Tuesday, 28 July 2009

July 2009

With all the new groups forming around the world, I need a secretary to help keep my websites updated !!!!.

This first part of the year saw me travelling to England for a teddy bear event and then in June to Japan for another one. Time and time again, I am amazed at the creations that are on view.

With Karen my colleague from Taiwan at the Japan Teddy bear Festival June 2009

To add interest to my "Bears in the hills" shop, I have added cloth dolls, Dinky Dolls©, Reborn Dolls, and 1:12th scale project supplies. Needle Felting is still popular and still a versatile way of enhancing projects, not only to be used with teddy bears.

With the interest in the shop, shopping hours have been extended and shopping days are now from Tuesday-Friday 10.00am to 3.00pm. Saturdays still remain by appointment. Plans are also underway to extend the shop to allow a larger area for the workshop.

The family has grown and decreased. My daughter has too healthy boys, Tristan aged 3, and Shay 5 months. Aiméemy grand daughter living in Cape Town is the "star" in the family. She has been choosen to be the "Nivea Cream baby face" for their products. This little one has her first tooth and will be turning 1 on the 25th October 2009.

The model

The Chubby one

The Ganster

Thursday, 24 July 2008


Often wondered where the roving/sliver comes from that you work with ?
Here is a picture of an alpaca that lives on a farm in Mooi River, South Africa. I stopped over and collected stock and took a picture of one of the adorable alpaca's.

I will also shown around the factory where the alpaca is first washed/scoured, carded and combed.

Alpaca is a fine roving/sliver and it is a good fleece to work with. It is available in shades of brown,cream,black and grey.I have needle felted with it and I have also knitted my grandson a jersey. For knitted wear it is warm, light and washed well.


With my partner in Taiwan we got together to create an International on-line teddy bear show. Artists that had been invited to join in a similar competition which was then canceled were invited to submit their entries to our challenge.
We managed to get artists from around the world and the bears are all on the website open to public voting.
It is interesting to see where and how the votes are being made from.

YZ and myself have done this and will be looking at other on-line avenues to help promote the teddy bear market. We already have an International Show in November 2008 ,where I am one of the judges.
My bear "Nelson" representing South Africa is the teddy bear bringing the Olympic flame to the games, and Judo Bear from Japan is making sure that all behave.

Both YZ and myself had 10 days to get this show prepared, we did make a few mistakes, one being the language barrier as some artists could not read English. We can only learn from this and improve.

We were also approached by the Singapore Airline on board flight magazine to see if they could mention the competition in their magazine. Here again, the focus is back on teddy bears.

Not only are artists benefiting from this challenge but so is the MOON BEAR in China. Jill Robinson established this and they do magnificent work in saving these big burly creatures who are farmed for their bile. All entry fees /donations will be going to this fund, as without the bears in the wild, what we today know as a teddy bear would not exist.


I just had to try this. It took many hours of work, painting ,baking and removing paint till I learn't what I had to do.
The South Africa company that I purchased supplies from was not exactly helpful so it was very much working on my own. I did join a reborn chat site and here I found many tips and got help there.
I am now stocking kits,Genesis paints,brushes,drying/heat guns and many other items that one needs to prepare the vinyl doll parts.

While the doll parts are baking I am working on my teddy bears.

This is a picture of my first attempt.


Here is a picture of some finished dolls which I was selling at the Your Family show in the beginning of July.
One can have such fun with them, easy to make and can be dressed.

Don't they look sweet ???

Your Family CRAFT SHOW

The shop was on the move again this time at the show hosted by a well known South African magazine,Your Family.
It was a 3 day show and meant traveling from one side of Johannesburg to the other side. Ellaine was helping me and once again we had a very busy time and made new contacts.

I launched one of my new products "DINKY BABY DOLLS ©". I am the agent for this company in South Africa. The dolls are available in various size from 2" till 22".One can also dress them and here you have a good selection of clothing patterns to choose from.
They are easy to make and lots of fun.Craft Velour or Dolskin is used as it as a slight one way stretch.
I now have all the necessary available to make your own DinkyDoll©


On the 24th May 2008 I was at a craft show in Smithfield, this small town is about an hour drive from Bloemfontein in the Free State,South Africa.

It was typical winter weather with the days being sunny whereas the nights became very cold. We spent the week-end there and it was good to be out in the country.

My grandson enjoyed himself, seeing the farm animals and had fun with Gran sliding down a slide.