Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Bear's Story

I have always loved the story of Corduroy, the little bear who lived in a big department store and was continually passed over by children because of his missing button and less than perfect appearance. I always loved when my grade school teachers would chose that book for story time readings. And I still love it now that I am the reader and my children are the audience. The book holds an even more special place in my heart now that I'm an adult, as it was the last gift The Husband gave to The Kid before he left for a year long deployment when she was just a little bitty sprout. Whenever we read that book now, I always think of that difficult time in our lives and how we made it through.

So having said that, it is really no surprise that when I spotted a completely torn and stained, rag tag stuffed bear while wandering an antique store one day, that I would feel compelled to bring him home and "fix" him.

I don't have any before photos, as this actually happened this past spring. We were wandering a local antique store browsing furniture in hopes that we might find something for our "new" old house. I did end up receiving some furniture we found on that day, for Mother's Day, but that's a different story for a different day.

Our little patchwork bear was flopped over a table in one of the booths at the store, his right ear almost completely torn off, rips and holes all over the place, with stuffing spilling forth, and permanent stains from years of obvious loving. He was priced at a sad little five dollars. I looked at The Husband and he smiled at me. He knew I needed to give the little creature a home.

There was no way to bring the little guy back to his original glory, so I just did my best to close up all the holes and reattach the ear. I had to use obvious stitching, but I actually think it only adds to his charm.

What do you think?

I'm not sure how old he is exactly, but judging by the jointing and fabric, he is old. Like, OLD old.

I imagine he has lived a very full life, and been loved almost to death.

And now, thanks to me(toot toot! That's my own horn...), he'll gets to live and be loved a little longer!

Some of my favorite projects I've ever done are the ones that were started by somebody else. I don't know why, exactly. Maybe because they require love, but not much thought.

That sounds bad.

 What I mean is, a lot of times these projects don't require much more than simple stitching that I can almost do with my eyes closed. It is loving, but almost methodical stitching, which for an anxiety ridden person like me, is relaxing. And I get the satisfaction of "closing up" an "open" project that's been hanging out and creating a hole in the craft universe, which is also important to a person with OCD. Like me.

That sounds better.

I don't know if it makes sense. But, I have a four year old and a baby. I'm used to not making sense.

In case you are wondering, I did indeed throw this guy into the washing machine before I attempted any fixing. He survived the washer beautifully! I had actually feared that he would fall apart, but I have a strict decontamination policy when it comes to any pre-loved items that enter my home.

Though he is still a little bit fragile, he definitely holds up to gentle hugs and snuggles.

And he definitely receives plenty of them.

I think he's probably a much happier bear now than he was when I found him. In fact, I am sure of it.

So that's my little bear's story.

I actually have plans to turn his story into a little book, in a nod to my beloved Corduroy, but Lord knows when I'll have time to complete the illustrations.

So many things on the horizon...