Monday, 1 August 2011

A Harvest Widow...........................................................

Well the wheat is under way!!
For the past 5 years I have been a lorry drivers wife,
before that I was a harvest widow.
It's long hours but hopefully we will manage to save
some money for that newer car.
I have to say it's been a rude awakening, 
followed by dull realisation.
My mind had dimmed my memory of it all.
It takes me a few weeks to get into the swing of things
but I am sure I will get used to it soon.

It has meant that I went clothes shopping last week
Am I terrible, his first bit of extra, went on clothes for me.
In my defence I have not bought any clothes in a year and
the last thing was a pair of shoes.
As a mum on very little funds I always made sure 
my daughter had new things and some how you just get
out of the habit of buying for yourself...............
.....................I bet you are the same??
Here is what I bought............
and I got myself some black linen off ebay to make a skirt
I have to admit I am a bit of a haphazzard
seamstress but the result is not half bad,
even if I say so myself LOLOL
 Here is my pattern, bit basic but it works for me

 

 and here is the finished skirt


I have to say it took me
alot longer than I thought it would
(most of the weekend, LOL)


Beary hugs for now
Sue xx


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Spring Cleaning........................



Today is the start of a new era, a new life…………………………………….no longer am I a slave to disorganisation, poverty and chaos!!!!

I know at this point my fellow blog fans you are wondering if I have lost the plot, I haven’t (well just a little, maybe)

I reached a turning point in my life yesterday and I would like to share it with you. I had a few Eureka moments; these bolts from the blue do seem to be like buses, none for ages then loads at the same time.

The first was a chance conversation with a work colleague about buying cars and the second was reading a truly wonderful blog by The Shabby Nest

My mind is a whirlwind of ideas and hopefully I will be able to explain in a bit more detail over the next few weeks.

I have made a blogging calendar, only from Microsoft office but my plan is to put that at the front of a folder and organise my blogging. Are you like me? You have great ideas for blog posts then they are stolen from your mind, never to return. I have so much happening that I could write loads on all sorts of things but I end up sat in front of blogger with a blank mind…………………..well no more!



Cars, we have one good one and one not so good, as some of you may know my hubby changed his job after we got back from our holidays and needs to travel to work again. We have an old Jeep that does about 2000 miles a year (it tows our caravan too) It is getting on a bit and needs replacing.

Money, that dreaded thing, is always an issue on these matters, so after my chance convo with that colleague, it got me into thinking how much money would I need to buy a non-too-old replacement.

£6000……………………….yes £6000 would get us a 5 year old diesel with lowish miles. Ok PANIC setting in here, not a cat in hells chance, I thought. I have to say it niggled at me all afternoon, so much so I worked out that I would need to save £181 a week to buy the thing on the 1st March next year.

Now your saying “not a cat in hells chance” LOL

I have a plan…………………………………………..I created a little spreadsheet (I love spreadsheets) and each square is worth a pound, save a pound, colour a square.

I figured that if I reach for the stars then I may end up in the clouds.

Wish me luck

Sue

xxx













Thursday, 14 July 2011

Holidays, bears and jobs………….

Well we are back from our hols, all relaxed and raring to go…………..I wish.
The holiday was brilliant, such a relief as some of you may remember we had such a miserable time last year. We went to Haltwhistle in Northumberland, it’s just near Hadrian’s Wall and to be honest it’s stunning, hilly but stunning. We did lots and lots of walking, as well as the odd bit of sewing.
Hubby was great, on best behaviour LOL. This was mainly due to being less stressed as he has changed jobs and started the Monday we got back. He grew up in farming, it’s in his soul and he has missed it so much these last 5 years. Needless to say money is non-existent at the moment, well what’s new!!!
Here is the view from Housestead, a Roman fortress at the Wall
 


…………and here is Dixie, waiting for her master to come back from his shower!!!!!



On the beary front I have listed 2 new girlie bears on my website and I have plans a foot….
………………………..but I am keeping mum at the moment,
 hopefully I will be launching one of my projects at the end of July, beginning of August LOL.

 
 So Beary hugs for now
Sue xx

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Uni's, life and cheesecake....................

Well, as ever, I have been a busy bee. After the sucess and
hard work that went into our bedroom I did expect a
quite week......................................(devilish laughter)
It was not to be!!!!!
So far I have re-sorted Lincoln University..
.........and student finance.......
........finished a commission bear....
...put together several other bears....
....drew a new drew pattern...
.....booked my holiday.....
.....had a fight with 3.....
...then had another fight with a collection agency...
......had blood tests........
.........um think I may have missed something,
Oh I know, cooked, cleaned, been a taxi and done a full time job

Let me start at the top, one's darling child didn't check if
her already gained ucas points would be accepted at university
if she chose to do a full time degree at Lincoln.
Hence the reason for opting for part time.
She suddenly had a brain wave about it and I had to call them,
not expecting to get a positive result,
you can imagine my amazement when they said yes,
the full time entry requirements are the same as the part time ones !!!!!!
Note to oneself, always, always check the facts!
She has now been accepted to study Law and Chriminology
full time next year and she needs 160 points (2 C's)
By the way she is 20 tomorrow :O

I have also just finished this sweet little bear,
sorry about the picture, it was taken in a hurry.
She is a keepsake for a new baby and is called Harriette.



I have booked the hols, we are off to Haltwistle, Northumberland
It should be really good as it has 22 ringed walks from the site
and Hadrian's wall is only 3 miles away............you won't recognise me
when we come back, I will have lost so much weight LOLOL I wish
Dieting I seem to be stuck at the 17 stone mark, which is a loss of 1 st 8 lbs
I blame Baked and Delicious myself

This is their cheesecake, which I have repeat made several times since

I am busy getting ready for Kelham, which is on the 26th June
Here is a selection of bears, who are waiting for dresses
and aging, plus noses

................and here is some gorgeous hand dyed mohair,
Yummy isn't it, that is currently being stitched into little ones

Will tell you all about my heroic stand against 3 another time.....
................vat returns are waiting

Beary hugs for now
Sue
xxx

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

What a difference a day makes..................................

Horrible isn't it, this is my bedroom or was!!!!


A chance conversation with my other half led me to
believe that this monstrosity had been painted
You can imagine my face when I came home
friday to discover that it had not been painted and
how on earth did I think that it would be when we have no paint!!!
I ask you, he says LOL
I have to say I was gutted, when funds are limited
there are certain things that have to go by the way side
and decorating is one of them.
Due to very pouting mouth and near tears,
he promised to go out the very next day and get some paint, YAY!!!
We have lived here for 10 years and have not done a thing
exept the odd lick of paint. So the house is well neglected.
I have to say the draw of buying mohair does tend to
overshadow all else in this house.
Anyway, paint chart in sticky mitts, off we pops to Homebase.
Along the first isle was a trolley with some wallpaper in it,
not expecting to find anything nice, I gave it a cursery glance,
hubby, on the other hand, delved right in. He loves wallpaper
and is very opinionated on the subject, even down to the colour!!
(our very first argument was over wallpaper LOL)
You can imagine my surprise when he found
8 rolls of Arthouse, vintage paper at £1.50, even better they were
having a 15% day so it cost £1.27, you can't beat that.
Here is the result

What a difference, amazing, in one short day
we have treansformed the room
The cost ........
.......wallpaper ...............................£8.89
.........curtains ................................£9.99
.......crystal (plastic) chandelier........ £16.00
...........red cushions...................... £3.98
........total .......................................£38.86
..............the throw I bought about 6 years ago and refused
to use until I had a nice bedroom
A bargain all round really.
As for bear making I only had time to finish a little commission,
so me thinks I have a bear making weekend coming next weekend
Hope you like it..........................and the moral is,
you may be poor but you can have a nice house
(I hope your reading this hubby LOL)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A commercial dilemma.........................


I thought I would share a few thoughts about this topic; it’s a subject that sits uneasy in my lap.

I started making bears 4 years ago and my inspiration for making them came from two very diverse bears, a sweet fluffy modern bear and an aged old style bear!!! I know opposite sides of the coin. The first few bears that I made were certainly in the more modern category of puffed cheeks and lots of fur. I loved them but my heart would just twinge, a pang of something was missing, do you get what I mean. So I tried my hand at an old style one……………………………..Nutmeg was his name and as I looked at him my heart skipped a beat. I still had lots to learn but my heart had found its place, I continued to dabble with the sweet trimmed cheeks or should I say wrestle, LOL. After awhile my hubby said to me why do you continue to make these bears, if all you ever do is moan about them? That stopped me in my track and at that point I decided to follow my soul.

Fast forward about 3 ½ years to today and as I look back on that decision I have to wonder was I committing commercial suicide. All around us we are faced with such choices in size, colour but most of all style, the rise in popularity of Charlie Bears…………………………yes we have a few in the house, my daughter loves them and I too think they offer great value and are pretty cute………………………………well it makes me wonder, should I have been swayed by the market forces and continued my more modern design. I see fellow artist who make these types of bears sell frequently and sell well, eBay and facebook being a popular venue for them. Older style bears seem to be out of favour, selling at often below price and less frequently. It does test your convictions, while the bills mount and stock dipleats, should I be making the more popular "Charlie Bear" style? Whilst I pondered this issue over the weekend I completed two bears, they aren’t old tattered ones or modern fluffy ones but delightful traditional bears which will have clothes and I adore them…………………………..I have found my comfy slippers, my home.

As for their commercial success, who knows, I love them and hopefully that love will shine through……………………………………. and yes I did make the right decision, even when times are lean I still love a good old fashioned bear, fads will come and go but a traditional bear will last forever.

Here is a sneaky peak of them; they are for my new autumn collection (hark at me, the designer).
 I was given the idea by my daughter after a chance comment from a collector at a show……………………..the idea then just grew.

As you can see we have no noses and they are un trimmed, LOL
( I always tremble at that bit)
and they are naked.
I hope, like me, you have the courage to follow your dreams.
Beary hugs
Sue xxx

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Devil on my shoulder……………………..

……………………….Do you have a devil too?? I do, my devil’s called “insecurity” I am cursed, like most artists with a one and mine is not a wee little monster but a huge one. Let me explain, when I am getting ready for a show I am all guns blazing for about a month, no time to think or stop, so my devil is kept at bay. After a show however he starts to flex his muscles and whisper in my ear. The things he says can be very hurtful, for example he tells me that I am not really that good at this bear making lark, he pops out at the most opportune moments and asks “what are you doing”, “what’s the point”.
This weekend he has been very conspicuous and asked just such a question as I sat drawing out a new bear for a series of bears due for release this autumn.  I told him to get lost but he persisted.

Joking aside I have been making bears for 4 years now, how time flies and I am still as insecure about myself and my bears as I have ever been, why??? I can only imagine that each bears is made with some of my love and soul placed in them and as such they are from my heart.  Like most industries in a recession, we, in the bear world are experiencing a drought, after all bears are meant to be a luxury, money is tight. I know it is for me, with rising costs for food and huge increases in petrol, I have seen my paltry bit of spare money disappear completely, so my head tells me it’s ok collectors do love your bears, they just haven’t any money at the moment but my wee devil says "nah, they don't like 'em". 
What's a girl to do, my motto is if in doubt sew and explore other avenues to display my bears.
So I have joined etsy, I know its a bit hit and miss but you have to keep trying, don't you.
If you are a fellow artist, who feels this way, at least you know you are not alone. 
If you are a collector, we artist understand
Here is my new etsy shop 

This is Olive, who is available on my website 
Beary hugs for now
Sue xx

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A Grand Day Out

On Sunday we went to the Peterborough Truckfest, they have various events through the year around the country. I bought the tickets for my husband as a Christmas present, as each year, when the event comes round we always say we are going but funds usually mean we can't, so this year I was determined to go.
They have alsorts of things going on and celebrity guest.................Alex from Ice Road Truckers.
I have to say i is not my cup of tea but the Custom Trucks do make it worth a visit, these things are amazing
This is my favourite, as you can see its a pirate themed truck,
with "Stand and Deliver" written on the front
This is from the film "Ghost Rider"
..............and Shrek
.....Alex from Ice Road Truckers
The weather was a real treat, sunny but with a nice breeze, needless to say we all got a touch of the sun, including my hubbies head (I may be going grey but I STILL have plenty of hair unlike some, LOL)
They were truely amazing

My only gripe was the cost of food, I had taken some supplies so it wasn't too bad.......................even the ice cream was £2 each!!!!

This morning, true to form, for those that read my blog regularily, I have had a banking mishap!!!!
Non of my doing, I awoke to find a company I had paid on the 18th had taken the money again, or so I thought, ha....................I am but a fool.
Actually they have taken it upon themselves to alter their policy and not told anyone. They had taken money for a service in advance of that event...............a whole flippin month in advance, instead of paying when due. They have promised to refund but I am to be denied that service this time or they keep the money and I get the service.
I can only begin to describe how angry I am, I have supported this bear frim the past 3 years, I have encouraged others to support them too. I have never once not paid even when things have been really tight financially and this is how you get your rewards. If it wasn't for the fact I would be cutting my nose off I would have told them they could stick it.
On that sour bear note, I am off to sew, at least bears don't stab you in the back
Beary Hugs
Sue xxx