After a long winter’s sleep

Sometimes the ice-cold storms would wake them up, sometimes a dribbling rain would keep them awake. And every time they would whisper, eagerly: How much longer? How much longer?
And every time, Mama Bear would tuck them under a warm blanket of last autumn’s leaves and say:

Sleep tight, sleep tight
When the bumblebees fly
And you hear cranes in the sky
Then Spring has come

And every time, the little bear children would fall asleep again, on a soft bed of twigs, under a warm blanket of leaves, dreaming of warmer days. Of snowdrops and daffodils. Of freckles and sunbeams. Of the sound of high grasses as the wind blows.

Ursa, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaUrsa, clothes detail, by Atelier Björkåsa

But spring had a long time coming. Sometimes the ice-cold storms would wake them up, sometimes a dribbling rain would keep them awake. And every time they would whisper, eagerly: How much longer? How much longer?
And every time, Mama Bear would tuck them under a warm blanket of last autumn’s leaves and say:

Sleep tight, sleep tight
When the bumblebees fly
And you hear cranes in the sky
Then Spring has come
Ursa, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

And every time, the little bear children would fall asleep again, on a soft bed of twigs, under a warm blanket of leaves, dreaming of warmer days. Bjarne, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaBjarne (detail), a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

They would dream of climbing high into the birch tree. Of picking nettles and making dandelion crowns. Of the scent of lilac and of warm soil, of wild garlic and of the tiny violets under the old elder bush. Ursa, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaUrsa (detail), a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

They would dream of swinging in the branches of the oak tree. Of counting beetles and snail shells. Of doing somersaults down the hill, all day.Bjarne, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaBjarne (clothes detail), a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

But spring had a long time coming. Sometimes the ice-cold storms would wake them up, sometimes a dribbling rain would keep them awake. And every time they would whisper, eagerly: How much longer? How much longer?
And every time, Mama Bear would tuck them under a warm blanket of last autumn’s leaves and say:

Sleep tight, sleep tight
When the bumblebees fly
And you hear cranes in the sky
Then Spring has come
Ursa and Bjarne (The Bear Children), two handmade clothdolls by Atelier Björkåsa
And every time, the little bear children would fall asleep again, on a soft bed of twigs, under a warm blanket of leaves, dreaming of warmer days.Ursa, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaUrsa, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

They would dream of soft moss and green ferns. Of the blackbird’s song and the sound of the woodpecker. Of playing hide and seek in the raspberry thickets.Bjarne, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaBjarne, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

They would dream of picking clover, four-leaved ones. Of watching the clouds in the blue sky. Of counting mosquito bites and jumping from tree stub to tree stub.Ursa (clothes detail), a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaUrsa, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

But spring had a long time coming. Sometimes the ice-cold storms would wake them up, sometimes a dribbling rain would keep them awake. And every time they would whisper, eagerly: How much longer? How much longer?
And every time, Mama Bear would tuck them under a warm blanket of last autumn’s leaves and say:

Sleep tight, sleep tight
When the bumblebees fly
And you hear cranes in the sky
Then Spring has comeUrsa and Bjarne (The Bear Children), two handmade clothdolls by Atelier Björkåsa

And so they would sleep, all winter long. But then, one day, Mama Bear whispers:

Can you hear the bumblebees fly?
And the cranes in the sky?
Spring has come! Spring has come!

I know that you think that little bear children, once they woke up from a long winter’s sleep, would immediately start counting snowdrops and daffodils. Pick nettles and make dandelion crowns. Climb high up into the birch tree and do somersaults down the hill, all day.

Ursa and Bjarne (The Bear Children), two handmade clothdolls by Atelier Björkåsa

But that is not what they do, of course!

When the bumble bees fly
And you hear the cranes in the sky
Mama Bear takes her children
Down to the lake behind our house

First they would brush their teeth with a bulrush. Then scrub their feet with duckweed. After that they would have some fish for breakfast. And then they would let their thick winter fur soak in the green waters. Because that is what little bears do after a long winter’s sleep. And all the splashing and paddling and jumping-into-the-water is very, very noisy, believe me. So noisy that I found it hard to write down this little bear story for you.

You think I made this up? You think that bears listen to the blackbird’s song, pick violets under the old elderberry bush and swing a little in the branches of the oak tree when they wake up after a long winter’s sleep? Well, see for yourself:Bjarne, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaUrsa (clothes details), a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

 

Ursa, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier BjörkåsaUrsa and Bjarne (bear costumes, detail) by Atelier Björkåsa

Bjarne, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa


 



Ursa and Bjarne, two small bear children by Atelier Björkåsa. Both dolls are 17.5″/ 45cm tall, are made from cotton interlock, have needlefelted heads and are stuffed with organic sheep wool. The faces are carefully embroidered and the brushable wigs are made from Dolly Mo mohair. I have used mostly organic fabrics for Ursa’s and Bjarne’s clothes, some of them are hand-dyed with avocado pits and skins, you can take a little peek in this blog post on how I did it.

Both dolls come with three sets of garments each. Clothes for play, nighties for a long winter’s sleep and a bear overall and hat. Ursa is wearing a silk dress, tulle underskirt, leggings and a mohair cardigan. Bjarne is wearing a long-sleeve shirt, dungarees and a woollen scarf. Both travel with shoes and undies and come with an additional sewing & care kit and lavender sachets. For more photos on their nighties, please take a look here.

Ursa and Bjarne will be looking for a new home via an auction the 3rd of April, from 07 p.m. to 09 p.m. EDT. The auction listing can be found here. Thank you so much!Ursa (detail), a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

Bjarne, a handmade clothdoll by Atelier Björkåsa

 

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Kristiina

    Vielen Dank an die berührende Geschichte!
    Ursa und Bjarne sind sehr- sehr liebe Bär Kinder :) Ihre Augen sind wie Rosinen…

  2. Christina Grabe

    Was für eine wunderschöne, anrührende Geschichte!
    In die beiden ist man sofort verliebt und es ist gut, dass sie zusammen bleiben!
    Hoffentlich finden sie ein liebevolles Zuhause!

  3. Annika

    Som vanligt en alldeles underbar liten historia. Jag blir så lycklig när jag sitter här och läser den. Och fotona då… Ursa med snäckorna och Bjarne med snöklockorna…dina dockor lever ju faktiskt :)

  4. Michaela

    Wo eine schöne Geschichte.
    Die Gesichter sind so liebevoll.
    Du bist eine Künstlerin….
    Einen wunderschönen Tag
    Liebe Grüße Michaela

  5. Regine

    Liebe Juliane,
    vielleicht freut es Sie zu erfahren wie diese zwei Bärenkinder mit ihrer Geschichte nicht nur mein Herz erobert haben, sondern auch das meiner kleinen 6-jährige Tochter. Ich hatte ihr die Geschichte übersetzt und die Bilder gezeigt. Kurze Zeit später hörte ich, wie sie fast wörtlich die Geschichte ihrem grossen Bruder weiter erzählte — mit allen Wiederholungen! Das schönste Foto ist das mit dem kleinen Jungen, der die Blumen bestaunt, gleich gefolgt von dem kleinen Mädchen mit den Schneckenhäusern. — Danke für diese schönen Puppenbilder und die Geschichte. Regine

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