Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A New Associate Cuddly - Meet Teddy Johnson!

Hello Everybody - Cy Bear once more being allowed to post about the latest  Patient in the ColdhamCuddlies Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185).

Teddy Johnson (TJ for short - it's a bit of a mouthful otherwise!) did not stay long with us, because overall he was in a very good condition, as you can see from the picture below.

His coat was in remarkable condition when you consider what some the Bears look like when they arrive for treatment!  But over the years, he'd been cuddled to the point that his stuffing had become withered and he'd lost his voice.  So, his Forever Friend, MrsEJ, when she saw what had happened when Pooh and Brown Bears had been Patients in the Clinic, asked Isobel to see what she could do for TJ (Teddy Johnson is what we decided to call him, because - as in a great number of cases, he'd always been called Teddy by MrsEJ.)

As we already had a Growler in stock (that is what Bear's voices are called when Isobel has to order them), the week after he had arrived in the Clinic - and because we were already treating Bernard Bear - TJ went with Isobel to the weekly Produce Stall in Heytesbury Church (which is where many of the cases seem to originate from!)  The Growler was tipped up to produce the sound that it made, MrsEJ said that was just what she wanted, and back into the plastic bag he was being carried in went TJ, accompanied by his Growler. What Produce (which I understand to mean vegetables, cakes, pies and coffee) and Toy restoration have in common, I just fail to comprehend!  However, in the last few weeks, we've had Pooh Bear, Brown Bear and now TJ arrive after weekly visits paid by Isobel to these events - so there has to be some connection.  I'll never understand humans.

While he had been staying in the Clinic, sitting on the Lloyd Loom Chair which has become the Waiting  Room, Isobel noticed that his paws was not very clean, and that his claws had started to come to pieces.  So, when  trying out the Growler, it was also decided that TJ would also have some brand new paw pads made for him, and that his face would be treated so that his nose and mouth were easier to see.  MrsEJ said she would not mind if his mouth was straightened if Isobel decided he would look better.  

Once Bernard Bear had been finished and sent on his way home, Isobel got to work on TJ.  His head was in very good condition, and the stuffing was still quite firm, so it was left alone. 

Looking at him, Isobel decided that the slightly quirky look of his mouth - with a slanting smile on one side of his face - gave him a bit of character, so she retained it when re-embroidering his mouth.  She drew the shape of his original nose before cutting away the remaining wool yarn used, and then re-placed the nose with some new double knitting yarn.

Then she undid the back seam and removed the stuffing.  It turned out to be a mixture of cotton wool and kapok, that quite literally disintegrated as it was taken out of TJ, creating quite a lot of dust.  No wonder he had become so limp over the years!  Then we had to put the Growler into his tummy.  It was first wrapped in a layer of polyester fibre, and put in the middle of his body.  Growlers come in a tube like structure, with one end having a set of holes.  Depending on whether a Bear talks when he leans forward, or backwards, the Growler is fixed with the holes set facing in a certain direction. ( Isobel never remembers, and has forgotten as she is typing this, but she has a set of instructions to which she refers each time a new Growler is required.) Quickly filling the rest of the space in TJ's body, his body was made much plumper and the seam sewed tightly together again.  Then Isobel turned her attention to the limbs.

By removing the paw pads, which were made of a felt like material, Isobel was able to get hold of the cotton wool/kapok mixture from each limb and then re-stuffed each arm and leg.  Then, discarding the felt pads, each one was replaced with beige glove quality suede leather.  TJ now has a much smarter, longer-lasting set of paw pads.  The claws were embroidered back with the same double knitting yarn Isobel had used for his nose.  He now looks like this.

TJ Bear is now safely back home with his Forever Friend, Mrs EJ and back sitting on the bed on which he had been residing before his treatment.  As a result of his treatment, TJ Bear has been awarded the status of Associate Cuddly in the ColdhamCuddlies Family archives - as are all the ColdhamCuddlies Patients.  He can also now stand up with a little assistance, and Isobel did have some photographs which showed him doing so - however, somehow, in transferring them from camera to the computer and now to here, these have disappeared.  As TJ is now back home again, you'll just have to take my word for it that he does now stand up!

The Slipper manufacture has been carrying on - with a hiccup or two - but Isobel is now down to the last two pairs needing to be sewn before she leaves for her holiday with Clare in Nottinghamshire.  That happens at the end of the week, and I shall then be left on guard sitting on our bed here at The Hospital of St. John - an onerous responsibility which I take very seriously! 

However, I shall not have as many toys to keep an eye on this time, as the plan is that not only will the 2013 Novelty Slipper Collection be travelling with Isobel, but also several of the Cuddlies too.  There are plans for at least two Craft Fairs at which they will be on display, and who knows,  maybe one or two more may appear.   I'm told that the computer on which we post these blogs will be going too, so there will be some posts being published while Isobel is away - if she has time, that is - but I shall obviously not be posting them.  So, this will be the last contribution from me for a few weeks.

Meanwhile, Isobel has just received back some very encouraging comments on her writing attempts which she submitted for Assignment 2 for her Writing for Children Course - and is intending to take Assignment 3 with her - to prepare for the next stage in this exciting and challenging enterprise!   She's going to be busy, is'nt she? We'll keep you posted!

Goodbye:  until the next time!  Your Friend, Cy Bear