Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers

Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
Click on banner to visit my Gallery Website

Monday, February 7, 2022

My world has turned upside down ...


Sorry, I have NOT purposely been ignoring my work emails ... I just have not had the time or the internet connections for this past year. 

With the sudden death of my best friend (on Feb 5, 2021) my life has changed drastically !!!!!!

I went from a world of making my mink custom teddy bears to: constant traveling, banks, investment bankers, plumbers, electricians, contractors. lawyers and so much more. I have spent the majority of this past year traveling back and forth to care for my best friend's cottage. It is in a lovely little artsy coastal town with spotty and sometimes no internet connection. I have spent very little time on the computer over the past year except for legal matters. My friend's estate will not be settled for at least one more year!

I have not had any time to work on any of my teddy bears for almost a year. I honestly don't know when I will find time to work on my teddies again. I am in the process of moving to that "artsy" little town with the spotty internet connection because it is so blissfully peaceful and beautiful. I am moving mostly all of my minks into storage along with most of my belongings. I have limited space in my best friend's hillside beach cottage so I have to drastically downsize. This is not how I had planned to retire but Life has other plans for me. 

This is not the only MAJOR life change for me and my family because my beautiful daughter is pregnant ... with TWINS. These will be my first grandchildren !!!!!!!!!! I am OVER-THE-MOON happy. I feel so very blessed. 

So what will become of my Teddy Bear Business? At this point I do not have a clue. At this moment all I know this that I have to stop updating my blog because I have to write checks to cover bills on my friend's estate then I have to go to several banks to deal with my friend's accounts that are now in Probate. It's never ending .......

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Order 20 Completely finished ... finally!

 I had to look back through my older posts to see how long it took me to finish this order. I started it February 8, 2020. That was JUST before the pandemic locked my Southern California family down. I remember using my sewing machine to make lots of face masks (instead of teddies) in the first few months of the pandemic.

While this order of 8 teddies is one of my largest orders it is hard for me to believe that it took me over a year to complete ... until I remind myself that it was during the Pandemic Lockdown and we were focusing on more important things (like finding toilet paper to buy).

The first four teddies were delivered months ago ...  so here are the last four:

This is the very last teddy of Order 20.  This teddy is special because it is the 4000th teddy that I have completed since I started making teddies in 1988. 

Correction ... I was just sending out my Pay Pal invoice and I was listing the teddies and I saw that I miss numbered this last teddy. Well, that just goes to show you how unsettling this year has been for me. I apparently picked up the wrong numbered tag when I was sewing this teddy. Even though it is 300 teddies away from #4000 this teddy will forever be a miss numbered teddy in honor of the chaos that this year has been so far and 2021 will probably continue to be insane for the remainder of this year (at least until I can completely settle my friend's estate).

The lining of the mink coat had pretty velvet ribbon. The coat had beautiful buttons. So I combined the two to create lovely little collars. There was enough to make a collar for all eight teddies.

I used the part of the lining with the name to make a memory pad to display with one of the teddies. I added the pretty buckle that was part for the mink belt. This part of the lining had the pocket and so I left the pocket accessible so you can hide little treasures in the pocket.

There were 4 big buttons and 4 smaller buttons.

These are the other three teddies that I completed earlier:

As you can see each one has its own unique personality.

Each teddy has glass eyes and hand stitched nose. The pads are from the lining. There are 6 joints including a double jointed neck that allows for
 a darling head tilt when twisted ... it can also look either up or down with a twist. There is also wire in the limbs that can be gently bent to allow for special display movement.

Thank you, Donna, for your extreme patience. I hope these teddies were worth the wait and that you and your family will love and treasure them for many years.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Finally ... the LAST teddy for Order #20

I will be honest ... this has been the most difficult time in my life. I thought I was blessed last year because I everyone that I know who got Covid survived. Now this year I lost my best friend unexpectedly to a probable heart attack, a dear friend and neighbor lost his beloved sister to Cancer, and just last week we lost our nephew also to Cancer. Too much death has overwhelmed me.

But as the saying goes: "Nevertheless she persisted".

And here it is... the last teddy!!! It was a long time coming. I think I have been working on Order #20 through the entire Pandemic. 

I just have a few little details to complete and hopefully these teddies will start their journey to their forever homes by the end of this week.



Sunday, March 28, 2021

The saddest beginning to this New Year ...


Farewell to my very best friend for over 50 years.

My dear friend died suddenly in early February . 

I am his best friend and only family so he gave me the legal rights to arrange his burial. He will be buried tomorrow but because of Covid I will not be able to attend his final journey. So sad. He also gave me the legal rights to settle his Estate ... which is complicated ... and probably will not be settled completely for a year or more. This will be my last act of love and friendship that I can do for my dear friend.

To say that I have been nearly paralyzed with grief, shock and confusion would be an understatement.

But knowing that he will be laid to rest according to his final wishes has been a great relief to me. I feel like I am finally able to breathe again, sleep again, eat again, and just function in general.


As for my Teddy Bears I will still be making them since creating them has always been like therapy for me. But to be honest I have been going through the grieving process and I don't want to make any decisions about when I will be retiring my business until I can think clearly again ... until then I will continue to (slowly) make my little teddies.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

It's a NEW YEAR ... 2021 !!!

 We all hope that this year will be better than 2020.

 This is my dog Watson and my New Year's card ...

I have not updated my Custom Teddy Work In Progress for Order #20 in a long long time. To be perfectly honest I just had to "take a break" from all the craziness in our world of insane politics, this deadly pandemic, and also my seasonal allergies and my very sore fingers from arthritis. How did I take a break when I never leave my house? I love old old movies especially Fred Astaire and  The Thin Man series. I also currently have been watching a lot of Tiny House Nation series... probably because I live in a small house and their storage ideas are sometimes really clever.

Well, today the sun has returned to Southern California long enough that I was able to do a little gardening and take a few photos of the last teddy that I made for Order #20:

I LOVE these last three teddies that I made for Order 20. Each one has such a charming personality. 

I have just one more teddy and this order will be complete. The last teddy I have to make from from Step One (cutting out the pattern and attaching it to the pelt) ... so this will take a while. Just a little more patience and then I will be moving on to Order #21 which is Susan's mink stole that I will transform into 2 teddies using Pattern #1 (which is the same as the pattern here).

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Work In Progress: Order #20

This Order is for Donna (8 custom teddies):

Please click here to see the teddies that I have completed so far for this order

 I have 3 more teddies on my work table for Order #20. They will all be my standard teddy pattern.

The pattern pieces were cut out. 
Then I had to cut the seam allowance around every pattern piece.

I try to do as much machine sewing as I can to keep my fingers from hurting ... usually that's most of the body, and the limbs. I ALWAYS sew the head by hand and all of the smaller pieces.

UPDATE 10-28-2020

I will be completing one teddy at a time

Here is the first one:

sewing almost finished ...

My Pandemic Pumpkin for Halloween ... 
a local Real Estate Agent dropped off pumpkins to every house in the neighborhood, so I had to do something with it.

Here is the headless teddy ...

Update: Nov 1

And here is the head ...
next it my favorite part: giving the teddy a face with lots of personality.

Update: Nov 6

I LOVE this little face!

Just need to finish stuffing and attach the ears ... then its on to the next teddy.

Update: Nov 8

This is the first of three teddies for Donna.
When I finish these three I will check the remaining pelt to see if there is enough left for one more teddy.

Now I will start the second teddy. It is partially completed. I need to do the hand sewing, jointing, stuffing next.

Nov 14, 2020

Teddy #2 
 body ready for the head (which needs to be constructed)

Update: Nov 20

I LOVE this little face too!!!
These teddies decide for THEMSELVES what their personalities are to be. I do all the same steps that I always do, and have done for the past 30 years, yet it is ALWAYS a wonderful surprise to see what they actually look like. This one is adorable with a lovely youthful face.

Here it is attached to the body.
Now I just have to add the ears.

Update: Nov 22

Teddy #6 is finished!

Sweet face 💕

Update: Dec. 5

Teddy #7 waiting for it's head

Update: Dec 12

Once again ... so happy with this head. Sweet!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

NOT-MINK teddies

 I've been having some fun and making myself some not-mink teddies (click the link to take a look) ... or there is a photo link on the right side of this page on my Blog for my "NOT-MINK TEDDIES" that you can check at any time.