I met one of my oldest friends almost 30 years ago thanks to Steiff. My ex and I were in the Bay Area for the first time because of a conference. Back in the days it was still possible to combine a conference and holidays (four states in a week, I still don't know how Americans do something like that), so while he was preparing for his first talk in English in a fancy Berkeley hotel (our motel was not quite as nice), I got to discover the area participating in what was called the "ladies' program" in a flippant way, even if in that case the conference participants' partners all happened to be women.
On the first day, however, we did get the chance to explore San Francisco on our own, and our first stop was FAO Schwarz whose connection to Steiff was famous among collectors thanks to some special editions. After spending some money there *cough cough* we asked if they knew how we could get to know collectors in the USA. They couldn't help us with that, but they offered us the phone number of a lady who had done repair of some studio Steiffs for them before.
I still remember how nervous I was when I called her. How do you explain to someone that you don't know them, but you got their number from the toy store because you collect old plush animals? I guess it was destiny because we are still friends now.
I can't sew. I never learned it, and the little sewing I have to do is exhausting to me, but when Jenn came to visit Germany for the first time, she gave me the sweetest little dwarf that she had made herself, and suddenly I had the crazy idea that she should show me how to sew a simple bear.
In the end I had three bears, I think, I'm not sure where the two smaller ones are.
This one, however, guards my CD shelf from which he falls down quite regularly, even more after Gundel moved in. For some reason she keeps pushing him off which is not something she does with other things. Maybe her headbutts are too much for him. She did again today which is why I thought he deserved a random Saturday post.
His name is Boxer. He's hand sewn from a beige tipped black synthetic fur, has paw pads from dark grey felt, vintage light blue painted glass eyes - with that fur it would have been hard to see the eyes if I had picked brown ones - and a pink nose - which would be very unusual for a black bear, but I found he was a little unusual, anyway.
I called him Boxer because I seriously believe he's in the fitness studio too often. Just look at those shoulders.
Ok, so it's actually that's not his fault, I didn't think the arms would sit that high up in the end, but I love him nonetheless.
He's soft and cuddly and sweet and proof that I have used a sewing needle before! ;-)
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