It is about time I told you about a really fun thing I did this past year! It took a while to get to this post as with the holidays... well, you know how it goes.
Earlier last year I planned to do my first swap with a friend I met online and then met in person in Binghamton, NY at the Teddy Bear Artist Invitational, Cheryl Hutchinson of Bingle Bears. Cheryl and I have been online friends for a little while and we began creating bears around the same time too. We like each others bears, have both won our TOBY's and so, we seemed an even match and we decided to make each other a bear to do a swap. It took months of planning and it was fun writing each other back and forth finding out what each of us had in mind for our perspective swap bear. We chose sizes and materials, colours as well as the sex of the bear and then each began to create! Each of us nervous about the outcome and how the other would feel about the bear they received! I was never worried that I would receive the perfect bear nor was Cheryl about hers but as the artist we were each very concerned that the bear we were creating be simply perfect.
Once the bears were completed we tried very hard to work out a time that we could meet in person to do the swap. I had a hotel booked for my husband and I close to the boarder that Cheryl and her husband were going to meet us at, for brunch, and we would do the swap. An unfortunate last minute change due to a work schedule and her hubby was unable to make it back in time for the meeting! Cheryl and I were both a bit disappointed but of course that is life and we tried to work out another date... but with the holidays coming fast and the winter weather fast approaching we opted to instead mail each other our bears!
We will meet this year in Binghamton for the TBAI show and bring our bears to do a little photo shoot but neither of us wanted to wait to do the swap for almost a full year! So the bears were mailed...
Cheryl, as you may know, lives with Fibromyalgia and I was recently diagnosed with my heart condition (which I am now on medication for and am stable) so when planning this swap we took our time and worked when we could... these bears are truly friendship bears and created with love for a new friendship as well as the art of the Teddy Bear!
When my bear arrived to Cheryl she was not feeling all that well and her two beautiful daughters helped her to open her gift. "Earth Angel" was named for Cheryl as I feel that even with the pain she lives with, often on a day to day basis, she still gives such beauty back to this world. Not only with her personality and being such a fabulously supportive Mom but also through her astounding bears. She is an Earth Angel indeed. Here she is with her bear created to match her home decor... in vintage style with handmade Victorian ribbonwork and vintage gown.
When my bear arrived I was Fortunate to be able to make a video for Cheryl so she would not miss the opening of the gift she created for me. I just have access to a very talented husband who can do fun stuff like this for me and I was soooo happy to be able to send this little video to Cheryl, especially after finding out that she was not feeling so well at the time.
I absolutely adore my bear who is named "Corwin" which means Hearts Friend. He is a stunning bear and now sits in my guest room for everyone to enjoy when they come to visit! His hypnotic blue eyes melt your heart, his hand knitted scarf and handmade corduroy jumper and his super soft ivory mohair make him simply irresistible to hug! He even came with a travel buddy in his little wool felt teddy who is soooo adorable! Thanks you so much to my dear new friend for creating this stunning bear for me! I cannot tell you how much this swap touched my heart but a picture is worth a thousand words and you will see just how adored he was from the moment he arrived if you watch the video!
Here is Corwin: by Cheryl Hutchinson of Bingle Bears
And lastly here is the video my hubby created of me receiving this precious boy! The package came right as I was leaving the house to go into our brewery family business... I opened him there so please excuse me for not dressing up. Had I known I would be receiving such an important guest I would have at least done my hair!