Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Early birthday!

I found this little guy on eBay and just fell in love. I'm not sure what it says about me that I love him even though-- and perhaps because -- he's missing his left arm. Sometimes you look across a crowded room and your eyes meet and you just know it's meant to be, you know? But he was twenty dollars, far more than I'll spend on myself for a silly old bear even if he is awesome. Instead I linked him on Facebook for my friends to see and made a fuss of him there, mentioning that if anyone was looking for a birthday present for me, this differently-abled bear would be joyfully received. 

Imagine my surprise when I went into the bedroom one night two weeks later to put on my slippers and there he was, sitting on the shelf with the rest of the hug ("Hug" is the collective noun for a group of teddy bears, really! You can look it up!), looking like he'd been there for ages and making himself at home. Dave says he was wondering when I was going to notice; apparently the bear had been there all day and I hadn't seen it in all the times I'd been in the room. But this time I did see him and...

"Albert von Marzipan!" I squealed.

Wait, what..? 

Oh, didn't I tell you? His name is Albert von Marzipan. I named him while he was still on eBay, because I'm strange like that. 

Dave says he was going to give him to me for my birthday in April, but he just couldn't keep him in a box wrapped in plastic bubble wrap that long. Which is a very unusual thing for Dave to say, beings as he does not tend to anthropomorphize bears --or anything really. What an entirely sweet gesture! 

AvM (for short) is a Hermann bear, made in Germany in the 1930s. His sparse coat is meant to look that way; he's not moth-eaten. He has glass eyes and a "growler" that doesn't work, but if it did, would make a sound when tipped forward and back (think of those cow moo toys), and he is very firmly stuffed with "woodwool" -- long shavings of wood that feel like stiff straw.  

His paw pads are in very bad shape, so the first thing I did was cut him some new ones from a matching wool I had in my stash, and stitch them on with silk thread, turning under the edges for a nice finish. Repairs like this, carefully done with appropriate materials, do not detract from the bear's value. I'll admit I was a little nervous, but I think the end result was good.

The seller's picture was very yellowish. This snap shows AvM's true color, and also the soft green wrap I crocheted him to keep off the chill. Elderly bears appreciate a little extra warmth. The neckerchief he came with is linen embroidered with a yellow and orange pansy-type flower, probably a token from an old sweetheart. 

Dave says, "Now you can make him a steampunk prosthetic arm!" And I thought "Ha ha, yeah!" But then I looked at the cheerful demeanor of this little guy and... it's just not his style, you know? While the soft part of his arm is gone, the wood disk and cotter pin are still attached. It would not be difficult to sew a replacement arm for him but doing so in a way that retained his value would mean finding a piece of matching-color sparse mohair, And I'd have to stuff it with woodwool, which takes a certain talent to pack in without gaps or lumps. 

Honestly, I think he looks great without the arm. It adds to his character. I like him just the way he is. 

The whole "hug".
Oh! And I made a second bear from the same pattern as Roy Tulip, using some black faux fur from an old coat. I'm not sure the sweater suits him at all, so when I get some time, I'll make him a red plaid shirt and maybe some overalls.  He looks like an outdoors-y sort. 

That's all for now. It feels like ages since I sewed any garments, doesn't it? And time is ticking by on my Manuscript Project -- which I have been completely ignoring. But this is the thing about hobbies-- you get to do what you want, when you want. Except when it's time to go to work. Which is now. See you next time! 

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