Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers

Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
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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.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Custom Order 20: first four teddies finished

 Donna's order is half way finished. Of the seven teddies requested I have finished the two Mother-Daughter sets. I think they are beautiful!

I am now working on the last 3 teddies. They are all cut out and I am currently working on the sewing.

I will be contacting Donna to arrange shipping these completed teddies (probably via FedEx since that is how she shipped her coat to me). No point in them sitting here with me when she could be enjoying them.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Work in Progress ... plus a new teddy pattern

 Daughter teddies :

Bodies finished and jointed

Heads and necks jointed

Now I need to work on the all important face.

I have not been getting much accomplished lately due to the heat wave here. We are only about a 20 minute drive to the coast so we don't have an air conditioner in our little house ... we don't usually need one unless we have the (what used to be) rare HOT day or days. Well, last week was sooooo hot! And our California Fire Season is no longer just a season but it is all the time. None of the current fires are near my location but it still effects the air quality. Well, I've been having headaches and one day it was a migraine. Oddly while dealing with my aching head all I could think of is "I need to make myself a new teddy". LOL. So I did. 

This is a new pattern that I drew out. I wanted a chubby little teddy that fit in the palm of my hand.

I wanted to make a teddy that took just one day and not several days or weeks like my mink teddies. So I went through my mohair and alpaca storage boxes and found a scrap of alpaca (my favorite). I drew out a pattern that fit the size of the scrap piece.

I used wool felt for the paw pads which I hand painted.

I took these photos first and that's went I decided that it needed some paint ... seemed a little uninteresting without the paint.

I used to use the mohair and alpaca fabrics to work out my new pattern ideas simply because fabric is faster, less messy, and more fun to use for teddies. Am I going to try this pattern in mink? Probably not because I designed the pattern for fabric not pelts.

I'm quite pleased with the one-day teddy that I made to add to my personal collection.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Forced to change my shipping provider

For the past 30 plus years I have been safely shipping my teddies through the United States Postal Service with absolutely no problems. Now there is a new Postmaster General and since he has been the head of the USPS I have had  several packages gone missing. I reported each one (after waiting over a week past their expected delivery date). I was always given a Confirmation Number for each of my Missing Mail reports ... but I never received any follow-ups. One package finally arrived almost a month late. The package pictured above just arrived today August 25 and as you can see in the last photo it was shipped July 15 (from my neighborhood pharmacy, so the expected deliver was July 16). So that is well over a month late. I have one other package that stopped tracking on July 14 and I will probably never receive that one. My daughter also received a package a month after it's expected delivery date.

Therefore, from now on my teddies will be shipped either by UPS or FedEx. 

By the way, I did go back to my pharmacy after waiting 2 weeks because I was running out of my prescription medication and they kindly replaced the order... and told me that the problem I had with USPS was becoming a common one for their pharmacy. 

UPDATE: a few days after I posted this the package that never arrived suddenly started tracking at my local post office. I received an email notice that it was to be delivered that day. I was home all day and never received it. Then I received another email notice to say that the package was delivered to my front porch (with the time of delivery). Well, I checked my front porch camera and sure enough ... no one came to my door at that time. UUUGH! I was hoping that whoever received my package would return it ... but people are not as nice as they used to be.

Well, that just reinforces my decision NOT to ship my teddies via USPS until there is a new Postmaster General and department starts running smoothly again.