The Three O'clock News

Deliveries to the European Union 

Since the U.K. left the EU in January 2021 any parcel sent to EU member countries will attract VAT and possibly import duty. Please be aware of this before you click ‘Buy it Now’ 
Please check out your own countries rules on imports from the U.K.  
At present the USA is not charging the recipient tax on U.K. imports up to your personal allowance which I believe to be up to $2000. 
But other countries residents should check before they buy. 
Nothing has changed for countries other than those in the EU but nevertheless please check before you buy because I cannot commit fraud to avoid taxes. 
Please note that these charges are imposed upon me as well and I cannot circumvent them in any way. 
I am very sorry that this has happened and I hope that in the future things will change but at the moment we don’t have a choice. 

Mailing List headache

One of the things you discover when you run an online business is that there are always gremlins whose job it is to chuck a spanner in the works as often as possible. Just lately I have been the target of one or two trolls who seem intent on being hurtful for some reason known only to them. That's part of being online and it goes with the territory. It's funny because it's pretty obvious who is doing it but I just let them get on with it. 
The upshot is that they have tried to get my mailing list stopped by reporting my emails as spam multiple times. I don't send many emails out really in the scheme of things, and never to anyone who hasn't signed up all by themselves. So I am carefully monitoring the situation and may consider changing my mail provider but its hard as the problem is not my emails its that someone has too much time on their hands and no amount of my changing will solve that. 
This is just a reminder that if you are on my mailing list and you don't want to be you can unsubscribe easily, also if you do want my emails and you aren't getting them you need to make sure my emails from me aren't read as spam by your spam filter. 

If you aren't on my mailing list and you would like to be please don't hesitate to click the link on my webpage or Facebook page.
I promise I won't bombard you with emails day and night!

Well I just sent off my  entries to this brand new competition. The Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards 2012.
It's so hard to pick bears for the entries but I pretty much stuck with my original choices that had jumped out at me throughout the year. I dont tend to make special bears for comps because I think that my best work occurs when I am feeling inspired rather than  under pressure to 'create'.
So who knows..the people who adopted the entries might end up with an award winner in their hug.

It's really exciting to have a great home grown awards such as this new UK competition as the big International ones have pretty much been overseas ones.

I am sure that competition will be very stiff and that getting picked for the first stage will be enough of an accolade for the nominees! I am not expecting anything though...I hope I do ok...but I think that the standard will be very high!

What a shame

Outside the rain is pouring, over at the pretty church, just across the road from where I live the boy scouts are trying, despite the rain to put on a brave face and do their bit for the Jubilee. My grandchildren are going to the party at the church hall and still the sun won't shine. I am not a fervent royalist but I do think Queen Elizabeth II has been exemplary in her hard work for our country which is more than can be said for some of her subjects.
So in spite of the drizzle you can't dampen the enthusiasm today... three cheers for her majesty...hip, hip...

Why Don't Vodafone just do what they say on the tin?

I have been a loyal customer of Vodafone...even encouraged my son to sign up..but next time I have to renew my contact I will be looking elsewhere. That's not so long away...March I think.

I have asked and asked on every phone call over about 3 years or so for them to take my sons account off mine. When he joined I got an incentive this meant that he had to link up with my account..which after a few months was supposed to become separate. I have complained, I have phoned..I have shouted...been nice, understanding. ..but what does it take for them to finally take my sons phone account off mine.

I just don't think they listen. If I wanted to up my contract...spend more money they'd be all ears...but I just don't think they are in the least bit bothered that this is confusing to me. I don't know what I have to do to sort this out.
There is one way...and that is to find a new contract with another company....and encourage my son to do the same. My husband was going to change to them but after all this carry on he has decided not to. I don't see any benefit in being with Vodafone now....any ideas...?

A Big headache
I have been in turmoil over my mailing list lately...I have lots of people on it and I only make 2-3 bears a week..or bunnies, even so I do keep getting asked for bears and bunnies...and often when the same person misses out on a bunny or a bear I feel upset for them. In the interests of making people happy I have tried when I can to do a first option system, which up till recently has worked fine for me. I always show the items that are for general sale on my website and if I say to a customer that they can have first option on a bear then I dont post a picture till the customer in question has seen it. Lately though I have had problems with this system as I feel that sometimes the customer won't like that bear and then I have to keep offering a bear till they do like one....or I get asked about why a specific bear wasn't up for general adoption if I post a picture after the first option sale has been completed . So I have decided that in the interests of my sanity I am not going to offer first options any more. In future ALL bears will be sold on a strictly first come first served basis. I just feel that it is better and FAIRER for everyone. I love to make people happy but all this is making me UNhappy!

I pinched this from a FACEBOOK is old but a good laugh..

Excerpts from a Dogs Diary
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing

Excerpts from a Cats Diary
Day 983 of My Captivity
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now

Not JUST an matter of opinion
I decided after much ruminating to delete my Pinterest account. I have been following a thread on a forum where I am a member and I realised how vulnerable I am as a artist, to theft of my intellectual property. Those things which perhaps have no monetary value but are created by me and reflect my creativity. My photographs , my ideas ,the things which I have developed to represent my work. These things don't happen by accident. I do try to affect these aspects as I steer a course through my creative journey . I do think about them and research the nuances of my work.
So at first I thought nothing of it. I was pleasantly surprised that people pinned my photos.
That quickly turned to concern as I realised that I was merrily pinning away too and building a mood board of ideas. Then to note that these pictures belong to whoever conceived them.
So how can I square that when I don't want pictures of my work appearing willy nilly.
So my conscience won't let me escape having double standards of integrity one minute and not the next.
I have discovered to my cost and amazement that the art and craft industry is ridden with those who don't see intellectual property as any big deal and are happy to help themselves to ideas and identities that have been initiated by the inspiration and foresight of others simply for their own ends. To cut out any effort on their part then claim ownership. That does not sit well with me. So I have deleted Pinterest and would politely ask that any photos that are copied from me are credited to me and if they are for sales that you just ask first. I really don't mind but I just need to say that though my photo's are out there they aren't public property.
This is not just my opinion on this, amazingly enough it is the law of copyright.

I Need to Get Out More
Since I gave up the salon last May I have been full time as a bear maker. I don't mind being on my own but I find the times when I struggle to be objective and weigh things up rationally very hard indeed.
When I used to have issues before it was never a problem. I could chew someone's ear off at work or even my clients would get the low-down on the bear world.
Now I find it difficult to find a pair of ears that want to listen and take me seriously. My husband does but he doesn't get it really...he always sides with me whether I am right or wrong which is very galant of him but sometimes I am looking for objectivity and the other argument which he doesn't do. He just buys my side and woe betide anyone who doesn't which, while lovely and loyal..doesn't help in a dilemma.
There are many times when I could use a person to fire off at, my sister is great but she never sees why I worry about things.
So this weekend I have had dilemmas of , not humongous proportions but an irritant. Just little things which have niggled me. Stuff which ordinarily is not enough to ruffle my feathers but this week it has got to me and I have felt a mix of emotions which make me feel frustrated more than anything.
In a nutshell because we work alone when things happen its hard to sound off like I would at work...say it and be done with...things build and get out of proportion, and because networking is hard there is no-one with whom to chew the fat in order to put it to rights.
It's the one bit of bear making I find frustrating...the isolation can be very negative indeed.
Don't get me wrong..I love making my bears and would never give it up but the solitude can be difficult a times.