Revving up the Christmas Rabbit: Teddies and Tea Sets

Tiny tea sets everywhere! Waiting to be sorted and put on tea trays for the Victorian Teddy Tea Party Tree

Yes, it’s not even Halloween yet, but Christmas is underway around the rabbit’s rancheroo. Seven weeks and counting down from here to Christmas Forest and the Victorian Teddy Tea Party Tree. My 2011 extravaganza actually started the day I finished last year’s tree.

bunches and bunches of bears. 211 to be exact. All but 23 are wearing clothes.

My very favorite is this adorable Victorian style bear, I don't know if I can 'bear' to give her up!

Buried in bears in my studio loft. That's my foot. I had to wedge me in with all the bins to sort the furry beasts.

I  started thinking about 2011’s tree before 2010’s was even up! I understand from the other designers that is S.O.P. We all slink around and look over the other trees on display and start plotting on how we can top ourselves and them-next time.

These two are the most exquisite and valuable of the bushels of bears. Both handmade and incredibly high quality. I got one for 10 bucks and the other for 20 bucks. Probably 300 dollars or so, retail. Gotta love being a Value Village vulture.

And bear gear: buggies, rockers, chairs, prams, tiny desks, even an upholstered granny style rocker. A year of hunting paid off.


I found so many Victorian style dressed bears, the Victorian Teddy Tree pretty much named itself.

Sorted by size and style and binned with the number of bears inside on the bin. Whew. That's a lot of bears! I don't want to see any green on the tree, just bears, tea stuff and treats from top to bottom.

These are teeny tinies. So adorable! A whole box of fun.


I haven't even counted these yet, unpacking them was staggering enough for a start.

I started thinking about my concept a year ago : Bears and a teaparty. I loved the song, “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” as a little kid. To that end and with something Teddy Bear Picnicish in mind, I have been collecting bears and tiny sets for a year. This weekend it was time to go up into my loft and begin the sorting process, bears up and tea sets down.

From right after WWII, made in Japan. Can't you just picture a little girl getting this set for Christmas?


Exquisite, only one cup. Some of these are so beautiful they will stay in my own trinket collection. Trust me, there are so many tea sets here, no body is ever going to notice!

I have mostly been standing on the first floor and throwing bears overhand up onto the loft bed, or carrying them up and just stashing them and all the bear accoutrements overhead and ignoring the whole mess all summer. How many bears? How many tea sets? A bunch.

Teeny tiny Spode tea saucer. Wish I had the whole set.

Other side of the Spode saucer, cute no?

My goal with this tree of tea toys and teddies is to transfix every small child who sees the tree. I want to create something so magical they’ll remember it for years.

The teeny tiniest tea sets are in this cigar box. Doll's house tea sets perhaps?

I am going to use rubber cement to fasten the tea things to the tea trays and furnish the buyer with instructions on deconstructing the tree. It is my biggest wish that whoever buys this tree will take off every tea tray and tea set and every teddy bear and give them to a child. I kind of hope a pediatrician buys the tree, that would be perfect.

Funky little set from the 50's, tres cool


Gorgeous antique child's teacup with a parrot handle. I found 3 of them at an estate sale.

Tiny teapots!


teeny weeny sugar bowl, probably holds about 3 grains of sugar

My personal favorite? This Miss Muffet tea saucer. Mine,mine, mine.

antique blue willow tea set creamer. How cute is this?

Even if a few bits that aren't in sets stay behind to remind me of this amazing experience, I don't think we'll have a shortage of tea sets. I counted 14 tiny teapots yesterday and I didn't even try to count cups and saucers.

Christmas forest raises a ton of money for the Providence St Peter foundation. They do so much with the money, including providing health care for moms’ and kids’ without insurance, that I am glad to add my own funds to match theirs, along with all the time and effort it takes to do one of these trees.

Over the next seven weeks I will be posting how the tree is put together from making the giant tea pot tree topper to the “cupfakes” decorations. Furniture refinishing and detailing is taking place already. My friend Linda is waiting for measurements on the bear bed to create hand made linens which will be gorgeous. My Christmas crew is standing by and mid-October we launch all the fun details. How to projects will be shared so readers can create fun at home too.  This one is going to be fun for all of us who never really wanted to grow up, starting with me.


One thought on “Revving up the Christmas Rabbit: Teddies and Tea Sets

  1. Ingrid Phoenix Doerksen

    I am going home for Christmas – to Bad Kreuznach!
    I found your blog – now I really can’t wait to go!
    Will read more as the name of your blog is intriguing as well – I volunteer for Rabbit Advocates in Portland, OR! 🙂
    Liebe Gruesse


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