Friday, 23 November 2012

Vintage Glove Puppets

I have been finding a few glove puppets in my never ending search for old bears and toys (or hand puppets as they are sometimes called).
I only have one left in my Etsy shop at the moment.  He is a Mr Twisty Bun from Merrythought.
Mr & Mrs Twisty Puss and Mrs Twisty Bun 24"/61cm
and the full set in 11"/28cm
The Mr and Mrs Twisty toys were listed in their catalogue from 1965 to 1974.  They also made Mr and Mrs Twisty Puss toys (see picture from book).  They were dressed and had wire frames inside so that they could be twisted into different positions.
My Mr Twisty Bun puppet does not have a wire frame, but has the same character face as the toys.
I think he would have been made a bit later than the toys - late 1970's, possibly 1980's.  He has his Merrythought label stitched onto his back

Mr Twisty Bun Puppet
I have 3 more puppets to come.  Two of them will need a bit of work and at this moment I do not know who they are made by. This is the only picture I have of them.
In the meantime I will leave you with pictures of the puppets that have been sold.
Dean's Black Cat
Chad Valley Sooty

Chimp (unknown maker)
Steiff Rabbit
I will continue to try to find more of these little characters to put in my collection.
As well as the vintage bears I like to source unusual old toys that are usually bear related.
Christmas mini flocked bears

Mini flocked bears - playground
Recently I have found a batch of miniature flocked bears (1.5"/10cm) and I am currently going through some gorgeous teddy bear porcelain figures to prepare them for listing.  Also I have some wind up flocked bears to sort out.
That is as well as the couple of nightdress case dogs that need a clean (and one of them needs eyes), a very large tubby bear, a Chad Valley cartoon faced bear, a rabbit with red felt clothes, a small Merrythought bear with one eye, a Chiltern grey cat that smells really fusty, and a pretty, soft, unjointed bear, possibly a 1960's-70's Chad Valley.
That is in between knitting and sewing more cats, dogs and bears.
Oh dear, December is looming and I don't think I have time for Christmas!

Monday, 5 November 2012

More Gifts for Christmas - 49 days to go

Today I am going to show you items in my shop that are for pink lovers - everything that is pink.
Rosalie 6" £42.50 including postage
Rosebud 6" £42.50 including postage

Teddy Head Charm £11.50 including postage
Sweetie 4" £32.50 including postage

Christmas Tree Fairies £10.50 each including postage

Buy more than one and only pay one postage

Pair of Christmas stars £6 each including postage

Diddy Dog £12.50 including postage

Pretty hangers £6.50 including postage

Knitted Bears £12.50 including postage

Baby Blanket £23 including postage

Farnell Fur Baby Doll £22 including postage

Pedigree 20" bear Jessie £82 including postage

Bunny Pure Wool Pram Toy
£15.50 including postage
Set of Mice Ornaments
£10 including postage

I hope you enjoyed my pink selections - all of the items are available in my Etsy shop

I can't believe we are only 7 weeks away from the big day. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Thingamebob is Revealed

I couldn't leave him until tomorrow, I just had to get him finished to see what he looked like.

                                                   Here he is, my very first Alley Cat

 As soon as I started making the head I couldn't put him down, and just had to get him finished.

I really hope he is popular as I want to make some more in different colours.  I am already planning a blue and lime green one and have thought about a girly pink one with little embroidered flowers on the tummy.  The combinations are endless.
I am hoping that they will go down well at the local craft fairs along with the Diddy Dogs.  I have until Spring to get enough of both made up to fill a table, along with the artist bears.
Diddy Dogs

The Alley Cats have googly eyes and fluffed up wool that makes them unsuitable for young children.
They are really made as display items/ shelf sitters, not as toys.

It's a Red and Yellow Thingamebob

This is my latest knitting creation.  I found a really old vintage pattern and decided to give it a go as I liked the look of the finished item.
I have never come across such a complex toy pattern.  Just look at the main part, it's got bits sticking out all over the place.  Whoever designed this was very clever.  How they came up with it is beyond me.

I finished all of the knitted parts this morning and started to stitch it together.  It didn't mention in the pattern that you needed a university degree to assemble it.
Half way through stitching

No - it's not an elephant
It is larger than I was expecting at 15"/38cm tall.  I will have to get more polyester stuffing if I am to make any more of these.
If I am pleased with the look of it I have a few more colour schemes in mind.

I will unveil the finished item tomorrow - watch this space!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Is he a Bear? Is he a Mouse? No - he's a She

Dreaming of getting his arms and legs
Last time I showed you the mohair miniature that I was making.  At the time I was wondering if he was a bear or a mouse.
Definately a bear I decided, but something was just not right.  I tried a ribbon around his neck - no that didn't work.  I went to my little jar of decorations - bows, flowers, buttons etc.  
Ready for the Queen's Garden Party

That's it! 
No wonder he didn't look right,
he is a young lady bear, not a boy bear.


 I found a little yellow flower made of ribbon and fastened it to her head in the style of a fascinator, the type of modern hat  that everyone who is everyone is wearing.
It transformed her into a pretty young lady bear, and she is now ready for Ascot or Buckingham Palace. :)

She is just 3.75"/9.5cm tall and although my efforts to get her to stand unaided have sort of worked, it still needs more work as she is still not quite balanced enough for my liking. Probably I need steel shot instead of glass beads for the weight.
You can find her in my Etsy shop priced at £25 + postage.
I have one more of these miniature bears to make
up before the Minstead fair on Sunday. This next one is a pale fawn colour in a thicker long pile mohair, so should be quite a fluffy bear.
After that is completed it will be back to the Diddy Dogs as they will give the colour to my table at the fair.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Pud Bears Miniature Bears and Mice - a Work in Progress

I designed a miniature bear with a centre head seam.  It was the smallest bear I had made to date at 3.5"/9cm.  The first one was a nice little fellow.  I called him Tufty as he had a tuft on the top of his head.

The next one really didn't look like a bear, more like a mouse so I added whiskas and a tail.
Holding his fir cone behind his back and balancing carefully.
The standing up was a delicate operation and only for the camera, so I decided to try and make the next one so that he could stand unaided.  I always use glass beads in the tummies to give a bit of extra weight, so I thought if I put them in this one's feet as well he might be weighted enough to stand.
The next bear/mouse
I cut small cardboard shapes to flatten the bottom of his feet and prepared to fill the legs with beads.
Not as easy as I first thought - how could I get the slippery tiny glass beads into such a small leg?
I use a miniature jug to tip them into a small body, but the legs were smaller than the body. 
I couldn't use the funnel that I use for the 6-8 inch bears as it is far too big for these little fellows.
The tools for filling the legs with glass beads.
The legs stand unaided, hopefully the bear will
when they are in place
Then I spotted a Biro pen - it might work!
I took it apart and carefully tipped beads into the end using the jug.  It was very fiddly and I still managed to spill a few, but it worked.
I now have to assemble the bear (or mouse) and see if he can stand all by himself.  Watch this space.....
By the way, I have a question for you - is he a bear or a mouse?  I am having difficulty deciding, but I am leaning towards bear.  What do you think?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Preparing for a Teddy Bear Fair

The day of the Minstead Teddy Bear Fair is fast approaching.  A week tomorrow to be precise - Sunday 28th October.
I only manage a couple of fairs a year as I can only go when my husband is on school holidays (he drives a school bus).
I went to Minstead last year during October half term and then to Pudsey this year in April during the Easter holidays.
Consequently I have a lot of new bears to label up ready for the fair.  That's good - as it means that I have sold many of the ones I took to the last fair.
I had set out my stall on the gateleg table in the back room to see how it could look.  It is one foot short of the fair tables, but gives me an idea.  This was my first attempt -
I thought it looked a bit overcrowded and needed more height.  The Pud Bears were lost in the centre.
Yesterday I was roaming around the bungalow trying to come up with an idea to give more height. 
I went in hubby's shed - and lo and behold there it was staring me in the face.
We had a shelving unit in the conservatory at our previous house, but it had been relegated to the shed as we had no room for it inside.  It was covered in cobwebs and 'man junk'.
It was cleared and cleaned, and placed on the table.
An hour or two later this is what I had got -

 The larger old bears look much better sitting on the shelving and there is space left at the front of the table for the Steiff animals, Real Soft Toys and Muffy Vanderbears.

I tried out the Pud Bears on a seperate little table, but they still need some work.  I have another 8-10 to get out yet, and I only have the one foot left over space to use.

I left this posting in draft for a while and took another look at the photos.

I decided I need some more shelving similar to the style I have got, but smaller sections. Then I can sit some of the Pud Bears up higher and leave more room on the table for the rest of them.
Off to the DIY store tomorrow then to buy the wood, and hubby will make it up for me.  It is useful having a husband who used to be a carpenter.

The only problem we may have is fitting all of this shelving, the bears, and our suitcase in a Nissan Micra.