I have to tell you the story of how these miniature felt teddy bears came to me. Back in late May, I was in Bellevue, Washington when my husband saw a listing for a doll museum. He took me there, and of course, I had to go to the museum's gift shop. I met a wonderful woman running the shop, and when she found out that I was interested in miniatures, she showed me so many things, among them these tiny vintage handmade wool felt teddy bears (one of them fully jointed) with an adorable Victorian-style locket (with bear pictures inside!).
The mini bears were beyond my means at that time, so I left them in the shop, but I never forgot about them. Soon after my visit to the museum shop, however, I became interested in 1:1 scale teddy bears, after never having an interest before. I started following teddy bear blogs (lots of them!), and I started looking for teddy bears at my usual thrift stores. Soon I had a doll crib full of teddy bears and was buying baby clothes to dress the bears in (!). Then I was selling and giving away some of them, because I had too many. There is absolutely nothing wrong with teddy bears--they're great, in fact-- but they were never even my interest before!
Finally, in September, I called the museum shop, spoke with the same lovely woman, and asked if the bears were still there, as unlikely as that might be. Unfortunately, no, they were no longer there, and they hadn't been there for a long time, but the lovely lady on the other end of the phone said that she would be happy to put my request on a list. Perhaps the bears had been sent to a show and would be found. She took my phone number and assured me that she would call me if they came back to the shop.
I never heard anything, not until late October or early November, when I received a call from Sigmunde (the same nice lady) at the shop. She didn't know when or how it had happened, but the bears were back in the shop with their adorable locket. Did I still want them? DID I STILL WANT THEM?! Of course I wanted them!!! It was like a miracle!
We arranged everything by phone, and they arrived in the mail a few days later. Here's the funny part. While we were still on the phone making arrangements, Sigmunde said to me, completely out of the blue, "Imagine how many teddy bears you must have collected when you really just wanted these two bears!" I hadn't told her about the other bears, but she was so right! I'd really wanted these bears, and now I finally had them. :-)
The doll museum in Bellevue, Washington is the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art. Unfortunately, they are closing March 1, 2012. Go there while you still can. They have beautiful antique and modern dollhouses as well as beautiful dolls, and it is well worth a visit. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer