Friday, 27 July 2012

Duffy Tries It On

Duffy looked out of the window at the pouring rain and sighed. He was only small – well, 27cm tall to be exact – but in that newly created head of his were big ideas for even bigger adventures.

“But why can't I go outside, Nana?” he pleaded. “I'll be careful not to get wet.”

“And how will you do that, Duffy? It's bucketing down out there, and even though you are a very clever young bear, I don't think you're clever enough to avoid getting wet in all that rain.”

Duffy sighed again, but continued staring out at the rain, deep in thought.

Nana Kayzy smiled. She had finished sewing Duffy a week or two back, but felt that he needed some airbrushing to highlight his happy face. Now, airbrushing is still a challenge to her, so, fearful of spoiling Duffy in her attempts to finesse him, she put him 'on hold'. However,  a quick refresher lesson and pep talk by friend Kay Schulz (Kay's Kids), two days before had given Nana the courage to tackle Duffy's airbrushing (thanks, Kay). So there he was, ready to face the world, and Nana was very pleased with the dear little fellow.*
In tandem with Duffy, Nana had been working on Babette too (see next post). Babette had given Nana all sorts of trouble in her making, necessitating modifications to her design 'on the run'. But now also finished, Babette looked up at Nana with wide-eyed cuteness, and Nana's heart melted.

Each time she completes a bear Nana sees it as a gift from the great Father Creator of all things, and this always gives her a thrill. Don't misunderstand – her critters are far from perfect, and Nana still has much to learn about bear making. However, as she works on each bear a little miracle occurs as its unique charm and character gradually appears – and of course Nana just loves them anyway, so that's a blessing in itself.

While Nana mused on these matters, she was rummaging in a box containing teddy bear clothing and 'stuff', trying to find a dress that she knew would suit Babette, if she could only locate it in that box!
At the window Duffy suddenly came to life - that is, he stopped staring out at the rain, turned around, and saw that box.  

He leapt away from the window and in a flash jumped into the box and was quickly enveloped by its contents, in his enthusiastic search for buried treasure
Moments later, though, he emerged triumphant from the mound of clothing.

Look what I've found, Nana! It's a Drizabone! This'll keep me dry in the rain, and there's a hat too – can I pleeeeze try them on, Nana dearest?”

Nana laughed at the little fellow's antics, but gladly assisted Duffy to try on the raincoat and hat. They fitted perfectly. “How about that?” said Nana, “They could have been made especially for you!”
I can go outside now, can't I, Nana?”

Yes, now you may go outside, Duffy. Go, and have a lovely time in that lovely rain.” Nana called it 'lovely rain' because it too was a gift. Critter Cottage does not have mains water, so rain is celebrated because it replenishes the rainwater tanks which supply the cottage with the precious liquid.

 Duffy happily made his way out into the cold, rainy wonderful outside world, and later could be seen splashing around in a puddle, in his bare bear feet [photographer couldn't 'bear' to photograph this]. Just wait till Nana catches that scallywag!
*Final Note on Duffy: He is now available for adoption, and his vital statistics may be found on my For Adoption page.

A warm welcome to a new follower of our blog, Carol. I'm sure you will also enjoy a visit to her lovely blog, Sweet Bessie Bears and Bakes.


On Saturday, August 4th,
Kay Schulz and I will be trading
at the Adelaide Doll, Bear & Collectable Fair,
in the Grand Chifley Hotel, 208 South Terrace, Adelaide


Monday, 23 July 2012

Our Great Escape

Martin (dear man!) decided we needed a break from the busyness of life, and the seemingly endless jobs to be done at home, so last weekend we had our great escape to Port Elliot - thanks to friends who own a cottage there.

We packed as little as possible and headed off after work on Friday night, arriving in Port Elliot just in time to stop in and grab our fish and chips at the well known shop there. Then we tore around to the cottage before our feast got cold! (That was the last quick move we made all weekend.) Yum, there's something special about eating fish and chips at the seaside, isn't there?

Anyway, we didn't do anything dramatic or earth-shaking - just had a wonderfully relaxing weekend in one of the loveliest coastal areas in South Australia, the Fleurieu Peninsula.

We went for a couple of walks around the headland between Boomer Beach and Horseshoe Bay, and delighted in big waves breaking on rocks, birds drinking nectar from beautiful red flowers (don't know what they are yet), and the amazingly mild and sunny weather - a gift in itself.


Singing Honeyeater
Waves and Woman

We also saw a ballet on the lake - not swans but ducks (and a would-be swan/duck, a hopeful seagull who joined them).
Duck (and seagull) ballet

One last pirouette!

Another highlight was a most enjoyable dinner at the local pub, The Royal Family Hotel.

Apart from these strenuous activities, the rest of our time was spent lazing in the tiny lounge room watching DVDs, reading, and sewing bears (speaking of which I've almost finished a little cutie, and I will feature her soon). To sum up, our great escape was a great success - why not try your own great escape soon.

Sunset nearing home

Welcome to Iris, a new follower of our blog. Iris also has a blog, Basti Baren, and she makes very cute bears and cocoons (you will have to visit to find out what a cocoon is!)

Sunday, 15 July 2012



My blog was tagged with the Liebster Blog award way back in February by my friend, Kay Schulz, whose lovely blog features her many wonderful teddy bears, critters, and other crafty creations, and includes weekly posts by the endearing Wilbur, her long-time teddy bear companion. At the time, I put my response on hold, life being a little out of control. But now I take the opportunity to say that  this baby Blogger really appreciates receiving this encouragement award.

The word 'Liebster' is German, and seems to mean something like dearest (with connotations of nicest, lovely, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcoming). As I understand it, the Liebster Blog (LB) award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers by an LB recipient. This blogger then
  • chooses another five blogs with less than 200 followers;
  • lists the 5 blogs on their own blog and makes contact with each blogger by leaving a message in their comment window, letting the blog owner know they've been tagged; 
  • does a blog post telling who the award came from, and
  • puts a copy of the award on their own blog's sidebar to be copied by the award recipients.
I have tagged the following blogs:


I hope these bloggers know that I think their blogs are great, and will accept this award from me.

Kay, thank you for thinking of me, and for your friendship and constant encouragement.  


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Highland cattle - don't ya just love 'em!

In an earlier post,  Moove, Baby Moove, I featured our near neighbours, the highland cattle. I can't help it, I go all funny when I see them, and reach for my camera again, to try and capture some of their charm. They're so furry, placid and approachable, and even look huggable - although I haven't tested this out yet!
I am gorgeous, don't you agree?
Do you like my fringe (Dossan)?

I've just had a perm - what do you think?

All together now . . .

The grass (bush) is always greener on the other side of the fence
They don't seem to mind being photographed, and pose quite happily for their nutty neighbours whenever they (we) approach these furry bovines.

These are my reeds - you can't have them!
So, having nothing else of note to report this week, I'm indulging myself by sharing a few more photos of these lovely animals.
Mmmm, this bracken's not bad, either!

For those interested in knowing a bit more about Scottish Highland Cattle, below is a synopsis of information taken from the Hobby Farms website.

See you next time.

Time to digest, and for a rest.

A coat of woolly hair, a massive body and sweeping horns, all in a package designed to withstand icy temperatures, low-quality forage and a host of predators. Although this may sound like a description of the extinct woolly mammoth, it’s actually a word picture of an ancient cattle breed known as the Scottish Highland. The Scottish Highland is one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the world. Going as far back in time as the sixth century, some historians believe the ancestors of today’s Scottish Highland may have come to Scottish shores from Scandinavia with the Vikings. 


Physical Characteristics
People who own and breed Highland cattle are passionate about the breed. According to those who love these animals, this is no ordinary breed of cattle. Rather, Highland cattle are substantial and dramatic looking animals, with a coat of hair that lends an exotic and almost prehistoric look to them.

“It’s impossible to meet these cattle and not be smitten with their striking looks. Their shaggy coats, immense and elegant sweeping horns, and their powerful bodies all combine with their unblinking gaze of intense curiosity to create a picture not easily forgotten." (Suzanne Clothier-Rice). 

The Scottish Highland breed standard . . . notes: The ideal Scottish Highland has a straight topline from the shoulders to the tail head, and has hindquarters that appear deep and square from the rear. It has straight, sturdy legs and large, well-set hooves. The head of the Scottish Highland is broad between the eyes, and short from the eyes to the muzzle. The breed sports a “dossan,” the name for the wide, thick latch of hair between the horns that reaches to the muzzle. 

The breed’s horns are among its most distinctive characteristics, and vary between bulls and cows. While bulls’ horns extend in a level position from the head, curving slightly forward and downward, cows’ horns extend horizontally and have a feminine, graceful and symmetrical appearance.

The Scottish Highland coat is another unusual aspect of the breed . . . the hair consists of a soft fluffy undercoat protected by a long, strong, outer coat that can reach 14 inches in length. Both coats shed during warm weather, and come in black, brindle (red with black streaks, black with red streaks, or yellow with dun streaks), light red to dark red, yellow, dun, silver dun and white. The most commonly seen colors in the breed are red and yellow.

Highland Temperament
The breed’s intense appearance is offset by its quiet and charming temperament. “For us, temperament is critical,” says Clothier-Rice. “We live very closely with all our animals, know each by name, and prefer to work on a very hands-on basis. Nasty, flighty or aggressive animals hold no appeal for us, and even our beef steers are pleasant to work around. The Highland bull is also considered a relatively mild animal—no small consideration when you think about the size, power and speed of any bull.  . . . “They are smart. Way too smart. Uncanny smart,” says Clothier-Rice. “And staggeringly athletic. The combination of great intelligence, naturally intense curiosity, awareness of detail, and athletic ability means that it’s not only not easy to fool a Highland, but they are capable of simply leaving a troublesome situation by vaulting over the nearest fence. This humbles us and reminds us that they do what we ask them to do and stay where we ask them to stay not because we have removed all other options—they do so because they feel like doing so. The moment cooperating no longer makes sense to them, they can and do take advantage of options they’ve had all along!”

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Abby's sense makes the heart grow fonder

"Nana, Nana!" cried Abby, "Isn't it time you showed everyone how you fixed me?"

"Yes, you're right," said Nana Kayzy. "I've been a bit too busy, haven't I, and it's not getting any quieter. Well, we've just got time to take a few photos of you before we have to race out again." So saying, Nana Kayzy quickly set up camera and lights,  grabbed the nearest backdrop to hand - black - and plonked Abby down on it.

"Smile for the camera, Abby."

"How's this, Nana?" little Abby asked.

"Lovely," replied Nana distractedly. "I'll just take some pics of your side and rear view. We haven't got time for any more now."

She took the photos, hurriedly reviewed them, and thought, 'The black background is probably too stark for the little darling, but I've run out of time - they'll have to do.'

Abby wasn't sure that it would do, but being an understanding, loving little teddy bear she didn't want to make a fuss. Instead she watched Nana Kayzy bundling all sorts of things into the car, including photographic lights, bearmaking paraphernalia, soup - and herself. Off they went, for a catch-up with close friend, Kay Schulz (Kay's Kids).

Kay S. had just finished a large dark brown bear, made from real fur as a special order. This stately lady bear seemed to need a little more light on the subject (pardon the pun!), so the big lights were set up for the project. (Note: In the end, she looked much better without the bright lights - and many of us can relate to this!)

Having taken pictures of the big bear,        Kay S. decided that little Abby should pose for the camera again, this time with a pretty lacy background, and so it came to pass.

Do I look all right?

Ooh, this lace is lovely and soft!
Look, Nana - I can stand by myself!
Abby was very happy, and so was Nana Kayzy, who is constantly amazed by her friend's creativity and especially thankful for her friendship and support. THANK YOU, KAY.
Thank you, Aunty Kay!

Another beary friend of Nana's saw Abby this week and fell in love with her immediately, so Abby has been adopted and even now is preparing to move to her new home.