Saturday, 31 December 2011

Resolutions for 2012 + some future plans

Here we are at New Year's Eve 2011 - and I suppose it's time for New Year resolutions.

Obviously, one of mine has got to be more regular blogging - and I really will do more, other things permitting!
 My ideas for guest blogging are firming up.  It will take a bit of time to set up, but they should increase the posting flow.  Aim to begin inviting guest bloggers in the next few weeks, to if you're interested, please watch this space!  Meanwhile, anyone considering joining us in this pastime at might like to think about their most favourite toy.  If they can dig out pictures of it - particularly if it includes the owner, too, that could really start the ball rolling.  Must stress, though, the items should ONLY be soft toys;   bears, obviously - but rabbits, foxes, coyotes, and any other animal toys (elephants, horses, donkeys do spring to mind - but more exotic items would be more than welcome) that would be great. As I've never been a DOLL person, they are unlikely to  feature in any future ColdhamCuddlies related blog post!

Secondly, am going to improve my photographs.  The ones at are better than they were when I first started, but could probably be improved.  At someone's suggestion, I've concentrated on taking outdoor photographs.  However, with winter conditions prevailing - which means predominantly grey skies, if not actual snow in the UK so far this Winter - I'm well aware that those I often include here in my blogging efforts could DEFINITELY do with improvement, as they do tend to be snapshots, rather than photographs.  They illustrate what I'm doing, but don't really show things as they ought to appear and are taken as needed, rather than properly prepared.  So.... I've got two new possibilities to work with here.  One is experimental:  with toys, I hear folks ask?  Yup .... just carry on reading.

While recently away visiting eldest daughter before Christmas, Peter and I were invited as special guests to a Christmas Lunch organised by said daughter.  One of our fellow guests, when primed about my toy-making ventures, suggested that a small company in which he had an interest might well be able to increase my sales greatly.  As one does, when being wined and dined well, I welcomed the idea of an approach - any time ... as you do, don't you!  The follow-up call happened - the next week;  and it was an eye-opener.  Basically, the company has a gizmo that takes up to 50 images of a product from every known angle, and  a few that probably would not normally be thought about, and makes them into a composite 3-D image.  The idea of one of my toys getting the treatment was immediately appealing.  The flip side was that the cost was a little more at 50.00GBP (77.62 USD) an item than can currently handle!  However, the young man was nothing, if not a good salesman.  I'm being offered a FREE SAMPLE - and who can resist such an offer?  Will keep you all posted about what happens next - but if it works for me, I bet it could be interesting for many of you my lovely Followers, as well as lots of other fellow Etsians too.

With the permission of my France-based sister-in-law, Ivy, I'm going to use Madame Lapin - currently patiently awaiting rejuvenation treatment in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic.  Early next week, she is going to be posted to this company's offices for a series of  "Before Treatment" shots.  She will be returned, and after I've de-stuffed her, washed her clothing and re-stuffed her, she will return to the photographer for the final "After Treatment" pics.  Thought a one-off free sample could be really well used to highlight the Clinic's services, rather than spending hours deciding which of the 25-odd toys at should be the chosen "victim".    Here's a picture of Madame Lapin as a reminder:

You can read some more about Madame Lapin in the post "The Coldham Cuddlies French Connection(s)/11/02/11 if you feel so inclined!

The second option occurred a few days later.  Looking through the myriad of freebie catalogues that fall through our letterbox at this time of the year (and all year, come to that) I spotted a mini-photographic studio (light-box type of thing) at a very reasonable price and decided that the business could afford to give me (and itself) a Christmas present - which could well result in a whole lot better indoor photographs, once I'd got my head round it.  I was on the telephone almost immediately to order it, the item arrived three days later - which completely threw me! - and it's currently sitting under the desk on which I am preparing this post, awaiting a thorough examination in upcoming days.  It consists of a three-sided platform, a tripod - complete with its own rigid platform - for a digital camera, two spotlights and three different coloured backgrounds to vary the outcome of any portrait. Everything folds up into a carrying case, and it is sold specifically for taking pictures for insurance or internet auctions, so I felt it was tailor-made for the Cuddlies.  Watch out for better indoor photographs ...... hopefully .... in the not too distant future.

Right, think that is enough for everyone to be going on with - should take me until at least March 2012 to achieve anything like I'm hoping to do, so I'd better begin now!

A Happy New Year to everyone.  Here's to 2012 - for everyone!  Cheers.  Isobel