Friday, 22 July 2011

Starting a new project or two

Still no joy on the missing washer for Ed Ted - so he is languishing in the work-room waiting for his head to be joined to his body.  However, as Susan from Bear Basics and I are due to meet for the first time next Tuesday (July 26) she's probably decided not to risk posting such a small bit of plastic via the "tender mercies" of Royal Mail, and I've thus decided that I'll take Ed's head with me when we have a family outing that day - about which I will post tomorrow evening.  Then we can make sure that the joint will fit and not result in a wobbly head for Ed Ted - even if it means getting a packet of 10 of the same size!  I'll not waste them!

In the meantime, I have cut out my next toy:  looking at the left-over mohair I've been using to re-cover Ed Ted,  I suspected that there might just be enough to make an Old Gold version of Little Red Ted - whose pattern template I filed away after completing that project.  Just to remind folks what he looked like, here is a picture:

Sitting in the garden with Cy Bear
It was great to be proved right, so I immediately drew out Little Red on the remaining mohair material, also cut out the same brown suedette paw pads, and after completing this post tonight, will be starting sew the pieces together.  For the purposes of labelling, I think I'll call this one Little Ed Ted, as hopefully he will turn out a smaller version of our current friend.  Not  a terribly original name I admit, but then that's not necessarily my forte.

The other thing I'm working on - which has been mentioned in convos on Etsy ( in recent weeks as well as here - is an idea for expanding the renovation/rejuvenation service that I really have enjoyed doing.  I have loved sharing it with all you lovely folks who have been kind enough to visit - and in some cases, comment on as well.  It's been great (and very encouraging) to hear from you.

The idea is to begin the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic. "Hospitals" conjure up images of large buildings and are usually such large, impersonal things, so I think a "Clinic" offers the possibility of a more personal service.  I know one should not get too involved with one's patients in real life - but where toys are concerned, I think personal involvement is vital.


How would it work you ask?   Well here is my current thinking.  I'd initially charge a "Consultation Fee" of say 25.00 GBP (which at today's conversion rate equates to 40.75 USD).  That would cover my time assessing what was needed, costing the materials required and convoing with the Toy's Best Friend, ending with a provisional quotation of the total cost and, once the OK had been given, ordering the required material.  Think that the quote would be based on the size of each projected toy and would be similar in cost(s) to the finished plush toys in the ColdhamCuddlies shop at  Based on Ed Ted, who is about the same size as the big Bears (who are the biggest plushies), that would be a further 55.00 USD on top of the consultation fee.

Then, after August 31, 2011, when the postal charges will once again be operating (or not, depending on the number of orders I get while the special offer is in place) there will be a postal rate to be added to the total.  Let me explain my postal charges at the moment.

Here in the UK we have two main rates for parcels - the First Class Postal rate which is always higher than the Standard Small Packet rate.  Now, most Cuddlies (with the big Bears being an exception) qualify to travel at the lower rate.  Thus, everyone who orders a Cuddly are likely to get a refund, which kicks in immediately the consignment is shipped.  If there is  more than one item in any one package, and there is a higher charge involved, then no further action will be taken until the Buyer has been consulted - either via e-mail or convo.  The requirement for a figure to be placed on the Etsy order form  for "more than one item" is therefore something of a "guess" because there may be lots of items of differing sizes.   But in order to be able to complete the listing, I had to put in something!  So far, all my orders have attracted a refund - which has been calculated once I have had the parcel weighed and in all cases so far,  posted without referrals to buyers.  And, the refunds have been gratefully received, without exception!   Obviously, if there is an excess charge, the parcel will be kept home until the Buyer has been notified and given me the all clear, and then sent on its way.  Postage details, which can include a tracking number (charges for that extra cost start from around a further 5.00 GBP (or 8.15 USD at today's conversion rate.) form the final convo/email for that transaction from my end:  I then just wait to hear of the safe arrival at its destination (I hope and pray!)

Hope that explains the situation?  Some folks have commented on these rates in the past - but were reassured when  the likely cost was quoted.  I have to keep these figures simple:  as maths and I have never been happy companions!

So, I'll close this post for tonight:  really am interested to hear your reactions, both to the idea of the Clinic and likely charges, which are not written in stone.  I'm open to reasonable suggestions!!  Bye for now.  Isobel