Sunday, 25 January 2015

One thing that led to another ... and another ....

Good afternoon, Folks!  Cy Bear back again for another session with you all - cannot believe how long it is since Isobel interrupted our getting-together here on our blog!  Long may it continue.
Seem to recall that at the end of last week's post, I said we'd introduced another new Cuddly to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES family and that I'd tell you all about him when we next met.  So - here is his story - or rather, to begin with, the story of both our new Sleepy Koala Bears.

To make these little fellows, Isobel used the template she made when she originally treated Little Brown Ted - a small bear that had lived in a toybox kept by Alan's mother, when Alan himself was at an age to play with stuffed toys.  By the time we'd been introduced, he was a Patient in our Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic, and after creating a template using his plush pieces, we ended up with Little Sleepy Ted, a Yellow Plush Teddy Bear.

MsHG contacted Isobel on Christmas Eve last year to ask if it would be possible for us to make a Sleepy Koala based on the same template pattern, so these two chaps are the result.  We took photographs of both of them, and sent them to MsHG for her to decide which she'd like to provide a Forever Home to, and she asked for Sleepy Koala on the right - and asked that the left-hand Koala be given an extra hug, because she felt guilty at not taking them both!

So, Right Hand Koala was wrapped up and readied for his trip to Torquay, Devon, England, UK - but not before there was our usual farewell ceremony.

Also, before the departing Sleepy Koala was wrapped up, Isobel took some photos of them together so that the remaining one could be listed in our Shop ( 

Because they don't sit up terribly well - unless propped up with pillows (they're not called "Sleepy" for nothing, after all),  we took them propping each other up, and then one showing their rears:

Then, we took a side view of the remaining Sleepy Koala, seen below:

One of him facing the camera, full on

and, finally, one of him with a facial close-up:

Then on Wednesday morning Isobel took him to our local Post Office, where she walks every day - if possible - to get her daily newspaper, and posted him to MsHG.

 By mid-afternoon on the Thursday, we received a convo message from her to say that Sleepy Koala had arrived safely, she sent a picture of him in his new Forever Home and posted it on our Coldham Cuddlies Facebook page and then, in the early evening, Isobel received a telephone call from her.  She was so pleased with Sleepy (which is what she's is going to call him) that she asked if the Baby Koalas we already have in our Shop were made with the same fabric as Sleepy.

Having confirmed that indeed they were, Isobel offered MsHG the chance to choose which of the three Baby Koalas remaining in the Shop she would like - we originally had four listed, but one was sold during the Christmas Bazaar in the Kirkby Festival Hall at the beginning of December 2014.  She chose and convo'd Isobel telling her which one she wanted.  But, when Isobel went to get him from his snug, she found that we'd got one of our original Brown Koala's still looking for a Forever Home.

On the off chance that MsHG might like him better, she sent a picture of Brown Baby Koala, together with the one she had chosen (just confirming we'd got the right one).  Well, blow me down, on Saturday afternoon, MsHG came back with the request that she'd like both of them:  she thought they both looked as though they were the best of pals, and she hadn't the heart to separate them - as well as the two Sleepy Koalas.  So, on Monday, we will be posting the two Baby Koalas so they can join Sleepy Koala.  With luck, their journey will end with a great reunion sometime next Tuesday(Brown Koala is the last of his line - because Isobel wants to keep the remaining Light Brown Faux Fur so she can make more Big Teddy Bears.   We have a much bigger stash of the Grey/White Faux Fur fabric now.)

So, although there's plenty more to tell - and show - you I'll close this post for now.  See you all soon, because there are some more exciting possibilities on the horizon.  It's all happening here at the moment!

Your friend Cy Bear

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

We have a Black and White Cat Puppet to tell you about!

Hello Everyone!  Cy Bear once more signing in, a little later than usual.  But what with Isobel developing bronchitis and then the computer browser having a hissy fit on Sunday - when we normally try to post - there has been no option but to delay this until today.  Still, better late than never!
So, where to start?  Perhaps with a reference to the last item in our previous post - the fact that Isobel was having difficulty fitting the newly made Black and White Cat Head (BWC) to the previously made Dry Run Puppet Body.  As it happened, when she sat down and concentrated - after the antibiotics had begun to wreak their miraculous effect, it was quite easy in the end, and we now have a new member of the Coldham Cuddlies family, - the Black and White Plush/Fleece Arm Puppet.
The actual puppet body production has been described in earlier posts, so I'm not going to go into too much detail here.  However, making BWC involved making a slightly bigger template for this fellow's head than Isobel originally used for our Ginger Plush Sitting Cat 
Isobel now has this bigger head template in a separate envelope, and it will be added to the animal head collection we are amassing for future puppet and golf club covers - both of which need a similar sized head.  So, having attached BWC's head to  the Puppet Body, we then took some photographs from different angles, and he has been listed in our Shop (
Carefully propped up against a pillow, this shows  BWC at full length - 18 inches (40.6 cms) from neck to base of body.  This bit can be varied, of course, depending on the length of the operator's arm - which is why our Arm Puppets are tagged as being "made to measure".  If any interested party wants a Cat, Tiger or any other Animal from the Coldham Cuddlies Collection, they just have to let Isobel know these vital statistics, and 3-4 weeks after receipt of the information, their individual Puppet will be on its way to them!  
(The likelihood is that delivery will actually be earlier than that 3-4 weeks, but Isobel likes to give herself a little leeway, in case she has a lot of other requests for her sewing attention at the time an order is received.  She does not like delivering anything LATE!)
This shows the decoration around the neck which Isobel embroidered by using white embroidery thread and chain stitch.  It just lifts the puppet body a little - and obviously, this too, can be individualised in any future Puppet request.  (It has the added effect of creating a tube around the neck - enabling a draw string (or elastic) to be inserted if that should be requested).
It looks like BWC is trying to climb the pillows, doesn't it?  He's is actually very gingerly balanced on the edge of the Body's base, but we hope it conveys what he looks like from the rear.
Finally, Isobel was delighted to discover that she doesn't have to rely on just her gentlemen neighbours here at Old Chapel Close, where we now reside when it comes to "borrowing" a hand to operate our Puppets.  Our usual "model" was unavailable when this was taken, but when Isobel visited the Resident's Lounge to see if she could find a  model for this picture, we found that there are at least three ladies blessed with large hand spans, who were only too pleased to assist.
Even though the photography session interrupted a hand of cards - actual game not known - we are very grateful to our fellow residents for the interest they exhibit in every Cuddly that is produced in our Flat here, and for the way they are always willing to help in any way they can.  They make terrific "critics" when opinions are required, as well.
The bronchitis Isobel has been suffering from seems to be well on it's way to being non-existent, but despite it's effects, we've been able to keep up the toy-production schedule.  Yesterday, saw the two Sleepy Koala Bears finished.  They were speedily photographed together and exhibited as a mini-catwalk show to MsHG, their Adopter from Torquay in Devon, England, UK.  She indicated which one she wanted  today - and the selected Bear will be on its way tomorrow - just a day later than intended.  MsHG had begged Isobel not to worry if she was a day or so late in delivery - because she, too, had been the victim of one of the vicious bugs that seem to be going round the UK at the moment, and did not expect her Sleepy Bear to be delivered on time, under the circumstances.
I'll tell you all about these fellows next time I post - as well as sharing some rather interesting statistics (not many, I hasten to add!) about this blog and it's progress since we began publishing it four years ago in March.  Also, I'm told, that February this year sees the Fifth Anniversary of the arrival of COLDHAMCUDDLIES on the scene, so I do think it's appropriate that some mention is made of these two facts.
Until the next time, then.  Hope everyone is keeping well - and looking forward to being with you again soon.  
Your friend, Cy Bear.
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Puppet Bodies are Tulsa Bound - plus news from the Coldham Front

Good afternoon once again Friends! Cy Bear back with you for this week's installment.
As Isobel is somewhat under the weather today - she's suffering from a bug that she's just described as "back to front" and isn't enjoying the experience - this post will be quite a lot shorter than of late, but we are determined to keep up our New Year's resolution to post at least once a week throughout 2015

 (By that I gather she means that the Post Nasal Drip with which she lives 24/7 decided to descend to her chest mid-week, so the Pharmacy was prevailed upon to provide a Chesty Cough Mixture to loosen it up.  That it did, but the whole caboodle now seems to have lodged on her chest and she seems to be developing a head cold which is not part of the normal pattern! So, it seems to me that  a visit to the GP Surgery is on the cards for as early as she can get an appointment on Monday morning!).
There are 4 Bodies here, but one White One isn't showing!
Thus, as the title implies, the first batch of Smith Puppet Bodies were posted on Friday - and Isobel is testing a theory. 

 In the past, when we've posted Cuddlies to their Adopted Homes in the  United States (or elsewhere for that matter, but particularly the United States) on a Friday they have tended to get to their destinations within the allotted time quoted by UK Royal Mail.  We offer our Buyers the option of using the quoted service (International Airmail Signed For - which is the most expensive journey on offer) or the customer can opt to go with the "normal" International Standard Airmail Package route, which is cheaper, but takes for ever to reach where it's headed.  The former is supposed to take only 5 Working Days from date of posting.  Recently, admittedly with Christmas postal services in chaos internationally, that has not been the case - Grandpere Tiger, as you may recall took 22 days, which is not much shorter than it would have been had he just gone Ordinary International Airmail.
So, as both the Tiger Puppets sent to JS in Tulsa were posted at the beginning of the week they left the UK, Isobel decided to try sending these Puppet Bodies on Friday of last week.  There is always a get out clause for the UK Postal Authorities.  Because provided the package reaches territory in the USA within the 5 Working Days, they then cannot track the package any further - so their part of the transaction has been fulfilled.  So, it is then dependent on US Post to take up the cudgel on our behalf, and of course they could say the contract was not with them!!!   On the other hand, a Baby Koala that was headed for Hong Kong who left us when we were in Heytesbury, Wiltshire on a Friday, was at his new Home by Monday afternoon the next week!  So it can, and does work!
However, when Isobel, Peter and Girls lived in Canada they always told folks in the UK to try to send packages to them in Alberta (way over on the west side of Canada) on either a Thursday, Friday or Saturday - because usually there are more aeroplanes headed towards the American Continent at a week-end (whether just cargo or passenger) and therefore more chance of our parcels getting to where they've been addressed quicker.  Now, admittedly, that was way back in the 1980's and technological "improvements" in postal services have been introduced which are supposed to be better than ever for their customers.  We'll see, and I'll let you know how things pan out with the Puppet Bodies.
I do promise you that this Black version of the Smith Puppet Bodies is a new one, because as you can see it has matching black drawstring at the neck, where the one we showed you in last week's post - the one with Alan's arm in it, has a white one.
This latter Body is currently waiting to be attached to a Black and White Cat Head which has been completed as a Dry Run for a future Smith Puppet.  It's not ready for display, as one of the ears is definitely wonky, and Isobel has yet to figure out how to fit the head to the neck of the body!  She's waiting till she's feeling capable of the battle.  So far, the attempts have not been impressive!

Meanwhile, a pair of Grey Rabbit Head Slippers will be ready by close of play today to be sent to Huron, South Dakota first thing Monday morning (January 12).  It's a week later than planned, but still within the published "ready for dispatch" date requested by on their sales sites.

So, until next week, I'll let Isobel go off and huddle in her armchair - and finish the second Rabbit Head. Till next time - hopefully with everyone firing on all cylinders.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Old Friends Renewed - and the latest from the COLDHAMCUDDLIES world.

Hello Everyone!

Happy New Year to all our Followers!  This is Cy Bear signing in for my first post for 2015!

Newly relisted Baby Kolas sending New Year greetings too!
Well, the snow has all gone - but not before it apparently caused a lot of problems in and around the grounds of where we Cuddlies now reside and the surrounding streets.  Being a public holiday (what ever that is) no gritting crews came out to put de-frosting stuff on the roads, and as a result lot of people slipped around and some hurt themselves.  Isobel was firmly told NOT to walk to get her daily paper, once the shops opened after the Christmas holiday, and it was delivered to her by Alan and Dotty, who took their early morning walk in a direction which made it feasible for them to pick the paper up en route homewards.  

Theoretically that should have given Isobel a bit more time to do more things, but somehow it seems that she finds ever more things that need to be done, with even less time to achieve them.  She gives the impression of chasing her tail - if she had one, that is.  Having seen Dotty do that sometimes, I think it's a very good illustration of how Isobel can behave sometimes!  I observe these actions from my perch on her very comfortable bed, where I am allowed to sit for the day time hours.

Anyway, some news on the Smith Puppet front.  To everyone's astonishment, in the first postal delivery after Christmas, the felt and pattern for the Hands that Isobel has been asked to make arrived from Tulsa, USA.  They were only posted on Christmas Eve - so for the second time in our relationship with the Tulsa based Puppet emporium, it would appear that it is faster for them to post stuff to us than it is for us to service them!  

The dry run for Puppet Bodies - using some of the recently acquired Black Fleece fabric was successfully accomplished last week-end.  

The reason that this will only be a dry-run is that Isobel is not satisfied with the thickness of the black fleece.  It is not as fluffy as will the White bodies be, and as there is also a need for experimentation on a Cat Head down the road, it was mutually agreed between JS  and Isobel that she would use the black fleece now so she can see how the bodies will work.  The experimental body will not be wasted, as once the Cat Head is made, it will be attached to this body and become a new Cuddly in our Etsy Shop - https://www,  (The thicker black fleece, together with further supplies of the white fleece needed for the other three white Puppet bodies and one Blue Body, have been ordered, and we hope will arrive fairly early this coming week. The factory from which we get the material are normally very fast suppliers, but they only open for business after the Christmas season on Monday, January 5.)

The Tulsa White Puppet Bodies (outer skins and linings) are ready to be sewn together, following the pattern established here, and once the new Black fleece materials has arrived, the black outer skin will be cut out and sewn (the lining is already made).  This is what the finished dry-run puppet body looks like - with Alan's  hand and  arm in  the operating position.

The Tulsa puppets' heads are ceramic ones and the idea of the drawstring at the neck is that the bodies will fit around the necks of the ceramic models and they can then be operated by the Puppeteer.  

The dry run Cat Head on the other hand is going to be sewn on to this body's neck - and at the moment Isobel is working at creating a neck - using the patterns she used for the two Harry Ginger Sitting Cats we wrote about in a recent post.  The head bit is looking quite promising: but it is currently looking a bit weird because of the missing neck!  Isobel has created a template, and hopes to work with it later today, or tomorrow.  She's hoping it will look something like Harry here - but in black and white plush.

During correspondence this week Isobel requested permission to use the puppet body pattern being used at the moment for all future Coldham Cuddlies puppets - both hand and arm versions.  It looks so much more comfortable to operate in this format than the current and former Puppets.  I'm pleased to tell you that JS has agreed,  so henceforth my Puppet friends will have their arms/hands in this position, rather than as they are now.  They are perfectly workable in their current format, but these just look a lot more professional - and comfortable to manipulate too.

In between all this sewing, there have been a lot of renewals and relisting going on in the Shop, and I'm expecting to be telling you all about these in a day or so's time.  Meanwhile, I'll end this post for now and hope that everyone had a really great Festive Season and that you are all ready for what 2015 will bring us all.

Good Night and God Bless!  Your friend.  Cy Bear.

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic