Saturday, 30 March 2013

Dolls from the Past

A couple more little dolls that I have dressed.
Here they are before I set to work on them (I had already made a vest for the one on the right).

The first is a 3 inch baby with a diamond mark and  open/close eyes.
I do not know her maker.  She is probably a mass produced doll from the 1960's.

The other one is 2.7 inches long and is clockwork and crawls when wound up.  This is a really cute little doll.  I had a bit of a job working out how to dress her so that she could still crawl.  I am really pleased with the result, especially the frilly knickers.

The next job has to be making more Pud Bears.  The holiday season should be starting shortly  (if the snow and wind goes away), so the bear shops will be getting more customers and I have to be ready to restock when they sell some of my bears.  Also, the craft fairs start in May and I like to take a few Pud Bears along as I have a few return customers who are bear collectors. 
Hopefully I will be able to sit long enough to man a stall.  If not my husband will help out as he has before, so that I can have a break.  This darn arthritis and back problems make me so frustrated at times.  I used to be an active person and now a short spell on my feet, or sitting in one position for too long, and that is me finished for the day - and probably the next one too. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

My 'To Do' Box of Bears

I didn't realise I was building up a box full of restoration projects until I removed them from the corner of the store area and put them all together in a box.
The Teddy Hospital 'Waiting Room'
They are now huddled together in their cosy box waiting to see who is first to be mended/cleaned ready for a new home.  They've probably got the right idea, it is freezing here on the East Coast of England.  The cold, biting wind blowing off the sea doesn't seem to want to go away and it has felt so cold it hurts your eyes to walk into it (the wind).
Let me introduce you to the residents of the box :-

Minibrix Bear
This handsome chap is a Minibrix bear.  I have never come across one before and I would say he is pretty rare. He has a label tucked under his (very damaged) arm that says 'Minibrix Hygenic Toys' Apparently the firm usually made toy bricks (like Lego, but rubber), but made a few other toys between 1959-1961, then the factory caught fire and they ceased production.
I thought he was a Lefray bear until I saw his label. Has anyone else come across one of these bears?

Leather nosed bear SOLD and grey Chiltern cat
The grey cat is a Chiltern.  These were made in at least two sizes, this being the larger one.  He needs a good clean and brushing, but his fur is quite thick and his felt ears are all intact.  They sometimes look as if the cat has been in a fight with the local alley cats!  He (or she) also has the original pink ribbon.
The chubby bear is one that my husband found at a boot fair.  I have no idea at the moment who made him but he is a cute little chap with a kind face. He could be a one off home made bear, anytime from the 1950's  to 1980's - one to research I think.

The red duo came in job lot boxes. The rabbit is really cute with his big red ears and little felt coat.  There are no makers labels on him so, again no idea who made him.  There is quite a bit of delicate stitching still to do on his red felt.  I did make a start and then got waylaid with another project.

The pretty little red and white bear has a label, and is made by 'Acme Hygenic Toys'.  He is very lightweight and just requires a few stitches to his seams.  He has the most beautiful red eyes.

The scruffy looking Chiltern cartoon bear with the dirty face needs a good clean and brush.
His companion is a small Chiltern from c1940's.  He has his facial features intact, but needs 'surgery' on a large hole at the side of his nose (see close up). 

This is another bear purchased by my husband.  He needs a matching pair of eyes.  Again, I think he could be a one off home made bear.

And of course, not forgetting the large Chiltern Hugmee bear that I have named George.  He needs major surgery on one of his foot pads and eyes.  Also a good clean to his mohair.

I think I have got a busy time ahead, sorting out this little lot.  There are also a couple of dog nightdress cases to tidy up and two miniature baby dolls to dress. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

The Dolls are Trying to Take Over the Bears' House!

I have always been a soft toy person.  I even preferred my teddy Cuddly, to any dolls that I was given as a child.
Just lately though I find myself drawn to 1950's dolls - miniatures and small baby dolls especially.
I found these tiny 3" baby dolls with no clothes, and had great fun dressing them.  They are all dressed using lace, with cotton brodiere anglais type lace being my preferred material.  I gave them all names, as I do my bears and they are proving very popular with my customers.

Little SOLD

Chrissie SOLD
Beatrice SOLD

Bella SOLD

 I then searched for more to do as I enjoyed them so much.  I couldn't find more tiny ones and found these four 6", 8", 10" and 11" already dressed, but needed a bit of tidying up.

Add caption



Ceppiratti Doll Co
Blue Box Toys SOLD

I particularly like Rosy in the pink coat.  Her wrists are even jointed enabling her to twist her hands in different positions.  Her maker is a mystery, she has AGAESPOLY  0206 Hong Kong on her back and I have not as yet found out who used this wording.
The bottom left one is a really cute little doll made in Italy by the Ceppratti Doll Co.  I identified her by the 'Stork carrying a baby' mark on her back.
Blue Box Toys (doll bottom right) is a Hong Kong company that has been making dolls since 1952, starting with the first drink and wet doll.  They are still producing toys, including Thomas the Tank and Hello Kitty, and have won many awards for toy excellence.
Haley is a very lightweight celluloid doll who used to have a 'Mama' sound box, but sadly it is now missing.  Her all in one underwear covers the hole that is left in her back.  She is the only one of the four without open/close eyes, but her blue eyes are very large and pretty.
For the bear lovers amongst you, don't worry I still have 3-4 lovely old bears to tidy up for my Etsy shop including this large Chiltern bear.


Monday, 11 March 2013

Nev Goes over the Fence

.....and back again!
You remember this little fellow, and that I said my daughter was going to try letting him out now he is older.
Well, she rang me up on Monday, laughing and told me of his adventures.  She had let him out in her small back garden which is surround by a 6 foot fence.  He had a roam around the garden and then climbed a trellis to get to the top of the fence.  Over he went and she went out of the gate to see what he was doing.  He was wandering up the grass path at the back and taking a look down the dyke.
So far, so good - so she went indoors to do a bit of housework and left him to it.
After a while she opened the back door to see if he would come in when called only to be nearly bowled over by him as he dashed indoors.
We don't know what he saw over the fence, but it spooked him and he has not dared to set foot out of the garden since.  She says he walks around, glances at the fence, then comes back in, as if to say "there's no way I'm going over there again". :)
She rang me up when she let him out yesterday and it was snowing a bit.  He didn't like the snowflakes falling on his head and she was in laughing at him.  The laughter suddenly increased as the snow started falling heavier and he shot in the door in a panic.
My grandson said "Nev's not a pussycat, he's a wussycat".
I think my daughter is secretly hoping that he will not want to go any further than the back garden, but I think come Summer, he will be off, over the fence on his adventures to face the scary 'whatevers' that are out there.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Our Spring Neighbours are Moving in

Well, it is that time of the year again, when everyone's thoughts turn to the warmer months to come and love is in the air.
Unfortunately it is also the time of the year when our noisy neighbours return.
Yes, Mr and Mrs Seagull are back!
Taken a few days ago
They have been sitting on the roof of the bungalow behind us, chatting about starting a family and what colour to decorate the nursery. 
The first year we lived here it was amusing and interesting, watching the young birds grow, learn to flap their wings and eventually fly off.
We were probably making as much noise as them that year as we were knocking walls down and replacing windows etc.
The last couple of years the novelty has worn off as the Seagulls swoop and scream over our little garden, leaving nasty splodges on our patio doors, and occasionally on Foggypuss if he is in the firing line.
Foggy waiting to pop up when he
hears a Seagull coming
Last year he decided he might be able to catch a Seagull as they flew over.  He positioned himself on the fence and it was quite amusing to watch him pop up and take a swipe at the Seagull everytime it divebombed him.  The only worry I had was that if he connected with one it would have probably
knocked him off the fence or broken his leg, as they fly fast and are quite big birds. 
I think Foggy has an inflated idea of his own strength and size.

When the young are about the parents defend their territory (which includes the air space over our garden apparently) with a great passion.  I have been seen running from the shed to the patio door as Mum swoops down, screeching at me to get away from her babies.  I don't want them, they are ugly little things when they are young.
Each year I hope they have found a new place to bring up their young, but it looks as if it is not going to be this year :(

Friday, 1 March 2013


Nev November 2012
Let me introduce you to Neville, my daughter's kitten.  She kept putting off getting a pet, but gave in last November and this little character came to live with her and the boys.  My Grandsons are 11 and 8 now so both old enough to help with looking after him.  

He has fitted into the household beautifully, and even two very loud and lively boys do not seem to phase him.  He seems to be just as lively as them, and is gradually learning to be noisy too.
Having a cuddle with Nanny
As all kittens are, he is very playful, running around with toy mice and playing with anything that moves when he taps it.  He seems to be very intelligent and has learned to play 'fetch' with his mice.  I have heard of cats doing this but never seen it until now.  It is really cute, he trots back carrying the mouse by it's tail, looking so proud of himself.  If you ignore him he puts it on top of your shoe so that you throw it again.

He loves a box too
He is growing into a beauty, soon be time for him to face the great outdoors.  The cat flap is ready to be fitted.  It is one of those that works with his micro-chip so no other cats can use it.
Growing up
He had his first walk round the back patio today, but got scooped up when he was heading towards a hole in the fence.  I don't think my daughter is quite ready to let him stand on his own four feet just yet.  She is determined that he will be allowed out, but is worried about letting him go as we all are for that first time. 
I can remember when my Foggypuss went out for the first time.  I was terrified that he wouldn't find his way home.  No worries there, he now meows loudly and hammers on the door everytime he wants to come back in. We have never fitted a cat flap, Foggy just visits the neighbour if we are out when he comes back.

"Have you finished taking photos yet? 
I want to scratch my ear."