By Sue Quinn, Sep 3 2017 02:30PM

This year has been unbelievably busy......I feel I am always saying that but it is so true and I consider myself very lucky and there are some lovely collectors who like my work! January arrived and I thought that I would have a break and even get a little bored.... but no chance! My order books were full to brimming so there was no rest.

All my work for my latest book was completed by Christmas and it was a real milestone - it was hard work and a lot of soul searching to help produce what I believe to be a lovely book thanks to Search Press! My last book How to Sew Little Felt Animals' is in its 5th reprint which is amazing so I do hope that this book is popular too.

The usual shows; Winterbearfest, Knitting and Stitching, the Highland Show were all excellent although the long days at the Highland Show are getting to me. We keep thinking whether we should stop doing that one but we do meet some great people there.

The highlight has to be the new show at Woburn Abbey in June organised by Hilary Pauley. It was truly amazing and brought back some of the excitement fairs used to create. There were some great guests; Kelly Dean, R.John Wright and Ian Pout - not forgetting Alfonzo who was enjoying his last showing in the UK before travelling to a new museum in Denmark. To mark this occasion there were awards for many categories in both bear making and collecting.

The awards ceremony was held at Hilary's beautiful home at a garden party - and what a party! Everything was just perfect and the food outstanding. Even the weather managed to keep good even if there was a bit of wind which rattled the marquee from time to time which threatened to disturb Jena Pangs violin recital.

I still cant believe that I won four awards and a glass trophy (Alfonzo award). I have never seen such a lovely trophy - as heavy as a brick and beautifully engraved with a bear inside. When I recall the whole occasion it still makes me smile.

By Sue Quinn, Sep 4 2016 04:04PM

Each year we wonder whether we should stop doing the Highland Show - the hours are long and it is very tiring! Then we think about all the lovely people we meet and how they said last year that they look forward to coming to see the animals again. I imagine the happy faces I remember seeing and how much enjoyment everyone had choosing their new addition to their collection.In the moments when I feel as though I am flagging a little or my back is aching, someone comes along to make it all worthwhile by saying something really touching.

After doing countless fairs, one would imagine that nothing would be forgotten or left behind. Naturally this is not the case and as we drive along the Motorway to set up before the show my mind ticks imaginary boxes of items, smiling to myself as I wonder what I have forgotten this time.

I won a trophy this time for forgetfulness. The organisers always insist on the walls of the stand being covered and I have metres of fabric for this purpose. However, each show and the amount of fabric required is different. So this time......not enough for the back wall. Oh noooooo. This resulted in a glaring session from my husband - who can blame him? I on the other hand was desperately wondering what to do. In the end, we used the worn and tired looking stretch of cloth that we use for a night sheet and was ok....just.

Even though I worried about the fair's success, it turned out to be one of the best ever shows with many animals being adopted! Of course we have to return next year!!!

By Sue Quinn, May 8 2016 11:46AM

Since My Ted had recovered from his foot operation, he insisted that he should accompany Mr Jones on a little holiday - after all Mr Jones has already had many little adventures whilst Mr Ted has never been anywhere! This does not seem fair so I have agreed as long as they dont try to take too many things with them. I saw the small vintage deckchairs being placed in the holiday well as lots of other bits and pieces no bear should be without away from home but it all depends on how much room there is in the suitcase!

By Sue Quinn, May 8 2016 11:31AM

We have made the decision not to exhibit at Gardening Scotland this year - despite the fact we have met some lovely people there and definitely enjoyed the show. I am so sorry if this has disappointed any one who was hoping to add a small animal to their collection, but I am hoping that you will be able to visit me at another venue! Thank you to everyone who has supported me there......

It was a hard decision to make, since we have been doing this show for many years but I am finding it hard to keep up with the orders which are piling up! It is a good position to be in and I am delighted that my little guys are going off to new homes.

However, as they are all hand made and I only have one wonderful part time helper I just cant do it all! Especially as I am deep into working on my next book which will be out next Spring.

My poor husband keep muttering about the amount I take with me to these shows and the number of stairs to climb up and down in order to pack the car! However, I am happy to say that I have now replaced my faithful car by a new uptodate model to cope with the next few years of shows.

By Sue Quinn, Apr 24 2016 10:18AM

I am cowering with embarrassment - my last post was before Christmas. How did that happen? Well I know exactly how it happened and sadly there is no excuse.

It is so lovely that the January blues never hit my little studio as there was never a minute to spare to dwell on all the cupboard skeletons. My order book was full and there were lots of other things happening too.

The Winterbearfext in London always comes round faster than I remember and this has to be my favourite bear fair of the year, meeting my collectors and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the day. Lots of bears and other animals go off to new homes with a wave of farewell.

I had thought I would have time to 'play' with my new interests - bookbinding and PMC jewellery. Although it is difficult to devote the time to it I like to feel there is something else creative to do if I feel a bit jaded. I had spent months gathering and saving up for some bookbinding equipment and silver tools only to find that they are all still partially unused. Not to worry though....they definitely will.

The main thing on my mind apart from bear and hedgehog making is my new book. 'How to sew Little Felt Animals' published last year by Search Press has been successful so far and into its third reprint. My next book is well under way so that is exciting. Exciting but scary too - there is so much to do, but my Editor is wonderful and is such an amazing help.

I have always wanted to visit the Knitting and Sitching show that is usually held in London and Harrogate (not to be confused with the ICHF shows in Birmingham etc) It has a reputation of being high quality with some amazing examples of work to be seen and items to buy. (have a peek on their website!) When I heard that there was going to be a brand new one in Edinburgh I was keen to be involved.

As well as a stand (no. B49) where I will be showing my bears and animal creations, I will be teaching classes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is only for one hour but the little felt teddy bear head brooch should be easily completed in that time. Hopefully it will give visitors a taste of sewing with my favourite wool felt and be tempted to buy my book!

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