Greetings to You All - from your Friendly Beaver Lamb Bear - Coldham Yogi (Cy to his friends).
Today, as a change from telling you about our Puppet adventures - Tigers, or otherwise - and as I intimated in my last post, I'm going to tell you about a new Friend who has come to join the Coldham Cuddlies Family - The Ginger Sitting Cat.
Prototype of the Ginger Sitting Cat
Sometime in June or July, we got a request from LucyF a fellow member of one of the Etsy Teams that Isobel has joined. She enquired whether Isobel might be able to make her a Cat because her Grandmother had lost her cat, Harry, earlier in the year, and she wanted to give her a CompanionToy for Christmas to help her get over her loss.
Now regular Followers of this blog will recall that Isobel was involved organising a home move for herself and the Cuddlies - from Wiltshire to Nottinghamshire at that time. So making toys was, frankly, the last thing she was thinking about at the time. However, it was agreed that once things had settled down, LucyF and Isobel would get together - after a pattern had been located.
In the meantime, one of the UK-based Team Leaders suggested - in one of the Daily Chats that go on (and where Isobel spends a lot of time) - that maybe some of them could get together for a meal and a chat - in real life. (The team is the AAA Support Team on Etsy and Isobel says she's learned so much about social media (whatever that is!) from being part of it, as well as making a lot of internet friends at the same time).
The Leader is ValR (who is an Italian lady, who lives and runs a rural craft shop in the LakeDistrict, as well as making beautiful clocks using driftwood and other natural materials - https://www.etsy.com/shop/NaturalClocks). Very quickly LucyF (https://www.etsy.com/shop/LuckyLucysLovelies ), and Lagney (the username of a Shop, but whose real name is Elaine - https://www.etsy.com/shop/Lagneys ), who lives near Derby and Isobel decided they'd try and do it. LucyF, lives in Crewe which is just about mid-way between everyone, so the rendezvous was arranged to take place on November 11th, with everyone travelling by trains from their respective homes. It was a great success - and everyone agreed that they'd try and repeat it again next year.
(The regular chatterers on the AAA Support Team read on with great interest. Although quite an undertaking - Isobel was travelling to and from for over 6 hours on various trains, and had the furthest to travel to the rendezvous. It is a lot easier I believe to organise such gatherings in the UK, than for those who live in the United States to get together. I'm told there are vast distances involved on that Continent.)
Early in October, Isobel was settled in and had found her pattern library. She dug out two Cat patterns, one of which she's had since she first began making Toys in the 1950's and another in a book that Clare had given her as a present some four years' ago, shortly after www.Etsy.com/Shop/COLDHAMCUDDLIES had opened. Whilst she'd always wanted to make a Cat, there had never been a request for one to be made, so she scanned the two photographs and emailed them to LucyF. One Photo was of a Sitting Persian-type Cat and the other a Standing Cat.
Both are about the same size when completed, and LucyF decided that the Sitting Cat had the "attitude" she recalled of her Grandmother's Harry - but wondered if it could be made in Ginger and White rather than the "all over" mottled Grey in the pattern picture (a look that we could duplicate with our faux fur fabrics, if required). As Isobel had never made the pattern before, she decided to have a go and when the AAA Support Team UK Group met in November, she took along two swatches of plush fabric for LucyF to choose from. The lighter colour brown - called Honey - was chosen and Isobel agreed to make LucyF's commission just as soon as she had finished the DanielTiger Puppet and Grandpere. (The subjects of our last two posts here on this blog!)
She decided to make two versions and leave the choice to LucyF when both were completed. For the purposes of this story, therefore, the prototype (because of never having made a Cat of any sort before) was called Harry 1 and, not unnaturally, the second one was Harry 2. Harry 1 gave Isobel quite a bit of grief to begin with - because the pattern pieces were not very clear. However after several attempts, success was achieved and this was the outcome.
Harry 1 complete with Whiskers
He has green plastic pillar eyes, held firmly in place with a metal safety disc. He's stuffed - like all Cuddlies are - with polyester fibre made to comply with all international safety standards, and his nose is a black felt one. His ears are lined with brown felt. His whiskers are made with slightly stiffened white cotton thread, and the other facial features provided with double knit black yarn.
Once Harry 1 was completed, photos were taken of him from all sides, and e-mailed to LucyF (what would we do without all this technology? It's marvellous - when it works!)
Both the Harrys' vital statistics are as follows:
9" (23 cms) from the tip of his ears to his front paws
12" (30 cms) from the middle of his head to the base of tail.
circa 230 g (9.5 ounces) in weight.
The tail measures a further 8" (20cms) and can be arranged in whatever way you like.
LucyF was quickly back with her answer. She was delighted with the overall look of Harry 1, but wondered if there could be more ginger plush and less white plush for the body, and she thought that the real Harry had had amber colour eyes, rather than Harry 1's green ones. Fortunately, we had got the eyes in stock, and Isobel just adjusted the pattern when cutting out Harry 2 - so that the finished product looked like this:
We've retained the patterns (for both versions, as well as the self-colour one) and these Sitting Cats
(as opposed to our Sleeping Cats - https://www.etsy.com/listing/110444487/cuddly-furry-kittens-black-and-white-art? ) can also be made with our faux fur fabric selection. Cat's eyes can be supplied in green, yellow and amber, and we can also provide eyes with the round irises in amber as well. Anyone wanting Isobel to make a different version to the ones shown here is invited to get in touch with her via Etsy convo (via our Shop link) or the e-mail address - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before I go, here is another photo of Harry 2 - who is now on his way to LucyF in Crewe, and hopefully will be a nice surprise for LucyF'sGrandmother for Christmas.
Harry 2's whiskers are more black and lifelike. They, too, can also be easily removed if there is any possibility of Little People getting hurt by them.
Isobel has just got some material to make herself some curtain for our kitchen window. With the onset of the cold weather, the draughts that are making themselves felt need to be kept out and outweigh any possible benefits of her view while washing up - over the roof-tops of nearby houses. They are cut out and pinned ready to be machined: after that, Isobel will be returning to the Puppet body making front and starting to make the first four bodies ordered by JS from Tulsa, Okalahoma.