Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vegetarian Christmas Turkey

I just had to share the photo below with you. My son is a vegetarian and for Christmas Day he cooked a rather unusual turkey!!!

Fruit mince turkey,roadside roo and wombat!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


There hasn't been much work done as far as bears go for some time, but with Teddy Bears and Critters "Be My Valentine Show" deadline looming I really need to get my act together and do some bear making, but there always seems to be something in the way! And I find it very hard to concentrate when so much is going on. The most recent bear I made was the Christmas gift for the quilting group. Actually it's a pin cushion - poor bear!!

Anyway I'd like to thank everyone for your support during 2009 and wish you all a happy and safe festive season whatever you do and see you in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How gorgeous is this....

Linda Benson of Benson Bears is having another giveaway! To have a chance of winning you just have to come up with a name for this cute little guy.

More Quilting

In November I started making a convergence quilt / wall hanging.which was a project I'd had in mind for a while but just couldn't get started. I followed the instructions in Ricky Tims book "Convergence Quilts" I used four fat quarters of fabric which were cut into strips and joined and then cut and pieced again. I found it hard to visualise the end result and hoped the fabrics work well together. I used some Japanese fabric. The Japanese pine tree motif has been machine and hand quilted and appliqued.
I'm really happy with the end result and I will probably hang it in my bedroom.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Patio Pets....

I've just returned from visiting friends and while there saw a Patio Pet in the making!
You may well ask - what is a Patio Pet??? Well these are handmade caricatured sculptures made from a combination of woods and metals. These creations are made by a friend of mine - Murray Hinwood who has just moved to Maleny. What a lovely way to remember your best friend who is no longer around. I would love to have one of my old boy Toby. Here are just a few of his dogs but you can see more on the Patio Pets website

Toy Poodle

Kelpie - ready and awaiting for action!

The Schnauzer Family

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Swap Bears

Sandi from Teddy Bears and Critters Australasia decided it would be fun to do a Christmas Bear Swap with other members.My swap was with Laraine White - Raine Bears from New Zealand.
Here is Miko a 14cm tall bear that Laraine made for me. Isn't he just so cute and aren't I so lucky!

And this is Nicholas - 10cm tall bear I sent to Laraine.

A new album has been created on the TBACA website where the swap bears are displayed. You might like to have a look at them . Just Click here

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back Home...

Well its ages since I posted but that's because I've been tripping around Victoria catching up with family and friends. It was a nice break but also good to be back home and back to life in Maleny and back to dancing,which I had really missed.
While away I did manage to visit a few quilt shops but was very restrained and didn't buy any fabric but did find a book I liked on Japanese quilt blocks.
I also spent a day with Sandi. We lunched,shopped and visited Kim at
Bear Essence which is now in Tooradin and talked all things bear.
My latest creations are Neva and Mariette. Neva just 4"/10cm tall, is rugged up ready to go tobogganing. He obviously is planning an overseas trip as it is far too hot here at the moment for duffel coats and snow
. His Duffel coat is another piece of knitting from Judy Buist.


Mariette stands just 6" / 15cm tall.
Her dress has been made from vintage lace and hand dyed lace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quilting Time...

I've been busy making bears and finishing off orders so it was a nice break to have a day of quilting. I decide to make a Quilted Clock for my neice who has just had a baby. So as well as the bear I still have to make for him I thought the clock would be something a little different. So with the help of fellow quilter Linda Graham - Soft Clox who gave me some hints and tips I created this golly clock.I was very pleased with the finished result even though a few small errors but hopefullyI'll not make those mistakes with the next one.

I have made a few quilts over the last few years . My first one was a golly quilt which I designed. It was a lot of work and had to be unpicked and the blocks resewn - nobody told me you had to measure the blocks and my cutting out was not very good but I was happy with the finished result.

This quilt I made in a class with my quilt group "Fat Quarters". It was designed and taught by Margaret Smith. Sadly Margaret recently lost her battle with cancer so I was pleased to have done this class with her and to have finished it so she could see it.

The next quilt I made for my sister-in-law Sue. It was 18months in the making but from what I hear from some quilters that's not a long time. I had made another quilt from the same design in a class with AnnFerguson from Quiltopia.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meet Simon....

Well its been a busy time over the last couple of weeks in the "Les Bears" household. After Gary left for USA I only had a few days on my own before my friend Judy arrived. And as you can imagine we've hardly come up for air!!! But while we've been chatting I've also been very productive. Suddenly I had orders from friends who wanted bears for friends, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. So with deadlines for these bears fast approaching it has been work, work work. But they are all finished and ready to go to their new homes. The bears were made from my patterns, Meg -12" and Huxley -14",very traditional and very big for me! Judy was kept busy knitting their jackets.

With all the big bears out of the way I've been able to get back to my miniatures and "Simon"was created. He stands just 2"/5cm tall and is wearing one of Judy's miniature creations - a duffle coat. He is just sooo... cute!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Catching up with friends

Yesterday I had a lovely visit from friends Cindy and Derek. Many of you would remember Cindy and Derek from Beary Cheap Bear Supplies a mail order bear making supplies business which they owned for nearly 14 yrs. Cindy and Derek are just about ready to leave Australia to move to Phuket,Thailand. A new adventure starts for them ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Time Flies....

When you're having fun.......well being busy.
What a busy week its been. We've had friends and family staying, friends over for lunch, bear classes ,dancing classes and on Saturday and Sunday the Dare to Dream on line bear show.
What an amazing selection of bears and critters! And such a well organized show. A big thank you to Sandi for all her hard work.
Leo my 1 1/2" rabbit was adopted and yesterday Mei-Mei my 2" panda also found a new home.

Mei-Mei 2"/5cm SOLD

Leo 1 1/2"/4cm SOLD

On Saturday I had an email from Lyn wanting to adopt Leo but it went into my spam folder and I didn't discover it until yesterday. But she decided to take Mei-Mei instead and on Sunday we lost internet connection and didn't get it back until the show was well and truly over, but there was an email from Robyn wanting to adopt Leo. Aren't computers great..... when they're working and how reliant we have become on them.

Hunter and Honey are both awaiting new homes. You can also view the bears and critters that weren't sold at Teddy Bears and Critters

Hunter 2"/5cm $140

Honey 2"/5cm $140

Last night we had dinner with neighbours - great food , wine and company and today its back to work to get some orders finished.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Its Sneak Peek Time

With only a few days left until the Teddy Bears and Critters on line show I thought it was time to give you a little peek at my new bears and a critter!

I have to say I had no idea how to create this photo but once again Sandi came to the rescue. Many thanks Sandi. Don't forget to visit the Dare to Dream show this Saturday starting at 10am.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Teddy Bears and Critters Spring Challenge

Meet Freya - she is my entrant for the Teddy Bears and Critters Spring Challenge. You can view the entrants here

The flowers in the scene are created by my sister-in- law Jennifer Findlay , glass artist

Beautiful one day perfect the next.....

This was what we used to say when we first moved to Queensland back in 1982 and we still seem to say it. Yesterday it was the most perfect day. Relies are holidaying at Maroochydore so we took them to Noosa for the day. We did the walk through Noosa National Park which follows the coastline. The weather was perfect and the sea crystal clear and that beautiful aqua colour - magic! It has to be one of the best places in Australia. We saw a turtle swimming, goanna sunbaking,bush turkey running along the sand and heard lots of birds singing.

Granite Bay from Noosa National Park

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree......

Goanna basking in the sun

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Sydney Doll Show

I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Doll show at Blacktown Leisure Centre in Sydney. My friend Judy accompanied me on Saturday. There were few bear traders there and the only ones I knew were Claire and Norm Newell from Claire Bears. There were lots of dolls, some collectables ,miniatures and lots of bits and pieces that you often only find at doll shows .There was a steady stream of people through all day and while there were none of the familiar collectors faces I usually see at bear shows I did sell patterns and kits to some new bear makers.

Claire and Norm Newell

Sunday was much like all two day shows - very quiet, which is disastrous as you always find something to spend your profits on.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How does your garden grow?.......

Well, if you live in Maleny it grows at a great rate as do the weeds. When we moved here two and a half years ago everyone told us to be careful what we planted as things grow to about 3 times the size here. Well its true. Just look at the lemon I picked today - its huge and if its like all the others it will be full of juice.I made a lemon meringue pie which called for the juice of two lemons - it was so sour we could hardly eat it!! Juice of half a lemon would have been enough.

I have had little success growing carrots - they just don't seem to germinate . I put this down to insects and birds having a feed on the seeds, until I pulled out what I thought was one big carrot, but it was a whole lot joined together. All the seeds must have washed in together. I'm not the best gardener!

This week I also managed to do a revamp of my website. It was something I'd been wanting to do for sometime and even though I should have been madly sewing for the Sydney Doll Show next weekend,the computer kept getting in the way. Anyway its finished for the time being.

I did finish a 5"/13cm tall bear named Rachel. Rachel is made from a short pile golden mohair with matching ultrasuede paw pads. I knitted her some cute stripey overalls. And now back to work!!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm often asked how I started into the wonderful world of bear making..... so here's my story.
I was walking through the Riverside markets in Brisbane one Sunday morning with my daughter, Emily and we came across a lady selling bears. They looked so gorgeous that I thought then that I would have to find out how to make one. When I questioned the seller about where to buy fabric she was totally unhelpful and wasn't going to divulge her secrets!! The following week I was collecting the fees from one of the YMCA playgroups ( I used to work for the Y) and the playgroup leader knowing that I was into all sorts of crafts asked me if I knew of anyone who taught bear making. She then told me about a good book she'ds seen ( The art Of Teddy Bear Making by Jennifer Laing) and where I could buy some supplies. So on the way home I picked up the book got some fur - Synthetic and plastic joints - and that weekend my world into bears started. I went to the craft fair to buy eyes and there I bumped into Gerry's stand. A visit the following week to Gerry's ( she used to work from a very small room off her house at Rosewood) and I was never to be the same again. I just had to keep making bear after bear. Everyone (friends and family) thought I'd completely lost the plot! That was in 1993 and in 1995 I was made redundant from the YMCA and so bears became full time and I also started working for Gerry in her new shop which opened in Brisbane Arcade.

But my bear making goes back many years before when I was about 7 or 8 yrs old. I grew up in England and at primary school we used to spend some time learning a variety of crafts. I remember sewing dolls clothes and I made a little bear then with glass eyes - more like a koala. He sits in one of my cabinets along with Sooty the first bear I made in1993.

Sooty and my first bear

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Its all too hard ...

I knew this blog thing would be a learning curve but why does it all have to become too hard!! I still can't get the Post Comments to load - it just doesn't want to do it!!! Thanks Sandi for your help but...

Anyway on to more interesting things. I managed to finish a bear yesterday. Her name is "Sophie" She is an old styled traditional bear which I made from felted mohair which I like to use. She is 18cm/7" tall which is a big bear for me. I dressed Sophie in a jacket that I made from a lacy collar that I hand dyed, and which was handknitted by my friend Judy Buist. It ties at the neck with a silk ribbon and a glass bead which was made by my sister-in-law Jennifer Findlay. Jenn creates the most amazing glass beads -

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I've finally got started...

After much procrastination I've finally got started ! Although I am wondering what I am going to write. I've never been much of a diary writer so we'll see what happens.

It's a glorious morning here in Maleny with yet another beautiful sunrise and the mist lying over Lake Baroon. Its going to be another beautiful day in paradise.

Today would be a perfect day for gardening but as I am stuffed up with a cold and flu like symptoms I think I will just have to have a lazy day working on some bears I need for the upcoming shows. I suddenly realised that the Sydney Show was only 2 weeks away not the 3 as I had thought. Hope fully tomorrow I will be able to post some new creations