Monday, 2 April 2012

The Renaissance of Rusty Bear - Part I

When posting a couple of evenings ago, I ended with the promise that I would bite the bullet and get down to stuffing Rusty, the Giant Bear.  Well, I finally achieved it - after about 2-1/2 hours work before getting lunch on Sunday, and another three-quarters of an hour afterwards.  It wasn't as difficult as anticipated (often the case, isn't it, when one has been putting things off for some time?). I took several pictures, so the telling may get spread into two or more installments.

The photo with which I begin this tale shows just how much Rusty required help - he had accumulated over 25 years' worth of dust collected while travelling between Western Canada, the UK, spending some time in storage while daughter, Philippa - his Best Friend, had lived and worked in Belgium and then shunting around London when he and Philippa joined up once more.

When Rusty arrived in Heytesbury at Christmas, his size impressed dear Cy Bear who had only just got over not being as big as Tommy Teddy (whose treatment formed the post on 27/11/2011).  Cy Bear was almost overwhelmed and has since persisted in labelling Rusty as a "Monster Bear".  I don't think that's a kind description:  so from henceforth, he will be called a "Giant Bear".

The treatment began with me wielding my trusty "Quick Un-pic" and opening his head.  Fortunately, I'd taken the precaution of covering my workroom floor with a dust sheet, because his head stuffing - a mixture of tiny polystyrene balls and other assorted stuffing materials - promptly fell out.  Having collected as much as feasible into a nearby black garbage bag - everyone familiar with the adhering qualities of polystyrene to any man-made fabric (Rusty is made with a thick, long nap plush fabric) will understand that it was quite a job.  The stuff went everywhere but the dust sheet, and I spent valuable time vacuuming up the stuff that had gone round the room.

That left the rest of Rusty;   I realised that the next stage had to take place outside - in the area at the Hospital of St. John where all the garbage bins are housed!  He required to be carefully emptied, bit by bit,with as much of his stuffing as possible put into handy garbage bags and then turned inside out.  The polystyrene behaved as expected, so once he had been turned inside out -

I got the hand vacuum out and removed the rest of the stuffing from his seams, and other parts of his torso.
The post will have to end now, as the page is coming to the bottom.  Next installment will therefore follow - soon.  Until then, good night!  Isobel