Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Such an exciting parcel

My huge parcel of German bears and animals has arrived.  I will be so busy once they have spent their time in the freezer (the bread had to move over to make room).
There are no photos as yet as I needed to get them straight into cold store to eliminate any possibility of carpet beetles etc.  I have too many dogs and bears here to risk it.

There are - 3 cats, 11 bears, 4 dogs and a Marmot (not a Gopher as I first thought).
One of the 3 big bears (23") is beautiful, a pretty pale coloured mohair with a growler as a bonus.  He looks to be a Hermann-Coburg bear.
The other two are grubbier, one has a non-working growler (I will investigate) and the other is rod jointed with very loose legs.  I've never seen rod jointing before so not sure how to tighten them as yet.  One of these two is definately not mohair, but has age and I'm hoping he will brush up well.

The 3 mohair cats are cute, especially the smallest, who I have identified as a Teddy Hermann made in 1954.
There are a couple of Spaniel dogs, a black poodle, 3 Zottys (2 laying, 1 standing), a few other dogs and last, but not least, the Marmot.

I am really looking forward to getting started on these animals.

In the meantime I have listed a Siamese cat this morning and the only 'patients' I  have left is this very sick Pekingese, and Percy, a sweet little bear with only one arm.  I have tried to find out what make Percy is but have come up with a blank so far.

Such a grumpy face, I hope someone will love him


Poor little Percy One Arm
 The Peke was called Gary because he is very bald (Garibaldi biscuits?).  I think I may need to knit him a coat.
Percy needs a false arm.  I have decided not to try and match his fur, but just give him an obvious false arm.  He may then have a jacket to cover it a bit.  I'll just play it by ear with him.  He is so cute, I don't mind if he doesn't sell, I'll just keep him.
Just one more to arrive now, a gold mohair 1940's-1950's, my favourite sort.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Polly's home for old dogs

I think that is what I may soon need to call my bungalow!
I seem to have amassed quite a few vintage mohair dogs of various breeds.

Fred - just Fred SOLD

Patch, a proud little boy SOLD
Pip, a dog with an attitude problem SOLD

Sammy - he is gorgeous, but so difficult to photo
Scrap - tiny terrier
Waggy , a Chiltern with a tail that wags SOLD

All of the above are available at my Etsy shop

These two boys have already found a home, one in Australia and one in USA.
Roddy - SOLD

Scrappy - SOLD
I have 10 more dogs of various breeds coming up soon, plus two very nervous cats (and a gopher??).
More bears are on the way too, all the way from Germany.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

My first craft fair for a year

I was quite pleased with the craft fair yesterday.  I couldn't stay there too long because of my back, but I popped in to see my sister who was manning the stall for us both.
Hank (SOLD)
I sold one of my mohair bears and some fridge magnets, plus a few other bits and pieces. My sister did well with her dressed dolls and dolls clothes.
Our next one is this weekend, a 3 day event at the Great Yarmouth Marina.  There should be a bear collector coming back for 2 bears (fingers crossed!).  I will try to get over to help as much as I can, but unfortunately this back problem is not going away. 
I am having an x-ray today, waiting for an appointment with a back specialist and physiotherapy.  I want to see if the speciaslist will send me for a scan on my spine to see what is going on with it.
The big white dog that I told you about previously has been sold.  He is winging his way to USA as I speak.

Scrappy (SOLD)
I have had a very successful week with the buying of old bears and dogs. 
Look out for - a Chiltern Koala with bells in his ears, 3 little mohair
terriers, a black Spaniel, 8 German bears, one English bear and various mohair animals.

Such a cutie, but who is he?
 I also have a one armed little bear that is so cute.  I think he could be German, possibly Bing, (his feet pads go to a point) but I'm really not sure.  Has anyone by any chance seen one like this?  He has 4 stitched claws on each paw, his feet are flat and card lined.  He is fully woodwool filled and his final stitching is down his tummy.  He was sold as mohair, but I think he may be silk plush, if not it's a very silky mohair!  He is wearing his original green leather collar.
As for his restoration, I will give him a new arm, but I'm not going to try to match it exactly, it will be a 'false arm'.  His ears need sewing back on properly. They have wire in them to keep them standing - not seen that in a bear before, only in dogs.  He will have a little clean although he is not too grubby anywhere, just his ankles.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Here is the Airedale Terrier that I was working on at the end of my last post.

The before photo
 (the shot isn't at an angle, he was leaning like this)

Much happier, amd he doesn't
look like he's going downhill now!
He didn't need a lot doing, just new eyes and a bit of stuffing to cure his lean.
He can be found on my Etsy site
There have been quite a few views and some enquiries so I am not expecting him to be around long.

Here are the two new bears I have to clean up that I mentioned in my last post.  I have named the pretty pink  one Rose and the other one Mammy (that bundle is actually a baby bear!)

Rose is a bit faded and grubby, but Mammy is really dirty.  It will take quite a lot of rubbing and brushing to get her clean.  She has a music box that plays a lullaby, but I haven't looked close enough yet to see if she should actually rock the baby.  She has a Chiltern label, but I haven't been able to find a reference to her yet.
I love both of these bears' faces, so gentle.
I am off work yet again, only been back 2 weeks and the sciatica and arthritis pain is back again.  To be honest I really don't know how much longer I can do the job as I am on my feet all day. 
Why did they have to move the goalposts for womens' retirement?  I am 60 in 5 weeks so I would have been able to have retired.  Now I need to be 61 and half to get my state pension.  I have never claimed unemployment benefits etc and have always worked, apart from when my children were little.  Now it feels as if I will be forced into the benefits system as I can't go out to work. 
I am selling a few bears and dogs, but not enough to replace my (small) wages from the store.
Off to give Rose her 'grooming' now, look out for her on Etsy shortly.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Good News, Bad News

The bad news is that I have had to give up the Sunday shop.   I usually work my day job Friday and Saturday and after two days on my feet walking the shop floor all day I cannot move so well on a Sunday.  This week my back problems kicked in and I decided to call it a day.  To be honest the shop had not picked up as well as I had hoped, with my main sales coming from the knitted bears rather than the mohair ones.

New design with bigger feet

One of the hairy big bears

A little mohair/wool blend bear
 The knitted bears are available in my Folksy shop
Prices start from £6.95.

The good news is that I am selling my restored bears.  That means I can buy more of the poor old characters to mend.  It really is a very rewarding pastime, especially when they come with no eyes, very grubby and with arms and ears hanging off.
This is something I have always wanted to do, but never had the confidence until now.
I have more dogs than bears ready at the moment, but keep watching my Etsy shop as I have two lovely unusual bears coming up.  One is a Chiltern Mummy and Baby bear with a music box, and the other a really pretty pink bear that I believe to be a Merrythought.

The latest mohair dog I have listed is this Chiltern waggy tail one.  He has the remains of his label which dates him to the 1950's and when you press down on his back his tail wags.  He was in quite good condition, just needed a bit of extra stuffing in his front end so that he could stand better and I gave him a good clean.


Falling down
My favourite sale from this week has to be a little Austrian bear that I named Anna.
I didn't know what make she was until I found a piece of orange label in her side seam as I was cleaning her.
I looked on the net and discovered that she was from the Austrian maker Siegried Saf.  Her little triangular nose and mouth shape fitted too.  They made a lot of open mouth bears, although Anna's was closed.  She still had a working squeaker too.  Here she is before her journey to her new home in Japan.

Anna, a Saf bear

That is all for now, I have a Chiltern blind mohair Airedale Terrier who leans to one side to sort out :) .

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Scrappy the Westie

I was in the mood for having a go at the poorly big white dog today. 
I stitched a patch on his face as he had some holes and the backing of his fabric was very delicate.
I found some mohair pieces that were a good match in length and type, but a gold colour, not white (off) as his mohair is.

Alert, and ready for anything!
I stitched him a new nose and gave him some vintage amber glass eyes.  Then I stitched his ears back on minus the metal wire that was rusting inside them.

No eyes, no nose, this is what they call
a 'hangdog expression'
He had his head put back on and then a final clean and brush before getting his red collar back.
I am really pleased with how he has turned out as I thought I may have to throw him away (that's just me not having confidence in my own ability!).
I called him Scrappy after a dog that my sister used to have.  Here are his before and after photos.

Poor boy, he's been neglected

Alert and perky in the sunshine

I really laughed when I saw this photo - such attitude!
Sidney and Harry thought they had competition.

He is for sale on my website

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Recent activity in the Pud Bears household

It seems ages since I blogged.  I have so much going on at the moment.
The restored bears are doing well and I am constantly on the look out for more old characters to give a makeover to.  It is such a satisfying process.
The large white dog is proving to be a challenge.  I think he may have been in a fire as I have been trying everything to get rid of the lingering smoky smell.
As a last resort he has had a surface wash.  He has improved, but I may even have to remove all of the woodwool and replace it.  This he may not survive as he is a bit delicate in places.

Look away if you are squeamish!

Mickey is a happy soul even with pegs in his ears.
 He sat in the sunshine to dry with Mickey Mouse watching over him from his advantage point on the washing

My Husband did well finding 2 mohair dogs for me and now is keen to find more.  Unfortunately he does not always get it right.  The camel is not mohair, and I've no idea if he is very old, but he makes me laugh so I just may keep him for myself.  I have named him Isiah (one eye is higher than the other).  The little white Boyds bear is actually mohair but is not that old at 1998.  He tries though, bless him, and it is nice getting little gifts like this
I have two mohair dogs in the freezer, awaiting their makeovers, one a Chiltern with a tail that wags, and the other a Farnell Pekingese in a very sorry state.  He may need a knitted coat to cover his (very bald) body.
I am also waiting for 2 bears and another dog.  I seem to be finding more dogs than bears at the moment., but I love dogs so they are just as enjoyable for me to do as the bears.

The remaining sock monkey
click on the picture to go to his shop page
I have only 2 more weeks at the Sunday shop in the Alby Craft Centre and then I will be concentrating on local Craft fairs leading up to Christmas. I have been selling the knitted bears quite well at the shop and will need to get some made up for the fairs.  I think they will sell better than the mohair bears in this sort of venue. I only have one sock monkey left too.
One of the large knitted bears,
click on picture to go to his shop page
On the personal side, I am back at work now after 6 weeks off with sciatica and arthritis problems.  I am struggling to manage a full day on my feet and need higher doses of medication than when I am at home.
Roll on retirement - 15 months to go, but I'm not counting!

Don't forget to take a look at my Etsy and Folksy shops and my new Vintage bears website -     I am struggling to get it to come up on Google, I've tried loads of different ways, but nothing seems to work. Can I ask you a favour?  Could you put the link on your Facebook, Tweet or anything else that would help it to be found?  I would be very grateful as I would love to see a higher number of hits on the site.