Friday, 29 July 2011

New Vintage Bears website now online

At last I have my much wanted Web site.  I have set it up just for the vintage items.
Bears and dogs mainly, plus the odd doll and other bear related item.

Here are a few of the items for sale.



Salt and pepper pots

Eli in his new glasses modelling a cardi
 There are many more items on the website.  Take a look, I try to keep the prices reasonable.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Sunday shop update

Thought I would do a little update on the progress of my little shop at Alby Crafts.
I have not been able to go myself for 4 weeks because of Sciatica.  I do miss it as I really enjoy being there and meeting the locals and tourists that visit.
During my absence my Sister has been going with either my Husband or Brother to man the shop.
My Brother seems ok with it, my Husband gets bored very quickly, but my Sister loves it and wants to come with me when I start back (hopefully next Sunday).  She knits most of the clothes for my bears and has made a few dolls clothes to sell at the shop too.
The sales are not as high as I would have hoped but we are ticking over.  I have had to think of bear related items as well as the collectors bears to encourage sales from non-bear collectors.  Holidaymakers just want to buy a little keepsake sometimes and the keyrings and fridge magnets seem to be doing quite well in this respect.


Fridge magnets

I have had some success in the photographs too, both canvas based and framed.  I love taking the photographs so I am pleased at this.

The vintage bears are a good talking point in the shop, and I have sold one small dog, but these seem to have more interest on Etsy.

As for the vintage toys - I am currently trying to source more old dogs as they seem to be quite popular.  At the moment I have a very good condition  mohair Pekingese waiting for his makeover and a mohair Westie type with no nose yet to arrive.


 I have Eli, an eyeless old bear to sort out and a Chiltern Bruin to put back together.  I removed his music box/head movement and my Husband tried to mend it as it was seized up. Unfortunately, although the music box did work, there were teeth broken out of one of the cogs and it stopped at that point unless you gave it a little push.  This means that once it is back in the bear it will not keep going.  That was very disappointing as we got quite excited when it started to work thinking that it was mended. 
He is still a lovely bear so he will go on Etsy at a reduced price to take into account that he has a broken music box.
I also have my Sister's old pot headed black doll.  I can remember playing with him as a child along with an old Merrythought Bingie Bear  (she still has him) and a faded blue Scottie dog with no ears.  She was bought the doll from a local Garden Fete over 60 years ago.  Apparently her friend had one too.  He has a pot head and a homemade simple thick cloth body (probably made from an old coat or trousers).  She has asked me to sell him for her but currently I have no idea of his worth.  His head is quite scratched and marked so he will not be a high price.  I cannot find anything like him on the net. 

I think I will have to make a couple of mohair bears this week, it seems ages since I have made a new one.
Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy making it.


Friday, 15 July 2011

Nearly contacted Dogslost

I took the tatty old mohair dog out of the freezer and started work on him this morning.
His squeaker was beyond repair, it had just about disintegrated and the wire was sticking through his side so I removed it.  His nose and mouth, although with a few stitches missing, were fine to be left as they were.  He had a few torn seams and small rips that I repaired and then gave him the customary mohair bath and brush up at the Pud Bears grooming parlour.
He then got a shiny new pair of glass eyes as he didn't have any at all, and a bright red ribbon around his neck.
Here are his before and after photos, I was very pleased with how he turned out.

Poor old thing - call the RSPCA!

I identified him as an Alpha Farnell dog

He made friends with Smiler, my funny old smiling bear
 Why the title for this post?  I photographed him and set about putting him in my Etsy shop.  Satisfied with how his entry looked I pressed 'publish' (or whatever the Etsy equivalent is).
He sat proudly at the top of my listings above an old bear that I put on yesterday.

I thought I would see how my shop looked now and went in to see  - no dog!  Where is he, looked in 'inactive listings' not there, looked in 'draft listings' not there.  I thought maybe I had pressed the wrong button and deleted him so went to look at the activity bit. 

Lo and behold, there was Jock, large as life.

Why?  He'd been sold in those couple of minutes between me listing him and looking at my shop.  Plus another vintage bear.  I'm so pleased that the old bears and dogs are selling as I love mending and cleaning them.

Guiness (the bear), and Jock are going to Japan once the Paypal funds are cleared.


I found some wonderful stained glass whilst looking for some butterflies. 
First, here are photos of a pretty little Sun house in the grounds of a Portugese Palace that we visited whilst on holiday last year.

Looking out over the countryside

There were stained glass windows

The painting on the walls and
mosaics were stunning

View towards the Palace


Now for some Folksy finds 
Pretty suncatchers - I like the bird with his dangly legs!

Not cheap, but WOW!

I love these little friendship fairies
Buy one for a friend and they will
think of you everytime they look at it.
And last, but not least, this beautiful stained glass mirror.

There is so much to find on Folksy.  I am always amazed by the variety of the talent in the shops.  This is just a small selection of what is on offer.

Polly  xx

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Knitting, Sewing, Mending and Making

These are the projects for this week in between making new bears.
So far I have finished knitting a bear, given Bobby Bear a makeover, and made  set of clothes for Tiffany.
Here is the knitted bear's head (minus ears).  He is all knitted ready to put together.  That's a job for today.

I have been thinking of dressing Tiffany for a while now.  She has very pretty mint green mohair, but looked a bit plain and bare so I decided to try and knit her an outfit.  Here are the results - Tiffany in her lacy sun dress and matching hat. (different lighting in the pictures, the undressed one is more her correct colour)

The other finished project so far is Bobby Bear, a lovely 13" Chiltern Bear (I think, no labels).  He came to me a very grubby boy, thin, and with odd eyes.  One eye was his original glass amber but very damaged and the other was a larger makeshift plastic one just pushed into his eye socket.
He has had a clean up, a few stitches here and there and new matching amber glass eyes as I couldn't find a match for the damaged one. 
I also found when I was rearranging his tummy stuffing that he had a semi-working growler.  Not brilliant but it will make a noise sometimes if you 'burp' him (pat him on the back, then tip him over) and if he is shaken gently. 
There is not a lot that can be done for an old growler as they are made of cardboard usually and quite delicate.  This one had been pushed in by an over enthusiastic child pressing on his tummy to try to get it to work. 
I pulled it out as best I could and tried to glue it in place.  At least he makes a bit of noise now, he didn't make any before.
I managed to make him look plump again by loosening up his woodwool so didn't have to 'feed' him any new stuffing.  I prefer to keep the old bears original wherever possible.  Usually the stuffing has got compacted and just needs moving around a bit into the gaps.
Grubby and thin
Standing tall snd proud
Here are his before and after photos.  I think he is a charming litttle bear, but I love all of this style of 1950's bears.

Here is my next project - Jock the mohair dog.  Goodness knows what I am going to do with him, but I will give it a go.  My husband found him at a boot sale and brought him home for me to restore.  I am currently looking around the internet to try and find one similar so that I can see how he should look.

Well, that is me up to date, back to the mending and making now.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Small bears - better late than never

Sorry, I got waylaid and haven't shown you my new small bear's design, as I promised a couple of postings ago.
It went quite well, the first one is in a gold sparse mohair.  This is Jimmy (wee Jimmy).  I was fairly pleased with him for a first attempt.  The black nose cotton was 5 strands thick and I found that splitting it into 2 strands was about right for the tiny nose and mouth.  I think that the 3 strand pieces that are left will look better on the 5" bears than the full thickness so I will use it for their noses from now on.

He turned out a 4" bear.  Here he is shown against a 5" bear.

I made a bit of a mistake when putting his label in - got it in upside down!  I blame the painkillers that I'm taking for the Sciatica.

The joints I had were not as small as I thought and were a bit of a squeeze in the arms and legs so I set about widening them (the limbs) so that they fitted better.  I also thought the ears and the feet were a bit too small so increased the size of them too.

Meet Pinkie

Here is the next creation, a completely different look in 2 shades of longer pile pink mohair.  She measured 4.5" but I think the extra half inch is because her mohair is so much longer than Jimmy's.

She sits nicely in my hand

I'm still not sure that the feet are quite large enough, but it is difficult to tell with such a hairy bear.
I found that it was easier to show their actual size by taking the photographs in my hand.
Here is Pinkie sitting with Susie, a 12" bear to show the scale a bit more.

The bears are all available from my Folksy and Etsy online shops (see links to the right of this page) or my Sunday shop at Alby Crafts, Erpingham a few miles from Cromer on the Norwich to Cromer Road - A140.  Post code for those of you with Satnavs is NR11 7QE.  The shop is open 10am to 5pm Sundays only.

You can order any of my bears by e-mail too.  I take cheques (these will take a week to clear before the bear will be sent out), postal orders or paypal.  Please e-mail for details.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Needlefelting talent

When I looked at my Etsy page this morning someone had favourited this shop.  The kitten captivated me so I took a look.  I was amazed at the talent this lady from Finland has got. ( Her needlefelting is brilliant. 
The pieces are not cheap at around £100 each, but take a look at the size they are, shown in the 3rd photo.
This is the first one I saw - so beautiful

Then, as I went through the shop I was amazed

This gives you an idea of the scale.
The cat is real by the way, but not the dog

I then took a look to find more needlefelting on Folksy, got to show British talent too.  They didn't have any  dogs and cats, but I found many more lovely items from talented people.  The first three items are from

Aren't these cute? 

One of the many coloured flowers

                                                   They come as gift sets too
These colourful woollen bead necklaces are from

Such wonderful colours

Finally this beautiful felted picture from

                                             Such clever work.  I never thought of making
                                  a picture out of felting

Look what the postman delivered

I had a wonderful parcel delivered a couple of days ago.  It contained 4 - yes 4! vintage bears that I had won in an auction. 
They are better than I had imagined they would be, each has it's own little character.
I had thought that one was a Chiltern Bruin, but even better it is a Chiltern Bruin with a music box. :)  I'm not sure if it works yet as they are all in the freezer making sure they haven't any nasty carpet beetles or such.
Here he is, isn't he lovely?

The next one is a Chiltern bear, he is quite malnourished and will need a feed of woodwool or sub to fill his tummy out.  He still has most of his claw stitching, but his pads are quite worn and he is a grubby boy.
Here we have the prettiest, and the largest bear of the group.  I have called her Daisy - my late Nan's name.  I'm not too sure of her make.  I've found an Invicta that looks very similar to her, and a Chiltern, so I'm not claiming either.  She, too needs a clean up, but she has a working squeaker (well it worked once).

Last, but not least is this little blind bear.  He has been named Eli.   Anyone a 'Last of the Summer Wine' fan? (for overseas visitors it is a UK comedy series).  Judging by the shape of his legs, he too is a Chiltern bear, although I am thinking that his ears are more like the large ones of a Chad Valley.   I am looking forward to giving him some shiny new eyes, amber I should think is appropriate for him.

Oh, and I wouldn't want Guiness to be left out.  He arrived today and has already had a brush and clean up and is for sale in my Etsy shop.  He looks to me like a Schuco bear, but I can find no reference to one of his colouring or size.  He is 10.5" and has the typical Schuco facing downwards paws.  He is a lovely solid little bear and has been very well made many years ago.
If anyone has any views on the makes of these bears I am always open to opinions.