This was posted May 7, 2012, although it is appearing in the right context!
The Renaissance of Rusty Bear - Part 2:
Well, well - hello everybody, after a three week absence from the blogging scene. Suffice to say that what with one thing and another, I return to the story of the Renaissance of Rusty Bear a great deal wiser about the dangers of working on the internet, and hopefully, having learned how to avoid some of the pitfalls that await a 71+ silver surfer who DOES indeed go where "angels fear to tread".
In Part 1 of this saga, poor Rusty's final picture shows him head down, inside out and hanging over and on a dustbin in the garbage area here at the Hospital of St. John, Heytesbury, where we live. Having rid him of as much of the polystyrene filling and other stuffing mixture as possible, a change of plan was called for. Originally, I'd intended to remove his eyes and nose - thinking that that could be easily accomplished: however, once his stuffing had been totally removed it quickly became obvious that when Rusty was produced by a company located in Eastern Canada, these items had been put in, with the intention they would remain for ever!
The next stage was to get the Giant Bear cleaner, so once the bathroom was vacant, I ran a cold bath and carefully put him into the water, making sure that the entire carcass was covered. He spent about six hours immersed in the water, and then came the difficult job of getting him out.
Rusty was then transported to the Hospital Laundry area and I carefully washed him using lukewarm water and delicate soap mixture to continue to remove the accumulated dirt of 25 years. It took two washes and several rinses before I was satisfied that I'd finally done the job! He was too big to get into the spinner, so I had to try to wring him out by hand - somewhat unsuccessfully. However, as it was on a Sunday that this took place, and there were spare "Sheila Maids" (wood slatted driers that are hung from the ceiling) I could use, Rusty was carefully draped over one, conveniently placed between the boiler that operates part of the Hospital's heating system and a heater in the laundry area itself. I had another dust sheet at the ready under the drier to catch the drips (plenty of them!) and left him for the rest of the day and night.
Next day, Rusty was dry, looking a great deal cleaner and ready to be stuffed. Before leaving the laundry, I put the dust sheet (which was absolutely soaking wet) into the spinner and then hung it on the empty Sheila Maid so that it could, in turn, dry off.
The stuffing operation was one that was likely to take some time, and I wasn't able to carry it out immediately. So, Rusty was carefully laid over the fold-away bed in my work room in the apartment and finished drying off, ready for the next stage of his recovery. In front of him are the Hedgehog Family that had recently been made, waiting to be photographed before listing at www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com (Etsy Listings: #95652141, 95653310, and 95653745 respectively). Space in my work room is at a premium, and Rusty does take up quite a lot of space - and I'm pleased to say that he did not shrink as a result of his immersion!
The next installment will cover the final part of the renaissance and reveal Rusty Bear ready to be sent home to Best Friend, Philippa - a renunion now likely to take place at the end of May.
Be back with you (now I'm once again operational) in a day or so. Meanwhile, good bye - it's just great to be blogging again! Isobel