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.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Christmas Gifts From My Shop - 68 Days To Go

Another selection from my Etsy shop.
This time the theme is The Christmas Tree.  I have picked out a selection of items that would be suitable to hang on your tree either as special little wrapped gifts, or just as general tree decorations.  Some are handmade, some are vintage.
We will start at the top of the tree with a fairy.  There are more available in my Etsy listings.
Blue and purple fairy £8 + postage

Pink and white fairy £8 + postage
 Next the tree decorations, all handmade from felt -
Large star £3.50 + postage

Teddies and small stars £4 + postage
 Diddy Dogs - can be hung on the tree as they are to give a bit of colour, or gift wrapped as a surprise for someone.
Diddy Dogs - any colour you want - £12 + postage
 A selection of hanging floral shapes - decorate your home or tree.

Colourful Ducklings £4 + postage
Floral hearts £4 + postage

Pretty shapes £4 + postage
Tufty - 4"/10cm £25 + postage

Miniature mohair bears to wrap and hang on the tree for someone special
Squeaky 4"/10cm £25 + postage
Red charm £9 + postage
Gold charm £9 + postage
 Little mohair bear head bag/zipper charms.  Or they could be hung on your tree.

Novelty vintage tape measure - dog/cat in slipper £16 + postage

And finally, a couple of lightweight vintage items that could be gift wrapped for the tree.

Tiny pram toy pure wool dog £14 + postage

If you like my selection and want to see more, then visit my Etsy online shop - www.etsy.com/shop/pollysvintagebears or my website www.pollysvintagebears.weebly.com

Friday, 12 October 2012

Christmas Gifts From my Shops - 74 days to go

I have been thinking about what I have in my shops that is suitable for Christmas gifts or decorations.
Although in truth, all of the bears, dogs etc could be given for Christmas.  A vintage bear can be a personal thing and unless you actually tell your loved one "I like that bear" they may not choose correctly.
With this in mind I have tried to put a few items into the shops that could be used as stocking fillers.
There are bag/zipper charms, small Pud Bears, door hangers and of course the new Diddy Dogs.

Here is the first collection of gift ideas, aimed mainly at pet lovers or anyone that loves cute and cuddly.

Beautiful Steiff 'Whiskas' Grey Tabby Persian
Merrythought Lamb

What about a nightdress/pyjama case?
These would make great gifts.

Yellow Bunny Nightdress Case
*These are vintage items with glass eyes and the rabbit has wire in his ears so not suitable for young children.
Pekingese Pyjama Case (others are available in my shops)

This cute musical dog nods her head when wound up.

Stripey Diddy Dog
Only £12.50 including postage to UK
Then of course, there are the Diddy Dogs, cute little knitted pups in many different colour combinations.
If you would like one making up in your own colour choices, please message me.

Hand knitted Diddy Dogs
Diddy Dog in blue and white

I hope you enjoyed this first collection of Christmas gift ideas.  Over the next few weeks I will be showing more items from my shops www.etsy.com/shop/pollysvintagebears and www.pollysvintagebears.weebly.com
If you have any questions about any of these items please feel free to contact me.  There is a contact form on my Weebly website for messages.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Going to a Fair with the Bears

Well, that's booked the Minstead fair in a couple of weeks time (28th October). Pop in and say hello if you are in the area.   It is a lovely fair, with artist bears, old bears, newborn dolls, bear making supplies and also mass produced bears such as Charlie Bears.
I went last year and enjoyed the experience.   Plus we managed a short break in the New Forest, so we are going to do the same again.  It is such a beautiful part of the country and we only saw a small part of it last year.
I have booked a B&B that has a couple of fishing lakes so Alan will be happy.  He is really loving his fishing now and goes to the local rivers and broads regularly.
Yesterday morning was spent trying out my table for the fair. 
This is what I have got so far. 

       My favourite - a Chiltern Hugmee I have
      named Chester SOLD
Last year when I got there and set up I realised that I had far too many old bears for the space, so I am not taking all of my stock this year. I have quite a mixture - Steiff cats, Chiltern bears and Panda, Pedigree bears, an Irish Republic bear, Deans bears and dog, Muffy Vanderbear, and a few others.
Beautiful Steiff 'Whiskas' Kitten
Irish Republic Bear

Muffy Vandabear 'Gibearny'SOLD

I think I will need some sort of shelving making up (thank goodness Alan is an ex carpenter) to give height to the back of the table and more area to display the bears.

I want to include the Pud Bears this year so they will need an area of the table to themselves, and there are more old bears/cats/dogs I want to add.  The table will be 12" longer than this one, but I still don't think it will be enough.

I was known at work for being able to find spaces for new ranges when the other staff couldn't find anywhere to put them.  I think this one will be a bit of a challenge!

Friday, 5 October 2012

A Baking Morning in the Pud Bears Household

I was given a breadmaker a few weeks ago.  The first attempt would have made good doorstops. I persevered with the recipes in the booklet that came with the machine, but with no luck.
After perusing the internet I came up with a recipe that was getting good reviews from other breadmakers so I thought I would give it a try.
My first atttempt was a big improvement on the previous loaves, but still needed tweaking.
After a couple of more goes, this morning I adjusted the recipe slightly more and lo and behold I have rolls and a brown loaf that looks good enough to eat.  I will try them for my lunch shortly.

I am especially pleased with the rolls, they look as good as those in a baker's window.  I just hope they taste as good!

After this success I decided to carry on and make a fruit cake and a sponge sandwich.
I should have stopped whilst I was ahead. I burnt the fruit cake (and one layer of the sponge), and the sponge is about an inch deep (:
After scraping the burnt bits off I cut a wedge of the fruit cake. Surprisingly it looks ok inside, quite moist.

I stuck the two pieces of sponge (if it can be called that) together with Strawberry jam.  The top cracked in half just to finish it off.  A sprinkling of icing sugar makes it look a bit better.
I have never been good at sandwich cakes, but this must rate as one of my worst attempts :(

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Panda With a Serious Weight Problem

I found this little Panda on Ebay and immediately knew I had to buy him. 
A few bids later and he arrived at my house, in a much sorrier state than I had expected.  I knew he was flat and needed plumping up, but not that his stuffing had disintegrated into a nasty red powder!

I left him for a couple of months until this morning, when I decided
to destuff him and try to clean him up.
Chiltern Baby Bruin (SOLD)
The first job was to unpick his neck (sorry if you are squeamish) and turn him inside out to get all of the horrible gungy red powder out of him.
There were some chunky bits, which I now realise were probably his squeaker.  I had a Chiltern Baby Bruin recently sold which had an intact squeaker, so I would imagine that the Panda would have had one too.

So far, so good - look at the mess, it is a good job I thought of doing it in a box.  You can see the lumps that I think was his squeaker.

I disposed of the mess, took him outside to knock and brush the rest of the powder off him and then carefully turned him back to his right side.
A bit of gentle stuffing later and he looks very handsome.  I tried not to stuff him too much as he would not seem right as a hard stuffed teddy.
What a pretty head he has

Standing proud
He is now available in my Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/pollysvintagebears