Sunday, 18 September 2011

Renovation of Brr Bear - Final stages

Hello there folks - Cy Bear back again, ready to continue Brr Bear's story.  As you can see from this post's title, Brr Bear is now finished.  Here is a picture of him, before I continue the blow-by-blow account of the final stages of his treatment.

Brr sitting on the left-over piece of his coat fabric

When I left you last time, Isobel had got Brr Bear's head sewn up with the wood stuffing inserted in his muzzle.  The next day, she completed sewing up all his limbs, ears and body and then began to stuff each of them individually.  Before putting in the polyester fibre, she tacked  Brr Bear's original body pieces to the matching piece of his new coat before sewing up each seam.  That way, Brr Bear remains in body, if not in view!

Each limb had a joint attached and because there were two pieces of fabric for the post to go through, Isobel used a knitting needle to make the initial hole.  The joint post then went in quite easily as a result and the arthritic fingers Isobel suffers from coped quite well.  She does find it quite difficult to get the limbs to stay tightly together, but they are fine for Brr Bear I'm pleased to say.

By this time, it was Friday again (where do the weeks go to, I wonder?) and the weekly meeting with Mrs.DK Brr's Best Friend took place.  The chosen brown eye was returned.   It was agreed that the growler would be put in so that Brr Bear spoke when he was tilted forwards (the positioning of the growler inside a bear apparently is crucial in deciding whether  he/she has to be tilted forwards or backwards in order to make a noise!).  The things we bears have to put up with!  Finally, Mrs. DK did not want claws to be embroidered on to Brr's legs and paws - as she could not remember him ever having any!

Brr prefers to sit down, so he is propped against the printer for his sideways view

With all that settled, Isobel was able to put the eyes into Brr's face immediately she began Friday evening's sewing session, and then stuffed the rest of the head, gathered the neck around the joint piece and attached his head to his body.  Then each limb was put in place and the body began to be stuffed.  Isobel laid Brr Bear on his tummy, put a layer of polyester fibre in position in the middle of his body and then put the growler in.  After that she arranged the stuffing all round the growler, making sure that the end with the holes in faced backwards so that he spoke properly!  Once he was fully stuffed, the final seam on his body was completed and I'm told you cannot feel the growler at all - but he certainly makes a noise when he gets moved!

That item was a first for Isobel, and she is very relieved that it appears to have worked!  She has a booklet provided to her by another company providing bear basics which gives her step-by-step instructions on how to put growlers in, sew on ears etc. which she refers to all the time. However, it's one thing to read about it:  quite another to actually do it!

When the body and head were fixed together, it was time for Brr Bear's ears to be placed on his head.  With the eyes in place, and head on the body it is much easier to see where they should be attached, and Isobel pinned them in place - but left them to be completed the next day, because they can always look different in daylight!  With the aid of the picture of Brr Bear which she had been consulting along the way, there were some adjustments to be made, but she thinks she has now got them in more or less the right position.  (It may not be exactly where he had them before, because with a new coat and two layers of fur there is a slight difference in size - not really noticeable - but it does affect the position of such things as ears, noses and mouths.)
Brr isn't lop-sided:  it's just that he does not like to stand!

Having got the ears sewn in firmly, the penultimate thing  to be done were the facial features.  His nose was embroidered on, as was his mouth and then Brr Bear was ready to be introduced to the world once more.
However, when Isobel looked at him this morning, Brr Bear looked as though his mouth was a little crooked.  She undid the stitching, re-did the mouth and - hey presto - he now has a really cheerful, straightforward look and I'm proud to call him my latest Bear friend and honorary member of the Coldham Cuddlies family!

The final thing Brr Bear needed though was to have his muzzle plucked.  This is an optional bit of facial grooming, and Mrs. DK specifically asked that it be done for Brr Bear as she could not remember him looking any other way but bare-nosed!  This action, too, was a first for Isobel and took quite a bit of time.  Using a pair of tweezers (from a manicure set) Isobel plucked the fur off and used the wood stuffing edge to provide the borders.   This action is provided as an extra treatment in the Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185)
 at a cost of £10.00 GDP.
Brr Bear - ready to stride off back home
With that, I'll end this post -  Cy Bear.

Isobel, meanwhile, is pleased to tell everyone that Brown Bear Glove Puppet is complete and she is well on the way to completing Panda Bear Glove Puppet.  These will form the next post in a couple of days or so.  Tommy Teddy's fabric arrived at the end of last week, but his treatment is not going to begin until after the Greatest Coffee Morning in the World (in aid of MacMillan Cancer) on September 30.  Philippa, Tommy Teddy's Best Friend is quite agreeable to the delay and it will enable me to produce some more Glove Puppets with different animal heads in the interim.  They seem to be taking me a couple of evenings to produce, which is helpful!  Now I, too, will end this post!  Isobel