19.10.09

Another trip to the bear shop

Seems to be one of those times of year when things are tidied up, finished off and others started.
The cottage has been autumn cleaned and yet more space cleared. I am anxiously waiting for news of a job that has been in the pipeline for months, and have begun work on a design brief.

Today I popped to town to deliver the rest of my toys to Teddy Bears of Witney. I don't know why it is that every time I visit these lovely people I am in some state of scatterbrained-ness or (as with this morning) completely exhausted. I was actually babbling when I was ushered to a chair. Lovely coffee in a little mug and a buttery teddy bear biscuit were brought to me, which helped.
What I hadn't realised was that I was to be given the honour of drawing the names out of the hat, to decide who would get my creations; some of them had multiple applications, and there are only three of each design, so they like to keep things fair by holding a ballot. In a top hat. They know how to do things properly here.
My name announcements were accompanied by delighted gasps, as the staff know so many of their customers and were happy that they had got what they wanted. Afterwards I happily pottered about looking at new displays and taking snaps. I love these skinny bears, 'Lucy Havahart' and 'Duke Havahart', created by
Deb Beardsley, a Wisconsin bear maker.

I saw this chap and dropped to my knees to admire him; I adore spotty old horses on wheels. It's the kind of shop where they totally understand if you start crawling about the props. Or maybe they are just extra indulgent with me.
Bears, bears everywhere.
Although there are many many unique artist bears, they are also a major supplier of Steiff collectibles.

Oh look - down there on the bottom shelf; it's one of my favourite new models - Dulcie. She has been specially commissioned as a reproduction from an original old bear owned by one of the staff.
And round a corner, in a big, mirrored display cabinet, are some familiar faces. Not teddy bears at all, but looking quite at ease with their furry brothers and sisters.
Soon they will be on their journeys to the corners of the world, to start their new jobs. And I am going to take a day off to rest and try to get myself back together, starting with a long, hot bath.

26 comments:

jfidz said...

You certainly deserve a good rest Gretel - It's great to know that folk truly appreciate your wonderful creations.

curiouscrow said...

Your toys look completely at home in such fine company. I'm so pleased you got this commision and I hope you have many many more. It must be wonderful to work with people who really appreciate you and what you do.

tut-tut said...

WOOOT!

BumbleVee said...

what a wonderful shoppe it must be......I'm sure they do understand fully if you fall to your knees exclaiming over some new found marvel. Bear people are like that....


your little characters do look right at home and I'm happy to see them with some miniature bears for company.... how I'd love to spend time poking about in there. Well, a person might have to spend a few hours actually...... I like that funny little bunny on the left in the big chair...

Caroline B said...

What a fabulous shop! You must have been in seventh heaven in there - I spot some little characters that could have stepped right out of one of your paintings! Your creatures look right at home there - not that they will hang around for long I am sure!

John Nez said...

That's quite a fierce competition of 'Cuteness' all piled up in one place... but I'd say your creations look right at home there. Actually I think they stand out, since they're quite unique...

Good luck!

:0)

Liza said...

What a fabulous Aladdin's Cave - just right for your treasures to begin their new journeys! x

Menopausal musing said...

I'm with John Nez on this one............. well done!:O)

the casbah kitten said...

How incredibly exciting! You must be proud all the way down to the tips of your toes!

Over the Garden Wall said...

What a lovely lovely launch for all your enchanted creatures. Did I hear music in the background? Yes I did, The Teddy Bear's Picnic
of course.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh they all look wonderful on their glass shelves!! I'm so tickled for you. I know it is such a treat for the shop keepers when you show up!

Graceful Moments said...

Your delightful little toy art animals look like royalty among all the more ordinary toys. Hope you got your soaking bath!

Magpie Magic said...

What a lovely shop and your little lovelies look perfect in it. I bet they won't be there for very long though....

rachel said...

What a dangerous-looking shop. I must never go near it.....

....maybe I could manage if I just pressed my nose up against the windows? From outside, of course, with a sturdy friend hanging onto my arm, restraining me from drifting inside?

Your beautiful creations look just right in amongst the bears.

liZZie said...

Oooooo - you just sooo belong in that shop, and your creations of course. It was lovely, a real treat to have a look round it, so a big thank you for that post, and I'm really very pleased for you that things have turned corners so to speak...

wherepianosroam said...

Your toys are going to sell like hotcakes!!! They are beautiful. Congratulations on all your success.
I am sending warm thoughts from across the pond.

Jessie said...

Well done Gretel! They do pay attention to detail in the shop don't they? - teddy bear biscuits!! Looking at one of those photos, I spy a bear exactly like my own very old bear (handed down from an auntie many years ago!)xx

Pearl said...

Well I love all the teddy bears for sure but I have to say those little characters in the mirrored case have personality plus. How can you not fall in love with each and every one.
I just had my Sherbetta out and loving her so much.
Hope all those in the shop go to a good home.

Hugs,

Soozcat said...

Oh, that topper! *Sooz temporarily goes spare squeeing over hats*

It is interesting that, despite your creations having a very distinct look of their own, how comfortable they seem among the myriad fuzzies. (Hope they don't get too comfortable, though, and that they're soon on their way to homes where they will be well loved.)

Mlle Miracle said...

It's sooo nice to see your creatures in that "entourage". And how exciting that so many people want to have them. As for your reaction when you visit that shop is absolutely understandable! It's that kind of places where you have to overcome your timidity ;0) !

Brown Dog said...

What a fabulous shop, Gretel - will have to check it out. And your lovely characters look right at home there. Hope you enjoyed your long, hot bath.

My Bella Bleu said...

Oh, but the display of your creations looks amazing. I think the shop is magical- a place I would love to visit! Congradulations keep up the excellent work!

Angie

moonbindery said...

This looks like a place I'd like to crawl around in! Congratulations on getting your creations into this shop--looks like they'll be in fine company there.

I have the same problem as you--I sell my books at a local Art Gallery, and it seems like every time I go in to take them some books, I'm in some sort of wind-blown, half-demented state. Glad to hear I'm not the only one. :)

Frances Tyrrell said...

What a perfect place for your lovely felted creations (where else would you find a top hat on the counter ?) I have a particular fondness for your long-necked geese.

Any word on the next project? Fingers crossed,
Frances

Rowan said...

What a wonderful shop! Your lovely little animal friends look perfectly at home there too.

Yarrow said...

Well done and how wonderful to see your lovely creations in such a beautiful shop. I'm soooo pleased for you :)

kx