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!