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.