Undoing a Decapitation

Owning and running a teddy bear store, I often get asked about bear repairs. I always say that I need to see the patient before I can determine if I can do the repair. Recently a vintage Character bear came to me in this condition:

Poor thing. His owner stated that he had pulled of the head as a child – so this little guy has lived like this for way too many years. After taking the bear to my “operating room” I opened the back seam and gently removed the old stuffing. The head joint was two cardboard discs connected by a thick nail that had been curled at the end. Out came the heavy duty wire cutters and the joint was cut. The decapitation had created stress on the front seam of the bear, so I stitched that up first, then turned my attention to reattaching the head. A new hardboard disc with cotter pin and washer was inserted, the neck seam gathered and the pin placed back into the neck of the bear. Another hardboard disc and washer were threaded on and a turn of the pliers secured the joint. Years after a young boy yanked on his bear in anger, that bear’s head was reunited with his body. Replacing the stuffing and closing the back seam completed the operation. I get the feeling he’s a much happier bear now:


Teddy bear decapitations are not uncommon, as the necks are often just gathered threads that will wear and break with time, but this poor thing had his unfortunate accident when he was almost brand new.  Thankfully, these are also fairly simple for a skilled teddy bear artist or restorer to repair.  Hopefully with an older and wiser owner, he will have a long and huggable future.

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Happy Birthday Tim!

Today is my youngest sibling (and only brother)’s birthday.  He is 10 years younger than me and he was a marine biologist for many years.  Many of the cards I do for him have an oceanic theme.  Here is this year’s:

The stamps are from Fiskar’s Heidi Grace line called Beyond the Sea.  I used a premade blank notecard of handmade paper and stamped the corals in several of Ranger’s Distress Inks – Weathered Wood, Peeled Paint, Dusty Concord, Orange Marmalade and Fired Brick.  The jellyfish were stamped with Tsukineko’s StazOn solvent ink onto scraps of clear acetate packaging.  I then carefully cut them out and attached them to the card using Zot’s small clear adhesive dots.

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Happy Birthday James!

Today is my nephew James’ birthday. Here is the card I made for him:

The stamps are from Fiskars Island Fun Clear Stamps Set, they were stamped using Ranger’s Distress Ink Pads by Tim Holtz.  I used Weathered Wood, Fired Brick and Dusty Concord for the Tikis, and Peeled Paint for the leaf border.


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Rediscovering a childhood friend

I grew up in a family of 7 girls and 1 boy, the boy being the youngest child.  I was the 6th girl and, as in many large families, we shared lots of our toys.  I recently found one thing I remembered from my childhood, the Penny Brite Doll. Although showing a bit of wear (she was played with quite often), she still retains her charm.

Penny was made by the Deluxe Reading Co in the early 1960’s.  I had one and several of my sisters also had one, but I can’t remember if all of us did.  We did have a few of the outfits made for Penny Brite, but could not afford multiples of them or all that were available.

Still around are these three – Smart Shopper,  Sunday Best, and Velvet Princess .  Unfortunately most of her accessories for these outfits and all of her shoes have been lost.

Thankfully, we were blessed with a Great Aunt Gussie that could knit and crochet and sew.  Quite a few outfits were made and remarkably have survived.

These knit sets included a top, sweater, skirt and hat.  The sweater and hat have been lost on the cream set.  There was a red set as well, but it hasn’t survived as well and is unwearable.

These cute hooded sweaters and pants were also knitted. There is another set, in a red variegated yarn, but it also has suffered a bit of damage over the years.

The little swimsuit and romper are also knit. My sister remembers a different romper, with a blue stripe, but I fear it has been lost.

Knit and crocheted dresses – I remember the bright pink one in the middle, but I don’t know why. Maybe it was mine, maybe I dressed her in it more.

Flannel nightgown and pajamas set. There are two other nightgowns, one also has a matching pjs set. I love the little buttons with loop closures on the pj top.

Dresses and a nightgown from various fabrics.

I think these dresses were made by us girls, as they are sewn by hand and rather crudely done. The pattern is very simple and the one has simple hand embroidery. There are 3 other dresses like this as well. I don’t remember personally making any of these, and I might have been too young. I do remember that we had access to fabric scraps and I remember making pillows and other things for dolls.

Penny Brite dolls have now become collectible but are relatively easy to find.  A few years ago, new Penny Brite dolls were introduced by Charisma Brands.  You can purchase new Penny Brites in copies of the original outfits or character dolls like Tinkerbell and Alice in Wonderland.

It’s funny, I remember more about playing with toy animals, trolls and cars and trucks in the backyard than I remember about playing with Penny, but she still holds a warm place in my heart.  I guess that’s why she’s been kept all these years, with smile and dimples in place, just waiting to be brought out and loved again.


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Happy Birthday Mary!

Yesterday was my oldest sister Mary’s birthday.  Here is the card I made for her:

mary card 2011

The butterfly is an Inkadinkado clear stamp, the circle is a Martha Stewart punch.  Both were embossed with Ranger’s Antiquities Cobalt embossing powder.


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Hello world!

Well, I’ve joined the crowd and decided to start a blog.  I’ll be sharing here about my crafting projects (or crafting disasters) and my adventures in thrift shopping, as well as other topics from time to time.

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