Harry Potter Needs Bears

I promise I am working on some new bears, two of which will be available to purchase later this month. But this weekend our family visited Harry Potter Studio Tours in London to celebrate my mums 60th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM! It was well worth the 7 hour drive it took to get there and I would recommend any fan visit if they can.

Me and Lilly Webbling with the birthday girl!

We had a truly magical time, seeing how all of the sets, creatures and characters were bought to life by artists and craftspeople setting a literal stage for the actors to feel like the magic was real. It was awe inspiring on every level. Moby and Puddle has seen my try my hands at many crafts before settling firmly on teddy bears but seeing the work of such incredible artists and imagining just a fraction of the time it must of taken to create such intricate details is quite honestly mind blowing. In fact even if you aren’t a big potter fan but just a fan of crafts in general then I think you would get a lot out of it.

I have come back from the experience feeling motivated to create even more intricate bears and to dedicate just as much of my time to making them perfect. I want my creations to be of a level that makes people say ‘woah, they were made by hand?’ and to know that I have created something that will be loved for a long long time. I feel inspired and cannot wait to get to my sewing!!!

I would also like to try and make a little bear version of a mandrake because how cute would that be? They really were adorable!

As we were walking around I did find myself thinking … ‘but where are the bears?’ There are no teddies taken to Hogwarts, you can’t tell me that none of the students have a teddy to take with them when they are going to be away from home all that time? Everyone needs a hug sometimes and often only a teddy will do! Those poor students!

Besides teddies though Hogwarts is placed in the highlands of Scotland, okay I admit that wild bears went extinct around 450AD in Scotland however I can’t help but feel that the laws of nature don’t really apply to The Forbidden Forest so unless otherwise proven different I from now on will believe that there must be bears hiding deep in the depths of the forest. Would it really of hurt them to stick a bear in? for old time’s sake?

Maybe I am clutching at straws but really, they could of given one of the characters a bear patronus, that would of been so magical!! Or have a bear animagus, that would give you quite the advantage in the battle of Hogwarts? So many wasted opportunities!

I am only joking (sort of), I have had a wonderful weekend, we all did. I am facing work this weekend fired up and ready to put as much pride into my work as the people who worked tirelessly to create the artefacts and niknaks that would be seen on the screens for mere moments. Look out for some new bears very soon!!!

Let me know what your Hogwarts house is, mine is Hufflepuff, maybe I should make a badger!

Thank you for reading,

Samantha Webb.

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Roxy Cleo – My First Rod Puppet

I have recently enrolled on a puppetry course with The Theatre Royal Plymouth and People’s Company. I absolutley love puppets, having grown up with Labyrinth, The Storyteller and Fraggle Rock, puppets have always been fascinating to me. I have tried to make puppets a few times through the years with varying levels of success but this is the first ever rod puppet.

My puppet Teagan.

I enrolled on the course because I suffer from anxiety disorder which is affecting my life negatively especially when it comes to sharing my children’s stories, I am really proud of them and want to share them with more children without it causing issues to my health, mentally and physically. Pushing my comfort zone to it’s limits seems like a good way to do that for me. So far I have to say it is brilliant, I am ready and at a point where I want to become more self confident. I have completed three of the ten sessions and even though it is terrifying I am loving every one. I do not think I would of been ready to push myself socially this time last year, it has come up at the perfect time for me. It will not be a cure for my anxiety but might just remind myself that life and people aren’t always so scary in fact the group I am in has been amazing and accommodating of my limitations. If you are even slightly interested in trying one of The People’s Company courses (they do a range of them) I would highly recommend them.

However it has made me want to play with different kinds of puppets, the photos of tiny rod puppets (puppets controlled by rods) was so inspirational that I had to try and make one. I have lots of work to do but when inspiration strikes you have to go for it.

So I sat down with my needle felting supplies, I haven’t needle felted since I have recovered from repetitive strain in my shoulder. I am not sure where Roxy Cleo came from, one minute she was a ball of wool and the next moment her little face emerged, fibre arts really do work like magic! The shoulder pain was so worth it to see her little smile.

I created the teeth and claws with polymer clay, they are so tiny I was worried about loosing them in the oven! It was so fiddly to glue them on and they are quite sharp but they finish her little features off so well.

Her body is sewn from scraps of fabric and if you look too close (don’t) one leg is a lot longer than the other. I had no plan of what she was going to look like and no pattern so I just made it up as I was going along, using what felt right. I cannot put into words how proud I am of those tiny shoes, they are made of felt and have little twine laces that are laced up! It was so fiddly and now I am wondering if I could make them even smaller some day!

For her rods I have used floristry wires which I had available, they aren’t really strong enough especially on her head, if they were stronger then she would have more motion but that is trial and error. I would plan more in the future and source some more suitable hardware.

I really love how she came out, Lilly Webbling suggested the name Roxy and Harry Webbling suggested Cleopatra, I couldn’t decide between them so she is now called Roxy Cleo. I used a little chalk to weather her shoes and give her a little blush and then she had her photo shoot. (You can see a video on my Instagram page too.)

I would love to make more puppets, it is amazing to see something I have created come to life with a little personality. I am excited to learn more on my puppetry course and hopefully be able to breathe even more life into little Roxy Cleo. I hope you love her as much as I do.

Thank you for reading my blog and meeting Roxy Cleo,

Samantha x

My Bears Are Extra Special …

With so many bears on the market from very cheap to incredibly expensive collectible bears, my bears are the lower end of the collectible market and I am always so very grateful when someone chooses one of my bears from the wide arrange of the bears available. Adding a bear to your hug can be a hard choice to make.

My bears are not toys, they have not been CE tested and because of the weights, the joints and the fact that they are hand sewn means that they would not pass testing and testing is only financially viable for products you wish to mass produce which is the exact opposite of my bears which I want to be one of a kind.

While I am here I should probably address that fact that I also cannot and do not breach copyright with my bears, as much as I am grateful that people would like me to create them Winnie The Pooh or Paddington, I am afraid I have to stick to my own characters. The risks involved in ignoring copyright laws can be severe even for the smallest of businesses.

So what makes bears pieces of art over toys? To me it is the amount of love and dedication that I put into each one, they really are works of art! I write on all of my tags that they are 001 of 001 and they really are, it is sort of a joke since I own bears from big manufacturers that are 396 of 3000 for example. I never repeat a name and in all the years of creating bears they all seem to be happy with their names, don’t worry there are millions of names in the world so I won’t run out.

Every bear of mine has a tiny silver heart sewn to them that has been hand stamped with an ‘S’, tiny bears have the heart on the tag because my tiniest bears are not much bigger than the hearts sometimes. If they have this silver heart then you know they are made by me, Samantha Webb which is what the S stands for (They are too tiny for and SW).

When you receive one of my bears they also come with a tiny portrait which I paint with watercolours, I love to paint bears and it is a great excuse for me to practice painting with my watercolours on smaller images. I am predominantly a children’s illustrator and painting is my passion so it is fantastic to be able to merge my interests. I like to imagine that some of my collectors will have binders full of the trading card sized illustrations someday just like my Artist Trading Card binders that I love.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has ever adopted one of my bears, they really do mean a lot to me and every purchase helps me to keep my tiny business afloat and to support my family too. Purchasing from me or in fact any teddy bear artist is keeping an old craft alive, I hope to pass down my skills to someone someday but until then I will keep perfecting my bears, I do think that they continue to get better and better over time like any skill that requires practice.

If you have any name suggestions (I am currently working on two bears that are as yet unnamed) let me know!

Thank you for reading my blog,

Samantha Webb.

Meet Evangeline

The eagle eyed among you would of noticed a face in my 2022 round up that I hadn’t yet introduced you to, well the time has come …

This is Evangeline and Evangeline is incredibly difficult to photograph because she has the most beautiful, vibrant fur in a rainbow of colours all standing out against a bright white under layer and my camera absolutely hates it. It cannot focus on the colours without making the white unbearably bright. So please trust me when I say this bear is so much more beautiful in real life!

As I was creating Evangeline I was listening to a lot of Disney songs, it’s kind of a guilty pleasure only I don’t feel guilty about it. One of my favourite songs came on ‘Ma Belle Evangeline’ and it stuck in my head for days whilst I created this bear so it was only fitting at the end that she be named Evangeline. I think that it really suits her too because she is a star!

Evangeline is created from faux fur like all of my bears. Her needle sculpted toes and her ears are fleece and her eyes are glass. Evangeline has an embroidered nose and a lovely yellow ribbon. She is weighted so she is lovely to snuggle and she has 5 joints (neck, legs and arms) so she is posable although a doll stand is recommended if she is to be displayed stood up, she is more than happy to chill out sat down.

As her name Evangeline means ‘bearer of good news’ I am happy to announce that she is available for adoption from my folksy shop. She is of course one of a kind so she is only available until she has been adopted.

Like all of my bears she has a tiny silver heart that is stamped with an ‘S’ attached to her, just below the chin so you know she is created by me and will be a one of a kind bear.

I love to paint my bears and Evangeline was nice exception, I have painted her in watercolours and her painting will accompany her to her forever home. They are trading card size and are also one of a kind, I think that some of my amazing customers must have quite the collection of bear cards by now.

I have loved creating Evangeline, she is very unique and although she was my last bear of 2022 she has given me the boost in confidence to keep creating into 2023 and I have my next bear planned already!!

Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Samantha x

Lupine the Bear

Happy New Year Bear Lovers!!! I hope you had an amazing Christmas and are enjoying the start of a fresh and wonderful new year!

I am delighted to be able to introduce you to Lupine, although technically she made an appearance in my 2022 yearly round up, I wanted to give her a proper hello.

Named after a beautiful purple flower, Lupine does the name justice with her ever so fluffy (faux) fur in a deep purple with white accents. She has black glass eyes and needle sculpted feet. Her nose is embroidered in a lovely brown which compliments her extra long bow! Why is her bow so long? Well I was going to cut it much shorter but she insisted that it needs to be super long, she wouldn’t say why!

Lupine has a new home and was made especially for a subscriber to Muddle’s bear club, a club where you receive three surprise bears a year. Small, medium and Large, Lupine will join Heather and Candytuft in their hug and she is very much looking forward to being a part of the family. If you would like to know more about the bear club (currently only available for UK bear lovers) please send me a message and I can give you all of the details.

Like all of my bears Lupine has a tiny silver heart stamped with an ‘S’ on her chest and has had her portrait painted. She really is a one of a kind bear who is going to a bear collector who will love and cherish her.

I am always so thankful when my bears get a new home and don’t have to go into storage until they find their forever home.

I hope that you like Lupine, I have lots of bears currently available for adoption and will have more in 2023.

I hope that 2023 is the year of the teddy bear for all of us!

Thank you for reading,

Samantha x

2022 A Year Of Bears

I have been much quieter on social media in 2022 than in previous years and have even had some messages to ask if Moby and Puddle is still going, I promise you that it is going strong and I am still loving creating my bears and a few other little bits they just take me a little longer these days, I think that makes them even more special though.

These are the beautiful bears that I have created this year.

Wonder
Ohana
Atlantica
Heather
Dahlia
Candytuft
Quentin
June
Rubear and Little Snow
Aroura
Lupine
Evangeline

13 might be unlucky for some but I think that since currently 11 of these bears have new families I am very lucky indeed. 13 new bears in 2022, I wonder how many will be created in 2023? I have lots and lots of new ideas and I am hoping to make some beautiful new bears for you to adopt.

You can always find my available bears in my Folksy shop too.

Which one is your favourite?

Thank you for reading my blog, have a wonderful New Year,

Samantha

Bernard My Biggest Bear

Bernard is my biggest bear.

Bernard was made around 7 years ago, he is my biggest bear and was quite a challenge especially as I wanted to keep him as close to my smaller bears as possible which meant hand sewing him in the same way. Bernard has been to fairs with me and was with me in my small shop on Plymouth Barbican when I had it. He has been somewhat of a mascot for Moby and Puddle in much the way that Muddle in now but he is so large that he is much harder to pose and photograph but he is a lot of fun too!

Bernard with my small and medium bears.

Bernard has spent the last few years sat in my reading nook in my bedroom happily watching the world go by and have a little cuddle from time to time. This Christmas I decided that it was time to dust off his old Santa suit and give him the TLC that he so desperately needed.

Bernard as a fairy.

In the time since I first created Bernard I have created quite a few more bears and have become more confident in making them too, so his freshen up has included an updated nose, some work around his eyes and even embroidered eyebrows! His paws have been given a new colour so that the stand out more and he just looks a lot fresher and happier to me!

Bernard as a ghost for Halloween.

Bernard will spend the Christmas season dressed as Santa beneath my tree before retiring back to his favourite place besides my reading nook. Bernard has never been available for sale and is too special to me to put him up for adoption but I would love to create another big bear. The biggest hurdle being that bears this big take a crazy amount of time to create which means that the adoption fee has to reflect that.

Bernard as a pirate for Plymouth pirate day.

For the time being Bernard is proud to be the biggest of all Moby and Puddle bears!

Which outfit do you like the most? Perhaps he needs another one soon?

Bernard all freshened up as Santa!

Thank you for reading my blog post, I wish you all a beary merry Christmas,

Samantha x

Would you like a candy cane?

Where Has The Time Gone?

It is that crazy time of year where you have to be in around six different places all at the same time and you have to somehow remember what you are supposed to be doing all with a massive smile on your face and maybe even a sing song. I am dreaming of dancing with candy canes and having nightmares about having to wrap a never ending supply of Chocolate Orange!

The Webblings have a lot going on, last week Lilly Webbling was a star on the ice in her winter gala and Harry Webbling shone bright too in his Christmas concert as part of the drama club and the choir. I really could not be more proud of them both!

It seems that we have a huge list of family and friends to see before Christmas and even though my children are now a bit older they have decided that they would still like to visit Jolly Old St Nick so we will have to fit that in too. Not to mention that these elves, Ernest and Elizabeth are driving me insane with their shenanigans (I love the word shenanigans, I should use it more!) and the mess I have to clean each day, it is lucky they are cute!

All of that to say that sewing is going SLOWLY! I am currently working on two large bears, one of which is a super secret bear for my monthly subscription so I cannot show you that one until January but the other is a rainbow bear with some of the most beautiful faux fur that I have ever worked on. This bear will hopefully be finished before Christmas and I will be able to at the very least photograph her, sadly there is no possible way that she will be ready in time to go under anyone’s tree because of the postage issues that we have been having.

She may well be my last bear of 2022 but who knows, if time slows down a little I would love to create another with this special firework fabric that I have just in time for new years eve, I can hope! I am sewing as fast as I can in the few short gaps of time that I can find.

I am not complaining though, I absolutely love this time of year, I wouldn’t change it for the world (except maybe learn to sew a little faster and not have to wrap chocolate oranges!). I hope that you are having a wonderful winter no matter how you celebrate.

Thank you for reading my rambling blog,

Samantha x

Rubear and Little Snow

I put a call out on my Facebook page for Christmas bears, I really wanted to make a themed bear but with the current climate being what it is, I could not afford to buy lots of faux fur unless I was sure the bear would be adopted. After a good chat with one of my amazing customers we decided on a reindeer bear with a snow bear sidekick. I sketched up an initial idea and then got to work. I was so excited to try making little antlers and shopping for little Christmas bells to make the bears perfect. They really helped get me in the spirit of the season and I hope that you like them too!

This is Rubear and Little Snow, Rubear is a cute bear who has dressed up as a reindeer to make a little snow bear. They are the best of friends and are inseparable.

Little Snow is a tiny fluffy little bear with little twig style arms, a needle felted orange nose, glass eyes and embroidered ‘coal’ buttons, he is a really sweet little bear who has a matching bow with Rubear.

Rubear has glittery eyes and glitter accenting his lovely red nose. He is incredibly soft and snuggly with the thickest and longest faux fur plush. Rubear loves reindeers and made himself little twig antlers.

These two have a lot of festive fun planned. They are going to decorate the tree, make sugar cookies and go carolling. They have a whole list of Christmas movies to watch and a constant cacophony of Christmas songs played on loud non stop! The Christmas spirit is contagious whenever these two are near.

I really hope you like Rubear and Little Snow, I have truly loved creating them.

Merry Christmas,

Samantha x

Designing A Christmas Bear

I asked in my lovely bear group if anyone would be interested in adopting a Christmas themed bear. I have made some in the past that have sadly struggled to find homes. One of my lovely collectors took me up on the offer and we got chatting about what kind of bear would make a good Christmas bear. It didn’t take long for the idea of one bear to become two bears who would be interacting.

The first bear being dressed up in reindeer antlers and the second a tiny bear made out of snow, with a carrot nose and twig arms. They could have fun together! The only request that was made by their new family was that they have lovely Christmas bells so that was a must. I got to doodling and my favourite doodle is this one …

But sometimes when you are doodling and generating ideas, the inspiration overflows and that is what happened here with these little friends. Not only did I doodle a little image of them in my notebook but they came fully fledged with their own story.

There was a bear who loved Christmas,

More than anything else.

He loved Santa and reindeer

And snowbears and elves!

He dreamt one day

That he would visit The North Pole.

He practiced his snowbears

To get used to the cold.

Now, Jolly St Nick

He is magic they say.

He could feel this bears faith,

Long before Christmas Day.

He sent him a gift,

With the first Winter’s snow.

A magical snowbear,

Named Little Snow.

Together they travelled,

Over hill, glen and dale.

One wearing twig antlers,

The other leaving snow trails.

Little Snow knew the way,

Without compass or map.

On Christmas Eve they arrived,

In the Land Of Lap!

It hasn’t been edited and maybe it could do with some work but I thought it might help you get into the Christmas Spirit. I know that working on these bears always makes me feel somewhat like one of Santa’s elves (that and the fact that I put syrup on everything!).

I painted them in watercolour once they were finished and will share photos of them with you very soon!

I hope you enjoyed the story,

Samantha Webb.