Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Treating Long-Legged Tigger, Part Two

Hello Everyone - Cy Bear  here.   I’m back again to complete the telling of Long-Legged Tigger’s recent treatment in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185).  When I left off, poor chap was pegged out on the radiator-airer, waiting to be dry enough for the next stage of his therapy.

Once all the pieces were collected together, Isobel began wielding her needle and thread.  Both the body pieces were sewn together (leaving spaces for the arms to be fitted at the appropriate time).  Then all the other pieces (except the ears - which were already sewn together, and which caused the drying process to go on a little longer) were sewn up, including the head.  Both the arms had the paws sewn on before the under-arm seams were finished off  - by being over-sewn along all the seams, to preserve the integrity of the whole toy for the future.

This picture shows Tigger ready to be stuffed - his fur does look a much lighter colour, does it not?

The head also has new glass eyes fitted.  Tigger’s original ones were made with some green double knitting yarn, which had some sort of glitter substance weaving through it.  His eyes really did not show up, and Isobel also felt that once he’d been taken to pieces, the yarn would not stay in place for long.  So we’ve included two glass eyes which we’ve had in stock for some time, and Isobel has both sewn them in place, as well as leaving a long piece of yarn on each eye which she then tied together.  Little fingers, when playing with Tigger should not now be able to pull them out - hopefully!

Here the process of putting Tigger together is nearly complete - his body is  fully stuffed and so is the head, and he also has a black nose and a mouth.  (When he arrived, his nose was brown - and did not really show up that well - and he had no mouth at all).

Tigger’s original white felt collar was far too big for him and was badly stained to boot.  So Isobel used the collar pattern she uses for the other dressed toys, and drew Tigger’s just a little larger.  She then sewed a new white felt collar around Tigger’s neck and attached the grey/pink diamond and bow felt decoration with which he’d arrived. 

This is what Tigger now looks like.  Pretty much the same as when he arrived (you can see how that was in our last post on August 26, 2012).  We think he’s ready for many more playtimes with Little People visiting PamL’s home. 

Meanwhile, he’s waiting for two more toys to be treated in the Clinic, before he, Little Brown Ted and the remaining Patients can be posted back to their Toy Box home in Nottinghamshire.

See you around soon:  meanwhile, I am watching as Isobel gets on with the three new versions of Tigger Long Legs.  These may be delayed a bit, because unfortunately, she had a fall this morning and seems to have strained some ligaments in her right hand.  Her little finger and the next finger were bent backwards when she fell, and there is quite a bit of bruising involved.    It means she keeps hitting the wrong keys on the computer key-board, but otherwise hasn’t inflicted any permanent damage.  However, she has yet to see what effect it has had on her sewing and stuffing abilities.   I think she’s putting it off for a while - although she’s had ice packs on her hand (which reduced the swelling greatly) and has taken anti-inflammatory pills, which will probably send her off to sleep earlier tonight than usual.  It did mean that she missed Zumba today, because having hit her head slightly, she felt it was wiser not to go there and dance heartily - something she enjoys doing, but in the circumstances, might not be good for her overall, long-term health.
Right, that’s all from me for this post.  Thanks for calling in and commenting!  Look forward to the next time!  All the best - Cy Bear

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Treating Tigger - the latest Patient in our Clinic (Part One)

Hello Everyone - Cy Bear taking over for a couple of posts,  since it was under my jurisdiction that you first heard about Long-legged Tigger. 

Long-Legged Tigger - on arrival

Just recently, Isobel has been calling him Tigger Long-Legs, but I’ve just pointed out to her that the latter name is what all our new Cuddlies (made like Tigger) will be called, once they get listed in our shop at www.Etsy.com/coldhamcuddlies.   They are going to be made with the template Isobel has created while Tigger was being assessed.  (Isobel here:  three versions have just been cut out, and once Cy Bear has finished this post, the assembly of each will begin.)

Long Legged Tigger has been one of the new Patients in the Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) when he featured in my post dated July 30, 2012).  His treatment has now been completed, and Isobel has suggested that I take over and tell you all bout it!  So, here goes:

As ever, the first thing that happens is that Isobel gets going with her Quick-Unpic and Tigger was soon in pieces. 

Then came the second stage - his bath.  Although he did not seem to be that dirty, Isobel was surprised at how much the water colour changed in the overnight soaking he received.  Isobel uses delicate, hand wash soap suds to clean the Patients, and starts them off in lukewarm water.  Once they’ve lost the surface dust, she then rinses them in cold water - she finds that more dust/dirt comes off that way. 

This time, as there were several bits of Tigger to contend with, Isobel loaded him onto a convenient wooden tray.

He’d had most of the remaining water squeezed out of him (she never wrings toys out - it could disturb the plush nap if  she did that, and besides her fingers/hands are now not as strong as they used to be!).  The pieces are a little fiddly too, so squeezing is the right method!

Then, Tigger’s individual pieces were pinned onto the radiator-airer and he was left over night, and most of the next day.  His ears, because they were double, took the longest to be ready for the next stage.  Isobel did not think they needed to be taken apart;  next time, she might think twice and separate them, although in the event they have turned out fine.

Having removed all the pieces from the airer, Isobel then got on with putting Tigger back into his original format, so that he could be stuffed. 

Because Tigger is quite an elderly toy, and even though the body fabric seemed to be quite strong, Isobel actually over-stitched (by hand, as it did not seem worth the effort to get her sewing machine out just to do the body and arms) each seam.  That will, hopefully, preserve Tigger's integrity for many more years to come.

Here is where  I’ll break for a while,  because this post - illustrated stage by stage as it is - will become far too long for everyone to read properly!  Folks do seem to do that - for which both Isobel and I are very grateful.  We do appreciate the comments made and the time you spend with us and I‘m pleased to say that we‘ve now 209 Followers and according to the Blogger stats, our viewings are now reaching the high 7,000‘s.  That is very gratifying!

The rest of Tigger’s treatment will follow in the next post - and Isobel is preparing another, rather unusual, post to include here at www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com.  However, some additional information is needed before putting fingers to the keyboard and preparing it for your edification! 

Until then, from both of us:  Cheerio - and God Bless!  Cy Bear. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Making of Little Sleepy Teddy - the latest ColdhamCuddlies Bear

Earlier this month (August 16 to be exact), the post that day featured the treatment being given to a new Bear Friend of ours, Little Brown Ted (LBT).  Today, having created a template of LBT while he was undergoing his therapy in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185), two versions of Little Sleepy Teddy are now listed in our shop at www.Etsy.com/coldhamcuddlies.  Here is the story, with illustrations, of them being created.

Here's one of  the Little Sleepy Teddys (LST for short) with his head under construction.


The pattern differs from those I usually make because it does not have a gusset.  It's actually easier in one way, because I can add the facial features first of all, before any stuffing is involved.  So, this will be the way I shall make these little fellows in future.

 (As I go on, I may experiment with the other Bears and Toys as well:  there's something to be said for being able to put in the noses at the same time as fitting the eyes prior to stuffing.  It's one of the real fascination of toy-making for me.  One can make one's rules up as one goes along - just to suit oneself!)

Once the head was complete,  the next thing on the agenda was the body.  Again, the pieces are arranged in a different way, with the back piece having no middle seam, and the shape being made by darts at strategic intervals along each side.

The legs and arms are incorporated into the back, while the side seams become the other half of each leg and arm and the whole body is finally closed by the front seam.  I had some difficulty deciding where to place the ColdhamCuddlies label (you can see some of them in the background waiting to be attached to future Cuddlies), trying the first one on the leg side seam and the other one under one arm on a side seam.

I sew these labels in making sure they do NOT come off easily, and the final result does not become apparent until the whole toy is stuffed. Thus,although I don't have a picture of it, in future that labels for LST will be on the side seam, under the right arm.  I decided to leave this one -  on the first version - on the leg seam, as I did not want any problems with the plush fur to become apparent.

This picture shows the head and body awaiting stuffing - just as happened when the reconstruction of Little Brown Ted took place (see the post on August 16):

Sewing the two bits together is actually a great deal easier with this particular pattern and will be a great encouragement to repeat the process should these little guys find their Forever Homes quickly.  I began to sew under the chin, using a ladder stitch, and matching the seams around the neck. A few stitches (literally) later and  hey viola! - Little Sleepy Teddy was complete.

Litttle Sleepy Teddy - Etsy Listing # 107350612

Just some extra photos showing these little chaps from different angles.

LST'S don't sit or stand easily:  they're easier to cuddle this way!
 Finally, just to round off the story, here is one for the ColdhamCuddlies Family Albumn - The Three Bears, altogether - before Little Brown Ted returns to his Toy Box in a few weeks' time.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Promised Update on latest events

The Produce Sale in Heytesbury Parish Church took place as arranged, and I was given a nice space in which to display the smaller Coldham Cuddlies that have recently joined the family.  The space consisted of a trestle table which had been arranged on top of three church pews!  Very sturdy, but difficult to access without some agility on my part.  This involved hopping on to the seat of one pew and climbing over the back of the one in front, and lowering myself, via the kneeling bench, to floor level.  My Zumba classes have certainly helped, as it was not too difficult to accomplish, despite the concern of several of my fellow St. John's residents.  They clearly did not think me capable of such activity!  (Let you into a secret:  I wasn't sure myself, actually, but in the event, it was a cinch!)

Those being exhibited included the Hedgehog Family, The Owl Family (the latest was listed yesterday in our shop at www.Etsy.com/coldham cuddlies and has been named as Oliver Owlet, Etsy Listing #107123292 ), the replacement for Barry Beaver, and also the three prototypes Golf Club Head Covers - which will be listed later today, or over the week-end.  Black Gorilla was there too, but didn't seem to attract too much interest, but that may have been my fault, as he did get a little smothered by Baby Bunnies of different hues.

My two latest  Dressed Lady Bunnies were there too, with Jemima Bunny having a notice in front of her saying "Reserved:  Purchased in Mexico.  Destination:  Ontario Canada".  I'm waiting for a pattern for two bears, complete with their own uniforms (one a Policeman, I'm led to believe:  the other a Beefeater - of Tower of London fame!) and once they are made - if I can manage it - all three will go to Ontario together.  Will keep you all posted as and when!  Jemima was accompanied by the Halloween Bunny and they were both there to indicate the difference between one toy complete with a Carrot, and the other without.  (Naturally, a carrot can be added easily should a customer require it - but it will cost a little extra!)

MrDA-B, whom you may recall very kindly loaned me a Golf Club from his collection as a model, attended and was good enough to provide a customer test.  Pleased to report that all three passed with flying colours.  All were made with my existing Bear Head pattern, but appear as Golden Bear, Brown Bear and Panda Bear.  Now I'll try the same thing with a Rabbit's Head and the Fox's Head patterns, and have sent away for a Tiger toy, which I shall adapt along the lines I've done with Black Gorilla (BG - who featured in our post on August 12, 2012).

MrDA-B's  customer test consisted of putting his hand up through the tubular wool sock and confirming that, if needed, a bigger Club could be fitted into the space currently being occupied by his No.1 Driver.  He was also pleased with the elasticity displayed by my version of the Club's handle cover.  So, I  am now confident of introducing these new Cuddlies as full members of the Coldham Cuddly Family.

Here are photos of all three of them - not necessarily in order of preference or production:  just as they have been photographed:

The Golden Bear version:

Etsy Listing #107240612
The Panda Bear

Etsy Listing #107241362

The Brown Bear - I thought having a black handle cover would be just too much dark colour:  MrDA-B seemed to agree!

Etsy Listing #107242111

Our friend, Fred Bear still remains in a mutilated state as a Patient in the Soft Toy ClinicPatC, his Forever Friend, telephoned me early last week to say that during discussions between her sister and herself, both had come to the conclusion that my suggested fabric for his renewed paw pads was not entirely to their liking.  Elder sister, however, has got some delicate glove leather which she felt would be much more appropriate and both ladies wondered if I'd be prepared to wait until she returned home and searched for said leather.  Naturally, since they are the customers, there was no question of it being anything else but convenient!  (It did mean I could get on with the Golf Club Head Covers after all!)  So, as elder sister does not go back home until the end of August, and has difficulty getting around, seems it will be some time yet before Fred Bear can return home himself.  He's no trouble:  he's lying quietly in a corner, out of the way, so his further treatment report will have to wait too.

(Never being backward in coming forward, I did suggest that if elder sister had other fabrics that were looking for a home, and she considered them suitable for dressing future Cuddlies, I'd be more than happy to accommodate them as well as the promised leather!  Wouldn't you folks do the same?)

So, what did happen at the Produce Stall - other than an approval for the Golf Club Head Covers?  Not a lot really: except that almost at the end, one of my fellow stall holders came over and purchased one of the Baby Koalas - they really are a popular member of the Cuddlies Family!  So, the first venture into the 2012 selling arena was not entirely fruitless - especially as I really did not lay the toys out as well as I might have done.  Also, I was not expecting too much:  it was really an opportunity to show off the newbies, as well as rehearse for the real sales events later in the year.  The event really concentrates more on the provision of fresh bakery and garden produce, as well as a Raffle.  Last year I was quite lucky on the Raffle:  to date, this year, I have not!  Still there's a few weeks yet....  However, that means we have one less Koala in the Shop to sell:  although two more are still looking for Forever Homes!

Next thing on the agenda is the rehabilitation and creation of Tigger Long Legs and the Lop-Eared Bunny Arm Puppet.  Hope to have these up and ready for listing and sale in time for the 2012 Greatest Coffee Morning in the World (in aid of MacMillan Cancer research) due at Slater's Barn (as last year) on Friday, September 28.  So, off we go... until the next post!

Good bye for now.  Isobel

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Litte Brown Ted's Therapy Programme

During Cy Bear's post on August 2 when he introduced some new Patients to the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79145185), he told you about Little Brown Ted (LBT for short).  Well, today's post is mainly about his treatment, but there are also some updates on other toys we've posted about lately as well.

First, though, as a reminder, here is LBT as he appeared on arrival from his long-term home in PamL's Toy Box in Nottinghamshire, England, UK:


The assessment of his condition concluded that LBT needed to be taken apart, destuffed, re-stuffed and sewn up again.  I also decided his presence in a different colour would be a real asset to ColdhamCuddlies Family, so while he was in pieces, I made a template for future use as Little Sleepy Ted.  I plan to make a several of him in the Golden Plush fabric which I've used in the past for the Hand Glove Puppets.

So, here is LBT in pieces, complete with all the stuffing with which he was shaped.  He was not as dirty as some of our previous patients, but still has benefited from this treatment.  His stuffing consisted of the nylon fibre that was available as an alternative to Kapok in the 1970's and 1980's, which proved to be inflammable if the item was placed near a live fire.  While LBT's stuffing was in pretty good condition, it did not provide the soft, cuddly feel that the polyester fibre fill I now use does, so it was consigned to the dustbin and at the appropriate time,  I filled him with the polyester equivalent.

The nylon fibre used had been packed in very tightly, which also contributed to his not being as cuddly as I like my bears to be.

Here he is, in pieces, drying out overnight:

Here is LBT with his head and body sewn up, waiting to be stuffed and joined together

Now, here is Little Brown Ted in all his current splendour.

While he was in pieces and being treated, I removed his original felt nose and eyes.  When I came to put him back together, they had mysteriously disappeared!  There are times when I am convinced that I have a friendly poltergeist living in my work room-cum-study-cum-second bedroom.  I'm always losing things and having them re-appear when they are no longer needed!  Wonder how many other folk suffer the same problem?

Anyway, to return to the subject of this post:  I cut out new black felt nose and eyes and attached them to the new version of  Little Brown Ted.  Although they are slightly bigger than the original, when compared with said originals (which did re-appear!), because LBT looks fluffier than he did on arrival, I have decided to retain the new facial features and think he looks a very handsome little bear.  He's got soft fur again, and he's very tactile.  His new little friends should enjoy playing with him in future.

Having said there are updates on other items mentioned in recent posts here on www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com, I think this post has gone on long enough.  So, I'll post about the updates next time around - which will be the week-end, after the upcoming Produce Sale at Heytesbury Parish Church.  I've been able to produce two prototype Golf Club Head covers and they will be on sale.  Will be listing them in the shop at www.Etsy.com/coldhamcuddlies next week - unless of course they've found new owners in the meantime!

Until then - thanks for all the nice comments recently received.  Good night, and God Bless!  Isobel

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Promised Update about Black Gorilla and Little Brown Bear

In the post about Fred Bear and the first part of his rejuvenation (2012/08/08), mention was made of  Black Gorilla (BG for short) who arrived via E Bay so that I could take him to pieces and discover how he was made.    Originally, as shown in this photograph, he was a Golf Club Head Cover.;  and it has recently been suggested, these could well become a new branch for the ColdhamCuddlies Family but before proceeding I have been hesitant to proceed - until I knew more.

Having taken him apart, the decision has been made.  BG,  having completed the task for which he was purchased, will now be offered as a Hand Puppet, although only as an Associate Coldham Cuddly  because he is not handmade.  His label indicated he was made in China, and thus probably part of a long production line and machine made.  I've taken off the knitted part which covers the Golf Club shaft (more information about this shortly), and taken note of the dimensions involved.  I've made a template of the lining of the head piece.  Seemingly the Head Covers are stuffed a lot less firmly than for a normal ColdhamCuddlies toy and then the lining is stitched around the neck opening, with the knitted piece attached at the same time.  Hopefully, there should then be sufficient space for the Golf Club Head to be pushed into the head opening:  at least, that is the idea, anyway!   I'll be posting a step-by-step description of how I'm hoping to get it done - when it is done!

Meanwhile, here are some photographs showing how BG has been transformed:

Just a little surprised -  I'm 12" (30cms) shorter!

Still 12" (30cms) smaller:  but now from the rear
With the knitted part of the original Golf Club Head cover removed, BG required to be smartened up and converted to a Hand Puppet.  He's different from our usual ColdhamCuddlies Hand Glove Puppets, which tend to have a longer skirt beneath the head.  BG is all head and shoulders - like an ancient stone statue of similar proportions, but a woolly plush version instead.  He now has a finger guide added:

Finger guide now in place
I've also added a black seam binding and blind hemmed round the bottom of his shoulders.  Thus he is now ready to be offered as an Associate ColdhamCuddly to whomever would like to offer him a Forever Home.

Hello there!  Here's the new Me!
He will not be listed in our shop at www.Etsy.com/coldhamcuddlies as he does not comply with the need for being totally handmade.  Please contact me at www.Etsy.com/coldhamcuddlies via the Convo link, or by e-mail at coldhamcuddlies@tiscali.co.uk for prices (for BG plus shipping).

However there has been a major development.  Yesterday, while buying fresh vegetables and talking to the many kind folk who were enquiring after my well-being, I happened to mention my aim to have a prototype Golf Club Head Cover ready for the Produce Sale being planned for August 18.  As I said in my August 8 post, this is being organised by Church members who live here at The Hospital of St. John.  I was accordingly introduced to one of this week's Organisers, who also happens to be a regular golfer, and who - conveniently - resides just next door to the Church.

The gentleman very kindly broke away from what he was then doing, took me to his house - and Eureeka!  I now have a model Driver Club on which to actually create the Head Covers!  That's going to be a tremendous help as otherwise I'd have been working blindly without one.  The club can remain with me for "a week, a month, three months....however long you need it:  I don't now need it".  Apparently, Mr. DA-B now has a much more technological version of a Driver club, so that the one now with me has been consigned to the "back bag" (as opposed to back-burner).

Mr. DA-B was also kind enough to explain why such covers are needed.  When the clubs get shoved back into their slots in the heat of any golf match, as well as when they get carried about on the course, they slide about, and grate against the edge of the bag. Without the cover (and it's the knitted cover over the club shaft we are talking about now) the clubs get scratched and potential long-term damage can occur.  The manufacturers of these implements are now providing covers (which are not nearly as original or attractive - since they usually have a prominent logo somewhere on them) when clubs are sold.  Golfers are increasingly buying them, because Drivers now come with their own chips (latest technology here - a real eye opener for me I have to say!) which allow the players to adjust the height, angle of shot, etc. et al. so they are actively in the market for Head Covers.  (They are therefore an expensive replacement item, and owners need to care for them to justify this expenditure!)  Thus it would appear that there is indeed a real opportunity here for a ColdhamCuddlies invasion of the golf course!  Look out the Golfing World!

Having completed BG, the Quick Unpic has once again been wielded and an attack on the Little Brown Bear has taken place.  He's now been de-stuffed, washed and sewn up (with photographs taken at each stage).  This will form part of a future post:  (may be even the next one).  That will depend on when I can begin completing Fred Bear's on-going treatment.  While I wait for PatC's report on the decision(s) taken with her sister over the exact colour of Fred's paws, I will commence stuffing Little Brown Bear and getting him ready for his return journey to Nottinghamshire and his Toy Box home with PamL.

Meanwhile - here's to the next time:  by the way Followers are up to 203 (and we're hoping for more after the Liebster Blog Award) and at the last time of looking, the Blog has now had over 7,000 views.

 Thank you everyone for your continued support.  Bless you all.  Isobel

Saturday, 11 August 2012

I've just been awarded the Libester Blog Award!

Liebster Blog Award

I am honored and have been awarded the "Liebster Blog Award" by
ANGIE OUELLETTE-TOWER author of two blogs

God's Growing Garden (which is the one I follow) and Gourdonville

The Rules:
1. Share 11 random facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the person that tagged you.
3. Tag 11 people
4. Ask them 11 questions
11 Random facts about Myself

1.  I was born (a long time ago) in Pakistan, when it was still British India.
2.  Orphaned at 10 months, I was reared and loved as a full family member by an Aunt and    Uncle, who happened to be tea planters in South India.
3.  I am half-English and half Scottish, so thoroughly British.
4.  I have lived and worked in Alberta, Canada (1975-1987) and South Africa (1968)
5.  Recently widowed (after nearly 43 years being married).
6.  I have two wonderful daughters and a marvellous son-in-law, so am still a very lucky person
7.  I also have one canine and three feline grand daughters - who all give me cause for great laughter by their actions
8.  I loathe spiders, snakes and most creepy crawlies.
9. Enjoy meeting new people - both in real time or virtually.
10. Like " playing" on the internet, but don't always know what I'm letting myself in for
11.  Blogging is a fairly new interest, but do enjoy sharing my craft stories with those who kindly follow me

  The 11 Questions that Angie posed:

1.  What is your favorite Jane Austen book?  Pride & Prejudice
2.  Pick just one:  chocolate, hard candy or licorice?  Chocolate
3.  What is your pet peeve?  People who moan, without cause
4.  Can you speak a different language (other than English)?  (If so -which one?) French, but not fluently
5.  Do you have a garden & if so what kind (veggies, fruit or flowers)? Veggies.
6.  What is your favorite artist? (visual artist)? Don't really have one
7.  What kind of perfume/cologne do you wear? Eau de Cologne mostly
8.  What is your favorite "Great Lake"? (If you are not from North America then just pick your favorite lake) Once could draw all of them on a map, but not now.  My favourite British one has to be Lake Windermere (used to live close by until 4 years ago).
9.  Who/what motivates you? My family, without a doubt
10. Skiing:  down hill, cross-country, water or none?  None
11.  Without looking this up on google - what is the quadratic formula?? - quick!!! Have not got a clue - does that make me an ignoramus?

The blogs I tagged:

1.  A  View from the Furry Side
2.  Absolutely Kismet
3.  All Things Tangled
4.  Beader Bubbe's shop
5.  Created By Laurie
6.  Custom Teddys
7.  DeeDeeDezyn
8.  Island Buzzy
9.  Living Vibrations
10. Riorita - Handmade Jewellry Designs
11. Sher's Creative Space.

Many were fellow members of the BESTeam Bloggers - and I miss our regular contacts.  The rest have given me immense pleasure in reading their posts.  Long may our contacts continue.

My questions to those I have tagged:

1.  Your favourite colour?
2.  Your first memory of that colour?
3.  What's your summer been like - weatherwise?
4.  Your favourite holiday?
5.  Your first mistake?
6.  Has it been repeated?  (Bet it hasn't!)
7.  Cat, dog or other? - choose one
8.  Their latest trick?
9.   Looking forward to ....?
10. Looking back at.....?
11. What next - if you're a crafter:  or if not?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Rejuvenation of Fred Bear - Part One

In our post dated July 30, 2012, Cy Bear introduced one of the new Patients who had recently arrived for treatment in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185).  His name is Fred Bear - and just to remind folks as to what he looked like on arrival, here he is as his treatment began.

Stuffing from Fred's left arm
 When  first introduced to him I was told that PatC, his long-time Forever Friend, did not really want him to be changed too much.  However, she did feel his paw and leg pads did not look right in blue, his face required some attention, and although his ear was about to fall off, if it could re-attached at a somewhat similar angle, she'd like that.  She'd got used to his lop-eared appearance.  As Fred is nearly 100 years old, I felt that those instructions were more than reasonable, particularly as given his age, his condition was pretty good.  Besides, the customer always prevails, do they not?

Accordingly, I got to work with the Quic Unpic and began to remove his stuffing.

This is what I found when I unpicked the left arm pad area.  The stuffing he arrived with was a mixture of Kapok and sawdust, which made me suspect he had been given some treatment in an earlier attempt to smarten him up.  Somehow, he has had problems with his limbs extremities - which did indeed need attention:  whereas his body, head and limbs were perfectly acceptable.  The Kapok had been packed ever so tightly, which, with the sawdust combined to make him feel very hard, rather than cuddly and firm.  

When I arrived at his legs, my suspicions that hiscurrent rejuvenation therapy is not his first was reinforced.  In this picture, you can see at least 3 or 4 previous treatments have been undertaken, plus a clear view of the wood chippings/sawdust used to stuff his legs. 

Here is another shot showing the three previous paw pads which also includes a cardboard lining which is still in remarkably good condition - but likely to have been involved in his last treatment, since it was immediately under the blue felt pad.

His head was almost totally filled with sawdust, with only his nose had some Kapok within the cavity, and when I came to his body, his original growler had completely collapsed.  Both the growler and stuffing have now been removed, and I now await instructions as to which fabric PatC would like his new paw pads to be made with.  

In a telephone conversation this afternoon, I've been advised that PatC's elder sister - who is equally anxious that Fred should not be changed too much - is expected for a visit at the week-end, and a sisterly consultation will take place as to what colour fabric will be utilised to make his new paws.  After I had prepared Fred for his rejuvenation, I found three suitable fabrics for repairing his paw pads and sent swatches for PatC to select.  I've been told to expect their decision sometime this Sunday. 

In the meantime, I've taken the Black Gorilla Golf Club Head Cover to pieces and think I can figure out how to make some of my own versions using Toy Heads already at my disposal.  I've prepared  Bear,  Fox, and Rabbit Heads by enlarging those used for the dressed Cuddlies and my Teddy Bears. Templates have been prepared for all three, and I've made a template for the inner lining of the proposed Club Head Covers.   Have also measured the dimensions required for the knitted handle cover as well.  Now it's a question of having a go and making one.  Wish me luck!

 I think it would be nice to have some to offer when I take some of the smaller Cuddlies to my first Craft Sale of the 2012 Autumn (Fall to you folks over the Atlantic) Season which is coming up on August 18.  Folks who attend this event are the sort who either play golf themselves, or know someone in their family who does.  This event is a weekly Produce/Cake Sale held each Saturday during the summer in our Village Church - the funds raised going towards the Church's upkeep.  The residents of the Hospital of St. John have been appointed to run the event on August 18, and I've been invited to take a table - as I did in 2011 - to offer something different from the usual produce sold each week.  

Will keep you posted as and when I have anything more to add - about Fred Bear, the Golf Club Head Covers and/or the Produce Sale on August 18.  Meanwhile, good night and God Bless!  Isobel

Friday, 3 August 2012

Another New Friend - and a potential new Branch of the Cuddlies Family.

There are two more Friends who have joined us recently, one of which needs to be re-stuffed and then a new Forever Home found for him - his name is Blue Teddy.


He too belonged to Alan,  (Isobel's son-in-law) but when he arrived, Alan considered himself too grown up for Bears (as boys sometimes do!) and was not sure about his colour scheme.  He was thus hardly, if ever, played with - and actually looks like new.  In addition, when held,  he's not a very cuddlesome armful either - he wriggles - and bears should not be like that.  And, thinking about it, I'm not too sure that a pink ribbon actually does him any favours.

 So, Isobel is going to re-stuff him, as she believes he has polystyrene balls as stuffing at the moment, and she is not keen on them.  In her view, they are an inflammable hazard and not as soft as a cuddly Bear should be.    Thinking about it, he looks a little like Golden Teddy to me - wonder what you folks think?

When Isobel has given him new innards, I'm sure we'll be able to find him a Forever Home where someone will welcome him with open arms.  I'm absolutely sure he will find a Forever Friend - particularly as Isobel is thinking of giving him as a Raffle Prize to the Journalists' Charity of which dear Peter used to be a life member.  His colour is not as unusual as it might have been when Blue Teddy first appeared on the scene, and cannot really be considered a true Coldham Cuddly - as we cannot be sure that he was truly hand-made, even though Isobel will be re-stuffing him. She'll also be giving him a new ribbon - or, maybe, not!  Bears don't really need ribbons, do they?

Finally, and by no means the least of my new Friends, please meet The Black Gorilla.


He is already a finished piece of work - and is actually a Golf Club head cover and the story of his arrival in our family goes like this.  While staying with daughter Clare recently - before she broke her leg - Isobel was shown a Tiger Golf Club head cover - and it was suggested that if she could make a similar product, this could prove to be a productive new line of toys for inclusion in our shop at www.Etsy.com/coldhamcuddlies.  Having closely examined the Tiger Head, Isobel excitedly agreed, so when she got back to Heytesbury, after Peter's funeral,  she checked on the internet to find one she could examine and copy for future use. (The Tiger Head was needed by the Golfing Lady who showed it to Isobel). She then discovered Black Gorilla (BG for short) for sale.  She was successful in her bid, and he arrived the same day she returned to Nottinghamshire to look after Clare.

Those of you who follow that game called Golf, or those who participate in this form of exercise, may well be familiar with these animals that cover  golf clubs.  They can be seen being carried around by the Caddies that accompany the players in various championships. While watching the recent British Open Golf Championship on the television,  Isobel witnessed a Tiger Head in the golf bag owned by  Mr. Tiger Woods - appropriate, don't you think?)  as well as Bear Heads and other toys in other players' golf bags.  Why he was for sale is not clear, but Isobel feels it is because  BG  took up too much space in a player's golf bag.  But how he is made can now be carefully inspected, when Isobel takes him apart.  She is particularly interested in how the black knitted handle cover actually fits onto BG's  body.  Then she will take the consitituent parts, create a template and then make Club Head Covers using all the other Toys' heads already at our disposal.  Golf is a popular pastime in this part of the world, if not nationwide - and even worldwide come to that - so that's why we believe they will become a worthwhile new branch of the Cuddlies Family. 

We wonder what our Followers think - and do they know of anyone who would like to have one as a Christmas present, maybe?

What will become of BG once Isobel has found how he's made?  Well, the plan is that he will be sewn up again, stuffed and become a proper Cuddly Toy - looking at him, he's about the same size as one of our Panda Bears.  He cannot really be considered a full member of the Cuddlies Family, as he has not been hand made, but I'm going to suggest he be treated as an Associate Cuddly and be given the same opportunity to find a Forever Friend as the rest of us are by being offered for sale not in our shop at www.Etsy.com/coldhamcuddlies, because he won't be handmade.  But he could come with us to local Bazaars and/or Craft Sales we attend and someone might like to give him a home.  He looks a friendly chap, doesn't he?

With that thought, I'll close for now.  Think I'd better stop posting so that Isobel can take over once more!  Meanwhile, thanks for being with us again, and here's to the next time we get together!  Cy Bear.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Introducing New Patients for the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic - Part 2

Good evening folks!  Cy Bear returning, as promised a couple of evenings ago, with some more new Patients for the Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing  #79124185).  As I explained in my last post  (Part One of this two-part instalment), although they've been accepted as Patients, not all of them will require full therapy, and some, if not all, may well become new members of the Cuddlies Family once Isobel has assessed and treated them.

Little Brown Bear (in the background in this picture)  is yet another friend from the Toy Box belonging to PamL, mother to Isobel's son-in-law, Alan.  He really doesn't need much doing to him, except he will be taken to pieces so that a template pattern can be made of him.  He's much smaller than many of us Bears in the Cuddlies Family, has a lovely cheeky face - if Isobel can replicate it - and she's got plans for him.

 I'm told that he is a smaller version of a very favourite Morrell Bear belonging to Isobel's older daughter, Philippa.


He's known as Sleepy Teddy, has had  three make-overs in his life, and has been Philippa's Forever Friend since she was about 18 months' old.  He's a much travelled bear, having accompanied her everywhere she went while she travelled around the world while working in the mid-1990's.  Isobel wants to give him yet another make-over, but so far has not been able to persuade either Sleepy Teddy nor Philippa that it is a good idea!  The latter doesn't want him to be changed from what he looks like now.  As Isobel freely admits to not being able to replicate any of us Bears, that would appear to be that!  So, Isobel will concentrate on Little Sleepy Ted as I think he will be named and perhaps a change of heart may occur?

Here's another picture of Sleepy Teddy at home with some old friends of yours and mine, both of whom have been Patients in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic in recent months - Rusty, the Giant Bear and Tommy Teddy.

Then, we've got the Sleepy Kitten - again from PamL's Toy Box.  He is not quite as White as he looks in this photograph and will need to given the luke-warm bath treatment if he is to regain his former glory.  Actually, Isobel thinks she may already have a pattern very similar to Sleepy Kitten, so he may not have to be cut to pieces in order to make a template so he can become a proper Cuddly.

When all these toys have been washed, templated - if there is such a word, but it does described the process these new Friends of mine face, and remade and stuffed, they will all be returned to PamL so that  she can have plenty of Toys for her visiting Little People to play with.

Isobel has a lot of work ahead of her in the next few weeks - which is all to the good.  In addition to these two new potential Cuddlies, she already has several commissions for new Wombats (4 of them) and another Gentleman Fox - all needed before Christmas, and there are the replacements for the Gentleman Foxes (Hunting and Country types), Coyotes and Rabbits that have found Forever Homes over the last few months.