Sunday, 31 May 2015

Possible new roles for some Cuddlies.

Good afternoon/evening Everyone!

Cy Bear back again because Isobel decided she'd posted enough for a week or two!  I'm delighted because it can get a bit boring just sitting on my own on her bed day after day, when she's busy doing all the other things she gets up to - in addition to making us Cuddlies.

However, to get back to the title of this particular post.  As regular readers here know I have several roles in my life to fulfil.  I'm first and foremost the Mascot for the Shop (  As well as that I am co-author here, and also perform the very important function of being Principal Friend to all the Cuddlies.  The duties there involve welcoming any Patients that come to be treated in our Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic

Three former Patients, whom I welcomed on arrival and are now back in their respective homes
and, of course, taking part in every Farewell Ceremony (when Isobel doesn't pack the departing Cuddly before I can participate that is!) when a Cuddly is adopted and leaves us for their Forever Homes.  

On the COLDHAMCUDDLIES banner for both the Shop and the Blog, the underlying tag  says that we Cuddlies are "Companion Toys" and "Mascots", and Isobel has decided to add another role for us Cuddlies to undertake.  She's thinking about how we can be used to help new adopted babies/younger children to settle into their own new Forever Homes.  When you think about it, ALL  the Cuddlies are Adopted Toys themselves, so who better to help to introduce Little People to their new surroundings? 

The idea was first mooted when Isobel met the Social Worker originally appointed to deal with Clare and Alan while they proceeded through their own adoption process.  He felt that the fact Isobel made us Cuddlies might well prove to be most helpful as and when their Little One arrived.  Isobel has been pondering since then just how we could be used in such a role.  Alas, he unexpectedly, and unfortunately, died and the idea has since been allowed to remain just that - an Idea.

During the Adoption process  operated by one of the UK agencies (one of whom is supervising the potential arrival of a Little Person into Isobel's Family's lives) at the later stages, the Adopting Parents are asked to create an Introduction Book in which pictures of where they will be living, where they will sleep, who they will be being looked after (the new parents) and any animals that will also share the Little One's space.  In this era of electronic media, this book can now be produced as an E-book (whatever that is), and it even allows the Adopting Parents the chance to record their voices (as well as pictures of themselves) for the Foster Parents looking after the Little People to show/play.  (Isobel, who was adopted herself because her parents died when she was a small baby, says she thinks this is a great idea - she'd love to know what her Mum sounded like or if her Father, who was a Scotsman educated in England, had a Scottish accent or not!)

I've just heard that one of my Purple Fleece Rabbit friends is going to be used in just such a way. He - who is going to be called BOB - is going to be shown  in all the places that the new Little Person will be living in future.  So, for example, Bob will sit in the cot - which is already made up.  Bob will be shown in all the relevant rooms and, probably, in the pram and car seat.  All designed to make the Little Person somewhat familiar with their proposed new surroundings.

Now Isobel just happens to have a Purple Fleece Rabbit - who was made at the same time as Bob - and to remind you what they looks like, here is Bouncer (I've just thought of that name, by the way) standing in two different places in the garden where Isobel and I are now living.

This picture, I am told, is just outside the front door of the block in which we now reside - and the one below shows the small front lawn of the block next door within the lovely garden that surrounds the complex. 

The garden is  not as big as the one we had in Wiltshire, nor does it have as many nooks and crannies which can be used to take photographs of us Cuddlies.  However, there are sufficient different spaces that Isobel can use, and she intends to retake photographs of everyone still in our store as and when the time and weather permits - when (or if ever) the summer finally arrives!

There's also one new development I'd like to tell you about.  I've recently been involved in a Farewell Ceremony for one of our Light Brown Bears who travelled to Southbridge, Masschusetts.  He arrived safely, I'm pleased to say.  He was part of a duo Isobel made for our Second Best Customer, MrsB.  His partner in crime, Bear with a Yellow Bow (shown here)

is being submitted for a Teddy Bear Making Competition - that is if Isobel can make the various links work for her.  If that happens, and if by any chance he is successful, you will, of course be  told!  The deadline for submissions is today and judging will take place in September/October this year.  So, don't hold your breaths, please.  (He and I have been sitting together on Isobel's bed since he was made, so that he didn't feel lonely when his chum departed for the USA.  But now he's an entry into this competition, he's been put away in a drawer - so that he doesn't get sold by mistake, or get unnecessarily dusty by sitting outside)

Close up of Lt Brown Bear with Yellow Bow
Until the next time, I hope everyone is well, not suffering from too unpleasant weather conditions - as I hear my Tiger and Cat Puppet Friends family in Tulsa are currently - and that we'll meet again soon.

Good night and God bless  Your Friend, Cy Bear.
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 24 May 2015

What happened next in the Tulsa Puppet Saga

Greetings to Everyone - this is the continuation of our story of the Puppet making collaboration between our Puppeteer Customer, MrJS from Tulsa, Okalahoma and Isobel, which has been in progress since October 2014, and is reaching its final stages. 

 Last week, I told you about DanielS Puppet, who morphed into becoming Collette.   It was a shorter post than usual because it took Isobel so long to work out how to transfer the pictures from MrJS's emails onto this blog page.  This week, after further study and practice, she thinks she's got it sussed, so, I'd now like to show you what happened to Grandpere Tiger, starting with what he looked likejust before he left us:

This was Grandpere before Isobel added a goatee beard and mustache to his facial features.  The next post is of him with the additional details added.

She wasn't entirely happy with this result, but MrJS - whom you will have realised is pretty handy with the needle and thread himself, said he'd "play" around with what we'd attempted and this is what Grandpere now looks like in the Tulsa Puppet Collection.  (His mustache looks much better, and the goatee beard (Isobel's second attempt, actually) looks much more in proportion!)

Isobel then made eight different bodies for MrJS so he could add different heads and dress them up to be some of the characters in the original  "Mr. Roger's Neighbourhood" stories.
First he produced "Cornflake" - who in the series ran the Village Shop, apparently.  MrJS's version now looks like this:

Thereafter, over the next few weeks, we were sent pictures of  - firstly:

The Puppet named Lady Elaine.  Now, I think Isobel has said earlier in the Tulsa Puppet Saga, that she herself doesn't actually remember all these characters.  When the programme was shown on television when the Family were living in Canada, it was aired at the same time as she was cooking the evening family meal.  Thus, she can remember hearing the voices and stories, but cannot always put faces to the sounds.  (Both the girls will probably remember them - as they were regular viewers and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the characters.)

This puppet, King Friday, in all his glory, caused MrJS some grief apparently:  looking at his royal robes, both of us can see why.  The fur trimming on his train in particular must have been difficult to do, let alone his shimmering royal robe.  However you can see how his head (and that of Lady Elaine) was attached to our bodies.  (It was described very fully in Isobel's last post a couple of weeks ago here).

Finally, for the final member of the Royal Family in Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood, came Queen Sarah Saturday the 14th.

The final  Puppet we created, so far, for MrJS was, of course, Henrietta Pussycat.  We had some difficulty in deciding which route to go.  Initially, Isobel was going to make a puppet like we'd already done for the Tigers, using MrJS's original flat body pattern and then attaching a Head looking like the original Henrietta (or as near a copy as we could achieve.)

Our version, and how we made her, can be read in Isobel's blog dated 24/04/2015 - Continuation of the Tulsa Puppet Saga, Part 3.  However, for the purposes of this post, I'll just include one of the photos that appeared in that story.

The original plan was modified to arrive at this one - where we used the head pattern for our Sitting Cat toy  - see
and the body from another Cat Pattern we had in our library, which is still only a prototype and yet to be listed in our Shop  (

Even though Isobel was slightly quicker at transferring these images this week, it's still taken a long time, and it's time for me to close for this week.  However, I'm pleased to be able to tell you that we've begun the prototype final version of Daniel Tiger for MrJS, and hope to have it done by the middle of next week.  Then, it will be down to the final version of Daniel himself - once the prototype has been approved.

Until then - Goodnight Everyone - Hope you all have a great week and that the weather is kind to you.

Your Friend.  Cy Bear.

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Continuing the Tulsa Puppet Saga story - Updates on a Tiger Puppet

Greetings Everyone!

Cy Bear back again, because Isobel thought that it was better for me to bring you up to date news of my friends, DanielS Tiger and Grandpere Tiger - Arm Puppets that she made in November last year for our Puppeteer Friend, MrJS - who was responsible for last week's post showing how he builds Puppets for his collection.

DanielS Tiger was the first one of my Friends that Isobel created for MrJS and his production was described in our post on 25/11/2014 - "Puppet Personalities become Associate Cuddlies".  (You can read this by going to the Blog Archive at the bottom of the right hand column of our blog page here and scrolling down to the appropriate post).

Shortly after he arrived, MrJS  took this photograph showing DanielS settling in after meeting a new friend, "Teddy", who also originated in England.

However shortly thereafter, following a suggestion from  MrJS's daughter, DanielS became Colette and looked like this in a frock that was found to fit her.

However, MrJS  then got to work and Colette Tiger now looks like this:

The ultimate in chic - and to use MrJS's own words - "complete with real designer sweater and matching hat.  Made from one of my son's old sweaters salvaged after it was damaged beyond repair. Only the best for little Colette."

Now it's taken Isobel a lot longer to sort out how to get this photographs from the original email, via the download section of her computer and on to here.  So, this is all for this week.  Next time, hopefully, we'll be able to bring you more news of what has happened to my friend Grandpere Tiger and how he now looks, as well as Henrietta Pussycat and, with luck,  MrJS's son's recording of a song by Henrietta which was used by them in a joint presentation to the Mr. Roger's Foundation in Boston.  (You can see more about that contact in the November 2014 post I alluded to earlier).

Isobel is planning to begin a prototype for the final version of Daniel Tiger this coming week, with a view to sending the "real deal" shortly thereafter.  There's going to be a different head made - based on a pattern send to us by MrJS.

Until then, do hope you all have a great week.  Your friend  Cy Bear.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Trade Secrets of a Puppeteer - as revealed by JS of Tulsa, Coldham Cuddlies' star Repeat Customer.

Making the Prince Tuesday puppet

Hello Everyone - Isobel here, and this week, I think I've managed to suss the techniques of  transferring photos sent by email onto this post, via my Download file!  People can tell me until they are blue in the face HOW TO do it:  I have to actually DO it before the modus operandi sinks in!  My apologies for publishing last Sunday without the photographs.   Think this has to be the biggest error of my blogging career - but then, if one doesn't make a mistake or two in life, one really doesn't learn too much either!

Tiger Plush Arm Hand Puppet Activity Toy Made to Order Tiger Print Fabric Toddlers Kids  Play Toy Calico Lined Party Activity Toy

JS of Tulsa, Oklahoma - the Puppeteer referred to in this title,  first contacted me in September or October last year to see if I could make him a Tiger Puppet approximating in size to one of my big Teddy Bears.  I replied that I thought I could, and asked for more details.  It quickly became apparent that a combination of the Teddy Bear Body, and the Head I use for my Golf Club Covers might meet the criteria and I offered to do a prototype to see if it would work.   The photo above is the resulting puppet, and based on it, the project moved forward.  (The computer, or the blogger programme, is still causing some problems, because I'm still not sure why it persists in starting lower down the page than normal:  but at least it is appearing.  Also, this is not the normal font I used - but it's the one the Blogger programme wants me to use today!).

The first (of three Tiger Puppets proposed) was named Daniel.  There's some more background to this project that will be shared in future posts, but as JS has been kind enough to provide me with a tutorial on how he goes about making his Hand/Arm puppets, I thought I'd start the ball rolling by reproducing the story and pictures as provided to me via email some weeks ago.  So, in his own words:


I thought that the Prince Tuesday puppet would be a good example to show your followers on your blog. 
He is one of the more simple puppets in my collection and can be made in a single evening given that you
have all the necessary pieces and the proper outfit for the particular puppet that you will be building.

!.     Starting with a Coldham Cuddly stock puppet body.

2.    Prince Tuesday will require a reversal of arm position on the stock body.    (Photo shows where I cut the arms off)

3     Then resewing the arms back on upside down.

4.    Then I tried the shirt on for size, and to determine how much of the arms length that would need to be removed.

5.    Removing the excess material from the arms.

6.    Attaching the hands to the shortened arms.      (Felt hands were also made by Coldham Cuddlies)

7.    The 1880's German made 'tin' doll head I restored a few months ago.  ( Purchased off eBay. )

8.    Attaching the doll head to the stock body.

9.    Dressing the puppet - starting with the shirt.   (American Girl doll shirt - from eBay)

10.  Adding his waist coat.  ( Custom made "Hobbit" style vest from an Etsy doll maker ) 

11.  And lastly, adding the Prince's royal cloak.  ( Made by me. )

12.  The finished Prince Tuesday puppet ready for service.

12.  What my cat thinks about my puppet making presentation......  "

Well, this is a long post this week - making up for last week's effort - but hopefully you'll enjoy it as well as learn some interesting things too.  Until next week then - hope the days in between are good ones for all of us!  


Coldham Cuddlies Clinic