Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Sentimental Stuff: When Teddy is On His Last Legs

portrait of toy dog

What do you do when a beloved toy is falling apart? What about taking a photo of it, and then discarding it? Organizers suggest this all the time.

But if you wanted to go further, you could have a portrait made of that favorite toy. Jennifer Maher paints custom toy portraits, like the one above. [via Cool Mom Picks]

before and after - stuffed animal repair

Or you could have the doll or stuffed animal repaired; the Teddy Bear Hospital of Pittsburgh is just one of many places providing this service.


Louise said...

For me, what is hard about discarding very sentimental items like toys that are completely worn out is the indignity of the trash can.

Having a portrait made is a great way to honor the toy and its memories, but how do you discard the toy after that?

I would love to hear from your other readers about this.

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

I've suggested making a photo montage of treasured toys. This entails going through old photos & finding pictures of the kid with the toy doing different things in different stages of life. The toy is the trigger that reminds people of the life lived so we put that into focus.
The other thing is to have a "toy funeral" instead of suffering the indignity of the trash can. It helps with the separation anxiety.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Love the painting!

I agree with Louise that the trash can can be a bit painful, even for an adult. On one hand, I think I would have enjoyed restoring three well-loved stuffed animals I saved (stored) from my childhood rather than reluctantly tossing them. On the other hand, after restoring them, which I suspect could have been rather expensive, I would have given them away.

Maybe there's just no satisfying solution for letting go of some sentimental stuff and we have to learn to be content with the results of the process in our home if not the specific outcome for the stuff. To paraphrase Bette Davis: Growing up ain't for sissies!

Jeri Dansky said...

Louise, I work with someone who has a few totally worn-out stuffed animals that she can't bear to part with, but doesn't want to restore, either. We just placed them in a nice storage box and put them away in the far reaches of her closet. For her, that was the best answer.