Saturday, 10 October 2009

Restoring an antique teddy bear

Meet Mr Perkins............... looking slightly different from the day he came home from an antique shop in Plymouth.

No eyes, dirty, a hole in his leg and very patchy sparse mohair. WHAT MOHAIR?
A typical well love and played with old teddy.
I never pretend to be an antique bear expert, so forgive the pun and bear with me over the next few photo's. This is the bear I chose from the three you saw in the display cabinet a post or so ago. He sat in the middle of a very sad looking Merrythought and another patchy old looking bear. The Merrythought had an arm missing, not impossible to give him a new arm and he had the right label and button. But I chose Perkins instead. No labels, no buttons in his ear (or evidence that there ever has been). Haven't a clue who made him.

The guy in the shop might have noticed me hovering around by the display cabinet for ages. Hovering wasn't the word, I just kept ending back at that particular display.

The Bear's pattern reminds me of a 1930's bears pattern. Maybe Perkins might be earlier. You will see why I think he might be as you scroll down.
The guy in the shop wrapped him so carefully in tissue paper and put him in a plastic bag (PLASTIC)..... When we got back to the car Perkins came out from the bag. Sat in Amie's place in the middle of the back seat, I left him wrapped in his paper as he looked fragile to take out completely.

This is the first night at Soggibottom.

I took a while to really look at him to decide what to do without ruining his old bear looks. First thing he had was a pair of eye's. Eventually he will have a slightly larger pair. The only pair of the right size glass eye's I have in my bear eye box are green. He doesn't look like he suits green eye's.

Hole in his leg, and worn around his joints where the stuffing had compressed and fallen over the years. Paw pads weren't too bad, worn and slight nicks. Repairable with thought.

This is the nasty stuff, if you look away Perkins and I will understand!

Kapok and wood wool stuffing, also a very, very old growler that looks like it had been made from leather and material. This is the reason why I think he is a twenties bear....but if you know different, don't hold back, let me know.

Not the most dignified pose, stuck on a plate on the kitchen table.

I re stuffed his body, you'll be pleased to hear. Stuffed around his head and the rest of his joints really softly and although I have wood wool I felt that to have put it in might just finish off the remaining mohair causing more holes over a period of time. He has a new growler, eye's and a new voice.

Bath time.

I used Bran and a warm water spray. The micro fibre cloth I used had to go into the bin when I had finished. You could say a bath was overdue.
Working the bran gently into the bear and using stroking not hard rubbing stokes brought off most of the dirt. Then left to dry and gently brushed with a soft brush. Very softly, softly stuff really....Holes fixed, I'm glossing over this bit because although I have made sure they won't fray anymore the decision is to sew, patch or stick.
The hole in his leg was different. I could have sewn it but instead, rummaged into my stash of mohair and found a backing that matched his as near as possible. I distressed the new mohair before using it for a patch. I had a fleeting thought about rubbing it in the garden or the stream...dismissed the idea. Instead I used an ordinary pencil. I think the patch works rather than anything else I could have done. Again any comments always welcome.

Here he is, in the cottage window.
Sitting up on his own without leaning on anything.
Watching the world go by and he can growl when he needs to.
Waiting for some clothes. They will help to protect him for a few more years.
If you have an old bear, protect him/her. It doesn't mean you have to keep them locked away in a dust free cabinet or in a box.......Keeping sunlight away helps, dressing your bear helps too.

Put them in your window, let them see who comes and goes. Let other people enjoy them.

If you have any idea's on a dress theme, feel free to suggest something.

Different bear from the one that we saw in the antique cabinet, different in as much as I hope he will last longer. Longer than rotting away in an antique shop display cabinet. As for the other two......ha ......well.................I have plans.

I'll warn you again, about spending money on an antique bear you fall in love with but might fall to bits as you get it home............

Restoration is not as easy as it might seem. Bran baths do wonders.................
One more thing I feel I should add, it's not polite to be touchy feely with old bears, or artist bears, always ask first!

If you ever need help with your bear/bears I'm always pleased to help.

I might be a gardener, a felter, knitter, quilter, doll maker, avid book reader, music lover, animal and bird lover, chaser of turtles and sharks on reefs, history lover, Amie Soto Blossom BOSS, the number one of all people at putting their one good foot in it and upsetting people, BUT most of all my passion apart from my family and friends.................BEARS...........especially old ones.

Is he smiling, or is it just my imagination?

What do you think?

Soggibottom has again been awarded an award...thank you.....I will post it, as always in my own good time x x x

To bear all!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Antique finds and the Mayflower steps in Plymouth Devon.

Weather wasn't great in Plymouth the day we visited the Aquarium.

Only hardy souls out and about.

Great for space, if you like the streets to yourself.

To find a street or backwater lane you haven't been before I always find interesting.

Yep.....this is what you think it is. Life size and on top of cupboards in the antique market.
They even had a stuffed crocodile.

Poor little guys. The bears, not the bottles on the top.

I always warn about buying antique bears.
No matter how much your tempted or how old the bear is, the bear really needs to have a good covering of mohair and be in reasonable condition..............
Otherwise your great buy and the love of your life will fall to bits before your eyes.
Don't these bears look sad?

Did I take notice of my own advice?

What do you think?

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Rock Pools are still rock pools no matter how large!

If your still there and still clicking, you know we have toured the South West beaches over the last few weeks. It's a great sport, one I love..............Amie loves the rock pools................... I still love anything to do with the sea.

Not far from the cottage there really is a cove that hosts the fairy tale seahorse........
These aren't from the cove. The picture was taken yesterday when we visited the Aquarium at Plymouth. I could sit there for hours, normally knowing that we can't be long because of leaving Amie on her own.

Yesterday, Steve dog sat Amie, so we were in no hurry. At our leisure we watched the Octopus and sharks and Snorkel the turtle.

These are reef sharks.....and not very big ones!
Big enough for the tank they're in.

If you ever visit the South West you have to visit Plymouth Aquarium
I'm sure you will love it.

If you can't make it...don't worry, click and watch, you really could be swimming with the turtle.
No scuba gear to weigh you down............
Sound travels further underwater, not sure if I ever heard use your own imagination or turn the sound down.
No jokes about the back end of a turtle..................... x x x

Monday, 5 October 2009

Crabbing in Torquay

You never know what you might find in a beach rock pool.

Especially when things that move around in there look really interesting.

Not so tasty for a dog if there is too much salt...........

There is always one thay gets away, even from Amie ............................

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Stumbling over fossils on Charmouth Beach

This is it, what ever it is.
We've been back to Charmouth beach fossil hunting.
Not really fossil hunting, just talking Amie for a walk.

What ever it is or was, now sits in the cottage along side the last of our Summer roses and the painting Mark brought back from The Forbidden City in China. Framed by Becca.

They're in there somewhere you only need to look!
I could fib and say I know what I am looking for fossil wise. I haven't a clue. Although if it shines it must be interesting............................

Not a bucket and spade to be seen on the beach. There were people wandering up and down with small hammers and rucksacks. I had to add some colour on here. After walking along Charmouth you understand why dinosaurs in films are always grey................
You might not be able to walk along Charmouth Beach, but you can visit the Jurassic Coast by a click.