Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Making of Mrs. Fox - Final chapter

Hello there folks!  Cy Bear being allowed to chip in once more.  Isobel felt that as she had written two posts about Mrs. Fox's production, it might be appropriate for me to write the final post about the process so that I could then officially welcome her to ColdhamCuddlies family in our shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com. by telling you her name.

The blog was left last time with Isobel having to transfer the final photographs of Mrs. Fox to the computer so they could be used to illustrate this post.  Here is a picture of her with hat and bag.  If someone wanted to give her away as a special present, the name of the recipient could be embroidered on the bag (which currently has a bobble decoration made with blue double knitting wool, knotted in the middle and sewn on).  Similarly, if anyone wanted to use her as a Mascot, then the initials and/or a logo could be added (provided the latter is not too complicated).  Artwork is not Isobel's strong point - although she enjoys being creative once she has a needle and thread in her hand.  
Finished:  complete with bag, bonnet and facial features
Her bag and hat are made with a light blue fleece material and the underside of the bonnet has been lined with pale blue voile.  We've got some more pictures of her from different angles, so everyone can get a good idea of how she looks. They'll be appearing in our shop (www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com) when she's listed - probably tomorrow - but in the meantime here is one that we were able to transfer to the blog this evening.  Isobel seems to having a problem doing it, so rather than carry on wasting more time, she's decided not to include any more in  this post - and maybe, when she posts tomorrow (or whenever), she'll be able to show Mrs. Fox and me together!

Showing tail and rear of bonnet
She's a lot more comfortable sitting down than standing:  we've only got her looking like this because she is propped against the wall, and her tail is balanced on the printer!  She's a bit like me in that respect, as I'm not too good standing, either - but then my arms and legs move around, whereas hers do not.

Finally, looking at her fully finished, Isobel decided that Mrs. Fox looked pretty, but prim - rather like an old-fashioned school mistress!  So, as the Cuddlies all have names so that they can be listed in our shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com, she has been named Miss Prim Fox!  Hope you'll enjoy her as much as we do.                                                                                             

Cheers for now:  Cy Bear

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Making of Mrs. Fox - Part 2

Hello once again.

I really got carried away last night when sending my news about the production of Mrs. Fox and sent multiple editions to the Facebook link.  Apologies to any Friends who visited my page earlier today, as it must have been a bit of a surprise to see 4 posts saying exactly the same thing!  Giving the information was important, but not that much!  I have since corrected the mistake, and hope that when today's post is ready for circulation the same thing won't happen!                                                                                                                                 
So, to today's post:  having made the body and dressed it suitably, the next step is to make the head.  I do this by sewing the ears with their lining first and then putting the head pattern pieces together.  Once that's done, I put the eyes in and then stuff the head.  Getting the eyes level and in the right spot is very important - because it can affect how the completed toy looks!   It's also important to do it BEFORE one stuffs the toy, because it's impossible to achieve if one doesn't.  Many is the time that I've stuffed the head, got it exactly as I've wanted it, and then realised that there are no eyes!  Frustration is not in it - because one can never get the same result twice:  or, at least, I cannot!

Mrs. Fox's head, minus facial features
I'm told that, having settled down with their friends at the BOSS Federation, Freda and Freddy Fox (www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com/#62236267 and #62236009 respectively) office visitors and my daughter do find that they are somewhat "boss-eyed" (pun not intended) when facing them, with one eye being slightly above the other;  when viewed sideways, the problem  is not as apparent!  Since making them in November 2010 and having the problem pointed out, I now make sure that I thread-mark eye positions before inserting them and,  so far, have not repeated the error. 

Once the stuffing is complete, and the neck space sewn by gathering together and then oversewing the resultant seam, the time comes to attach the ears.  Placement of these too can affect the final look of the toy, and in this case, with the addition of a contrasting bonnet, one has to consider where to put the holes in the hat so that the ears can pop through at the end!  I buttonhole-stitch the slits I make in the bonnet, thus preserving the integrity of the fabric.  

I don't always include a bonnet when making my lady Foxes. Since starting my Etsy shop (www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com) I have chosen to put bonnets on those that are to be customised.  In which case, the name of the intended recipient is embroidered on to the shopping bag that Mrs Fox carries on her arm..  If it is to be used as a Mascot, then the initials/logo of the company/school/etc can be embroidered there too.  If Mrs. Fox is to become a companion toy, then she is less formally attired - no hat, no bag, no special labelling! 

Then comes the important bit of putting head and body together, not my favourite bit of the operation, because it's fiddly and my arthritic fingers can (and often do) object to all the digit movement that this can entail.  In Mrs. Fox's case, this time was reasonably easy.  The head is attached to the body using a ladder stictch, which hides the stitches nicely.  Once firmly on. I attach the collar.  In Mrs. Fox's case, it is a plain white felt collar:  some of my other mother toys have decorated collars, or collars that compliment the material from which their dresses are constructed.  This time, as the material is somewhat "busy" and colourful, I did not feel any further decoration is warranted.
Now, as I've yet to transfer the pictures of the final step in Mrs. Fox's preparation from my camera to the computer, I'll end this post and complete the job description tomorrow.  Hoping that the distribution process is more smooth tonight, I'll close.    Isobel


Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Making of Mrs. Fox - Part 1

Having spent the last few weeks making Bears (two Hairy Bears and Cy Bear himself) decided that I needed to have a change in toy-making procedures.  Since November, when the replacement Foxes for Freda and Freddy Boss Fox ( www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com/etsy listing #62236207 and #62236009 respectively) found their way to Western Canada and a new home with my little great neice, I've been meaning to get round to it, but something always intervened.

Making foxes has always been a favourite pastime for me - the first  one made was for my elder daughter, when we were living in Edmonton, Alberta and it was also the first toy I'd made for about 15 years.    She called her Fanny and if memory serves, her dress was made using a small blue gingham printed cotton material.  It was in the late 1970's/early 1980's that this happened, and I don't think this version survives.  On the other hand, I made one a year or two later for my younger daughter, and that one is still going strong! 

So, last week-end, I dug around in my material cupboard - keep forgetting what I've been given., so it was a lot of fun - until I had to put everything back again!  Must  not complain, because I  have really been so lucky with the generous folks hereabouts (even though I suspect I am doing them a favour sometimes - as it's giving them more space in their cupboards).  Having selected some colourful material and cut out the patterns for a Mrs. Fox, I found that the selected remnant was big enough to give me three outfits.  So once the current Mrs. Fox is completed, I may two a couple more - or then, I may do another Mrs. Rabbit ....  In't it wonderful to have the luxury of being able to choose?  Though I'd just as soon welcome some more commissions as well.

Anyway, back to my current story.  Once the pattern pieces are all cut out, then the sewing begins.  One begins with the body, for which I use plain material  - calico, sheeting or something similar for preference.  At this stage, I often resort to my sewing machine to do the seams - takes less time and the seams hold as well as those that are hand made.  I attach the sleeves from the dress to the paws, stuff them and attach them at the appropriate places to the body.  I do two lines of stitches where the legs join the body - the top one with a curve, which allows the toy to sit  Then the body is stuffed.  The pattern for all my lady toys  allows the toy to sit, rather than stand.  Standing is an occupation reserved for the Mr. Foxes.

Then the felt shoes (pale blue fleece type material - again a donation) are sewn up, stuffed and attached to the legs.  Then come the pantaloons, decorated with a pale blue zig-zag braid I had in stock from another commission and the waist is gathered up and the whole thing sewn to the body, both at the waist and ankles.

Showing shoes and pantaloons
Then I make the dress skirt and top.  This is the time that I fix any additional decoration on.  In this case, I sewed on red zig-zig braid to the lower skirt, just above the hem and at the waist - picking out the red parts in the material design.  The dress top is attached to the arms with ladder stitch (resulting in "invisible" stitches) and the dress is completed by being gathered at the neck and stitched to the body.  It is also stitched to the body at the waist, with the top over the gathered skirt.  (This is when the braid is attached to the waistline).

Mrs Fox, Stage 1, with sewing aids

I'll finish the description of how Mrs. Foxes are made with the next post.  Meanwhile, I'll close for tonight.  Isobel

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Updating folks on what's happening (or not!)

Cy Bear having done the last two blogs is having a rest!  He performed one of his official duties yesterday when he monitored me packing Brown Hairy Bear - ordered by YvonneB-P from Saudi Arabia for her baby nephew, R who lives in Portsmouth, England, UK.  Having wrapped Hairy Bear in two sheets of chemical free tissue paper, he then had a layer of bubble wrap put around him.  Next, he was slipped into a polyester Royal Mail envelope complete with "FRAGILE" labels prominently displayed.  Hopefully he should arrive at his destination in the next day or two. We took a picture of Cy "waving" Hairy Bear off on his journey, but we won't be publishing it, because the address is too prominent - and we've got to protect such confidential details -  however small the intended recipient may be.

Meanwhile, I've been working on a new Mrs. Fox.  She has her dress on, I'm stuffing her tail and will be completling head, ears and bonnet in the next day or so.  I shall take pictures to show her progress for another post.

She is the replacement for Freda Boss Fox, who is a sample of a Mascot Toy and doesn't now exist in the shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com.  As explained in her description in the Shop, she is now a fulltime employee of the Boss Federation - as a fund-raiser for their benevolent fund.  She and Freddy Boss Fox (Etsy Listing #62236267 and #62236009 respectively) were "recruited" by  my elder daughter, who is General Manager of the Boss Federation (British Office Supplies and Services Federation in full) and is also Secretary of their Benevolent Fund.  Both Foxes attend major industry events and occupy prominent positions on the BOSS stall.  The idea is that if any orders are generated from folks who visit the Boss Stall, then the 10% I usually give to charity is sent to the Fund.  They have received one donation already - and as the Industry Events season is about to start, I'm hopeful that there will be more orders coming from that direction.

The colour scheme for their clothing reflect the Boss Federation corporate ones.  They seem to have attracted a lot of favour with fellow Etsians, as they are often "favourited" by them on the Etsy activity site. Hope that the new ones will be as popular when they appear in the shop.  Had to order more Chesnut Plush fur fabric before I could cut the new Mr. Fox out.  That arrived yesterday, so have no excuse now for delaying their completion (except for the fact that I don't have 48 hours in the day in which to do so!).

Today was the monthly meeting of the Women's Section of the Royal British Legion who meet in the Resident's Hall here at the Hospital of St. John - we had an interesting talk, illustrated by a video, from a gentleman who spent 44 years working fulltime at the Royal Mews in London, followed by a further 11 years as a part-time employee.  His most recent involvement was to ensure that the coach carrying the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from Westminster Abbey after their recent wedding stopped exactly opposite the red carpet at both the Abbey and Buckingham Palace.  That move necessitated some "fancy footwork" by fast car between the two venues to ensure he was in the right spot in time to help their Royal Highnesses out of the carriage, and clear the other carriages out of the way in time for Her Majesty to alight upon her arrival after the ceremony.  Apparently, some of the bridal attendants, having thoroughly enjoyed the trip back in their carriages, were somewhat reluctant to alight and had to be gently "encouraged"!  Simply fascinating talk, and much enjoyed by all of us (25 plus) who attended.

The point of telling you about this is to say that I was able to donate a further £11.00 to the British Legion funds, making a total of  nearly £20.00 since the beginning of the year, when orders to www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com began to drift in. I'll end by including a picture of both Freda and Freddy, because once their replacements are made, I'll be withdrawing them from the shop.  If anyone needs a mascot for their promotional activities, then any of the Cuddlies would be willing to fulfill that need - just contact us and we'll be happy to try and meet your requirements.

Freda and Freddy Boss Fox

That's it for tonight.  Until the next time.  Isobel

Monday, 23 May 2011

More about the Coyotes


Hello again - Isobel has allowed me to continue to tell you some more about our Coyotes.

  Since we last posted, Isobel has recovered the article telling everyone about Charlie Coyote's arrival at the Wylye Coyotes After School Club in nearby Codford.  She also remembered that The Warminster Journal have agreed to our publishing the article in any blogging we did, provided we mentioned them - which we now have!  So, here is the article - just to prove I wasn't talking through my fur!  The picture clearly shows that Charlie in his purple coat, but I don't think you can see the logo that Isobel embroidered on it. (Sorry the picture is not clearer, but it's the best our scanner could do with the picture in The Warminster Journal itself).

While we are on the subject of Coyotes, we also have another version of Chuck, which has been named Light Brown Chuck Coyote (www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com/#67039032).  Really think Isobel will have to re-name  him, because I do't think that's terribly original.  The reason he's that colour is that immediately after Charlie left us in January, we needed  a replacement for him in the Cuddlies family.  Isobel was in such a hurry that she pulled out the wrong package of plush fur, and without checking (she has a tendency to go at things in a hurry sometimes) and the final result was a very much lighter coloured version of a Coyote.  However, she liked the finished toy, she decided to name the new chap that, and began another one in the RIGHT colour this time, who is the one pictured in the ColdhamCuddlies shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com/#61408931.

This is the Light Brown version of Chuck Coyote.

 We'll have to see what Isobel and I can come up with in the re-naming stakes.  In the meantime, bye for now.           Your friend, Cy Bear. 


Saturday, 21 May 2011

Talking about the Coyotes

Hello everyone:  Cy Bear back again (wondered when Isobel would let me get my nose in again!)

This is a picture of Charlie Coyote's replacement Chuck Coyote

So, taking up where Isobel left off yesterday - more about my friend Chuck Coyote (Etsy Listing: #61408931/www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com).  He's the American version of Charlie Coyote, who is now the Mascot for the Wylye Coyotes After School Club in a village called Codford, which is about two miles away from where we all live at The Hospital of St. John in Heytesbury, Wiltshire. England, UK - in case you didn't already know!

Apparently, Chuck is an "experiment" like me!  Charlie changed his name when he left the Family, which happened before I appeared on the scene.  But I am told that he started life as  a dressed Bear!  What on earth did Isobel think she was doing, I wonder?  Fancy having dressed bears!  Apparently, that chap's head did not work, so Isobel made a Foxy head, with a different colour plush fur and liked the final result.  So that  is how the Coyote collection began. 

The original Bear which was deemed "unacceptable"

Shortly after he was completed, Isobel saw an article in the local weekly newspaper, The Warminster Journal, about the After School Club and telephoned to see if they would like to have a Mascot.  They asked to meet him, and he changed his name (from Chuck  - Isobel did not realise that there were Coyotes of any kind in the United Kingdom - to Charlie, which is the English equivalent nickname) before he was introduced.  He was invited to become a fulltime member, and Isobel was about to leave, when one of the young members enquired why Charlie did not have a purple top like the Adult Helpers at the Club!  Isobel quickly offered to make him a coat, so honour was thus satisfied!  We do have a picture of Isobel handing Charlie over to the club, complete with his purple jacket which appeared in The Warminster Journal a few weeks later.  However, there are still some issues around permission being obtained from their parents for them to be included in a blog like this, so, instead, we'll include a picture of the Wylye Coyote's After School Club logo, which Isobel copied and embroidered on his coat - so that Charlie really would look like an Adult Helper!
The Coyotes Logo
I am also told that the Coyote Toys are made in a slightly different way from the other dressed toys in the Coldham Cuddlies collection.  Instead of their trousers being made to look like plus-fours or jodhpurs, their trousers are straight and they are made to look slightly less formal than their cousins the Foxes.  They also do not have separate bodies like the other dressed toys.  Their shirts and trousers are all made in one piece, whereas the other dressed toys are more complicated to make, having more pattern pieces to put together.

Chuck Coyote's rear view

   That's it for this post folks.  Good to be back talking to you again.  Bye for now - Cy Bear.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Looking on the Bright Side (Continued)

Wow - second comment on the blog!  Thanks Clare - keep up your positivity, just as I am definitely doing now!   It's a real boost to know that someone is actually reading the blog - and finding sufficient in it to comment about.

Actually, you're the second person to do so this week - one of my "new best friends", Yenbo FilipvanP ( a Dutchman, who was responsible for the shop banner at www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com) told me it could take  4-6 months before any comments were forthcoming.  Was in touch with him about getting permission to use the banner as background for my replacement business card design. Bless  him:  his response was affirmative, and he said that he enjoyed reading it, it was good, and to keep it up.  So, two positives in one week is a real bonus!

What about my business cards?  Well, I had 250 printed earlier this year:  guess what?  after distributing well over a hundred, one kind soul took the trouble to come round last week-end to tell me she'd had difficulty finding the Shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com.  When we checked together - the address was incorrect!!!!  No wonder there's been such a little response locally to my attempts at self-promotion.  So, have contacted the printers:  so far no response.  Next week, I'll be going elsewhere, using the Shop banner artwork as the basis.  Much better than the original ones, anyway!

Once I've sussed how to handle all the side bits of blogging, I really will enjoy doing it.  Firefox (whom I am following on Facebook) have just posted something on the internet about them being faster, plus offering a better service.  Have commented - challenging any of their brilliant techies to go right back to basics and be prepared to teach a 70+ silver surfer the same!  It's not that I have'nt checked all the Help Pages on both Google and Blogger:  but they all assume a certain level of understanding (which I presently do not have), and I've never found I absorb the information as well on screen as I do on paper.  Must be my age!  Still, am open to anyone's help, so wonder what response, if any, I'll get?  Am that desperate!

Meanwhile, the soft toy clinic idea is getting legs. Once I've done some more thinking, I'll be expanding about it in this blog:  as well as having had time to practise on a couple of samples.  Two Foxes I made for family members 35 years or so ago, are coming back for a makeover later in the year:  and a long-time friend is sending me his old Teddy for renovation job - hopefully next week!  Have to work out how I'll charge for the consultations and treatments!

Was talking to the owner of "Think Outside the Box" in Warminster today.  This shop is the source of most of my haberdashery needs, as well as some dress-making materials - when I don't have suitable remnants given to me by folks who are clearing out their old collections!   The lady has just become a granny for the second time.  We cover a wide area in our chats, and she was very enthusiastic about the idea.  Apparently a customer came in just yesterday, who doesn't claim to be a sewer, and purchased some felt to renovate the paws of a bear she wanted to give to a smaller relative.  Mrs. G. promised to recommend me to any others with a similar need, plus she mentioned she has an attic-full (which needs clearing out) of stuff - including her daughters' toys - which may well need similar attention!  Offered her a "special price" for any she wants me to rejuvenate - along the lines of Little Red Ted.  She's been very helpful to me in the months I've known her since we moved to the Hospital of St. John, and one good turn deserves another.

Mrs G. and I have a date next week, with me taking in the collection of Baby Rabbits and the Koala selection for her to choose as "Welcome to the World" presents to her grandchildren.  A Rabbit for her week-old grandson (a whopping 9 pounder) and a Koala (possibly) for her grand-daughter, who is just over a year old, so that she doesn't feel left out.

Next week could also be a good one for another sale or two:  am presently waiting to hear back from the Heytesbury C of E Primary school Head, as they have a Foxes class, (as well  an Otter class and I think a Badger class - hence the need for patterns)  I wonder if anyone out there knows of a Badger pattern?  Several primary schools hereabouts seem to have classes named after these samples of local wild life - and I'd like to suggest they use my toy-making skills to get mascots for their classes.  They'd then be joining Charlie Coyote, official mascot to a local After School Club (Wylye Coyotes) in a nearby village.  I'll get Cy Bear to write about him in my next post:  he's beginning to get a bit miffed at not being able to write another post!!  Meanwhile, Firefox is not allowing me to upload pictures of Charlie from my computer.  Will have to check this out - so this will have to be the second post without a relevant picture to illustrate it. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Looking on the bright side!

Have been having a few bad days recently and not feeling like blogging - largely because I was having trouble getting the word out in the internet world about this blog and the Etsy shop (www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com.)  However, having just received SundayAfternoonHousewife's book, The Blogging Adventure, and starting to read it, have followed up her suggestion of reading some of the blogs I already follow, commenting on them and then drawing their attention to ColdhamCuddliescalling.  Wonder what effect it will have?

I was also recommended to read other blogs and comment on them (have done so - on the Inside Etsy: Storeowner Interview blog by MamaMellyMartin:  she included me in one of her interviews on April 13, just after I'd begun this blog and I was very grateful for the leg-up.)

Another blog I've followed (but never commented on before) is Louise Knits:  think she's very clever with her patterns, but gave up knitting and crocheting some while ago - because it involved too much counting and remembering where I was along a row!  My husband always commented on something requiring an answer from me - and I'd lose my way and have to start again!  Result - project took too long!  But I did ask Louise if she knew of anyone who might be able to create a pattern for an Otter for me to make.  Probably the wrong place to ask, but had to start somewhere, now that there isn't an Alchemy spot on the Etsy site.

Reason I want to add an Otter to my collection in the Coldham Cuddlies family (www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com.) is that I visited my principal source of material offcuts yesterday.  In addition to a whole lot of fur fabric used to make my Koalas and Light Brown Bears, I was given some lovely brown suedette/leather type fabric which I think could make a super Otter.  However, although I'm reasonably good at making toys from an existing pattern, am absolutely hopeless at creating one from scratch.  Don't know how much it will cost - but should think something up to 8USD might be a reasonable start?  Anyone out there who could help?  I'd be very grateful.

Right ... as I blog at night (as well as toy-make then too) .... it's getting late, and I need my "beauty" sleep.  Cheers - and hope to hear from you soon.  Isobel

Saturday, 14 May 2011

ColdhamCuddliescalling: An order from Saudi Arabia: for delivery to Port...

ColdhamCuddliescalling: An order from Saudi Arabia: for delivery to Port...: "Hello everyone - Cy Bear calling you, as Isobel has been caught out - and she's not unhappy about it either! Earlier in the week, she'd b..."

An order from Saudi Arabia: for delivery to Portsmouth, England

Hello everyone - Cy Bear calling you, as Isobel has been caught out - and she's not unhappy about it either! 

Earlier in the week, she'd been busy making Hairy Bear III, as a replacement for the one sent to Edmonton, Alberta in April this year.  Well, she got another order - this time from someone living in Saudi Arabia asking for her version of Hairy Bear to go to a young nephew living in Portsmouth, England.  We do like the whole international flavour of being involved with Etsy - it makes everything that much more exciting!

So, as she was mid-way in the production process,we thought we would tell you how Isobel makes us Bears, and she took this picture of the current Hairy Bear, sending  it to Yvonne B-P to illustrate her
Bear's progress:

Ears bottom left:  arms upper left;  head, minus facial features centre; the legs upper right and the body, minus limbs centre right taken on the ironing board.

Then the stuffing process began, with head and limbs being filled first.  Then the joints were applied and the limbs attached to the unfilled body piece.  Ears were attached to the head and the facial features (nose and mouth) embroidered with black double knitting wool.  The next stage is to gather up the neck space of the body prior to stuffing the body with the limbs already attached.  Bears can have joints so that the heads move around like the limbs, but Isobel finds that often the finished toy can have a wobbly head - and she doesn't like that.  So, all her heads are firmly attached  and we all feel (and look) a lot more secure.

Once the body is filled, the lower apperture between the legs is sewn up and then comes the difficult bit -  attaching the head to the body and making sure it is straight and firm.  Sometimes Isobel can do this first time:  with Yvonne's Hairy Bear it took her three trys before she was satisfied.  Here is what he looks like - with me sitting beside him!

Believe it or not - both Hairy Bear and I are made from the same pattern:  it's just that real Beaver Lamb Fur makes a bigger (more handsome - in my opinion, anyway -) Bear than the fur fabric from which Hairy Bear is made.  The fabric used comes from one of Isobel's sources - a soft furnishing factory in a town called Frome, about 10 miles from Heytesbury.  It is an off-cut (from making chair coverings) and if not used to make Hairy Bears, would end up on the local dump.  So you could say, we are environmentally friendly as a shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com. 

That's all for today folks:  see you again soon.  Cy Bear

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

ColdhamCuddliescalling: Just looking in......

ColdhamCuddliescalling: Just looking in......: "No time for blogging for a few days - working on a new version of Brown Hairy Bear (heard today that there might be an order for him in a da..."

Just looking in......

No time for blogging for a few days - working on a new version of Brown Hairy Bear (heard today that there might be an order for him in a day or two:  a gratifying surprise), getting ready to entertain friends from the village to lunch and still trying to get the details of blogging properly sorted.  Cannot seem to get the hang of moving from this site to other blogs and back again - but will persevere and hopefully, soon, the penny will drop.

At the suggestion of son-in-law Alan, moved my browser to Google Chrome, because he said the whole thing was less cluttered.  Problem is, have got used to clutter when surfing etc, so have returned to Mozilla Firefox, because for some reason or another, my dealings with Etsy started to fail.  So, with the prospect of an order in the offing, have moved back almost to the previous settings.  That's my problem, I have a little knowledge:  and there is an old "saying" that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  In my case, it sure can be.  I click on invitations to do this and that, and find myself in a whole new world - which may (and in many cases is not) be what I'm trying to achieve!

Have today also managed to link my Windows Live site to RSS Atom feeds, which I've noticed a lot of folks have on their blogsites, so must be something I should be involved with, and while I'm inputting here I notice on the computer's edge something about "transferring data from ssl.gstatic.com" - now, I'm finding that anything with a "g" in front of it usually has a Google connection, and as this blog also has one, hopefully, that too will end up positively affecting my future activities.

Mulberry trees have been mentioned in earlier posts.  This is the oldest one, which might be almost 400 years old
So, rather than ramble on any more, thought I'd end up with a picture showing a view of part of the garden here at The Hospital of St. John - where Peter and I live - and within which most of the current photographs of the ColdhamCuddlies (http://www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com.)  have been taken.  The buildings in the background consist of the Residents' Hall (where jollies take place) and some of the flat (apartments).  We live on the top floor of another wing, built at the same times as these were - 1972 (and they are referred to as "the New Building"!  When other parts of the complex were existing since 1672, I suppose they can be!!

Hope to be back again with, or without, Cy Bear, soon.

Friday, 6 May 2011

ColdhamCuddliescalling: Now for the next project.......?

ColdhamCuddliescalling: Now for the next project.......?: "The Red Teds before leaving for their destination As has become customary since my arrival at Coldham Cuddlies ( http://www.coldhamcud..."

Now for the next project.......?

The  Red Teds before leaving for their destination

As has become customary since my arrival at Coldham Cuddlies (http://www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com/.) and becoming the official mascot, one of my duties is to say goodbye to those destined for pastures new.  In this case, for Little Red Ted it was  going Home:  Big Red Ted was the new boy!  Needless to say I'm thrilled that they seem to be happily ensconsed and now look forward to what happens next - especially after the mistake involving Little Red Ted's eyes and ears!  After all the poor little chap had gone through, too!

Isobel has just cut out the pattern pieces for the next version of Hairy Brown Bear - replacing Edmonton Hairy Bear and the room is floating in bits of fur left over 
A Bunny Tree, perhaps?

from the cutting out process!  Bit uncomfortable for folks with breathing problems, which is why most of the sewing involved in the Cuddlies' production gets done in the second bedroom, rather than in the living-room where Peter spends a lot of time.  Then, next on the horizon, in between Isobel trying to fathom how to get other sites' "buttons" set up on this blog - something that is driving her stir-crazy, for reasons I do not understand (nor want to) - are two new Foxes (a Mr and a Mrs - to be named when their final costumes are selected), a replacement Koala (for the one that also went to Edmonton, Alberta) and then, just maybe, another Teddy Bear rejuvenation project.  That's under discussion, so time will tell.

Meanwhile, it's nice to be able to talk to you all again.  Here's another picture with me and the Little Baby Rabbits.  Plans call for me to be pictured with all the other Cuddlies shown on http://www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com/ (one at a time) but that's going to have to wait - as the weather seems to be breaking and the light may not allow for the photo-shoots to take place.  Then between us, Isobel and I will introduce them to you in this blog - incorporating the information already included in their Shop descriptions and, where needbe, adding more.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Red Ted Bulletins - Final Posting

Making Big Red Ted was a doddle - compared to the problems encountered with the little chap.  Big Red was made using the same patterns as I've used for all the other Teds in the Etsy shop (http://www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com/.)   So instead of taking three weeks to sort Little Red Ted, it was only three days before Big Red was ready for stuffing and having his facial features added.

Here are the Two Red Teds together
Red Ted was made with Red Plush fur and stuffed - as all the Coldham Cuddlies are - with polyester fibre meeting international standards.  As I did not have chamoix leather to use for his pads, I used beige felt instead and the look fits him well, showing off his black, double knitting wool embroidered claws to perfection! 

Although they were not meant to, it's amazing how alike they look in their facial features - almost like father and son, don't you think?  However, as the two preceding posts indicate there is a matter of some 70 years difference in their origins!

Having successfully completed both toys, it was then a matter of introducing them to Mrs. P - something I have to admit to being somewhat apprehensive about (regarding Little Red Ted:  not Big Ted).  When introduced, Mrs. P said she would not have recognised Little Red Ted, but did approve of his new looks!  The shirt, trousers and cummberbund he arrived here with were declared to be redundant - "he now has fur again"!   Here is a picture of Mrs. P with both Red Teds sitting together.  So pleased is she with the final result and this picture that  it may feature as the family Christmas card later this year!  Now that is unexpected praise indeed!

Finally Home
Cy Bear's views on the whole episode will form the basis of tomorrow blog.  Meanwhile that's it for today"