Here we are - a Sunday afternoon once more, and time to update you on the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Clerical Bears Project. (Last week's post was missed, because there was little more to add - other than the the Grey Plush Tiger Puppet was still en route to his Forever Home. I'm delighted to tell you that he did get delivered on 7th August.) This week has seen Sister Bear completed, and also one of the two versions we propose to offer for our Missionary Bears.
The first to be ready for introduction to the St. Barnabas Cathedral Craft Group last Monday, using the toffee-colour fleece fabric with which most of the Collection will be made, was the one currently being referred to as Sister Bear:
Isobel decided to give her black boots - based on the pattern we use for our dressed Lady Rabbit, Foxes and Wolf Toys - rather than the pattern she's using for the Padre Bear and his male companions. Based on this picture, we think Sister Bear is currently looking a little "naked" around her neck region, and we're thinking about possibly giving her a white collar. With the current veil she has on her head, there wasn't enough body space for the cape that Isobel had prepared for her, so it was left off. There may therefore be a change in appearance before the final version is revealed to the public early in September. Watch this space, Everyone!
With every version being produced, Isobel is working faster - and the first version of our proposed Missionary Bear is now done. The cassock and body were ready to be shown at last Monday's Craft Group meeting at St. Barnabas Cathedral in Nottingham, and finally completed (minus the "COLDHAMCUDDLIES" label, which has inadvertently been left off!) yesterday afternoon.
Isobel was delighted with the way she was able to slip the laminated white paper "dog collar"into Missionary Bear's collar. It's so satisfying when these "experimental" suggestions actually work! You can see the difference in the footwear- in the "shoes" this Ornamental Bear is "wearing" in this picture, but even better in the final photograph at the end of this post.
The next Clerical Bear to be worked on is the "Brother" Missionary Bear - which Isobel began by cutting out last evening. This is where she's got to -
The Head is sewn, and now waits for nose and eyes to be fitted in place - before being stuffed and sewn at the neck. Below the Head are the arms, and the label which will be fitted somewhere on the finished Ornamental Toy. Below the unfinished arms, are the cut out shoes, including cardboard bases which are fitted into the shoes before the stuffing is put in - to make it easier to get the finished Toys to stand without being propped up. (The second label is the one destined to be sewn into the finished original Missionary Bear).
On the right of this picture can be seen the body waiting to be sewn together, as well as the cut out cassock pattern. At the top is the back of the garment, with the lower pieces being the fronts - which are produced somewhat back to front. In most garments (for toys or anywhere else) the garment fold is usually at the front. However, with all the buttons that need to be sewn to a real Priest's garment (33 for a human - 10 in the case of this Missionary Bear) the fold is in the front of the cassock.
Unusually, Isobel doesn't seem to have any light brown lining with which to complete the second Missionary Bear's ears, so tomorrow will see her travelling to one of her fabric suppliers to see if they can provide her with what she has in her minds eye. "With luck - and a following wind", as the saying goes - the preliminary Clerical Bear models will be completed by the end of next week.
We have an order for two Cuddly Teddy Bears - destined to be Forever Friends for two young boys who are going to be living with their parents - coincidentally with their Dad headed to become a pilot flying missionaries in Papua New Guinea, Oceania later this year! (The Cuddly Bears are to be in plush fabric - different colours, so no quarrels will ensue! - and thus will be bigger than these Clerical Bears). Then, we'll be returning to stock up the Clerical Bears - in time for their public appearance at the start of September, to be followed by being on sale at the upcoming Christmas Bazaar the Cathedral Craft Group members are working towards which is scheduled for early October.
Good Heavens: Christmas Bazaars already? It only seems yesterday, we were all preparing for the last one the Cuddlies appeared at last November at Thoresby Hall. Where did the time go?
See you all next week: