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.