Sunday, 3 November 2013

Poppy Appeal Craft Fair - November 2, 2013

Hello there Everyone!

Cy Bear on hand to tell you all about the first of our Craft Fairs for November 2013.  It was held yesterday morning (November 2) here at The Hospital of St. John in aid of the Royal British Legion Women's Section Poppy Day Appeal, and although I'm unable to tell you exactly how much was raised in total, I'm pleased to tell you that the ColdhamCuddlies stall covered their costs and Isobel was able to donate over and above the agreed sum to the Event Organiser.

Setting up the Table, with part of our garden in the background
The occasion was the official introduction in Heytesbury of the whole 2013 ColdhamCuddlies Novelty Slipper Collection, and here is a photograph of their specific display section on the table.

Isobel asks me to tell everyone that the pictures may seem a little over-exposed, but as you can see we have a big window behind the stall, and at the time the stall was being set up, the sun was blazing in! (I'm told that can add to the difficulties of any photographer, let alone one of the "hold up and click" school to which Isobel belongs!  However, we both felt it gives everyone an idea of what the slipper collection in its entirety looks like.)

They aroused a great deal of interest, and were it not for the fact that the potential buyers did not know the exact size of potential recipients of the slippers as gifts, Isobel would have made at least three further sales, to the ones she already has on her books.  All the customers said they'd be back:  we shall wait to see - and in any case, we do have another fair coming up in the Residents' Hall on November 23, and the likelihood is that many of the visitors will be repeat customers at that event, so we may be able to report definite sales at that event!  As the proceeds of that event are scheduled to be given in aid of the St. John's Residents' Social Fund, any donations may be split between the two events, depending on the eventual results!

This shows the ColdhamCuddlies stall fully set up ready for the customers to arrive.  You can get an idea of part of our lovely garden behind the standing-up Cuddlies, prominent among them being Charlie Coyote (Etsy Listing 67039032) and his friend The Country Gentleman Fox (Etsy Listing 59809283), not to mention three of our Cuddlies Bears (they have separate listings, and would take too long for me to give them here!) and the three Tigger Long-Legs (Etsy Listing108763404) - who Isobel tells me are the "very devil to keep sitting down on a shiny window sill"!

One of Isobel's fellow Womens' Section  members offered to take a picture of her on duty at the stall, and if she is looking a little flushed - it's because she had only just managed to get everybody arranged, and the sun was pouring in through the window behind her and she was somewhat hot and bothered as a result! Two of the recently replaced Baby Koalas (Etsy Listing 55190188) found Forever Friends - as First Christmas presents to great-grand children of one St. John's Residents and her sister-in-law. The latter lady also purchased one Black and White Plush Baby Bunny (Etsy Listing # 55187979) for another great grandchild who has just been welcomed to the World.  (So another two Koalas will need to be replaced!)

The ColdhamCuddlies stall was just one of several other stalls, and this one featured Christmas cards and other Christmas novelty gifts - presented by the House Supervisor at St. John's and her friend, and fellow staff member at The Hospital.  They travel around the local area visiting many other Craft fairs over the year.  MrsHJ (the former) often tells Isobel about them, and sometimes is able to arrange for us to be invited to take part in them at the same time.

In the background to this photograph, you can get a glimpse of what is called "The Old Building" (which has been in this spot since 1762).  This houses several apartments on two floors (without elevators!) - so those on the upper floors have to be fit and able to cope with the rigours of every day life!  (I'm so glad I'm merely a Bear made from Beaver Lamb - who gets carried around whenever he is moved from room to room!)  To differentiate from this building, the Resident's Hall is located in "The New Buildings"  (which were erected in 1972!).

Then there was a home baked cake stall - without which no worthwhile Craft Fair (or indeed any local produce stall) is complete was being staffed by another Women's Section member - aided and abetted by her grand daughter, undoubtedly being lined up as a future member of the Heytesbury Womens' Section Royal British Legion, which last year celebrated being in existence for 70 years- thus one of the oldest, if not the eldest, branch in the U.K.

 (The lawn area behind this table is enclosed in a sort of cloister like erection - which form a row of studio bungalows, and another two-storey complex - which were built some few years after The New Buildings.  There is a small Chapel and more apartments housed in these, together with The Administrator's office, but these latter part of The Hospital of St. John cannot be seen in this photograph).

These goodies had all been donated for the major Raffle during the Craft Fair (there was also a Tombola Stall, which featured many similar, but smaller items) and then there was a Raffle for this cake - made by Branch Secretary (MrsMP), who is also Heyetesbury Village Poppy Appeal Organiser.  She's a busy lady! The cake was won by one of the St. Johns' Residents and comprised a sponge cake, filled with clotted cream and home made strawberry jam) and decorated with sugar craft poppies.

Observant readers of this post might notice the lack of curtains to all the windows.  This is because the ones that normally hang at all of them are presently away being re-lined.  The sun had bleached the linings, which had been up for many years, and the Trustees decided it was time that the curtains should be replaced.  However, the outer layers were in such good condition, that it was felt all that really needed attention was the linings.  As always, when one does something like this in a piecemeal fashion, the task takes longer than it was originally envisaged!  (I  suspect the Residents (and no doubt the Trustees) are hoping they will be completed by the time the Christmas Carol Service to be celebrated in our Chapel and following Residents' Tea is held in the Hall on December 13th.)

All the remaining ColdhamCuddlies toys and slippers are now tucked away in their various cupboards in our flat, awaiting their next outing on November 23rd.  Meanwhile, Isobel has begun to make some Tiger Head Golf Club Covers, so she can fulfill an order she has had for some time from MrsHJ (mentioned earlier in this post) who wants  to give it as a Christmas present to a young acquaintance whose surname is Wood (As in Tiger Woods ... doubtless our wonderful Followers will be familiar with the name, if not the actual person.  Afraid it doesn't mean too much to me).

Although Isobel has a stock of Golf Club handle covers ready for use, she has had to knit some different ones for this particular assignment.  Not only did MrsHJ want a stripey cover, but in the intervening period since getting the order, Isobel had used up all the Tiger print plush fabric we had and when she ordered some more - it was a completely different colour.  Isobel is going to make at least two Tiger Golf Club Head Covers so we can list one in the shop, while providing MrsHJ with hers, but she may also have to make another set of Tiger Head slippers, because we're going to have to be able to display them as an alternative to the one already on offer in our shop, which will have to become a OAAK (One of a Kind) Cuddly, which they already are really - because their faces are somewhat different from the original pair - who were sold while Isobel was away in Nottinghamshire recently.  Here is what they now look like!

Etsy Listing #156629069
.So, I'll close this now and enable Isobel to get sewing - and checking out the Shop and her Etsy teams, which she likes to do at least once a day.  Until the next time, do hope you are all keeping well.

Your friend, Cy Bear.