Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Wishes!!

Well as you can see, it's been a while since I posted anything here on my blog. Not from want of intention: purely because I've been very busy creating new bears, both for sale and quite a few custom orders at the tail end of year, and I'd like to introduce you to them all: Cherish: is my latest commision piece. A 9" girlie fairy panda made as a keepsake for a gorgeous 2 year old little girl for Christmas. Like all my bears, Cherish was hand-sewn using the most exquisite long pile mohair in white and contrasted with hand-dyed mohair in a rich watermelon colour (dyed by the wonderful Valma Bolton at Teddy's Bits Her custom English glass eyes are in slate grey, copper and silver with a cheeky bit of sparkle, and on this bear I used my first ever attempt at baked clay noses!!! What do you think? I'm pretty happy with the way she turned out, and I'm loving the flexibility that clay offers you - will be doing a lot more practising on more upcoming bears, so watch out for them!
I also didn't realise that I hadn't introduced you all to Captain Aramis Rex - a swashbuckling fellow who's ready to sail the Seven Seas!!! Another commission piece as a mascot for a dear friend of mine who owns a racing yacht on Sydney Harbour - hence the maritime theme bear!
And last but not least, there's Lulu: a flamboyant, French floozie, flirty kind of girl measuring 14". Her fuschia coloured satin top hat has been hand crafted by me, and decorated with lots of flounces, pearls and other pieces of whimsical jewellery!
I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish you - my friends, family, wonderful collectors and blog followers a joyous and peaceful festive season with your loved ones - Nikkel Bears will have new bears on offer in the New Year so I'll be back here again soon! Take care, Hugs, Marg xx

Friday, November 11, 2011

Introducing ... Allegra!

A month or so ago, I was asked by a wonderful collector of mine if I would make her a custom bear - 'just pink' were my only instructions!

Pink being pink, lends itself to all things girlie, so of course ideas of a pink princess immediately came to mind.

And here's the result - Allegra: a 14" two-tone bear hand-sewn from the softest, baby pink alpaca with a contrasting muzzle and chest in white alpaca. Like all of my bears, Allegra's English glass eyes were customised for this project - handpainted in sparkling deep blue sapphire & silver to accentuate her fur colouring, with dramatic sweeping eyelashes!

I adorned Allegra with fabulous jewels fit for a royal princess, from her sparkling diamante tiara and faux pearl and diamante pendant to her pom-pom fur collar.

I received an amazing email from my collector telling me how much she adores Allegra, so I'm very happy to know that another of my bears has found a beautiful home!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2011 URSA Awards!!!

Happy Dance - Happy Dance !!!!!

I am thrilled to find out that my little bear Toto has won an Honourable Mention in the 2011 URSA Awards!!!!

What a complete and unexpected surprise!!! I have emailed Toto's new mum and she's just as thrilled as I am - yay!!!!!!

To see all the winners for the year's competition, please click here

Thanks so much to all of you who voted for my bears this year - it really means a lot to me and I appreciate your fabulous support!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

African Theme Birthday Bear!

I'd like you all to meet KOFI - my latest bear who I made exclusively for my darling nephew Troy's 1st birthday!

As soon as I saw this mohair, it screamed 'Africa' to me!!! It's pretty amazing - from the rich chocolate backing to the natural taupe-coloured whispy ratinee finish I knew it would be lovely to work with ... and it was! Troy also has relatives living in South Africa, so it seemed right to design an African themed bear - even the African meaning of his name Kofi is 'born on Friday'.

I've tried to keep everything in neutral tones, except for Kofi's eyes, which are of course my custom hand-painted English glass eyes, painted in crystal shades of slate grey and brown with a hint of sparkle.

In my travels I also found THE most amazing ribbon (which was added to my ribbon 'stash' for future use!) - a variagated wire ribbon in copper and bronze tones. His little birthday cap in black silk and lined with leopard print fabric has been adorned with copper coloured hearts and topped with a bronze jewel.

And as a footnote: I'm happy to say that Troy loved him!!! (and so did my sister!!)

PS: You'll be glad to know that KOFI was put away safely after this photo was taken!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

At Last - A New Bear!!!!

Hi everyone!

Can't believe it's been so long since my last post - I've been so busy with bears, and my blog has unfortunately has suffered 'big time'.

I'd like you all to meet Aztec - he's made from the most amazing woolly Shulte mohair in a rich caramel colour - this fabric is very dense and brushes up really nicely. And very cuddly too I might add!!!

Aztec's custom starburst style English glass eyes have been handpainted in deep emerald and black with a hint of sparkle to give him a whimsical, cheeky look!

He wears a hand-crafted tri-colour wired ribbon ruff - the colours in this ribbon are to be seen to be believed! I'm sure I don't really do it justice in the photos - gorgeous and rich copper, gold and bronze metallic - just wonderful, and it compliments his bejewelled pendant nicely.

Hope you like him - if you would like to purchase Aztec, or just get some more info or photos, he's now available on Bear Pile here

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meet Banjo !!!

Hi everyone - the last few weeks have been quite hectic in my bear studio, as I've been completing some custom orders and a couple of celebration bears for family and friends.

I managed to squeeze in a little time to make this happy little guy - meet Banjo! An 8" brown & white panda make from the most luxurious long-pile mohair in a deep, delicious chocolate brown and stark white, and of course, my usual custom hand painted glass eyes - I painted Banjos eyes in the colours of deep, liquid aquamarine pools to really contrast against his fur!

I also hand-crafted his little cap from gold satin with matching ribbon ruff around the edge of his cap and around his neck, and decorated with swirly, sparkly paint and twinkling diamantes - he's just a sparkling little panda!

I'm happy to say that Banjo has already been adopted!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Meet Cody - A Keepsake Bear!!!

Here's Cody: a 14" bundle of fluff I designed and made exclusively for very dear friends who welcomed their beautiful little daughter Ella Grace into the world last week!

Cody is hand-sewn from wonderfully soft beige and white alpaca (my favourite to work with) with white ultra-suede dry-brushed trapunto style paw pads and of course, custom hand-painted eyes in sapphire blue & violet shades.

Do you like her little porcelain teddy? My husband's aunty (who is a dab hand at teaching and creating porcelain dolls) made this little cutie and I couldn't resist adding it to Cody's pink dummy around her neck.

We drove up to Sydney to visit little Miss Ella Grace on Saturday - her proud parents loved this keepsake bear, but I'm sure not quite as much as we loved Ella!!! She's just gorgeous!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's that URSA AWARDS time again!!!

How quickly does time fly? I can't believe one year has gone by since the last URSA Awards - and here they are again!!!!

I'm so pleased to let you all know that I have four nominations in the first round of voting this year:

Do you remember little Toto? She's now happily living in the USA, and to vote for her you'll find her in Category 3 (Medium Bare Bears/Buds 6-11").

And here's Kaluah, made from the most amazing, thick pile alpaca I've ever used - gorgeous! He's in Category 5 (Large Bare Bear/Bud 12-24").

Thirdly, in the Costumed Category (Category 12) is Honey, my sexiliscious playboy bunny-girl bear.

And last, but not least is my first ever critter - a squirrel called Nutbush (Animal Kingdom - Category 14) - he's my interpretation of Beatrix Potter's character Squirrel Nutkins, and a very distinguished fellow!

I hope you can drop by and cast your vote - wow! I think it's very difficult to choose - there are so many wonderful creations made by creative bear artists from around the globe (16 countries represented I believe).

Here's the link straight to the URSA AWARDS page

Thank you ever so much for your support.

Marg xoxox

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Isabelle's 1st Ever Birthday!!!

Wow! I can't believe that my baby granddaughter Isabelle has just turned 1 year old!!

Happy birthday my precious!!!

And we had such fun, with party hats, cake and lots of yummy finger food that my daughter Kel had prepared. Of course older sister Mikaela had to help Isabelle open her pressies - just because that's what older 3 year old sisters do!!!!

As a keepsake, I made Isabelle this beautiful 14" bear I called Cupcake - hope you like her!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Look Who's having a Giveaway!!!!

My wonderful friend Linda Benson is having a giveaway over at her blog - all you need to do is click on this link and add your suggestion to name her newest creation.

Don't you think he's fantastic???? Linda's drawing the winner next Wednesday (6th July) so hurry and get your suggestions in!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brand New Bear!!!

Hi everyone! Phew! I've been so, so busy I haven't actually had much time to spend on my beloved bear making - I've been flat out at work preparing for the dreaded annual stocktake (aarrggghh) and am currently studying a Diploma of Logistics so have had plenty of assignments to keep me busy instead!

Anyway, I finally got around to putting the finishing touches to my newest panda - introducing little Chin Chin.

He's made from gorgeous dense pile alpaca and can stand (assisted) at 8", although I've really designed him to sit (measures 6"). His eyes, like all of my bears, are hand-painted in sparkling blue and green shades, and he wears an authentic jade and gold Chinese symbol around his neck, which I actually got during our trip to Thailand!

Chin Chin is available on Bear Pile - see for more information!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Show is Open!!!!

Hi everyone - what a fantastic day! Well actually, the weather in my part of the world is pretty lousy: dark clouds, heavy rain and cold - hope the weather is better where you are.

I'm so glad to announce that the 3rd annual ACD (Australian Creative Design) Awards Show has now begun!

There are so many lovely entries this year - our theme was Beatrix Potter, and you'll see how talented and imaginative everyone has been!

Please do try and find the time to drop by and follow the show links.

Oh, and don't forget - you still have time to vote in the People's Choice competition. The winner is announced on Saturday 4th June, so hurry and get your votes in!

My entry this year is NUTBUSH, a modern take on Beatrix's Squirrel Nutkin! Hope you like him. We had to challenge ourselves with this show - Nutbush certainly challenged me - a totally different pattern and facial features than what I have been used to with my bears, plus leather claws (which I've never done before - a big thank you to my friend Linda Benson of Benson Bears for showing me how it's done!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Back to the Land of Oz

Well, where does the time go??? I didn't realise it had been so long since I let you know what I've been up to lately, so I'm feeling a little guilty!!!

We've actually just returned from a 3 week hiatus in Phuket, Thailand - very different weather to what we've come home to! Every day was a sunny, hot & humid 32-36 degrees celsius - the perfect weather for lazing at the beach and swimming, as you can see.

Our holiday started with the annual Phuket Bike Week celebration - hundreds of bike enthusiasts gather at Patong Beach from all over Asia and in fact the world for a 3-day festival of competition, demonstrations, live music, food and drink. Many wonderful and strange bikes on display - some people certainly have vivid imaginations!!!

We found a lovely place to eat our breakfast every day at the top of a steep hill overlooking the whole of Patong Beach - always a cool breeze wafting through and below us a vista of thick tropical gardens and the brilliant blue Andaman sea.

Our holiday also co-incided with Songkran Festival (Thai New Year) - what a wonderfully wet and fun experience! Everyone (including locals and tourists) arm themselves with squirt guns, buckets or any container for that matter to throw or spray water at unsuspecting oncomers!!! The locals also are adept at sneaky baby powder attacks on wet passers by, and the whole day and night is a riot of laughter and fun!!

Here's a Thai version of BBQ! A deep pot placed on hot coals and filled with water: you cook yourself - veges, meat and seafood simmer in a flavoured broth, while you place your meat or seafood on the top to BBQ through the vents! I have never seen this before, and I've got to say, we enjoyed it immensely.

Like all other holidays, ours ended much too quickly - this week it's back to cool weather, miserable skies and W-O-R-K!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Countdown Begins ......

My life is crazy at the moment!!! And there's only 4 sleeps to go!!!

My bears and I are in the middle of a whirlwind of online and face-to-face shows and it's about to get even busier!!!

This coming weekend - 12-13 March I have 3 bears available in the BLOOMING BEARS online show. I can't wait for you to see them!

Here's a little sneak peak at Pandora!

I hope you can join us at the show - it's going to be massive: there are 75 world-class artists participating. Choosing a fantastic bear or critter is going to be very, very hard!!! I'm really looking forward to having a cuppa and sitting down to check out all the lovely entries.

Here's the link to the show: - hope you get a chance to check out all of the beary eye candy!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sydney Teddy Bear Fair 2011

Goodness! March already!!! Where is the year going??

What a busy year so far it has been for me - lots of bear making and shows!

This weekend (Sunday 6th March) I'll be trading at the Sydney Teddy Bear Fair at Sydney's Olympic Park, Homebush Bay. There'll be new Nikkel Bears making their debut at the show, and I'm hoping to catch up with some of my wonderful collectors and bear artists friends ... we don't often get to see each other 'in person' so it's a lovely opportunity to see everyone's new bears and have a chat!

If you're in the Sydney area this weekend, be sure to drop by and say 'hi' - here's the link for more information on the venue and transportation/parking in Olympic Park

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Walk Through my Neighbourhood

Now that summer is on the wane here in Australia, we've had some pretty crazy weather as most of you have heard on the news around the world.

In my little part of the world, we've had a mix of extraordinarily dry, hot days hitting 45 degrees celsius, and where the air burns your throat when you breathe in right through to steamy, humid and stormy afternoons and nights, followed by cool, overcast and showery days where a light jumper or cardigan is called for.

Last weekend was one of those steamy, stormy afternoons - our plans for a takeaway Chinese picnic overlooking the river turned into trying to juggle our food on plates while sitting in the car with all the windows up and the air conditioner on just so we didn't fog up the windows!!! Ha! Ha! So funny!

Once the rain cleared, we were left with brilliant skies as the sun set on another wonderful day ... we took a walk around the foreshore and I took these pictures which I thought I might share with you ... hope you enjoy a snapshot of my little world!!!