Sunday, 24 November 2013

Goodness me - just how the time flies!

Greetings to everyone!

It is some time since an entry was made on this blog, but just how long has only been revealed when  arriving here a moment or so go and saw just HOW LONG it has been since either Cy Bear or I have been here.  My apologies, but until I have figured out how to sew and type at one and the same time, something has to give - and I am afraid it has been!  I will try to improve, but cannot promise.

However, my sewing has had to be at the forefront in recent weeks, as regrettably, with the almost complete focus on creating the 2013 Coldham Cuddlies Novelty Slipper Campaign during the summer, some sales took place - locally in Heytesbury and surrounds.  They were then duly renewed in our shop at  The problem was that I omitted to replace the items that found their Forever Homes - as I usually do when the renewal process takes place.

 In the last week or so, three items were suddenly ordered (after a barren period on the Etsy sales front) and alas, all three were not available immediately.  I fear my stock control system has been found wanting - although, as my kind Buyer pointed out, I have been lucky to have those sales in the first place.

So, to begin with, there was an urgent need for Panda Glove Puppets (Etsy Listing 91356474).  That urgent need was quickly fulfilled over a week-end, as they don't take long to do.  So, it occurs to me that a post about how the replacements were achieved might well be in order - so here goes.

Making a glove puppet the way I now do hasn't varied too much from when I posted about them many months ago when they first featured in the Coldham Cuddlies Family listings.  However, I've now developed a way of doing multiple versions at one and the same time, and in the case of these fellows, it worked quite well.

Basically, each Glove Puppet Head consists of two side panels and a gusset, two pairs of ears (in contrast black plush fabric), two felt black patches through which the safety backed eyes are then fixed.  In the case of the Pandas, the arms are also made with the contrast Black Plush fabric and then sewn to the body in the appropriate places.

This picture shows both Glove Puppets, complete with their heads - with the eyes (blue plastic safety backed ones in this case) attached through the felt eye patches and then both heads having been stuffed with our usual, washable polyester fibre filling.  In the middle, between the two glove bodies you see the finger guides.  I roll up some cardboard - approximately 2" long (5 cms) which I then stitch in place to keep the roll together. Stapling, were it to be practical, is not recommended - because they could then scratch the Puppet handler!  They are then covered with calico, which is also then stitched in place - this results in a more comfortable finger guide, and hopefully will give it a longer life when in use as an Activity toy.

 (I have lots of calico to hand, because my polyester fibre comes in pillow case sized bags and are kept for such purposes - as well as for making the bodies of my dressed Gentlemen and Lady toys).

Before going any further, I have recently begun to do the facial features of all the Cuddlies before going any further in the construction process. (I'm finding it is easier for my increasingly arthritic fingers and hands to cope in this way - rather than in the way recommended by the original patterns.)   So, once the eyes were in place, the the nose and mouth were embroidered - removing some of the fabric pile in the nose area.  Otherwise there can be a problem with it getting caught up in the thread.  It's a time-consuming process, removing the pile from the thread - and can result in some choice words being uttered.  (I leave that to the imagination of my lovely Followers!!)

The covered finger guides are then inserted into the neck area of each Panda Head and firmly stitched in place.  Then the Head is inserted into the Glove body area, and attached to the body around the bottom of each Panda Head.  Then I get a wire brush and "groom" each Glove Puppet so they look smart and shiny and ready to be played with.

In the case of this order  - which is destined for Queensland, Australia - I then sent some pictures so a selection of precisely which Glove Puppet was preferred could be made.

Without having the correspondence between us to hand, I'm not absolutely sure which one was eventually selected, but I believe it is No. 2.  Suffice to say that when the selection was made, he was put in a plastic bag (to prevent unnecessary exposure to the elements), together with the already selected Pink Baby Bunny.

The rest of my time has been spent in sewing two each of Grandma White Rabbit (dressed in a Purple Floral Print dress) and Brenda Brown Bunny, who comes with a Green Candy-Stripe dress.  Both of them had been sold during the summer, and, alas, needed to be replaced.  Two are already completed, two more will be sometime tomorrow.  There will then be another photocall - so that MrsEB, my very patient Buyer, can choose which she would like to have. (She was having difficulty in choosing between the White and Brown Plush versions at the last count).

(When the order first arrived earlier this month, I had the impression that it was needed urgently:  fortunately as it has turned out, the imminent arrival of her friend's baby girl does not take place until next year, so this time I've not caused a major problem.)

It's been a well learned lesson for me though!  Do not renew, unless a replacement is already in place!!

I'll be back again with a post about the replacement Dressed Lady Rabbits - whose design has been updated somewhat - although they do basically remain the same.  Oh, I'll also include a brief report about the very successful Christmas Present Sale which took place on Saturday, November 23.  One of our Frogs (Etsy Listing #116285186) found a Forever Home in the Village, as did another Pink Baby Bunny.

Until then, I'll end this post in the hope that everyone is enjoying getting ready for the rapidly arriving holiday season - starting with Thanksgiving in the US next week!

Good night - and God Bless.  Isobel