Sunday, 22 November 2015

Third Time - Lucky, for Colin, the Koala - together with more Hedgehog news

Hello again Everyone -

Cy Bear greeting you once more, although it only seems like yesterday that I was opening a post here a week ago.  Admittedly, Isobel is drafting this a day early, because she has other plans for publicising both the shops and the Hedgehogs on Sunday afternoon, when she would normally be doing the preparation for our weekly bulletin from the COLDHAMCUDDLIES ' world.

However, such good news to tell you.  On Tuesday morning, there was a notification on the Shop site that MsDS from Southend on Sea, Essex, UK  had ordered Colin, our Giant Koala - and when Isobel read the details we find that Colin is destined for her Christmas preparations. She wanted confirmation that we could get him there in time.  Needless to say, she was rapidly apprised that we could - and WOULD!

Colin Sitting in "The Artful Buttoner" on arrival
A telephone call was then rapidly made to MrsCL, Proprietor of "The Artful Buttoner" - where Colin has been staying since I wrote about him here (30/08/2015 and 06.09.2015) to ask her to get him ready to come home here.  On Friday morning, Isobel went to collect him - he just managed to fit into her shopping trolley, and he caused some interest apparently on the 'bus coming home - since his head was peering over the top of the shopping bag!

Later on Friday, he was prepared for his journey to Southend, his travel arrangements having been set up with the MyHermes courier service we'd used before.  (Isobel found it much easier this time around - having made most of the mistakes she could have done the previous occasion.)

Coincidentally, Isobel had just purchased a new, padded winter coat which she had picked up the day before.  It was wrapped up in a large plastic bag - which happily meant that Colin could be fitted in and tied up safely - with some "breathing" space to spare.  The paper work in front of Colin consists of his My Hermes delivery note attached to our usual Delivery Note/Invoice/Letter from Isobel that goes with every Coldham Cuddly that leaves us for their Forever Homes.  

The other document is an additional item.  Because Colin has had such a "complicated" life to date, he has some "history" that accompanies him.  This is a copy of the blog posts we did about him (see dates mentioned earlier) so that MsDS can read it - if she is interested.  Then he was ceremoniously (by that I mean "supervised" by Me) bundled into a large, tough plastic bag (normally used for refuse, but ideal for transporting Colin to Southend as it happens) and the courier's label (together with his travel details) was cellotaped on.

At shortly before nine-o'clock on Saturday morning, our normal courier man rang the front door bell, and off Colin went.  We've asked MsDS to let us have some pictures of Colin once he has been introduced to his new Friends (but ONLY if she feel comfortable with it appearing in a future blog)  - so there is unlikely to be anything substantial until after Christmas (except, of course, we can trace his journey on line - or so Isobel tells me) and MsDS did say she'd let us know when he arrived later this week.

Fingers crossed - Colin will have found his berth - FINALLY.  He deserves it!!

As for the Hedgehogs, they've increased in number and on Friday afternoon, Isobel found - again on her Activity Feed in the Shop Site - that a whole Hedgehog Family had been ordered (by the lady who put us in touch with the West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue (WMHR)  in Cheslin, Hay, Walsall, Staffs).  So, on Monday or Tuesday of next week, our first Family of Hedgehogs will be en route to Mobile, Alabama, USA.  They are going to be given as Christmas presents to MrsMM's 11 year old  Triplet cousins . (Also, it's the first part of our next installment of 10 per cents to be halved between WMHR and StTiggywinkles)

We've heard back from both  Ms. Joan Lockley of WMHR and Tiggywinkles Hospital that our initial donations have been received.  So that means, as of today (when the Membership package came from the latter establishment) - that Isobel (and therefore me, too!) are now members of the St Tiggywinkles, The Wildlife Hospital Trust.  To prove it - here is our Certificate of Membership.  (The Hedgehog in the centrepiece has his left paw in plaster or a bandage)

That's it for this week everyone.  Hope you all have a good one next week, and that it doesn't get too much colder or difficult for everyone to get around where you all live - because Winter has apparently arrived in the East Midlands of the United Kingdom.  There was a dusting of snow on the lawns surrounding our flat this morning, and some was still lingering when Isobel closed the curtains this afternoon.

See you all soon.  Your friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Still working on Saving UK Hedgehogs - latest developments.

A very good afternoon to you all Everyone - Cy Bear back again, after a week away from posting.

We're still deep in Hedgehogs, and likely to be for some time, I think, but since we're being given a lot of verbal/written support from members of all the Teams that Isobel is on, and she's still got one or two more "ducks to get in a row", that's likely to be the situation here for a wee while yet. It's a pretty full time occupation for her - and while she's being kept busy there, she's leaving me alone!!

At the end of last week's post, Isobel mentioned that Daddy Hedgehog was destined for a spell of treatment in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic  Well I can tell you that she has been as good as her word.

Daddy was wheeled in on Monday afternoon, had a considerable amount of polyester stuffing removed - after she had gently unstitched him around his head area.  She then remodelled him and made his nose a lot more pointed.  So that from looking like this:

Toy Daddy Hedgehog Art Doll  Brown Plush Faux Fur Cream Black Flecked Animal Furry Pram Cot Toy Boy or Girl Christmas Stocking Stuffer

Daddy Hedgehog now looks like this:

I am also pleased to be able to announce that both remaining versions of our Brown Baby Hedgehog toys have been adopted - so there are two "ten per cents"  awaiting distribution to our intended donor charities - West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue and Tiggywinkles Hedgehog Hospital (StTiggywinkles, as Isobel discovered the specific sanctuary for Hedgehogs is named).  Tiggywinkles is a leading provider of  medical assistance to wildlife of all kinds - like Swans, Squirrels, Foxes, Deer and, yes, even Badgers too.

So, with their Babies now in their Forever Homes, Mommy and Daddy are patiently waiting to find themselves a berth somewhere soon.

There is something in the human world apparently called Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up at the end of November.  So, if they have not found anywhere by then, Isobel is intending to sell them at a discounted price - separately or together, and she is also announcing that ANY CUDDLY finding a new home over that week-end, will be sold for free shipping, to anywhere in the world.  That announcement is appearing in our Shop Announcement section next week - but you my Reader Friends are getting advanced notice.

We want these guys to go soon, because Isobel has made the decision that she will not be using the faux fur "prickly" looking fabric, nor the light brown plush material, for future Hedgehogs.  The fabric we now have access to is quite different and is resulting in Hedgehogs who look different, although just as authentic - or at least we think so.

A first glimpse is given here

These three new Hedgehogs are currently spending time with MrPE, the Graphic Designer Isobel mentioned as offering us assistance.  He came to our flat on Thursday evening and took them away to be professionally photographed for use in the campaign.  We expect them back early next week, if they don't get delivered here later today (Sunday evening).  This photograph is taken on Isobel's bed, and like all our photographs, is a bit of a snapshot, as opposed to a professional one.  (There is already a second Baby made in the new colours:  and Isobel has made and stuffed a second Mommy Hedgehog - with legs and face needing to be attached to the body.  The second Daddy  is cut out and awaiting production as soon as Mommy is complete - hopefully, later today.)

As for the campaign, here are the latest developments.  Isobel is becoming a Member of the Tiggywinkles Hospital Trust (or something like that) and will be sending a letter with her cheque for the first year's membership (which also includes the £1.25 ten per cent for One Baby Hedgehog) to Buckinghamshire on Monday.  At the same time, a similar amount of money is being sent to the West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue in Cheslin Hay, Nr. Walsall, Staffordshire (with their first ten per cent).  In the letters, she asks if both establishments can help her help them by allowing more Coldham Cuddlies Hedgehogs the chance to find their Forever Homes.  In other words, more Sales of Hedgehogs from our Shop,!

Then last week in the House of Commons in London a Member of Parliament was awarded an Adjournment Debate (hope you know what that is, because it's not a term this Beaver Lamb Bear is familiar with) in which he stated he was going to try to get The Hedgehog to be appointed the UK Official Animal,  as well as trying to save the species from extinction;  just as in 2014, The Robin was appointed the Official UK Bird.  Isobel did some surfing of the internet (again, am sure you'll know what that is!) and found - and downloaded - the Official Hansard record of the entire Debate.  She plans on contacting the MP to see how they can work together to improve the survival chances for the UK Hedgehog population.

So - watch this space folks.  Life is getting quite exciting!  Have a good week all of you.

Your Friend Cy Bear.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Hedgehog Saga - latest developments.

Hello everyone! After three weeks' contributions, Cy Bear is taking a rest, so I've taken up the blogging cudgels this time around.

As reported by Cy Bear, Monday morning saw me finding my way around to the Trade Counter Entrance of  Roma Fabrics Limited, here in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, to pick up the metre of fabric ordered the previous week.   Somehow, I'd imagined that the material would arrive in a folded condition - after all previous faux fur pick ups from my erstwhile supplier in Frome, Somerset had all arrived in huge plastic bags in bundles or pieces!  On arrival, by 'bus, I discovered I was expected to take home a roll of fabric (beautifully parcelled in plastic) which was 66 inches long (157 cms, or thereabouts).

Now I had planned on blithely picking up the fabric and proceeding on the next 'bus to Sutton-in-Ashfield, the next Town, so that I could pick up my newly ordered spectacles.  While the roll of fabric was not in itself heavy, it was awkward to manoeuvre and  I didn't fancy fighting my way through crowds of shoppers in Mall in which the Opticians are located, so I promptly crossed the road and waited for a 'bus homewards.  The services are pretty frequent, and I was back home pretty quickly (it only takes 7-10 minutes each way) having changed my optical appointment for the same time, next day.

Well, the next obvious step was to use my newly acquired faux fur fabric - and by Saturday evening, three new members of the Coldham Hedgehog Family were ready for the next stage in our Saving the UK Hedgehog Campaign.   This is getting to be a bit of a mouthful to type, let alone say, so if any of my Readers can come up with a catchy phrase for the campaign, I'd be most grateful.

The 2015 Coldham Hedgehogs now look like this:

Baby Hedgehog

I just happened to have the original Brown Hedgehog Toy by me when taking this snapshots yesterday evening, so this is a comparison:

Because I have a limited supply of the brown flecked faux fur, I've decided not to use the fabric for Hedgehogs - because our equally popular Hairy Bears are made with the same material.  (In any case, this little fellow is destined for a home provided by our family friend, MrsPC).  Now that I have easy access to the new faux fur fabric (called "Laughing Owl" by Roma Fabrics Limited) and the grey plush material (called Silver Fox), future Hedgehog toys will become "grey" hedgehogs, and actually they do look a lot more realistic - to my eyes, anyway.  Their antecedents are certainly an animal mix already!

Our new-look Daddy Hedgehog now looks like this:

Now, not only does he look a lot more Hog like,  I am not quite sure why the original Daddy Hedgehog turned out the way he did!

I seem to recall, I found him a bit difficult to make when originally attempting him (it was about 3 years ago, around the time that Peter's health was becoming more of a problem than usual, so this could explain things).   This time around, the grey version was not a problem - so, as I made them with exactly the same pattern, think the dumpling look must be because I over-stuffed the original.   He is certainly a lot harder to hold, and heavier in weight.  So, I shall be booking this little guy into the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic for a serious "face job".  Hopefully, I'll be able to do that quite quickly, so that I can start making another two or three family sets - as there are definite plans for them when they are completed.

On Thursday evening, I met with the Graphic Designer (PE) - whom you may recall was connected with the original Wildlife Sanctuary  ("down the road and round the corner" as Cy Bear told you in an earlier post).  It was an interesting meeting, and some unexpected developments could well be round the corner. (Alas, the Sanctuary's owner/operator has developed health issues, which prevent its continuation in its present form. It's long term patients will continue to be housed, but newcomers will not be accepted). However, PE had some exciting proposals for me to consider, and he is due to pick up the new Hedgehog models sometime this week, so that he can apply his photographic skills for future use in the campaign.  We'll therefore be continuing our discussions then.  More anon.

Meanwhile, here is a photograph of the new Mommy Hedgehog:

Now picture taking is not my forte - and these are definitely "snapshots" just for the purposes of this blog. I shall wait to see the results from PE when he's done his stuff, but in the interim, this does give you all an idea of what I've been up to this week.  I've been able to prove that if required, I can turn these little guys round in about two evenings concentrated sewing, which is a useful guide for future requirements.  So, I now wait what this week will bring.  Am hoping in particular that PE will also be prepared to give me leads which will result in Coldham Cuddlies being able to develop contacts with the local Animal Wildlife community, which hopefully I can work with to get my future "ten per cents" sent to both West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue and Tiggywinkles, the two outfits I hope to support.

 (Incidentally, whilst I knew the latter was located in Buckinghamshire, during the week while surfing the net, I found out that it is based in Haddenham - which is up the railway line from daughter Philippa's residence in High Wycombe.  I am due to spend ten days over the Christmas period with her this year, so hopefully will be able to arrange a face to face encounter - always a better proposition even than current contacts via Facebook or whatever!)

Hedgehog Family - 2015 Models
That's it for this week, then folks.  Either Cy Bear or I will be back reporting on developments next week.  This post is a little late - but during the week, my computer was unexpectedly upgraded from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1 (the darn machine got taken over and it happened while I was busy doing my daily Etsy adminand my first attempt at this post earlier this afternoon ended in my somehow wiping it (when I was supposed to be publishing it!).  The world of computers never ceases to perplex:  I'm just grateful I manage to get something out, EVENTUALLY!  Here's hoping that I've got it right this time around.

Until our next meeting then:  have a great week everyone.  Isobel

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Cuddlies Hedgehog Campaign - further steps to report

Good afternoon Everyone.  Cy Bear with you once again:

The Cuddlies Campaign to save the UK Hedgehog population has moved on - a few steps, even though progress might seem to have stalled.  However, looking back, it is only three weeks since we started blogging about our plans, so perhaps we have come quite a long way. At least progress is forwards.......

The Hedgehog Family with Me in our Living Room earlier today
The Hedeghog Family have been travelling around quite a lot this week - what with one thing and another.  On Thursday of this week, they went with Isobel to Roma Fabrics Limited, the factory from which the fabric we need to make more Hedgehogs is manufactured. (Isobel has been reluctant to start making new Hogs until we'd got a line of supply established.)  It's just a 7 or 8 minute 'bus ride from our flat here in Kirkby, and easily combined with a shopping trip to our next town, Sutton-in-Ashfield, where one of Isobel's favourite super-markets is located.

 I'm pleased to tell you that she is due to pick up the first metre of the material on Monday, and will then be making the whole family using this fabric - as it is just a little different from that which we've been using until now. (The Hedgehogs accompanied her so Roma Fabrics could see what their fabrics had been used for (as well as for matching purposes for ourselves).   One thing that Isobel now realises is just how lucky she has been to date in being able to get hold of the faux fur fabric we've used to date.  Buying, even when Trade Prices are on offer, are eye-wateringly more expensive - but, at the present moment, Isobel doesn't plan on any increases in the cost of any or all the Hedgehog Family.  (It will obviously be dependent on how quickly they all find new Forever Homes and she needs to replace the faux fur fabric).  

Baby Hedghog fits nicely into my lap
Another Baby Hedgehog is going to be purchased by an old Morrell Family friend, whom the whole family (including Isobel's new Grandson,ER) visited yesterday.  MrsPC is the Forever Friend of Fred Bear, who was a Patient in our Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic ( - )   (Fred's treatment was reported here - and finished here )

A near neighbour of MrsPC hosts a real live hedgehog, and a couple of weeks ago, a very small Hog was seen drinking water from one of the plates that MrsPC puts out in her garden - for just such a purpose.  However, as it was about 1400 BST, she was a little concerned as to whether the Little Chap should really have been so visible - being nocturnal animals by nature. When seen in daylight, it CAN indicate they're in distress.  However, having drunk his fill, the Little Chap scurried off - and hasn't been seen since.  However, when introduced to the Coldham Hogs yesterday, MrsPC said she'd take a Baby  - as a present for her neighbour:  who, as all good neighbours do, looks in on her regularly and undertakes shopping chores as and when required.

The gentleman who offered to help us, with the promotional material for the campaign (MrPE) was unable to meet Isobel this week - since his other business commitments mean that he is fully committed during the day.  We're hoping he'll be able to call in to see us en route home one evening this week.  Apparently he has lots of blank cards previously produced for the Wildlife Sanctuary here in Kirkby, (mentioned in last week's post) which are now somewhat redundant.  He also has some cards on which information about Hedgehogs is already printed.  We're going to see how, or even if, they could be used to mutual benefit by both of us combining ideas.  You will be kept informed.

Mommy Heddgehog, being bigger, has to sit on my leg

We've not been able to progress contact with Joan Lockley of West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue as the lady has been inundated with telephone calls from hither and yon - following her trip to the House of Lords to get her award for services to wildlife over the past 15 years.  When Isobel telephoned her on Friday afternoon, it was to discover that in addition to interviews from press, and invitations to appear on radio and television as a result of the publicity generated by this event, she has had 19 new hedgehog patients requiring attention throughout last week.  All are accepted, even though her Hosprickle is bursting at the seams.  No wonder, MrsJL (as I shall refer to her - as you all know I am a very well brought up Bear, and do not address older folk by their first names at any time) had not even opened her computer all week, and so had not seen Isobel's introductory note about the Cuddlies, herself, and her campaign plans.  (A hard copy of the said note was posted to her on Saturday!)

 However, we did find out that West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue do have a Facebook Page -   The link is included, so that interested parties can go, read, link and do whatever else it is you folk do when you are "on Facebook"!  We hope it also provides "comfort" for those who plan to buy a ColdhamCuddlies Hedgehog (or even two or three!) that the target of our "ten per cents" is real and will use the results of the fund-raising efforts Isobel plans to send.

Daddy Hedgehog and I - us Gentleman Toys sit side by side for comfort!
Earlier in the week, though, Clare sent Isobel a link (again via Facebook) in which we learn that East Midlands Wildlife Trust were also anxious to find out where Hedgehogs in their areas of influence might be located.  Isobel sent them a message - from which she still awaits an answer - but on Tuesday of last week, BBC East Midlands Today ran  a short piece about the disappearing Hedgehogs of the UK on their lunchtime and early evening programmes. (This time from the Richard Attenborough Wildlife Reserve outside Leicester).  However, during the afternoon, between the two programmes, Isobel rang them in their Nottingham office (just 25 miles down the road from here) and was rung back, quite quickly,by someone from their Editorial Department.  Her plans were noted down and we have been promised they will get back should they do any more on the Hedgehog problem.  It may well be that we will have to prod their memories, but we're not quite in a position to do so - YET!

Until next week, then - your Friend Cy Bear is signing off.  Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Our UK Hedgehogs Campaign moves a little further on.....

Greetings everyone.  Cy Bear back again.

As the title implies, things are moving on in the Cuddlies efforts to help save the British Hedgehogs. Isobel has been working on it pretty well all week, and I'm in a position to report on some of the developments.

First of all, here's a picture of the Hedgehog Family taken when Isobel was at  the October meeting of the Ashfield U3A Group on Thursday morning this week.  She only took a few of us, because this was the first time she had gone to a group meeting, and it was more of a "getting to know you" type of  occasion - because she obviously was not the only visitor there.  Another reason was that she had only taken half a coffee-type table as well!

A Cuddlies Selection on display at the Ashwood Centre, Kirkby in Ashfield , 22.10.2015

The Frog's leg is large and floppy - and would not move out of the picture!
She was, however, the only visitor/member who had a table on display and I'm pleased to say that one of the Baby Hedgehogs (seen on the right of the photograph) did get adopted, and so the first 10% contribution towards the Saving UK Hedgehogs Cuddlies Campaign is "in the bag".  Not a large sum, maybe:  but it's a start.

After spending a long time on the internet trying to find where the source of the faux fur fabric she uses for the Hedgehogs originated from (other than from where she used to get it when we lived in Wiltshire) - and not succeeding, Isobel "bit the bullet" on Monday morning and rang The Fine Quality Feather Company in Frome, Somerset to see if they could let her know.  Guess what?  The firm gets ALL fabric they use from a wholesaler which is based here in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, where we now live.  So, most of the fabric we now have in the hall cupboard must originally have come from there in the first place! Serendipity or what?

Daddy Hedgehog, on show at "The Artful Buttoner", Kingsway, Kirkby in Ashfield.
So, then Isobel googled Roma Fabrics Limited, found the correct email address to contact and duly sent a brief description of what Coldham Cuddlies is about, and how we had dealt with Fine Quality Feather Company, by taking off-cuts they didn't want and using them for us Cuddlies.  

Roma Fabrics, being wholesalers dealing direct with the trade, don't do off-cuts!  Isobel responded by saying that she is accustomed to being treated as "Trade" by the plush and tartan fabric suppliers she deals with.  Roma Fabrics, then told  her she could apply to be treated as a Trade customer.  This has been done - and we now await approval of our registration.  (Our application went in late on Friday afternoon, so probably the department concerned with such matters had already shut shop and gone home for the week-end).  

If accepted (one never takes these things for granted), Roma Fabrics' minimum order is 0.5 metres (half a yard, or thereabouts):  most of the other companies we deal with demand a minimum of 1.0 metre (39 inches for those unaccustomed to metric measurements).  I'm told by Isobel that one can get quite a lot of Hedgehogs made with half a yard (width usually being 54 or 60 inches).  We do have some of the Hedgehog special speckled fabric in stock, but Isobel does want to ensure she can get replacements quickly, as and when required.

Mommy Hedgehog - watching what's happening in "The Artful Buttoner"
Kirkby in Ashfield is a very friendly place.  Isobel finds she gets chatting with people even when she's sitting on the 'bus going into Town for her weekly shopping, or to check on whether any Cuddlies have been adopted from "The Artful Buttoner", where the Hedgehogs had been sitting, until removed for the Craft Fair earlier this week.  (They'll be going back again next week)  From our neighbours and Claire Lilley, Owner and Operator of "The Artful Buttoner" (who is more than happy for the Shop to be used for any photographs by the local newspaper - which Isobel has yet to contact) she learned about a Wildlife Sanctuary right here in Kirkby. 

Subsequent Googles disclosed that quite literally it is based down the road and around the corner to where we are based. (Again, what a coincidence, eh?)  There were two email contact address connected with this Sanctuary,  and they handled ALL wildlife needing help, not only Hedgehogs.  Isobel - not knowing either of the personalities involved - not unnaturally chose the first one.

Turns out that, alas, the gentleman is now now longer involved.  Isobel discovered however that he is a print and publicity material designer, likes our idea of helping Hedgehogs, and has offered to help with any publicity material we might need on either a "f.o.c." or at cost basis.  (Isobel presumes that "f.o.c." means "free of charge", and at the moment has responded "Yes please", but no need at present!)

Baby Hedgehog - who was adopted from the Craft Display on Thursday 22.10.2015
However that may now change.  Having tried to contact the other person involved at the Kirkby Sanctuary, and not being made exactly welcome, (almost the first rebuff she's had since moving up from Wiltshire), Isobel was surprised and somewhat bowled over on Saturday afternoon.  While checking one of her two Facebook pages  she found a message sent from one of her Etsy team colleagues about a story run on Friday evening's local BBC TV News programme from the West Midlands (based in Birmingham) giving the name of another lady based near Walsall, in the West Midlands, who is actively seeking funding for her work. 

 Now, Melissa Miller (another funny coincidence, actually, because Isobel's maiden name was Miller!) from Alabama, USA  runs and she is a fellow member of the Etsy Team  Melissa is a great Anglophile, and has often mentioned items she's seen when watching BBC programmes when she and Isobel are "chatting" on the Team Chat Thread (led for the Team by Isobel, incidentally), but this link is mind blowing.  Having "commented" (as I'm told one does when operating on Facebook, giving a link to my first mention of our Save the Hedgehog Campaign ) Isobel  then telephoned BBC Midlands Today offices in Birmingham.  The switchboard put her through to the department who produced the story last night (it hadn't even been uploaded to BBC iPlayer at the time), and was given the contact details of the lady involved.

Immediate contact was made and I'm delighted to tell you that  it's been telephonically agreed that some of the 10% proceeds from future Coldham Cuddlies Hedgehog sales will be going to Joan Lockley, c/o West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue. Joan has been rescuing Hogs for over 15 years, and in that time has taken in over 5,000 animals - never refusing any of them.  Isobel is now going to write a press release (she used to do a lot of this when Peter and she operated a P.R and Publishing Company in Canada called Coldham Press Ltd),  The draft will be sent to Joan to check facts for accuracy before the next steps on this part of the campaign are taken.

These will probably involve contacting the local weekly Ashfield District newspaper and BBC East Midlands and BBC Midlands to officially launch the campaign, and maybe even inviting "The Lady" magazine to come to the party too!  After all, it was the result of an article in the latter, that started all this off, wasn't it?

We've not been inactive in other areas in the interim.  The Hedgehog Family will now be created as a ColdhamCuddlies entity in itself and listed.  The three separate Hedgehog Toys are already listed and featured in our Shop (//  and every time someone "follows" any or all of them, Isobel writes to tell that person(s) about the need to save our UK Hedgehogs.  So, slowly, it's getting known on too.   Everyone has been very verbally supportive to date - and hopefully, Isobel will be busy sewing lots of Hogs between now, Christmas and beyond.  We'll be telling you all how we get on, obviously, as the days go by.

The Hedgehog Family when they first arrived in "The Artful Buttoner" earlier in the Summer
That's all for this week.  Your Friend Cy Bear

PS:  Isobel has just been able to upload this video all about Joan Lockley and her amazing Hedgehog "Hosprikal"!  Enjoy. (If it works, of course).

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Introducing the Kirkby Koalas - and Hedgehog update(s)

Good afternoon everyone - 

Isobel here, giving Cy Bear a rest from posting.  He's been busy elsewhere today, anyway, and one mustn't over work the Bear, must one?

For instance, marshalling the Kirkby Koalas in line is REALLY hard work!
As the title implies, the latest batch of Coldham Cuddlies Baby Koalas (or Tree Bears, as the original pattern designates them) are now ready for listing - and they will be, just as soon as this post has been published, and duly publicised via Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, not to mention just about all the  6 Teams that I'm on regularly.  There's quite a routine to be observed - in the hope that the Cuddlies will get viewed by more and more people.  

They're going to be listed at their current price of £14.50 each, but if more than one is required - and they make great Stocking Stuffers for anyone wanting to fill that empty space this Christmas(or even small gifts at Thanksgiving, Cyber Friday or any of the other upcoming holiday season commercial bonanzas)- a discount may well be available.  Two or three will be able to travel for much the same price as one, because in the end, they don't weigh very much when each goes on the scales. Convo me at, and I'll be delighted to discuss the matter with you.

Talking of blog publicising, I've just checked on today's number of views for this blog and since we began in March 2011 and they amount to 40,871.  Given that I normally just natter about the Cuddlies (with some brief excursions elsewhere), I'm pretty pleased with that result - and want to thank everyone who reads us regularly for this wonderful total.  

Can't help feeling that all the material I'm gathering in all these posts (counting this one, it will be 322) that there should be a way of capitalising on the stories incorporated in these posts - but, frankly (getting over a touch of bronchitis as I currently am) my entrepreneurial spirit is somewhat diminished today.  The antibiotic I've been prescribed is the strongest I've had to date, and while it's doing its stuff, it's taking it out of me a bit as well.  Definitely not firing on all pistons could well describe how I'm feeling today.  Perhaps one of you wonderful Followers - when commenting, as I hope you will continue to do, can give me a suggestion as to how this new venture might be approached?  Thanks in advance.

To return to the Kirkby Koalas (illustrated above)  - they've been made with the current Koala fabric of grey faux fur with black flecks, are as tactile to touch as usual, and ready to be pram or cot toys, mantle piece or bedside table decor or whatever else comes to mind.  They're certainly one of the most popular Cuddlies - and especially so at Craft Fairs and Bazaars we've attended to date. 

I'm due to go to one on Thursday next - if I feel up to it, and can arrange a bit of transport assistance.  It's within Kirkby, and as I'm not taking the entire 88 COLDHAMCUDDLIES contingent, I may actually be able to make it by 'bus (that leaves close to our front drive, and is free to me, as a Pensioner).  The local University of the Third Age group is holding their "Interest Groups Display" for their regular October meeting, and when I met members of the Committee at a local Seniors Forum in town a couple of weeks ago, I was invited to take half a table (at no cost). So, that's what I will attempt to do!  

(In the past, the transportation has been provided by Clare since I moved up - but with the arrival of my small Grandson, she has more than enough to do, and Little One is not yet ready to meet his public full-on - although he does pretty well when we go to Church each week:  but that's a different kettle of fish all together!)

Not all of these will be going, but maybe a couple or three will - and they'll be accompanied by some Cuddlies that I currently have in stock (other than those that are already on show in The Artful Buttoner craft shop in Kirkby Town Centre.

I took some of our Novelty Slipper selection down to the Shop earlier in the week, just to give a different flavour to the Rabbits, Foxes, Wolves and, of course, Colin, the Giant Koala.  Hopefully, with both Winter and Christmas approaching  (when Slippers seem to attract a lot of attention) some pairs may be adopted this year, especially for the Children's versions.  I like making the adult versions, but somehow they are not as appealing to work on as the smaller ones are - not to mention taking that much longer, and using more of my special faux fur fabrics!  Will have to really work at finding an alternative source for these, similar to the one I had when living in Wiltshire - but that's for another day!

The Kirkby Koalas from the rear
A quick update on the Hedgehog campaign.  Nothing much more to report, other than that I've been working to publicise the attempt.  However, this week's The Lady magazine contains a letter from a reader who found she had been "adopted" by a female Hog, who after being fed with cat food, duly produced a litter of Hoglets.  She writes that she is duly flattered to have been selected as a safe haven.  She has provided two Hog Houses and hopes to be able to host many more litters. 

While still hoping that Cy Bear's post a couple of week's ago will attract some attention from that source, I'm attempting to get hold of the local weekly newspaper to see if they might like the story - and in the process have discovered that there is a local wildlife hospital (which treats Hedgehogs, as well as other animals who need help).  I'll be following up on that as well - and promise further news next week, and in the future, of course.

Until then, have a good week - and hopefully, I'll be feeling a bit more like myself by the time either Cy Bear or I post next Sunday.


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Cuddlies' Hedghog Mission - Latest: plus news of Old Friends

Hello there Everyone:  sorry to be late this week, but events in Isobel's life overtook us, and this is the first time we've had a chance to work together on our latest bulletin from the COLDHAMCUDDLIES' World.

Toy Baby Hedgehog Unisex Animal Doll Flecked Brown Plush Faux Fur Light Brown Fleece COLDHAMCUDDLIES Stocking Stuffer Christmas Present
Our Baby Hedgehogs, taken outside in a garden
First of all, the latest on the Hedgehog front:  Isobel has posted details about our intended campaign on our Shop About Page, ( as well as in the Shop Announcement section. They are also on the first row of our Shop Page when anyone calls in to the Shop to see what we Cuddlies look like.

Toy Mommy Hedgehog Art Doll Brown Cream Plush Faux Furry Safe Pram Cot Boy or Girl Toy Adult Companion Stocking Stuffer Christmas Present
This is Mommy Hedgehog sunbathing on a convenient wall

Then whenever anyone shows support for ANY of the Coldham Hedgehogs, they get personally thanked by individual convo message via with a brief background to the campaign - just in case they had not read about it in our last week's bulletin.

Toy Daddy Hedgehog Art Doll  Brown Plush Faux Fur Cream Black Flecked Animal Furry Pram Cot Toy Boy or Girl Christmas Stocking Stuffer
Daddy Hedgehog, among the bluebells

This week, in between other things Isobel has to do (as well as fighting off the cold that she fears is "cooking") she hopes to get in touch with local media (print and broadcast) to see if she can get news about our campaign "out there" in the REAL WORLD:  so far it has basically been centred on the internet and other social media.  Will report on progress, as it happens - IF IT HAPPENS:   that's now down to YOU FOLKs, as well as us!

Now, our title promises you some news about some Old Friends - and official Associate Cuddlies.  They tend to have been Patients in our Stuffed Animal Resoration Clinic at one time or another, and this is true of some of those whose photographs I'm including here.  They all belong to Philippa. Isobel's eldest daughter, and as do all Bears, each have a story of their own - some more exciting that others maybe.

First of all there's Count Rusty de Benj - Rusty to his Friends. He was originally a raffle prize in the local pharmacy when Isobel, Peter and the girls lived in Canada, and has been with the family since the early 1980's.  When Isobel learned that one of her tickets (each time one spent over a certain amount of money, a new ticket for the raffle was issued - and I think there were about 10 that had accumulated by the time it was drawn) the only way Rusty could come home was to be strapped into the passenger seat of the family car.

Having created quite an impression on the way home, at 4ft 6ins from head to foot, Rusty has kept it up ever since.  He's travelled with Philippa around the UK each time she has moved for work purposes, and while she was in Belgium, spent some months in storage.  During that time, he got somewhat limp and dusty, so when he arrived as a Patient in the Coldham Cuddlies Clinic, (   he was de-stuffed,  He had polystyrene balls inside him (a pet hate of Isobel's) had a good warm bath and was then re-stuffed.  He now resides in the rocking chair in Philippa's bedroom in the UK

This is Tommy Teddy, and he doesn't look in the slightest bit like he originally did.  He was originally made with a blue and pink plush fabric and arrived in Philippa's collection of Bears when she was about 3-1/2 years old.  We'd gone to visit some Loretto Sisters in their convent in Manchester (Granma Morrell had been educated by them, and Peter spent his early years in Manchester and was therefore well known to the Sisters)

Mother Superior arranged a mysterious delivery of this big Teddy Bear which at the time was almost the same size as Philippa herself, and he was promptly named Tommy Teddy.  He travelled with the Family to and from Canada, and also with Philippa around the UK, with Rusty.  He alas did not stand up as well to the same treatment, and indeed is a lot older than Rusty.  So, when he arrived in the Clinic he was duly taken to pieces and de-stuffed (he had foam pieces inside him, and that is no longer an acceptable form of stuffing in these days of "Health and Safety").  However, his original skin did not survive the luke-warm bath!  Isobel was able to rescue sufficient of the pattern to be able to recreate him in this more modern version using Blue and Pink Fleece, and he now sits with Rusty on the same rocking Chair in Philippa's UK home.

Now the third ursine member in this Bear family picture is known in the Family as "Big Teddy".  He was given to Philippa by Peter and Isobel for her first birthday and despite being the oldest member of  the trio, really looks in remarkable trim given his age.

When he first arrived, he was a definite favourite with his young Forever Friend:  however, shortly afterwards, a favourite Aunt and Uncle arrived from Kenya to meet Philippa for the first time, and brought with them a bright Yellow Plush Teddy Bear who became known as Sleepy Teddy.  For some reason - probably because he is a softer, cuddlier Bear - the invader ursurped Big Teddy in Philippa's affections.  Sleepy Teddy has been EVERYWHERE with her, even when she used to travel overseas to Australia, America and other exotic places for work, and he's been re-covered at least twice in his life.  (Isobel says he needs another new coat, but so far has not been able to achieve her aim of providing it).  Meanwhile, Big Teddy continues to sit serenely with his two fellow Bears - looking almost as good as new.

Isobel is busy making Baby Koalas, in between the Hedgehog Campaign arrangements, so hopefully there will be some up to date photographs to show you next week.  She's made 6 of them, and they're coming along fine.  Currently, its the battle of fixing heads to bodies that is occupying her.

See you all next week - hopefully on the right date this time around.  Your Friend, Cy Bear.