Balloons, Bunting and Books

A couple of weeks ago myself, Ted and my long suffering husband (Mr E) went on a day  trip to a little place a couple of hours drive away, called Hay on Wye.

It’s a small Welsh village/town – which is, in many respects like many other Welsh villages…

but Hay is a town of books. There are books shops galore. New books, old books, really old books. Picture books, fiction, non fiction…. I think that if you can imagine a book you can probably find it in one of the many amazing bookshops in this quiet little town.

And the week we went was no ordinary week … this time, Hay was not the sleepy, quaint little town I had been to before , or the way you imagine a little Welsh town to look.

Instead, it was bustling with people. There were balloons and banners, the streets lined with stall selling all sorts of items from Welshcakes (yummy), to ice cream (just as yummy), to clothes, to candles.

There were adults of all ages, children and dogs. What an atmosphere!

But why, what wakes a quaint little town and make it a huge attraction?

Why books, of course! We had travelled to Hay for the annual Literary Festival.

Hay Festival Fun
Hay Festival Fun

It was the first time we had ever been (yes, I know, we only live two hours away, no excuse – but it’s true), and it certainly won’t be the last. Ted & I loved every minute. (Mr E did too – but he mainly did the town and river part).

BUT – before I get carried away with the romance of it all – a word of warning.

It’s busy. Very busy. Narrow streets see lots of traffic – pedestrians and motorised traffic. If you don’t like crowds, it’s probably not for you.

At the festival site, there are queues. For everything – you will queue for coffee, queue for ice cream, queue for the loo (although that’s normal anywhere I think!), queue for the shows, for the signings, at the book shop… Be prepared to spend lots of time queueing.

And beware of grumps. I think it’s linked to the queues. I encountered one or two very grumpy people. Small children I can forgive – queues are very boring.

Grown adults of 50+, being rude and grumpy at such an event – no need. I do hope you don’t get one of those in the book shop queue – honestly – the sales assistants are doing their best, give them a break!

But – yes, another but. -If you can get past all that, there are books.

Lots of books.

Storytelling, Activities. You can spot celebrities. You can watch people’s eyes light up as they pick up a book, see their favourite author or simply eat some rather delicious food.

There are smiles, there is laughter, there are people just all getting along. We were there when the UK security alert was at critical. There is nothing makes you smile more than a heavily armed police officer talking to children about the Giant Jumperee. (OK a child and me….)

And, there are many talks and shows you can go to. Ted and I went to one.

We went to see Julia Donaldson – author of (you guessed it) The Giant Jumperee and The Gruffalo – and many others of course. This was inspirational – she talked about her process, how she works with illustrators – we saw a video of Illustrator Helen Oxenbury in her studio – got to see snippets of Axel Scheffler’s sketchbook…

Julia and her family even acted our the Giant Jumperee for us all, and we all sang along to the Jumperee song. I met Julia afterwards – got her autograph – and she even spoke to Ted. (She was lovely)

The day Ted met Julia Donaldson
The day Ted met Julia Donaldson

To see the faces in that audience – see how the children were engaged.

Some say books are dying out due to e-books and online content – well if that day at the Hay Festival is any indication that is very far from the truth. Books and story telling are very much still with us – and the future looks great.

 

Find Your Happy Place
Find Your Happy Place

As you know – my dream is to be an illustrator of children’s books. Well – that day – that one special day, I felt like I was one step closer to that dream.

Hay – we loved you – and we will be back!

 

PS – don’t forget, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Birthdays in December

Hello Everyone, how are you?

Theodore.E.Bear
Theodore.E.Bear

Sorry I missed last week – things have been rather busy here. Lot’s going on – what with a bathroom refit and Jac trying to prepare for Christmas.

It’s been noisy and dusty – and on some days very cold – but Jac says it will all be worth it when it’s finished. I hope she is right – my fur coat is gathering a lot of dust!

Drawing board wise – most work Jac has been doing has been Christmas related – lots of commissions, stocking up the Etsy shop and preparing for Christmas craft fairs (coming soon!).

But it’s not all Christmas – Jac reminded me today that people have birthday’s all year round – so she has been working on some birthday commissions too.

Don't forget those with December birthday!
Don’t forget those with December birthdays!

It’s going to be very busy over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out on Facebook, Twitter and Instgram for updates! There will be gingerbread men (and ladies); donkeys and  many other characters, so do stay tuned. And of course, I’ll be back next week to tell you all about it 🙂

Till next time then,

Love from Theodore.E.Bear xxx

A Day Trip

Hello All

I’m back again! Sorry I missed you all last week, but every bear needs a little time off. And both Jac and I had a day off together last week, so we hopped on a train to Swansea. Jac said we were going to an Art Gallery and Museum – the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, which has just been reopened.

Well, I didn’t know what that was, but Jac promised I would like it. And she was right – it was a big building just full of lots of things to look at. There was painting and shiny things, and even videos.

But the best thing was a room full of sketches by someone called Leonardo da Vinci – there were pages from sketchbooks, and the work was amazing. Jac said this was a special exhibition, something we’d possibly never see again, so she made sure to read all the information. After we had looked at everything, Jac bought me a book with all the pictures we had seen – copies of the sketchbook pages, so that I can look at it whenever I want. Jac says she likes things like that for inspiration, I can see why!

 

Leonardo da Vinci - 10 drawings from the Royal Collection
Leonardo da Vinci – 10 drawings from the Royal Collection

After the museum, we went for a lovely coffee, and enjoyed an evening out.

The next day both of us were raring to get to the drawing board – I love watching jac at work. This week she has been working on so many different things – there has been giraffes, and cars – and little old ladies. Apparently next week there will be donkeys and doves, it’s all very exciting.

Now I am afraid I must sign off, as I need to get my Halloween costume ready!

Theodore.E.Bear - Wizard extraordinaire!
Theodore.E.Bear – Wizard extraordinaire!

Till next week then

Theodore.E.Bear

 

PS – don’t forget, you can buy from Jac on Etsy, and also see work in progress through Facebook and Instagram.

Whitterings of an Illustrator…

Theodore.E.Bear is having a rest tonight, so it’s back to me to write this weeks blog – but too be honest I am out of practice! I never know what to write about.

I mean – do I tell you about the week I have had, or maybe about the glorious weather we have had – which has made the trees in their Autumn colours look just stunning – or do I just follow some random thought path (which let’s be honest is my normal approach!).

You’d think I would have a plan – I mean, I (or Ted, of course) write this every week! But no, every week I suddenly realise it’s Sunday night – again… and sit here looking at the computer looking for inspiration. While watching Strictly (which I can’t talk about in case you are recording it – but I am looking forward to Halloween special).

Perhap’s I should ask you? What would you like to read in this blog? Any suggestions (be nice!) please let me know via Facebook or Twitter, I shall see what I can do 🙂

By the way – I have actually been quite busy with orders and stocking up for the Festive season! There will be new characters at Jac’s this Christmas 🙂 (Available soon in my Etsy shop).

Mr Gingerbread, a new character in Jacs Little Welsh Studio
Mr Gingerbread, a new character in Jacs Little Welsh Studio

I think that’s probably enough waffling for now – I’ll try to think of something better for you next week (or I’ll make sure Ted is back!)

Love Jac xx

Taking it slow..

Hello again everyone – have you had a good week? It’s been very quiet here this week, as Jac was a bit poorly with a bad cold and couldn’t spend as much time as normal at the drawing board.

Don’t worry though, I looked after her wih plenty of hot honey and lemon drinks. As a bear, I recommend honey – I wasn’t so sure about the lemon, but Jac said it’s good for her, so I had to add a little really.

Although Jac wasn’t able to get on with orders as she woudl have liked, she was very excited when a man in a big van arrived with a giant box. Apparently it was full of new items for the studio shop. It’s all still being sorted out – but I did manage a sneaky peek and spotted bookmarks, mirrors and bags – all new deisgns I hadn’t seen before. Jac says I can’t tell you to much yet, but she will share pictures as soon as they are ready. (And they will all be added to the shop throughout the week).

She did say I could let you all know about the bookmarks – especially since she showed you the designs for those a while ago. There are cupcakes, and teapots and cats… not all on the same bookmark of course. You can see them all in more detail in The Little Welsh Studio shop – why not take a peek!

The lastest bookmark designs at The Little Welsh Studio
The lastest bookmark designs at The Little Welsh Studio

So – I guess it will be a bit busier this week as Jac catches up – so I better go now – but I’ll be back next week.

Love from Theodore.E.Bear (a.k.a Ted)

Alphabet Adventures

Hello again everyone 🙂

What a great week it’s been here in the studio. Jac has been kept busy with commissions and sending out packages from her Etsy shop.

She has also been working on a project to create an alphabet illustration, and has just started sketching ideas for the letter B. I am very excited, as I get to feature in some of those – and she took me to a ball pit for inspiration. That was great fun – it was just like a swimming pool – but instead of water (which gets my fur all soggy) it was full of brightly coloured balls. You can jump in them, hide in them, or just throw them around. I can’t wait to go again!

Ted.E.Bear, the ball pit and balloons
Ted.E.Bear loves to play!

Did you know that Jac publishes her sketches on her Facebook page? And – you can suggest ideas and sometimes she will turn your idea into one of her doodles. That’s what she is doing with the alphabet – she posts an idea most evenings. I think she will be starting on the letter C soon.

Today Jac went out without me (I was looking after the studio for her) – and met with some people who, like her, draw pictures and write stories. She said the meeting was really good – and that she has lots of ideas for new stories with me in them! I can’t wait to hear what she has in store – I’m sure she will let me tell you all about it at some point.

Well – that’s about this for now. Next week, Jac and I will be working on more commissions – which will involve something called Halloween. I am not sure what that is – but I am sure I will find out. Jac says it involves dressing up in costumes – which I always love to do. My favourite is my lion costume – maybe I can wear that this week (it’s nice and warm, it’s getting cold outside now).

Teddy, or lion?
Ted.E.Bear just loves dressing up!

Thanks for taking time to read my stories – I am really enjoying it.

Until next time

Theodore.E.Bear

Stay Safe!

Hello All – and thank you for joining me again 🙂 I must say I am enjoying writing Jac’s blog!

This week it was a bit wet here in South Wales, so we didn’t get out and about lots – but we did walk into town for our shopping. On the way, we saw lots of children on bikes wearing yellow vests. Jac explained they were learning how to be safe while riding their bikes on the road – like letting other people know where they are going by using their arms to signal what way they are turning, and learning to look behind them to see what is there.

I noticed they all had hard hats on – Jac told me  these were called helmets, and said these are very important when you ride a bike (or scooter or skateboard). She explained that if I was to fall off, a helmet could help prevent me hurting my head so badly.

I don’t ride my bike very often, but I think I will always wear my helmet when I do.

Stay Safe whilst Cycling
Ted always wears a helmet when cycling – stay safe!

The rest of the week, Jac was busy working on commission work. She is a bit sad as she can’t share any of it yet (most are surprises for people’s Christmas) – but she has told me that this week she has an idea for a new project which you can all get involved with – so do check out Jac’s Studio Facebook page for details on that 🙂 (And, if you are looking for gifts your self – do check out The Little Welsh Studio on Etsy)

Till next week then,

Love from Theodore.E.Bear (aka Ted)

(PS – Jac says thank you to Cycle Training Wales for her inspiration this week. She saw them out at least twice with two different schools – keep up the good work she says!)

Elephants and Santa hats

Hello All 🙂 Wow – this week has flown by. Jac was very busy this week, so no time for adventures out and about – but most of the time being in the studio is enough adventure for this little Teddy Bear.

Always appreciate an elephant
Always Appreciate an Elephant!

For instance, on Thursday it was Elephant Appreciation Day – and I got to meet a new friend. I do love elephants, and it’s very sad to think that people still hunt them for their beautiful ivory tusks. I hope my new friend stays safe out there.

Later in the week Jac was very excited, as she received a big box from the postman. Turns out this was new stock for her shop, featuring more of my studio friends. Some had funny hats on – Jac explained they were for Christmas and has promised I can have one soon 🙂

I tried to chat to the Little Mouse – but she was very busy sewing!

The Little Sewing Mouse
A little mouse sewing something special.

Jac’s also been working on more new ideas – she says it’s important to draw every day, to keep creating. She says it helps to keep her mind active, and also helps her to relax.

Apparently humans are prone to something called stress. I don’t think it’s something Teddy Bears suffer from much– we try not to worry about things. Jac says she could learn a few things from me!

Anyway – no more news for now – but you can tell how busy it’s been. Jac says this week she will be working on Christmas orders, and new ideas for gifts. There seems to be lots of cake and food ideas in her sketchbook, so I am looking forward to what she has in mind!

So – don’t forget to keep up with my adventures with Jac on Facebook and Instagram, there is always something happening in The Little Welsh Studio. (Oh, and Jac says to remind you that there are lots of things ready to post in her Etsy shop!)

Till next week then – lots of love

Theodore.E.Bear (Ted) xx

A trip to the dentist…

Hello again everyone. Theodore E Bear here (you can call me Ted).

So – what has happened this week?

Well – Jac has been as busy as ever, she has been working on commission pieces, and has sent new designs off to be printed (she says she will share them as soon as they arrive).

In amongst that we went somewhere I haven’t been before – we had to go to the dentist.

When we arrived I was a little bit scared, as there were lots of strange noises – loud noises like a drill!

We waited in a big room with lots of other people, until a nice lady with a clip board called my name – then I had to go into a different room, (Jac came with me, I was too scared to go myself.)

Inside that room there was a man who had a mask over his face – I thought he was a doctor, but Jac explained he was the dentist. That is a special kind of doctor that helps us look after our teeth.

Ted isn't scared of the dentist anymore
Ted thought the Dentist was scary, but he was actually a very nice man.

I had to sit on a big chair – and it moved (I liked that it was fun 🙂 ), then I had to open my mouth so the dentist could see inside – he even made me stick my tongue out – it felt really funny!

After that, he said my teeth were all fine – but said I maybe shouldn’t eat so many sugary cakes 🙁

He explained that if I look after my teeth I shouldn’t have to go back for a long time, so Jac got me a toothbrush and toothpaste, and taught me how to brush my teeth properly. Now I brush my teeth every morning and also before I go to bed – for a whole two minutes.

Ted's First Toothbrush
Ted has learnt the importance of looking after his teeth

Jac says if I keep doing that it will be good as everyone will always see my nice bright smile 🙂

So now it’s another new week – I wonder what adventures Jac and I will have this time? Do check back next week.

PS – if you can’t wait that long – you can follow Jac’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Oh and I have my very own board on Jac’s Pinterest page now too!

PPS – Please remember you can buy picture of me (and all Jac’s characters!) on Etsy too xx

Introducing – Theodore.E.Bear

Hello 🙂

I am Theodore Edward Bear. (Ted.E.Bear or Ted for short). I live in a small town in South West Wales, home to the Little Welsh Studio.

Ted.E.Bear a character created by Jackie Evans, Illustrator
Hi – I’m Ted.E.Bear

I live with Jackie (most people call her Jac). That’s her legs in the picture (I am not a very tall bear).

Jac owns the Little Welsh Studio, and is an illustrator – which means she draws pictures for people. (You might have seen me in some of them). Sometimes she get very busy, and so doesn’t get time to update her blog as often as she would like to.

That’s where I step in. To be honest, as a Teddy Bear, I wasn’t really sure what a blog was – but Jac explained it’s a way of telling stories to people so that they can read it on their phone or computer.

I really like stories, so I offered to help out by writing the occasional tale.

I am not sure exactly what I will write, but I do love adventures. And I have lots of friends here in the studio – like Tarquin the Turtle and Doodle the Mouse, so I am sure I will be able to find something for all of you.

I plan to write my first proper story later this week – so do pop back to see what my friends and I have been up to. (I’ll ask Jac to let you all know when it’s ready, I know she uses things called Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so I am sure you will find me).

So – I’ll sign off for now – look forward to seeing you all.

Lots of Love

Theodore. E . Bear (Ted).