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teddybar by Those D.A.M. Bears


by Carol Abbott, January 11, 2000

               I have had a love for Teddy Bears for over 15 years. As a child, I was pretty much a doll person and don't even remember having had a teddy bear.

         I really think that I suffered a serious case of "Empty Nest Syndrome" when our two daughters left home. I had by then gotten a little teddy bear from somewhere---just because he was so cute---and then purchased two adorable little wind-up music box plush bears on sale that were suppose to be Christmas presents for a couple of nieces. They came home with me and I set them in a little child's rocking chair with my own bear and......well, needless to say, the nieces got something else at Christmas time and a Collection was born!

        Over the next year or so, I got a few more appealing little fellows and tucked them into spots around the house in baskets and on shelves. My family got involved and encouraged my collection by giving me new ones for birthday and Christmas but it wasn't yet a full blown addiction. Then I got a job and had my own spending money. I went to several Craft Shows and found that some people made teddy bears to sell so I added five or six more to my HUG. The handmade bears seemed more special in some ways because they were often one of a kind or made in very limited quantities so I knew I wouldn't be seeing "my" bears anywhere else. At about that same time, I also discovered a terrific shop in this area that was called Cheri's Bear Essentials. What a novelty to walk into a shop with all kinds of teddy bears and bear related items. Her "handmade bears" were sometimes wildly expensive and called Artist Bears, which was a term I hadn't heard of before, but I visited often and hit all of the special sales events to add to my growing collection.

        My husband pointed out to me a magazine called Teddy Bears and Friends to which I immediately subscribed and poured over every new issue. In one issue of the magazine was an advertisement for an event that someone named Bill Boyd was staging right here in the Kansas City area called The Teddy Bear Jubilee.

        I gladly sent off my registration fee so I could participate in the three day convention, hoping that my registration would make it through the "limited spaces available" criteria--which it did. That first convention drew about 125 people and it has grown every year since then.

        For a Teddy Bear addicted person, the conventions can be pure heaven. At that first convention, there was an Auction (I bought bears), a participant's only Open House to meet the Artists (I bought bears), a Full Day Sale open to the general public (Bought bears) and a raffle (Bought TICKETS and WON bears)! Okay, I admit it, I came home with BEARS and I have, with the passing of the years and selective amnesia, forgotten just how many I did bring home from that first foray. But I sure did have fun! And have since repeated the experience on quite a few occasions.

Just how many bears do I have?

        Well, the fact is that so many Teddy bears live in our home with us that I am embarrassed to do a census. I tell everyone that asks that there are definitely more than three hundred but well under five hundred. This is (probably) true. I have bears in sizes ranging from 1 inch to several feet tall. I have branched out over the years of collecting and have many sub catagories of bears in my collection so counting them would be a challenge. I'm always intending to work on a census but get distracted easily playing with them (or just giving one a hug, which is very theraputic) or dusting their eyes or vacuming the dust from their fur and clothes.

        My favorites are the Artist designed and completely handmade by the artist herself or himself (yes, there are some very prominent males who sew those little critters ---although in speaking with the artists, I have found that men are much more likely to have "a little lady who does the sewing for him", whether a wife (!) or a cottage employee).

Of course, My very favorite Artist is my Daughter Debbie. She made darling bears that really are just my style. When she was going to the teddy bear shows her bears were marketed under the name of
"Those D.A.M.Bears".
But at the present time (January 2011) she is no longer making bears for sale.


Below, I have listed the different types of bears in my personal collection.


  • Artist Bear, Designed & Handmade personally by an individual

  • Artist Designed Bear, Made by a manufacturer or cottage industry

  • Handmade Bear, Made by an individual from a commercial or another person's pattern

  • Commercially Manufactured, ie: Steiff, Gund, etc.

  • Commercially Manufactured and Altered by an individual (such as dressing, applying porcelain face or other features)

  • Carved or cast, in wood, ceramic, resin, stone or similar material. These include Native American fetish bears

  • Christmas Ornaments of bears or teddys

  • Jewelry

  • Paper goods, Books, postcards, etc.

  • Pictures, posters and paintings

  • Toys that feature bears or teddys

  • Items depicting REAL bears (as opposed to teddy bears)



Teddies on Parade Opening Page blacknext.jpg (1393 bytes)


teddybar by Those D.A.M. Bears


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