However, just to start this report, here is a front view of Brown Bear on the day he arrived in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) at the end of May - just after I had come back from my wonderful holiday in Normandy.
You can see that he has a large hole where his right eye should be, is missing his mouth and his nose is not as pronounced as a healthy Bear's should be. His arms were dangling at the seams, as were his legs and he was totally unable to stand up unless propped against the back of the chair - as he is in the next photograph.
Brown Bear's fur coat was not as soft as Pooh Bear's original one was, and although he looks almost as though he was made from the same pattern, and it is a sort of Poodle Fur, when one got close up that was not the case. The texture was a much harsher one, but it has lasted well nevertheless. The slit in the back of his head which is clearly visible, looks as though a razor had been applied to it - it was such a clean cut and bore no relation to any seam. Goodness knows what event was taking place when that wound first appeared! So, when the time came for it to be treated, I used a small ladder stitch to sew the gap up, and it didn't show when completed - or, rather it looked like it was a proper seam, and therefore meant to be there!
He needed to be re-stuffed, because he too was filled with Kapok, but he didn't need to be immersed in my usual lukewarm, soapy bath treatment after being taken to pieces and before being re-stuffed. Like Pooh Bear before him, he had travelled to school with his Forever Friend, AndrewA-B - as he too had a name-tag on his left foot. I didn't have to remove that when re-stuffing him and attaching the legs back to his body. Despite the head wound, he certainly had not suffered as much as Pooh Bear during his younger, adventurous life.
All Brown Bear's limbs were attached at the very end of their seams, which resulted in them appearing to be very floppy - which was not entirely due to the need for fresh stuffing. So when the time came for me to re-attach them to his body, I sewed his legs in firmly into the seam where he sat down. As for his arms, I sewed them in such a way that the top of the arms were attached on either side of his side seam (if there had been one). His body had actually been made with just one seam - in the front. That is a different way of Bear-making in my fairly limited experience. Alas, there was no makers' label anywhere on, or within him, for me to find out where, how or when he was made. So, he now looks like this - and is actually easier to cuddle now - because, before, both arms formed part of the cuddle, as it were!
When I replaced his eyes (he does have two, although the one on his right has disappeared into the poodle fur with which he is made - just where his cream furry muzzle meets his face). However, the hole was such that I had to create a seam in order to keep the new eye and its safety backing in place. So, when I put in a matching eye for the left one, I created a similar seam there; and to make him look a little like Pooh Bear, gave him a pair of eye brows as well. (I did clear that addition with Mrs PA-B before I did it, mind you!). I also gave him a more appropriate nose and embroidered a mouth that looked like Pooh Bear too.
I found it easier to do the facial features without anything in the head. He was then stuffed from the bottom up to his head! MrsPA-B had specifically requested that both bears not be stuffed too firmly, but Brown Bear actually feels firmer to the touch, because his material is so much firmer than Pooh's new coat now is (or, indeed, was before the treatment commenced). Both should now stand up to "reasonable" wear and tear on the part of their new Forever Friends, though, I am pretty sure - especially as their original Friends are well aware of the consequences of not doing so now!
Here are the two Bear Friends ready to be returned to MrsPA-B last week-end.
And, as is the custom whenever any Cuddly - or Associate Cuddly, as these fellow can now call themselves - leaves us, an official farewell photograph was taken with Cy Bear performing the farewell duties.
I'm now very pleased to be able to tell you that Bernard Bear, who arrived in the Clinic at much the same time as these two Bear Patients, is likely to be getting his therapy in the next week or so. His Forever Friend, after due consideration as to whether he should get the whole body treatment, or merely a thorough patch up, has plumped for the latter. The matching mohair is currently on order - but our supplier is away on a well-earned holiday at the moment, and no orders are being dispatched from his premises until after July 29. Once that arrives, I can progress - and hopefully meet a possible deadline of August 15 to get him back home to Bognor Regis in Sussex, where he has been living with his Forever Friend, MrGS for many, many years. If we can do it in time, it will mean Bernard will travel in comfort in a car with some friends living down the road from us in Heytesbury, who are going to stay for a few days with MrGS. That would be infinitely more comfortable for him that being parcelled up and sent via the "tender" mercies of Royal Mail. It would also be a whole lot cheaper too - as Bernard is a Big Bear.
You can see Bernard has been well loved! He, too, is missing his right eye, has a nasty hole where the left arm joint has rubbed his original fur coat and needs to have new pads on all his paws as well as two new ears! His stuffing is, I suspect, wood chippings or something similar, because he is not presently a very cuddly Bear. That problem, though, is easily handled! Some of the others could be more problematical! It should form an interesting post - or two.
Right that is that for this evening. There are a couple of craft bazaars coming up over the next two week-ends, and I'll be telling you something about them as and when (or, indeed, if) anything happens at them! If photographs emanate from MrsPA-B covering the re-unions between Pooh and Brown Bears and their respective Forever Friends, then they can always be included in another post - can they not? I felt it was inappropriate to leave the final part of the trilogy too long before it was completed.
Good bye for the time being. Have a great week-end - wherever you are. By the way, the number of those who read this blog are going up - and up. I'm very pleased to say they're over 19,320 now - and that's despite the recent computer hiccups!
Thanks so much for your support! Isobel.
Thanks so much for your support! Isobel.