Monday, 26 November 2012

Welcome to some Handsome Stuffed Frogs, Newest Coldham Cuddlies members

Green Stuffed Frogs - Etsy Listing #116285186

These Handsome Stuffed Frog Toys have just been listed in our shop ( and are the result of a custom order placed in September this year.  They are hand made for folks who enjoy collecting Frogs as a pastime.  Indeed, the customer who suggested they become members of the ColdhamCuddlies Family has a close relative who already has over 40 in place.  I was persuaded to think about it, as the customer was keen  to buy one, even providing a deposit, and suggested that there was definitely a market for such a Toy.  I promised to look into the matter, found  I already had a Vintage Frog pattern in house, so then had no excuse not to have a go.

I have to confess that to date I have never regarded Frogs as being Cuddly - however both these guys have made me change my mind.  They have been great fun to make, don’t take too long and, above all, have provided my arthritic fingers with a real workout during their construction.  I decided to make two versions - to familiarise myself with the production process and to provide my Customer with a selection.  The second version was easier than the first - so I have high hopes of becoming quite adept at Frog construction. 

There are a number of colour combinations already available - they don’t just have to be variations on a theme of GREEN.  They could already be Brown and Orange, Brown and Yellow and Brown and Beige and any other combinations customers might like to suggest.  If they are not in stock, I am happy to go source them.  They could well look good in Fleece, as well as the fabrics shown.

Dark Green Frog has been selected by my Customer, Mr.GSHe approved of both versions, but felt the Dark Green one was most realistic!  He can be easily replaced (he took me 2½  days to make) and is made from fabric I purchased when a local glove factory (from whom I buy my leather off  cuts) was moving to a new manufacturing site and was having a clear out sale.  The dark green fabric has the feel of a raincoat - very appropriate for a Frog, and actually has a soft black reverse side, which is what attracted me in the first place.  The green velvet look chest actually has a rubber backing.  So this version could well be described as waterproof.  He is, in any case, washable. 

Green and Orange Frog is made from an off-cut obtained from my supplier of such fabrics and feels like felt or moleskin, with a cotton backing (and recently appeared as the trousers for our custom Tweed Coated Coyote, now on his way to his Forever Home in Canada.  The orange chest is made with velvet and the eyes are plastic with pupils that move about  - giving the Toy a realistic look.  The fabric used for this Frog may well not be washable - but could respond to dry-cleaning if necessary.  Crafters  know all about   velvet's fraying capabilities,  Thus, although Dark Green Frog had no worries on this score, I ensured that all seams on both versions were over sewn:  just to reinforce their long-term integrity.

Both Frogs are stuffed with polyester fibre meeting all international safety standards and their vital statistics are as follows
Measurements    Body - Nose to Tail       11 inches (28 cms)
                           Chest - Nose to Tail        7 inches (17.7 cms)
                           Girth - under arms         13 inches (30.3 cms)
                            Body, including legs     22.5 inches (50.6 cms)
                      Weight                        271 g  (10 ounces).

This means that both Frogs will travel at the Standard Small Packet rate charged by UK Royal Mail.  Buyers are asked to bear in mind that as I now no longer drive, I am reliant on local public transport to reach either of the two Post Offices in the vicinity that are equipped to deal with parcels.  This is done every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Should there be any question of a tight deadline involved when Buyers are placing an order(s), please take this restriction into consideration.

I've almost finished dressing two more new members of the ColdhamCuddlies Family - and hope to have them listed in our shop at later this week, so you'll be hearing all about them then - probably from our friend Cy BearI've finally managed to track down some mohair fabric which two of my five Bear Patients in the Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) require for their renovation/rejuvenation treatments.  The other three don't need to be matched up - merely thoroughly cleaned up and re-stuffed..

Thus, will close now - and get going on some sewing.  Bye for now.  Isobel

Saturday, 24 November 2012

A Prize-winning Collectable Dressed White Plush Rabbit, Handmade in the UK using a Vintage Pattern and Upcycled Fabric

Meet Jubilee Rabbit, a prize-winning member of the Coldham Cuddlies family, complete with the prize-winning certificate awarded by the Wiltshire County Branch of the UK Royal British Legion Womens Section in the soft toy category  of their annual Handicraft Competition.  Jubilee Rabbit also contributed to the Heytesbury Branch  of the Royal British Region winning the Handicraft Cup for 2012.  The award was received November 23, 2012.

This White Plushie measures 18 inches (46 cms) from the tip of her ears, over the nose to the soles of her Blue Felt Shoes.  Like all the other Lady Coldham Cuddlies toys, she has a pair of  pantaloons, with pale blue poplin fabric delicately edged in white lacey trim.

Her Blue Gingham Dress is edged with white RicRac binding, and her white Felt Collar is edged with red white and blue French Knots - to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II of the UK.

This White Plushie comes with a white furry tail - as all good bunnies do.  In addition, like all the Coldham Cuddlies Lady Toys, she has an Apron, which is decorated with red RicRac binding.  It is made with white Muslin and has red white and blue floral print ties.

 Jubilee Rabbit is completed with a juicy orange Carrot topped off with fresh green felt Carrot Leaves.

The final look!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Wonderment of Wombats

Greetings to everyone  on what is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America.  When we lived in Canada, Thanksgiving used to be celebrated in October, and often seemed to coincide with my birthday, and here in the UK, we don't celebrate it at all.  Nevertheless, the good wishes of all of us at ColdhamCuddlies to all our Friends and Followers of this blog is heartfelt and sincere!

Now, according to my research (thanks to Google Search) the usual collective name for a bunch of Wombats is a Mob of Wombats.  Now, that may hold true for real wombats.  Those who form part of the ColdhamCuddlies Family being somewhat creatures of my imagination - they began as Badger Heads for a possible Glove Puppet addition; then became their current offering - a Bed Adornment, Hot-Water Bottle Cover or Pyjama Case, depending on the use to which their Forever Friends wish to attach to  them - are to be given a different designation. So.....

 In my view, "Mob" does not provide  the descriptive  "je ne sais quois" quotient I am seeking for the Coldham Wombats, (currently listed  as Winston in our shop at www  I have therefore decided that multiples of ColdhamCuddlies' Wombats will henceforth be described as a Wonderment of Wombats (hence the title of today's post).  Unless, of course, you, my lovely Followers (who now number 252 and have been responsible for 9,199 views since the first post went out in March 2011) can come up with something better.  Really look forward to hearing your views!

The subject matter for today's post is a description of the recent process of creating them, which resulted in a foursome Wonderment of Wombats produced as Christmas presents for some of our family's Little People. To my knowledge, none of the parents involved are Followers or readers of this blog, so I feel safe in showing you all how this bunch of tactile multi-purpose Toys came about  so that the surprise element of Christmas opening can be preserved.

They are made using two different fabrics provided in a recent off cuts haul from our stuffing supplier, Fine Quality Feather Company based in Frome, Somerset.  One has a stripey content to its plush fabric, the other is a similar colour, but more speckled and originally reminded me of the natural colouring of a Badger - an animal who has many supporters, and equally as many detractors, in the UK.  As a toy, though, they can be very attractive and in the case of the ColdhamCuddlies provide a very tactile stuffed toy.  Whenever one is displayed at a Craft Fair or Bazaar in the Heytesbury localtity, passers-by instintively put out a hand to stroke it and without exception comment on the softness of the fabric.  I have to dissuade too many hands, though, as it's not conducive to cleanliness or long-term hygiene alas, and I'm not keen on attracting the wrong kind of attention from those unknown individuals collectively referred to these days as "Health & Safety"!

A general view of the Wombat working area
When I have more than on version to produce, I now cut out all the pieces required for however many final productions are needed.  In this case, there were 4 and as each piece was drawn around its template and cut out, they piled up to end  up with 4 quite large piles of plush, as well as sufficient calico pieces to make four identical pillows.  The latter being provided to plump up the finished animal toy until pyjamas or hot water bottles are used in their stead.  The pile of loose fur, despite the careful manner in which I cut each piece out really did fly!  The vacuum worked overtime to collect it as the carpet threatened to turn from a light beige to a rather dirty grey as each pile was attacked and made up!  Luckily I don't have any breathing problems which might get affected by such a quantity of loose fluff!!

One Wombat body and head
 Putting the head onto each body does give me some headaches, and I've yet to come up with a foolproof way of doing it.  The next time I make a Wombat, I have an idea of how I will attack the problem - hopefully without the need to keep on undoing the stitching, because the plush is soooo soft that when placed together the two pieces tend to slip as one sews!  Added to which, my flipping arthritic fingers are not as agile at holding the bits together as they once were - so different strategies have to be adopted!  These are among the challenges I face each time I make a toy - but they are worth facing (and overcoming) as it keeps me occupied!!

Here is Wombat One complete and placed out of harms way on the chest of drawers in my bedroom.

Wombat Two ready for action

The Final Foursome ready for Christmas.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

A Commissioned Coyote + A Rocking Horse called Prince: an update

Hello Everyone - Cy Bear reporting in once again and very happy to be doing so once more!

While Isobel has been away attending to family matters (referred to in our post dated November 6, 2012   - What I did before the Cuddlies), I was left on guard here at home in Heytesbury.  To begin with, there was me, the Cuddlies all in their places in various cupboards around the flat and Edward Bear, awaiting treatment in the Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing 79124185).  He has now been joined by four more Bears, about which you will be hearing in the weeks to come.

I was very interested to learn about Prince, the Morrell Family Rocking Horse, about whom I have got some more interesting things to tell, but it has been suggested thatfirst tell you about a special Coyote that Isobel was asked to make for ClareI’m not telling you exactly which friend this is - because she is a Follower at and we don’t want to ruin the surprise, because the Friend is not aware that he is coming to be their Forever Friend.  However, because making Coyotes involves a somewhat different process, Isobel asked me to tell you about it - as well as showing me with him before he left for his new Forever Home.  Somehow, I've missed out on recent Farewells, and I've had to remind Isobel she has been derelict in her duty to allow me to do so!

When we make a normal dressed Gentleman Toy, Isobel begins with a calico body and then makes the clothes and fits them on.  With a Coyote, it’s a different procedure and this is how she does it.  She cuts out all the pieces (body, clothing etc as usual).   Here they are, in pieces, as well as ready sewn to be added at the appropriate time.

But then she sews the arms, body, and legs all at the same time, so it looks like this:

Then come the boots, and this time, Isobel did them slightly differently - cutting the leg piece of the boot somewhat longer than normal, so that she could turn them over and create the boot turnover from the leather itself - as opposed to using some felt as the turnover. 

Mr. Coyote's jacket is made from a Harris Tweed remnant from which Isobel once made a straight skirt for herself.  His shirt comes from left-overs of a tablecloth that she hemstitched earlier in the summer and the trousers are from the stache of materials she recently acquired during a visit to our stuffing supplier, Fine Quality Feather Company in Frome, Somerset.  (See "Christmas Came Early" - 20/09/2012) The pink button that finishes off the outfit comes from a collection of spare buttons held by Philippa.  ColdhamCuddlies  is a total family enterprise, you know!

 The boots are part of a big donation from two older ladies (one of whom is Fred Bear's Forever Friend, PatC - see our post "The Rejuvenation of Fred Bear - 27/09/2012)  who are now giving up their sewing due to failing eyesight and increasing maturity.  Isobel is over the moon with her new acquisitions - which were too many and too heavy for her to carry back when she returned from her recent travels:  but which are currently residing with Philippa, who is bringing them down to Heytesbury when she comes to help Isobel set up our ColdhamCuddlies stall at a forthcoming  Wylye Valley Primary School  Bazaar on December 1.   Doubtless you'll be hearing about that huge donation when it arrives too!

I think Mr.Coyote looks rather smart and I suspect that this will be the way that boots are attached to Gentleman Toys’ legs in future.  Certainly, Isobel found it a whole lot easier.  It just means that instead of trying to fit the fully stuffed boot on to a fully stuffed leg, she can fit the boot onto the leg and stuff the remaining space in the boot, and then attach the sole of the boot.  Makes the final Toy stand up better as well.

Anyway, here is Mr. Tweed-Coated Coyote in his final form - with me beside him to be able to send him away to Clare’s home late last week.  He is now being prepared for his international journey, together with one of Isobel’s Baby Rabbits - the Yellow Baby Rabbit, which means that these particular Baby Rabbits are no longer available.  This example was made with the final piece of yellow soft fur fabric Isobel had used for “Treasures” - the family name for Yellow Baby Bunnies - the first model having been made for Philippa when she was a baby quite a few years ago!

And talking of Philippa, brings me to some further news about Prince, the Morrell Family Rocking Horse - about whom Isobel posted earlier this week, under a similar heading (12/11/2012).  Needless to say, once the post was published some further items came to mind - both from Isobel and Clare.  The latter was quick to tell her Mother that she had actually ridden Prince a lot when she was still able to - and had ridden for miles and miles, side-saddle wearing a dress donated by a family friend for just such a purpose, and had visited all her imaginary friends living on the nearby, imaginary Prairie close to her imaginary home.  Isobel felt this item should be shared with readers - as I do too!

A further anecdote to do with Prince's arrival in the family for Peter to play with sprang to mind after the post had been published.  Isobel believes that Prince could have been presented to Peter's Father Jim, just after Jim had been commissioned as an Officer on the Manchester Regiment Parade Ground in 1941.  Such occasions are rare in Army life, and Jim was popular among his men.  This would seem to have been a fitting way for everyone to commemorate such an occasion.

During the post, reference was made to a missing printer/scanner:  I’m pleased to inform you all that it is now back in place and Isobel decided to try and scan the only photograph of Philippa riding Prince she could find in the camphor wood chest in our living room.

 That’s Clare in the pram, by the way - so this picture would have been taken circa 1973-4Isobel was not as deft with the camera then, nor was it a digital one!  But you can see what Prince looked like minus forelock and mane - he was tail-less too, but the pram is in the way in the picture!

(I've promised myself for years that I will one day set to and put all these prints (now in manilla envelopes in year order) into picture albumns.  That was before the Cuddlies in current form and blogging came on the scene!  Maybe, one day.......?)

So what’ has Isobel doing on the Cuddly front, I hear you ask?  Well, she’s been doing battle with a proposed new member of the Cuddly Family -  Frog.  It’s the first time she’s made one, and his legs have proved a bit of a problem.  However, it would seem that the end is in sight, and once this one has been completed, she intends to do another version, so that the customer who commissioned this particular Toy  (during the recent Greatest Coffee Morning in the World Bazaar in aid of MacMillan Cancer) has a choice.  The eventual Frog is destined as a Christmas present for the gentleman’s sister-in-law who collects Frogs (and is reported to have nearly 40 different ones of all shapes, sizes and formats).  Then there is a Black Kitten to make for another Christmas commission - and then come the 5 Bear Patients in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing # 79124185).

Isobel is going to be busy - so I’ll have to leave it for now, and go and keep an eye on the Bear Quintet.  We currently share the Lloyd Loom Chair in Isobel’s bedroom - out of the way of other daily activities.  (Or rather, they share the Chair, and I'm forced to make do on the bedside table!

Good night - and Good Bye for now!  Cy Bear.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Friend for Lifetimes - a Rocking Horse called Prince

Goodness me, how time does fly.  It's now a week since I posted last, and it's time that situation was rectified.  So, before I get too tied up with Christmas present  buying, creating the Christmas round-robin (a difficult one this time) and sorting the Cards out in time to meet the international posting deadlines, thought I'd recount  the story of Prince, a Rocking Horse who has been a friend both to Peter (since he was a Toddler during the Second World War) and then Philippa who inherited him when she too was a small girl in the 1970's.

Prince the Rocking Horse - a frontal view
Exactly how he arrived to become Peter's friend - they "rode" for many hundreds of miles together until Peter became too big to ride him - is not clear.  Family legend says that he was made for Peter by the young soldiers of his Father's regiment (the Manchester Regiment) when both were serving in the Liverpool area during and shortly after the Liverpool BlitzPrince moved everywhere the family did - which was frequently at that time - but spent some of Peter's childhood in Manchester where the family eventually purchased a home  (as opposed to living in military billets).  I don't think he moved with them when Peter's Father's regimental posting to Singapore took the family there and what happened to Prince once they all returned and they went off to their respective boarding schools is also somewhat hazy, but I would surmise that he stayed with Mum (who provided the family hub after their Dad died in 1951).

While they all lived in Manchester, the story goes that Peter was loth to allow anyone else to ride him - with good reason apparently.  One day, one of his many cousins came to play and was allowed to ride him - without supervision.  Alas, said cousin decided it might be fun to see if his mane and tail came off - and before the grown-ups could stop him, sure enough he got them off.  The result was that from that time onwards until many years later, he was a Rocking Horse minus mane, tail and forelock.  However Mum was able to rescue the brown mane and tail - and it was carefully stored away until such time as the right person could be found to re-attach them.  It's a specialist business achieving such results and it was a long time before we were able to get the job done.  

My first memory of Prince was shortly after Peter and I got married in 1969 when he was living in an allotted space in Mum's bedroom - which is where I think Philippa first met him (although she was too small at that time to actually sit on him).  However, by 1973 he had taken up residence with us, and travelled wherever we happened to be.  Philippa too  (the name actually means "Lover of Horses"  in Greek we discovered after we had christened her) spent many a happy hour riding Prince everywhere in her little imaginary world.  (She did have riding lessons a few years ago under guidance from a Household Cavalry instructor - courtesy of the FANY, but after a nasty fall, has rather lost her nerve.  She is determined to get back in the saddle one day - but not quite yet!  However, her love of horses is unquestioned).

The one photograph I have of her in such mode  is not very clear and would have to be scanned into this post - and, alas, as I type this, the printer/scanner is being doctored after we suffered a bad paper jam late last week.    (I have been absolutely lost without it - never thought I could get so attached to a blinking machine!)  Also, my scanning efforts to date have not been as successful in our posts as are the digital illustrations.

Showing Prince's brackets and Stand
When we emigrated to Canada in 1975, Prince came along too - and continued to occupy Philippa until she too got too big to ride him.  I don't recall Clare riding him very much - somehow she and horses (Rocking or otherwise) have never been close and I suspect she found him a little unsteady for comfort.  After all this time, and travelling inter-contintentally his brackets had indeed got a little rocky.  Alberta's climatic conditions (dry, cold winters and similarly dry summers - interspersed with torrential downpours occasionally) together with the central heating did not do Prince's wooden frame a lot of good - because his paintwork began to flake and he also showed signs of cracking.  However, he carried on - often acting as a clothes horse when cupboards etc. were full!

Prince, side-ways on showing off his saddle and strirrups
For the next ten years, after we returned to the UK , Prince spent his time somewhere in our house - usually covered with an old unused gentleman's coat - to keep the dust off.  However, in 1998 we sold our house - as Peter became increasingly less well and moved into a small apartment where Prince could no longer be accommodated.  Philippa who had been appointed Prince's guardian by this time, was living in a small room in London, and then moved to work in Belgium, so Prince was put into storage together with our excess baggage. In 2000, we moved again - this time to a bungalow - and while he could not stay in any living space, there was room for him in the attic so Prince took up residence in a large space - which could get quite cold during the somewhat wetter winters in Lancashire, which again did his wooden frame no favours.  Still, he soldiered on until Philippa moved into a large enough flat where he could be comfortably housed.

He has been with her ever since and a couple of years ago, she managed to find a specialist Rocking Horse Restorer to put the old fella to rights. You will notice that his forelock, mane and tail are now properly attached, but this time, they are Grey. (Horses are never white as you know - unless they are the White Horses we have here in Wiltshire, which have been cut out on hillsides with Limestone soils):  they are different shades of Grey.   The Restorers confirmed that he is a "Liverpool" model, but his Brown mane was incorrect - which does, in my view, confirm the family legend referred to in the introduction:  that Prince was indeed a handmade present to Peter based on the Liverpool Rocking Horse Model - but because it was war time, the crafters used whatever material came to hand - which just happened to be Brown!

Prince in his corner in Philippa's living room
In addition, I never remember him being so White - in my recollection, he was more of a creamy yellow colour, which again confirms his original artisan origins, where they made do with what they could find at the time..

Prince now stands proudly in Philippa's living room in High Wycombe - and awaits any Little People who come to visit for lunch or to stay and who happen to be the right size and weight  to sit comfortably and safely on him.  In the interim, as an elderly gentleman (in human terms he's got to be in his 70's), he stands contentedly in his corner and watches as the days go by.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Back at Base once more: with a quick round-up before beginning again.

Going away can cause major problems - the mail build-up in one’s absence being one of them.  I had a real fight to get in the front door upon my return yesterday afternoon (mostly the unwanted marketing material, but some stuff that demanded immediate attention), but having sorted, replied and filed the correspondence, I am once more available for blogging.

Although away for 10 days this time, I did have access to a computer so have been able to keep up to date with my internet correspondence/activities, so at least that has not taken too much time.  It has been very gratifying to see how folks have been following and reading the posts here though - thanks so much.

Right:  so what happened while I was away from home?  Two things:  attending the annual Corps Day (formerly Annual Reunion) of the First Aid Nursing Yeomany(Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps)Philippa has been a member of the Corps for 14 years now and this year was awarded the First Aid Challenge Cup - much to her surprise and delight, and my delight and pride.

First Aid Challenge Cup, on a patchwork cushion made in FANY colours
 If I told you folks all about the FANY(PRVC), it would take far too long:  but anyone interested in knowing more can go to and you can spend an hour or two finding out about the splendid bunch of ladies, who have now been in existence since 1907.  Believe me, it's a fascinating story:  you won’t be disappointed.

Incidentally, in 2007, before I re-started making Cuddlies, I  used to quilt.  To celebrate their Centenary, I designed and made up a quilt which the Morrell Family then presented to the Corps.  They’ve had a somewhat peripatetic existence in recent years, but have now found a permanent base in London from which to operate and it was lovely to see that the Corps have found a wall in their new HQ on which the quilt can be displayed.  After a space of 5 years, I found it somewhat surprising at first - and almost could not believe - that I’d actually produced it.

Presentation of Centenary Quilt - March 1, 2007
 (The picture is the result of a scanned photograph, so is not as clear as my normal reproductions,  but conveys the idea.  The contents included the different cap badges worn by the Corps during the 100 years service, their different uniforms during the period and some of the activities they undertake - which include languages (when Philippa was Language Officer for a time, she had 26 different language speakers at her disposal), parachuting (undertaken with French Forces, as UK do not have the necessary facilities for such activities), Horse Riding, First Aid - of course, and Communications - radio, signalling etc.)

I also did another one - which showed all the military decorations and honours awarded to members of the Corps during their 100 years. The awards came from France, Belgium, Norway, Poland, USA, as well as the UK.   A picture of that one is shown below - it’s somewhat out of focus, but the amateur photographer who took it was battling a draught in his hallway at the time.  This one was the feature of a Raffle among Corps members and other interested parties - and eventually raised nearly £900.00 ($1,438) for the Corps’ Centenary Memorial Fund.  It was won by a FANY Veteran who had the joy of carrying it back on the train from London to Norwich (in East Anglia)  It measured about 4 ft 6 ins. x 4 ft 6ins and had been framed and stretched, but not mounted behind glass!  I was told the following year that she’d never had such a short journey home, as she spent the entire time talking about the Corps and their activities the whole time!
Quilt of Honours awarded to the Corps 1907-2007

All the ribbons shown are the actual ones on which the medals and honours are mounted - and were appliqued on by machine.  Both quilts took me about 18 months in total - and quite frankly, I quilted myself out as a result!  Toys are so much quicker and easier to handle these days.  The thought of another one of these creations is so daunting that I cannot believe I'll ever do another.  Small ones I might consider, one day - but Cuddlies are so much more fun and entertaining! 

The second major activity undertaken was the sad one of laying Peter’s ashes to rest.  Originally, we had hoped not to have to do this, as both of us bequeathed our mortal remains to Medical Research.  Alas, because Peter died unexpectedly, away from home and within 5 days of having seen his doctor, he had to undergo a post mortem.  That precluded the Medical Schools accepting his cadaver, so we then had to go through the Requiem, Cremation and, finally, on November 3, his Interment.  His final resting place is in a beautiful, peaceful spot at the National Catholic Shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk and as a family, we could not be happier that he is where he now lies - at peace.  His ashes were placed in a hole dug at a spot chosen by the Shrine authorities and where we can easily locate it when we visit - as we plan to do regularly
The Director of the Shrine, tidying up the flower bed

We were able to do this for him because in the 1970’s, when the Chapel of Reconciliation was being originally built, Peter was very involved on the committee charged with overseeing it’s construction.  The readers of the Catholic magazine for which he was then working contributed some £30-£50,000 ($47,952-$79,919) - at this distance I cannot recall exactly how much - and the Publishers of the journal asked Peter to represent their interest.  He grew to love the place, and we’ve often visited the Shrine as a family.  It’s also not far from the sea at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, so we would go on and get some sea air into our lungs, before returning home.  So, when we were faced with the problem of burial earlier this year, I approached the Shrine Director - who agreed by saying “it could not be a  more appropriate place”. 

Friends and Followers who would like to know more about this historic place might like to visit  It, too, is worth reading and hopefully you’ll enjoy the experience as well.

In between all this, I’ve also been toy-making - and will be posting about my efforts shortly.  But, I also finished the four Wombats for Christmas for Philippa - and here they are, just waiting to be wrapped and sent off to meet their Forever Friends soon.  They are sitting on another quilt,  I made after the other two - using up the scraps of poplin left over.  This one is now a throw on the sofa-bed in Philippa's living room.

Wearing Ribbons in the Forever Friends' favourite colours,
Be back with you all again soon.   Isobel