Sunday, 1 February 2015

A little bit of this.... and a little bit of that ..... latest ColdhamCuddlies update

Hello everyone - I'm giving Cy Bear a rest, so he doesn't think he's going to take over the blog duties for good!  But really there's been so much happening in my world that is very exciting, as well as time-consuming, and I felt I should share it with you myself. 

February 10 is the fifth anniversary of the ColdhamCuddlies registration on - which amazes me, I have to say.  That was the date we officially signed up:  but as there was no stock in the shop, it didn't begin functioning until September, by which time we had about 10 different toys on offer - mainly Teddy Bears and the Dressed Rabbits (Ladies and Gents).  Prior to the Craft Fair at the beginning of December we had over 70 different Toys, but what with Craft Fairs and more recently a steady supply of orders we are now down to the mid-60's.  So, there's a replacement schedule that needs to be put in place - and I've got some lovely patterns for some new Cuddlies to join the Family!
Meanwhile, Cy Bear did tell you about the impending departure of two of our Baby Koalas, dispatched to join the Sleepy Koala that went to live in Torquay, Devon, UK a week or two ago.  Before they left, he insisted on supervising their departure - as is his wont - and here's the picture to prove it!

We have not heard if they did arrive, and I've been so busy with other things, that I've not yet checked.  Am pretty sure, given the speed at which we were contacted when Sleepy Koala arrived at his Forever Home, that had they not reached their destination, we would have been contacted.

Think they were pretty pleased to be travelling together, anyway.

The rest of the week has been spent cutting out, and sewing the second batch of Puppet Bodies for dispatch to Mr.JS of Tulsa, Okalahoma, as well as finishing the three pairs of felt hands that he required for some other members of his Puppet Theatre.

This time around, three more white fleece bodies - all lined with calico fabric - and a baby blue fleece body were needed.  (It was a black body and three further white ones that were dispatched at the beginning of January - and I was pleased to learn they finally arrived in Tulsa at the beginning of this week).  So the dispatch experiment that was discussed a couple of posts ago here didn't work - the parcel took as long to reach Tulsa this time around as did Grandpere, and this time around there wasn't  the excuse of the Christmas rush.  Before posting this second batch of bodies, am going consult with Royal Mail as to how I can ensure the package taking less time when the Buyer is paying for a faster delivery.  I don't think it would have gone much slower had I sent it by ordinary International Standard Airmail Parcel delivery - and would not have been as expensive for MrJS.

These are the three pairs of hands - and I've got so much felt left over from the two sheets I used, that I'm actually in the process of making three more pairs:  just in case they are needed when MrJS comes to sew them onto the puppets at the other end. (The felt was provided by MrJS - and is a much better flesh colour than anything I could source on this side of the Atlantic)  It's rather a long way for him to get replacements should they be needed fast!  The fingers have all been machined:  I just need to button hole stitch around the edges, and that can be done tomorrow evening, once I've cut out our next project - two versions of our Hairy Teddy Bears, one of which will be headed to Missouri in the next couple of weeks.

I'm off for a few days to stay with daughter, Philippa, in High Wycome at the end of the week.  At least one of the Hairy Bears will be accompanying me so I can keep my fingers from getting stiff - although I have to say, that even with the intense cold weather we are having at the moment, the arthritis does seem to be reasonably passive at the moment.  Long may that situation continue - it does make life easier.

Now before closing just some interesting statistics - at least they are for me!  I've told you about how many toys are now available in our shop at  this blog - started in March 2011, has now had 30,654 page views, over 287 posts (not counting this one).  That's really amazing considering the content is little more than descriptions of our Toys, and the patients in our Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic - which might be getting a new patient shortly:  if it happens, this will be the first since I moved up from Heytesbury, Wiltshire, where I think all the Village Bears needing treatment had been welcomed at one time or another!!

 An unexpected enquiry, which reached me last week-end via the Royal Mail Redirection service came from a lady in Buckinghamshire - who had read about my Clinic when I'd written to The Lady Magazine about our services (just about a year ago).  Coincidentally, the Royal Mail had written to remind me the same day that my redirection arrangement was due to end on February 11 (which means we've been up in Nottinghamshire for 6 months from that date - my word the time flies).  Needless to say, I've extended my re-direction arrangements for another six months - just in case there are more letters looking for me, although I have to say, there are not that many now.  Most folk who are in regular contact now know where I now live.

Some further stats - which thrill me, I have to say, because being a gypsy at heart, it really gives me a charge  to think about where my blog is being read.  About nine months after I began posting regularly, early in 2012, I found a site called Flag Counter - you can see it on the right side of this post - and since joining, there have been 7,331 page views, of which 3,019 (or 61.7%) are based in the United States 84 different flags have been collected - from countries as widely dispersed as the Philipines, Turkey,  Brazil, Russia, as well as the United Kingdom (which account for 15.5%) and many of the other countries of the English speaking world, such as Australia and CanadaCy Bear and I are most grateful for your support - we like to think of our posts being treated as bedtime reading - and look forward to continuing and building on this amazing collection of friends.

Think I have waffled on long enough for tonight - must get ready to complete the other hands and then pack them up for posting to Tulsa on Tuesday morning. 

Awaiting the three other pairs of hands
Until next week - do hope everyone continues to keep well and that weather conditions - where ever you are based in the world - are not being overly out of kilter from the norm!  It is February  - and my late Mother always said the worst months of the British winter for her were either November or February.  Don't think she was really that far out!

All the best - and thanks again for all your support.  Isobel

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic