All posts by fran

the gift of toymaking

A brown rectangular basket on a wooden background, filled with toffee coloured mohair pieces, a reel of quilting cotton and two sewn and stuffed legs. Just visible are the white plastic safety joints poking out of the mohair. The pieces will become a OOAK artist mohair bear.

There is some magic in handmade. And that magic seems to only increase when it comes to making a plaything for a beloved little person. Perhaps it is the thought behind it, or the hours of love stitched into every seam, but it is quite simply magic. The magic works both ways, to both the recipient and the giver, as making a handmade gift always feels seems to be a gift for me too.

a place to start…

Four palm sized artist mohair bears are lying in a cross shape.

For as long as I can remember, I have made little bears. As a child then teenager, my bears were made mainly from acrylic fun fur, sometimes wool felt and occasionally calico. Three years ago, as a grown woman and mother, I came back to this craft and find a deep satisfaction from taking my time to carefully craft each little bear cub from quality materials which will ensure the longevity of the pleasure the little bear brings.

I find great joy in every stage of the making process, and especially in seeing how the little bear slowly comes to life through the various stages; from the drafting, cutting out, sewing up, stuffing and finishing. So often the final bear has grown and developed a life & personality of it’s own, far beyond what I could have imagined at the start.

Most of my work is inspired by the breathtaking natural world that surrounds us in our mountain home. Although sometimes I find inspiration no further away than the toys and picture books left scattered around our little home by my boy.

To see more of my work and process you can find me on Instagram: or take a peep in my online shop.