Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Now the Men have got their own Slippers: introducing the Koala Bear-faced Size 8 variety

Good evening to you all - thought you'd all like to see what ColdhamCuddlies are going to be offering the menfolk in the Novelty Slipper line.  Two more are in the production line, while these two were listed at www.coldhamcuddlies.Etsy.com earlier this week.

Etsy Listing #158098231
These Mens Charcoal Grey, with White Fleck, Plush Bear Faced Size 8 Slippers are made from newly acquired plush fur supplies.  Variations can be provided in different shades of brown, flecked, striped or plain plush fabrics.  I will be doing a post shortly where I hope to be able to give you a look at the variety of plush fabrics that I now have in my stock cupboard:  will have to be moving out myself shortly if I'm not careful - unless, of course, the orders come rolling in, which is the outcome we're seeking of course!

Right Slipper - I think!
The Slippers have a memory insole covered with a light grey backing fabric which helps to prevent slippage - although it may not be foolproof.  This fabric was part of the latest delivery from my local source - Fine Quality Feather Company of Frome, Somerset.  There were three large bags full, and I had a great time sorting everything out - and then had to get the vacuum out because of the excess fur left where the ladies who work at the factory had cut their patterns out.  Anyone who has worked with plush knows just how furry and fluffy the atmosphere can get on such occasions.

So this has to be the Left Slipper
 Every seam is hand sewn so as to be invisible to the eye of the beholder while at the same time providing  comfortable, warm footwear to fight any wintry conditions that may prevail, without any uncomfortable seams to irritate one's feet when wearing them.  The inside lining is made with cream Poodle fur fabric, with the insole matching the outer covering.

 I decided to use the Poodle Fur - left over from the recent Pooh Bear makeover (please visit our last two posts for more information)- just to see how it would work out.  Normally, as you may recall, the linings of our previous slippers have been made with various coloured fleeces.  Am pleased to say that Poodle Fur feels as effective - if not warmer - than the fleece so there is now another option I can offer should anyone prefer Poodle fur to just plain fleeces.

Rear view of the Slippers
For the more conservative gentleman:  if the Bears' Heads are a novelty too far - these Slippers can be provided without an Animal Head attachment (or another animal can feature - using any of the Animal Toys who currently can be found in our shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.Etsy.com.   They can also be made from more traditional plush fabrics as seen at https://www.etsy.com/listing/152976020/novelty-rabbit-slippers-gift-for-men-or?  which were the first slipper examples made for the 2013 Season or with non-plush fabrics that were used for https://www.etsy.com/listing/156616186/kids-slippers-leopard-head-childrens?

Sideways on view - the mark is part of the woodwork!
Should a headless pair of slippers be preferred, there would be a reduction in the overall price.  Please contact me via convo on the Etsy site (www.Etsy.com/shop/coldhamcuddlies) so we can discuss the matter further.  This discussion would also apply if a different animal were to be featured or fabric(s) be requested.

And the other side - face to face
Now the plan is for two more pairs of Mens' slippers to be produced, together with duplicates of the Ladies versions (in Small, Medium and Large sizes) and I will then be in a position to take orders - to be delivered strictly in order of date they are received - for Christmas, Birthdays, Showers or whatever!

Be back to you all soon.  Goodnight and God Bless!  Isobel

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Now it's Brown Bear's turn to be treated - Part 3 in our Story of Pooh and Brown Bear

This time, Cy Bear is having a well-deserved rest and I'm taking over.  However, being Cy Bear, he's not far away, and he will be appearing before the end of the story!

However, just to start this report, here is a front view of Brown Bear on the day he arrived in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) at the end of May - just after I had come back from my wonderful holiday in Normandy.

You can see that he has a large hole where his right eye should be, is missing his mouth and his nose is not as pronounced as a healthy Bear's should be.  His arms were dangling at the seams, as were his legs and he was totally unable to stand up unless propped against the back of the chair - as he is in the next photograph.

Brown Bear's fur coat was not as soft as Pooh Bear's original one was, and although he looks almost as though he was made from the same pattern, and it is a sort of Poodle Fur, when one got close up that was not the case.  The texture was a much harsher one, but it has lasted well nevertheless.  The slit in the back of his head which is clearly visible, looks as though a razor had been applied to it - it was such a clean cut and bore no relation to any seam. Goodness knows what event was taking place when that wound first appeared! So, when the time came for it to be treated, I used a small ladder stitch to sew the gap up, and it didn't show when completed - or, rather it looked like it was a proper seam, and therefore meant to be there!

He needed to be re-stuffed, because he too was filled with Kapok, but he didn't need to be immersed in my usual lukewarm, soapy bath treatment after being taken to pieces and before being re-stuffed.  Like Pooh Bear before him, he had travelled to school with his Forever Friend, AndrewA-B - as he too had a name-tag on his left foot.  I didn't have to remove that when re-stuffing him and attaching the legs back to his body.  Despite the head wound,  he certainly had not suffered as much as Pooh Bear during his younger, adventurous life.

All Brown Bear's limbs were attached at the very end of their seams, which resulted in them appearing to be very floppy - which was not entirely due to the need for fresh stuffing.  So when the time came for me to re-attach them to his body, I sewed his legs in firmly into the seam where he sat down.  As for his arms, I sewed them in such a way that the top of the arms were attached on either side of his side seam (if there had been one).  His body had actually been made with just  one seam - in the front.  That is a different way of Bear-making in my fairly limited experience.  Alas, there was no makers' label anywhere on, or within him, for me to find out where, how or when he was made.   So, he now looks like this - and is actually easier to cuddle now - because, before,  both arms formed part of the cuddle, as it were!

When I replaced his eyes (he does have two, although the one on his right has disappeared into the poodle fur with which he is made - just where his cream furry muzzle meets his face).  However, the hole was such that I had to create a seam in order to keep the new eye and its safety backing in place.  So, when I put in a matching eye for the left one, I created a similar seam there;   and to make him look a little like Pooh Bear, gave him a pair of eye brows as well.  (I did clear that addition with Mrs PA-B before I did it, mind you!).  I also gave him a more appropriate nose and embroidered a mouth that looked like Pooh Bear too.  

I found it easier to do the facial features without anything in the head.  He was then stuffed from the bottom up to his head!  MrsPA-B had specifically requested that both bears not be stuffed too firmly, but Brown  Bear actually feels firmer to the touch, because his material is so much firmer than Pooh's new coat now is (or, indeed, was before the treatment commenced).  Both should now stand up to "reasonable" wear and tear on the part of their new Forever Friends, though, I am pretty sure - especially as their original Friends are well aware of the consequences of not doing so now!

Here are the two Bear Friends ready to be returned to MrsPA-B last week-end.

And, as is the custom whenever any Cuddly - or Associate Cuddly, as these fellow can now call themselves - leaves us, an official farewell photograph was taken with Cy Bear performing the farewell duties.

I'm now very pleased to be able to tell you that Bernard Bear, who arrived in the Clinic at much the same time as these two Bear Patients, is likely to be getting his therapy in the next week or so.  His Forever Friend, after due consideration as to whether he should get the whole body treatment, or merely a thorough patch up, has plumped for the latter.  The matching mohair is currently on order - but our supplier is away on a well-earned holiday at the moment, and no orders are being dispatched from his premises until after July 29.  Once that arrives, I can progress - and hopefully meet a possible deadline of August 15 to get him back home to Bognor Regis in Sussex, where he has been living with his Forever Friend, MrGS for many, many years.  If we can do it in time, it will mean Bernard will travel in comfort in a car with some friends living down the road from us in Heytesbury, who are going to stay for a few days with MrGS.  That would be infinitely more comfortable for him that being parcelled up and sent via the "tender" mercies of Royal Mail.  It would also be a whole lot cheaper too - as Bernard is a Big Bear.

You can see Bernard has been well loved!  He, too, is missing his right eye, has a nasty hole where the left arm joint has rubbed his original fur coat and needs to have new pads on all his paws as well as two new ears!  His stuffing is, I suspect, wood chippings or something similar, because he is not presently a very cuddly Bear.  That problem, though, is easily handled!  Some of the others could be more problematical!  It should form an interesting post - or two.

Right that is that for this evening.  There are a couple of craft bazaars coming up over the next two week-ends, and I'll be telling you something about them as and when (or, indeed, if) anything happens at them!  If photographs emanate from MrsPA-B covering the re-unions between Pooh and Brown Bears and their respective Forever Friends, then they can always be included in another post - can they not?  I felt it was inappropriate to leave the final part of the trilogy too long before it was completed.

Good bye for the time being.  Have a great week-end - wherever you are.   By the way, the number of those who read this blog are going up - and up.   I'm very pleased to say they're over 19,320 now - and that's despite the recent computer hiccups!

 Thanks so much for your support!  Isobel.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Continuing the story of Pooh and Brown Bears' Treatment

Hello there Everyone!

 As promised a few days ago, here is the next installment of the recent treatment provided in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) to Pooh and Brown Bears, Forever Friends of  MrsPA-B's two sons, James and Andrew.  Both of them were taken by MrDA-B when he met at least one of his sons in London at the week-end.   We're hopeful that when the re-union(s) take place, some photographs will result and when received, MrsPA-B has said she will send them to us for use in this blog!  That should be great fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing them.

Just to refresh your memory, and because we didn't include this one in our last post, this is how Pooh Bear looked - from the front! - when he first arrived.

Once Isobel had separated all the Kapok stuffing from Pooh Bear and his limbs - which is where I left you when we were together last time - she decided to give him an overnight soak.  Not that he was in any way dusty or dirty - as some of our previous Bear patients have been - but in order to see if we could get his new coat to not look quite such a contrast to his existing one.  Before immersing him in luke-warm soap-suddy water, she removed his left eye using pliers to take off the metal safety backing, which had by this time become very rusty.

The next morning, all the bits were gathered in a towel, squeezed as dry as Isobel could get them and were then pegged out on our clothes airer to dry throughout the day.

All the remaining wetness began to gather at the bottom end of the heaviest pieces (his head and old body - which Isobel decided she would "raid" so she could patch the holes we'd discovered in his arms and legs).

 Normally, when a new coat is provided for our Patients, the old pieces are tacked on the back of the new coat.  But Pooh was originally made in such a way that this could not be done this time).  

 So, half way through the day, Isobel turned them upside down, so they looked like this:

By the next morning, things were ready for the treatment to begin.  The missing eyes were replaced with a pair of matching ones - as near in size and colour as the one that had been taken out. They are actually a little smaller than his original one, but it was either the new size, or enormous ones.  Seemingly in the intervening years, Bears' eye sizes have been re-measured!   Isobel decided the smaller ones looked better - the bigger ones would have made Pooh Bear look terribly surprised!  Then Pooh's nose was re-stitched and his eyebrows and mouth returned to his face.  The original lines for his mouth and eyebrows were easy to follow.  Then the new back of Pooh's head and new body were stitched together and his old face added on.  He then looked like this:

We were a little concerned as to how the overall look would be, but were definitely re-assured by this picture.   We feel that he looks as though he's had a new coat over his existing body - which is just the look Isobel was aiming for.  The limbs were then gathered together, the holes (which were mostly in the area where the seams had previously been attached to his old body) were patched, thus creating a  much stronger fabric with which to attach them to the body.  Then the arms and legs were all stuffed and sewn to the body.  Pooh Bear now looks like this. 

While Isobel was undoing Pooh Bear, and getting out his stuffing she discovered his original label lurking in the depths of the stuffing.  It was a little scruffy and worn at the edges, but it was clear that he had originally been made in "The Republic of Ireland" for a company called The Alresford Craft Company.  Now all ColdhamCuddlies - when we are brand new - all have a label somewhere on us before we go to our Forever Homes, so Isobel decided to applique the old label onto some white seam binding, and sew the new label on just where Pooh Bear sits down!  Thus everyone now knows where his origins are, but no one needs to receive confirmation of it - unless they look very hard!  

You'll also notice that there is a label on his left foot - that's Pooh Bear's Forever Friend, James's name tag when they were both at school.  Isobel removed that while he was being washed and dried, and re-applied it, in about the same place, when the whole treatment was complete.

Now, I'm ending for this evening.  We will wait to complete the trilogy of posts about my Friends' treatment for another evening, when hopefully we'll also be able to include pictures of the reunion of at least Pooh Bear, and maybe even Brown Bear as well.

Until then, do hope you are all having a great week - whether you are at work, at home or on holiday:  or a combination of both. 

 Good night!  Cy Bear.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Two Bear Patients - both with a story to tell!

Hello there Everybody -

Cy Bear back again to tell you about two friends of mine who have been Patients in the ColdhamCuddlies Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Esty Listing #79124185) since Isobel came back from France at the end of May!  It's already past mid-July, but Isobel has just finished treating both of them, and delivered them home this morning.  However, if you've been reading our recent posts, you'll have seen that we've been somewhat involved in creating new Cuddlies in the form of Plush Furry Slipppers for Ladies and Children, so Isobel has been otherwise engaged!

However, while doing the slippers Isobel did not neglect Pooh Bear - who is 38 years old and Brown Bear - who is four years younger and admits to being 32 years old.  She was trying to find the right kind of material with which to re-cover Pooh Bear.  Here is a picture of them when they first arrived - with my friend Bernard Bear in between them.  He's still waiting for his treatment to be decided, so remains sitting in the Lloyd Loom chair in Isobel's bedroom, next to me when I'm guarding the flat.

Interestingly, all three of the Patients have their right eyes missing!  I'd just love to know why that happened, but obviously, that problem was among the most important things for Pooh and Brown Bears to have treated.  Both of them had got a little soft, and it was decided that given their age, the stuffing was probably not safety tested, likely to be Kapok (which Isobel does not like) and so both of them would have their existing stuffing removed and replaced with our internationally approved, safe polyester fibre.

Both Bears belong to the sons of MrsPA-B, a lady who lives in Heytesbury, near where us, and whose husband kindly helped us in the provision of a golf club model on which Isobel can display her Golf Club Head Covers (Etsy Listing(s) #107240612 - Golden Bear;  #107242111 - Yogi-Bear look-alike;  and #107241362 - Panda Bear.)  When MrsPA-B brought the Bears along to be assessed, we learned their stories.

Pooh Bear was (and still is) a much loved Forever Friend of  MrsPA-B's oldest son, James.  When they were first Forever Friends, Pooh Bear went everywhere with him even to the point that when he had to have an operation (sounds painful, but I don't really understand what that is), when James woke up, Pooh Bear had stitches in exactly the same place on his body, that his Forever Friend did.  (When Isobel was working on him, she did wonder why there were some stitches in that odd place!)  One day,when he was about two years' old - so that is 36 years ago,  apparently, James decided as it was a very cold day, he  would warm Pooh Bear up, so put him on to a 2-Bar Electric Fire.  You can imagine the result - and after
MrsPA-B and James's Granny had found some material to cover up the wound, this is what he's looked like ever since, allowing for wear and tear in between-whiles!

After all these years, we've had some difficulty in finding any fabric to match his current coat, so in the end Isobel decided to go with a complete contrast.  It was also difficult to locate the Poodle Fur from which Pooh Bear is made, because our usual Bear fabric supplier did not stock it and the small amount we needed to make Pooh Bear better wasn't worth his while to supply.  Eventually, we found it at the source we use for most of our Plush fur (that doesn't come from our Furry fabric supplier in Frome, Somerset, Fine Quality Feather Company Ltd).  Having purchased what Isobel decided she needed, she decided that she would make Pooh Bear a completely new body and back of his head.   She would keep his limbs and face as they were - while patching and darning the holes that were over his limbs, and embroider back his nose, eyebrows and mouth, as well as replacing his missing eye, with two new matching ones.  Having checked with MrsPA-B that she was agreeable to this course of action, Pooh Bear's treatment began:

The existing material on Pooh Bear's back was removed - exposing the rather nasty wound, which I'll show a close up of in a minute.  Isobel then removed the legs, and found some nasty holes in both of them - as you can see on the right of the picture.

Having removed the arms, after the legs,

 it was easy enough to then get hold of the stuffing because the hole was big enough to get it out without any difficulties.  You can see the material which covered Pooh Bear's burn wound all these years - it was certainly good quality fabric in the beginning!

Rather extraordinarily, in Isobel's experience to date anyway, the whole body (and the stuffing in each limb too) came out all in one piece!

Right:  I think this post has gone on long enough, so I'll close the story for tonight.  The second installment, in which Pooh Bear is reconstructed will follow along shortly, and then we'll finish off with Brown Bear's story and the happy ending for both Bears in a third post a few days after that.

Meanwhile, it's lovely to be back chatting with you all again.  Isobel is off to cut out some Mens' Slippers - using some super new furry material she collected from our Frome, Somerset suppliers earlier this week.  She's over the moon with them, and you can expect to see some unusual Cuddlies appearing in our shop at www.coldhamcuddlies.Etsy.com very shortly.

Goodnight - and God Bless!  Have a lovely week-end everyone!  Cy Bear.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Three New Listings - featuring the ColdhamCuddlies Children's Footwarmer Range.

Finally, we're able to announce that all three versions - Small, Medium and Large - of our Children's Slippers have now been listed at www.Etsy.com/shop/coldhamcuddlies.

They are currently samples of each toy featured - Small = Baby Foxes:  Medium = Leopards: and Large = Tigers.  Each pair took between 2-4 days to complete (depending on what else I had to do at the same time!)  Naturally, should orders be received, they will be attended to as quickly as possible, in the order they are received.  I'm allowing myself 3-4 weeks to complete - giving me plenty of time, hopefully, to be able to deliver faster!

First we feature the Small Baby Foxes

Etsy Listing # 156563936
These Baby Fox Headed Chestnut Plush Kids or Childrens Slippers are based on a 1983 Simplicity Pattern sent to me by LauraC while I was constructing the Golden Yellow Bunny Slippers ( Etsy Listing #152976020).     They form part of the  2013 New Product offering for inclusion into the ColdhamCuddlies Family.

They measure approximately 7 inches from toe to heel along the sole.  The sole is formed on the outside from a piece of Brown Suedette fabric, and lined on the inside with the same Chestnut Plush used to form the sides and uppers of  each Slipper.  Each slipper is constructed by sewing an outer layer of Chestnut Plush to an inner White Fleece lining.  They are then joined with seams facing and sewn together around the edges of  the brown suedette sole.  The plush lining is then added and the whole slipper turned inside out.  The upper is constructed so that the fleece lining has the seam facing the outer plush layer which is sewn together with ladder stitching.

The Fox Heads are based on a pattern for a Baby Fox, part of the Fox Family (Etsy Listing #59809283)  who already feature in the ColdhamCuddlies Shop. They are stuffed with polyester fibre, which meets all international safety standards, and the ears are lined with satin lining.  Each head is then  attached to the upper lining of the appropriate slipper,  prior to the outer plush layer of the slipper uppers being closed to the ankle, over the arch of the foot.

The Ankle of each slipper is then trimmed with Peach Velvet Ribbon, and then threaded through with elastic.  There is a gap just behind the head of each Fox where the elastic can be pulled through to make any adjustments needed for a neat fit for the Young Person.  There is also a small allowance for expansion, as well as reduction, if needed.

Next, using the same 1983 Simplicity Pattern, these Medium Sized Kids Slippers used a smaller version of the head for the  Long Legged Tigger Toy (Etsy Listing 108763404)  already in our shop and uses an Brown and Black Spotted Polyester Fabric for the outer layer.  That layer is backed with a cream fleece fabric, and the entire slipper has a blue fleece lining.  The Leopards join the Chestnut Foxes    as part of the 2013 New Cuddlies Family.  Effectively, the entire slipper consists of three layers of warm fabric for the sides and upper, and the same for the soles.  This results in a truly cosy pair of slippers for a childs' cold feet on a chilly winter day.

Etsy Listing # 156616186
As a medium sized Childrens Slipper, they measure 7-3/4 inches from toe to heel and the outer sole uses Brown Suedette fabric to form the shoe base. The inner layer of the Slipper is made with Blue Fleece Lining.  The outer and inner layers are sewn together separately, and then laid with seams facing and attached around the suedette sole.  The inside sole is lined with matching spotted fabric with its own fleece backing.

The heads are constructed separately, stuffed with polyester fibrefill meeting all international safety standards.  Plastic Eyes - with plastic safety backing - are attached prior to the heads being stuffed.  The ears are then attached and the entire head is then sewn on to the inner lining of the slipper at the upper over the arch of the foot.  The outer layers are than sewn in place enclosing the head in place.

 At the ankle, Dark Yellow Cotton Seam Binding is used to trim the slippers, with elastic threaded through to assist a comfortable fit.  There is a gap in the trimming, behind the Leopard Heads, where the elastic can be accessed should alterations to the size be required.  A small allowance has been provided for expansion or contraction - as the need arises.

Etsy Listing #156629069
These Yellow and  Black Striped Tiger Headed Childrens or Kids Slippers are the final in the latest trio of toys or novelty offerings for the 2013 season.  As with  the small sized Foxy version (Etsy Listing #156563936)   and  the medium-sized Leopards heads, they too are based on a 1983 Simplicity Pattern.     I did not like the original animal heads in the Simplicity Pattern, and substituted versions of the Toys already in the ColdhamCuddlies shop (www.Etsy.com/shop/coldhamcuddlies).  Very grateful, though, for the patterns provided for the Kids' and Mens' versions.  I shall have to rely on my already tried and tested Ladies' template!

To qualify as a Large sized Slippers, as these Tigers are, the suedette fabric soles measure  8-1/2 inches from heel to toe.  Like the other two Kids Slipper versions, they are lined with a fleece lining - this time in Pink.   (Tigers have a femine side too!).  The inside of the sole is lined with the Tiger Striped animal print fabric which is used for the outer layer of the slipper and uppers.  They are made in exactly the same way as the other two slippers - with the outer plush fabric being sewn separately from the pink fleece lining.  The two fabrics are then laid together with the seams facing each other and both are simultaneously sewn round the sole, and the slipper is finished off with the addition of the plush fabric sewn to form the inside sole of the shoe. 

 The head is made separately, and has a pair of plastic eyes fixed backed with a plastic safety clasp.  Then it is stuffed with polyester fibre - meeting all international safety standards.  Once the ears have been attached and the facial expression embroidered using black double knitting yarn, the head is first attached to the pink lining which has been sewn with the seam facing outwards.  Once attached to the lining, the outer plush layer is fitted around the head over the foot arch and fastened firmly at the front of the ankle. 

There is an orange satin ribbon trimming around the ankle threaded through with elastic to achieve a good fit.  Sufficient elastic has been used to allow adjustments - expansion or contraction - to meet the individual's needs.  The elastic can be accessed through a gap in the orange ribbon trim at the back of the Tiger's head and the adjustments made by unpicking the seam to get the correct fit. 

This is a sample, and orders are most welcome!  Buyers should be aware that the Tigers took me between 3-4 days to complete.  However that could be affected depending on the order book situation.  If a specific deadline is required, therefore, please allow between 3-4 weeks for me to meet your needs:  I'd hate to disappoint a child by being late.  You will be notified when the item is ready for posting and/or already on its way to the intended destination.

Childrens'/Kids' Slipper Identity Parade!
For the time being, slipper production - whether it be Kids', Ladies' and/or Gentlemen's (last mentioned  have yet to be embarked upon) will cease - unless of course, orders begin to be received!  Then, of course, I shall be going into overdrive!

Later today, I intend to get working with my trusty "Quic 'Unpic" on Pooh Bear, the first patient in the queue for treatment - as described in Cy Bear's last post here.  In between, I hope to finish a very exciting book, one of the "set books" for Assignment 2 of the Children's Writing Course.  The books for Assignment 1 have been returned to the local library, and I await delivery of two that were out on loan  when I put in my request last Friday. 

 Am really enjoying reading Childrens' literature again - so far, I've managed to keep my eyes open to the end of whatever book I am reading at any one time!  That hasn't happened with much adult stuff in recent times, so I'm wondering if it is ME - or the adult offerings?  Perhaps we should leave things at that!!!

Assignment 1 from my point of view is now "in waiting" mode.  I had to critique one of the set books "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe", by C.S. Lewis - which I vividly recall reading to my two girls when they were at the bedtime story reading stage in the 1970's in Canada.  Great to re-establish contact again!  Then I had to write something for an imaginary child reader - aged 7-ish.  Cy Bear featured - as I hope he will  to continue to do as the Course proceeds - and  the Tutor's comments etc are awaited!

Good bye for the time being.   Lovely to be back blogging with you - do intend to do more, once the Patient therapies begin!  Cy Bear can't have it all the way - especially as he is going to be so involved helping me in the Writing Course!   He'll start to think he's indispensable!!  Isobel

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Cuddlies Slippers - the final installment!

Good evening once again Everyone! 

 Cy Bear signing in for the final post about the Cuddlies Slippers - at least for the time being.  Hope you're not getting bored with the whole idea - because from what I can see of Isobel, they are definitely THE NEXT THING as far as ColdhamCuddlies and their www.etsy.com/shop/coldhamcuddlies site is concerned!

In one of my latest conversations with you, I mentioned that Isobel had got two custom orders for slippers from KatherineV our next-door neighbour here in Heytesbury.  This time, it was for some UK Ladies Size 7 Slippers for her other daughter.  Isobel was told that they did not need to have quite as much material for this version, and that she was quite happy for us to provide another set of Rabbits, or any other animal we fancied.  However she did add that this daughter was a person who "turned herself out well" and was "conscious" of her appearance, so Isobel decided to make some Panda Bear Slippers, and trim them with black and white checked ribbon.  She also thought the bow should be somewhat smaller, and provide a neater finish.

So here are the Panda Bear Slippers at various points in their appearance on the ColdhamCuddlies stage.

The heads were made first - using our existing Panda Bear pattern, and cutting the seams so that the finished head was slightly smaller than those appearing on our full-sized Panda Bear (Etsy Listing #55269914).   They are very much smaller than the one used for our Golf Club Head Cover featuring a Panda (Etsy Listing #1072411362), not to mention our Panda Bear Glove Puppets (Etsy Listing   #91356474).

This is the insole base we use to build the slipper.  It is actually a "memory" insole and somewhat thicker than some other insoles available in relevant Warminster outlets.  But there is a choice of sizes on the one base, and Isobel cuts out the size she needs for the slipper she is working on.  These need to have the water resistant covering tacked on before the sides of the slippers are attached.

We decided to take the photographs in a different location this time.  These were set on the sideboard in the dining area of the flat, with the silver salver presented to Isobel when she retired from being a District Commissioner for the Canadian Girls Guides in 1986.  That event took place when Peter and Isobel decided to return to the UK (after 12 years of trying to get back - because the Alberta winters were becoming too hard for the family to handle)  In the event it was another year before that actually happened.  However, as we then moved to another part of Edmonton shortly after the presentation, the outcome was the same!

The slippers are lined with white fleece fabric (used originally to make the White Fleece Baby Rabbits featured under Etsy Listing #89020911).  At that time we also made other Baby Bunnies in Purple, Pink and Blue Fleece, some with White Fleece chests and others all self colour.  They've proved very popular when Isobel has taken them to Craft Fairs and Bazaars - because they are just the right price (and size) for Little People to buy for themselves when they attend these events.

That brings me to the end of the Ladies Slipper Saga:  we've now got two sample pairs of Childrens Slippers ready for listing,  They are the Small and Medium-sized versions and feature Foxes and a new animal Cuddly Friend, a Leopard (complete with lots of spots).  The Large Kids' size is next on the production programme, and then there will be a break in Slipper production for a while.

Here's a preview:

The Foxes are made in the Small Kids' size:  the Leopards are Medium sized.  They can of course be inter-changeable.  I'm just curious to know who is going to appear to represent the Large Childrens' size!
Believe me, I'm the last one to know what happens in the world of ColdhamCuddlies!

We have three Bear Patients awaiting treatment in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Esty Listing #79124185) and we've decided that their needs require attention before any more Slippers are produced.  Isobel has not been neglecting them, but has been having trouble in acquiring fabric to match one Bear, who is a Winnie the Pooh look-alike (called - what else - Pooh Bear!)  However, earlier this week, she was finally able to find the type of Poodle Fur fabric from which Pooh Bear was originally crafted - even though it was definitely not a colour match!  Yesterday, at the weekly Produce Stall Sale in the Village Church, she was able to show PennyAB (agent on behalf of her two sons in the matter of the Bears' restoration) and was given the go ahead for the suggested therapy for Pooh.

His friend is made of similar  fur, but does not need as much treatment.  He's a Brown Bear (known as such) and a few years younger than Pooh Bear.  They will doubtless feature in future posts, and I hope I'll be able to tell you about what happens to them, myself.

Here's an introductory view of the Clinic Patients shortly after they arrived a few weeks ago.  Bernard Bear (in the centre of the picture)  is still waiting for his Forever Friend to decide exactly how much treatment he wants Bernard to undergo.  Certainly, like the other two, he will need two new eyes.  Why is it I wonder that my Bear Friends' Forever Friends seem to "attack" their right eyes?  All three of these new Friends require that therapy - and they come from two different families!  Because they would look odd with different eyes, they will all three need to have two brand new eyes put in for starters.

Isobel has just told me that these will feature in a post quite soon, but until then, I'll close for tonight.  Good Night - and I do hope you all have a great week!  We've been told to expect a heatwave for a few days - so, with my Beaver Lamb fur, I'm keeping as still as possible sitting on Isobel's bed which is in the shady part of the flat, most of the time.

Be back with you all soon!  Cy Bear.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Cuddlies Slippers - the next stages

Goodness me, just how the time does fly!!  Here is Cy Bear again , almost a week since I was telling you about how the Cuddlies Slippers  have come to be produced.

Here are the three components of the slippers - body, head and ears ready to be put together and made into the final product.

Once the head was sewn on, Isobel fixed the ribbon trim (a satin ribbon), which she then threaded elastic through, and hoped that that would help to keep the head sitting up, without flopping around.  In the event, LauraC did report some problems with both of them.  Please - remember, they were experimental in the first place - but Laura is such a whizz with the needle herself, she was able to correct the floppiness and they now look proper!

Here is the final slipper, with the bow tied up.  The bow covers  the place where the elastic has been sewn together.   Isobel left sufficient for LauraC to adjust the elastic to suit her own individual requirements.  This is something we've done for all the subsequent slippers that Isobel has made -

beginning with the Light Brown Rabbit Slippers (an English Ladies'  Size 6) - for our next door neighbour, KatherineV.  She has a little dog called Widget (a Boston Terrier) that Isobel looks after during the day whenever KatherineV is away for any length of time.  Widget did stay all day and night  with us when the arrangement first started, but lately, Isobel has been taking her back at night - so that the cat, who also lives next door, has some company at night.


But I digress:  here is another picture of one Light Brown Rabbit Slipper.  They have already been given to their intended recipient (one of KatherineV's daughters).  The only thing is that KatherineV's little grand daughter likes them so much that she seems to have taken them over.  She goes to bed with them on her pillow each night, apparently, and insists on wearing them as soon as she comes home from school.  They have to be tied on round the foot to make sure she doesn't fall in them, (she is only 8 years old!)  Think Isobel will have to get a move on with making some of the Children's Slippers she's planning on doing, so that the Little Person can have her own footwear, and thus allow Mum to get a look in!

Now this post has gone on long enough - so I'll close for tonight and get Isobel to do her usual thing about telling everyone who needs to know that this post has been published!    But before I go, the Small Kids Slipper sample has actually been finished:  she's done one of the Medium-sized pair, and is working on the second.  When all three are done, she will make the decision as to whether she will list them in the shop on Etsy  (www.Etsy.com/shop/coldhamcuddlies) as individual units (Small Kids' Slipper, Medium-Sized Slipper and so on) or as Kids Slipper, S.M.L. on one site.  Which would you think would be best, I wonder?

Meanwhile, Good Night everyone - until the next post, which will happen in between Isobel's endeavours with the Children's Slippers.  Cy Bear.