Saturday, 26 April 2014

COLDHAM CUDDLIES Spring Cleaning session continues

Hello Everyone! Cy Bear looking in again.

It's lovely to be back, with some anecdotes about more of my Furry Coldham Cuddlies Friends who have recently been renewed in our Shop,

With the weather being benign over the Easter holidays, Isobel was able to get out with our Lady Dressed Rabbits and took some new photographs of the Girls in various parts of our gardens here at The Hospital of St. John.  I'm not going to chat about them today, because I've decided to show you the new photographs of some of our Fox Family, beginning with the Buchanan Foxes (Etsy Listing #65456642).

The Buchanan Foxes among the Grape Hyacinths
Originally, there were three Buchanan Foxes all with their dresses made in genuine Scottish Buchanan Tartan, which we'd acquired in our fabric stash as off cuts from our faux fur supplier based in Frome, Somerset - Fine Quality Feather Company.  They all had the same bonnets, and could be singled out because their dresses had different coloured ric rac trimming around the hems.  One Buchanan Lady Fox found her Forever Home in Richmond, Texas - just before Christmas.  We've not heard how her journey went, but she was destined as a surprise for our Customer's Mother, who had originally been a Buchanan before she married. We know she arrived safely at the Customer's home:  we just don't know how the important meeting went!   We are operating under the assumption that in this case, "No News is Good News!!

Sitting precariously on the back of a garden seat in breezy conditions
However, we've had some interesting side episodes as a result of Isobel introducing these Lady Foxes. Just before Christmas 2013, we received an enquiry from MrsMB, a lady living in Toronto, Canada.  She did not want a Cuddly, but had been scouring her local haberdashery sources to find sufficient quantities of the Buchanan tartan for her own craft project - a coat for her daughter's dog.  Apparently she makes several a year, and having seen our Buchanan Fox trio's original photos in our shop ( contacted us to see if she could buy her requirements from us.
We think it is because the daughter's surname is Buchanan too!

Seated more comfortably among hyacinths and dandelions at ground level
We were, by then, deeply involved with MsJAF, the author of a self-published book "Birthright" - the first of a trilogy of books about some Buchanan Wolves and Isobel decided to find her own unlimited supply of the Buchanan plaid.  This we did - Strathmore Woollens Ltd of Forfar, Scotland - and they've been marvellous;   not only in supplying us with our Buchanan requirements, but also in confirming the names of other tartan off-cuts we have in our fabric stores - intended for future Cuddlies' dresses.  They've also allowed us to deal with them on a trade rate basis too.  Very helpful - and they are so prompt in their responses too.  Anyway, we've purchased a metre (the minimum order) and were able to supply MsMB with what she needed.

We're hoping that when the dog coat is finished, we might get a picture of the dog and coat - but so far none has arrived.  Meanwhile, we have a good stock of  Buchanan plaid - to meet future requirements from MsJAF.  We've posted about the Buchanan Wolves - Agatha and Nick - and anyone interested should go to our post of 16th February, 2014 - The Story of some Special Cuddlies - Nick and Agatha Buchanan Wolf to learn more about them.

Chuck Coyote, next to a Heather Bush
Another recent renewal has been Chuck Coyote.  His head is made in the same way as our Foxes - but  using a different shade of plush fur.  However, his body and clothing are combined.  (Our Lady and Gentlemen Dressed Toys have separately made bodies, and their clothes are also made separately and sewn on.  Chuck also does not have leather boots - but some smart matching tan leather shoes, to go with his leather gilet or waistcoat jacket.  His trousers are straight, as opposed to the riding jodhpurs our other Gentleman Toys sport.  Because there is less effort and fabric involved in Chuck's creation, he (and his Coyote counterparts) are a little less expensive to purchase.

A rear view of Chuck Coyote, who is now out of any possible range of the drain pipe that can be seen in his first photograph!  Isobel was so intent on taking Chuck's picture before he got blown down - we are still experiencing Spring breezy conditions here in the UK - that she didn't realise the pipe was there.  However, you can rest assured that the outlet was at the rear of the bed in which the heather bush reposes, and Chuck was well in front of the substantial heather bush when the picture was taken.  Isobel was the one who moved to get the picture of Chuck's bushy tail.

A sideways view of Chuck Coyote
When Isobel first made a Chuck Coyote, he ended up becoming mascot to an After School Club attached to a nearby Village School.  They are known as the Codford Coyotes.  He has been fulfilling that role now for nearly four years, and  has often appeared in photographs with his Forever Friends in the local newspaper, The Warminster Journal - when they are expanding on their various after school activities or publicising awards that they and their organisers have achieved.  He is actually called Charlie Coyote (because, of course, Charlie is the English version of Chuck).  This naming game can get complicated, can't it?

A Country Gentleman among the daffodils at the foot of our Mulberry Tree
When this Coldham Cuddlies Fox was first made - in the 1970's, while Isobel and Peter were living in Alberta, Canada- she decided to give their daughters a Mummy Fox each for their birthdays in the year that Clare was 4 and Philippa three and a half years older.  Philippa's birthday is earlier in the year, so her's was made first and then Clare got her Mummy Fox six month's later.  They obviously enjoyed themselves together, so Peter  - whose birthday was even later in the same year - asked if he could have a Daddy Fox.

The wish was granted, and Daddy Fox went to work and live in Peter's office in downtown Edmonton - sitting in full view of all visitors and customers who visited on business.  He was a great "conversation piece" and carried out this important function when we returned to England in 1987.  However he is alas no longer - having stopped standing up and looking rather poorly after several subsequent moves around the UK.  One of the Mummy Foxes is still extant however - and may well be pressed into service to entertain another generation shortly.  (Isobel had not yet taught herself how to rejuvenate or renovate Cuddly Toys as she now does in the Coldham Cuddlies Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185)

Our Country Gentleman's bushy tail clearly shows the white tip to his brush.  All UK Gentlemen Foxes have those whereas their wives don't.  Nor, as far as we know, do gentleman Coyotes.  We now are aware we may well be open to be told otherwise by our wonderful Followers!

So this is all for this issue of our blog.  The weather, alas, has taken a turn for the worse - it's very windy (as opposed to being just breezy).  So definitely no further photo shoots possible today, or indeed for a day or two if the forecast is to be believed.  However, Isobel is renewing our Cuddlies  at the rate of one a day, and I've only so far shown the new looks of five Cuddlies to date.  We've still got several more Rabbits and some Teddy Bears to tell you about, as well as the prospect of two new Cuddlies.  Both are Koalas, but both very much bigger versions than our extremely popular, traditional Baby Koalas (Etsy Listing #55190185) and each of them come with a story of their own that I think you'll enjoy hearing.

Lot's more to come then:  so until next time.  Good bye for now!  Your Friend - Cy Bear.