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About Threadbear


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Life Missions

(4 out of 5 complete)

To visit the Teddy Bear Clinic

To donate 500 bears to the Tedddy Bear Clinic

To personally welcome each bear that arrives.

To make it into the local newspaper

To win a Golden Bear Award

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Travelog for: Threadbear

Johannesburg, South Africa - 19th May 2008

By: Threadbear

No one can go back and make a brand new start...
Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

Hi! My name is Threadbear and this is my story...

I was rescued from the SPCA (Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals) thrift shop by three visiting ToyVoyagers  Pinky Bear, Dilbert and HitchaRideDooey and their host MrsC.


I was in a bad way, dusty, torn split open and even worse, to my shame, my head was on backwards and I had a filthy piece of lace a round my neck. But they saw the potential in me for which I shall be forever grateful.



MrsC patched me up, returned my head to it's rightful position, and gave me a very gentle clean.


She gave me a new name to celebrate my new beginning. Threadbear. Very fitting and I am very fond of it.


A few other toys were rescued with me and also cleaned up and repaired. Slowly but surely they have all been given a new purpose in life. I wondered what my new purpose in life was. I am certainly too fragile to travel. When MrsC told me what was to become of the last few bears I knew EXACTLY what it was I had to do.


They were destined for a sad but wonderful place called the Teddy Bear Clinic it is a clinic for sexually abused children in South Africa. Unfortunately there are far too many children here who suffer this fate. Each child visits the clinic at least five times and each time they get to choose a bear to keep. The bear is used by the child to show what has happened to him or her, especially when they are too young to communicate properly  and also as a source of comfort because we all know what magical healing properties Teddy Bears have...

As you can imagine they need lots of bears, in all different shapes and sizes. Mrs C sometimes knits bears for them and collects either old or new bears. Here are some she collected doing a school drive ( a friend of hers once got the children in her class to knit, even the boys!) Hang on I need to cunningly disguise the children...


Here they all are at the clinic. MrsC asks very nicely that no one posts an extra large bear like this one, she struggled to get him into her car!


Well I have decided to ask all of you out there reading about me to send over any retired bears that you may have sitting forlornly on shelves or in boxes.  It does not matter if they are small, sometimes the children prefer them like that. If they need cleaning or repairing, don't worry, MrsC will sort them out and I will welcome them all, each and everyone. Please PM me for my address or e-mail directly.

* Posted May 19, 2008, 10:29 am Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:33 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Jo'burg, South Africa - 19th May 2008

By: Threadbear

Enthusiasm is contagious.
Start an epidemic

Hi everyone!

Thank you so much for the wonderful response so far! My Teddy heart is so filled with joy that I am afraid it may burst a few more stitches on a weakened seam somewhere!

I have been in contact with the Teddy Bear Clinic and they are just as excited. Hopefully I will be able to go through for a visit sometime this week  to show you around...

Here are some photos MrsC found of a 'bear repair' that her and her friend carried out on quite the biggest bear I have EVER seen... clearly I was not the first bear to have surgery performed on him by MrsC!

Poor, poor thing! Years of children bouncing all over him have left him in an un'bearable' state...


Amazing what a little bit of love and thread can do... That is MrsC's special friend, MrsF sitting on his lap, so you can see just how BIG he is. Every time MrsC has a harebrained idea to help others, MrsF is the first to jump in and help. (Thanks MrsF)


It has been exactly two years and three days since that photo was taken, it will be interesting to see what state he is in by now! That is one HUGE pair of dungarees that MrsC made!!! :stare:

* Posted May 19, 2008, 8:03 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:38 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Teddy Bear Clinic, South Africa - 21st May 2008

By: Threadbear

Don't live down to expectations.
Go out there and do something remarkable.
-Wendy Wasserstein

Hello lovely people!

Today I did a little adventuring with MrsC and Pinky Bear we did a few charitable deeds which is what I am all about so that was fun, but then, typical girls, they went shopping.. I had a little doze in Fi's bag, though I did wake up to meet Melson Mandela


Pinky was all for having a chat but I looked at MrsC's phone and saw what the time was! We needed to get to the Teddy Bear Clinic quickly or we would be late for picking the children up from school.

Here we are getting closer, this is the famous Hillbrow Tower, situated in the infamous Hillbrow, which is pretty much a slum these days so this was as close as we were getting.


You may have noticed that we South Africans are very proud of our colourful flag...


Some more than others...


Here we are at Reception. Unfortunately the man we had come to see, Luke, was busy in training.  He is very, very busy as Child Protection Week is coming up soon. Never mind, I am sure I will get to meet him soon. The most important thing is that he knows what we are all doing here on ToyVoyagers with the Teddy Drive and he is very excited about it too.


The Teddy Bear Clinic won a prestigious gold award, which recognises their contribution made to public life in South Africa. Well Done!


Pinky and I join in a jacuzzi party! Just kidding, every available space is filled with Teddy Bears which is a lovely site...


These ones do the filing..


These ones do admin...


These ones do general office work...


We made a friend on this desk...


Here is a peak into one of the rooms... people were busy in all the other rooms and we didn't want to intrude.


This bear is made from wire!


These poor girls need some TLC, someone tried to put a dress on the first one but it just got stuck because the bear was just too big. MrsC promised she would be back to make dresses (maybe she will take a sponge and some detergent with too)


Who is that I spot down the end of the passage?


Look, MrsC and MrsF did a good job! The Gigantabearus still looks good, he just needs a little lip surgery and all will be well!


Maybe if we collect enough bears we can get ToyVoyagers up on the wall too?


Here's hoping!

Whilst we were in the building we went up to visit some of the other clinics Fi supports.

Here is the view out of the window. The tower again and the derelict looking building in front of it was once the esteemed Queen Victoria maternity home, where pretty much everyone in Johannesburg was born before the new Johannesburg General Hospital opened in the late 1970's. The building we are in at the moment used to be the children's hospital until that too was moved to the new Jo'burg Gen.


This is the Toy Library but children were busy having a play session so we didn't go in...


Then we went up to visit "BigShoes" which is a clinic for abandoned babies, orphaned or vulnerable children. Their mission is to aid these children so that they can grow up and fill big shoes! Isn't that sweet?

This is a lovely bright and beautifully decorated clinic.


These are some of the latest babies that have been adopted both locally or internationally.


If you can see on this poster, the little white stickers are all the children's homes just in Johannesburg alone. Scary.


All the people that work in this entire building, which is exclusively for children's clinics (all Non Government Organisations) do the most amazing job and I for one salute them.

On the way out we stopped at the canteen...isn't it sweet? The bears are down here too!


Well that was an emotionally draining experience but I can't wait to go back! It would be especially nice to take 500 bears back with me!

* Posted May 21, 2008, 11:06 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:35 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Home, South Africa - 28th May 2008

By: Threadbear

A bear grows more alive with age.
No one with one ounce of sensitivity could ever consign a bear to the dustbin.
-Johnnie Hague

Hello, hello!

What a happy day it has been. Chilly, chilly weather and it has been raining almost all day long... but the heater was on and I sat on MrsC's desk making new friends and drinking hot chocolate! Would you like to meet the first local bears to arrive?

First up is this handsome fellow, I must find out what shampoo he uses to get that shiny fur...he hasn't stopped smiling since he found out why he was brought here.


This lad is dressed up appropriately for the weather... he has the longest legs I have ever seen in a bear! He comes from the same area as Charlize Theron, must be something in the water over in the East Rand...

Some child is just going to love this other one, he is so soft.


These two little bears are so funny! The little one at the front is a cheeky little chap. He comes from a doctors rooms...he has spent all evening looking through MrsC's (very extensive) ribbon collection and then he decided he needed to look again in day light before he could choose one.

The other one is a kindred spirit... remember my head was on backwards? His arms are on the wrong way round! MrsC says she will wait for day light too before she corrects this... His nose has also split in the exact same place as mine... nose job needed!


We are just waiting for MrsC to go to bed so we can have some real fun. Shouldn't be long now, it's 1am and she is yawning her head off...

* Posted May 28, 2008, 12:04 am Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:37 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

SPCA, South Africa - 28th May 2008

By: Threadbear

A bear teaches us that if the heart is true, it doesn't matter much if an ear drops off.
-Helen Exley

Hello! Do I have exciting news for you...

Today MrsC and I went back to the SPCA to rescue some more bears... I was a little nervous, but no-one asked me to stay behind again... We bought up every bear they had except for one, he was too badly damaged to be repaired.

I asked this one if she wanted to be rescued and she just looked at me, so I asked her again... she just stared at me. I was just about to repeat myself when MrsC nudged me to take a better look... oops! I am sure she will get a pair of ears soon, and knowing MrsC as I do, this one is not going anywhere, she's getting a desk job...


This motley crew need washing and all manners of repair before they are fit to be passed on. It will be a busy weekend, for sure.


I noticed we had a few pandas in the crowd... they amused themselves with this rather hilarious book...


These girls just giggled during the photo shoot. I think under a ton of dust they are actually as white as they look in this photo...trust me that was just the camera flash!


Here we have a shy polka dot bear. I think the other one used to have polka dots too, she was at one stage a ladybird bear... we'll have to make a plan about her...


And last but not least... I had a very teary emotional reunion with none other than my baby brother Buttons! I thought he was lost for good. What a happy moment when MrsC found him stuck to a Velcro strap of a satchel! The happy moment lasted until she took him off the Velcro... he squealed like a stuck pig.

Poor, poor Buttons - he has also become very fragile in his old age. He needs a few stitches here and there. At least he has all his parts on the right way! Now that I have found him again, I am not letting him go... He also gets to share a spot on the desk with me.


Tomorrow we hand out pamphlets at the children's school to see if we can round up a few more bears. I'll keep you posted...

* Posted May 28, 2008, 8:47 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:39 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Home, South Africa - 29th May 2008

By: Threadbear

You will never find time for anything.
If you want the time, you must make it.
-Charles Buxton

Hello lovely people!

Buttons and I helped MrsC make the pamphlets today... it was a lot of hard work but we managed...

I helped to cut them neatly, it was quite a workout pushing the blade along.

Oh, don't you like my lovely new jersey? It has been so cold lately. MrsC found it in a shop called TeddyBears ETC that sell the most wonderful stuff (AND they were holding a Teddy Raffle in aid of the Teddy Bear Clinic - kindered spirits!)


Buttons also got a jersey, it fits him perfectly. He helped sort out all the pamphlets and then stacked them neatly.


Ta da! All finished. Now to take them to school and put them in the post pockets. Hopefully we will get some bears soon.


* Posted May 29, 2008, 4:22 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:40 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Behind the camera, South Africa - 30th May 2008

By: Threadbear

Bears being sent through the mail should never be squashed up to make them fit.
It gives them indigestion.
-Pam Brown

Hello, hello!

There was much excitement around the house today. Another batch of local bears arrived. Some were previously loved and some were brand spanking new. All of them were gorgeous.

I asked if I could take the photos today, I really want to be involved a bit more. The camera is very heavy so I needed a bit of help...MrsC held it up and I pressed the button. I think I did a pretty good job, if I must say so myself.


Even more exciting news, is that MrsC came back from the Post Office with three packages, all from the fabulous BunTraveler! 15 little cuties and one of them a guardian angel to look after the rest.

Here are a few of them, desperate for a cup of tea I'd imagine...


These ones were dying for a snack, when Jeeves the butler walked by they just dived right in! Unbelievable! The youth of today... tut, tut...


Well, there are bears all over MrsC's desk. She is going to have to make a plan about storage soon. There is no place to work on there...hmmm... maybe that is her plan!

I counted everyone and this is the latest tally:



* Posted May 30, 2008, 5:36 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:41 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Same old place, South Africa - 2nd June 2008

By: Threadbear

Bears sleep by day.
At night they stay awake to chase away bad dreams.
-Jesse O'Neil

Hello everybody!

MrsC dragged home a huge bag full of stuffed toys from school today... I welcomed them all! Any toys that are not Bears will go to one of the other clinics in the same building as the Teddy Bear Clinic, no toy is turned away.

Here are the new arrivals, all pumped up from being at school all morning with all those excited children...


This little one obviously had WAY too much fun at school and passed out in the car, on the way home. He will have to wake up just now for a quick wash so he can dry whilst it is nice and warm...yay the sun is out !


Buttons and I have been helping wash the others. Some of them were just too dirty for a hand wash and I had to leave the room when they went in the washing machine...oh the squeals of protest!

* Posted Jun 2, 2008, 3:14 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:43 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Charity depot, South Africa - 6th June 2008

By: Threadbear

There is probably nothing that a bear so dislikes as a good wash.
-Marion C. Garretty

Why, hello everyone!

So much excitement today I hardly know where to start...
I suppose the beginning would be a good place!

MrsC has a friend called Gazelle (really!), who recently became aquainted with another lady, called Petra (not Fam-United!). Petra sent out some e-mails asking for donations for a project she is running for some homeless people. As e-mails do, they spread like wild fire and Petra ended up being interviewed by a national 'talk radio' station. She ended up with a deluge of donations that she had nowhere to store. Gazelle and her husband offered part of their property as a temperory depot and my goodness me, we (MrsC and I) went to visit it today. I am sorry that we never took the camera so you could see just how MUCH stuff there was: clothes, shoes, furniture, you name it.

MrsC told Petra all about me and my mission (I was dumbstruck by the sheer amount of STUFF). Petra said I was to go through all the toys and find any bears or other soft toys that I needed as there were just too many. So that is what we spent the morning doing...sorting the mass of toys.

And this, dear people, is what we came home with!


I know! And some of them smelled REAL BAD...and most of them were filthy (everything is stored under tarpaulins because they just ran out of storage areas - and it has been raining). I think MrsC has washed her hands about 30 times today (and I don't think she has OCD!)

Anyway, I welcomed them one and all, and we started separating them into stations:

Bears for laundry. I know they hate it, but oooh, the smell!


So sorry you guys!


And..other toys to be dealt with later, I'm afraid bears take top priority...


Here's the first load drying on the window sill... the 6th load is in the machine as I type!


Every surface in this house has a damp bear on it! AND they all smell fantastic... I checked!


Then we sorted out all the bears that have been here a few days already. Even though MrsC is a great believer in the last minute, she realised it was a huge task and only just begining!

Here we have bears Ready-To-Go.


...and these just need a bow!


There is NO shortage of ribbon let me tell you...but she was muttering to herself about Mohammed and mountains every time she brought down another jar from upstairs...


This is the Casualty Department (or ER for those of you who speak American). Missing eyes, half severed head, burst seams, backwards arms, missing ears, ancient flat stuffing...


And surgery! I'll leave this bit to MrsC then...


Oh. I met a girl.


When MrsC sews in that room she likes to play old records... and I mean old...


We danced around the room..


Even Buttons and Pinky Bear had a go...


Ahh, that was such fun! Made me feel young again..

* Posted Jun 6, 2008, 10:14 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:44 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

VOTW!, South Africa - 6th June 2008

By: Threadbear

Oh Wow! I have only just noticed now that I made Voyager of the Week! Thank you so much...I'm overwhelmed...

threadbear VOTW!.gif

* Posted Jun 6, 2008, 10:27 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Teddy Bear Central, South Africa - 10th June 2008

By: Threadbear

At sales every other toy looks simply worn, dilapidated, grubby.
A bear looks lost and abandoned and desperately in need of a loving home.
-Helen Thomson

What a weekend! We worked our paws to the pad...
We repaired all the bears that needed fixing, including completely re-stuffing three bears and converting three hotwater bottle cover bears into Teddy Bears!
Once everyone was cleaned and dried and repaired we began the massive task of giving them ribbons. A task made more massive by the fact that all the ribbon had to be ironed first! And the iron died... but luckily there was a ancient spare  one found at the bottom of the laundry cupboard, so on we soldiered... putting on bows all night...


...and all day...


And then we got more exciting post!
First up was a box of bears from Michele one L...

...and a stowaway pig, that was lurking in the box too!


Chardas twins also arrived. (They got nice orange ribbon because they are Dutch!)


By last night, actually, very early this morning... our "Ready - To - Go" bears went from this:


To this!


Two more bags of bears have arrived today but you will have to wait until tommorrow to meet them. I am off to bed for well deserved rest!

* Posted Jun 10, 2008, 7:48 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:46 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Teddy Bear Central, South Africa - 11th June 2008

By: Threadbear

The right man is the one who seizes the moment                                                     
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I slept like a log last night! I was so tired I fell asleep with my scarf on still... But I awoke feeling refreshed and invigorated and ready to tackle the day's tasks. The only way to keep the bear situation under control is to sort them out as they come in. So, first I welcomed yesterday's late arrivals and a new batch that MrsC brought home from school.



And I must let you know that the hardest working member of our photographic team is Mr Min! Here he is...


Jo'burg is very dry and dusty in winter. But MrsC's house is sparkling at the moment, this is the best motivation she has ever had for doing housework.

Can you here the whirring of the washing machine? It is hard at work cleaning this batch of bears. When they are dry they will get a few nips and tucks as necessary and a bow if needed. We are definitely keeping on top of the job!

* Posted Jun 11, 2008, 3:32 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:46 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Teddy Bear Central, South Africa - 14th June 2008

By: Threadbear

A bear remains a bear - even when most of him has fallen off or worn away.
- Charlotte Gray

Hello, hello, hello!

We have been having a busy time at Teddy Bear Central lately, bears are arriving by the bagful everyday and needing lots of attention.

First off the little Stowaway pig has been adopted (by Vickis daughter in exchange for three bears. MrsC has a strict policy in this house, if something is donated for charity but you desperately want to keep it, you need to give up three of your own toys (or similar items).


MrsF fell in love with a little blue bear, so to thank her for all her hard work collecting bears, MrsC donated another three bears and gave her the blue bear.

Here are MrsC's bears for 'swaps'...she went back to the SPCA looking for them. The lady at the SPCA asked if she was buying the bears as dog chews! I was shocked to the core when I heard this. Imagine such a terrible, terrible thing!





When the lady heard what the Teddies were for she found two more at the back and donated them to my collection. Wasn't that nice of her? The large one at the top of the shelf is one and this poor little fellow is the other. He was so traumatised at being abandoned at the SPCA that he just hid in the corner. Eloise went to coax him out of it and explain what was happening. She is so sweet and lovely....


Soon it was back to washing and sorting and sewing... This knitted brown bear was in a sad state. His face was full of glue that could not be removed, his knitting was sagging and his stuffing was flat. MrsC and I were very sad because we have managed to rescue every bear so far...


Eloise rescued the day! She is so smart.
She said we needed to unpick the bear... oh er...um... okay...I think...
Ah! That is why he was so hard and flat, he was stuffed with bits of yarn...


Eloise helped me wind up the wool. Oh poor, poor bear... but he will serve a good purpose still!


And here he is! Ta Da!


This is all of this weeks bears, washed and dried with bows on.
Now we can have a break for a bit until the next lot arrive! I am sure next week is going to be very busy. I am hoping lots of overseas bears start arriving during the week too.


We have passed the two hundred mark! But We will do an official count next week...

* Posted Jun 14, 2008, 3:03 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:47 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Zoo Lake, South Africa - 15th June 2008

By: Threadbear

As I continue my talks with her, I become aware that, in my heart, a window is opening.
Akhito, Crown Prince of Japan

What a lovely day I had today.....

It was Father's Day so MrsC and MrC took the children out to a place called the Zoo Lake, which is so named because it is formed from a river that runs through the Johannesburg Zoo.
She asked if I would like to go with and have a break from all the bears.
I said I would love to, but could I perhaps take just one bear with me? She said of course and the lovely Eloise said she would be delighted to join us. Oh how my heart soared!


MrC galantly rowed a boat around the lake for us...


We fed the ducks and geese some bread... my they were greedy, hissing at each other and grabbing bread as quickly as they could. They could learn a few lessons on ladylike behaviour from sweetest Eloise.


Just crumbs left...


We sang 'row, row, row your boat' at the top of our voices, such fun!


Oh and then we saw a rainbow!


What a nice day full of happy memories that I shall treasure forever.

* Posted Jun 15, 2008, 10:05 pm Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:49 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Teddy Bear Central, South Africa - 18th June 2008

By: Threadbear

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Because it has been a long weekend, with Monday being a public holiday, there has not been a lot of bear activity.

Eloise and I decided to help MrsC along and start sorting out all the other stuffed toys that invariably arrive with the bears.

Eloise found two rather cute knitted rabbits that she had a grand plan for! She thought we could surprise MrsC with two more bears. I really couldn't see how she could do that... first she removed the ears...


Then she unravelled the wool and knitted smaller round ears and sewed them back on... OH! I see it now! Won't MrsC be impressed?


We have managed to do four wash loads already and once again every surface of the house is covered in plush toys!

Time to go to the Post Office and see if anyone else has arrived, though public holidays always put a spanner in the works...

* Posted Jun 18, 2008, 9:09 am Last edited Jun 20, 2008, 8:50 pm by Threadbear [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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