Thursday, 1 March 2012

Squaring some circles: plus more updates

Introducing the new Mons. Reynard

Greetings once again - from Cy Bear.  Just thought you'd like to see what Mons. Reynard now looks like.  Isobel will be posting about his rejuvenation process in the next couple of posts, but because today's post has no illustrations worth posting, we thought we'd introduce him before the step-by-step process is described.

Mons. Reynard upon arrival in the Soft Toy Clinic

I'm in Isobel's bad books - because apparently, I missed the whole point of the Hedgehog pattern story.  Not only did Mrs.VY from Neosho, Missouri find us the pattern, but it actually was located - not in the U.S.A. but not that far away from us here in Heytesbury!  The source was another Etsy shop, of course, (bekabeka75 and that is based somewhere near Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, UK!!!)  When it was explained to me, I realised my mistake - it's just Isobel and I have different editorial priorities, I suppose!  So this can be the update on the original update!

The Hedgehogs (all three of them) are ready for their introduction to the world on Saturday, March 10.  Isobel has taken some pictures, but they will only be circulated among her immediate family until then.  The Baby was completed this afternoon, and since then, we have managed to cut out three replacement Baby KoalasIsobel would love to be able to have another Big Koala ready by then, but doesn't think time will allow it.  Instead, because she is familiar with the pattern, she will try to get at least one new Bear made, and may take a second one to work on while she is attending the Spring Sale at the Heytesbury Primary School.  She might as well keep her fingers moving while waiting for folks to come round and buy.

 It may also attract more people to our stall, as well as the new look!  I must say, I'm looking forward to sitting on the emerald green crushed velvet - should be a lot more comfortable than my usual perch:  on the top shelf of a bookcase in our hallway!

Regular readers may recall that there were problems when we first tried to use the Mini Photo Studio Isobel purchased as a Christmas present to the ColdhamCuddlies enterprise.  One of the lamps did not function properly, so it was sent back to be replaced - following all the instructions on the documentation that accompanied the initial package.  We heard nothing for almost a month, so Isobel got busy on the telephone at the beginning of last week.

The warehouse from which it was sent apparently had not receive the lamp, but they were happy to send a replacement - provided they still had some in stock - as Isobel had provided them with the necessary order number etc.   We could expect the replacement within 4-5 working Days.  Well, on the 4th day after the 'phone call (last Friday, February 24 to be exact) a large package was delivered from "The Sunday Telegraph", under whose auspices the special offer had first appeared.  The package looked suspiciously like the original that arrived on Christmas Eve!    Then on Saturday morning, by post, the replacement lamp arrived.  Thus, over the week-end, we potentially had  not one, but two, Mini Photo Studios here!  On Monday morning, we rang the Telegraph Special Offer Department and they admitted they had erred.  The second, unopened package, was duly picked up on Tuesday, Isobel has checked the replacement lamp works, and we can now proceed to use the Mini Photo Studio properly.  There should therefore be much better photographs of all of us from now on - at least in the shop, if not always here on the blog.  It's a bit fiddly to put up and takes time - which neither of us has when posting on this blog.

Finally, although we are still waiting for one more pattern book - the Mother's Day present to Isobel from her younger daughter, Clare - the first book has arrived and Isobel has identified at least two new patterns she would like to try out.  However, first of all, the patterns have to be enlarged by 400% to the right dimensions to make the right-sized toy.  Now, Isobel is able to sew and make us toys from existing patterns, but she's not really very good at drawing - ANYTHING.  These patterns are on a page with 1cm squares.  She needs the patterns to fit 5cm squares, which her son-in-law, Alan, tells her means they have to be enlarged by 400%.  She believes him:  because like drawing, maths is not a strong subject for her either!

A week-end or so ago, several minutes (it felt like hours!) were spent trying to enlarge the patterns using our home printer.  Isobel got the pictures enlarged by 200%.  But she and the printer gave up after that.  Too much paper and printing ink were being wasted.  We're now trying to find a print shop near here that can do the job for us.  So far, the nearest quick print facility we've been able to locate is either in Bristol (28 miles away) or Salisbury (20 miles) - hardly economic!  So, we've asked Philippa to look out for one for us - she thinks there is one in High Wycombe, where she lives, but we've got to find out if it opens on a Saturday (the only day when she's not working in London).  Her office normally has a machine capable of doing it, but they've just moved into new premises and their big printer has yet to find it's berth there!  And they are so new in the area, that local suppliers are still being researched.   So, Philippa is finding out for us this week-end from her end in High Wycombe.  Isobel is going to see if the village printer - that also doubles as our local shop, newsagent and Post Office - can do it.  If we're lucky, Owls and Badgers will definitely be added to the ColdhamCuddlies family soon:  otherwise, it will have to wait until Isobel masters the enlargement-by-drawing method.  We'll keep you posted!

Right - that really is the last of our updates.  Nice to have been able to tell you all  about them.  Till the next time.  Cy Bear.