Cy Bear back again to tell you about two friends of mine who have been Patients in the ColdhamCuddlies Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Esty Listing #79124185) since Isobel came back from France at the end of May! It's already past mid-July, but Isobel has just finished treating both of them, and delivered them home this morning. However, if you've been reading our recent posts, you'll have seen that we've been somewhat involved in creating new Cuddlies in the form of Plush Furry Slipppers for Ladies and Children, so Isobel has been otherwise engaged!
However, while doing the slippers Isobel did not neglect Pooh Bear - who is 38 years old and Brown Bear - who is four years younger and admits to being 32 years old. She was trying to find the right kind of material with which to re-cover Pooh Bear. Here is a picture of them when they first arrived - with my friend Bernard Bear in between them. He's still waiting for his treatment to be decided, so remains sitting in the Lloyd Loom chair in Isobel's bedroom, next to me when I'm guarding the flat.
Interestingly, all three of the Patients have their right eyes missing! I'd just love to know why that happened, but obviously, that problem was among the most important things for Pooh and Brown Bears to have treated. Both of them had got a little soft, and it was decided that given their age, the stuffing was probably not safety tested, likely to be Kapok (which Isobel does not like) and so both of them would have their existing stuffing removed and replaced with our internationally approved, safe polyester fibre.
Both Bears belong to the sons of MrsPA-B, a lady who lives in Heytesbury, near where us, and whose husband kindly helped us in the provision of a golf club model on which Isobel can display her Golf Club Head Covers (Etsy Listing(s) #107240612 - Golden Bear; #107242111 - Yogi-Bear look-alike; and #107241362 - Panda Bear.) When MrsPA-B brought the Bears along to be assessed, we learned their stories.
Pooh Bear was (and still is) a much loved Forever Friend of MrsPA-B's oldest son, James. When they were first Forever Friends, Pooh Bear went everywhere with him even to the point that when he had to have an operation (sounds painful, but I don't really understand what that is), when James woke up, Pooh Bear had stitches in exactly the same place on his body, that his Forever Friend did. (When Isobel was working on him, she did wonder why there were some stitches in that odd place!) One day,when he was about two years' old - so that is 36 years ago, apparently, James decided as it was a very cold day, he would warm Pooh Bear up, so put him on to a 2-Bar Electric Fire. You can imagine the result - and after
MrsPA-B and James's Granny had found some material to cover up the wound, this is what he's looked like ever since, allowing for wear and tear in between-whiles!
After all these years, we've had some difficulty in finding any fabric to match his current coat, so in the end Isobel decided to go with a complete contrast. It was also difficult to locate the Poodle Fur from which Pooh Bear is made, because our usual Bear fabric supplier did not stock it and the small amount we needed to make Pooh Bear better wasn't worth his while to supply. Eventually, we found it at the source we use for most of our Plush fur (that doesn't come from our Furry fabric supplier in Frome, Somerset, Fine Quality Feather Company Ltd). Having purchased what Isobel decided she needed, she decided that she would make Pooh Bear a completely new body and back of his head. She would keep his limbs and face as they were - while patching and darning the holes that were over his limbs, and embroider back his nose, eyebrows and mouth, as well as replacing his missing eye, with two new matching ones. Having checked with MrsPA-B that she was agreeable to this course of action, Pooh Bear's treatment began:
The existing material on Pooh Bear's back was removed - exposing the rather nasty wound, which I'll show a close up of in a minute. Isobel then removed the legs, and found some nasty holes in both of them - as you can see on the right of the picture.
Having removed the arms, after the legs,
it was easy enough to then get hold of the stuffing because the hole was big enough to get it out without any difficulties. You can see the material which covered Pooh Bear's burn wound all these years - it was certainly good quality fabric in the beginning!
Rather extraordinarily, in Isobel's experience to date anyway, the whole body (and the stuffing in each limb too) came out all in one piece!
Right: I think this post has gone on long enough, so I'll close the story for tonight. The second installment, in which Pooh Bear is reconstructed will follow along shortly, and then we'll finish off with Brown Bear's story and the happy ending for both Bears in a third post a few days after that.
Meanwhile, it's lovely to be back chatting with you all again. Isobel is off to cut out some Mens' Slippers - using some super new furry material she collected from our Frome, Somerset suppliers earlier this week. She's over the moon with them, and you can expect to see some unusual Cuddlies appearing in our shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.Etsy.com very shortly.
Goodnight - and God Bless! Have a lovely week-end everyone! Cy Bear.