They must be a tough call for any bear, teenage years. My bear stuck around loyally whilst being hauled along by his ear, through to the humiliation of becoming my teen mascot. He suffered the indignity of rosettes, tartan scarves and even stripey socks from time to time, while I obsessed about the Bay City Rollers. Fortunately, it was a brief obsession, tossed carelessly aside as I entered my hormonely fraught teenage years, by which time of course, teddy bears had also been cast aside temporarily, in favour of more intriguing, albeit slightly less hairy, boys.
Which reminds me, my poor father! Teenage obsessions and five, yes FIVE, daughters. For him, they must have been dark days indeed. I do remember he worked long hours ...
We were a handful through our teenage years, there's no doubt about it and if you ask my Dad, I'm sure he'd tell you we still are. At forty four I'm the oldest and my baby sister Laura is eleven years younger. Between us we've produced nine grandchildren for our parents, eight of whom are, would you believe it, girls!
So what does all this have to do with my bear-making? I'm not really sure. I do know that my bear was the key to it all though. I came across a picture of a bear just like him in a bookshop one lunchtime, years ago. It caught my attention and drew me to the credits at the back of the book where there was a teddy bear museum listed. It was within travelling distance, so I couldn't resist planning a visit and once there, I didn't want to leave. I loved those old bears sat patiently in their glass cabinets, they looked like they had so many tales which might never be told and they captured me, hook, line and sinker. From there, it didn't take me long to stumble into the amazing world of artist designed bears and of course, I had to dabble, didn't I?