Friday, December 28, 2007

Cosy cat times!

Well christmas day has come and gone, we had a wonderful day at home with our cats and a yummy roast meal. Here are some photos of our cats - My little girl cat helped me read my Nigella Lawson book for roast potatoes! They also loved their cat nip toys as you can see! Catherine x

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

well it is Christmas eve eve! We have had the most beautiful frosts here the last few days, so I'll add a photo or two that I took in my garden and our village. I'll also add a photo of a christmas stocking I made for my new niece out of cute fleece and festive teddy fabric. I wish you and your families a truly Merry Christmas. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for all your support and encouragement of my Bumpkin Bears over the last year, it really means a lot. Catherine x

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back from England

I've just got back from a visit to see family in England. I saw my wee little niece for the first time (born on 30th Nov). She is a darling little girl with the cutest button nose and sweet blonde hair. I made her a baby safe teddy which was almost the same size as her! I also made some little baby shoes with fleece lining to keep her tootsies warm!

I got back late Monday night, travelling on the Eurostar, quite amazing that within 2hours on a train you can be from Brussels to London. It is funny how confused a brain can get, after speaking lots of Dutch here I found it hard at first to find the English words!! Then when I got back here, after a week in England, I had my Dutch evening class and I just couldn't find the right words and kept thinking in English instead!! I'll add some more photos of my trip soon. In the meantime here is a photo of the bear and shoes I designed and hand made. Catherine xx

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Sinterklaas!

Sinterklaas is celebrated every year on Dec 5th or the morning of Dec 6th in many countries around the world. The tradition celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. Sinterklaas is the basis for the figure of Santa Claus; long ago the Dutch colonial town of New Amsterdam in America maintained a Sinterklaas tradition, long after it was occupied by the English and renamed New York City!

The Sint arrives from Spain on a big Steam Boat with his helper(Zwarte Piet - Black Peter, called this because of all the soot in the chimneys when they deliver presents!) and his white horse that he uses to deliver presents!! In the photo the horse looks like my first horse, Bonny that I had when I was 14. Children leave a carrot out for the horse and a pint of beer for Sinterklaas! I think he'll be caught for drink riding!! Children get given delicious ginger biscuits called Speculaas and a chocolate letter, to symbolise the letters they write to him asking for gifts!
So Happy Sinterklaas day everyone!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Busy times..

Well, it was quite a weekend, I became an Aunty for the first time! My sister in law and brother had a lovely little baby girl.

I have also finished my very first ever red Bumpkin Bear. Nicolas is a one of a kind 16.5" fella with a warm heart and fun loving festive spirit. He was adopted within minutes of being placed on my website and is a very happy boy knowing that he has a special new Mum in America.

Right now I'm busy doing homework for my Dutch evening class that I'm following. It is funny after a few years of living here in Belgium that my brain thinks in Dutch sometimes and I even find myself talking Dutch to English speaking people by mistake!! Much to my embarrasment I do not even always realise until I see their puzzled faces :) I also have a few commission bears to design so had better carry on. Take care everyone, Catherine x

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I've been featured!

I just heard that I've been featured on Groovyvinyl's Blog - THANKS SO MUCH Terri for doing this. Do drop by to see my interviews and photos of my bears -

Terri makes the most wonderful jewelry, so do take a look at her Etsy store when you're at her blog. My new red bear's pattern is all cut out, now to bring him or her to life!! Catherine x

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Georgie - all ready for the snow!

It's been great to hear from so many of you lately. As you can see I've been a busy bee in my Bumpkin Bears studio and here is my latest bear brought to life. Georgie is the softest bear you could hope to meet, he is a real Country Bumpkin loving to be outdoors. He is so excited about seeing his first snow this Christmas that he is all ready in his warm outfit! He is designed with the cutest cinnamon coloured all in one outfit with ivory white trims and adorable white furry boots.

You can see lots more photos and all his adoption information at WWW.BUMPKINBEARS.COM

I've been trying out a new home made light tent for taking photos of my bears and it seems to be working quite well so far, my cats can't quite work out what it all is though!

Next bear is going to be my very first red Bumpkin Bear now I'm getting into the Christmas spirit - watch this space :) Catherine x

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dolly - a sweetheart for Christmas

I've been busy hand dying some mohair lately and have brought to life this sweet bear called Dolly with a mixture of peachy pinky caramel shades! She was very tricky to photograph to get the colours just right. She can't wait for her first Christmas with a new family so if you'd like to give her a loving home contact me. Click here to see all her photos and adoption information, just click on her little photo.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday was a busy day with Winky Wonky panda finding a new home. I have just been looking for a photo of a thanksgiving bear and firstly came across a really upsetting disgusting site about hunters killing bears in the wild for the fun of it. I just can't understand people doing this. Luckily I then came across this amazing story that appeared in the newspapers last year...

"As Americans prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, one table will have a rather unusual guest. Brutus, a four-and-a-half-year-old grizzly bear, will be attending Thanksgiving dinner at the Grizzly Encounter, a bear rescue and educational facility in Bozeman, Montana."

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone that is celebrating today. Catherine x

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sim-Sam - will he be with you for Christmas?

Hi everyone, I'd love for you to meet Sim-Sam, he is such a sweetie. I entered his photos into the Ted Worldwide German competition back in the Summer and have just heard that he has not been nominated. There are sooo many amazing international entries for this competition. I am still delighted that my other bear Leo has been nominated as a finalist for the British Bear Artist Awards. After feeling a little sad I tried to cheer Sim-Sam up by saying that this meant he could now find a special new family and be with them in time for Christmas. Otherwise he would not have been available until March when final judging takes place. So if you would like to treat yourself and have this special friend for Christmas then send me an email. You can see lots more photos of him at my website.

He is made of the most gorgeous vanilla and chocolate shades of silky soft Schulte mohair. Panda Hugs, Catherine and Sim-Sam x

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back from Holland

We were away last week staying in the South Limburg region of Holland. It is a really beautiful rural area with wide open views and lots of castles nestled amongst the trees. This area of Holland is just by the border of Germany and Belgium! In fact there was one place where all 3 borders met, you can see a photo of me standing at this point! It was really cold, - 1c most days, we even had snow sometimes which was beautiful but chill-ll--yyy for woodland walks! I'll be adding photos through this week of the various places we visited. For a start are some views and castles in Holland. Back to sewing now, I have two bears in the making at the minute so watch this space! Catherine xx

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Everyone can join in now!

Having joined Blogger recently I had not realised that I could change the settings so that everyone could leave posts DOH!! Well, thanks to Eydie of pointing it out I have now changed it and now you do not have to be a member of blogger to be able to leave a post. It's been fun looking at my blogs statistics recently, with visitors from all over the world including Japan, China, Russia, Portugal, Norway, USA, South Africa..... and the list goes on :) Isn't the internet the coolest place. So do feel free to leave posts, it's such fun to hear from you all.

It's a cold wet and windy windy weekend over here in Belgium, there has even been snow down in the South - yep winter has arrived!

Thinking about visiting that part of Belgium next week for a break so will be sure to add photos.

Enjoy your weekend, Catherine x

Monday, November 5, 2007

In the media ..

Hi everyone, it's been a busy week creating bears and trying out dying some mohairs, great fun - you should see the results in a few weeks :) One of my Bumpkin Bears, William, has just been featured in the November issue of Teddy Bear Scene magazine. Sorry this is so short, got to rush but I'll be back over the next few days. In the meantime have a good week, Hugs Catherine x

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Meet Winky-Wonky!

Hi everyone, I've been a busy bee or should I say busy bear this week bringing to life this new character. I'd love you to meet Winky-Wonky a panda with a wonky set of markings! All the other pandas tease him that he is not a REAL panda, making him rather sad until ... you can read his whole story on my website-

He is available for adoption to a loving home, just send me an email if you would like to adopt him or would like to join my mailing list.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Glowing colours

We went for a walk in our local park at the weekend, with the sun shining all the Autumn colours were fantastic. It was a chilly but beautiful day, there was a couple in an open top rolls royce coming to the castle in the grounds for wedding photos, perfect surroundings for their special day. I hope you enjoy the photos. Thanks also to everyone for your congratulations for my bear's nomination for the Award. Have a good week, Catherine x

Friday, October 19, 2007

British Bear Artist Awards - Nominated!!

Yipeee, I've just had some wonderful news that one of my Bumpkin Bears has been nominated for the British Bear Artist Awards 2007. This is the first time that I entered this prestigious competition and I am delighted that Leo has been nominated amongst all the other amazing entries. Final judging will take place in the UK at the British Bear Fair in Hove on December 9th, so wish him luck on this exciting journey, he's a little nervous!

Leo likes to think that he is a bear with all the bravery and growl of a majestic lion! However in all honesty if you said "BOO!" he'd be the first to jump straight into your arms for safety!!

By the way if anyone wants to keep up to date with new Bumpkin Bears and special offers then send me an email or go to my website to join my mailing list.

Have a great weekend, Beary Hugs, Catherine x

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"It's ok to be different" a bear with a story..

All the other bear cubs laughed when they saw Wurzle, they all had pure brown sleak coats and here was this little bundle with a whole mix of beary colours. Of course poor little Wurzle didn't know why they were all laughing at him until he saw his reflection in the river. He felt so sad because he looked different, but his Mum picked him up and gave him the biggest bear hug ever. "You were born this way because you are my extra special boy".

Wurzle soon realised that looking this way had it's benefits, his coat worked great as camouflage amongst the Autumn leaves playing hide and seek! As he grew up he also realised that the girl cubs seemed to show him a lot of attention despite the boys teasing him, "those boys are just jealous because they all look the same, you hold your head up high" said his Mum "It's ok to be different my sweet" she said quietly as Wurzle fell asleep in her arms.

Often when I create my Bears I think of stories and this little guy just had to tell you his! He is one of a kind and 16" and made of a gorgeous mix of blonde, brown and toffee swirl mohairs!. He is available for adoption from my website - take a look

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ping-Ping looking for a special home

Here's Ping-Ping, he's a gentle chubby panda cub with a peaceful soul that loves nothing better than cuddling (well maybe Bamboo comes close!). He was named Ping-Ping because it means Peace, looking into his soulful eyes you just know that he will bring a loving calm to your heart and home.

He is made of the most incredible luxury silky soft faux fur in dark chocolate brown and ivory. He has the cutest hand sewn little panda pads on all paws with cute fur between. But he is a very ticklish little panda cub and will roll about in panda giggles if you try to tickle his paws!

He's looking for a special new home and all his adoption details can be found on my website in "The Bears" page-

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Original watercolours

I've been inspired to create some new Bumpkin Bears illustrations. These are the first in a range of Original watercolours of Pandas. They can be seen in my Etsy Store, just click on the link to the right here in my Blog. I've also just finished a new chubby panda, just waiting for some good natural daylight for photos. Watch this space!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I've been working on this Skunk for a few months now. He is a commissioned piece for a customer based in Japan. He is the first Skunk I have ever designed and sure was a challenge. He is created with high quality faux furs and is soooo soft, I gave him baby boy blue eyes which I hand painted. Now he is all carefully wrapped and ready for his journey to his new Mum!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Makes it all worthwhile..

Working as a bear artist can sometimes be a solitary job, but it is all made worthwhile by the joy that my bears bring to their new owners. Today I recieved a lovely email from a customer in California that just sums up why I love to bring to life my Bumpkin Bears.
"When Maxwell arrived I was so excited to open the box--and he is just beautiful. I am not just saying this--but he is my favorite bear. I love his little face and his hair--he's so adorable...So thank "you" for bringing smiles to everyone who is lucky enough to own one of your sweet little bears."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Autumn glow

Season's are changing in my garden with all the lovely rich colours being lit up by the treasured Autumn sun.

My fuchsia's are full of flowers and I wanted to share with you a nice way to display some of the flowers so you can really enjoy them. When they are hanging down you do not appreciate how beautiful they are inside. So snip them off and float them in a shallow bowl of water, they last quite a few days this way and look even prettier if you have a few floating candles amongst them.

Makes a pretty centre piece for your dining table. Let me know if you try this or have other ways you like to bring your garden into your home. Catherine x

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Here are a couple of photos I took on our recent Summer visit to Monet’s garden in Giverny, France. I have wanted to visit here for many many years so it was a real treat and it felt just like you had walked into his famous paintings!

Bumpkin Bears around the world..

I was approached by the owner of Bear Basics in the UK (a great bear supplies store), to create a Bumpkin Bear design exclusively for her new “Around the World” series of patterns. The pattern and instructions are now completed and I have brought “Fudge” to life with this pattern as a display bear for the store. He will be making his debut appearance this Sunday 2nd September at the renowned Hugglets Bear Show in London. This is the first time a Bumpkin Bear will be appearing at a show in England, so very exciting.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Feeling inspired by the change of seasons I've given my blog a new look and a new place. Having problems with my other blog not loading up and being very slow I am hoping that blogger will work out better. If anyone wants to swop blog links with me just send me an email.

I hope you enjoy your visits here, I like to chat regularly so do come back again soon, Beary Hugs