Sunday, 15 October 2017

Progress Report - regarding latest COLDHAMCUDDLIES' Plans:

Greetings to One and All - Cy Bear back again:

It's seems to have been sometime since I was posting to you, but Isobel has been so busy what with one thing and another - a lot of which she told you about two weeks ago - that it's not been convenient for me to chat with you until today.

Last Sunday, it was also her birthday, and she found that daughter Clare had organised a surprise party for her, to be combined with a celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving - so she didn't return home until way after our normal posting time here, so we decided to wait until today to update you on what is currently happening/being arranged in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES world.  So, let me begin.

First of all, we have to introduce you to four new Baby Koala Toys - during the summer re-listing process, Isobel discovered that all but one of our previous 5 Baby Koalas had found Forever Homes - mostly off-Etsy, and with local friends and their families, and she needed to do some replacements.  With the proximity of the WINTERFEST 2017 getting ever closer, and because they often move fast at such events, she got down to cutting out 4 new ones, and was able to complete them all within 8 days of cutting them out - working,mainly, in the evenings, after her regular stint of Etsy Team duties had been done.  We still have to keep doing those, in order to keep a presence for the Shop on line you see.

Here are the new Koalas - sitting on top of the Brother Printer - in our living room, before being ticketted (priced!) and put into their storage bags ready for November 25th!

It's a convenient spot for Isobel to photograph them - as the computer is just in front of the printer, and the lighting is not too bad during the evenings!  She'll take some better ones soon - when she gets the time to set them up properly, but this will have to do for the time being.  To create the faces, she used a new pair of scissors, purchased from our friendly Mohair supplier - Mohair Bear Supplies of Telford, Shropshire, England, UK - when we got the curly plush fabric for our Grey Cat Puppet (see belowearlier in the year.

The booking for the Christmas Craft Fair at Thoresby Hall is now confirmed.  Isobel had quite a battle to find an insurance company who was prepared to give us a quotation for the one-off event, but it was eventually successful and we got confirmation that we have been accepted towards the end of last week.

So, it's now all systems go, to get replacement Baby Owls in sufficient numbers to make a decent display for November 25thIsobel rooted out the faux fur fabric from our stocks yesterday, and now has it ready in a big plastic bag - together with the white plush (for the Baby Owl faces) and the leatherette fabric- for the feet and beaks of 4 new Toys.  When we took the pattern template out of our library yesterday, we discovered that we still had sufficient of the latter fabric with patterns already drawn for 2 Baby Owls, so we're already a little ahead of ourselves.  We hope to get the other pieces all cut out and ready for sewing - to start sometime Tuesday of this week.

We're also planning to make a couple of new additions to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Family - in the shape of Small Mohair Bears.  We keep forgetting we have some smaller pieces of Mohair in stock - left over from the Treatment of Ed Ted (way back in 2011, shortly after our  Animal Toy Restoration Clinic was first set up).  We did make a Little Ed Ted (who found a home in the USA in 2016) but have never replaced him.   As smaller Toys often get chosen quicker at Craft Fairs in our past, we hope we'll be able to find Forever Homes for them just before this Christmas.  We think we have sufficient fabric for one more Little Ed type Bear, and a similar sized Red Mohair Bear - who will be a whole new addition to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES family.

Little Red Ted and Me in our Garden in Wiltshire just after he was made.

In the past, Isobel and Clare (who helped us when we last had a major Christmas Fair attendance during our first Christmas in Kirkby in 2014, and will be doing so again, this time around) are convinced that we have lost sales for our Toys in the past because we didn't take Credit or Debit cards - preferring only to deal in cash and/or cheques.  This time around, because Isobel found a "special deal" on line from PayPal, one of the routes by which we accept payment through our Shop, Isobel has bought a Chip Card Reader.  At the moment though, use of it is limited because there are two more hoops for Isobel to get through before that will be an option for COLDHAMCUDDLIES.  Isobel has to "join the 21st Century" and get herself an Android Smartphone so the Reader can be attached to it: and then she has to undergo a credit check by PayPal (even though she has been a PayPal account holder since we set up in 2010) because we've had to upgrade our account from a Personal one in Isobel's name to a business account in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES name!  That cannot happen until we've decided on the exact model of smartphone we're going with, and the type of programme we're going to purchase once that decision is made.  Isobel hopes to be able to go to our local supplier (in nearby Mansfield) sometime later this coming week - or during the following week, together with Clare and GrandsonE - whose half-term will be happening at that time.  So, more anon.

Then Isobel spent most of  Friday this week in St. Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham where she was helping out a Friend at an Exhibition of Clerical Embroidery.  She took lots of photographs, and intends to show them to you in a future blog - which could well occupy this space in the coming weeks, as we prepare for the WINTERFEST 2017 show in November.  So, folks, just watch this space.

Meanwhile, all the best for this coming week to you all.  We're thinking of everyone who might be affected by natural events who read this blog - such as those living in California, and possibly near to the wild fires, and, even, in this country, as we await the after effects of an incoming storm expected to hit the west coast of the UK early next week.  We're not located there, but the island of the United Kingdom is not that big, and winds of 80 miles an hour don't take that long to cross the landmass here!  So - hoping to be back in touch with you all very soon, I'll now say Good Bye for this post.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.