Sunday, 2 April 2017

Introducing our Easter Ducklings as well as News of Old Friends.

Hello Everyone:

Cy Bear being allowed to chat with you again!  Once Isobel gets going, there's no stopping her, and I never know if - or WHEN, for that matter - I'll get the chance to chat with you all again!!!

Our post last week concentrated on the Baby Chickens made during the previous week:  one of them, the one in the middle of this photograph, was bought by a family friend when the Chicks, and our new Ducklings, were being shown to friends and fellow Mass attenders at St.Barnabas Cathedral in Nottingham, during the coffee session this morning.

I'm very pleased to tell you that we now have three Yellow Fleece Ducklings, made with the same fabrics used for the Chickens last week, and they were listed in the Shop ( last evening.  Here they are, together with a link to them if any of our Followers feel similarly inclined!  You can see, although the same pattern was used for all of them, none of them look exactly alike!

Isobel opened up the computer just now and found that an order has already been placed for one of them - by Mrs HB, best friend of her daughter Clare, who is one of the best customers we have.  (This will be her fourth order since we opened the Shop in 2010).  Thus, as they are "in stock", one of the Ducklings shown here - MrsHB has been asked to let us know if she has a preference - will be winging (pun intended!) its way to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada just as soon as the money transaction has been completed  (I gather that means just as soon as the funds reach the Shop's Bank Account.  So I guess the departing Duckling will be posted on Wednesday afternoon, when Isobel does part of her weekly shop and can post the parcel while she is in Kirkby in Ashfield Town Centre.)

I'm told, too, that one of the Ducklings was "booked" by a family friend during the Coffee Session in the Cathedral Hall today, but wasn't actually purchased.  (Neither Isobel nor the potential Buyer had sufficient change for the transaction!).  That will take place next Sunday, other things being equal - or that is the current plan!  Looks like Isobel is going to have to cut out some more of each Poultry species, in case there is a sudden rush for them before Easter - both on line, or in real life!

There is good news too of my young Friend, PuffinDR - made as a dry run model for PuffinR who returned home to Rhode Island, NY at the end of February.  PuffinDR has found himself a Forever Home too! 

During the Heart Attack session Isobel told you about in last week's post, we received an order for PuffinDR from a former team member (on another Etsy Team, of which Isobel no longer is a part) with whom she has kept in touch via Facebook.  MrsLLS has recently become a Grandmother for the first time, to a little Boy - and she and her daughter picked PuffinDR to become BabyM's Best Friend.  So, as PuffinDR was in stock, once the payment had been completed (see above for that procedure!), a package was assembled.  After the usual Farewell Ceremony that I supervise had taken place, off PuffinDR went - headed for Marysville, Washington State, U.S.A

The photograph below was actually taken before PuffinR (originally our Patient in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic - dispatched.  But Isobel felt that it was nice that it should be used now - celebrating the fact that the two COLDHAMCUDDLIES Puffin Toys will shortly be effectively "straddling" the United States of America!  Now we've got to see if we can fill some of the spaces in between on that huge Continent - with more Puffins from our Bird Colony, as well as any other COLDHAMCUDDLIES Toy lucky enough to find a Forever Home too!  But that's going to mean Isobel sewing up  a storm - not only with the Poultry Toys, but also some replacement Puffins pretty darn fast too!

Puffin DR is on the left of the picture

Incidentally, we received a 5 Star Review for the work done on PuffinR this week: DadR kindly said in it

james rhodes
james rhodes on 30 Mar, 2017
5 out of 5 stars
Puffin made it back sooner than anticipated, fully restored and wholly loved by his forever friend.

The plan for today's post was originally intended to be a story as to how the Ducklings came to be made.  However, like all good plans, they can be changed if necessary - so I'm  now going to START the Duckling Production saga, and finish it off next week.

A couple of posts ago, Isobel told you that the pattern for the Ducklings, as with the Chickens, were provided by MrsSF - fellow member of a Facebook Group on which Isobel is very active these days (as well as the Teams on Etsy).   This is all part of the necessary online sales activity to try to attract Buyers for the Cuddlies from all over the world.  MrsSF provided the patterns free of charge - for which naturally we were very grateful.  Last evening, after the Ducklings were listed, Etsy Shop links for both the Chickens and Ducklings were sent to MrsSF (together with good wishes for her New Home - she was due to move in on Saturday, 1st April!) inviting her to choose which Chicken and Duckling she would like for her children in return.  (Another reason why Isobel is going to have to do some rapid sewing this week too, methinks!)

Isobel likes to start any Toys off by sewing the "peripherals" - be they beaks, feet, wings or arms and legs.  So in the Ducklings' case, she began with the beaks and feet - shown here, cut out and ready for action!  The Beaks have been sewn together, but the feet (three pairs) have yet to have that attention.

Sewing the body of the Duckling did not prove to be a problem.  Nor did the feet, this time around.

Here are the relevant pieces waiting to be sewn together for the first Duckling.  However, even at this stage, the Beak did seem somewhat large and out of proportion to the rest of the Duckling Toy's body and wings!

Isobel tacked the first beak into place, and alas our suspicions were confirmed.  You can see how very "top heavy" - if that is the description - the beak does look.  So, she took the beak out of the Duckling's face and parted the two layers.  She then only fitted the lower beak, having cut off the narrow end of the pattern piece and folded the sides together.  This is the resulting Duckling "look" with which Isobel was much happier.  The Toy's eyes are constructed by tying a knot at the end of a piece of Black Double Knit Yarn, and then sewing it into shape and place with matching black cotton thread.

The feet were just being sewn in place when the photograph above was taken, but I think you will agree that the protruding beak looks very much more comfortable with only the lower part of the original pattern being used.  (Isobel has kept the upper layers - just in case she decides to make use of them at a later date.  NOTHING goes to waste in this Shop!).  

Think this week's bulletin has now gone on long enough, so I'll close it - and we'll bring you the full Duckling Listing details - and any updates on the fortunes of both our Chickens and Baby Ducks  -next week. Until then, wishing you a really good week - and hoping all the children breaking up for their Easter Breaks/Vacations  have a great time too.

Your Friend,

Cy Bear.