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Lilly Webbling is taking on Inktober 2017…

I have a beautiful, intelligent and talented Daughter named Lilly, everyone who knows her can see that, everyone of course except for Lilly herself. I am not sure exactly when she began to doubt herself or when trying new things became more of a risk for her and less fun. At nine years old it is increasingly difficult as her mum to see her doubt herself to the point where she refuses to try something that she really wants to do.

This became more apparent at the weekend when she asked me to draw a cupcake for her best friends birthday. I could of done it for her, I had the time and the resources but I thought it would be more special to her friend if Lilly drew it herself. After a few huffs and puffs,  she sat at my desk ready to begin and just looked so devastatingly disheartened as she declared ‘I can’t do this, I can’t draw!’ Before she had even touched pencil to paper.

I was at a complete loss, what can you say? How could I possibly reassure her that she can do anything that she puts her mind to and that she only has to try?
I tried to explain to her that just like her figure skating (which she loves and has been studying for two years) she had to practice drawing and that the more you practice the better you will get. That no one is born with the ability to draw, everyone has to learn the basics, even holding a pencil is something you learn. So you think you can’t draw … YET! That if she really wants to learn a skill then she already has what she needs to get started … the desire to learn.

I started by talking her through the basics of how to get a cupcake shape and she looked at a cupcake that I had drawn in my 100 circles challenge. She had a hard time believing that she was doing it right and kept telling me that hers was not good enough. Of course my automatic response is not to be so silly, however I had to stop myself and remember to say that it wasn’t as good. YET! And also remind her that it wasn’t the first cupcake that I had ever drawn either (I do like drawing cupcakes!) so I had a little more practice than she did. 

I really do not want to discount her emotions, I want her to be free to express her emotions and frustrations when she needs to but I really want her to see that she has so much potential if she just decides to put her mind to it.

It took her around 20 mins to draw and colour her cupcake. I think that she did a fantastic job but what made me even happier was that once she had finished drawing her cupcake she decided to draw around the cupcake too, adding words and pictures of balloons which altogether created a beautiful picture and without any guidance from me.

A picture that Lilly was really proud of because she had drawn the whole thing herself. I was really keen not to loose this momentum because I believe that if I can show Lilly that she can draw if she practices then she might just transfer that lesson to other activities. Just because you can’t do something YET doesn’t mean that you never will.
So to continue to try and help Lilly to believe in herself I have introduced her to Inktober, the 31 day drawing challenge that runs throughout October. I will be taking part myself and I believe that for Lilly to draw everyday will show her just how much she can improve by practice. She is very excited about it, she has designed her own sketchbook (she chose to have a kraft paper book) and she has even written out the Inktober 2017 prompts too.

I am so proud of Lilly for trying so hard. She is going to doubt herself along the way I am
sure but she is going to learn too. I am looking forward to seeing what she achieves. It is so hard to see her doubt herself before she tries something and I hope that I can teach her the value of trying, even if she makes mistakes, not trying at all would be the biggest mistake she could make. You can follow her artistic adventure throughout October on Instagram.
Thank you for reading, Love Samantha x

Brown Goes To Forest School

I have only kept two of my bears just for me, Barnaby who is huge and Brown who is the first proper teddy bear that I ever made. So when Harrison and the children in Year 2 invited me along to their Forest School teddy bears picnic, I knew that this adventure had Brown’s name written all over it. 

This is how his afternoon went …  

Hello everyone, 

I have had a brilliant day, I went to school with Samantha and we had a look round Harrison Webblings new classroom, can you even believe that he is in year two now? He gets taller every day! 

I was happy to see that all of the children had bought along cuddlies too, I got to make a lot of new friends, Percy and I have been friends for a while now because he is Harrison Webblings special pig but I had never met Scooby before, he talks a lot about sandwiches! 

We got the best seats in the nature area to watch the children put tents together, I tried to tell Samantha that I was good at building tents and could probably help them out but she was far too busy trying to put massive tent pegs into tiny holes that were never going to fit, so I just left her to it! 


Once the tarpaulins were transformed into tents we got to go and explore inside them, Harrison Webbling climbed in and made himself at home, Percy was delighted. 

I was a little bit worried that they were going to make us spend the the night, this structure did not look like it would withstand much wind and would be next to useless with heavy rain. I may be a bear but I am not a wild animal! I was very relieved when Harrison Webbling and his friends reassured me that we were only playing for the afternoon and would be home warm and dry in time for dinner and bed! 

Harrison Webbling, Year 2 and all of us bears and cuddlies had so much fun playing in the tents, we really built up our appetites! I gently reminded Samantha that the letter had mentioned a picnic, Samantha told me not to be so rude but I think the teachers got the hint from all the bear bellies growling around them because they called us down to base camp for the food …. YES! 


The teachers were busy getting all of the food and drink ready for the picnic and the children sat around the edges of base camp on logs chatting away about the tents that they had managed to put up and the bears and cuddlies were all eyes on the food. Us bears really enjoy a good picnic! 

Year 2 were giggling and laughing, exploring the mini beasts around them, Harrison Webbling and Percy Pig pointed out a beetle and a wood louse to me whilst we were sat waiting, I have never seen them before, they were scurrying around looking ever so busy! 

Samantha kept making me pose for these silly photos, I just wanted to chat with my new friends and to be honest it was a bit warm outside today in my jumper, Samantha does worry that I will get poorly in the cold, she forgets that I am covered in fur! 

Wow, what a spread! We were served jam sandwiches handmade by the year 2 children earlier that day (how did they know strawberry jam is my favourite kind of jam?), we had Pom Bear crisps which are the perfect crisps for a teddy bears picnic! Blackcurrant juice, biscuits and my personal favourite of the day was the cake!

 I love cake, I’ve not tried many cakes that I have not enjoyed in my life! Harrison was brilliant at sharing his food with me and Percy, he didn’t seem to mind at all when I took a huge bear size bite out of the cake. Samantha said I was being greedy and that I should save some for everyone but it was just so yummy I couldn’t help myself

Once we were all happy with what we had eaten we got to have more cuddles in the tents. The tents were starting to grow on me and I had a lot of fun with Harrison Webbling and Percy taking me from tent to tent giving me the grand tour of the campsite in the meadow. I asked Samantha if we could build tents when we get home, Harrison loved the idea. 

The last part of forest school was my favourite (closely followed by the cake!) all of the children sat around in base camp on the lovely big logs and every child said one thing they liked best about their forest school session and all of the children had something lovely to say. I didn’t get to say what my favourite part was because Samantha says that not everyone can hear when a teddy bear speaks, I’m not sure how happy I am about that but if I had been asked I would of said that the best part of forest school for me was seeing all of the children and bears and cuddlies working together to make the tents! None of us could of done it alone but together we managed to make 6 tents, I was amazed! 

I would like to say a massive thank you to all of year 2 for the invitation, teddy bears picnics are my favourite kind of picnics and I have had a brilliant afternoon. I will certainly sleep well tonight.  

Love Brown xxx


Well that is what Brown had to say for himself. It has been a wonderful day and we were made to feel very welcome. I have enjoyed spending time with my favourite little man and my special bear. If you get the chance to join in with your local forest school activities then give it a go, there is nothing quite like it! 

Samantha Webb xxx

100 Circles Challenge 

I love to draw and to paint, especially in watercolour and ink. But life gets hectic and as much as I would like to improve my artistic abilities there just never seems to be enough hours in the day.

In an attempt to get drawing everyday I have decided to start a 100 circle challenge. I have drawn out 100 circles in my sketchbook and I am hoping to fill one each day. One small circle is a much less intimidating challenge than aiming to create a whole new piece each day.

I am currently on day 9 and some days I have only been able to spend a minute or two drawing but I am making sure I fill a circle everyday. You can follow the journey on my Instagram account if you would like to see my drawings, they are by no means masterpieces but they are fun! 
Join in the challenge too if you would like to give yourself a challenge. Happy drawing, Samantha xxx

Kids Crafts – Kaleidoscope 

The summer holidays are in full swing and so far have been quite expensive, so today we had some arty fun with bits and pieces that we already have. We decided to make our very own kaleidoscopes and this is how we did it … 

We grabbed some toilet roll insides, packing tape, washi tape, sprinkles, colouring pens and foam stickers (all of which we had so cost us nothing) and set to work making our kaleidoscopes. 

We used the clear packaging tape to make little pouches for the glitter by overlapping it over itself, two layers for each kaleidoscope. 

We attached the first layer of clear packaging tape to the end of each paper tube and then added a pinch full of sequins and glitter on top right in the middle.

We enclosed the sparkles using the second layer of clear packaging tape. Be careful not to get tape on the glitter, you want it to move around when you turn your kaleidoscope. (That is the part we enjoyed most).

We covered the sides of the tape with a strip of washi tape to make sure all of the edges of the clear tape were secure and just to make it a little bit prettier too. Then the decoration began of the outside of the kaleidoscopes. 


We used foam stickers with self adhesive backing and colouring pens to make the outside all sparkly and exciting. From start to finish the whole activity took around ten minutes and was relatively mess free. Then it was time to play. 

Simple to make, super cheap and all of the children had a lot of fun playing with their new toys, shaking the glitter and twisting it around in the sunshine. My beautiful goddaughters were delighted to take theirs home and my Webblings have proudly put their’s on display this evening ready to play with again tomorrow. 

If you decide to try making one, I hope that you have loads of fun and that your little ones enjoy the activity as much as we did. 

Samantha Webb x

31 lucky for some! 

Today is my 31st birthday and although I wouldn’t usually work on my birthday, today there are two reasons why I am. Firstly, I am sat in a freezing cold ice rink while my Webblings practice figure skating, drinking copious amounts of tea for warmth and sitting next to my wonderful husband who I have to thank for the second reason that I am working … my sparkly new iPad and keyboard which I just could not wait to try out! So here I am sat in the cold, telling you all about why 31st birthday and why I feel so very lucky. 


I was woken up this morning (possibly a little earlier than I had hoped) by two very excited Webblings who could not wait to see me open my gifts; despite the fact that they knew what was in the pretty wrapped pink parcels,and one very excited husband who realised that thanks to my love of pancakes and maple syrup, complete with hash browns from a certain fast food restaurant, he would in fact legitimately have access to a burger for his breakfast! 

As I unwrapped my cards and gifts it was hard not to get emotional, the thought that went into them shows just how much my family really know me, heart and soul. They are fun and functional and just perfect, I really am eternally grateful! 


Birthdays in July don’t guarantee you will have sunshine especially in the beautiful south west of England, but they do guarantee the chance for an adventure. My woodland spryte Elizabeth (Liesl to her friends) got into her party dress and we bundled into our not so convertible, convertible car, headed for Dartmoor. There was no way we were going to let the rain dampen our spirits!  
We drove through the rain, into the sunshine and then into more rain. Driving over the cattle grids is like passing through the gateway to a magical land, where phone signal is nothing but a myth and where ponies wander freely. It was a chance to get away for a while and into the really real world, for the Webblings to feel the grass beneath their toes and the cold of the fresh streams as we got a little more wet than we had originally planned. Visiting Dartmoor feels like seeing the world as it really is, living, breathing and alive, even with the constant showers of rain or perhaps because of them. 

We had a gorgeous picnic, sat by the babbling water and the Webblings jumped from stone to stone in the river whilst Liesl and Bailey Bear, Lilly Webbling’s sidekick, helped themselves to a slice of my birthday cake! How cheeky! 

Of course  we headed home in time for ice skating, skating stops for nothing as small as a birthday. So as I sit in the ice rink, writing this blog post on my new toy I can’t help but feel so lucky, for my family and for how special my day has been. For my husband Jamie, who has captured every part of my day in his own artistic way and for my children who help me to see the adventures in the world. Today has been so wonderful and it will inspire me to continue on my journey as an artist and a writer. 

Samantha Webb x 

 

Modern Calligraphy Workshop

In June my amazing husband bought me a ticket to go to a Beginners Modern Calligraphy Workshop. I have always admired beautiful handwriting and I genuinely LOVE stationary so this gift was perfect. As you can see from my social media posts, online tutorials can only get you so far, sometimes you need a professional teacher!

Hosted by Anon Design and held at The Wedding Hub this workshop was a wonderful experience and one that I want to share with you all.

We were greeted w19885864_10155293593506047_1426895978_oarmly in this beautiful creative space, tables were set with our names and stunning flowers were the centerpieces. Offered a cup of tea and given a lovely introduction into all of the equipment we would be using and amazingly getting to take home too!

Everything was organised so smoothly and flowed so well that everything was perfectly calm, there was no pressure and it genuinely was for absolute beginners, I was in luck!

I panicked a little when we went round the table to introduce ourselves, wow, things like that really make me nervous! But everyone was there to learn and I soon felt at ease after mumbling something about being a children’s author and bear maker. 19850619_10155293593521047_349414311_o

We started with ‘simple’ drills … OK, it is easy to say they are simple now that I have been practicing them for a while BUT when I first put nib to ink I was nothing short of terrified! That being said, I soon found that mistakes will happen and the world wont end, or more importantly, no one is going to tell you off! It was so laid back despite the obvious concentration from all attendees.

There were moments of absolute silence, you could just hear the scratching of the nibs on paper because the workshop was so engaging and it seemed that everyone wanted to give it 100% attention, hopefully I wasn’t sticking my tongue out like I do sometimes when I concerntrate!

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Of course there was a little chatter and a break where we were given more tea and cupcakes. I think I had found a little piece of heaven on earth in Plymouth that day, surrounded by stationary and flowers, drinking tea and eating cake, it doesn’t get much better!

We continued to practice, upper and lower case letters in the black ink. It is really not easy, you have to stop thinking about how you have been taught to write letters all of your life and really focus on the shapes that you want to make. The worksheets that mapped out the letters were an absolute god send for this! 19885950_10155293593596047_10026959_o

Then we were introduced to the coloured inks and the metallic inks, I think I can pin point this moment as the point where my addiction for modern calligraphy actually kicked in! I had gone from trying a bit of brush lettering at home with the Webblings Crayola markers to being allowed to try pastel and metallic inks with an actual calligraphy pen! The biggest shock to me was that I wasn’t completely awful! Two hours later I had completed a little piece that I could not wait to show my family, that I was really proud of and that is now hanging on the wall above my desk at home.

I was absolutely delighted by the entire experience and I have been recommending the workshop, which is currently run once a month(ish), constantly to people who see my practice attempts. In the month that has followed I have not been able to stop playing with my ink and nib. I have joined a collective group of calligraphy enthusiasts and still receive guidance and encouragement from Anon Design. I cannot thank them enough for such a wonderful experience and I look forward to attending another workshop in the future. xxx

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Stoke Climsland Primary School Meet The Cornlings

On Thursday 11th May I was invited to read my first story The Tales Of The Enchanted Cornlings to the children of Stoke Climsland Primary School and the wonderful volunteers that take their time to go and listen to the children read.

I was thrilled to tell them all about the Cornlings and a little about me, it was a wonderful experience and I hope the children had as much fun as I did, I know that we giggled A LOT!

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I was a bundle of nerves before I went in, but organiser Ruth and all of the staff made me feel right at home, the children were an absolute delight and the school should be very proud of such amazing behaviour and beautiful manners. The children asked lots of brilliant questions that really started my cogs turning, questions like ‘Is it harder to write in rhyme?’ or ‘Where do Cornlings Sleep?’.

I took along one of my big softie Cornlings who belongs to my son and is named Reddy. He was a big hit and he loved getting lots of cuddles and being thrown about too! He got a nice reward for helping me out when Harrison Webbling decided to take him ice skating …  Thank you for your help Reddy.sam2

With such a warm welcome and a captive audience, it wasn’t long before I felt more comfortable and I can genuinely say that it was one of the most uplifting experiences of my career as an author and illustrator to date. I really do love my job.

Thank you to everyone involved and a special thank you to Amy Vickery-Sabine for organising the event and to Ruth who saved the day with a few pennies for the Tamar Bridge on my way back in to Devon (although being stranded in Cornwall is no bad thing!). It could not of been any better.

Now I must prepare the Cornlings for their next adventure at Spellbound Goblin and Fairy Festival on Sunday 21st!

Sweet Dream xxx

 

Stiltskin at The Soapbox

Last night we had our first experience of Stiltskin Children’s Theatre at The Soapbox Theatre in Devonport Park, Plymouth. We took the Webblings along to the final night of The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse.

From the outside the theatre doesn’t look like much (YET! they have big plans for the future!) but once you go inside it is like being in another place completely. They have made the space so warm, friendly and welcoming, it is hard not to fall in love with the atmosphere of the show.

As we went in we were welcomed with colouring and reading for the Webblings so they never felt like they were waiting around for the show to begin, there was no fuss about being bored, they particularly loved the igloo full of books. We purchased cups of tea which were good prices and allowed us adults to sit and relax before being called into the theatre area.

When we were called in to take our seats it was magical, a real roaring fire was crackling and the room was lit with beautiful lights. The Webblings loved that they were allowed to sit on cushions on the floor at the front and didn’t have to stick with mum and dad. There was no waiting around, the show began and so did the laughter.

I had expected the Webblings to enjoy the show, I thought that us ‘adults’ would enjoy seeing the Webblings happy but I have to admit, I didn’t watch them watching the show because my husband and I were just as enthralled by the performance as the Webblings were. We laughed so much, participated in dancing, laying the table and clapping along with all the adults who had bought children along. The show was amazing, the props were fantastic (I LOVED THE JELLY!) and having seen a lot of much bigger shows I can genuinely say that this is one of the very best shows that we have ever seen. Just the right amount of audience participation to be fun without being intimidating, amazing use of the space and a brilliant atmosphere throughout the entire show.

During the short interval we even got another cup of tea, how decadent, roaring fire and a cup of tea whilst watching a show, my kind of heaven!

After the performance the Webblings were delighted that they got to go up on the stage and have a closer look, they got to meet the amazingly talented Jacquelin (Town Mouse) and Iain (Country Mouse) who continued to make them giggle and taught them how to be mice too.

I literally cannot find any negative to the whole experience and if you get the chance to visit The Soapbox Theatre I really hope you do because from start to finish it was an experience I believe our Webblings and everyone who has seen the show will cherish.

Thank you Stiltskin for an amazing evening in the town and the country.

Samantha Webb.

 

“I don’t have a favorite bit, it was all so good. I liked Pigeon, she was funny!” Lilly Webbling, Age 9.

“I liked the cat when he chased the mouse, he was trying to eat the mouse’s tail but he couldn’t catch him.” Harry Webbling, Age 5 1/2.

“The show had parents and children laughing all the way through, I enjoyed hearing my children laughing so much.” Mr Webb, Age 28.

 

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Mousicorn Field Guide

I have been creating my little mousicorns for a while now and I have been asked so many questions about them that I decided the only way to give a thorough answer was to study them in their natural habitat The Enchanted Forest. After many months of observations I have compiled a field guide that is now available from Etsy. I hope that it answers your questions but if not, ask away! Knowledge is magical, it can open minds and expand worlds. 

Samantha Webb xxx

Bears Have Been Updated

I love making bears, seeing the flat piece of fabric coming to life and all of a sudden you just have a little character in your hands, stuffed full of love and full of life.

HOWEVER my husband is the photographer, not me and I am ashamed to say that I often get quite lazy and end up just popping a quick phone picture online. I am not suprised that this has slowed down the amount of bear adoptions happening in my online shops.

Today I bit the bullet and photographed my entire range of adoptable bears. It was lovely to have a look at them all as they are stored in beautiful gift boxes most of the time to keep them nice for their adoptive parents.

I am delighted to say that I have sat for the past 6 hours and uploaded them all to Etsy where you can find them all. The feeling of ticking that job off of my to do list is immense! I hope that you like the photographs and that maybe a few more of my little orphansfind forever homes!

I must try to be better in the future. xxx

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