When my sister Lynda asked if I 'knew anyone' who would be able to create a teddy bear from her daughter's old Scout camping blanket, naturally I proffered my own name!
The blanket duly arrived in the post a couple of months prior to Christmas and I must admit, my initial thought was that it was a pretty uninspiring piece of woven cloth (and quite scratchy! Given the lovely soft fleece blankets available today, maybe it's time for the Scout movement to upgrade their camping blankets?!) Anyway, on the upside, the cloth was strong enough to cope with the rigours of teddy bear construction, so after mulling things over, I set about designing a suitable teddy bear ... nothing too cutesy as this was to be an adventuresome kind of bear!
Lyn's concept was for me to make a memory bear, large enough for my niece Charlie to attach her Scouting badges and her Grandfather's. (Grandad had been a Boy Scout in his youth and sadly passed away recently.) This would keep the hard earned badges safe and proudly displayed ... such a lovely sentiment couldn't help but inspire me!
So, the brown wool blanket became a 19" teddy bear with a lovely round centre seam head, accessorized with Charlie's Scouting neckerchief and two of her Scout Movement badges.
Needless to say there is a certain professional pride, (not to mention nervousness!) in accepting a secret commission from one's sister of all people (!) so I was relieved to receive a highly delighted response when she came to collect him in person ... phew!
'Scout' hopped into Santa's sack, finally meeting Charlie on Christmas Day. Charlie has renamed him 'Bear', in honour of the inspirational Bear Grylls, Chief Scout for the UK Scouting Movement. The perfect name for such an adventuresome bear!