Thursday, 11 April 2013

Turner Bear's Treatment - Part One

 Cy Bear and I are pleased to be able to tell you that Turner Bear has now been treated in our Soft Toy Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) and was picked up to return home this afternoon.  MrsJS, his Forever Friend is very happy with end result.

First of all, we thought you'd like to know how he got his unusual name?  Well, Turner actually belonged to MrsJS's Mother and she had never allowed her daughter to play with him as most Bears get played with!  When Mother died, Turner arrived to stay with MrsJS, and by that time she still did not feel that close to him and he was just Bear, and lived for years in a drawer.  When MrsJS saw the finished version of Edward Bear ((How Edward Bear became a New Bear Part 1
 20.01.13 and Part 2 - 22.01.13, and Oops, Edward Bear Needs a Nose Job - 31.01.13)        ), she asked me to have a look at her Bear (I noticed he did not then have a name) to see if I could do anything for him.  He looked like this at the time:

As far as I was concerned, he was in pretty good condition - when one recalls the state of some of my previous Clinic Patients, so I did not foresee too many problems and was quite prepared to accept him as a patient.  However, I do like to be able to have a name by which the Patients can be distinguished between each other.  MrsJS was asked to put her thinking cap on.  The choice came two to between Llewellen Bear (her Mother's maiden name) or Turner Bear (MrsJS's maiden name). As I have a problem typing, let alone saying the former, we both decided on the latter!  So, Turner Bear he became when he joined us at the end of January this year.

Then came the search for as close a match as possible to his rather unusual Bear colouring.  Whilst pale yellow and gold bears are quite common as Patients, and Brown Bears of different shades and Silvery Brown Bears are to be found in our shop at, Red Bears are not as frequently seen.  So the first step in our search was for Turner to lose his left ear, so that it could be sent away to my mohair fabric supplier - Mohair Bear Making Supplies of Telford, Shropshire. 

 (To ensure that Turner's Ear did not meet the same fate that Edward Bear's had, it was sent by Recorded Delivery - ensuring that a signature was collected at the other end of the journey!)

Turner Bear and Cy Bear - with the former minus an ear

While we waited with fingers crossed, I got on with Treating TW Bear making The Buchanan
Foxes (Etsy Listing #65456642) and the Snowy March Hares (Etsy Listing #125962011).  When the match came back, it was absolutely spot on - but I couldn't proceed without MrsJS' input.  We both are regular Zumba attendees so it can be convenient to exchange such details there.  On this occasion,  however, she visited us at my home.  I was given the go-ahead, and a couple of days after, the treatment began.

It turned out not to be as easy as has been the case with our other Bear Patients.  We worked out that Turner was likely to be over 100 years' old - if he'd been with his original Forever Friend since she was a baby.  Whoever made him used very, very tiny machine stitches and the seams were less than an eighth of an inch wide.  It is something of a miracle that he stayed in one piece as well as he did - even though he had obviously not been cuddled as much as some Bears can be.  I think the secret lies in the fact that the original tacking had been left in.

The purple tacking can be seen in place on the  back seam
Consequently, the unpicking process took me a whole 6 hours - but eventually we reached the point where all his pieces were ready to be immersed in a luke warm bath - to remove the dust and left-over stuffing.

Stuffing:  paw pieces and cotter pins used for Turner's head and limbs
L to R - Legs, fronts, head and 1 ear, arms and back pieces
The stuffing was actually somewhat different to that I've been used to dealing with.  While it felt like wood, it wasn't the chippings I've had to discard previously and held it's shape much better when parted from the fabric.  It also did not leave the material as dusty as the normal chippings do. So, Turner did not need an all night soak in the end, merely a quick soapy wash and rinse, after a couple of hours soaking in the luke warm water I find so useful in removing the superficial dust that lingers on these occasions.

After a bath, I don't wring out any Bear  (or any other old toy for that matter).  I put each piece on to a flat towel, and then roll the towel up very tightly.  Once the towel gets unfolded, most of the moisture has left the Bear pieces and they are ready to be hung up on my clothes airer (over night in Turner's case), and he was then ready for the next stage(s).  These will be unfolded in our next post - which Cy Bear is itching to undertake!

Until then, we leave you with the hope that everyone is well - and our thanks for continuing to view this blog in increasing numbers.  When I looked earlier today, we've got to 13,600+ which is wonderfully encouraging!  Good night - and God Bless.  Isobel