Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ben, My "Oldie" Bear

I'm happy to finally be able to introduce you to my "oldie" bear, Ben. This little Crew member is very special because he is the only one who actually lives on New Avenue. He arrived at my parents' home earlier this week, and my mom loves him.

It seems only fitting that Ben is living with my mom, because she is the one who found the short, soft, dense vintage upholstery mohair he is made from. She is also the one who introduced me to antique teddy bears and subsequently artist-made bears in the first place; we used to go to doll shows to look at the antique dolls she loved so much, and the teddy bears started appearing at those shows. I was smitten.

Mom has been asking me to make her a bear for years. Lest you think I'm a bad daughter, I want you to know that she had Oolong, the teatime kitty (pictured four posts below and in the sidebar), for a few years before giving him to my sister. And then I was in bear-making hibernation for a while, so there was no Crew member on New Avenue.

I started working on Ben many years ago, and he sat, partially completed, for quite a while. I always wanted him to appear to be older and well loved, so I took a deep breath and set to work "aging" him. You can see my brief post about the process called On Looking Old and Loved.

In the photos above, you can see Ben's worn areas, the "moth" holes in his wool felt paw pads, and the two little mending patches I sewed onto his arm and wrist. I made him a little shirt, too, my very first clothing design. (Did you know that I don't know how to sew clothes?) The shirt is adorned with antique buttons from one of my grandmas or great aunts.

I also took the plunge and aged his nose. I really like it!

Because he was completed on the fourth of July and has an Americana type of shirt, I decided to call him Ben after Benjamin Franklin. I thought he needed a sweet, simple name.

Before they each traveled to their new homes, I took a photo of Logan and Ben together. They are the two friends in the Quiet Conversations post below. I am glad they are both loved in their new homes.


  1. Oh Ben came out very nicely, and well done on your first aging. I've not been brave enough to try that yet!

  2. Both bears are lovely, I love the results of the aging process.

  3. got the same feeling of you on aging the mohair, scare that it would be ruined.
    love Ben as he got the spirit of Crew's bear, clean with your new breakthrough...

  4. He is darling! Has he been finished for a little while then? I think Logan was adopted a couple of months ago wasn't he?

  5. He's a real cutie, Debora. And he's going to a wonderful home.♥

  6. OH I just LOVE him and am so happy he lives with your Mum, what a happy Bear he will be :) Hugs, Catherine xx

  7. Adorable Deborah - beautiful work!


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