Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Been A Long Time.....

I am so sorry that it has been so long since I have posted. As a lot of you know, my husband Bernie has been battling a dreadful Cancer since the beginning of the year. For the past four months he has been in hospital having a stem cell transplant. Unfortunately the transplant did not go as smoothly as we had hoped and he is still recovering from all the complications. The hospital have finally let me bring him home, but he is still so very weak, and needs help with all his daily needs. He has lost nearly 40 kilograms as well, and so I am trying very hard to fatten him up. The only problem is that whilst fattening him up, I am doing a very good job on myself as well. Now that we are home, I am delighted to say that I have finished a bear, and I hope now to be able to spend a little more time blogging with all my lovely bear friends. I have just popped this little fellow Frankie on Ebay, and it took me an eternity as I had forgotten how to do everything. Ebay changes so much, even if you are away for just a short time.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

I wanted to let you know that we had a good result at the Doctors, and Bernie's blood has recovered enough for us to proceed with the next round of Chemotherapy next Monday. So, it will be a week in hospital for him, but at least you feel like you are doing something to try and get this awful disease under control. Then we should have one more round of chemotherapy again in a few weeks and then, fingers crossed, the stem cell transplant.

It was late afternoon by the time we had finished at the Doctors, and so we decided to go to get takeaway from our favourite seafood cafe. The other day my hair was looking decidedly ragged, and, not having time to go to the hairdresser at the moment, I decided to take to it with my scissors. Well, when I came out of the bathroom, Britty nearly died. She said "Mum, what on earth have you done to your hair?" I went back and had a closer look, and to be truthful, I really did mangle it a bit. Nevermind, I thought, I'm too busy to get too fussed about it. When I went into the seafood cafe to order our takeaway, the lady behind the counter took my order and then said, "Wow, I love the new style you have your hair in, it looks terrific. Where did you get it done?" I was too embarrassed to say I had hacked away at it myself, and was thrilled to tell Britty the comments about my "fabulous" new hair cut. You have to laugh at yourself don't you?

I am delighted to let you know that a very dear lady, Sandi Smith of Bearly Sane, Blog of a Bear Nut, has given me the Bella Sinclair Award for blogging. It is an award dedicated to Friendship, Sisterhood, Sharing and Caring. I am thrilled to have received this from Sandi, but I also feel a little guilty as my poor little blog has been a little neglected of late. Sandi not only makes the most delicious bears, but she is also the creator and administrator of a wonderful site for Bear Artists to show their creations to the world. It is a lovely site to visit, and you will also see a link on my side bar for "Bruin Banter", which is a lovely little forum for bear artists and collectors alike to chat about all aspects of bearmaking and collecting. Please visit at any time, we love to talk!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Well, we are off to the hospital this afternoon to see if Bernie's blood has recovered enough to go ahead with the next round of the "extra strong" chemotherapy. They want to do this round a little sooner than normal, to try and get these awful tumours that have regrown and knock them for a six. Fingers crossed, and I shall let you know if they can go ahead as soon as I hear. We have a little sunshine here in Adelaide for a few days as a nice break from the Winter dullness, and it is making us all feel a little brighter. It is my Mum's 79th birthday tomorrow. I am so proud of her as she fought Cancer 18 years ago and was so brave. They told us that no more could be done for her and gave her 3 months to live. She told the Doctors not to be so silly, and that she still had all her Grandchildren to look after!!! That is why, 18 years on, we treasure every day with her, as she proved that miracles do happen. I love that quote of Abraham Lincoln, "Everything I am.... I owe to my Mother". In my case it is so true.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aren't These "Pretties" Gorgeous......

I thought I would show you some of the "pretties" I have started collecting. They are the most wonderful "over the top" very weighty metal animals that are adorned with diamontes. I see them more and more in gift shops about the place and I have fallen in love with them. My favourite is the little teddy bear that my daughter Britty got for me for Mothers Day this year. I have seen the most wonderful little snail, and I think that I may be dropping some rather large hints for him for Christmas!! All I want for Christmas is a snail!!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Finally a New Bear.....

Finally I have a new bear to show you. This is Bailey, a sweet little fellow that I have dressed in a distressed little vintage baby jacket and little vintage badge. Bailey is currently on Ebay, and if you would like to visit his auction, here is the link:
Thanks for peeking at Bailey.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Australia's Convict Past....

As a lot of you would know, Australia was originally settled by convicts who were sent over from England, as poor old Englands jails were full and this new land across the water seemed a great place to "dispose" of these poor souls. Did you know that you could be transported to Australia for seven years for stealing just one loaf of bread? Many hungry children suffered this fate. Generally only petty criminals were sent to Australia as more serious crimes were dealt with in England with the death penalty, e.g. for murder or rape.
Australia's first police force consisted of a band of 12 of the most well behaved convicts!!!
In 2007, it was estimated that 22 per cent of living Australians had a convict ancestor. I am not aware of any in my family tree, but I am sure if we did have one, it would be for stealing chocolate!!! It's in my genes!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear......

There's a rip and a tear in my teddy bear..
and love pours from him everywhere.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

You Never Know How Strong You Are.....

Well, I have had to face something that I never thought I could. Bernie's Doctor told me the other day that I would have to start giving him twice daily injections at home. Yeeeeeeeek!! I took a deep breath and said "Yes, that will be fine, so long as someone is able to teach me how to do it". I didn't say that inside I was crumbling as I really didn't think I would be able to do it. When it was time for my lesson, the Nurse couldn't have been sweeter or more patient and after some very good tuition, I stood with injection in hand, I looked and Bernie, Bernie looked at me, I then lined up his stomach and.................................................I did it!!!

I gave one to him just before we left hospital and I have been doing them now for a couple of days. I thought that it would get easier each time, but so far it hasn't. I don't say a word to him that I am uncomfortable doing it, but deep inside, I just wish I could yell out for a nurse. I don't know if it would be easier to give an injection to someone you don't know, or whether the emotional attachment of giving it to a loved one makes it harder. Any nurses out there to give an opinion? Anyway, by me giving him the injections it means we can have him home this week and so it is certainly worth it. Bernie is being prepared for a stem cell transplant soon, and the injections are an important part of the build up to it. Luckily, I have to do them into his stomach and not his bottom like the picture above. I keep joking with Bernie "This wasn't in the wedding vows!!!!!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Plastic Bags Banned....

I suppose it is not often that we congratulate our Governments for doing something, but our South Australian Government has just brought in a great new law. From the beginning of May, all lightweight, grocery checkout plastic bags have now been banned. We now do our shopping like Grannie used to and take bags with us to put our shopping into. Some people have been quite annoyed by this ban as they had become very used to being given lots of plastic carry bags everytime they did their shopping. This resulted in over 400 million plastic bags being discarded in South Australia alone each year. They never break down in landfill, and many millions of them end up in our oceans and kills thousands of wonderful creatures each year. Some sea animals, like turtles, think they are jellyfish floating in the sea and swallow them, only to choke and die a horrible death. I for one am happy to take my own reusable bags to the supermarket to try and do a little bit to help our poor old environment. Let's hope the rest of Australia follows us with these laws.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gorgeous Dolly.....

Look at this gorgeous rag dolly I just brought. Have you ever seen a more wonderful face?

I am completely entranced by her and I have to smile everytime I look at that expression.

What do you think of her?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Forget Fashion.....

Bernie has just come home from hospital after round four of chemo, and whilst he was in hospital for the week, Adelaide's weather turned from sunny to really quite cold. Bernie has never been one for pyjamas, but, since losing his hair and some weight, he is really cold at night now. So, I went off shopping for some "Grandpa" flannelette pyjamas for him. Now my husband goes to bed all rugged up with his strippy PJ's and a woollen beanie. He actually looks quite cute, but the main thing is he feels warm. This time before leaving hospital he had to have two blood transfusions as his blood counts were too low to recover on their own. When you are given blood after an accident, where you are losing blood, they can pump it in quite fast to replace the volumes lost. When you are having it as a way of boosting your blood count, it has to be done quite slowly, as your body already has all the blood it needs, and it needs to "make room" for this new, enriched supplement. So, it took 3 hours each time to infuse just 300 mls of blood. They can only take between 3 to 4 hours to infuse it as, after the four hour mark, the blood starts to clot in the bag and won't feed through. The blood transfusion seems to have really worked as he is a lot stronger this time than last time. Our biggest thanks to all you blood donors out there. It is a real gift.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Look At This Gorgeous Little Poppet....

Isn't this little girl just the most wonderful sweetheart. She is holding on to her doll with such care, I think it might have been her pride and joy. I remember my Mum used to cut our fringes that short when we were little. I don't think I ever went to a hairdresser until I was a teenager!! I am now making myself sound ancient aren't I!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter in Australia....

Here in Australia, a trend has been developing lately to give chocolate Easter "Bilby's" at Easter instead of Easter Bunnies. The Bilby is the cutest little Australian critter and it is actually a type of Bandicoot. It loves to eat insects and fruit and it loves to live in the hot and dry desert regions of Australia. They have the most enormous ears and these help it to find its prey. The females have a rear opening pouch so that the pouch does not fill with soil when they dig. Don't those big chocolate ears look yummy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Have a Lovely Easter Everyone....

I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing and safe Easter. Let's hope we all get a visit from the Easter Bunny!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Update on My Husband

My dear husband Bernie came home from hospital on the weekend after his third round of chemotherapy. It is such a strong regime of chemo that he needs to be in hospital for one week for each cycle. It is very taxing and exhausting for him, and it is quite incredible the amount of medicines that are pumped into his body in the hope of taming this awful disease. He has slept for most of the time he has been home this time, and we have been told that this is due to the cumulative effect of each cycle of chemo. He has not had to deal with nausea thank goodness as the drugs they give him for this work so well. His biggest problem is his mouth. His taste buds have been completely altered with the chemicals, and things he normally loves, he can't stand the taste of. Meals that are normally his favourites, I cook for him and he can't stand the flavour. Now it could be my cooking, but I am still blaming the chemo!!

He will be back into hospital the week after next for round four of chemo treatment. After round four the Specialist will do a full scan to see how the disease is being affected by the Chemo treatment. That is going to be a very anxious time. Thanks to everyone for your continued good wishes and prayers for us. You are all angels. xxxxx Christine. xxxxxx

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Look What I Just Bought.....

I really adore vintage baby shoes, I don't know why, they just look so cute and I can imagine some poor Mum saving up for ages to buy a wonderful pair of little shoes for their precious one. The boot button shoes amaze me the most as, you know how hard it is to get a toddler to sit still long enough to get their shoes on, can you imagine trying to get these on and done up. I suppose one thing, once you got them on, it would be a bit of a struggle for the little'un to get them off again. I have always wanted a little black and white pair like this for my collection, and, as I have absolutely no will power, here they are. They are cute though aren't they?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009


BABY BLUEY... A Little Toddler Bear...

Here is little Baby Bluey, a little fellow that I have created in the style of a little toddler bear. Baby Bluey was lucky enough to be featured on the cover of Australian Bear Creations this issue. He is also available for purchase on Ebay. Please visit his auction if you would like to see some more photos of him:

Sally - Now on Ebay...

Here is dear little Sally, a new little poppet that I have just put on Ebay. I really enjoy making these funny little souls. If you would like to visit her auction, please go to:

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Husband and Big Bertha.....

Well, my husband has just spent the last week hooked up in bed with "Big Bertha". This past week has been Bernie's second round of chemotherapy, and for this one, they needed to use the biggest pump they have, and the nurses affectionately call her "Big Bertha". If you look at the picture you can see that there are four vertical chambers for delivering the chemotherapy. Above this pump is four large steel poles which hold the chemo bags and other necessary liquids. The reason for "Big Bertha" is that some patients, like Bernie, need lots of different chemo drugs at the one time. Other chemo pumps look similar, but are much smaller and can deliver just one, two or three fluids at a time. Bertha patiently pumps away, 24 hours a day, without fail, delivery these drugs that will hopefully help my husband. I can't possibly be annoyed that he has spent the last week with this amazing lady!!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

This Is A Picc Line.....Who Knew....

Bernie has graciously let me photograph is arm for you!!!!! When we found out that "normal" chemotherapy would not be enough for Bernie, and he would need the "heavy stuff", we were told that he would have to have a "Picc Line" inserted permanently. This involved a trip to theatre, and a permanent line being inserted at his inner arm up into a vein, then up inside his arm to his shoulder, around his shoulder and down near his heart. On the outside of his arm he has two ports and so this means that he can be hooked up to two pumps at once. This Picc line can stay in for up to twelve months if it is looked after. We have to have it drained and re-dressed every week. I call it Bernie's service and tune-up. When he needs bloods taken now, they can just put the syringe into one of the Ports and it means no more pricks. When we arrive at hospital for his chemotherapy, they just hook him straight up to the "beetlejuice" through his ports and away he goes. At first it looked so scary, but now we realise how wonderful it is and it means no more jabs trying to find a vein, and the "beetlejuice" can go straight into his system and start working straight away. There you are, you are now an expert on a Picc line!!!!!

Easter Challenge Entry....

I thought I would show you my Easter Challenge entry for the "TeddyBears and Critters" group I belong to. The brief was that you had to make a critter suitable for Easter, and then photograph it in an Easter setting. Miss Betty Bunny, and her "Chick Minding" Service were the result. If you would like to visit the site, please go to and click on the Easter Challenge page. There are lots of wonderful entries to see.

Life Has "Bit Me in the Bum".....

For those who don't know, my wonderful husband, Bernie has recently been diagnosed with a very aggressive Cancer. The inital shock was just awful, and it was a couple of weeks before I could even talk about it openly, it was like I was just visiting someone elses life for a while. Anyway, after a zillion tests in hospital, and after a proper diagnosis, we are now getting our strength back to fight this thing.

I have had so many wonderful messages from other bear artists and collectors, and requests for me to keep people up-to-date with how Bernie's treatment is going, that I thought I would make it a part of my blog. From the scariness of the inital diagnosis and description of treatment, I have come to realise that the more you "accept" what is in front of you, and the more "open" you are about it, the easier it is to deal with. I knew very little about current treatments for Cancer, and so it all came as such a shock and such a learning curve. I thought if I touch on a few things here, it might be of use to someone else who knew as little as I did of treatments and such.

Bernie is such a strong, proud man and is facing all this with such courage and dignity, after all our years of marriage, I am still learning so much from him.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fundraiser for "Free The Bears".....

I have created a little fellow called BUSTER, as a bear to raise funds for the "Free The Bears" charity, which is a wonderful organisation giving bears in Asia a wonderful new life after years of abuse and torture. BUSTER is availale for US$140.00 plus postage, and you can find all the details about him on my website All money raised from Buster's sale will go to "Free The Bears".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Australia's Kangaroos.....

When Captain Cook first landed on these shores, he saw many strange things - shuffling wombats, sticks that came back when you threw them away (the boomerangs) and strange men in vests and mullets. But nothing could have prepared him for the oddness of the kangaroo bouncing over the land... Kangaroos are marsupials, which means their young get a free ride in the female pouch, and they are found all over Australia in many different guises - from the 'Big Red' in the Outback, to smaller rock wallabies and some that even live in trees. When European Explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked an Aborigine what they were called. He replied "kangaroo" meaning " I don't understand your question".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A New Little "Old" Poppet....

Please meet Miss Ellie Floyd, a new little girl that I have created in a vintage style. She is 11 inches tall and is made from mohair. She is dressed in a little vintage dolly dress and also has a genuine vintage badge. Miss Ellie was created during our current heatwave here in Adelaide, and so I think she is really hoping to be adopted by someone in a much cooler climate. If you would like to visit her on Ebay, here is her link:


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Dooper Book Find...

I was out shopping the other day and I found this wonderful book on sale. As a lot of you know, I just adore old photographs, and especially old photos of children. This is a delicious book full of photos of olden day children and their dogs. Some of the photographs are really beautifully posed studio shots, and others are taken at home or in the garden. The one feature in every photograph is how much the children adore their dogs. It is written by Donna Long and printed by Ten Speed Press if you are interested in chasing it up. It is a real delight.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Amazing Alpacas.....

Remember I mentioned that we were going to my Brothers Alpaca Farm to babysit the Alpacas whilst he and his wife went off to a conference? Well, we are now back at home, and I have some photos to share. The area, near Port Lincoln in South Australia, is in drought, and so everything was so dry. There was a really big bushfire whilst we were there, about 50kms away, and it had us concerned for awhile. The Alpacas are just the most beautiful, calm animals and I was completely captivated by them. They were very happy for us to walk amongst them and were very interested in us and any movements toward us were very gentle. I had heard that they can spit, and thankfully I didn't experience that directed at me. I did see them spit at each other occasionally when one got too close to another at food "treat" time. I totally fell in love with one fellow in particular, Gizmo. He is a young male, and he was just so full of personality, and was always the first to come and say hello and walk around with us. I was amazed at how docile they were. Thankfully the pregnant ladies didn't go into labour, as I think I would have been in a total panic. Hope you like the pictures.

A group of the Alpacas waiting to be fed.
This is Gizmo, my special fellow.

This is Dusty. Her new baby has exactly the same colourings as she does.
This is from the farmhouse looking towards the ocean. They are in a drought at the moment and everything is so dry.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Made an Alpaca.....

We are off in a few days to my Brother's Alpaca farm, and I decided to make my Sister-in-Law, Di, an Alpaca. Well after lots of trial and error, here is Mrs. Alpaca, made from Alpaca. I'm just off to wrap her now. Will post some pictures of our stay at the farm when I get back. I'm going to have to get the lady Alpacas to cross their legs whilst I am in charge, as two of them are heavily pregnant. I shall have kittens myself if one of them decides to deliver......

My Christmas Present.....

I thought I would share a picture of my Christmas present with you. This is Fred Bear and he is a wonderful 26" Joy Toys bear from approximately the 1930's. He still has his original sewn tag on his foot pads and he is quite unusual as he is so big. I am completely in love with him and I am a very proud Bear Mama, or Fred Bear Mama!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Isn't She Beautiful....

Isn't this antique bear just wonderful. Her name is Teddy-Girl and she was the life time companion of Colonel Bob Henderson, who served in World War 2. Colonel Henderson spent his time after the war promoting the love of Teddy Bears, and Teddy-Girl really became his mascot. After his death, Teddy Girl was sold at auction in 1994 for 110,000 pounds. What a treasure. She is currently on display in the Izu Teddy Bear Museum in Japan.

So if you are ever in Japan, you know who to visit!!!