Sunday, 27 December 2015

Waiting for the New Year - a Brief look in from Buckinghamshire.

Good afternoon Folks - do hope everyone has had a great Festive week-end, and are now, like me waiting for the New Year to arrive.  When it does I shall be back in Nottinghamshire, as I am being driven there tomorrow (Monday) by Philippa.

As I left before most of my Christmas cards had arrived, am hoping there will be a prolonged session of opening them and catching up with friends and relations when I get back to Kirkby -   Whilst Philippa would undoubtedly have liked to spend time with young E, her nephew, she's succumbed to the dreaded Christmas cold bug, and doesn't want to spread it around the rest of the family, so after a brief stop over, and refreshments provided by Clare and Alan, she will be doing the return journey the same day.  With any luck, because Monday is a Bank Holiday there won't be as much traffic on the road as there could be - fingers crossed.  (In the UK, Boxing Day - is celebrated as one normally when it doesn't fall on a Saturday.  So this year, there is an extra holiday) 

We have an update for you from Mobile, Alabama.  The Hedgehog Family, whose arrival there was shown in last week's post, are safely in the hands of their Forever Friends.

The young triplet cousins of MrsMM seem to be pleased enough - and I've asked to know if the toys had yet been given names. The picture was accompanied by this note -

  The little hedgehog family has been successfully delivered to their new home. Everyone loved them, especially the kids. I enclosed a note with each about the plight of the real hogs, the rescue and that their gift will help raise money to help the real hogs in peril.

Meanwhile, MrsNA from Bonsall, California was asked by Etsy to give a review for the Mommy Hedgehog she had purchased - which can be seen on the Shop site ( but I'll quote it here as well.  -  "Just adorable..... Arrived on time and with lots of love from Isobel" 

MrsNA was unable to confirm at the same time anything about the the safe arrival of the Fayetteville-bound Panda Hand Puppet and Baby Hedgehog, because their Forever Friends are actually her Great Grand Kids, so there's another family level to be negotiated before that news is sent/received!

Before closing, the visit to St Tiggywinkles Hedgehog Hospital did take place at the beginning of last week, and what a worthwhile place it is spend time.  I took lots of photographs, but am unable yet to publish them here, because I need to run my post by the Publicity Department at the Hospital.  Alas, in the past, many quasi-amateur photographers have done the same thing, apparently, and then sold their pictures to the media - without donating any of the funds received to the Sanctuary.  Thus, for sometime, and quite understandably, the Hospital Trust has placed a copyright on all photographs taken at the site.  Before leaving, I checked whether I could use some or all of my pictures - which can hardly be described as "professional", and was asked to send them a copy of what I planned to say in my blog - before publication.  This will be undertaken when I get back to Kirkby during the week, and hopefully, I'll be able to tell you all more - and show you some pictures too - in forthcoming posts.

Thus, there's nothing more for me to say this week, but to wish you all a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2016 - because the next bulletin will  be the first for the New Year, and the start of the 6th Year of COLDHAMCUDDLIES' existence.

Good Bye and God Bless!  Isobel

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A briefing from Buckinghamshire, UK

Good afternoon Everyone!

Whilst Cy Bear sits in solitary charge of the Kirkby Cuddlies, I've made it safely to daughter Philippa's home in High Wycombe following a speedy, untrammelled trip by car - courtesy of daughter Clare, and in company with son-in-law Alan and GrandsonE.

As everyone knows, it is not my custom to use anything but initials when referring to Cuddlies' Forever Friends who are children, and when Cy Bear is the author of our posts, he always likes to use initials when referring to our Customers and Friends - because he is a very well brought up Bear. GrandsonE is a recent addition to my family, and is still subject to rigorous adoption rules that operate in the UK, so photographs of this wonderful little fellow on public blogs and media sites like Facebook etc are officially frowned upon.

MrsMM from Mobile, Alabama, about whom Cy Bear also wrote last week has been as good as her word.  She sent us two pictures just to prove that her family of Hedgehogs had arrived safely - and here is the photographic proof!  (Taken in such a manner that their prospective Forever Friends were not aware of their arrival!)

Am pleased to be able to report the safe arrival of Mommy Hedgehog in Bonsall, California -  the furthest destination (from the UK) for the Hedgehogs who left us earlier this month.  We assume - because we've not heard to the contrary - that the travellers to Fayetteville, North Carolina reached their new home too.  When thanking MrsNA for letting me know, asked if she could establish whether or not the package had arrived there, even if the parents of the two children had been firmly told NOT TO OPEN the packages before DECEMBER 25!  (The parcel was safe to open in the travelling envelope:  but no further).  A response has yet to materialise  - but given what happens in households everywhere at this time of the year, it's not really that much of a problem if I don't hear - except, hopefully, that Panda Puppet and Baby Hedgehog make acceptable Forever Friends in due course!

Plans are being made for Philippa and I to travel to StTiggywinkles Hedgehog Hospital on Tuesday of next week - so not only will there be something for me to tell you about in my post next week, but I'm hoping that there will also be the opportunity for me to actually hold a Hedgehog patient too.  Am going primed with my camera - so watch this space.

Meanwhile, before ending this post - Cy Bear forgot to show you the publicity material kindly sent to us by St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Trust for the Press At Home that was such a fiasco.  I've retained it all in a file at home, and will be working on schemes where it can be put to good use in 2016!  (The certificate being propped up by a Mommy Hedgehog is my Certificate of Membership of the StTiggywinkles Wildlife Trust).

Then, late Sunday evening, after the last blog post had been published, we got a last minute call for help from MrPF .  He'd seen one of our Black Plush Baby Rabbits, and wondered if we could get it to him in time for Christmas, as he was anxious to include it with other gifts for his fiancee.  Apparently she has two real rabbit pets, and already has a black and white stuffed toy version of her Dutch Black Rabbit (which also has white markings).  The second real rabbit is an all black variety - and he was hoping to be able to provide a stuffed version of it as a surprise Christmas addition.  As MrPF is located in Ripon, North Yorkshire, UK, there was no problem - except that we didn't actually have one in my flat!  The extant one was on display in "The Artful Buttoner" in Kirkby Town Centre!!

So, Monday morning saw me boarding a 'bus into town to check out the availability of the Black Plush Rabbit, and also Wilfred Wolf, about whom I also received an enquiry over last week-end.  Just in case, the Black Rabbit was not in stock in Town, and because the Baby Rabbits don't take me that long to create, I cut out and sewed up a new version on Sunday evening.  Although there was indeed a Black Bunny in the Shop, I bought both of the Toys back - largely because I still didn't know the location of the customer who was asking about Wilfred Wolf, and I wanted to give MrPF a choice.

In the end, after completing the stuffing on Monday evening, the new version of the Baby Bunny was provided with a crimson velvet ribbon around his neck (rather than the orange version on the original Black one) and was dispatched to Ripon, North Yorkshire on Thursday, before I left for Buckinghamshire the next day.  Wilfred Wolf remains in the UK, as his potential Forever Friend lives in the United States, and there simply wasn't enough time for me to guarantee a Christmas delivery.  (The customer did admit to having "left things a little late this year"!!)

Cy Bear supervising the travel arrangements for the Baby Black Rabbit
Earlier in this post, I mentioned GrandsonE:  to celebrate the fact that after just three months with us, and because he will be 18 months old on  Christmas Eve,  I am including a photograph (with permission of Mummy).  It gives an impression of our wonderful little chap, without it being really that possible to identify him, so hopefully will not fall foul of any official policy.  He is playing with Bob the Purple Bunny, who featured as his first Present from Mummy and Daddy in the introduction process before he arrived in the family.  Bob is still a favourite among the host of toys - stuffed, electronic and wooden - with which E spends his days, and as you see can be subject to fairly rigorous attention. 

E's favoured method of propulsion when he arrived with us in early Autumn was rolling:  he is now walking up to 20 steps unaided, and keeping his parents on their toes!

So - that 's the news from the Coldham Cuddlies world for this week.  Let me wish all of you Readers, Friends, Followers and Fellow Etsy Team Mates a really wonderful Christmas before I end this last but one bulletin for 2015.  (Cy Bear did entitle last week's post as being the penultimate communication from the Coldham Cuddlies - I'd forgotten there was yet another Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day!)

All the best.  Isobel

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Penultimate Pre-Christmas Post - an update

Greetings Everyone!

Cy Bear back again, almost as soon as the last bulletin got published - or so it seems.  Isobel is always saying that time flies, and increasingly, I'm finding the same thing is happening to me.  Folks might think that sitting on a bed, watching the world go by, that time would pass slowly.  Not in my life, it doesn't!! 

Last week, I ended by telling what was happening to some of our Hedgehog friends in our Shop at - with destinations booked for New York State (a Baby Hedgehog), Fayetteville, North Carolina (Panda Puppet and another Baby Hedgehog) and Bonsall, California (an original Brown Mommy Hedgehog).  

These were the cards that Isobel chose to write the messages in for MrsNA's granchildren in North Carolina.

These were the messages inside the cards:

This shows the individual packages, wrapped in Christmas paper, after the Cuddlies had been wrapped in chemical free tissue.  Because they were going in Christmas paper, Isobel didn't wrap them in bubble wrap, because she didn't want the parcels to be any heavier than necessary, and in any case, they were going to be packed snugly into the same polythene envelope with "AIRMAIL Bag" stamped over it.  They shouldn't have wriggled around too much en route, and to make sure they got as gentle as possible a journey (Postal journeys can be notoriously rough, I'm given to understand) Isobel finished the outside parcel off by placing a band of sticky tape all round the sticky closing area with "FRAGILE" printed along the tape.  Cuddlies may be plush stuffies, but we do have feelings you know - and Isobel always feels guilty submitting them to the dangers of international travel!!!

Mommy Hedgehog was sent off to Bonsall, California at the same time, and we hope to hear that they have arrived safely at their destinations sometime this week - if the services that MrsNA paid for are adhered to by the international postal authorities.  After all, the Christmas Rush has not yet really begun - there's another week before the LAST POSTING DATEs come into effect!

We have heard that the Hedgehog Family sent to Mobile, Alabama a week earlier arrived safely on Friday and that MrsMM is going to send us pictures of them in their new surroundings, as well as when they have been introduced to their Forever Friends. (She wants to be careful not to show them to the designated Forever Friends).   I'm pleased to tell you that she finds - 

 "They are just adorable!!!! I love them and I am sure my little cousins will as well. They look so much cuter in person than in the photos."

Then last evening we were contacted by a MrsTB  to ask when, or if, we would be able to ship Jemima Brown Rabbit - she wanted to buy her for her daughter as a Christmas present.  Without knowing where MrsTB was located, a short exchange of convos on the Etsy site indicated that she was enquiring from the UK.  Well, as the last posting date for guaranteed Christmas parcel delivery is not until Monday, 21st December, Isobel wrote back with a provisional date  - and the result is that this afternoon, MrsTB's order has been received.  As Jemima was last heard of sitting somewhere in "The Artful Buttoner", Isobel's first job tomorrow morning will be to hop on a 'bus to go and collect her and get her ready for her journey to her Forever Home.  (Other things being equal, we're hoping that will be Wednesday of this week.)

Stuffed Jemima Brown Bunny Toy Plush Rabbit Girl Toy Collectable Gift Sea Green Poplin  Frock Orange Carrot (opt) Christmas Present
Jemima Brown Rabbit, sitting in the summer sunshine
The Press At Home I talked about last week was a complete flop, I am sorry to say.  The members of the Fourth Estate, whether print or television, simply did not show.  Whilst inevitably disappointed, Isobel did not feel it to have been a totally wasted afternoon.  She was able to almost make one whole Baby Hedgehog, while quaffing coffee and chatting to M, the knowledgeable sales lady in "The Artful Buttoner".  Also, it's an inevitable consequence of living in a country with a free press.  One cannot FORCE them to come if they don't want to!!   Their loss really - because the coffee was VERY quaffable,and  the cranberry and dark chocolate chip muffins baked for us by Clare were  simply DELICIOUS!!  There are more than "one way to skin a cat" (as the saying goes, I'm told) and Isobel has other plans formulating....... watch this space!

Isobel spent last evening cutting out six new Hedgehogs - in readiness for her trip South to Buckinghamshire at the end of the week (Friday, 18th December).  While watching the television last evening, she surprised herself by being able to not only draw the templates for all of them, but she also managed to sew, put facial expressions on, and stuff one of the Daddy Hedgehogs she'd started on. She's getting quicker at making them each time she makes one!

I shall not be accompanying Isobel southwards - so will take the opportunity here to wish all my lovely Reader friends here at Very Happy Festive Season (not everyone I know celebrates Christmas) and a Prosperous and Healthy New Year.  

The computer is supposed to be travelling with Isobel, in the car with Clare, Alan, GrandsonE and all the Christmas presents for Philippa and Isobel.  So, while I won't be doing a post next week, Isobel may - as she is hoping to be able to actually visit StTiggywinkle's Hospital for Hedgehogs while she is staying with Philippa.  It's only a half-hour or so drive from her flat in High Wycome.

Your Friend - Cy Bear.

 PS:  Sorry about the change of typeface - caused when Isobel copied Jemima's picture directly from the Etsy order page!!  She doesn't know how to change it back again.  Still it is legible!!  (CB)

Sunday, 6 December 2015

New Horizons for three Cuddlies - and getting ready to meet the Press

Good afternoon Everyone!

Cy Bear here once again, after a busy week for Isobel - organising the Press At Home for introducing our New Hedgehog Toys, and getting Cuddlies ready for their new lives.

There are three Cuddlies almost ready for their respective journeys to their Forever Homes.  Panda Bear Puppet, one of the new Baby Hedgehogs and our original Mommy Hedgehog.

I thought you'd like to see the special photograph of or new Hedgehog Family, only listed yesterday evening, and specifically going to be used in our Press offering if any TV stations turn up. (Apparently, white backgrounds don't look good on television, hence this special background for our Hogs!) Four have been invited (from BBC East Midlands and BBC Midlands and the two stations operating in the same areas from Central Indpendent Television. (Isobel was one of the first employees of Anglia Television, the station based in Norwich, Norfolk before it even came On Air in 1959, so she is really hoping they will send someone!).

Several local newspapers have also been invited to send representatives, St Tiggywinkles - although unable to attend themselves - have sent publicity literature for our guests to take away and read.  West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue is being kept informed of what we hope will happen - we knew MsJL wouldn't be able to attend (because that's why we're helping to raise funds for her - she doesn't have time to do it properly for herself!).  So, now all Isobel has to do is cross her fingers and hope that SOMEONE does turn up.

Meanwhile, two of the new baby hedgehogs have been adopted - and Isobel is busy making them so they can be dispatched early this week - one is destined to go to Fayetteville,  North Carolina (accompanied by  Panda Hand Puppet).  The other is going to New York State - to be the beginning a Hedgehog Collection by one of Isobel's Team Friends.  This one does not have to be at its Forever Home in time for Christmas, but we're doing our best to see that it is.  

Me performing my usual farewell duties to those headed for North Carolina
These two Cuddlies, together with our original Mommy Hedgehog, were purchased by MrsNA - another of Isobel's team friends.  MrsNA wants the Cuddlies to become Forever Friends of her three grandchildren;  the other one lives near her in Bonsall, California.  Mommy will be leaving at the same time as the other two Cuddlies - but there will be the entire American Continent between them.  It will be interesting too for us to see which side gets their parcel first!  It all depends, I am told, on the number of aeroplanes departing the UK headed for the United States of America.  I'll let you know - if we find out!! 

Isobel is wrapping up the Cuddlies headed to the eastern side (North Carolina) with Christmas paper, as well as our usual packing materials (chemical free tissue paper and bubblewrap) while Mommy will just get the tissue and bubblewrap.  There will also be a message - which MrsNA has given Isobel - contained in a Christmas card.  (This is a service offered by - and adds another USD 5.00 to the overall cost of any Cuddly).

Here's Mommy Hedgehog and I just before she gets prepared for her journey to Bonsall, California. We presume that she will be opened in front of Grandma on Christmas Day - or shortly thereafter.

I'll end this week's bulletin with a photograph of our three travellers, sitting with me, while Isobel gets herself prepared for the wrapping ceremonies!

Do hope everyone is keeping well, getting ready for the Christmas festivities.  Next week will be the last post before Isobel moves to High Wycombe for her Christmas with Philippa.  We're hoping that while she is there, and the weather permits, that she will be able to actually visit StTiggywinkles.  (If that happens, there will certainly be a post or two about that establishment  - she's away for 2 Sundays).

Have a good week everyone!  Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Time to introduce the New Coldham Cuddlies Hedgehog Toys

Hello Everyone.  
Cy Bear here again - this time to introduce the new 2015 versions of our Hedgehog Toys. 
The principal photographs of all three Toys have been provided  by  Mr. Phil Else, a graphic designer who has had close ties with people working in local wildlife sanctuaries.  He offered to help Isobel early in our campaign to try to save the UK Hedgehog population from extinction.  In doing so, naturally we are also hoping to try to boost the success of our Toy Shop (!   

The signs are hopeful - the week has ended with talks going on between Isobel and a prospective Buyer (of two Baby Hedgehogs - she's waiting to see what the new one's look like - as well as our Panda Hand Puppet).  With luck, I'll be able to tell you more next week ... watch this space, please!

Black and White Plush Panda - Puppet/ https: // 
Now for the new Hedgehogs in our portfolio!
Toy Baby Hedgehog Unisex Toy Black Grey Striped Fleck Faux Fur Silver Grey Plush COLDHAMCUDDLIES Stocking Stuffer Christmas Present
Here is the new Mommy Hedgehog/
Toy Daddy Hedgehog Art Doll Black Grey Fleck  Faux Fur Silver Grey Plush Face and Belly Unisex Kids Pram Cot Toy  Christmas Stocking Stuffer
Meet Daddy Hedgehog - 2015 version /
Toy Mommy Hedgehog Art Doll Black Grey Fleck Faux Fur Grey Plush Safe Pram Cot Unisex Toy Adult Companion Stocking Stuffer Christmas Present
This  is our new Baby Hedgehog/
The other four photos in each listing were taken earlier in the whole Hedgehog campaign by Isobel in Clare and Alan's garden.  It was a lovely sunny, autumnal day when that happened, but - as I'm told can often happen at that time of the year (we're now definitely in Winter today!) there was a brisk breeze and some of the pictures show the "prickly" fabric wafting in the wind!!  At least it gives the impression of being authentic!

With the arrival of the photographs, Isobel can now organise the official press launch of the new Toys - which has been arranged for Monday 7th December.  It's going to be an Open House sort of affair, rather than a formal Press Conference - for a variety of reasons.  Thanks to Ms Claire Lilley, the Proprietor of "The Artful Buttoner" (where lots of Cuddlies are already on display), we've been allocated her lecture area (she holds teaching sessions for crafters, "knit and natter" sessions for others and so on) between 1400-1600 on that day. While the area is a lot bigger than our home, it's not THAT big, and Isobel feels it will be much more informal and welcoming to do it this way.  The lighting there is much better too - so we hope it will be better for visitors to take pictures for themselves.

The plan is to invite local TV and print folk to come along, see the new Hedgehogs and how we plan to use them to help save the Hedgehogs in the UK (with the ten per cent of sales of every single Coldham Hedgehog - as well as the Family - being shared between St Tiggywinkles Hedgehog Hospital and West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue) and how we'd like to lend our support to the campaign to have The Hedgehog become the National UK Animal.  So, she's going to be busy again this week, isn't she!

Meanwhile, the first of our 2015 Hedgehog Families are on their way to Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A .  This is the picture of them sitting on Isobel's pillow prior to being parcelled up on Wednesday of this last week.

Naturally, as is the custom in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES world, as Mascot to the enterprise, I was present to supervise the occasion.

Trying to reassure the family 
and, hopefully, succeeding.
Before closing, we got an email from MsDS, who you may recall offered Colin the Koala the chance of a Forever Home.  In it, she said that he'd arrived safely (on Wednesday afternoon) and that he "is gorgeous".  She has promised to send us photographs of Colin with his Forever Friend, MsDS's son, who is getting him as a Christmas present.  Am so pleased that Colin's adventures have indeed come to a happy ending.

Until next week then.  Have a good one Everyone.

Your friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Third Time - Lucky, for Colin, the Koala - together with more Hedgehog news

Hello again Everyone -

Cy Bear greeting you once more, although it only seems like yesterday that I was opening a post here a week ago.  Admittedly, Isobel is drafting this a day early, because she has other plans for publicising both the shops and the Hedgehogs on Sunday afternoon, when she would normally be doing the preparation for our weekly bulletin from the COLDHAMCUDDLIES ' world.

However, such good news to tell you.  On Tuesday morning, there was a notification on the Shop site that MsDS from Southend on Sea, Essex, UK  had ordered Colin, our Giant Koala - and when Isobel read the details we find that Colin is destined for her Christmas preparations. She wanted confirmation that we could get him there in time.  Needless to say, she was rapidly apprised that we could - and WOULD!

Colin Sitting in "The Artful Buttoner" on arrival
A telephone call was then rapidly made to MrsCL, Proprietor of "The Artful Buttoner" - where Colin has been staying since I wrote about him here (30/08/2015 and 06.09.2015) to ask her to get him ready to come home here.  On Friday morning, Isobel went to collect him - he just managed to fit into her shopping trolley, and he caused some interest apparently on the 'bus coming home - since his head was peering over the top of the shopping bag!

Later on Friday, he was prepared for his journey to Southend, his travel arrangements having been set up with the MyHermes courier service we'd used before.  (Isobel found it much easier this time around - having made most of the mistakes she could have done the previous occasion.)

Coincidentally, Isobel had just purchased a new, padded winter coat which she had picked up the day before.  It was wrapped up in a large plastic bag - which happily meant that Colin could be fitted in and tied up safely - with some "breathing" space to spare.  The paper work in front of Colin consists of his My Hermes delivery note attached to our usual Delivery Note/Invoice/Letter from Isobel that goes with every Coldham Cuddly that leaves us for their Forever Homes.  

The other document is an additional item.  Because Colin has had such a "complicated" life to date, he has some "history" that accompanies him.  This is a copy of the blog posts we did about him (see dates mentioned earlier) so that MsDS can read it - if she is interested.  Then he was ceremoniously (by that I mean "supervised" by Me) bundled into a large, tough plastic bag (normally used for refuse, but ideal for transporting Colin to Southend as it happens) and the courier's label (together with his travel details) was cellotaped on.

At shortly before nine-o'clock on Saturday morning, our normal courier man rang the front door bell, and off Colin went.  We've asked MsDS to let us have some pictures of Colin once he has been introduced to his new Friends (but ONLY if she feel comfortable with it appearing in a future blog)  - so there is unlikely to be anything substantial until after Christmas (except, of course, we can trace his journey on line - or so Isobel tells me) and MsDS did say she'd let us know when he arrived later this week.

Fingers crossed - Colin will have found his berth - FINALLY.  He deserves it!!

As for the Hedgehogs, they've increased in number and on Friday afternoon, Isobel found - again on her Activity Feed in the Shop Site - that a whole Hedgehog Family had been ordered (by the lady who put us in touch with the West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue (WMHR)  in Cheslin, Hay, Walsall, Staffs).  So, on Monday or Tuesday of next week, our first Family of Hedgehogs will be en route to Mobile, Alabama, USA.  They are going to be given as Christmas presents to MrsMM's 11 year old  Triplet cousins . (Also, it's the first part of our next installment of 10 per cents to be halved between WMHR and StTiggywinkles)

We've heard back from both  Ms. Joan Lockley of WMHR and Tiggywinkles Hospital that our initial donations have been received.  So that means, as of today (when the Membership package came from the latter establishment) - that Isobel (and therefore me, too!) are now members of the St Tiggywinkles, The Wildlife Hospital Trust.  To prove it - here is our Certificate of Membership.  (The Hedgehog in the centrepiece has his left paw in plaster or a bandage)

That's it for this week everyone.  Hope you all have a good one next week, and that it doesn't get too much colder or difficult for everyone to get around where you all live - because Winter has apparently arrived in the East Midlands of the United Kingdom.  There was a dusting of snow on the lawns surrounding our flat this morning, and some was still lingering when Isobel closed the curtains this afternoon.

See you all soon.  Your friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Still working on Saving UK Hedgehogs - latest developments.

A very good afternoon to you all Everyone - Cy Bear back again, after a week away from posting.

We're still deep in Hedgehogs, and likely to be for some time, I think, but since we're being given a lot of verbal/written support from members of all the Teams that Isobel is on, and she's still got one or two more "ducks to get in a row", that's likely to be the situation here for a wee while yet. It's a pretty full time occupation for her - and while she's being kept busy there, she's leaving me alone!!

At the end of last week's post, Isobel mentioned that Daddy Hedgehog was destined for a spell of treatment in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic  Well I can tell you that she has been as good as her word.

Daddy was wheeled in on Monday afternoon, had a considerable amount of polyester stuffing removed - after she had gently unstitched him around his head area.  She then remodelled him and made his nose a lot more pointed.  So that from looking like this:

Toy Daddy Hedgehog Art Doll  Brown Plush Faux Fur Cream Black Flecked Animal Furry Pram Cot Toy Boy or Girl Christmas Stocking Stuffer

Daddy Hedgehog now looks like this:

I am also pleased to be able to announce that both remaining versions of our Brown Baby Hedgehog toys have been adopted - so there are two "ten per cents"  awaiting distribution to our intended donor charities - West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue and Tiggywinkles Hedgehog Hospital (StTiggywinkles, as Isobel discovered the specific sanctuary for Hedgehogs is named).  Tiggywinkles is a leading provider of  medical assistance to wildlife of all kinds - like Swans, Squirrels, Foxes, Deer and, yes, even Badgers too.

So, with their Babies now in their Forever Homes, Mommy and Daddy are patiently waiting to find themselves a berth somewhere soon.

There is something in the human world apparently called Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up at the end of November.  So, if they have not found anywhere by then, Isobel is intending to sell them at a discounted price - separately or together, and she is also announcing that ANY CUDDLY finding a new home over that week-end, will be sold for free shipping, to anywhere in the world.  That announcement is appearing in our Shop Announcement section next week - but you my Reader Friends are getting advanced notice.

We want these guys to go soon, because Isobel has made the decision that she will not be using the faux fur "prickly" looking fabric, nor the light brown plush material, for future Hedgehogs.  The fabric we now have access to is quite different and is resulting in Hedgehogs who look different, although just as authentic - or at least we think so.

A first glimpse is given here

These three new Hedgehogs are currently spending time with MrPE, the Graphic Designer Isobel mentioned as offering us assistance.  He came to our flat on Thursday evening and took them away to be professionally photographed for use in the campaign.  We expect them back early next week, if they don't get delivered here later today (Sunday evening).  This photograph is taken on Isobel's bed, and like all our photographs, is a bit of a snapshot, as opposed to a professional one.  (There is already a second Baby made in the new colours:  and Isobel has made and stuffed a second Mommy Hedgehog - with legs and face needing to be attached to the body.  The second Daddy  is cut out and awaiting production as soon as Mommy is complete - hopefully, later today.)

As for the campaign, here are the latest developments.  Isobel is becoming a Member of the Tiggywinkles Hospital Trust (or something like that) and will be sending a letter with her cheque for the first year's membership (which also includes the £1.25 ten per cent for One Baby Hedgehog) to Buckinghamshire on Monday.  At the same time, a similar amount of money is being sent to the West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue in Cheslin Hay, Nr. Walsall, Staffordshire (with their first ten per cent).  In the letters, she asks if both establishments can help her help them by allowing more Coldham Cuddlies Hedgehogs the chance to find their Forever Homes.  In other words, more Sales of Hedgehogs from our Shop,!

Then last week in the House of Commons in London a Member of Parliament was awarded an Adjournment Debate (hope you know what that is, because it's not a term this Beaver Lamb Bear is familiar with) in which he stated he was going to try to get The Hedgehog to be appointed the UK Official Animal,  as well as trying to save the species from extinction;  just as in 2014, The Robin was appointed the Official UK Bird.  Isobel did some surfing of the internet (again, am sure you'll know what that is!) and found - and downloaded - the Official Hansard record of the entire Debate.  She plans on contacting the MP to see how they can work together to improve the survival chances for the UK Hedgehog population.

So - watch this space folks.  Life is getting quite exciting!  Have a good week all of you.

Your Friend Cy Bear.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Hedgehog Saga - latest developments.

Hello everyone! After three weeks' contributions, Cy Bear is taking a rest, so I've taken up the blogging cudgels this time around.

As reported by Cy Bear, Monday morning saw me finding my way around to the Trade Counter Entrance of  Roma Fabrics Limited, here in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, to pick up the metre of fabric ordered the previous week.   Somehow, I'd imagined that the material would arrive in a folded condition - after all previous faux fur pick ups from my erstwhile supplier in Frome, Somerset had all arrived in huge plastic bags in bundles or pieces!  On arrival, by 'bus, I discovered I was expected to take home a roll of fabric (beautifully parcelled in plastic) which was 66 inches long (157 cms, or thereabouts).

Now I had planned on blithely picking up the fabric and proceeding on the next 'bus to Sutton-in-Ashfield, the next Town, so that I could pick up my newly ordered spectacles.  While the roll of fabric was not in itself heavy, it was awkward to manoeuvre and  I didn't fancy fighting my way through crowds of shoppers in Mall in which the Opticians are located, so I promptly crossed the road and waited for a 'bus homewards.  The services are pretty frequent, and I was back home pretty quickly (it only takes 7-10 minutes each way) having changed my optical appointment for the same time, next day.

Well, the next obvious step was to use my newly acquired faux fur fabric - and by Saturday evening, three new members of the Coldham Hedgehog Family were ready for the next stage in our Saving the UK Hedgehog Campaign.   This is getting to be a bit of a mouthful to type, let alone say, so if any of my Readers can come up with a catchy phrase for the campaign, I'd be most grateful.

The 2015 Coldham Hedgehogs now look like this:

Baby Hedgehog

I just happened to have the original Brown Hedgehog Toy by me when taking this snapshots yesterday evening, so this is a comparison:

Because I have a limited supply of the brown flecked faux fur, I've decided not to use the fabric for Hedgehogs - because our equally popular Hairy Bears are made with the same material.  (In any case, this little fellow is destined for a home provided by our family friend, MrsPC).  Now that I have easy access to the new faux fur fabric (called "Laughing Owl" by Roma Fabrics Limited) and the grey plush material (called Silver Fox), future Hedgehog toys will become "grey" hedgehogs, and actually they do look a lot more realistic - to my eyes, anyway.  Their antecedents are certainly an animal mix already!

Our new-look Daddy Hedgehog now looks like this:

Now, not only does he look a lot more Hog like,  I am not quite sure why the original Daddy Hedgehog turned out the way he did!

I seem to recall, I found him a bit difficult to make when originally attempting him (it was about 3 years ago, around the time that Peter's health was becoming more of a problem than usual, so this could explain things).   This time around, the grey version was not a problem - so, as I made them with exactly the same pattern, think the dumpling look must be because I over-stuffed the original.   He is certainly a lot harder to hold, and heavier in weight.  So, I shall be booking this little guy into the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic for a serious "face job".  Hopefully, I'll be able to do that quite quickly, so that I can start making another two or three family sets - as there are definite plans for them when they are completed.

On Thursday evening, I met with the Graphic Designer (PE) - whom you may recall was connected with the original Wildlife Sanctuary  ("down the road and round the corner" as Cy Bear told you in an earlier post).  It was an interesting meeting, and some unexpected developments could well be round the corner. (Alas, the Sanctuary's owner/operator has developed health issues, which prevent its continuation in its present form. It's long term patients will continue to be housed, but newcomers will not be accepted). However, PE had some exciting proposals for me to consider, and he is due to pick up the new Hedgehog models sometime this week, so that he can apply his photographic skills for future use in the campaign.  We'll therefore be continuing our discussions then.  More anon.

Meanwhile, here is a photograph of the new Mommy Hedgehog:

Now picture taking is not my forte - and these are definitely "snapshots" just for the purposes of this blog. I shall wait to see the results from PE when he's done his stuff, but in the interim, this does give you all an idea of what I've been up to this week.  I've been able to prove that if required, I can turn these little guys round in about two evenings concentrated sewing, which is a useful guide for future requirements.  So, I now wait what this week will bring.  Am hoping in particular that PE will also be prepared to give me leads which will result in Coldham Cuddlies being able to develop contacts with the local Animal Wildlife community, which hopefully I can work with to get my future "ten per cents" sent to both West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue and Tiggywinkles, the two outfits I hope to support.

 (Incidentally, whilst I knew the latter was located in Buckinghamshire, during the week while surfing the net, I found out that it is based in Haddenham - which is up the railway line from daughter Philippa's residence in High Wycombe.  I am due to spend ten days over the Christmas period with her this year, so hopefully will be able to arrange a face to face encounter - always a better proposition even than current contacts via Facebook or whatever!)

Hedgehog Family - 2015 Models
That's it for this week, then folks.  Either Cy Bear or I will be back reporting on developments next week.  This post is a little late - but during the week, my computer was unexpectedly upgraded from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1 (the darn machine got taken over and it happened while I was busy doing my daily Etsy adminand my first attempt at this post earlier this afternoon ended in my somehow wiping it (when I was supposed to be publishing it!).  The world of computers never ceases to perplex:  I'm just grateful I manage to get something out, EVENTUALLY!  Here's hoping that I've got it right this time around.

Until our next meeting then:  have a great week everyone.  Isobel

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Cuddlies Hedgehog Campaign - further steps to report

Good afternoon Everyone.  Cy Bear with you once again:

The Cuddlies Campaign to save the UK Hedgehog population has moved on - a few steps, even though progress might seem to have stalled.  However, looking back, it is only three weeks since we started blogging about our plans, so perhaps we have come quite a long way. At least progress is forwards.......

The Hedgehog Family with Me in our Living Room earlier today
The Hedeghog Family have been travelling around quite a lot this week - what with one thing and another.  On Thursday of this week, they went with Isobel to Roma Fabrics Limited, the factory from which the fabric we need to make more Hedgehogs is manufactured. (Isobel has been reluctant to start making new Hogs until we'd got a line of supply established.)  It's just a 7 or 8 minute 'bus ride from our flat here in Kirkby, and easily combined with a shopping trip to our next town, Sutton-in-Ashfield, where one of Isobel's favourite super-markets is located.

 I'm pleased to tell you that she is due to pick up the first metre of the material on Monday, and will then be making the whole family using this fabric - as it is just a little different from that which we've been using until now. (The Hedgehogs accompanied her so Roma Fabrics could see what their fabrics had been used for (as well as for matching purposes for ourselves).   One thing that Isobel now realises is just how lucky she has been to date in being able to get hold of the faux fur fabric we've used to date.  Buying, even when Trade Prices are on offer, are eye-wateringly more expensive - but, at the present moment, Isobel doesn't plan on any increases in the cost of any or all the Hedgehog Family.  (It will obviously be dependent on how quickly they all find new Forever Homes and she needs to replace the faux fur fabric).  

Baby Hedghog fits nicely into my lap
Another Baby Hedgehog is going to be purchased by an old Morrell Family friend, whom the whole family (including Isobel's new Grandson,ER) visited yesterday.  MrsPC is the Forever Friend of Fred Bear, who was a Patient in our Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic ( - )   (Fred's treatment was reported here - and finished here )

A near neighbour of MrsPC hosts a real live hedgehog, and a couple of weeks ago, a very small Hog was seen drinking water from one of the plates that MrsPC puts out in her garden - for just such a purpose.  However, as it was about 1400 BST, she was a little concerned as to whether the Little Chap should really have been so visible - being nocturnal animals by nature. When seen in daylight, it CAN indicate they're in distress.  However, having drunk his fill, the Little Chap scurried off - and hasn't been seen since.  However, when introduced to the Coldham Hogs yesterday, MrsPC said she'd take a Baby  - as a present for her neighbour:  who, as all good neighbours do, looks in on her regularly and undertakes shopping chores as and when required.

The gentleman who offered to help us, with the promotional material for the campaign (MrPE) was unable to meet Isobel this week - since his other business commitments mean that he is fully committed during the day.  We're hoping he'll be able to call in to see us en route home one evening this week.  Apparently he has lots of blank cards previously produced for the Wildlife Sanctuary here in Kirkby, (mentioned in last week's post) which are now somewhat redundant.  He also has some cards on which information about Hedgehogs is already printed.  We're going to see how, or even if, they could be used to mutual benefit by both of us combining ideas.  You will be kept informed.

Mommy Heddgehog, being bigger, has to sit on my leg

We've not been able to progress contact with Joan Lockley of West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue as the lady has been inundated with telephone calls from hither and yon - following her trip to the House of Lords to get her award for services to wildlife over the past 15 years.  When Isobel telephoned her on Friday afternoon, it was to discover that in addition to interviews from press, and invitations to appear on radio and television as a result of the publicity generated by this event, she has had 19 new hedgehog patients requiring attention throughout last week.  All are accepted, even though her Hosprickle is bursting at the seams.  No wonder, MrsJL (as I shall refer to her - as you all know I am a very well brought up Bear, and do not address older folk by their first names at any time) had not even opened her computer all week, and so had not seen Isobel's introductory note about the Cuddlies, herself, and her campaign plans.  (A hard copy of the said note was posted to her on Saturday!)

 However, we did find out that West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue do have a Facebook Page -   The link is included, so that interested parties can go, read, link and do whatever else it is you folk do when you are "on Facebook"!  We hope it also provides "comfort" for those who plan to buy a ColdhamCuddlies Hedgehog (or even two or three!) that the target of our "ten per cents" is real and will use the results of the fund-raising efforts Isobel plans to send.

Daddy Hedgehog and I - us Gentleman Toys sit side by side for comfort!
Earlier in the week, though, Clare sent Isobel a link (again via Facebook) in which we learn that East Midlands Wildlife Trust were also anxious to find out where Hedgehogs in their areas of influence might be located.  Isobel sent them a message - from which she still awaits an answer - but on Tuesday of last week, BBC East Midlands Today ran  a short piece about the disappearing Hedgehogs of the UK on their lunchtime and early evening programmes. (This time from the Richard Attenborough Wildlife Reserve outside Leicester).  However, during the afternoon, between the two programmes, Isobel rang them in their Nottingham office (just 25 miles down the road from here) and was rung back, quite quickly,by someone from their Editorial Department.  Her plans were noted down and we have been promised they will get back should they do any more on the Hedgehog problem.  It may well be that we will have to prod their memories, but we're not quite in a position to do so - YET!

Until next week, then - your Friend Cy Bear is signing off.  Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Our UK Hedgehogs Campaign moves a little further on.....

Greetings everyone.  Cy Bear back again.

As the title implies, things are moving on in the Cuddlies efforts to help save the British Hedgehogs. Isobel has been working on it pretty well all week, and I'm in a position to report on some of the developments.

First of all, here's a picture of the Hedgehog Family taken when Isobel was at  the October meeting of the Ashfield U3A Group on Thursday morning this week.  She only took a few of us, because this was the first time she had gone to a group meeting, and it was more of a "getting to know you" type of  occasion - because she obviously was not the only visitor there.  Another reason was that she had only taken half a coffee-type table as well!

A Cuddlies Selection on display at the Ashwood Centre, Kirkby in Ashfield , 22.10.2015

The Frog's leg is large and floppy - and would not move out of the picture!
She was, however, the only visitor/member who had a table on display and I'm pleased to say that one of the Baby Hedgehogs (seen on the right of the photograph) did get adopted, and so the first 10% contribution towards the Saving UK Hedgehogs Cuddlies Campaign is "in the bag".  Not a large sum, maybe:  but it's a start.

After spending a long time on the internet trying to find where the source of the faux fur fabric she uses for the Hedgehogs originated from (other than from where she used to get it when we lived in Wiltshire) - and not succeeding, Isobel "bit the bullet" on Monday morning and rang The Fine Quality Feather Company in Frome, Somerset to see if they could let her know.  Guess what?  The firm gets ALL fabric they use from a wholesaler which is based here in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, where we now live.  So, most of the fabric we now have in the hall cupboard must originally have come from there in the first place! Serendipity or what?

Daddy Hedgehog, on show at "The Artful Buttoner", Kingsway, Kirkby in Ashfield.
So, then Isobel googled Roma Fabrics Limited, found the correct email address to contact and duly sent a brief description of what Coldham Cuddlies is about, and how we had dealt with Fine Quality Feather Company, by taking off-cuts they didn't want and using them for us Cuddlies.  

Roma Fabrics, being wholesalers dealing direct with the trade, don't do off-cuts!  Isobel responded by saying that she is accustomed to being treated as "Trade" by the plush and tartan fabric suppliers she deals with.  Roma Fabrics, then told  her she could apply to be treated as a Trade customer.  This has been done - and we now await approval of our registration.  (Our application went in late on Friday afternoon, so probably the department concerned with such matters had already shut shop and gone home for the week-end).  

If accepted (one never takes these things for granted), Roma Fabrics' minimum order is 0.5 metres (half a yard, or thereabouts):  most of the other companies we deal with demand a minimum of 1.0 metre (39 inches for those unaccustomed to metric measurements).  I'm told by Isobel that one can get quite a lot of Hedgehogs made with half a yard (width usually being 54 or 60 inches).  We do have some of the Hedgehog special speckled fabric in stock, but Isobel does want to ensure she can get replacements quickly, as and when required.

Mommy Hedgehog - watching what's happening in "The Artful Buttoner"
Kirkby in Ashfield is a very friendly place.  Isobel finds she gets chatting with people even when she's sitting on the 'bus going into Town for her weekly shopping, or to check on whether any Cuddlies have been adopted from "The Artful Buttoner", where the Hedgehogs had been sitting, until removed for the Craft Fair earlier this week.  (They'll be going back again next week)  From our neighbours and Claire Lilley, Owner and Operator of "The Artful Buttoner" (who is more than happy for the Shop to be used for any photographs by the local newspaper - which Isobel has yet to contact) she learned about a Wildlife Sanctuary right here in Kirkby. 

Subsequent Googles disclosed that quite literally it is based down the road and around the corner to where we are based. (Again, what a coincidence, eh?)  There were two email contact address connected with this Sanctuary,  and they handled ALL wildlife needing help, not only Hedgehogs.  Isobel - not knowing either of the personalities involved - not unnaturally chose the first one.

Turns out that, alas, the gentleman is now now longer involved.  Isobel discovered however that he is a print and publicity material designer, likes our idea of helping Hedgehogs, and has offered to help with any publicity material we might need on either a "f.o.c." or at cost basis.  (Isobel presumes that "f.o.c." means "free of charge", and at the moment has responded "Yes please", but no need at present!)

Baby Hedgehog - who was adopted from the Craft Display on Thursday 22.10.2015
However that may now change.  Having tried to contact the other person involved at the Kirkby Sanctuary, and not being made exactly welcome, (almost the first rebuff she's had since moving up from Wiltshire), Isobel was surprised and somewhat bowled over on Saturday afternoon.  While checking one of her two Facebook pages  she found a message sent from one of her Etsy team colleagues about a story run on Friday evening's local BBC TV News programme from the West Midlands (based in Birmingham) giving the name of another lady based near Walsall, in the West Midlands, who is actively seeking funding for her work. 

 Now, Melissa Miller (another funny coincidence, actually, because Isobel's maiden name was Miller!) from Alabama, USA  runs and she is a fellow member of the Etsy Team  Melissa is a great Anglophile, and has often mentioned items she's seen when watching BBC programmes when she and Isobel are "chatting" on the Team Chat Thread (led for the Team by Isobel, incidentally), but this link is mind blowing.  Having "commented" (as I'm told one does when operating on Facebook, giving a link to my first mention of our Save the Hedgehog Campaign ) Isobel  then telephoned BBC Midlands Today offices in Birmingham.  The switchboard put her through to the department who produced the story last night (it hadn't even been uploaded to BBC iPlayer at the time), and was given the contact details of the lady involved.

Immediate contact was made and I'm delighted to tell you that  it's been telephonically agreed that some of the 10% proceeds from future Coldham Cuddlies Hedgehog sales will be going to Joan Lockley, c/o West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue. Joan has been rescuing Hogs for over 15 years, and in that time has taken in over 5,000 animals - never refusing any of them.  Isobel is now going to write a press release (she used to do a lot of this when Peter and she operated a P.R and Publishing Company in Canada called Coldham Press Ltd),  The draft will be sent to Joan to check facts for accuracy before the next steps on this part of the campaign are taken.

These will probably involve contacting the local weekly Ashfield District newspaper and BBC East Midlands and BBC Midlands to officially launch the campaign, and maybe even inviting "The Lady" magazine to come to the party too!  After all, it was the result of an article in the latter, that started all this off, wasn't it?

We've not been inactive in other areas in the interim.  The Hedgehog Family will now be created as a ColdhamCuddlies entity in itself and listed.  The three separate Hedgehog Toys are already listed and featured in our Shop (//  and every time someone "follows" any or all of them, Isobel writes to tell that person(s) about the need to save our UK Hedgehogs.  So, slowly, it's getting known on too.   Everyone has been very verbally supportive to date - and hopefully, Isobel will be busy sewing lots of Hogs between now, Christmas and beyond.  We'll be telling you all how we get on, obviously, as the days go by.

The Hedgehog Family when they first arrived in "The Artful Buttoner" earlier in the Summer
That's all for this week.  Your Friend Cy Bear

PS:  Isobel has just been able to upload this video all about Joan Lockley and her amazing Hedgehog "Hosprikal"!  Enjoy. (If it works, of course).