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I have finally managed to complete the new Littlest Thistle webpage, please check it out here. Now that I have managed to complete that, I can get back to the little piles of fur that have been less than silently bearating me for the last week for not assembling them! I hope to have them all completed by the end of the month, and there are another 6 currently battling to be the first ones to come off the paper pattern into the fur. I really must stop creating such combative bears ;o)

As a little preview of forthcoming attractions, there will be two of the new bears in Helmbold colourful string mohair, one boy and one girl, and another two girls in sparse Helmbold mohair. All four will be 12"-14" tall, and all are part of the Thistle family.
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I like the plucked muzzle and inner ear look on a bear, but trying to do it for 4 bears is painful on the fingers! Once I've recovered the feeling in my right hand, I'll get going on the new bears, plus I have another 3 in the ideas stage now - woohoo, on a roll!
Introducing The Bears

I thought I would introduce you to some of the bears that have gone to join their own hugs elsewhere over the festive season.

Firstly meet Spike. 14" tall Spike was my very first design, and is the eldest child of the Thistle family. Spike is very reliable and dependable, and can often be found playing sports and games, including sledging in the recent snowfall here. His fleece hat keeps his ears warm when he's outside in the cold, and his dungarees are terribly useful for keeping his fur clean, and storing bits and pieces in the front pocket.

Here he is sledging on the 27th December:

Here he is giving everyone a wave. He's a very friendly bear:

Now the next little bear is a member of the Hyacinth family, so please meet Bluebell. Bluebell is 4" tall when standing, and is a very inquisitive little bear, although his little jingle bells often warn people he's coming. He loves to sit and watch the world go by, both people watching and bear watching. Sometimes, if he's very lucky, Spike lets him hitch a lift in his dungarees pocket.

Sitting to watch the world go by:

Standing up to greet us and see if we want to take him out:

The last bear is Mahogany, a member of the Treefolk family. He usually goes by his middle name of Bailey these days, as his mum thinks he reminds her a lot of that little tipple. Mahogany is 13" tall, and is a very round, cuddly bear. His favourite occupation is being cuddled, and he will greet all visitors to the house with a good, big hug. He has quite an active social life thse days, touring the senior citizens establishments of the East End of Glasgow, gathering more hugs as he goes.

'Come on, pick me up and hug me,' he implores:

Hope you enjoyed meeting the bears. More will be featuring soon that will be available for adoption.
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Last year a friend of mine told me I just had to start selling my flash accessories. So I thought about it, and I considered that maybe I should add a few more things into the mix, as I doubted I'd be making fame and fortune from just the flash accessories, after all there are only so many eejits willing to walk around with things sticking out the front of their camera flash guns. There's only so many eejits with flash guns come to that. Anyway, I contemplated what else I could add to my shop, and decided that after my mum had informed me on many occasions that the jewellery that I had made for her was much admired, that I would put up some jewellery too. I thought a bit more and decided that I would finally pull my finger out and get on with designing my own line of teddy bears, having made up bears from other people's patterns for years.

My initial priority was the flash accessories, however the Alliance and Leicester Business Banking team conspired against that, as to buy some of the stock to make the accessories I required a business account, and it took them over a month to set mine up for me, and then the stockist was out of stock of what I needed.

My second priority was the jewellery, and I then turned to that, sorting out all my beads and findings into little sealed bags. I went out and got some MDF so that I could display all these wee bags next to my desk, I had carried it into the house and propped it against the wall ready for me to get into action hammering in the nails to hold all of these things the following day. And then I sat down for the evening and got chatting to another friend online about my new enterprise...

So I have spent the last couple of months drifting around my flat gently dispersing mohair and faux fur fluff as I go, stepping on tiny plastic stuffing pellets (which have obviously taken lessons from Lego on how to get into the really painful places of the human foot), and finding bouncifill stuffing balls hiding out on all manner of material based furniture.

I've joined a forum to discuss with other teddy bear artists the ins and outs of the business, and drool over what they've come up with, and I've made 9 bears, 4 of which have gone to my friend for Christmas presents for her family, 4 went for Christmas presents for my family, and the other is, miraculously, ready for sale!

I have 4 more bears that are currently 'in progress' and will hopefully be found for sale before the end of the month, and another couple of ideas to design. Now if only I could persuade my boss that sewing bears is actually a far better way for me to earn a living for us than testing software...