Sunday, 28 January 2018

A New Year, Introducing a New Cuddly - and New Year Good Wishes, All Round!

Well Hello Everyone!

So very good to be back again with lots to tell you, especially as the Christmas Break was extended way beyond our original plans - briefly mentioned in our last post here (17th December 2017).

In which case, hopefully not too late, both Isobel and I want to wish all our Readers and Followers a Happy New Year - adding that we do hope that 2018 brings you everything you wish for yourselves and your families.  (We'll be changing our pictures soon - because Isobel doesn't look like this now,  with all the weight she's managed to lose) and it's always a good idea to keep changing one's "look" (or so I am told).

Various "events" have made this delay inevitable.  After a lovely break away in Buckinghamshire with elder daughter Philippa, Isobel arrived back and walked into our flat which had turned into a deep-freeze.  A Power Surge (whatever that is - us Bears, wouldn't know - but I do know it was VERY COLD!!!) had knocked out every electrical appliance in the flat - including the central heating.  With no inkling about this, Isobel was met by a strange young man as she was about to open our front door, saying that he was unable to enter our home - because the front door was firmly locked.  This was rapidly changed, and Isobel and the young man walked around our home checking everything that looked "electrical" to see if any damage had occurred 5 nights before, and if any damage was permanent.  

We were really lucky (the Residents were without any television all over Christmas as well as without proper heating (heaters being supplied by the Power Distributing Company) - a real hardship for more mature ladies and gentlemen, who find a TV almost obligatory to keep them company), but after spending the first night back in Kirkby up the road with Clare (Philippa, who had planned on over-nighting, having returned to High Wycombe during that afternoon), Isobel again came in to a freezing cold home, as the heating system had still not functioned overnight.  The electricity power distributor rushed around with three convection heaters (which were GIVEN to her permanently!) so that by the second morning, when the heating system had been correctly re-set, life began to return to normal (exactly a week after the emergency began).  The newly installed shower pump had succumbed to the power-surge, so Isobel had to strip-wash in the kitchen for a week before the new part was supplied, but apart from that we got off lightly - UNLESS you can call Isobel going down with a really nasty cold/flu attack a few days later, blame for which was placed on the 4 or 5 hours spent on the second morning waiting for the convection heaters to be supplied.  

That's why everything started going pear-shaped.   Our Christmas orders (due to be delivered fairly early in the New Year) took longer to be completed than we'd really like - because on top of the cold, the ever-present arthritis in Isobel's hands decided to have a flare-up after several years of being relatively quiescent (which inevitably slowed things down). Then our Self Assessment Tax Return had to be worked on - and was completed as late as yesterday afternoon - and so on. 

Nevertheless, two of the four orders were completed;   one has been successfully posted, and duly received with delight - destination Oxfordshire, UK.  The second one was posted to Rhode Island, New York, USA only a few days later than originally set.  A third awaits a final decision  later this year - this is for 6 Golf Club Head Covers, if it goes ahead.   Isobel has today taken the measurements for a pair of Brown Bear Ladies' Slippers - which she hopes to start making early next week - for one of our fellow Residents here at Old Chapel Close (grandmother to the young lady who received the Grey Wolf Slippers before Christmas 2017) - seen here

The two post-Christmas, completed orders were for a Special Rabbit - whom Isobel decided should be called Oscar, while he was being constructed (a suggestion the Customer accepted!) - who has been made to resemble as closely as feasible a Rabbit that looks like this

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Artwork involved in creating the pattern for Isobel to work with

in a photograph provided by our Customer - who is involved in organising the launch of a special film, in which Oscar takes a prominent place, scheduled for 6th February, 2017.  We'll be telling you ALL about how Oscar Blue Rabbit was made and what may happen to him (and COLDHAMCUDDLIES) in a future blog, but as 6th February has yet to arrive, and Oscar has still to be listed in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Shop ( this is all that I'll say here today.  Meanwhile, suffice to say, the pattern artwork was provided by Puppeteer Extraordinaire, Sean Smith (of Tulsa, OK, USA) with whom we've collaborated in the past.  Oscar did prove to be quite a challenge - converting that photograph into a viable, cuddly Toy using fleece, felt and polyester stuffing was not exactly straight forward!

Almost at the same time, Isobel received another Custom Order from MrsSG  located in Rhode Island, NewYork, U.S.A. who wanted to have a Winston Wombat Hotwater Bottle Cover - see below

as well as another similar item, but made up to look like a Koala.  Isobel suggested we could use the Head used for Sleepy Koala Bear, and sew it onto a pillow cover made with our Koala Bear type fabric:

and MrsSG was happy to go along with that idea.  Beginning a week ago last Friday, the two Hotwater Bottle Covers were cut out and constructed - and the Koala Bear version will be listed early next week.  Meanwhile, this is what Koala Bear Hotwater Bottle Cover looks like:

Both of these were posted last Friday morning, and we hope they will travel speedily and safely in time to reach the family before they set off on a Winter vacation (we suspect timed to coincide with half term holidays for the two daughters of the family).  The difference in size (even though the same amount of fabric has been used for both items) is - as ever - explained by the difference in fabric thickness mostly, as well as Winston Wombat having a bigger head to begin with!!  If they look a bit lop-sided - that's because the pillow (which is also stuffing in the absence of a hotwater bottle) is probably not exactly centred on Isobel's bed pillow!!

That's all for this week Folks.  Look forward to resuming our usual weekly posts for the rest of the year .... but given potential developments, hinted at earlier in this post, I'm not promising anything!

Have a great week, Everyone.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.