Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Teddybuys Retirement Home

I am up to my ears making bears for the Bears on Parade online show, but thought I would pause to consider and appreciate the charm and charisma of some of the older bears in my hug.

 Molly is a 1930s Merrythought and is a fabulous cuddle.  I love her large soulful eyes and her beautiful blonde mohair.  Patrick (on the right) has had his paw pads replaced at some time in the past.  I'm not sure if his eyes are original.  He was sold to me as a Chad Valley, but a knowledgable friend thinks he has some characteristics similar to Chiltern bears ... who knows.  I just know he is a lovable chap.

I know little of the past of these three bears.  The darker fellow at the back of the photograph had blue mohair at one time.  I call him Blue (not very original).  The colour can still be seen around his arm and leg joints.  He is very elderly and stuffed with woodwool.

The little fellow on his lap, Sunny,  is a beautiful yellow mohair, again stuffed with woodwool.  I have no idea where he was originally made, but from his proportions I would say he was made no later that the 1930s.  He is a handsome bear with classic good looks.

The bear to his right, Edward,  looks English and has all the charm of 1930s English bears.  He is also a lovely cuddle.

As a teddybear maker in a small way, myself, I find it really interesting to look at the construction of  classic, manufactured bears.  It surprises me how often the pile of the mohair lies in the wrong direction.  Frequently, the mohair can be seen to run horizontally or upwards across the tummy or back instead of downwards.  The mohair on the legs of my lovely Flossie (shown in an earlier post), runs in opposite directions, one upwards and one downwards?  It seems strange to me that more care wasn't taken with, what has always been a very expensive material.  Does this lack of care devalue the bear?  I think it probably adds to his charm, but I don't think I will follow their example.

Monday, 13 June 2011

A Lovely Weekend in Stratford

Mike and I had a great weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon.  The weather was lovely on Saturday.  We went on a river trip, watched fire-eaters in the park, visited Shakespeare's birthplace and did a two hour guided walking tour of the town.  The heavens opened in the evening and we awoke Sunday morning to strong, cold winds and torrential rain.

We arrived at the Artist Bear Event in good time and were made very welcome by Sam.  The Event was very well supported by collectors, (particularly in the morning), anxious to add to their collections.  The Civic Hall looked a picture and there were plenty of gorgeous bears of every size and description.  There was a lovely, friendly atmosphere and we had a super day, with a number of Teddybuys bears going off to new homes.  I treated myself to a lovely, handmade wooden rocking chair for the bears, some lovely golden Schulte alpaca and a few growlers.  We arrived back home at about 9 pm, tired but happy!

Well, no peace for the wicked.  I now need to make some more bears for the Bears on Parade online show in July!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Stratford Artist Bear Event This Weekend

I've just realised that I've had a blog for a year!  Once Stratford is behind me, I will have to think of marking this milestone in some way! 

I'm really looking forward to this weekend.  Mike and I are going to do some sightseeing in and around Stratford-Upon-Avon on Saturday.  No doubt we will do the usual tourist-type things.  I just hope it doesn't rain all day.  We have booked a nice hotel and Mike's Mum is dog-sitting for us.  On Sunday, we are off to the Stratford Artist Bear Event.  The bears are already packed up and ready to go.  I have been poorly for the last 24 hours, but hope I will be fit for the weekend.

Hazel and Henry will be coming with me.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Taking a Break

I've really enjoyed half-term week.  It has given me the opportunity to try making bears that are totally different to my normal bears.  I have had a lot of fun with them.

I bought some mohair from South Africa a while back.  I decided to dye it in pastel colours, then couldn't decide what to do with it.  I thought I would try some happy looking bears as follows:

Happiness is...

I have always loved old, traditional style bears but not had the nerve to age a bear I've made. I was determined to have a go,so...I have plucked and sanded the mohair on bear below.