Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Woodend Teddy Bear Show - We Love it!

Each year the critters, Martin and I look forward with great anticipation to the Woodend Teddy Bear Show enjoying the lovely opportunity of meeting fellow arctophiles and catching up with friends. The show is held in the lovely town of Woodend in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria on the last Sunday of October.

In preparation for the trip, I took photos of new critters. Here are four recent additions to the hug:

From the left: Duggie, Kenneth, Lah-Fing, Fur-Elise

and four more who wanted me to show them off!
From the left: Digger, Babette, Joh-Moh, Duffy

When do we leave, Mum?
Just before leaving I place my critters into their travelling bag. They do not like it much, but are willing to endure the confined space for a limited time.

Look, Ma - no hands

The 700 kilometre drive to Woodend is most enjoyable. We travel through rural South Australia and Victoria, and there's plenty to see. However, we had a late start this year and travelled through the night, so we didn't see much of the countryside. However, Martin is always fun to travel with, and at one point, whilst having coffee and lamingtons we drove, Martin showed me his own special way of eating lamingtons!

On Saturday afternoon we set up our display, the critters cooperating well with our desire to show them to their best advantage.

This being her first show, Fur-Elise seemed to need a little reassurance.

 The evening saw us heading off to the traditional pre-show dinner get-together and catch-up with fellow bear artists at a local restaurant. The excellence of our friend Claire's dessert and a shark sculpture were images Martin and couldn't resist capturing for posterity!

Sunday morning found us back at St Ambrose Hall, and before we knew it, the doors opened and the  fun began.

We had a great day, and I especially want to thank our dear friends Claire and John Evans for helping to make it so, and of course my kind and patient husband Martin, without whose help and encouragement I would not be able to continue in this lovely craft.

Many talented bear artists were at the show. Below are just a few:

Lena Burghart:  KP Bears - with Pat Morris's bears on right
Karen Alderson: Karen's Bears

Sue Bartlett: Adorable Bears
Merilyn Pursell:  Bearwildered Bears

Gunnies Collectibles (Robyn Gan)

Benson Bears (Linda Benson)
Scruff and Sandi
I am pleased to say that two of my critters, Sandi and Scruff - close friends who till now have been inseparable - were adopted by two human friends who live close to each other, so Sandi and Scruff will be able to keep in touch.

If you would like to know about any of my critters, you will find their details on my For Adoption page, and I'd be pleased to provide any additional information if you email me at

This post wouldn't be complete without welcoming Lyn, who recently began following this blog. I do hope you will enjoy your visits, Lyn.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Kenneth the Koala - Part 3 (It's Big!)

In our last post you may have read of Kenneth's misadventure with Tusca the dog, and how it (and Tusca) shook the little koala's confidence considerably. Well, a few days passed by, and with Nana Kayzy's reassurances and numbers of kind and encouraging messages from sympathetic bear and human friends, Kenneth recovered his equilibrium quite well.

In fact, on the next scheduled bushwalk day, Nana Kayzy was surprised to find him waiting near her backpack when she came to collect it.

“Nana, I'm ready to try again,” Kenneth said (almost bravely). “I come from a line of big and brave koalas, so maybe it'll rub off on me if I just have a go!”

Nana Kayzy clapped her hands. “Bravo, Kenneth! 'Once more unto the breach, dear friends . . . ' no, maybe not. How about 'Onward, forward, shout aloud, Hosanna!'?” And so saying, she collected her backpack and Kenneth, and headed off to join Sharyn, Nyah and Tusca again – this time with a song in her heart and faith that all would be well.

Add caption
They tumbled out of the car at Evans Road. An early Spring shower followed by sunshine had freshened everything – grass, flowers, trees, and even the road sparkled and shone with new life. However, the first thing Kenneth noticed was an intoxicating smell. “Mmmm, what's that lovely smell, Nana?”

Nana tried to think like a koala, and as she did this her nostrils filled with the heady aroma of freshly washed gum leaves. “You're smelling the gum leaves, Kenneth – good, isn't it?”

“Ooh, yes,” replied Kenneth dreamily.

They were walking along the bush road, Kenneth in his safe backpack position, when he spied a very young gum tree on the edge of the road. Bubbling up inside him came that 'big' feeling again, and he cried, “I want to climb that tree!”

Everyone stopped in their tracks. Before he could change his mind, Nana Kayzy quickly lifted him on to the ground, and stood back to watch.

Without hesitation, Kenneth waddled up to the baby tree, savouring the delicious perfume of those inviting leaves, and went into action.

“Yay for Kenneth the brave!” cried Nana, so proud of her darling.

The tree may have been tiny, but the event was huge for Kenneth.

He had found his bigness in a big way, and that's not all! For the first time Kenneth tasted those delicious gum leaves straight from the tree – ah, bliss!

After this, nothing could stop Kenneth.

Further along the track he found a bigger tree and climbed that, sampling the delights of its leaves and the joy of conquering the dizzy heights of its branches, swinging upside down and laughing with the pleasure of it all. Kenneth had fully embraced the bigness of the gift of life itself.

The final joy of the day came when they reached the big rock that had caused such trouble on their last walk. Tusca trotted over to the rock, jumped up, and sat down, looking apologetically at Kenneth. Without a word, Kenneth made his way over to Tusca and climbed up on the rock. Then the two just sat together in companionable silence as if they'd been friends for years, resting and pondering beary and doggy things.

As if it was necessary to celebrate the occasion even further, the call of a yellow-tailed black cockatoo rang out in the bush, and this beautiful bird paused long enough for Nana to record his fleeting visit.


When she turned around to check on Kenneth, Nana saw him lying at Tusca's feet, relaxing in the warmth of the rock while Tusca sat guarding her new friend.

What a BIG day! The words of a poet from long ago came to Nana Kayzy as she smiled at the unlikely pair on the rock. “This is the day that the Lord has made – we will rejoice and be glad in it!”


Kenneth is so brave and big now, he is ready for adoption.
If you are interested, please go to my For Adoption page.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Kenneth the Koala - Part 2

Kenneth awoke that morning and knew something was different. He had a 'big' feeling welling up in his furry tummy, and a tiny shiver of excitement went through him. When Nana Kayzy came down for breakfast she found Kenneth actually relaxing in a lounge chair by the window, and thought he definitely had a different look about him – an almost big and brave look.

“Hmmm,” she thought, “I think today is a good day to implement my plan.”

The brand new day outside was sparkling in the sunshine, a light breeze was blowing, and the bush seemed to beckon to both Nana and Kenneth.

Kenneth,” said Nana Kayzy, “how would you like to explore the bush this morning?”

To her surprise, Kenneth answered without hesitation, “I would like to try that, Nana, but I don't know how.”

That's all right, dear. We'll explore together – it's going to be such fun!”

After breakfast, Nana packed her backpack with jacket, water, and other necessities, and the two intrepid explorers stepped out into the sunshine, with Nana carrying Kenneth. The warmth of the sun caressed them and drew them on, and Kenneth felt his 'big' feeling growing. They were soon joined by Sharyn, her granddaughter Nyah, and Tusca the dog, and together they made their way by car to Evans Road, with Kenneth sitting on Nana's lap, staring wide-eyed out of the car window at the big, wide world whizzing by.

The group disembarked from the car at the appointed spot, and Kenneth, wondering what was coming, found himself being comfortably positioned in Nana Kayzy's backpack, lifted onto her back, and then they were off.

“Ooh, this is a lovely way to explore the bush, Nana!” cried Kenneth.

“Glad you like it, Kenneth. Keep your eyes peeled – this track has lots of lovely surprises in store.”

They had only gone 100 metres or so, when the little group came across a huge kangaroo grazing in the bush just off the road.

Nana grabbed her camera and managed to capture this magnificent animal digitally before he tired of his audience and 'boinged' away to find denser bush.

Continuing on, the explorers feasted their eyes on native flowers in full bloom, lining the side of the road.

“What next?” thought Kenneth, thoroughly enjoying this new experience, and feeling very big and brave in Nana's backpack.

Around a bend in the road they paused, and Nana lifted Kenneth out of the backpack and onto a large rock. Tusca, fascinated by this furry phenomenon, approached the rock and sat down next to Kenneth, sniffing him curiously.

What is this strange furry creature?

Then suddenly, Tusca - unable to resist temptation any longer - seized Kenneth in her mouth!

Temptation too great for a dog
Panic set in – Kenneth's newly found big and brave feeling was swamped by a huge wave of fear and dread, and he felt helpless and very small indeed. Sharyn and Nana Kayzy rushed to Kenneth's aid and retrieved him from Tusca's mouth.

Kenneth, trembling, needed immediate comfort and reassurance, and all three girls took it in turns to soothe his shattered nerves with big cuddles.



Nana was particularly shaken by this close call for her beloved Kenneth, and decided he needed a little more time to recover from his trauma before proceeding with her plan to liberate Kenneth's inner 'bigness'.

 So, Nana Kayzy gently reinstalled Kenneth to his safe backpack position, and they continued on their way, Kenneth biting his paw nervously, all his newfound bigness and braveness forgotten.

To be continued . . .