Monday, October 5, 2009

The Funny Thing about Bears

Remember that new design I was working on? Remember how I "knew" this was going to be my bear? It was also going to be a "she" bear. Well, I have learned my lesson. One must never have preconceived notions when making a bear. Instead, I have learned that, at least for me, I must listen to the bear and do what it asks. So, how did I learn this sage lesson? From Buster.
Each day while I worked on Buster I smiled to myself because I was going to get my own teddy bear. A real-life teddy bear just for me! I can't remember ever having a teddy bear besides a stiff and badly stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh I got from Disney Land as a kid. He sat permanently upright and you could feel the wires that held him in his stiff position--it felt like the poor thing had swallowed a coat hanger.

Well, at the beginning of Buster's creation, I was over-the-moon excited--except I thought of the bear more as a Babette than a Buster. But as each day passed I got an edgy little feeling that would gnaw at me. I'just passed it off to being tired.

Then early last week my neighbor called and, boy, did that edgy little feeling let itself be known! Carmencita has been in the hospital for what seems to be a couple of months--I've honestly lost track of when she first went in. She had spoken many months ago about someday buying one of my bears, but we hadn't talked about it again...until last week. We had our normal chit chat, but then it became obvious that she had a purpose for this particular call. She wanted a bear. She wanted a big, fat, cuddly bear with any special extras I could add. It was settled that I would bring the bear I was working on when it was done (Buster) and some different mohairs for her to feel and choose from.

Then, I thought, I was back to everyday business. And the edginess increased and increased. I swear if Buster could have battered me over the head with a pillow, he would have. I was being so thick. It wasn't until Saturday when I finally was able to put the pieces all together. Firstly, Buster was plainly a boy bear no matter how much I wanted him to be a girl bear. Secondly, he was not my bear. He was Carmencita's bear.

Buster was exactly what she wanted. He was the fattest and most cuddly bear I had ever made. He was well weighted and everything about him made him a tactile delight. This is important because Carmencita is blind. The alpaca fur was luscious and I had done a lot of trimming on Buster's face and paws which made their texture a joy to feel. His nose was waxed to a smooth sheen and all of his curves were continuous and smooth. He was perfect for her.

Yesterday morning we visited Carmencita in the hospital and presented her with her bear. She was simply thrilled. Her face lit up with pure joy as she ran her hand over him and she would exclaim every time she discovered something new about him. She even called in the evening to tell me more about how much joy Buster had brought her.

Buster is Carmencita's bear. I think he probably was all along. I just was being too stubborn to listen to him. So, I have learned my lesson.

I made a new pattern today which I have started to work on. This bear is going to be made from a gloriously silky kid mohair in a lovely golden shade. I am sorely tempted to say it will be a girl and that it will be mine, but I will be patient. The bear will tell me all of this in its own good time.

Warmly,
Cheryl

14 comments:

  1. Another wonderful post. Very enjoyable and easy to read. And in the very short time I've been making bears I am learning that they surely do have a will of their own. And that is truly part of the charm and joy of making these darlings.
    Have a great week!
    Kelly

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  2. What a lovely post Cheryl ... brought tears to my eyes. Isn't it funny how they really do have a personality of their very own. No matter what you try, it's inevitable that a bear will always choose his or her own sex.
    Thanks for sharing such a heartwarming story.
    Warmest hugs,
    Sandi

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  3. Delightful post, Cheryl. Your words ring so true!
    Hugs,
    Laura

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  4. I know how you feel - They really do have a will of their own - don't they?

    For some reason most of my bears are boys - I suspect that is a reflection of my tom boy personality.

    I adore the way his arms turned out - he's a different look from you - it really does suit him, love the name!

    Look forward to seeing what you come up with next :-)

    I am currently discovering the joys of double neck joints :-)

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  5. Thanks everyone! I really was surprised how much Buster told me. The other bears I've made have always spoken as well--they just didn't have to shout as much as Buster did because Buster was one of the few bears that I "knew" what he would become.
    Warmly,
    Cheryl

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  6. Wonderful bear! Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs, Irene

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  7. A lovely post Cheryl,

    I love a lot your job, this bear is very beautiful! artist be good!

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  8. Thanks Rosarita! Your bears are really cute!
    Warmly,
    Cheryl

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  9. Hi Cheryl

    Buster is fab and very clever too he knew all along where and to whom he was going...

    Raewyn

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  10. Buster is gorgeous Cheryl - he is a V.I.B to be sure ! What a special little guy . One day your "own" bear will just creep up on you I expect :0)

    Mini Hugs , Ruth

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  11. Thanks Raewyn and Ruth!
    Warmly,
    Cheryl

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  12. That is a fantastic story!

    I love when things are just sort of meant to be (even if it means it wasn't meant for us specifically!)

    Oh, I also hope you plan on making more Buster patterned bears... I think I'm in love!!!

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  13. Thanks Heather! I'll probably base another bear on Buster's pattern, but I always seem to change and tweak the patterns. I never seem to use the exact same pattern twice.
    Warmly,
    Cheryl

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