Monday, 24 September 2012

The Rejuvenation of Fred Bear - Part Two

Good evening everyone!  Cy Bear back once more - thought Isobel was never going to let me have another chat with you again:  but she has been busy sorting out the Clinic Patients, so there has been a reason.  Anyway, she did say last week that I could tell you about the rest of Fred Bear's treatment so here goes.

There has been quite a time lag between Part One and Part Two of Fred Bear's rejuvenation.  Isobel first told you about it in our post on August 8th this year.  Since then, Fred has been in a plastic bag keeping the dust off him, so this is how he looked as Isobel began to treat him about 10 days ago.  (He's been home for nearly a week now, but this is first time I've been allowed near the computer!).

On the ironing board, without any stuffing
 With no filling, Isobel found it easier to get to work on Fred's face to begin with.  His ears needed stitching in place, and Fred's Best Friend had requested that the "wonky ear" be sewn back where it was when he came to us - as she'd got used to how he looked with it that way.  Then there were several holes that had developed over the years all over his face, but principally around the muzzle area.  Isobel carefully darned these and filled in the gaps.  Then she got some fresh black Double Knitting yarn and sewed the eye area exactly as it was when Fred arrived, after she had taken out the existing black wool - which had faded and got rather threadbare.  Fred was also given a better nose and a mouth - which looks a little crooked, but the area where the stitch had to go was very thin, even though it had been darned, and the heavy black yarn sunk into the darned area.  PatC, Fred's Best Friend, said he'd always had a crooked smile, so she was quite prepared for that when she saw him again!

You can see the darned areas - a little!
Once the face was finished, Isobel stuffed the head, and sewed the seam at the back of Fred's head using ladder stitching.  That way, there was not too much of a seam to be seen.  Overall, it was Fred's head that had lost most of his fur over the years. We think he's nearly 100 years old, because he was not a new bear when he came to live with PatC and she's older than Isobel by quite a few years - or so I have been told!  (Us Bears are far too polite to mention our Best Friends' age, even if we know it.)

Then the paw pads were cut out, using the existing ones as a pattern, and Isobel very carefully removed any remaining vestiges of the last two variations on each paw.  She stuffed each limb from the end (she had left all the limbs attached to the body as the cotter pins used to fix them were so thick and stiff that she would have been unable to reuse them had she taken them off.  She did with some of our other Bear Patients, but did not want to damage Fred's existing coat in any way.  Here are some pictures showing the limb treatment in progress.

The pads were made with chapagne coloured chamoix leather
Then came the Growler.  This next picture shows Fred with his arms and legs stuffed and re-padded, and holding the growler before Isobel fixed it in his stomach, surrounding it with stuffing so that it cannot be felt from the outside. 
Growlers are "big" pieces to go inside a Bear's stomach!
It was fitted, again at PatC's request, so that Fred "spoke" when he was tilted forwards.  I'm told that you can have them fitted so that Bears talk when they lean backwards too!  Isobel just needed to position the growler in a special way to achieve the required result.

Once the growler was in place, Isobel stuffed Fred's body very firmly, to allow for the usual relaxing that happens after us toys get the polyester fibre inside us, and Fred was ready to be sent home.  Here are some more photographs of him before he was wrapped in chemical free tissue paper, and then had a covering of bubblewrap to keep everything in position when placed in the large polythene envelope for his journey home.  He was posted on a Tuesday - when Isobel goes to Zumba class, in the village where there is a Post Office that will handle parcels of Fred's size - and he arrived back home in Lincolnshire the next day.

So ends another successful treatment in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185).  I'll be back soon to tell you how Lop Eared Rabbit Arm Puppet got on with his treatment - but Isobel needs to find a child model so she can demonstrate how the puppet works.  It's slightly more complicated than the Glove Puppets I believe she is going to visit the Village School later this week - when it decides to stop raining - and ask if she can "borrow a pupil" for this purpose.  Who knows, she might get some orders for the ColdhamCuddlies version of the Puppet - because, of course, once the pictures are taken, Lop Eared Rabbit, Long Legged Tiger, Sleepy Kitten and Little Brown Ted can then return home to their Toy Box home with Pam L.

Good night.  I'll be back soon - promise!  All the best.  Cy Bear.