Sunday, 26 October 2014

Ready to Celebrate Halloween? Here are Three Cuddlies eager to help you!

Hello Everyone!

 Cy Bear has been hinting that I've not been doing my bit here on the blog,  so I've decided to take over for this post - since it contains a description of how some new COLDHAMCUDDLIES have arrived in the Family.  

Cy Bear did mention them in our post last week - so now allow me to tell you more about our Halloween Spider (HS) Friends.  I really do hesitate to label real spiders as "cuddly", but these guys do buck that trend!  They are not only cuddly, they're furry and completely safe for People of all ages:  because grown-ups are needed to operate them at their full capacity, although Little People can also snuggle up without fear.

Etsy Listing #207688666

If you read our last post, HS is based on a Spider Toy made over 40 years ago by Alan's sister, who was a Patient in our Stuffed Toy Animal Restoration Clinic.  https://www.etsy.com/listing/79124185/stuffed-toy-animal-restoration-clinic?.

In that story Cy Bear told how I made a template before sewing Spider up once more, and this is what HS (and all future Spiders) will be based on.  It might also be possible to adapt him as a Frog Finger Puppet, but that experiment will have to wait for a week or two.



Essentially, this is what is required for this Activity Toy.  It didn't take me long to make each one (I actually did three), and the decision to use Black Plush for the Upper Body, and Yellow Plush for the Under Belly was obvious, given the proximity of Halloween and it's Arachnid associations!  They could be made in Fleece fabric too, and it may well be that future Spiders could emerge in that form.

The final piece of template are for the eyes and mouth - and I decided to give the eyes a white double knitting yarn highlight, just to give the Toy some more facial character.


The rectangle piece of fabric is folded with the edge meeting the bottom of the mark on the template.  Then I folded it lengthwise and cut the fabric to match the edge: and then folded each half once more to get the four fingers.  One then folds each finger and sews each finger pocket.  As the canvas backing for some plushes can fray, I blanket stitched each seam to give a firmer edge to each finger - potentially they could get quite a lot of hard wear.  You should get something looking like this when you've done that bit of sewing.


I then sewed the finger piece to the underbelly along the seam line indicated on the underbelly circular pattern piece - making sure that the fingers are facing in the right direction (the first time I did it, I didn't!  Which meant I had to start the attachment all over again!)  One also has to make sure that the fabric pile is going in the same direction - from front to back, for both the underbelly and upper body. (I leave turning the fingers inside out until I've done the whole Toy.)

Once the finger guide is attached to the circular under belly, one can fix it to the upper body, 


sewing all the way round, but leaving an opening through which one can turn the whole Toy inside out and put the stuffing.   Again, because some plush fabrics can fray, I blanket stitched the seams to ensure it's long-term integrity.



 Then once the opening is closed, the toy is stuffed and the eyes and mouth  are attached - and should look something like this!



The Arm Puppets Cy Bear spoke about are coming along well.  The prototype is completed and will eventually join the  Cuddly Family and introduce yet another size Puppet Activity Toy to the Cuddlies Collection.  Meanwhile, the individual pieces for the Puppet due for the American puppeteer have been sewn and pictures sent for approval to the customer.  Once he's replied (hopefully in the affirmative), I'll be able to build the toy - with eyes, facial features and head stuffed:  arms lightly stuffed and attached to the body.  I'll tell you how that happens in a future post.

The Halloween Spider Threesome
Good Night - God Bless - and see you all here again soon.  Isobel

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Re-opening the Restoration Clinic in a new location

Hello Everyone!
Despite our promise to be back again soon, I'm afraid that yet another weekly post date has passed and we've not got back to you.   Life still seems to be getting in Isobel's way, and as you know I'm not much of an author without her behind me.  However, there seems to be a chance for us to get the computer switched on this afternoon, without all the usual Etsy daily administration to be taken care of, so we're going to tell you about our latest (and newest, in this location at any rate) patient in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic https://www.etsy.com/listing/79124185/stuffed-toy-animal-restoration-clinic?

He, for it is a he as far as this post is concerned, is a Spider.   He used to be a toy that Alan (Clare's husband) played with when he was a small boy.  It was made for him by his elder sister, who is a very clever seamstress in her own right, and has been responsible for the originals of several Cuddlies  who have also been patients in the Clinic (the Black and White Kittens for example https://www.etsy.com/listing/110444487/cuddly-furry-kittens-black-and-white-art? and not to mention  our Yellow Plush Sleepy Teddy Bear https://www.etsy.com/listing/107350815/sleepy-teddy-art-doll-yellow-plush-furry?)


This what Spider looked like after he'd been taken to pieces and given a clean-up.  This is his rear view.  (We forgot to take blow-by-blow pictures of his therapy - but it took the usual course of :

(1) The seams being unpicked and his stuffing - which looked like an accumulation of nylon make-up remover balls - mixed with nylon rusty-colour stuffing.   This was discarded, needless to say - as these days such material is unacceptable for us toys due to it's inflammability)
(2) Spider's  pieces being given a bath in lukewarm soapy water - so the accumulated dust from many decades of living an an attic could be washed away.
(3)  Then Isobel took a template because she decided he would make a great addition to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES family - especially with Halloween coming up.
(4)  Then Spider was sewn up again, re-stuffed and had some new facial features added - two round black felt eyes and an orange felt mouth.
He now looks like this:
These pictures were taken with Spider sitting on the back of Isobel's armchair in our living room - he looks good against her woollen rug, doesn't he?  That rug has a history of its own by the way.  It's been with Isobel since she was a school girl in the 1950's, and has travelled to and from Canada and all around the UK!  Apparently, it's especially good at keeping legs warm  during the colder evenings.
Here's another photograph of Spider, showing how his legs are made - so that his New Friend will be able to make his legs work.  Although having said that, it may be sometime before a Little Person's fingers will fit in the finger slots - because they have been made so that a grown-up can operate him and keep a Little Person entertained.  Never mind, because he's an ideal first Toy for any little Boy or Girl, because he can be cuddled quite safely - there's not a spiky edge on him!
The next couple of shots show Spider at different angles, so that you can see what he looks like from both sides.

The template Isobel  made before re-sewing Spider back together and returning him to Clare and Alan has already been put to good use.  There are now three COLDHAMCUDDLIES Spiders available in our Shop and we'll be telling you (with step by step photographs of how they came to produced) in our next blog.  I hesitate to say when that will be - suffice to say, we will do our best to not leave it too long.  (Spider meanwhile has been put away in what is destined to become a Little Person's "Quiet Bag" - for use when the prospective Adoptive Little Person arrives and gets big enough to need one - when the family go to Mass, for instance)
Isobel is  now deeply involved in making a prototype Arm/Glove Puppet - to meet a Custom Order from a puppeteer somewhere in the United States, who is anxious to have three new ones with which to "play"!   (See what I mean about "life getting in the way! ? 
Never having made puppets as big as this, she's taken the templates for one of my Teddy Bear Friends' body and arms and the head from our Tiger Golf Club Cover  https://www.etsy.com/listing/168592299/golf-club-cover-tiger-head-animal-print?  - because it's at least two different Tigers that are required.  

Although this version is not exactly what our Buyer  now  has in mind, Isobel is continuing with it to its conclusion,  so she can satisfy herself that she can offer our customer exactly what it is he is looking for.  The prototype should be completed later today - and work will commence on the first of the actual puppets over the week-end.  We've had to wait until some special Green Cat Eyes arrived - and apparently Isobel  has actually used some (of another colour) she ordered for her own use at the same time from a fellow Etsian, Clara from  https://www.etsy.com/shop/6060 for the prototype Tiger Puppet.
We'll be telling you about those too.  So until then, Good Bye and Good Night!  
Your Friend, Cy Bear.
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A New Look for Old Friends - The latest in our Golf Club Covers to see

Greeting everyone!  Cy Bear, back again with some news from the home of the COLDHAMCUDDLIES!  

Despite her best intentions, life seems to have got in Isobel's way - yet again - and this post has been delayed a day or two.  However, we seem to be getting back into a more organised lifestyle, with a patient in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic, ( https://www.etsy.com/listing/79124185/stuffed-toy-animal-restoration-clinic? ).    He is going home tomorrow and will form the basis for another post.  (I think it's been because there's not been too much NEW to tell you about that has been the real problem for Isobel to get me to tell you about!!)  

So, with no more ado - allow me to introduce you to our three new Tiger Golf Club Covers: ( https://www.etsy.com/listing/168592299/golf-club-cover-tiger-head-animal-print? )



This is the first time Isobel has taken bulk pictures of our new offerings in our new home, and she's still finding out where the best place is to do it.  We'll probably be taking better pictures once we've got ourselves organised, but as you can see - we've now got some different, patterned covers for the metal Golf Club handles, and the middle Tiger is a good example of them. 



This picture shows the middle Tiger Cover being modelled over the Golf Club.  The next two are the other Tigers, both with black woollen handle covers, but - as usual, because Isobel can never make two Cuddlies exactly the same - with slightly different faces.  In this case, it's not only because of the facial features, but the stripes on the fabric make them different too.





The second black woollen handled Cover looks a little skewed in this picture, but he appears to have slipped on the pillow on which he was laid!  He does have a straight look when modelling with the Golf Club inside him!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/107241362/panda-bear-golf-club-head-cover-black?

Then, we now have three more Panda Bear Golf Club Covers  ( https://www.etsy.com/listing/107241362/panda-bear-golf-club-head-cover-black? ) - made in the same way as they all are, but this time Isobel  has given rein to her imagination in creating different patterns for the woollen handle covers.


They all have blue safety eyes - as do all our Panda Heads, and we've used plastic noses for them - whereas the Tigers have had their facial features embroidered with Black Double Kntting wool.  We're rapidly running out of the noses, which is why they were changed during the manufacturing process.  Isobel is looking out for a supplier in our new locality - so far without success.

The next photograph shows one of the new Pandas, doing what he was made to do - cover an entire No.1 Wood Golf Club, which has been put into the walking stick stand in our hall way, as that's the best way we can illustrate how they work!

.

Right, this brings this post to an end.  I'll be back (or Isobel will - we've not decided yet) to tell you about the latest Patient in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic.  But I can tell you that when he was in pieces, Isobel made a template of him (as is her wont on these occasions) and we'll be adding Spiders to the Coldham Cuddlies family of Toys shortly.  He will be a Finger Puppet though - which makes a change from the bunch of Hand Puppets  (https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/COLDHAMCUDDLIES/sections/10500546 ) we already have in the family!

Until then - have a great Day or Evening - depending on what part of the world it is when you read this post!  

Your Friend - Cy Bear.


Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 28 September 2014

New Beginnings - Nottinghamshire, here we come!

Well Hello there Everyone! 

 Cy Bear back again after an even longer absence than originally intended.  I bet you've all given Isobel and I up for lost!  However, being merely a Beaver Lamb Bear, I'm unable to operate without Isobel's input, and although I've been ready to post for weeks now, she has not! What with visiting Philippa in Buckinghamshire (a visit planned well before our recent move from Wiltshire) and then house-sitting (while Clare and Alan went to spend time with friends in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) it's really only in the last week that we've been able to even contemplate a post here.
Then at the end of last week, there was a MacMillan Cancer Coffee morning held here - and as an introduction to Nottinghamshire, the results have been pretty good.  Two Baby Bunnies (one White Fleece  - https://www.etsy.com/listing/166974565/baby-bunny-toys-white-fleece-washable? -  and one Black Plush - https://www.etsy.com/listing/55187979/black-or-black-and-white-plush-baby?,  as well as a Baby Koala - https://www.etsy.com/listing/55190188/toy-koala-tree-bear-light-brown-and?) together with our Yogi Bear Golf Club Cover -  https://www.etsy.com/listing/82955598/brown-bear-glove-puppet-beige-velvet?  all found Forever Homes

This evening, one of our new neighbours rang on our front door to tell Isobel, that the lady who purchased the Yogi Bear Golf Club cover wants to give our Panda Bear - https://www.etsy.com/listing/91356474/panda-handglove-puppet-art-activity-toy? and Tiger Head Golf Club Covers -  https://www.etsy.com/listing/168592299/golf-club-head-cover-tiger-head-animal? -  new homes too! 

So, I think one can say that Coldham Cuddlies have arrived in Nottinghamshire with somewhat of a BANG  So Isobel has got to get sewing to make replacements galore.  Thus blogging will have to take a bit of a back seat once again - unless of course, I can get her to stop sewing for an hour or two and post about how she's getting on!

In the interim, we have some new CUDDLIES to introduce to you:  all three of them are Hand Puppets - we thought that with Christmas coming up, they'd make great stocking stuffers (seems that Isobel might be on to something, given our recent results!). They were made over last week-end and during the week up to Friday - hence why we didn't post here earlier!

 So, we have two Fox Hand Puppets to introduce to you:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/205048022/plush-toy-fox-hand-puppet-chestnut-fur?
as well as a Golden Plush Coyote Hand Puppet

https://www.etsy.com/listing/205051356/oaak-plush-coyote-handglove-puppet?
You will observe that these new friends of mine have a Scottish theme about them!  The Coyote sports the Buchanan Tartan, together with a dashing white Felt Collar edged with Orange embroidered French Knots, while the two Chestnut Plush Foxes have two different other Tartan patterns.  Both have White Felt Collars, with French Knots in matching shades of blue around their respective edges.   Alas, I am unable to tell you which Scottish clans they represent - if indeed they do - because the fabrics Isobel chose were off-cuts provided to her over the months, from our local sources in Wiltshire.  However, given that Scotland has featured largely in the news in the United Kingdom recently, we both thought it was appropriate to use these plaids for our newest Family Members.  

Incidentally, there were originally two Coyotes made - one with the Hay Tartan, which is a bright red one and was used for my friend Hermione Hay Wolf (https://www.etsy.com/listing/178799382/toy-brown-gold-faux-fur-dressed-wolf-red?)  but that one was purchased by Clare on Friday at the MacMillan Cancer Coffee Morning.  It's going to form the basis for a "Quiet Bag" for whomever soon comes to live with Clare and Alan - who have recently been formally accepted as Adoptive Parents.  These Quiet Bags are very useful for keeping Little People quiet in Church, I am told!    So, what with one thing and another, life is getting to be very exciting on all fronts here in Nottinghamshire.  We still miss Wiltshire, but there's been no time to be too sad about leaving our friends down there.  

Right.  I think I've been rattling on quite enough for tonight.  Hopefully, we won't wait another six weeks before posting here again.  We won't, if I have anything to say on the matter!

Good night.  God Bless.  Thanks for your patience, and we both look forward to returning to our former regular posting ways!

Your Friend  Cy Bear
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Friday, 22 August 2014

Relocation Update No. 4 - Well we made it: and other news too!

Hello Everyone - and to echo the title of this post,  Cy Bear and I have made it!

We now reside in a quiet, residential complex for mature folk in the small Nottinghamshire town of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, some 25 miles north of Nottingham itself.  We're two weeks into our new surroundings, although I only moved in myself at the beginning of this week (August 18th to be precise).  Cy Bear, together with all the Cuddlies, moved away from Wiltshire on August 11th and were duly deposited in their new home on August 12th

To say the experience was breath-taking is an accurate description.  The removal crew were so quick and so efficient, that things got packed away before I could tell them they should remain in situ - for others to remove after my departure. The result - first thing next day, was a cry for help to Alan's father for his assistance in removing one double mattress to the local dump.  It had been  rejected on the grounds that the important fire retardant label had been removed (seem to recall Peter got fed up with it scratching his legs everytime he passed by it and used a convenient pair of scissors to remove it!)  The British Heart Foundation benefitted from the other one and the North American style, three foot wide 3-drawer steel filing cabinet which had accompanied Peter and I in our various moves since it's purchase in the early 1980's (with hardly a scratch to show for it's adventures!). Those items, together with a working washing machine (which  was sold!) were the only things that could not be fitted into my current dwelling.  The result admittedly is a tight squeeze, but there's room enough for me to move around - or there will be when everything is in it's correct place eventually!

The whole moving experience lasted a total of  six and one quarter hours - 3.5 hours packing everything into two vans the first day,  and 2.75 hours unpacking the next.  The task was undertaken by two fathers and their respective sons, who were obviously used to each other's reactions in such situations and the task was accomplished with very little chit-chat between them.  Nothing was broken, and they even took the trouble to leave pathways in the living room in my present abode to enable one to move between the piled up boxes during the unpacking process - while they placed the furniture in the bedroom, living room and kitchen areas according to the floor plan I had created.

Clare and Alan, having just moved home themselves, were still in relocation mode themselves.  This resulted in all the many boxes - I lost count after about 30! - being unpacked and the contents distributed somewhere into the nearest convenient place (for me to sort out over the following days). All the packing cases had been taken to the dump by the Thursday morning!  I don't move as fast as heretofore - and fitting a two-bed flat into one living room and one bedroom has taken a bit of doing. The process is on-going - but we're getting there.  Hopefully, this will explain the gap in publishing posts here over the past few weeks. We will try to do better - soon!

One thing emerged during the packing up process however - once all the other unbreakable objects had been packed by me.  My fabric stash was, and still is MASSIVE.  I was not prepared to sacrifice much of it given the quality of plush fur accumulated - not to mention all the other plush, tweeds, velvets etc that had accumulated during the 4 years since starting COLDHAMCUDDLIES in February 2010.


This was just the bottom half of the fabric store cupboard.  There was a canvas travelling case semi-full which normally resided under my former double bed, coupled with that stored in the upper shelves above the cupboard, shown below:


Here all the fleeces, some leathers and felts were kept, and then there was all the sewing equipment and sewing machine to packed too.  As I  packed, a sinking feeling started and the thought occurred that I might be biting off a bit more than I could chew, but nevertheless having started, the process one carried on.

The result was that the fabrics alone looked like this when awaiting relocation into a removal van -


to be followed by the "Body Bag" (the family description after they had been purchased before we returned from Canada in 1987!) containing all the Cuddlies in their various plastic bags on top of the pile.

 
At the Nottinghamshire end, my fears were pretty well realised when, after finding spaces for rest of my stuff, the three of us faced the prospect of fitting that pile into the one big cupboard in the flat, next door to the front cupboard - usually housing vacuum cleaners etc in any other normal person's home!  The result is now like this:


Cy Bear sitting on top of the Body Bag containing his fellow Cuddlies, which is on top of one of the fabric Body Bags in my bedroom.  The rest of the Cuddlies raw materials are unceremoniously stuffed into the cupboard like this.


and the top of the same cupboard:


So how are we contemplating solving the seemingly unsolvable?  Someone - I think it could have been Philippa - suggested acquiring vacuum bags and these have accordingly been purchased.  They arrived earlier today, and the process of housing the plush will begin tomorrow.  We do have some leeway however:  the two canvas suitcases are destined for Clare and Alan's home - to be used in the not too distant future by them - if they choose to.  They contain baby clothes that I have saved - and are still in good condition.  They have been worn  by every family baby since Philippa - the oldest cousin - was born. (Clare and Alan received the good news that they have been approved as prospective Adoptive Parents this very day (having passed their Adoption Panel last week after a pretty stressful few months).  Together with the space the cases have occupied since Cy Bear and I arrived, and the two shelves in the next door front cupboard - I'm hoping the vacuum bags will prove my "salvation". (An update on that will come in the next post or two!)


The uppermost shelf here is currently occupied by painting material left behind by the maintenance staff who only managed to redecorate the living room before we all arrived on August 12th.  Their materials will remain for them to complete redoing the hallway (the bedroom really doesn't need it) during the few days I am going away to stay with Philippa at the end of next week, so that shelf will be available eventually as well.

Cy Bear has recovered his equanimity after being unceremoniously pushed into a very convenient corner in one of the boxes which contained books and house linen.


He was not a happy Bear to begin with, because he had to perch on top of the travelling case containing all the Cuddlies  in the new bedroom. 

 (That is still where he is put each night when I hit the hay, as the new - very comfortable - single bed is now not large enough to accommodate the two of us.  Not that he did before - I'm a very restless sleeper, and I don't think Cy Bear is the sort who would appreciate being uncermoniously removed in my sleep!!!)

Until the next time - as I look forward to the next stage in the life of  COLDHAMCUDDLIES, which  is beginning to look very promising - on all fronts.  

Good night - and God bless you all  Isobel.


Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 3 August 2014

An unexpected Patient visits + Relocation Update No.3

Hello there everyone:  just proving I'm still around, and giving Cy Bear a break from posting!
As our title implies, we had a definite change in routine this week.  It's been a while since we had a Patient in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing: 79124185).  The therapy required - and provided - was not a major drain on resources (nor my time!) and it all began last Monday morning as I was returning home from getting my daily newspaper.
Just before reaching the front gate at The Hospital of St. John - my home for another 8 days - I heard my name being called and saw MrsNW - to whom erstwhile patients The Wagstaff Bears belong** - coming out of her front door on the Village Main Street with a large - very large - Dinosaur in her arms.  Now a week or so ago, she'd told me that she would be bringing him around for a quick consultation, but time had gone by and frankly I'd forgotten about him. (I also thought he was a normal-sized Dinosaur!)  However, she had espied me walking along on the other side of the road and asked me to give Dino an investigation.  His head was drooping and he very evidently needed some extra stuffing. (**The Treatment of the Wagstaff Bears - there were three of them - were described in our posts dated 19/12, 28/12 and 31/12/2012 should anyone like to visit them on the blog.)

So, having handed him over - at the same time expressing concern that I might be worried who would see me carrying a very large Dinosaur along the village street! - we parted company with my promising her that his treatment would not take long. 
You can see what I mean by Dino being a Big Chap!  My circular dining table is a 3ft 6 ins one (108cms) and his nose and tail dropped off the edge on both sides.  Apparently he had been acquired by one of her sons, BW, as a Fairground prize, and his neck had become somewhat floppy since his arrival in their home.
Homewards I went, hoping like made that I WOULD meet folks with such an unusual patient in my arms - and guess what, there wasn't a soul around for me to "advertise" the Clinic's services!  Typical - because on a normal day, there are at least a couple of people who are prepared to pass the time of day with one.
Here you can see his problem.  While it's OK to have a slightly floppy tail - which Dino did not have incidentally - it's another thing for a Dinosaur to be unable to hold his head up high!.  So, it was out with the "Quic-unpic" and a speedy disection of  the first available neck seam - without necessarily undoing the whole toy.  Sometimes, the stitching is such that it can prove a real problem to cut the thread half way along a seam - but on this occasion that  was not the case.   The interlocking stitching used by industrial sewing machines may be good for keeping seams together, but are not meant to be cut in the middle!

Dino's existing stuffing was a mixture of polystyrene pellets - and you know just how much I loathe them - and polyester fibre - so making sure that not too many of the pellets took flight, I began to put some more polyester fibre into his neck. (Ideally, I'd like to have taken out his insides and re-stuffed him, but size alone decreed that this was not the time nor place).  While doing so, it became obvious that the problem had begun because not enough stuffing had been provided around his shoulders, so a lot more stuffing was needed than had been evident to begin with.  His front legs were very floppy as well - and certainly not capable of withstanding Dino's weight when still, let alone had he been required to walk, run or whatever gait his particular species might normally move with.
After about three-quarters of an hour's work, Dino was able to hold his head up high.  A speedy telephone call resulted in MrsNW and son BW, together with an un-named friend, all coming round to collect him.  After payment for services rendered, Dino was returned to BW's arms and off he went home with his young friends.

Here Dino is, proving that he can hold his head high once more - and that he has rather a nice, happy expression on his face as well.  I did think of stuffing his feet too, but it quickly became apparent that the pattern did not call for that.  His front limbs were obviously more wings than legs, so the limbs were left  floppy!
Before leaving the Clinic, though, he was introduced to Cy Bear - who looks rather a small Bear in comparison.
Cy Bear's normal position is sitting down with a pillow behind him for comfort:  but by leaning him against Dino and perching him on his feet, you can see how big the patient was!  And the bed on which both are perched is a double one as well!

Relocation Update:  there are now twelve cartons fully loaded with a mixture of books and household linen taking up the space in our living room, where the table you see in this post was previously located. 
(When we purchased it nearly ten years' ago, Peter had it specially designed so that it could be folded and placed against a wall easily - which is what happened earlier in the week.  I'm now pic-nicing, having my meals on a lap-tray!)    
There are another two and a half shelves of books to pack (a further 16 cartons were delivered this morning) and by this time next week, I hope to have all the unbreakable items, including all the books, securely packed in them.  (The daily timetable is that early each day, the boxes are made up and  between 3-4 boxes at a time are packed - I'm not seeking to break any records.  Then I get on with my normal daily routine, which now requires a lot more dusting of cupboards etc!!).  
With the second armchair, a side table, a book case and a Persian rug all now safely ensconced with Philippa in High Wycombe, not only do I have somewhere comfortable to sit when I go to say with her - scheduled for the last week-end of this month! - but she will be able to use it when I'm not there too!  It also means I've moved my chair over and given myself more working space for carton-packing.          
 (When working in a limited space, strategic decisions are required in order to achieve the final objective!! )

The filing cabinet is now empty - and I've shredded enough material to fill three large bin bags.  The contents are destined as nesting material for my next-door neighbour's chickens.  Two bags have already been delivered and the third will accompany me when I go round for a quick bite to eat at lunchtime on Tuesday (after my last Zumba session down here).  Some of the files related to events as far back as 1992!
(I attended a Zumba class in Kirkby-in-Ashfield last year while staying with Clare for five weeks to celebrate her 40th birthday, and other family occasions, so expect I shall continue my weekly sessions once I've got my bearings in the new place.)
Another, last post from Heytesbury is planned before we all leave on August 11 - however, one never knows what may happen in the intervening 7 days. I plan to take photographs of the Cuddlies being prepared for their travels northwards, and maybe that could form the basis of  the next installment.  
Until then, or until the next time, Good night and Good Bye from both Cy Bear and myself.  Isobel

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Coldham Cuddlies Teddy Bear Parade - and Relocation Update No. 3

Greetings Everyone:  Cy Bear with you once more.

This seems to be developing nicely into a weekly blog post that Isobel manages to do on a Sunday afternoon, while we get ourselves organised for the upcoming translocation from Wiltshire to Nottinghamshire.  In my last contribution, when we introduced Jasper Teddy Bear (Etsy Listing #197033773), I forgot to remind Isobel to put Update No.2 in the title.  Perhaps, she'll get round to doing it when she's finished helping me this afternoon.

Towards the end of last week's post, I mentioned that all Coldham Cuddlies Teddies will henceforth have a tie, bow or other decoration around their necks.  The five current Coldham Teddy Bears have now got their own ribbons, but it was decided I would not have one.  All of their necks move around, and we thought it might help their Adoptive Friends if a bow is under their chins to begin with - to help decide which is the Bear Front and which the Bear Back.  The way us Cuddlies can get treated - if Isobel didn't wrap us up well with tissue paper and bubblewrap - could mean that they arrived with the head in the wrong direction! (The reason I declined to be so adorned is purely because my head is firmly sewn on and doesn't move, and besides I don't like the feeling of being constricted in that area of my torso.)

Earlier today, Isobel went into the garden here at The Hospital of St. John and chose a conveniently placed bench which was also not too exposed to the bright sunlight we are currently experiencing hereabouts.  It's been lovely but all the humans are saying it's a bit too hot in the middle of the day, so the photo shoot didn't last long, and Isobel wanted to get on with lots of other things too. 


 Unfortunately, she didn't realise that the skirt of one of her friends was in the picture too - but it's actually very appropriate that this lady does appear in this photograph.  MrsEP is someone Isobel often visits and she is also a very valued critic of every Cuddly that has been made since the COLDHAMCUDDLIES were set up.  She has extremely definite views as to what she likes - or doesn't, as the case may be - and her criticisms have been extremely helpful in the eventual outcome of how we all end up!  She lives on her own, is nearly ninety years of age - so she knows what she is talking about - and actually has a Mummy Hedgehog (Etsy Listing #956533310) and a Baby Hedgehog (Etsy Listing #95653745) of her own.  They sit on the back of her recliner chair, I am told.

Now, allow me to introduce each of my Teddy Bear Friends in turn - complete with their new neck gear. Some of the ribbons are a little long I think - so, too, does Isobel - but the detail is going to have to wait until we reach the other end, and a new toy-making and blogging routine is established.  As I thought, the idea of a Teddy Bear Parade and photo-shoot appealed, because it was relatively quick and easy to do.

 
First in the line-up - going from left to right  is Silvery Grey Bear (Etsy Listing #95205668) with his apricot coloured bow.  As a normal rule, Teddy Bears in this family tend to be Boys - but there's no reason why they should not be Girls.  So, perhaps the fact that Silvery Bear's ribbon tends towards the female colour spectrum may suggest a Girl could easily  become his Special Friend sometime soon.  His fur is incredibly silky to look at, as well as feel, and he always looks optimistic - whatever everyone else's mood might be!


The next to Silvery Bear is Jasper - about whom I wrote last week.  He's settling in very well with the other Bears, but is a little apprehensive about this move of ours.  Am sure it will all be all right, because it's the second time all of the Cuddlies have visited where we are going to live and they all came back safe and sound -except those who found their Forever Homes.  They appeared at a MacMillan Cancer Coffee Morning in September 2013 at MrsPL's home.  That now is at the bottom of Clare's garden, three doors away from where we are going to live.  (Clare and Alan recently moved into what was MrsPL's house!)


Here is Happy Bear, who is made with the original Light Brown Faux Fur Isobel began making Teddy Bears with when COLDHAMCUDDLIES (www.Etsy.com/shop/COLDHAMCUDDLIES)  first came into being in January 2010. (Well before I came on to the scene, too!) He's got a rather smart striped tie, with dots on it, in a nice brown and gold colour scheme.   There have been several versions of  Happy over the intervening period, and he also has a twin whom I call Grumpy Bear.


He's not really grumpy, but looks a lot more serious than Happy, and he too has a Yellow Ribbon around his neck, which Isobel hasn't really arranged in either a tie (like Happy has) nor a bow.   Not sure why that's happened, but, as I said before, there are lot more important things for Isobel to think about at the moment, and such matters as arranging ties, bows etc for us Bears can wait!  It's the starting LOOK we talking about here!  Incidentally, another difference between Happy and Grumpy, is that the former does prefer to sit, whereas the latter can be persuaded to stand upright for sometime!


Then finally, but by no means the least, comes Goldie Bear (Etsy Listing #120705327) - named as such for pretty obvious reasons!  His maroon bow looks the smartest of the lot of them, but I think could still do with a little bit of a trim.  He looks (and actually is) a bit smaller than the rest of Family, as well as when he's measured against me.  However, although the same pattern is used for all of us, the thickness of the fabric pile which each of  Bear has been made from does vary - and results in some of us looking fatter than each other, as well as smaller, as is the case with Goldie.

Moving Saga developments:  Part 3

The Bear Parade now being over, I'll just update you on this matter.  I'm told that "the cartons" are being delivered tomorrow afternoon.  This means that there's going to be even less room for Isobel to move around in throughout the flat, but she's come up with some strategies to cope with that problem.  Meals are not going to be eaten at the dining table (which will be folded up and stored against the wall in the living room).  The four chairs will be stacked against the wall and on each other, leaving a space in which cartons can be packed one at a time.  She will use her cushion tray (whatever that is) to put her plates on until the move is over.

On Wednesday of this week, one recliner chair, a side table, a bookcase and the Persian Rug will all be picked up by The Van Man from Warminster and taken to Philippa's home in High Wycombe.  That will give Isobel some more space in which to move (and fill with more packed cartons!).  The initial idea was that ALL the packing would be undertaken by the removal firm.  However, Isobel decided she would go "stir crazy" surrounded by books and things she could pack in her own time - and thus speed up the eventual departure of our goods and chattels on Moving Day - which is August 11, 2014.  

Between now and Wednesday, there will be lots of shredding undertaken and the collection of books severely trimmed.  There are apparently quite a large number that are simply out of date, Isobel has never used a recipe from a considerable collection of cookbooks, and so on.  One of our friends from the village is coming round on Wednesday afternoon to give Isobel a lift to Warminster, where she will distribute some stuff at the dump and other books etc at the Barnado's Donation Depot.  Rumour has it that that charity is "crying out" for books and Isobel would love it if someone can really use them when she cannot.


I'm exhausted just thinking about all this.  So, to cut a long story short for this week, I'll end with a final picture of the Bear Gang - this time sitting on a comfortable leather chair in the sitting room of one of our near neighbours.  MrsJB used to make lots and lots of Teddy Bears, and still has a considerable number arranged around her flat.  I've never met them, but she had to stop doing them when her fingers got so badly affected with arthritis that she could no longer handle a needle and thread safely.  She too has been a tremendous help to Isobel in critiquing us Cuddlies as we appeared on the scene, but she doesn't have quite as strong views as our other neighbour (referred to earlier in this post).

Until the next time - have a great week everyone.  Your Friend, Cy Bear.






Coldham Cuddlies Clinic