Wednesday, May 21, 2008

and his name is ....

WOLONG BOO BUMPKIN, or for short "WO-LI BOO".....

THANK YOU all so much for taking the time to think of the sweetest names for this lickle baby panda, he wanted to let you know just how hard it was to decide. We had so many suggestions here on my blog and on the Pandas Unlimited forum on Flickr. Wo-Li Boo wanted to use all the names but I had to say that it would just take too long to call him in from playtime in the garden!!

In the end, being the kind hearted panda that he is, he wanted to honour all those pandas and staff at the Wolong Panda Reserve in China. Then his middle name was named after Tai Boo, the sweet panda at the National Zoo in Washington whose 3rd bearday it will be at the Gala Evening in July where this little chap will find his new mummy. There were so many lovely names I think I may have to make some more baby pandas to use some of them if anyone is interested :)

Wolong Panda Reserve was only 18 miles from the epicentre of the earthquake in china just over a week ago. The poor pandas were of course terrified, baby pandas had to be rescued over make shift bridges by the wonderful staff there. All the panda buildings are damaged, the babies were moved to the ticket booth! Sadly 5 members of staff lost their lives in the earthquake. Also 3 pandas were missing, one has just returned.They are in major need of medical and food supplies, if anyone wants to donate then Pandas International are the people to go to, My thoughts go out to all the thousands of people that have lost their lives and their loved ones left behind.

Here are some photos of the rescue at Wolong, thanks to Y.Heng and China News.

I am busy finishing a pretty pink bear as a commission right now and just starting work on a sweet sailor bear, then getting ready for a week's holiday next week. We are going to Provence in France, so I am hoping that the lavendar fields will be out in flower :) Hugs, Catherine xx

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Can you name this little guy?

Well, here he is the little baby bundle of panda joy that I've been bringing to life. He is created to be auctioned at Tai's Bearday Panda Enrichment Fund Gala, July 9th 2008, Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington (available for attendees only).

A while back I was approaced by Elise from the Panda's Unlimited Group on Flickr if I could create a panda to help with their fund raising. Last year they raised more than $12,000 for the Giant Pandas. The National Zoo does amazing work, their scientists’ contribute hugely to saving giant pandas. Their scientists have been working diligently in China since 1996. With the help of funds they assist Chinese colleagues in improving the health and reproductive success of giant pandas in Chinese breeding centers and, of critical importance, working in the field to help save the species in the wild. They visit China 3 to 5 times a year and work alongside the Woolong Panda Centre in China. This centre was right in the heart of the recent earthquake in China, despite the centre being damaged so far all the pandas and staff are safe. Sadly of course there are many in China that have lost their lives and loved ones, my heart goes out to them all. I will bring more news of the pandas at Wolong over the coming days, including some incredible stories of bravery of the staff at the centre to rescue the baby pandas. To learn more about the National Zoo's efforts and to see the panda cam, click here

? is a wee little panda bear cub taking his first steps into the big wide world. He would love his very own name and I am holding a competition here on my blog and at the Pandas Unlimited Group on from now until Tuesday evening(6pm Belgium time). Then together with this little fluff ball we'll decide which name he likes the most. I will then have his naming ceremony here and say who named him.

He is a little unsure and sometimes not too steady on his paws , but it's funny to go rolly polly anyway. He is finding out that it is really rather fun being a panda and he loves to play hide and seek behind the bamboo! He is a cheeky little guy with a heart of gold that loves to be hugged as much as he loves to play.

You can see more photos of him on my website click here

So, what do you reckon? Will you be the one that names him? I can't wait to see all your ideas. Panda Hugs, Catherine xx

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Here's Fuzzy Wuzzy!

Look who appeared out of this wild mohair, it doesn't take much imagination why I called him Fuzzy-Wuzzy!! He is the kind of bear that would much prefer to be out climbing trees and hunting for honey and berries rather than having his photo taken! Everytime I took a photo he kept asking "pleeeease can I go outside to play with my friends"! It didn't take very long for me to fall for his pleading eyes and oh so sweetly polite question!

You see he has made friends with the wild bunnies in my garden and he spends hours hopping along with them. He whispered to me (so that the other bears did not tease him) that he would rather like to be a bunny, but he soon changed his mind when I said bunnies liked carrots and not honey!! He is a really fun bear that will bring a lifetime of delight to your home and heart. You can see lots more photos of him and all his adoption information on my website - Click here to take a look. (UPDATE - FUZZY WUZZY HAS BEEN ADOPTED TO A LOVELY LADY IN THE STATES.)

We had thunder storms and rain last night, I can almost hear the plants in my garden sighing with relief after the heat wave we've been having! I took some photos of the bunny family yesterday, I'll post them soon. In the meantime back to working on a little panda. Hugs, Catherine x

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Special Guest!

Look who came to visit my garden!! This precious little wild baby bunny decided to make an appearance in my garden when I was at the kitchen sink doing the washing up! As you can imagine this was a great distraction and taking photographs was far more interesting than washing dirty dishes ;) So I got my zoom lens and took these shots through the window standing on my tippy toes! I often see the adult bunnies running around in the field behind my garden but this is the first time I was graced with a garden appearance!

Whilst waiting for fabric orders to arrive for my commissions I couldn't resist starting on a new bear from my new mohair stash. After sketching some wild grizzly bears lately I felt inspired to try my own Bumpkin twist of a wild bear. So I'm using this incredible long pile sunkissed blonde mohair - this one's going to be kind of crazy and cute all rolled into one!

It's a public holiday again on Monday here so a nice long weekend again :) The sun is blazing here in Belgium, being the highest temperatures across Europe, yesterday we were even 10c warmer than Spain and Portugal! Just like Summer already!

Enjoy your weekends, Hugs, Catherine x

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

more flowers

I'm all excited that a mohair order has arrived, with gorgeous pretty spring colours, inspired by my garden. I have to tell my hands to stay away from it until I have worked on some commissions :) I have started on my new charity panda today and have been able to sew outside with the Spring sunshine. I also did some overdue gardening this morning and before I knew it I was digging out plants and transplanting other ones! I'm trying to germinate some seeds of pretty pink poppies at the moment. I love growing from seeds and cuttings, I get such a buzz when I see them growing.

Right, back to sewing, but as promised here are some more photos from my garden. I also had a special visitor to my garden yesterday evening, photos to follow soon :) Hugs, Catherine x
**(I had an email from a lovely lady from Helsinki, Finland asking to join my mailing list last week but my emails to her can not get through, if you are reading this could you send me an email again, maybe with another email address?)**

Saturday, May 3, 2008

All sorts of everything..

I've been so busy this week. Thanks for all your nice comments about Bramwell, he will be going to meet his new mum in France very soon. I've also just finished a commission of two miniature ponies and their teds for a lovely lady that has her own gorgeous black and white horses which I used as inspiration for these minis! Very tricky creating the pattern for the ponies with all the different black and white pieces but I am happy to say that my customer is really pleased with them so that makes it all worth while :)

It was a public holiday on Thursday and Friday which has been filled with seeing friends, yesterday we went to an international tournament for Ultimate Frisbee in Brugge, there were teams from as far as America and Ireland. I never even knew that these kind of tournaments existed, it was great fun to see and a fantastic atmosphere. There were in total more than 50 teams playing and such good sportsmanship that there is no referee! A friend of ours plays for the Belgian national team.

As promised here are also a few photos from my garden. I've taken lots lately so I'll add more during the week. I was also very sweetly nominated for two blog awards from Tracy of Pink Purl, The Arte Y Pico Award, given for creativity, design, interesting material and good contribution to the blogging community. As if this wasn't enough she also gave me the You Make My Day Award! THANKS so much Tracy, this is a real honour and the first Blog awards I've had :)

Next week will be filled with starting a very special panda for a charity auction, more news on this very soon, as well as starting on some new commissions. So watch this space!

Thanks for stopping by, Hugs, Catherine x