Sunday, 7 December 2014

Part 3 - Grandpere Tiger sets off: and further developments in the Puppet Saga

Hello again Everyone!  
Cy Bear back again, this time to tell you how the Smith Puppet called Grandpere Tiger, mentioned in our post last week-end, was completed and sent off to his Forever Home in Tulsa, Oklahoma last Tuesday.  
The actual creation process was the same as Isobel had done for Daniel Puppet, so there's no point in repeating it here.  This photograph shows Grandpere put together and waiting for his facial features and paws to have their claws embroidered on, as well as having the hem sewn neatly together.

Isobel is definitely not sure exactly what happens between Daniel and Grandpere in the grand scheme of things, but the latter was cut out with more of an orange background to his stripes - so that he does look quite a bit different from Daniel - who was made with more of the light cream fabric background.  (You can see him in our last blog - published here on 29/11/2014).  
As well as the background colour, Grandpere differed greatly in his facial "look".  He has a goatee beard and a distinguished curly moustache - which created some interesting dilemmas for Isobel in the production process. Using, Double Knit Wool yarn, the goatee beard looked very bushy and she "attacked" it with a pair of scissors - which turned out to be a bad mistake.  Her hands shook while she was trying to cut it into a point, and she wasn't sure the moustache was quite long enough either.  Her first efforts ended up looking like this:
Further photos of Grandpere - from one of his sides, as well as this one - were sent to JS for comment.
These snaps were taken with Grandpere perched on cushions which are on one of the armchairs in the living room here in Old Chapel Close, and were just designed to give JS   a "flavour" of the final product.  Encouraging emails were exchanged, to the effect that Isobel was not to worry too much about the moustache, because JS  was more than prepared to do use hairspray or any other substance that would result in the desired "Hercule Poirot" look for the finished puppet!
So the original facial features were withdrawn and were replaced with longer beard (uncut) and moustache stitched lightly in place.  Clare had been suggested that some gluey substance (PVA Glue) - used by crafters for decoupage (whatever that is - being a Beaver Lamb Bear I wouldn't know what either the substance or craft was all about of course) - but Isobel was reluctant to use it on Grandpere's unspoilt fabric.  (Nor, given the incident with the first goatee beard, was she sure she could control the gluey substance!)   JS said that he would take care of the final look at the other end!.  (It's great that there's such a good working relationship between Isobel and JS, isn't it?)

When the facial features were complete, claws were embroidered on to his paws, and Grandpere was readied for his journey to Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Before he got wrapped in our usual chemical free tissue paper, though, and bubblewrapped to shield him from the bumpy ride he was about to embark on, Grandpere joined me on The Bed for the traditional farewell ceremonial photograph.
Further developments in the business relationship between JS and the ColdhamCuddlies have taken place in the past few days though.  Isobel has now been asked to make bodies for 8 different puppets for which heads and faces have been delivered to JS.  He apparently is capable of sewing them himself but told us he prefers the way Isobel sews them.  He has provided a paper pattern for Isobel to follow - and the package travelled all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire  in just 4 Working Days!  
In the same package was a pattern that Isobel has been asked to make for another version of Daniel - because JS's daughter felt that the original Daniel puppet looked more like another Tiger in the family, Colette.  
To prove it, a photograph of  our Daniel, dressed in a christening gown, was sent to Isobel and the puppet now looks like this!  Not sure exactly how else one can describe this change in appearance - but "interesting!".  There is sufficient light cream background tiger stripe fabric to accommodate the new version of the new Daniel - who will have a different look when he is completed - Watch This Space!
Picture provided by JS as illustration
While Isobel was waiting for the new patterns to arrive, she cut out and has now made the first version of a new Coldham Cuddlies Toy - Ginger Cat.  It is in response to a Custom Order from one of her Team Friends (one of the quartet who recently met face to face in Crewe).  Two different versions are being made, so that LF (our Friend from the AAA Support Team on Etsy) can choose which one she'd like to give to her Grandmother, whose real cat, Harry, died earlier this year.  Once  the Fluffy Harrys are completed and the selection made, we'll  return to the Smith Puppet Saga once more - but it may be interrupted with the story of how Harry, the Ginger Cat came to be made - as is the usual modus operandi on this blog.
Until then,  I'll close for this week.  Do hope everyone is thoroughly prepared for Christmas.  Isobel is off in search of a replacement Christmas Tree tomorrow, because the one she's used for the past 8 or 9 years has been deemed to be not acceptable by Philippa - who was concerned last year when it kept making funny noises when the LED lights were switched on.
Take good care of yourselves, now.  Your Friend, Cy Bear.
STOP PRESS:  In a message today we learn that the tracker on the package in which Grandpere is travelling indicates that he has now landed in the USA and is on his way to Tulsa.