive internet shopping and I'm about half way done, just got a few more people to get for now, oh the joys of Christmas.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Webshow Tonight

I have been working very hard over the past two weeks to get 4 bears and 4 mice ready for my online show, its starts at 6pm (GMT) tonight.
This is the first time I have done something like this and I must admit I am very nervous about it, "what if nothing sells?", "what if the website crashes?!", many questions have been running around my head over the lat few days, however you have to give these things a go and if nothing sells, nothing sells, what will be will be and all that. So if you'd like to take a look pop over at 6pm tonight an have a peek at whats on display!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Bears off to see Edwina

Here's 2 new bears and a big mouse that have just been sent to Edwina's Friends




Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas parade!

Exciting news! The talented Ellen Borggreve is having a Christmas Parade from her blog on 23rd December 2008. The idea is to promote our "art" and creativity and have a bit of fun drooling over the wonderful creations on display. I do hope you will be able to pop over on the 23rd and have a look.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Long time no blogging!

Well the past 2 months seem to have flown by in a flash! I can't believe how busy my life has been of late, I just can't keep up, unfortunately my blogging duties have been neglected so let me tell you what I've been up to recently.

Firstly as some of you know my fella Lex left on the 31st October to travel the world, he's gone for about 7 months, travelling through South East Asia, China, New Zealand, The South Pacific and the USA, you can check out his travel blog at

So alot of October was taken up with us trying to spend as much time together as possible, it was'nt always easy with me working ALL the hours under the sun and Lex getting ready for his travels, but we did get the chance to do a few fun things before he went as the following photos show.
Me and Lex at his fancy dress/bouncy castle leaving party!!!! The theme was Halloween, bad taste or superheroes/villain, the night was a total success, a mad night was had by all.

Emma, Lex's cousin and fellow traveller

Lex Poiing at the party

Me & Lex at his last supper!

Me & Lex in the Buddha bar after spending the night in a posh hotel and our last day together in London

As well as all this gallivanting around I have been very busy with work, I'm currently working around 60 hours a week, still doing the 2 jobs and making the bears! I've had orders non stop since Hugglets and I'm gradually getting though them all. 10 bears went to Hamleys at the beginning of the month, 3 bears have just been finished today for Edwina's Friends and will be available from Kathy soon. Next I'm working on bears for Bear Paths in the USA and bears for my online show in December, its all go so I really haven't got time to miss Lex at all, having said that I do, like mad but its only 7 months and that's nothing really and he's promised to be back for my 30th next year with lots of exotic presents!

A couple of the bears that are now available from Hamleys

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Charity Raffle


I am sure some of you are aware that I work in a day centre for adults with learning disabilities, well we have a little charity that raises money for our clients to have a few extras that the Social Services budget just won't allow, things like a people carrier to get out and about and art equipment. A few months ago I decided to donate my cover star bear "ABE" to be raffled for this charity so close to my heart! We have so much trouble raising awareness of what we do and find raising money even harder! I am selling tickets at £5 each and they are available until the draw at our Christmas party on 10th December. If you would like to purchase a ticket and help support this worthy cause please contact me for details:
Just a few things you may want to know about "ABE"
“Abe” is worth over £130 and was exclusively made to feature on the front cover of Teddy Bear Club International July 2008. “Abe” is 12” high and is made from golden brown Schulte mohair, with felt paws. He is heavily weighted with steel shoot, has black glass eyes and red, white and blue ribbon details.
Thanks so much!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Edwina's Friends!

Kathy's bear, she's very special!

A while ago I was asked to produce some bears for a new a venture from Kathy Martin (formally editor of Teddy Bear Scene) and I'm pleased to announce that her new online shop "Edwina's Friends" is now up and running, Kathy has handpicked some of the best of the best artists to make exclusive bears for her and am honored she has including me in that list! I wish Kathy the very best with her new business and I am sure she is going to make it a success, please pop by her website and have a look at the wonderful bears she has available.

Monday, September 29, 2008

New borns

Every commission I do is special but every now and again I get to make VERY special bear and over the past week I've had 2 special bears to make for my good friend Jackie. Last weekend she was made a Grandma for the first time TWICE!!!! Her eldest son's girlfriend Naomi, who also happens to be my good friend had a baby girl, Megan Isobella on Saturday and the Jackie's 3rd eldest son's wife Lindsay had a baby boy Blake on the Sunday!!! Its been cuddles all round and I have to say Megan is one of the most content babies I've ever met, just cute, cute, cute! Anyway Jackie's a big fan of my bears and commissioned two bears almost as soon as she knew the girls where expecting and here they are!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A successful day at Hugglets!

It seems all my hard work was worth it as Sunday was fabulous! It was such a lovely day, you can always rely on the Hugglets team to make it a special day. I got the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones, had lots of fun talking to collectors new and old, I even managed to run down to purchase myself the sweetest tiny bear from Samantha of Mary Myrtle Miniatures, Teeny is only 5cm high and now sitting in pride of place within my own hug!

Thanks so much to everyone who brought a bear or mouse your support of my work means so much.

I've now only got 2 bears available that I'll be popping on the website shortly!

For now its back to work, there's the website to update, a big Hamley's order, commissions to finish and its the Inn on the Lake show in a few weeks, gosh and I thought I'd be able to have a rest!!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Packed & ready to go?!

Well I'm almost sorted, I've got the bears all packed up, the stand etc and I've been running through my "show list essentials" in my head for the last hour! All I left to do is work out what to wear!

I'm off to a 30th Birthday party tonight, (A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my lovely mate Matt!!!!) Usually I would be finishing off the last few bits but had to get myself sorted early, I'm driving so no danger of me having a hangover in the morning & I've already warned people I'll be leaving early, lets just hope I can sleep tonight, I often lay awake worrying before a show, either that or dreaming I forgot all the bears and had nothing to sell.

Anyway lets hope you see you there all bright and bushy tailed!!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Counting down the days...

There's only 2 more sleeps until the big day and I can't wait! Even though I'm dead nervous about: 1. Not getting there as it will be the first time I've driven into London (Usually my very great mate drives us!) and 2. What if I don't sell anything!!!!! I get this overwhelming sense of "I'm not worthy" a few days before the show and it doesn't really leave me until I've sold my first bear, its silly really we've been doing the Hugglets show for a few years now, but its just so important in my eyes and there are such an amazing amount of talented artist there I wonder how I ever got offered a table, but the minute I sell I start to enjoy myself, there really is nothing like a Hugglets show, every year I do better and better and have had lots of enquiries on the preview page but its still nerve racking. In one way I hope these nerves never leave me, it makes me want to produce better bears and I would hate to become complacent about what I do. So for the next few days I'm going to be a little nuts, not really any different than normal some might think ;-)

If your thinking of coming to the show I'd recommend it highly, its going to be wonderful you can find out more details here:

Do come by and say "Hello" if you can, now I must get back to panicking!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another 2 finished!

I've just added 1 bear and 1 mouse to the preview page, go check them out!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Only one week to go!!!!!!!


I always have a mad panic before a Hugglets show, no matter how organised I think I'll be it never seems to work out as I planned, this time is no exception, I'm way behind! However I have managed to upload my preview page today as promised! There's a few more bears to be finished and I'll hope to get them up by the end of the week, but in the meantime take a peek at whats finished so far.



"Blackbeary" New opened mouth design

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It was wet!!!!!

Lex, Chelle and Sean on Putsborough Beach

Lex and Me just before we started The Legendary Grand Tour 2008!

I'm completely exhausted from the weekend, so much for a relaxing time!!! The weather wasn't kind to us so I'm suffering from total lack of sleep, the tent leaked so had wet shoes, wet clothes and had to sleep in a wet tent too! Other than that it was a wicked weekend, the camp site was great, the owners were so lovely! The area was beautiful in between the showers! We ate yummy food and I had the best ice cream in Croyde!
Sean, Chelle, Me and Lex at the end of the run

So many mini's

The best mini of all "MAX"

The mini run was amazing, never experienced anything quite like it, in many ways it was like a bear fair, lots of enthusiast all talking passionately about what they love and the sun did shine for us all day so an added bonus.

Chelle and Me, trying to look glam after 3 days of wet camping and no sleep!!!!

I've now returned home to a Hamleys order!!!! Yay except I have no idea when I'm going to complete it! So I am taking today to get myself organised, make a plan and get going, only 17 days until Hugglets, so much to do so little time! Arrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhh

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yay! Camping!

Woolacombe Bay

I'm off camping in Devon this weekend and it will be my first weekend off since the first week of July! Even though I think I deserve (and need) a break I'm still feeling gulity about the work I should be getting done, how sad am I? Its only 3 weekends untill Hugglets and I'm so not ready, I always want to make far more than I'm capable of doing, I'll just have to work flat out when I get back, but right now I must pack!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mice, Miffy & baby showers!

In the past week as well as working on Hugglets mice! (four finished so far) I've also been working on a few commissions too, one for a new shop and the other for a gift for my friend Naomi.

Naomi and I have worked together for a few years, I was her supervisor when she first started work at the day centre and has become a brilliant carer, we are only a few months apart in age therefore have lots in common, anyway Naomi is expecting her first child in October and has only a few weeks left before her maternity leave starts. On Saturday Naomi's sister in law Claire hosted a baby shower and it was lots of fun, I took a small present for the baby (booties and vests as you can never have enough) and I made a bear for Naomi, I think Mum's always get forgotten a bit so wanted Naomi to have something for her, I suspect that the baby will get one too at some point! (shhh that's a secret though) I did'nt name the bear as I thought Naomi would like to do that herself and she's just informed me that she's chosen "Miffy" as that's what her and her partner Ben have been calling her bump.


Friday, August 8, 2008

The Best Mohair Supplier

Over the years I've met many people within the bear world some wonderful and some not so much! Some of these people you just end up passing the time of day with at a fair and some become dear friends, I have to say this about Barbara and Andy of "Barbara-Ann Bears" and now also "Norbeary Fabrics" after chatting with them yesterday I was informed I didn't have a link to their fabric company website, slap on wrist for me, so today I'm giving a big shout out to Barbara and Andy and saying go take a look at their mohair. Barbara is a font of knowledge for any bear maker and has given me so freely valuable advise on everything from mohair to tax returns! They both have been making bears for over 15 years now so know their stuff but are always keen to learn new things and we regularly swap tips, ideas and a bit of gossip! Andy also designed my website, so I'd say I owe them both quite a bit. Anyway go check out all they have to offer here:



Thursday, July 31, 2008

Business cards

I've just ordered some professional business cards and postcards, it took me ages to upload and design them how I wanted and now I'm just waiting excitedly for them to arrive. I used a close up photo of a commission I've just finished for a lovely customer of mine, I think he's such a sweetie!
This week I've been working on more mice for Hugglets, I've had so many requests for mice so I'm hoping to make lots for people to choose from, this weekend I should get a tan coloured one and a white one finished, then I'll start on more grey ones I think!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm a busy bee

There's simply just not enough hours in the day for all I want to do, the last few weeks have been mad busy and I feel like a hamster in one of those wheels unable to get off! Anyway here's a sneaky peek at what I've just finished this evening, its for an upcoming magazine piece, can you guess the theme!?

On another note my new job is going very well. I have so much to learn but have lots of support from the work based training team and I think I'm really going to enjoy this new challenge, if I could just have a extra few hours in each day life would be perfect!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So much to do, so little time!

I start my new job on Thursday and I'm just wondering why I decided to take on another job, where am I going to find the time I keep asking myself, well I'm just gonna have too. I really want this new job and can't leave the old one until I've finished my management NVQ (yep I'm studying too!) I've also never been so busy with the bears, I've got a mountain of commission's to do, Hugglets in 8 weeks Arrrggghhhhh! Less sleep I think is the only way I'll do it, right must dash and get back to work on the bears.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bouncing and a tea party!

Today I've had the "post birthday" and "post holiday" blues really bad, last week was so lovely. I really don't think I've had such a nice birthday as I did this year and I really wasn't looking forward to turning 29, one year away from 30, I'd been having the real, "where am I", "what have I achieved" kinda worries but so far being 29 has been great, everyday last week I had something to do, Birthday drinks, dinner with a friend, lunch with a mate, the pub quiz on Thursday and on Friday night I went to a Hawaiian bouncy castle party which was great (did'nt go to bed until 4:30am) and then Saturday my lovely friends had arranged a tea party for me, total surprise and it was lovely, most of my special friends made it and we ate a fab lunch made by two of my best friends Kelly and Kim, they did a brilliant job getting everybody there and the cake was delightful! After that we went to the local park to play rounders, we did get a few strange looks a group of mostly 30-somethings running about like kids but it was funny, not the part where I fell over but that's another story!..... So now I have to get back to work, I have a mountain of commissions to do and a new job to start, I think I need another holiday!

Kim and Me at the bouncy castle party

Kim, Me and Kelly with my Birthday lunch!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Job

I received my new contract for the NVQ assessors job today! I must be mad taking on a 3rd job, but needs must and its a good development move for me!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Birthday me!

Yesterday was my 29th birthday and I had such a wonderful day, the sun was shining so I spent most of the day sewing in the garden (even though I promised myself a few days off I just couldn't do nothing!) anyway I then met my two oldest friends and their little girls for dinner and then a few more friends dropped by for drinks after work. I had some fantastic pressies and have more celebrations to come at the weekend too, but that's a surprise so I have no idea whats gonna happen! It really was the loveliest of days!

Kim, Leon & Me

Kim, Kelly & Me!

Phil, Kelly, Kim,Leon, Steve, Garth, Kim, Me & Stu

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

URSA Awards 2008

"Winter Pickings"

Voting has started for the 2008 URSA awards, this is the first time I've entered and I'm really hoping to get a rosette!!! Anyone that knows me will know I'm desperate to win a rosette! Anyway if you'd like to vote for my little one here's the link, my bear is towards the bottom of the web page.


There are some truely amazing pieces of artwork this year, I wish everybody the very best of luck!x

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The New Forest Bear Festival

One of the new mice I will be bringing to the show!
Me and Mum are off to Hampshire tommorow, firstly to visit my lovely Aunt in Lymington and secondly to exhibit at The New Forest Show in Beaulieu on Sunday 29th, its set to be a wonderful day full of artist bears, demonstrations, balloon races, crafts and much, much more please visit Julie or Amanda's websites for more information and I hope to see you there.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Such a lovely but busy few weeks!

I can't stop smiling! Yesterday I got my online copy of July's Teddy Bear Club International with my bear on the front cover! Remember that "big" bear I made a while back well that's what he was made for and I'm delighted. Its been a dream of mine to have a bear on the front cover of a magazine since I first started making bears and thanks to the lovely Kirste at TBCI my dreams have come true! There's also a 4 page article on me and the bears on page 14, I really couldn't want for more. If you would like a copy pop into WHSmiths or visit http://www.teddybeartimes.com/ where you can buy a copy when it is available.
I've feel like I've got nothing done this week, I had to work as usual Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and because I've been so tierd have done no bear making in the evenings (I usually work for a few hours every night!) I think its good to have a few days off then come back all fired up with new ideas! I also had a job interview yesterday, if I get the job I'll be working for Amersham and Wycombe college in the Health and Social Care department as a NVQ assessor. I qualified last year and have been waiting for the perfect hours to come available somewhere so I don't have to leave my other job, fingers crossed that I'll hear something early next week!
Right today I'm going to get myself sorted, there's muddle everywhere and I can't make bears in this mess ;-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Teddy Bear Artist Event

Wow what a wonderful day it was yesterday, a day filled with great bears, talented artists, lovely collectors and the most amazing organisation. Samantha did a fantastic job hosting this show, as did her family and friends helping out with all the extra touches. Samantha was very brave to organise this show and all her hard work certainly paid off. I enjoyed myself immensely and can't wait until next year. A big thanks to everybody who purchased one of my bears or my mouse, which seemed to prove very popular!!!!! (I will be making more) I was delighted to win runner up in the exhibitors challenge for my winter entry "Winter Pickings" I was completely gobsmacked as the standard of bears was brilliant, I have a big smile on my face now.

A massive THANK YOU to everybody who voted.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A little bit behind......

No matter how hard I try and how hard I work I always seem to be behind, I've been working solid since my return from Devon, I've only had one weekend off and still I just want to complete one more bear! To top it all off I'm going to see the Foo Fighters tonight! I've had the tickets since December last year and its sods law it falls the weekend of an important show, I considered not going, but that's just plain silly so I'm busy working away until I absolutely have to stop, I've still got tomorrow and who needs sleep anyway!

I've have managed to added the last few bears that I have finished to my preview page today though take a look at http://www.shantockbears.com/TBAE%20Preview.shtml

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I've just added a preview page to my website with a few of the bears finished for The Teddy Bear Artist Event.


Winter Pickings! One of my entries for the exhibitors challenge

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sad news of TBS

This morning as I sit here still a bit blurry eyed I am still shocked at the sad news that Teddy Bear Scene will be finishing after the July issue. I had hoped that overnight this announcement would have been one big joke but depressingly not. This wonderful magazine was the first to feature my bears and Kathy Martin has always been such a support to new artists, she has been so kind to me over the last few years and I will miss TBS dropping through my letter box every month, what will we do without it! A sad day in the bear world :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside....

Back home now after a lovely weekend in Devon, the B&B was excellent I would highly recommend The Swallows Guest House in Exmouth if your ever in the area, such a big room, with lovely owners who cooked a wicked breakfast! (no clearing up all weekend was bliss too) It was also about 3 minutes from the show venue so that really was a luxury walking down with my trolleys in the morning. The show had about 45 exhibitors all quite different, there was a mix of old and new artists, new bears and old bears. A big thank you to those of you who took a bear home with you from my stall! I met some lovely new people and discovered some wicked minature bears by a new artist Maria of Blee Bears http://www.bleebears.co.uk/ check out this lovely lady's bears, I think they are fab and sure she's going to be one to watch over the next few years! She had the most adorable cream and blue elephant that I loved and if I'd sold just one more bear I'd of brought him but alas paying the overdraft comes first!
I'm now hard at work for the Stratford show on 8th June, I'll be putting a preview page up on the website hopefully by the 1st June if not before, currently I'm working on a pale green bear that I hope to put into the exhibitors challenge under Autumn! I've also got spring and winter bears half finished!
For details of the show please visit Samantha's wonderful website full of information, I love how organised this girl is! Its going to be a brilliant show! http://www.teddybearartistevent.co.uk/index.htm

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Devon cream teas! Yum

One of the bigger bears I'll be bringing to the show!

Me and Mum are off to Exmouth in Devon tomorrow morning. We will be exhibiting at the Devon Bear fair organised by Emmery Bears and Teddies of Trenode, we thought it would be nice to have a few days away in a B&B, rather than traveling down and back in one day! I'm really looking forward to having a relaxing few days and lots of cream teas!

If you are coming along to the show do please pop over and say hello to us, I will have 16 bears with me and Mum will have a large selection of her wicked knitting.

For more info on the show please visit: http://emmarybears.com/id20.html

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Big Bear!

That big bear I made a few weeks ago has got a special job! I've just posted him off for a photo shoot!!! All will be revealed in good time............

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Bear

(Please note Kingsbury is now sold)
I've just popped a new bear on the website you can visit Kingsbury here http://www.shantockbears.com/Kingsbury.shtml
Kingsbury has a much fatter body than I would normally do, I really like him though, he looks very butch like you'd not want to mess with him but underneath he'd be a real softy!
I am now working on bears for the Exmouth Show on 18th May http://emmarybears.com/id20.html
and then its the Teddy Bear Artist Event in Stratford on 8th June
I'll be putting a preview page up for this event nearer the time,
along with my entries in the The Exhibitors' Challenge!

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