Thursday, 31 January 2013

Two Blind Chiltern Bears

I found a beautiful old bear the other day, and when I got him I realised he was a large Chiltern Hugmee, a very collectable bear.  His photograph was not very good so I was not able to identify him until I saw him in person (bearson?).
Hubert, waiting patiently for his 'operations'
He needs a bit of sorting out, his paw is nearly hanging off and he has no eyes, but he is still a wonderful bear.
Then I came across this smaller Chiltern with a broken neck, now repaired and looking very handsome.
This is Herbert, he had one eye and a broken neck when I got him, poor boy.
I was on a roll :) and my next purchase was another big Chiltern, this time a softer, Kapok filled version, but very similar to the first one.

This is George, he also has no eyes (is it contagious?) 

And finally a strange little dog called Susie.  I know that is her name as her previous owner told me.
She has been much loved so I will be extra careful to not change her character when I tidy her up. She has a white cotton patch which I will leave as it is part of her history, and I do not think her ears are original.

Showing off her little white patch
I think she is beautiful (all in the eyes of the beholder I think) and when I am finished she will stand proud with her tail up and a beautiful new ribbon or collar.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Valentines Day is Around the Corner


I would call myself a romantic.  It's a pity I have never found a man that is!  As much as  I love my husband, I would not say he is very romantic.  Nor was my ex husband.
I have never had one of those wonderful proposals that you see on the films, although my present marriage started quite romantically as we got married at Gretna Green in Scotland.  That was 24 years ago.  We visited the area last year when we had a holiday in Scotland and were surprised at how commercialised it has become.
We did not have any guests, just me and Alan, which is what we wanted.  We wanted something special but without all of the trimmings that go with an ordinary wedding. 
It was better than I imagined, we asked a couple in the tourist information centre next door to the register office if they would be our witnesses, and went through the short ceremony.
We took our own photographs, except for in the register office when Mr Smith (our witness) took some for us.  We both enjoyed photography and had a good camera with a tripod, so we could set it up to take any shots that we wanted both of us in.
Afterwards we toured the North West of England and flew over to the Isle of Man for me to meet my new Mother in Law and Brother and Sister in Law.  Even though I was 38 at the time, I had never flown before so it was very exciting for me.

The little bear whom I have called Valentino is available from my Etsy shop -
He is perfect for Valentines Day with his heart shaped eyes, nose, belly button and foot pads.
I have visions of him being used in a romantic proposal, to hold the ring, or as a gift for a new bride if she is a teddy bear fan.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Vintage Dolls

German Dancing Doll
I have been restoring and making Teddy Bears over the years and have never had a great deal of interest in dolls.
Even as a child I preferred my soft toys - a bear called Cuddly, a hand knitted Golly called Kakey (no idea where I got his name from) and a leather Camel that came from a School Fair Bric a Brac Stall.  Then there was my big sister's toys - Jock, a faded blue dog with no ears, another terrier type dog with no name and a little bear that I now know is a Merrythought Baby Bingie.
Of these toys I still have my Cuddly and my sister still has her Bingie (despite my attempts to steal him as I have always wanted him).  She did mention selling him :o recently so I may just give him a home if it comes to that.
I have no idea what became of the Camel, or the dogs, but was told that the Golly got the moths and was thrown away :(
Pair of National Dress Dolls
(any clue to the Country welcome)

Anyway, back to the dolls - I have purchased one or two over the last few months and find myself drawn more to the 1950's ones (as I am with bears), I suppose because that is the era when I was a child.

Eskimo and Dutch Girl
These dolls are available in my Etsy shop -
I have recently aquired a box of miniature German dolls ranging from 3" to 6".  I am very excited to start sorting these out and cannot decide whether to dress them or to leave them in the buff.
I'm not sure if I could find knitting patterns for a baby doll as small as 3".  The 6" ones would be no problem though.
I love miniature things.  One of my ambitions is to own a large dolls house.  It must be great fun to furnish one as there are so many lovely miniature items that can be bought for them.  I have even seen a set of false teeth in a tumbler in dolls house size!  These items used to fascinate me when I used to do a lot of Bear Fairs in the 1990's.  The fairs were often Dolls, Teddies and Doll's House Miniatures all rolled into one.

The only miniatures I have in my Etsy shop at the moment are these flocked bears.  There are 5 different sets available.  They would be small enough to go in the Nursery of a doll's house.