Sunday, 8 July 2018

A week of Good Progress on the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Front to report

Good afternoon again, Everyone!

Cy Bear reporting on what has happened in the last week in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES' world - and it's one of progress too.

First of all - our Yellow Unicorn was completed after we posted our blog last week, and is now listed in the  COLDHAMCUDDLIES' Shop -

As  you can see, Yellow Unicorn is now fully decorated around his hooves, and the next photo shows him with his "necklace/collar" too.

The final shot - for this post anyway - is a full facial photograph:

Then we can report good progress, finally, on the Clerical Bears Project:  we finally managed to run to earth the right sized limb disks for our proposed Models, and they eventually arrived in the post  on Friday morning.  Ironically, while they were purchased via E-Bay (in slight desperation on Isobel's part), it turned out that if she'd been thinking straight, she could have got them RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING of this experimental stage from Mohair Bear Making Supplies Ltd - our supplier of choice for most of our furry fabrics for all the CUDDLIES that need such material - because that is where the initial packet of 3 sets (they come in threes you see) were sent from via our E-Bay order!  (One of the things Isobel will have to do this coming week, is to sort out with Mohair Bear Making Supplies that she has multiplied herself:  but needs them to put the two accounts in Isobel's name into one!!!)

It has enabled Isobel to finish the Prototype Padre Bear - which is pretty much how all the rest of them will look.   Basically, they're going to be made in three stages:  the body, head and arms, which will include fitting in the first disk part at the top of the arm.   Then we'll do the head and body and stuff it so that we get an idea of how the Ornamental Toy will look like when finished.  Then we can make the "cassock", which is quite fiddly, although once Isobel has "got it", she shouldn't have too much of a problem.  Hopefully, they'll all end up looking something like this:

The initial fit resulted in too much of  white collar, and it not holding it's shape too well.

Also, it became obvious that although we thought we had 8 matching black buttons, we actually ended up with five properly black ones, and three that "looked" black, but also had a reddish tinge to them.  

As this is still a prototype - and therefore not going to be part of the fund-raising gig for St. Barnabas Cathedral's Roof Maintenance - Isobel decided to carry on, carrying on, as she needed to get some market research done on progress to date (a.k.a. showing pics of the finished article to all and sundry before and after Mass this morning).  

Although this Model will not be on sale, Isobel  had a brilliant suggestion made as to what could happen to him - rather than sitting around in the flat, gathering dust.  The idea of us creating Padre Bears started several months ago, when we were having an early morning coffee before Mass one Sunday.  One of our Parishoner Friends, whose wife actually has an earlier version of one of our Light Brown Bears - (and called him "George", if memory serves):

suggested that Isobel try to make one, as he felt it would sell well - and not just here in Nottingham at the Cathedral.  Getting a pattern has been the main hold-up, but now we've got a template, we can bring it to fruition.  Isobel will indeed offer this original Padre Bear Model to our Friend - as a gesture of thanks for his suggestion, once he's done his work as our production "guinea pig"!!

As usual, we had to work out the order in which the different components of the new Coldham Cuddly would be put together - we think we've got that!   Then we had to fit them together, and add the arms - which did need to be taken apart at the arms shoulder so that the disks could be fitted in.
Then the cassock was fitted over the body, and holes made in the side seams - matching where there were already gaps in the Bear Body side-seams.  The disks were then fitted in, and closed with the plastic safety disc which comes as part of the set;  the already-made head was then added and the collar gathered to make a better fit  - giving the resulting look. 

The white piece bit of the "dog-collar" is currently made with pretty strong inter-facing, which would normally be ironed on - resulting in a less fragile fit.  At the moment, it's not quite what Isobel is looking for, as it tends to bend too easily when trying to sew the cassock around the Bear's neck, and so doesn't look too convincing - at least when one is close up!

Discussions during the "market research" resulted in a suggestion that an ordinary piece of white printing paper, laminated on both sides might well provide the answer, and this will be put to the test in subsequent days.  We think it will be hardy enough to remain in place once Isobel slots it into the collar (the current inter-facing gets very weak if handled too often!) and it will also provide the "shiny" look that a real "dog collar" has, while our Model's has a matte finish.  Meanwhile, here are two further photographs of the prototype as presently on offer:

See you all next week - and hopefully, we'll have a finished version of  Padre Bear - as he will be offered to the world, as well as a Bishop Bear - dressed in purple.  Isobel has somehow always thought of it as crimson, but again, our friends didn't think I'd got it right!  More research needed on that, methinks.  Plans are in Isobel's mind, as she types this, I know!

One thing though has emerged:  we're unlikely to be offering a white-robed "Deacon" Bear, as the general consensus was that once ordained, Deacons tend to dress in Black, and have a special white garment as their clerical robes.  However, one of the Parish Priests at St. Barnabas - who was pretty enthusiastic about our prototype - suggested that a white-robed priest might go down well in countries where hot temperatures are the norm (although if the weather carries on the way it is at the moment in the UK, they might have to go that route themselves here and our Clerics have to have "Tropical" outfits, as happened in the days of the British Raj all those years ago!).  They do wear white cassocks, like our priests wear black ones in places like South India (one of our present Priests does come from those parts, as it happens!).  So, we'll still offer a White-robed Padre Bear - and see what results!

As I said last week:  just watch this space Folks!  Exciting times ahead - especially, as we received a Custom Order for a Tiger Arm Puppet from a MrGGG, located in Exeter, Pa, USA on Friday.  It's based on this Tiger Arm Puppet in our Shop, but our client wants it made without stripes - 

so it's going to be made with our Silver Fox plush fabric, which looked like this in the photograph Isobel sent out to MrGGG on Friday afternoon.  

See you all again, next week - hopefully.

Your Friend

Cy Bear.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Progress Report(s) and Introducing a New Cuddly to the Ranks.

Good afternoon Everyone:

Cy Bear back again, after a week that has once more flown by, during which we've had some lovely, but extremely un-British weather conditions.  The sun has actually shone from morning till evening, and we've had a very welcome cool breeze, which has helped us all in our flat to manage the very unusual high temperatures (both day and night). 

Now for one of those updates, alluded to in the title for today's post:  regarding the potential Clerical Bear population in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES shop and family.  We referred in last week's post to the long time it took Isobel to unpick the fabric destined for the black cassocks:  - here's a photo, which hadn't been taken when I mentioned it last week - showing the fabric that wasn't any use for the project:  in the garbage pail, ready for transfer to the complex rubbish bins last week:

Next door to the pail is the current bag of stuffing which is used to fill all the Cuddlies after they've been sewn together, prior to listing in the Shop.  You can se that the discarded items almost fill the pail!!  The remainder of the black fabric is carefully ironed and folded ready to be used for the Padre Bears. 

Progress on the Clerical Bears has been slightly held up, although we have moved forward.  Isobel has sourced the buttons (8 for each cassock) that she'll be using when she gets going.  She went to two separate local sources - one in Kirkby in Ashfield, where we live:  the other in Mansfield, the nearest BIG local town, which requires a 30 minute 'bus journey each way.  While she got most of the required accessories from the latter this time around, she's found that our nearer location has the best size and colour matches - and (given the time factor!) she's going to use that once the current supply needs replenishment.  The price differential is marginal, and she may be able to negotiate a lower cost, if we buy in sufficient bulk!!  That has yet to be discussed!!

We're still waiting to find the right sized toy limb discs:  Isobel did order what she thought would be suitable (because she gets muddled when dealing in millimetres, rather than inches) they turned out to be far too big, so they had to be returned from one of our on-line sources of these items on Friday.  We can get them - buying 2 sets (needed for each Bear) from our local haberdashery store - but we're trying to establish somewhere we can buy them in bulk, if needed.  Our Manchester based haberdashery supplier (Fred Aldous & Co.) - from whence we order our stuffing (mentioned earlier in this post, and from whom we've ordered - and received - another 1.5 kg bag of the material) do sell toy limbs, but the sample Isobel ordered (which looked OK from the online picture) turned out to be the same size as the items we sent back on Friday.  As a result, progress on the Bears has not been great this week, although we haven't stayed still!

Instead, Isobel has finally managed to create the first member of the  COLDHAMCUDDLIES line of Unicorns.  Based on the Pink Unicorn she "rescued" from a local charity shop earlier this year, she managed to create the template for our latest offering - which still needs the finishing touches.  Here is what our Unicorn currently looks like - from different angles. 

(You can see what the original one was like - before it fell to pieces when Isobel undid the seams! - by referring to last week's post). That caused some difficulty for her in remembering how each piece of the body and (particularly) the head fitted into each other, but at last we've got almost the finished article.  When Isobel showed the partially completed toy to Philippa (during her recent visit to Kirkby for Isobel's Grandson's birthday celebrations) the Yellow Unicorn looked like this:

(It is the same body, but the above photo was taken at night time, and pictures under electric light do tend to look like this:  whereas the first photo, and the ones that follow, were taken in daylight earlier this afternoon.)

Philippa suggested that the finished article might well benefit from the addition of a little "bling", as Little People who are attracted to Unicorns - of so I am told - seem to like shiny embellishments to their equine toys!  So, we've sourced some gold metallic ric rac trimming, and you can see the first example of this - around the Unicorn's horn!

Isobel plans to put a ring of the gold ric rac around each hoof - after she's added a stitch or two to make the legs look straighter.

There will also be a "collar" of gold ric rac around our Unicorn's neck as well.

Once the final details have been added, and the finishing touches added, Yellow Unicorn will be listed in the shop - as the first of the "Christmas in July" offerings for 2018.  Once the Clerical Bears are under way, Isobel wants to make another Unicorn, this time in poplin (this one being made in Yellow Fleece):  she thinks she has just the thing, and it should be a really colourful addition to the Cuddlies Family.

That's it for this week, Folks!  Hope you have a lovely week in the coming days:  we're headed for another week of scorching temperatures here in the UK - so everyone of you, keep cool and hopefully I'll see all again next Sunday!

Your Friend, Cy Bear:

Sunday, 24 June 2018

An Unexpected Departure, as well as Updated Clerical Bear News

Hello Everyone! 

Yes, it's me, Cy Bear back once more - delayed this time as the result of  Isobel getting very busy on the sewing side of her life, and therefore not having the time to keep you updated (as much as she would like to) on the Clerical Bear developments - although they are coming along apace, and I'm hoping to be able to start that story next week, when she's got a bit further along the road.

However, we do have some lovely news to tell you - all about our Dressed Grey Wolf Ornamental Toy, (  - who has been looking for (and NOW FOUND!!) her Forever Home.

A week ago on Friday, we got an unexpected enquiry from a MsRT - who we discovered lived in Southport, Merseyside, England (not far from where Isobel and Peter used to live - well before I became a member of the Morrell/COLDHAMCUDDLIES Family - she was then "into quilt-making, I've discovered!).   MsRT had come across this picture of  our dressed Grey Wolf

It apparently reminded her of her much loved canine friend "Dill",who had died a couple of years ago.  She wondered if  Isobel could make her one like the above photograph.  We were able to surprised (and please MsRT) by saying that she was actually still looking for her Forever Home, and we'd be delighted to send her - if we could have her snail mail address, once the necessary usual procedures had been followed (a.k.a funds reaching our Bank Account!)  To prove that Grey Wolf was indeed available, we sent an up to date photograph of her sitting on Isobel's new printer on the desk, beside the computer this post is being created on.

We received MsRT's order, together with her payment to our Etsy Shop account ( that same day (a Friday- which often means that the next stages of the payment can take two Working Days to achieve).  That did turn out to be the case, but Isobel promised to have Grey Wolf in the post to Southport the next time she was scheduled to be near our main local Post Office (late Wednesday morning, last week).  

Just to remind everyone, if a Cuddly is in stock, and all usual channels have been travelled, they can be en route within one week of receipt of an order.  If they're not, our process times are shown in each listing, and allow time for Isobel to make them for you, from scratch - as well as taking into account existing work in progress.

Meanwhile, to digress somewhat, a meeting of the St. Barnabas Cathedral Craft Group was convened on Monday 18th June - at which Isobel was able to show the members the fabric she had purchased from two fabric stalls in the City of Derby's Eagle Market - to be used for the Clerical Bears' cassocks.   They were in the White and Maroon colours she wanted for two of the three cassock patterns she's planning to produce - having been given an old, unneeded Canon's cassock from Cathedral stocks to be recycled for the Black versions.  (She spent two entire evenings unpicking the seams of that garment - not having realised just how much fabric and sewing goes into one of those important Church vestments!)  Once all the unwanted linings, inserts, shoulder pads etc et al had been disposed of, the remaining black fabric was washed, and now awaits ironing, before being used for the Padre Bears being created.

(While buying the fabric, Isobel did show the Teddy Bear prototype to one of the Stallholders, who asked what Yellow Bear was called.  When told he hadn't got a name, she promptly said he'd GOT to be "Father Ted Bear" - so that's what he is!!)  

When the "draft"/prototype Yellow Bear was shown around before Sunday Mass the week after he'd been made - looking like this

those who met him were very complimentary, wishing the project every success - as well as Isobel being told that the Bear had bigger hips than most clerics have (by one of the regular Priests at the Cathedral!  He's right, actually:  they're not in the right spot on the Bear's body!).  Isobel wasn't really happy with how this prototype-Bear turned out - his arms are not right, nor do they match the rest of the body, as we ran out of the scrap fabric we had used for this purpose, and indeed, we are now working with a different shape body, with legs that don't move - although we're hoping the arms will.   (These will match the chosen colour fabric being used)  if Isobel can find the smaller discs needed to make moving limbs for Toys exist (we'll know tomorrow after Isobel has gone to our haberdashery supplier in nearby Mansfield to find out, as well as see if she can also establish an on-going supply of the small buttons we need, in the three colours we're using.  Each Bear will have 8 buttons on the front of each cassock!! FYI - a proper Priest's cassock has 33 - one for each year of Our Lord's Life on Earth).  The discs we've used to date are too big for the pattern we're now following, and the black fabric we're starting with will wear very quickly using them.  Isobel hopes a smaller disc will avoid that problem.  Keep your fingers crossed, please!  Otherwise, the future Bears will have one arm permanently raised (for a supposed blessing?)- which could be uncomfortable for them!

To return to Grey Wolf and her journey to her Forever Home:  all went well, and she was duly packed up (as I described in our last post dated June 3, 2018) and posted to Southport last Wednesday.  She arrived safely the next day, and Isobel was so pleased to hear that MsRT is even more delighted with her than she expected.   This is part of which she said in her note telling us of Grey Wolf's arrival:

"  " she" arrived today and is absolutely exquisite!, you have made her so beautifully, I love her, thank you so much, and for helping me to get " the one in the picture" as well, I'm sure I shall be back for more!"

She sent us a photo of Grey Wolf the evening after she arrived - when she was taken to Birkdale Beach (near to where she lives in Southport - where we guess she walks her current doggy friend - or maybe after visiting her Mother there,  which she also told us about).

She also included a photograph of "Dill", the canine friend I mentioned earlier, just to see if Isobel could see the resemblance between them that first caught her eye.   We certainly can:   and we wonder if you can too?

Whilst we were delighted to learn that Grey Wolf arrived safely and well, Isobel did ask if we might have photos of "Lady Dill", as Isobel named her,  in an indoor location too.  Sure enough, the next evening, these two pictures arrived:

End of story I think!  I do love a happy ending, don't you?

See you next week, with the latest on the Clerical Bear front:  and, meanwhile, have a good one EVERYBODY!

Your Friend,

Cy Bear.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

What Happened to the Blue Rabbits (and All Cuddlies!) when They go to Forever Homes or Work

Hello Everyone: 
Cy Bear back again, despite things still taking a little longer to happen than they used to when the laptop was functioning before the new hard disk was fitted.  We're delighted to tell you that the Blue Rabbit Saga has come to an end, with the departure on - Friday - as planned - of Blue Rabbit No.7.

Here is No,7, standing on top of the radiator in the living room, under a silk-printed picture of The Fobidden City in Beijing, China - which has been a feature in Isobel's home since the 1980's when she and Peter lived in Canada, and is a present from a Chinese scientist who became a friend of theirs, although - alas - they have lost touch with that family since.  It happens, unfortunately:  and the picture is part of what is known as "The China Wall" in our Family.

We thought you'd like to see what happened to ALL  the Blue Rabbits - including the two Oscars -), who were part of the original packages) once the Farewell Ceremonies they all went through had happened.

First of all, they all move to the Bedroom, where the bed becomes the focus of attention.


I then get out of the way, and Isobel  gets the wrapping materials together prior to getting the Blue Rabbits (or any other COLDHAMCUDDLIES Toy for that matter) prepared for their respective journeys - whether within the UK or globally.

Here you can see, in the foreground, the polyester Mail Envelope (the biggest size we can lay our hands on!) plus the reel of cellotape and required scissors to get the job done. On the left in the back ground is the chemical free tissue paper (Blue Rabbits required two separate pieces, cellotaped together, because they are such long legged - and with big ears too!- toys) and the box in which the bubble wrap which every travelling toy is encased in before being put into the envelope.
Because we didn't want the ears to get unnecessarily bent in transit, Isobel cut off a piece and wrapped the ears separately before wrapping the Rabbits in the tissue paper.  Then the wrapping process began, until the package looked like this:

With me in the background (I supervise EVERY package that leaves the COLDHAMCUDDLIES premises!), here's Blue Rabbit No: 7 in the tissue paper, and the next photograph shows the roll of bubble wrap the parcel ends up being finished with:

The bubble wrap roll is conveniently just wide enough to place a Blue Rabbit in the middle of it, so Isobel just cut off sufficient for a single overlap and then cellotape was used to join up the package on the sides and at the end.  Then the Toys are put into the Mailing Envelope, which is then folded in such a way as to make it easier for the postal authorities to cope with, put into Isobel's shopping trolley (the Blue Rabbits were actually longer than the trolley bag, usually) and ended up in the local Post Office the next time (usually the following day) Isobel was going shopping.

Because of the size and shape, all the Blue Rabbits had to be treated as medium-sized parcels (instead of  large letter-sized packages!) so they all ended up being sent Second Class, but Signed For - which Royal Mail promises to deliver within 3 Working Days of dispatch.  As it was Friday morning that Blue Rabbit No.7 was dispatched from Kirkby in Ashfield, it will likely be Tuesday or Wednesday of this coming week before he gets to Oxford.   Ms KA, our Oxford Against Cutting contact, will likely have to pick him up from the Sorting Office so it may well be Thursday or Friday before they meet each other - because Isobel was told that MsKA is very busy organising a Poster Campaign aimed at schools in their local area before the summer holidays begin.  Apparently, it is at that time in the year  that the information warning about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation is most required.

Isobel and I are already missing the Blue Rabbits - they did take up quite a lot of space and time, however enjoyable it has been getting to know them!  However, we've already started on another long-term project - Teddy Bears.  This coming Monday, Isobel is going to a meeting of a newly-organised Craft Group set up at St.Barnabas Cathedral in Nottingham (where we've already attended a Christmas Bazaar in the past) where a group of congregation regulars are using their various crafting skills to make things for sale - with a percentage of their cost going to help fund the cost of the Building's maintenance.  Isobel is making  small dressed Teddy Bears, based on these two friends of mine - 

Little Ed Ted (L) and Little Red Ted
One of the Ladies in the group has already said she will make Isobel a pattern for a Priestly Cassock and once received, we'll make them up in Black, Maroon and - if requested to do so - in White as well.  Then, possibly, these new additions to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Shop will be called Padre Bear, Bishop Bear, and Papa Bear.  
Keep watching this space, Folks!  Meanwhile - have a good week Everyone.  I'll keep you posted!
Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Returning from a Technology Wilderness.......

Hello there Everyone! 

Cy Bear back with you all again!  Do very much hope that you've not forgotten and/or given up on us!

Blue Rabbits 3 & 4 before being wrapped up and prepared for their trip to Oxfordshire.

 Isobel has been suffering many technology-related travails during the month-long absence from these pages, and we're still not completely back to normal.  We're nearly there, but with Bank Holidays in both the United Kingdom and the USA (where they are commemorating Memorial Day this Monday), the various Help Desks that have become a feature in Isobel's working life recently are not working at their usual rate(s)!

Our trials have included problems with both the laptop, and smartphone, both caused by a shaky input of a Google password via the latter, which caused that august organisation to upgrade EVERY ACCOUNT we are linked to on Google to the "new" email address, and it then not syncing with sites like our shop.  On the laptop front, we had  hard disk failure, corrupted operating system and finally, when they were replaced, the need for updates on the latter, and different browser system versions operating nowadays, compared with when we first started on Etsy.  At least, that is what Isobel believes the problems to be.  She thinks that the Google bit is now righted.  We still await help from Etsy Support, who have sent back a Recovery pathway for Isobel to follow - but she has sent back some further questions about which password she has to input, and where/when: she doesn't want to have to start out all over again!!  And, we THOUGHT Technology was supposed to speed things up!!!!(NOT!!!).

In the meantime, sewing has continued apace and we are now at the point that Blue Rabbits 4-6 have been completed, posted to (and received by) the Oxford Against Cutting (OAC) offices. We then received a bonus order for Blue Rabbit No. 7 - which MsKA (our OAC contact throughout the Blue Rabbit Saga) has decided will become a prize for her good work to the Young Girl Star in the OAC film which features the Original Photographs on which Oscar, the original OAC Blue Rabbit Mascot 
is based.

Blue Rabbit No.5

 Blue Rabbit 7 is currently at the sewing-the-individual-pieces-together stage (which we've shown in our recent posts) and Isobel hopes to have him en route to Oxford by the end of this week.

As a reminder - here's the pieces being putting together bit of the process illustrated

Once Blue Rabbit 7 has been presented, we're going to ask MsKA for permission to upload pics from the OAC website, of all the Blue Rabbits together at work (or have one taken), and some of their newly acquired friends.  If granted, we think that it will round off this latest saga in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Shop life, and we can embark on pastures new.  Of course, we'll always be prepared to return to the Blue Rabbit "world" should other schools or interested parties, who use the Special Tutorial Pack (which includes the Blue Rabbits as an optional extra) want their own Blue Rabbit Models to enhance their presentations on the important facts about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) - which is at the heart of all this activity on the OAC and COLDHAMCUDDLIES parts.

In the interim, Isobel finally managed to figure out just how to make our leggy Cuddlies stand up better.  That part of our Toys' anatomies has always been a weak spot for us, and Blue Rabbit 5, as well as No.6 (shown immediately above here) are now made in this new way (as well as in the future!  The result of an 0530 brainwave one morning in this production process!!).  I'll let you into the secret at another, suitable time, but believe me, it does make a world of difference!

I ended our last post at the end of April, with some photos of a potential new Cuddly offering - Unicorns.  The following week, Isobel handed over some more of her non-fitting wardrobe to the Samaritans Charity Shop here in Kirkby in Ashfield, and met another new potential Cuddly.  He was purchased, and will follow Pink Unicorn into the Toy Animal Hospital to undergo the same "treatment", during which Isobel will "harvest" another Toy Animal pattern - to be used to introduce another new Member of the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Toy family.

He looks like this  - and when ready to be displayed in our Shop ( will become the FIRST Dog Toy we've made since our 2010 beginnings.  However, the planned future of both these sample toys has been slightly amended.  Instead of joining the Cuddlies'Shop, to find a new home for them, Isobel is going to give them both some additional stuffing and give them back to the Samaritan's Charity Shop. That way, they can make a little bit more  money from them than they already have by Isobel's purchasing them.  Their original labels will be retained too - hopefully this can be a truly win-win situation all around.

Here's to this week's new beginnings.  Thanks to all the hiccups recently, the administration of the Shop is hopelessly behind, and Isobel is going to take the opportunity of re-vamping the whole thing - new descriptions, new tags etc.  The summer months are traditionally a quiet time for us and we're determined to be back to normal routine well in time for the September Holiday occasions.  We'll keep you posted as we go along, of course.

Meanwhile - have a good week Everyone.  It's good to be back again.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Blue Rabbits No.2 and No.3 Ready for the Off + New Cuddlies in the Offing.

Good afternoon, Folks!  Just a little later than normal, because Isobel has been doing some needed admin jobs before embarking on this week's bulletin here.

Cy Bear greeting you all - and hoping that you've all had a good week, and are ready for what the next one will produce!  We seem to have returned to Winter - we even had to turn the central heating back on yesterday, because the temperatures have plummeted and we're now awaiting the proper onset of an English Spring.

As our head line indicates, the Blue Rabbit production line has continued apace - during a particularly busy work for Isobel - and apart from a few more stitches required to strengthen Blue Rabbit 3's arms so that they will withstand lots of hugs, he's now ready to join Blue Rabbit 2.  Isobel intends to post the two of them off to Oxfordshire tomorrow morning (from neighbouring Sutton in Ashfield's Post Office, rather than our usual one in Kirkby in Asfhield) when she meets with one of the other "Hedgehog Gals" (there are normally three of them - the third lady is away for a few days visit to the Continent) for a fortnightly cup of coffee.  Hedgehogs do form the basis of their get-togethers, but the three ladies seem to cover a multitude of subjects and times goes by in a flash for them.  What with Easter etc. it's been sometime since a chat has taken place between any of them, and Isobel is looking forward to it - immensely.

Meanwhile, before the two Blue Rabbit travellers get wrapped up, there will be a farewell photograph with me in between them - and then they will be prepared for the journey tomorrow:

No.2 is on the right

No.3's arms are currently a little long and he looks more like a scarecrow presently.  When he's had the extra strengthening "treatment", Isobel  believes he will look a little more welcoming  as does  No.2!

Meanwhile, during the week, Isobel made the acquaintance of a pink and purple Unicorn Toy during a visit to one of the local Shops in Kirkby in Ashfield late last week.  She had just arrived on the shelves of the Samaritans Charity Shop - where Isobel had just donated some of her still wearable clothes (which she now is drowned by, following her recent Slimming World membership results). 


Her plan for Pink Unicorn is that initially she will become a Patient in our Stuffed Animal Hospital  ( - because she does require some stiffening up, so that she can stand up better.  But, before that happens, she's going to be taken to pieces, so that Isobel can create a card- board template so that we can become producers of Unicorn Toys in the not too distant future.  As we all know, Unicorns are magical Toys, and one's imagination is thus unlimited  - and from the mutterings I've heard since Pink Unicorn arrived, I think Isobel's is going into over-drive!  We'll keep you posted as to what emerges, of course: but in the meantime, here are a few other views of our new arrival:

View from the rear

Viewed from the front

Whilst Unicorns may not be as popular as they once were - we're pretty confident that when the COLDHAMCUDDLIES version hits the "shelves", there will be plenty of potential Forever Friends for them!  But before that happens, Pink Unicorn will be restored to her present glory - and made to be a somewhat sturdier model than she currently is!  She will then join the future COLDHAMCUDDLIES  Unicorns and seek a Forever Home of her own.

Have a good week, everyone:  see you all again, next week! 

Your FriendCy Bear.

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Updated Photograph posts and latest Blue Rabbit Progress Report.

Hello again Everyone! 

Cy Bear greeting you on a lovely sunny Sunday Afternoon from the middle of the UK (or so I've just been told!).  Sitting in Isobel's bedroom, one really doesn't realise EXACTLY where one's home is located - at least if you are a Beaver Lamb Bear  like me, anyway!
First I've got to apologise on behalf of Isobel and I for missing out two of the photographs we promised you last week - because, for reasons best known to the technology involved in recording these posts of ours, although they showed up in draft form when we had read and edited the post, the photographs themselves did not show up.  Isobel only discovered this major error this afternoon, and has tried to rectify this today.  They've been recorded in a different way this time around, and hopefully will remain posted in last week's bulletin.  Just in case, and hopefully by repeating them here, we can ensure that the evidence of  Oscar Blue Rabbit 2's arrival (and acceptance as a New Cuddly Friend) by MrSS's grand daughter, MsV can be seen by you, our Followers here as well.

The whole scene is too good not to be broadcast to all of our Friends and Followers, we feel.
And, so to the latest news from the Blue Rabbit Production front:  Blue Rabbit 2 is ready for dispatch to MsKA of Oxford Against Cutting (OAC):  because of the interest created amongst our friends here, both at Old Chapel Close (and Isobel's wish to create maximum publicity among them for the cause for which we are all targetted), he will remain with us until Blue Rabbit 3 is ready to go to Oxfordshire - hopefully by the end of this coming week.  They can then travel together - and be used if required while waiting to be joined by the remaining three Blue Rabbits.

Last week, we showed you the components involved in creating a Blue Rabbit Model - for the purposes of creating a cuddly armful for viewers of the OAC Film created to assist in educating young girls in the unnecessary practice that is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  This is what happens next to the various pieces shown in our blog ("Blue Rabbits:  Progress to Report..." - 15.04.2018):
All the separate pieces get collected together - to form two basic pieces (The Body and The Head).  As Isobel progresses through the ranks of the eventual Six Blue Rabbits which comprise our order from MsKA, she is finding ways of improving on their construction - and Blue Rabbit 2 is no exception.  In the picture above, we've improved on the arms - which hopefully will be better able to withstand any extra stresses involved in being hugged by their future young friends.  They have been much more firmly attached for a start.   The Body now looks like this:

(Slope due to uneven seat on which Blue Rabbit 2 is standing!)
The facial features were then sewn onto one of the Head pieces we showed you in last week's Post - and looked like this - before the head was stuffed and sewn on to the body. This last action happens AFTER the final facial feature is added after the stuffing goes in - the Blue Rabbits' mouths.  
We are pleased to say that our whole relationship with OAC has been a friendly one, and we've made it clear from the outset that if any of the Blue Rabbits do become "victims" of  'over-loving', when Isobel next visits daughter Philippa in High Wycombe, both she and MsKA are going to meet - and any repairs will then be discussed and undertaken.  This is part of the COLDHAMCUDDLIES contribution to the work of the OAC Charity - at least in the initial stages - and because these 6 Blue Rabbits are destined for use by the Charity itself!   Any future arrangements, with other users of their own Blue Rabbit models will be subject to discussion.
Isobel does take pride in making long-lasting toys, but this IS the first time in her toy-making career that she has produced Toys that will be working for their living - as opposed to being playthings for children (of all ages!).  So, we're not entirely sure if these Blue Rabbits will last as long as say two of  Isobel's former creations - both made in the 1980's for family members in the UK, while Isobel was living with her family in Alberta, Canada.  These Toys are currently still going strong and living in Plymouth, Devon, UK.
This is Madame Lapin (she's spent most of her life living in Normandy, France sitting on a lady's dressing table - until recently going to live with Isobel's great niece).  This photo was taken when she arrived in the Animal Toy Hospital (  - in 2011.  She really didn't need much more treating in the Clinic, other than being washed and having her clothes starched and ironed:

The other Patient, Monsieur Reynard (with a similar background)  looked like this when he arrived with Madame Lapin - and really only required a bit more stuffing.  

However,  his boots did need replacing, as they weren't made with leather (and were splitting beyond repair) - and we had acquired (and still have!) plenty of off-cuts for making Toy Boots, so while we replaced them, Isobel also gave him a new jacket.  We do have photos of both Toys as they looked at the end of the their Hospital visit, but it will take us a bit of time to find and reproduce them here.  Hopefully, next week we can show you the finished photos!
Meanwhile, to revert back to the subject of Blue Rabbits - which are occupying Isobel's thoughts at the present time, naturally! - Blue Rabbit 3 is under production:  his feet are ready for stuffing and attaching to the legs, the eyes are ready to be sewn into place on the chosen head piece, and one arm has been sewn (cutting out of Blue Rabbit 3 took place on Friday evening, and sewing started in earnest yesterday).  We will keep you updated as the time goes on!
Have a lovely week, every one: we've had some beautiful hot weather over this week, but expect to revert to "normal English Spring conditions" for the up-coming week.  What is that?  Well, usually, April Showers:  these days, we're not quite sure- except that we're not likely to hit the high temperatures of last week for a while, anyway.
Good Bye for now:  
Your Friend - Cy Bear
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic