Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas crafting!

I don't very often have anything to add to this blog since I started my new 'Bilberry Lane' blog for my bears; however, I have a few things worth showing!

I love, love, Free-Motion Embroidered Applique pictures! I haven't done a great deal of it (because of the bears!) but decided to have a go at a small picture of Charlie - my sister-in-law's new (ish) puppy! Charlie is about 8-months old. He's very cheeky, naughty and of course, adorable! The first picture is of the real Charlie; and the second one of my Free-Motion Appliqued picture version. I am really pleased with how this turned out, but now I want to do more! Isn't it sweet (just like the real Charlie!).

Just in case you might be thinking I'm spoiling a Christmas surprise for my sister-in-law, it's fine, because she doesn't read my blog!

Secondly, just a quick picture of my lovely Welsh Dresser decked out a bit for Christmas. I made the card bunting using Victorian style images ......... looks nice doesn't it? Apologies that it's a bit blurry!!

And lastly; and only because he's Christmas themed, a re-worked Christmas bear. I actually made him last year, but I was never truly happy with his look, so I've fiddled a bit with him, re-done his nose and made the green Christmas hat with a rusty bell; and now I'm happier with him. There's actually very little you can do with Artist Bears to change them once they're made, but he looks better now than he did.

Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

A bit of this and that!

Well, it’s been such a while since I posted anything on this blog! I’m mostly busy these days making my Artist teddy bears, which I post on my other blog ‘Bilberry Lane’ – there’s a link over on the right hand side of this blog if you’d like to look.

I have though also been getting on with some crochet squares. I’ve had a bit of a change of roles at work, which now allows me more control of my lunch breaks; and so I’ve done something I’ve fancied doing for a while and that is to begin a 'Lunchtime Crafters Group'. There’s several of us who love a variety of crafts and spend plenty of our spare time discussing them, so I thought why waste an hour doing nothing much when we could be crafting and it’s given me a chance to get on with these squares. Now bear in mind I started these about 2 years ago and had completed the grand total sum of about 30 squares in that time – not many is it!!?? 

But in the last couple of weeks, I’ve made several more and sewn half of them together just by utilising my lunch breaks – good idea eh! The plan when I began them was to make enough to make a double bed cover, but we’ll see about that – this is a start – perhaps I ought to consider a baby cot cover LOL!

And next, I made this so called ‘Artisan’ apron! 

Do any of you ever watch Janet Clare on the Create and Craft channel? Well, this apron is her design. Her philosophy is that when the apron goes on, she’s in work mode, which in turn encourages her to get on with her crafting. I do like her philosophy, because sometimes I find myself doing all sorts of other jobs before I’ll settle down to sewing …….. I don’t know why! So I thought, if I made myself one of Janet Clare’s apron’s it might encourage me not to procrastinate (big word!!!) so much. So here it is.

And this last one is of Janet Clare herself in her original design!

I’ve just finished my latest bear, which I’ll hopefully be able to put on my other blog tomorrow, it’s just that I haven’t had a chance to take any photos yet, so check that out later if you like!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Dylan 2

This bear doesn’t really have a name! I put Dylan 2 because he is the same bear as Dylan who I made back here in January. The original Dylan was made from mohair fabric from a pattern by Sylvie Touzard, but this time I’ve gone with what the original pattern called for and made him from Viscose fabric – hence the slightly different look. My cousin Gwyneth saw Dylan and took a bit of a fancy to him, but said she would probably prefer Viscose, sooooo, this bear is for Gwyneth, although only if she likes him. And that’s why I haven’t attempted to name him, because if he does go off to South Wales then he’ll have a new name.

A new thing all my bears will have from now on is this metal badge with the initials BL, which stands for ‘Bilberry Lane’ the name of my new ‘Bear’ blog, which although I have started here, I haven’t published yet – not sure whether I’m happy with the way it looks yet!!

His little trousers are made from the top of an old sock as directed in the pattern!  and they show off his little fat tummy really well don’t you think!! I’ve then added a couple of different colour ribbons and some bells. Dylan has black glass eyes, a stitched nose and is filled with fibre fill and steel shot. He measures 8¼ inches from top to toe! His legs are wobbly, so he sits only, unless propped up against a book or something as in the first photo!

Saturday, 23 July 2016


Esmeralda is a 9-inch Heffalump (elephant! LOL) made from a lovely soft blush colour viscose and she is stitched entirely by hand. She has big black glass eyes framed by beautiful long eyelashes; and she’s ready to flutter them at any passing admirer!! A touch of chalky pastel gives Esmeralda a slightly aged look and her big flappy ears are lined with a lovely star print cotton fabric. She is filled with heavy fibre filling and steel shot for a nice weighty feel, particularly in that fat little tummy of hers. A ‘wobble’ joint in her head makes her head loll (is that a word?!!) to the side, but that I think just adds to her cuteness!

The next few pictures show Esmeralda wearing a pretty blue genuine ‘Liberty’ print floral dress – the question to anyone reading is do you prefer her with a dress or without …… I can’t make up my mind as usual LOL – any comments will be welcomed.

Although you can see Esmeralda here, she is also appearing on my new blog, which will be dedicated to my bears. It is called ‘Bilberry Lane’ and will I hope eventually be the base of my bear business – when time allows to get it properly off the ground. You can find my brand new blog here. So what do you think of little Esmeralda?

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Billy boy!

Here’s my latest boy - Billy!

Billy is about 8½ inches tall, made from a lovely chocolate colour, very soft viscose fabric, which I hand-dyed myself. The colouring is slightly variegated here and there, which I’d like to say was deliberate; however, perhaps I need a little bit more practise at hand-dying viscose – I never had the same problem when hand-dying cotton velvet a year or so ago!! Anyway, the variations in colour nicely add to the aged, vintage kind of look, so all’s well. Billy is filled with the usual firm fibre-fill and steel shot for weight. He has black glass eyes, is 5-way jointed, and is dressed in a little striped top, with a ceramic heart button stitched on the front. Billy also has a little across-the-body linen bag, with a cross-stitched small flower on and a silver tone love letter charm. As the viscose is such a lovely brown, I’ve only added a little bit of distressing here and there.

He’s quite a cute little chappie isn’t he?

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Wilma, in the Pink!

Look; Watson now has a sister …….. and sticking with the WW’s, her name is Wilma. As all the details for Wilma are the same as for Watson (a few posts ago!), using the fabulous pattern (and exactly the same fabric) from Liz at Wacky Walker Bears, this post is mostly an all picture post. I hope you enjoy looking

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Malvern Spring Quilt Show

A brief change from the bears! I went to the Malvern Spring Quilt Show and Exhibition yesterday with my luverley cousin Gwyneth who was up for weekend from South Wales. She used to make cards, but apparently I inspired her to ditch the cards in favour of sewing a couple of years ago. My remit (from Gwyneth) in coming to stay was that I had to take her to my favourite craft shops …… I know; what a chore (see big happy smile on my face!!). I then discovered; and this really was a coincidence, that the Quilt show was on this weekend; so that sorted out our Saturday; and basically, we just about walked our legs off spending practically all day there; and of course spending money. These days, I’m making bears, so I don’t need patchwork fabric do I? LOL However, as with any true crafter, I still have several ‘other’ projects to be made ……. and since yesterday, I now have a couple more – well it would have been rude of me not to accompany Gwyneth in her purchases – that’s my justification anyway! So, here are my goodies:-

A panel kit of a gorgeous piece called ‘House and Country Garden’ – it’s by Lecien – love, love the colours! And here following is a picture of how the finished piece ought to look!

........with any luck anyway LOL

Two fat quarters and a bag pattern – not to go together – from my favourite local(ish) fabric shop, ‘White Cottage Country Crafts’! I have other fabric for the bag pattern; and the two fat quarters were just one of those ‘I have to have’ moments – don’t know what I’ll do with it yet!!

This fabric is for a project that will be a gift, but I won’t say any more as the lady occasionally looks at my blog. The rose pattern is linen and is just so lovely and the plain one is a calico. Gwyneth in fact bought it for me as a belated birthday pressie.

This redwork embroidery is a ‘Dandelion Designs’ pattern by Mandy Shaw. I haven’t done a stitchery for years and I think it’s really sweet; and hopefully not too taxing for me!

Oh, and lastly (and these are for my bear making) a new pair of Fiskars Embroidery scissors. I managed to slightly twist the very end of my other pair by trying to use them to turn a cotter pin joint (bad girlie Julia!! LOL). They are excellent scissors, but rather expensive!

Anyway, I have a week off work now, so I hope to be able to achieve something at least, although I am also in the middle of another two bears ……………… there’s just never enough time!! Why not come back in a week and see how I’ve got on!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Edgar the Second!

........... makes him sound rather Regal doesn’t it! Whereas, in fact he is quite a quirky (and cute) little fella – mind you some of the Royals could probably be described as quirky too I imagine. Anyway, I digress! (I am a Royalist by the way)

Edgar the Second is so named because he is the same as Edgar I made back in November here. However, not wanting to make an exact replica, he is dressed differently in a pair of lovely pale blue wool dungarees, lined in a pale blue polka dot fabric, which you can see in the trouser turn-ups and in his scarf and pocket hankie.

Edgar the Second is made from viscose fabric with suede paw pads. He is fully jointed, with black glass eyes, firm fibre filling and some steel shot in his little fat tummy and feet. He’s been aged around the edges and has faux ‘mending’ stitches to give a vintage look. I appear to have jointed his arms very well, as they don’t move, although his legs do; and when standing, he measures a whole 9½ inches from top to toe.  

Edgar the Second is from a bear pattern called ‘Bears N Hares’ by Sweet Meadow Farm.

The reason for making Edgar the Second is that a close friend (Max) of my cousin Gwyneth (who bought Edgar from me), saw Edgar recently when she was visiting Gwyneth and decided she must have an Edgar of her own. So, if Max is happy with what I’ve made, then he too will soon be going on a trip to South Wales (no obligation though Max if he’s not what you expected).

I have to say that I’m rather pleased with the outcome of Edgar the Second in as much as he really does look like the first bear! Bear making when you’re hand-stitching is not an exact science; and even though you may be using the same pattern, does not guarantee an exact look-alike. And that’s because you even then have to get the stuffing of the head correct to achieve the same look, which is why I’m happy, because I appear to have achieved it when you look at the two Edgars together.

Do let me know what you think.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Workshop Bear Fun!!!

On Saturday I spent a fabulous day at the Hilton in Milton Keynes at a Bear Making Workshop with the lovely Liz Walker Watts of ‘Wacky Walker Bears’ making this absolutely adorable little man

 …….. I think he’s my new bear love; for now at least! I’ve called him ‘Watson’, kind of after Liz (the Watts bit of her name, but extended). I bought the cardigan already knitted from Liz on the day,

There were eleven of us students (including one fella, Chris!) and they were a really nice, friendly bunch. The hotel was a great venue, as we had a really nice sunny, spacious room to work in with lots of light and because it was a lovely day, the patio doors were open on to the gardens.

The next photo shows all our bears together, including the 2 of Liz's demonstration bears ........ what a picture!!

If you want to see more of Liz’s own 'Wacky' bears, you can find her here on Bearpile.