So good to be back, and able to bring you the latest developments in the increasingly busy world that has become The COLDHAMCUDDLIES Clerical Bear Collection.
During the week, Isobel was able to finish off the first Padre Bear - ordered by MrSS from Tulsa, Oklahoma (mentioned in last week's post). He left for the United States on Wednesday afternoon, which meant that he probably didn't actually get to an aircraft until Friday. (Isobel has just used the Royal Mail Tracker Number checking system, and learns that Padre Bear is "In Transit", leaving the UK.) So he's definitely en route.
Here's a finished picture of him:
Isobel was able to get The Clerical Band of Brothers and Sister together- and Padre Bear 1 is in the centre of the group: (numbering them, in an attempt to keep them in order, will be the "name of the game". The initial Sample Models will not count in that record, as we intend to keep them to ourselves!) It was only when looking at this picture on the camera before we cropped it for use here, that Isobel realised she must stop her current modus operandi of "plonking" the Bears in any old pose. We need to make sure they are looking, and standing, facing the same direction! However, this does show the Group getting used to their future "duties".
Then Isobel took a Farewell Photograph with just me to wish him well prior to his being wrapped up and put into a polythene airmail postal envelope, labelled and addressed, together with the requisite Customs Form that we have to complete on all parcels headed towards the USA and Canada.
Although the last two photos were taken while we were posing on Isobel's bed, we feel that The Clerical Bears can equally well fit onto a Study Desk, an Office Bookshelf or any other convenient place where their Forever Friends put them, so they can survey their surroundings - and keep the peace?
As soon as Padre Bear was packed up, Isobel began completing Sister Bear 1 - who had been ordered off line by MsMP when The Clerical Bears were first being set up en masse for display two weeks ago. To get a head start for the production line, Isobel cut out 5 sets of bodies, heads and ears, all of which are made in the fleece fabric we're using for this project. So, when getting on with Sister Bear 1, all that was needed was to cut out the pattern pieces required for her habit, veil and boots. This meant we were able to complete her in time for Isobel to hand her over to MsMP (having alerted her to the delivery time on Saturday evening by email/and Messenger - after attempts to telephone her had failed.)
(NB; Last Tuesday, Isobel went to Derby to get another supply of the fleece. Although the fleece was still available, in the interim a new supply has come in - and we have been subject to the usual hazard of re-supply that Crafters (knitters, as well as sewers) the World Over face - changes in dyes. The newer batches, once our original supply is complete, will appear in a slightly different colour tone).
Sister Bear 1 was a bit more of a problem to complete - there are always one or two Toys that just don't go to plan, and alas, she was one of them. All the hiccups were overcome, however, and this is how future models of Sister Bear will look (although, of course, they won't be exactly alike, because Isobel never can do that!):
|Sister Bear 1 revealed|
There are slight differences between Sister Bear 1 and our original model shown here - as a reminder:
|Original Sister Bear Model|
Apart from her head/face being somewhat smaller than the newer version, our original Sister Bear didn't have a collar: she always looked a bit bare around the neck, so Isobel has decided that as Sister Bear 1 does have one - and in our view, looks more "complete" - this is going to be the future look for this member of The Clerical Bear Collection. (Incidentally, two of the human Sisters who are on the Cathedral staff were introduced to The Clerical Bears this morning. Both were highly amused by the depiction of Sister Bear - and promised to spread the word around the parish community!)
I'm delighted to tell you, that we've already received an order from MrSS for his first Sister Bear (he's mentioned he wants to buy 3 in total!) She will be made and dispatched, after we've completed the order received from a London-based Buyer, MsNE for a Bishop Bear. We think, but haven't yet been able to confirm, this could have Anglican connections - given the address to which "His Grace" is headed. Isobel plans to cut out Bishop Bear later this evening, or early tomorrow morning and hopes to have him en route by the end of the week. (One passer-by the Display Table this morning in St.Barnabas Church Hall indicated she would like to buy a Bishop Bear - next week, so fingers crossed!). The purchase pattern for The Clerical Bears is beginning to take shape in an interesting fashion!
The developing Work in Progress schedule means that we then have to cut out and make the latest version of a Tiger Arm Puppet, which has been purchased via our Shop (www.COLDHAMCUDDLIES.etsy.com) by MsSD from Brandon, Mississippi, USA. We will then return to the Clerical Bear Production Line to complete Sister Bear 2,followed by Padre Bear 2 - who was ordered this morning when Isobel set up the Sunday Morning Display in the St Barnabas Hall Repository. (We also have the prospect of another sale - for Bishop Bear 2, mentioned earlier (and a Sister Bear 6 - if we include the Tulsa orders here), with both potential Buyers stating they'd come back next week with the funds.
Today's confirmed order was from a fellow attender of the 1000 Mass, who actually paid us by card - enabling Isobel (with Daughter Clare's technical assistance!) to use our PayPal Card Reader for the first time!! We're getting so technical, you would not believe!! (When she opened the computer before starting this post, Isobel found that PayPal had already notified her of the payment - so IT WORKED!!!!).
What has been a pretty busy week was rounded off with an unexpected, but totally thrilling order from MrsKD - who wanted to buy Betty Bunny Rabbit for her Great Grand Daughter, MsVK. This order contained a special message for Betty's Forever Friend, which will of course be incorporated in a special card. Isobel texted MrsKD while she was on the 'bus home from Nottingham after today's Clerical Bear Display to discover whether Betty is intended as a Christmas Present, a Birthday Gift or indeed to celebrate upcoming Thanksgiving in November - and if she wants the parcel to be gift-wrapped. It's all part of the COLDHAMCUDDLIES customer service.
Betty Bunny was originally made as a Custom Order from a Lady in the UK, wanting her little daughter to have a similar Dressed Yellow Rabbit to her own - but who still wanted to keep hers, which had a blue check frock like Betty. Isobel made one dressed in Blue Gingham check, and one with a Blue Floral Pattern and the Lady chose the Floral Pattern. Betty has been residing in the Big Toy Bag (on which she and I are pictured here) for some time, so she was a little shocked to hear that she would be leaving the Rabbit "Burrow" for Tulsa, Ok , USA sometime next week. (Yes, MrsKD is part of the same family - we at COLDHAMCUDDLIES are beginning to wonder how we ever managed without the support and friendship, plus design expertise, on offer from that direction!). I've been having a gentle word with her - so that she won't be too shocked when the farewell ceremonies take place - probably Wednesday or Thursday next week.
It's likely to be the latter, because Isobel has to represent the Old Chapel Close Tenants Association at the funeral of one of our Residents on Wednesday afternoon (who died sadly very soon, and suddenly, after arriving in our midst). As that is the usual time she has her weekly play session with GrandsonE, she's booked for that this week on Tuesday afternoon. So, already the week looks like being as busy as the last one was!
See you all next week - hope you all have a good one.