Friday, December 31, 2010


Well, where has the time gone? A whole year has passed, and our neighbourhood, friends and family are gathering to ring in 2011 with fireworks, music and laughter - a fantastic combination for a good night!!!

I'm gearing up for a busy 2011 - have some custom orders to fulfil and then the first show for Nikkel Bears will be the 'Be My Valentine' online show organised by the wonderful Sandi Smith at Teddy Bears & Critters Australasia - I'll post the link here closer to the show in February.

After that show, I'm thrilled to announce that Nikkel Bears has been selected to participate in the Teddys Worldwide online 'Blooming Bear Show' in March 2011.

I've just signed up also for the 2011 Australian Creative Design Awards and online show in June 2011 - plenty to keep me busy, don't you think???

I'll put some more detailed information on each of the shows as they approach, but in the meantime - here's to a fantastic 2011 - I hope all of your dreams and wishes come true!!! Thanks so much for your support in 2010 - it means a lot to me!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Bear for 2010!!!

What a busy, busy month December has been!!! I've had quite a few commission orders to complete, as well as little Jingle (my TBACA swap bear for Susan Leigh who you met last post).

And so, here is my last bear for the year - the lovely HOPE, a 14" bear made from the most exquisite honey-coloured silky mohair, with matching trapunto style paws which I have airbrushed. Don't you just love her Christmas bauble? I'm really happy with the way this bear turned out - and hope her new mum loves her.

I'd also like to take this opportunity of wishing you, my followers, a joyful, relaxing (!!!) and peaceful festive season - don't eat or drink too much: or if you have to, then have fun doing it!!!

Until we meet again in 2011 .....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Here's Jingle! Just in time for Xmas!!

Here's someone I'd love you all to meet!

Introducing Jingle, a little guy (measures 6" sitting) who I made exclusively for Susan Leigh of Bearleigh Bears in the TBACA Christmas Swap!

Jingle is made from a wonderful, luxurious long pile mohair in the softest honey colour with matching ultrasuede trapunto paws and eyelids. His grey/blue custom hand-painted glass eyes compliment his colouring, and his cheeky grin means he's up to mischief already: and Santa hasn't even arrived!!!

It was a lot of fun making this little one, especially since he's one of my newest designs. The hard part was keeping the surprise until Susan I both received our parcels in the mail. Mine arrived today - a fantastic little bear called Santa's Little Helper and I absolutely adore him! Thanks Susan xoxox

You can find Susan's website here

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where does the time go???

Hi everyone! Well, my goodness! I didn't realise that I had neglected my blog for sooooo long!

We've just returned from 3 fabulous weeks in Phuket, Thailand - the weather was humid and warm (as always) - every day reaching around 29-32 degrees celsius.

This is taken from the lookout at Cape Promthrep (the most southern tip of Phuket island)

We had a couple of friends tag along with us this time, so found ourselves on the tourist trail again doing a few day trips here and there.

Here's a picture of me with a very, very large Bengal tiger at the Phuket zoo - I can't believe they grow so B-I-G!!!

And how about this for riding an elephant bareback!!!! Was I scared??? You bet I was, especially when the mahoot got it to rear up on it's hind legs (it's a long way down!!!)

No trip to Phuket is complete without a night out at the fabulous Fantasea stage show with all of it's culture, music, costumes, laser lights, acrobats and of course - the animals (including 17 elephants on stage at once!!!)

And a sea-kayaking trip at Phang-nga Bay in the north of the island (James Bond Island in the background - features in the movie Goldfinger).

Alas, like all good holidays it's over too soon, so it's back to the land of reality for us this week ... back to work and back to bears!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Winner!!!! 2010 URSA Awards!!!!

Wow! I'm just so thrilled - I can't begin to tell you how much!!!

My panda Wang Chung has just been announced as a 1ST PLACE WINNER in this year's prestigious URSA Awards, sponsored by Bears & Buds online magazine!!!

As you all know, I've only been making bears for a couple of years now, and to achieve this award at this level is a dream come true .... I'm happy dancing all around the room right now!!!!

A big, big thank you to all of you who voted for me - my wonderful collectors, and my beautiful family and friends! It means the world to me, and I'll treasure this moment forever!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wild & Windy Weekend!

WOW! What an adventurous weekend we've just had!!!

We experienced a pretty fierce wind storm all Saturday night and all day Sunday around Sydney and the South Coast of NSW where I live. Plenty of trees down and damage to many people's property so the SES Rescue and the electricity people have been extremely busy!!

We lost power early this morning, and it has only just come back on so a cup of tea is in order!!! We were lucky not to have any damage, but my neighbour's full size trampolene became airborne in the wind and flew over the side fence from the back into the front yard!!!! No-one was injured which was very lucky!

I took these photos this morning off Penguin Head - you can see how fierce the wind is off the waves - the spray in the background is actually spray over the ocean - glad I wasn't out there in a boat!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Bears Finished!!!

Well, it's taken me a few weeks, but I finally put the finishing touches to the 3 bears I was working on. One little girl was a custom order - I'm happy to say her new mum was thrilled with her and says she will treasure her forever - my heart sings when my customers love the bears I make for them!

Anyway, there's still 2 available and here they are:

Introducing OREO - a very soft and cuddly 14" panda which I've hand sewn from beige and a rich dark chocolate brown alpaca, with beige airbrushed ultrasuede paws in trapunto style. I've also hand-painted his custom German glass eyes which are set in the same beige ultrasuede as his pads. He wears a hand-knitted collar with contrasting custom bead trim.

This little one is 12" TOPAZ, a very charming and cheeky fellow who has been hand sewn from a wonderful tri-coloured string Shulte mohair in brown/blonde tones. His paws are also done in trapunto style from a copper-coloured ultrasuede and shaded with oil paints. Topaz also has custom hand-painted German glass eyes in sparkling emerald shades to complement his hand-crafted ribbon ruff.

Hope you like them - both OREO and TOPAZ are now available from my website and Bear Pile!

Now ... back to sewing: I'm currently working on a brand-new design which I'll be posting here in the next week so keep an eye out for that!

Until then, take care everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Almost There .... New Bears!

Hi everyone!

I've been quite busy lately working on a few new bears, some are custom pieces and others will be available on my website and through Bear Pile over the next week - keep an eye out for them!

Just as a teaser, here's a little sneaky peek:

Hope you like them so far!

I've actually got some exciting news to share with you all: I've been also working on a brand new design which I'm hoping to launch here in the coming weeks - very thrilling for me, as this bear is so very different from anything I've made before ... can't wait for you all to see!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

URSA Awards - I'm a Finalist!!!!

OMG!!! I'm beside myself with excitement, and am jumping out of my skin just about!!!!

My panda Wang Chung has just been announced as a second round finalist in this year's URSA Awards - how very exciting!!!!!

And here's where it gets interesting - the three entries from each category with the highest number of votes go through to the second round: except (drumroll ......) none of us know whether we've won first, second or third place!!!!

Second round voting is now open - all you've got to do is vote for just ONE entry - and the entry with the highest amount of votes (including first round scores) wins the URSA MAJOR award for 2010!!!

Just click on this link and follow the prompts

Wow! I'm just thrilled and honoured to reach this stage - the standard of entries from around the globe was amazing - there are certainly some wonderful, talented soft sculpture artists worldwide.

Voting is open from 8th August until 10th September 2010. Winners and placegetters from all categories will be announced in the October edition of the Bears & Buds online magazine.

A big, big thankyou to everyone who voted for me in Round 1 - your support means a lot to me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 TBAAF Awards - Winners Announced!!!!

Boy, what a fantastic surprise!

My angel bear Aurora has won 2nd place in her category Fantasy Bear/Animal in the 2010 TBAAF Awards (Teddy Bear Artists and Friends)!!!!

A big thanks to Lanie & Darren who put an enormous amount of work into this site and setting up these awards, and to everyone who took the time to vote - there were over 600 single entries, and some very wonderful pieces from very talented soft-sculpture artists worldwide!!!

Here's the link to the TBAAF website if you want to check out all of the winners!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Baby Granddaughter!

What an absolutely fabulous weekend we've just had ... our second precious little (!!!) granddaughter was born in the wee small hours of Saturday morning - presenting Miss Isabelle Grace!

Such a cuddly bundle of love, this little miss decided to 'stay indoors' a while longer than she should have, and was born at a whopping 10lb!!! Ouch!

Elder sister Mikaela (at 2.5 years old) has already given her the 'once over' inspection at the hospital (such a laugh) and thoroughly enjoyed her first cuddle.

Mum, baby (and Dad) are all doing well - my daughter Kel and Isabelle came home today. Kel says she's so glad to be home - nothing like your own bed!

Welcome to our family little one!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

URSA Awards - Time to Vote!!!!

Hi everyone! Well, it's the URSA AWARDS time again (how quickly does time pass by?? I can't believe it's been 12 months already!!!) Seems the older we get, the quicker time passes by ..... (but I'm not making any more comments on THAT here!!!)

Hope you can drop by to place your vote - there are stacks of awesome entries from some very talented artists worldwide, and I'm very proud to say that I have 3 bears in this years awards:

ODIE - CATEGORY 4 (Medium Outfitted Bears)

WANG CHUNG - CATEGORY 10 (Large Outfitted Bears)

and last but not least ...

The serene AURORA - CATEGORY 15(Far Out - Fairies, Angels, Mystical)

Here's the link to check them all out -

Good luck to all of the entrants - there's some really tough competition out there, and I'm honoured to be in such esteemed and talented company.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Odie's off to the USA!

Hi everyone - it's been another busy week here in the land of Nikkel Bears: more new bears in progress and more to cut out .... it's all happening!!!

Here's little Odie, one of my latest creations who is now just about to jet off to the USA to live with his new mum!

As with all of my bears, he's completely hand-sewn with custom hand-painted German glass starburst eyes in a pale icicle blue, and has a matching hand-crafted birthday hat and collar in the same shimmery ice-blue shades.

Wonder what's in the box????

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WOW! TWO nominations in the 2010 ABC Awards!!!

Imagine my surprise, arriving home after a very stressful and long day travelling to read my emails and find out that not one, but two of my creations had been nominated for the 2010 Australian Bear Creations Awards!!!

How very exciting - these wonderful international awards are sponsored annually by the Australian Bear Creations magazine.

Congratulations to all of the other nominees - it's a real honour for me to be in such esteemed and talented bear artist company.

Here are my two nominees:

Bosco B Bear - Category 4 (small bear - undressed)

and La de Dah - Category 3 (small bear - dressed)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Aurora's off to a New Home!

What a wonderful week we've had! The Fantasy Ball online show run through the Teddy Bears & Critters Australasia website ( was a complete success with some fantastic creations available for adoption.

I'm really pleased to say that one of my latest creations - Aurora (Angel of the Dawn) found her new mum through the show - a keepsake for her small daughter.

Hand-sewn from luxurious white alpaca (my favourite fur!) with hand-sewn trapunto paws and custom hand-painted gorgeous big sparkly deep azure eyes, Aurora has a serene look which is simply, well .... angelic! I hope you like her too!

I am always really honoured when a new Nikkel Bears collector appreciates the time, effort and attention to detail I put into my bears - I absolutely love making them for you!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fantasy Ball - Vote for your Favourite!!!

Click on this link to vote for your favourite bear/critter in the Fantasy Ball - People's Choice competition!

I've just voted - who will you pick????

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Central Coast Charity Doll & Bear Show

What a weekend I've had!

After heading out on Saturday morning, I arrived at my sister's house on the Central Coast of NSW (a 4 hour drive for me from home)with what seemed like a car full of bears and bear bits and pieces ready for the Central Coast Charity Doll & Bear Show at Wyong Racecourse on Sunday.

First things first though - a great family reunion - it was our Mum's 80th birthday and my other long-lost sister had arrived home from overseas (she works for the UK based Saga Cruise line) so it was a wonderful family get-together. We enjoyed a fantastic lamb roast (no Tom Cruise though!!!), a few laughs and great company!

Sunday morning arrived soon enough, and it was over to the racecourse early to set up my table - I'm pleased to say a few new bears made their debut ... I hope you like them!

This is Odie, a cheeky little chap who can't wait to open his birthday present!

This is Paddy Melon, a very thoughtful bear made from the most wonderful mint-coloured hand-dyed curly mohair:

And last, but not least - introducing Indie made from the most divine honey-coloured silky long-pile mohair and keeping out the winter chills with his hand-knitted multi-coloured scarf.

They'll be appearing shortly on my website as well, but in the meantime, don't forget that the FANTASY BALL online show starts tomorrow (31st May) at (just follow the prompts to the Fantasy Ball) - hope to see you there (I have an entry in the People's Choice competition so am very excited about that - make sure you place your vote!)

Till next time ....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Family Member!

OMG! I can't believe it's been so long since I posted anything here - time gets away from you while you're not looking, doesn't it?

Well, since I last posted, I've got so much to tell you: we were away for 3 weeks in Phuket, Thailand (as you know from my previous post) - the apartment is FANTASTIC! We had sooooo much fun just chilling out in our own place - no crowds, yay!!! And shopping for a few more pieces of furniture such as day bed, balcony setting etc. was a lot of fun too! I promise I'll post some pictures of the 'finished unit' in a later post.

Anyway - to my CURRENT exciting news! We have a new puppy! His name is Zac (short of Anzac ... seeing how we adopted him on Australia's Anzac Day). He's a full blood Australian Kelpie all the way from a farm near Cootamundra (in the south-west of NSW)and he's a little beauty! His mum and dad are farm working dogs, and already we're getting plenty of running exercise as this little guy tries to 'round us up' in the back yard. We can't stop laughing - he's brought us so much joy in such a very short time!

This is our first trip to the beach last Sunday (Mother's Day in Australia) - lots of games, and running around!

Being a farm boy, he's not at all sure about those waves though! Got bowled over in the surf and came up covered in sand!

And after all that running around silly, the little guy just plopped down in the sand for a snooze!

Looking forward to taking lots more photos - if only he would be still enough!!!!

Talk again soon!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Apartment Photos!

Hi everyone!

Well, as promised here a a few new pictures of the apartment. We are so thrilled with how it's come along and can't wait to get over to Thailand to 'move in' officially!!!

Here's the view over Patong Beach from our balcony - priceless!!!

How cool is this outdoor shower area?

From the entry doorway:

Underneath car park & garden area:

Outside of building from street:

Monday, March 8, 2010

LAMB Bears!!!

Well, what a week! I have been absolutely run off my feet trying to get bears ready for the Sydney Teddy Bear Fair which was held yesterday at Sydney Olympic Park.

We had a wonderful show - not as many traders this year: and plenty of collectors and visitors milling around all day. Most artists and traders and great sales (I just about sold out which was a fantastic feeling!)

Especially for the show I designed a range of 4 bears which were inspired by the Gwen Stefani album Love, Angel, Music, Baby - hope you like them!

Keeping the music album thing going, I also designed this bloke - Melon Collie: inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins album from some years back - Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness.