Friday, 23 September 2011

Announcing some tweaks and changes

Following our last post - or rather Cy Bear's last post - about Brr Bear's completed rejuvenation, have decided to announce some changes in future Coldham Cuddlies blog contents.  While there's still plenty to post about, feel after 72 posts plus nearly 50 Followers to our name (to those who are here, welcome - and thanks for your support), perhaps I can afford to let others participate as well.  Thus, in the next few weeks, I shall be inviting fellow Etsy toymakers,  and friends who have invited me recently, to Guest blog here, and will also be providing links to other interesting, toy-related items that I've come across as well.

Before doing so, think one has to wrap up some unfinished items - and I'll begin with an update about Panda Bear who left us recently to go to a new home in Saudi Arabia.  A photograph arrived earlier this week from his new home, showing him looking very comfortable with his new Best Friend.  I don't know what Best Friend's name is, but Panda Bear definitely looks as though he needs to do a bit of growing!  On the other hand, Best Friend will soon be big enough to want to cuddle him, so perhaps he'd better stay the size he is!

Next, in an effort to increase the "relevancy" of my tags for the toys in the Shop at, I've slightly changed the names I've given to all the dressed toys.  Over the weeks I've been posting here at I've been referring to the ColdhamCuddlies family at varying intervals.  Decided (when I was ironing the other day,  or it might have been when I was washing up - both activities encourage thoughts and new ideas!) that the inclusion of family type labels might be helpful in attracting viewers to the shop.  Accordingly, if folks want to visit, you will see that the Foxes are now labelled:

Auntie Prim Fox   Daddy Ferdinand Fox   Uncle Chuck Coyote   Mummy Fox (those my daughters had - and one still has - were christened such!)  Uncle Charlie Coyote  Cousin Francis Fox (although very smart, he doesn't look paternal - to my mind at any rate)

The Rabbits have been similarly labelled - Daddy White Rabbit  Aunty Grey Rabbit  Uncle Brendan Brown Rabbit  Grampa Grey Rabbit  Grandma White Rabbit  Auntie Brenda Brown Rabbit

Don't know what will happen - but when I checked the Activity site at before starting this post earlier, the Brown Rabbits had both already been favourited!  Here's hoping for increased viewing activity anyway.

Finally, with a view to being ready for the Greatest Coffee Morning in the World jamboree in aid of MacMillan Cancer Research on Friday, September 30, I've begun to really focus on the Glove Puppets (three are finished, one is almost complete and I'm hoping to have at least another four or five more before the great day).  Any left over (hope I'm not being too over-optimistic, but I'm quite excited by their potential, I have to admit) I'll list in the shop immediately.  (Incidentally, MacMillan Cancer are celebrating 100 years this year, which is even more exciting, don't you think?)

Before the great day, though, I am looking for something to perch them on - to display them to better advantage.  I have contacted some embroidered t-shirt and promotional badge companies in the area - good old Yellow Pages! (as well as my upholstery friends in Frome - the source of my polyester fibre and off cut materials).  I have asked if they can save me some of the plastic cones that the yarns they use - either wool or cottons - are spun round..  The Frome friends have said they'll keep some out of their bins for me.  The other contact has yet to get back, which means they probably cannot help.  I'm hoping for about 12-24, if I can get them in time.   I  also think the Lady Toys might look good perched on them,  as well as the Glove Puppets.  It would show off their skirts (and maybe pantaloons, as well!)  If not, I'll have to make do and mend somehow, but think the cones would be great, if I can get  them.   Obviously, I'll be taking the camera along, and if lighting etc. permits, will be photographing the stall etc.

Also, this morning, Brr Bear was handed back to Mrs. DK - who was seemingly very pleased with his new look.  One comment made was that until I'd mentioned the wrong nap on Brr's original coat in one of my blogs about the renovation project recently, she had forgotten that she had always had to brush him differently when she used to "fluff him up" as a child!  She has promised to have a photograph taken of Brr Bear sitting in his accustomed position on her bed - and it might also contain her beside him!  That would be a fitting close to that particular chapter of this blog, I believe.  When received, I'll post it on the blog to complete the rejuvenation story.

And that, my friends, is it for this post.  Will be taking photographs of the Glove Puppets when more are complete, and they will form the next post here - shortly.  I did promise not to specify dates, as I never seem to be able to keep them!  So... for now.....Good night, and God Bless!   Isobel

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Renovation of Brr Bear - Final stages

Hello there folks - Cy Bear back again, ready to continue Brr Bear's story.  As you can see from this post's title, Brr Bear is now finished.  Here is a picture of him, before I continue the blow-by-blow account of the final stages of his treatment.

Brr sitting on the left-over piece of his coat fabric

When I left you last time, Isobel had got Brr Bear's head sewn up with the wood stuffing inserted in his muzzle.  The next day, she completed sewing up all his limbs, ears and body and then began to stuff each of them individually.  Before putting in the polyester fibre, she tacked  Brr Bear's original body pieces to the matching piece of his new coat before sewing up each seam.  That way, Brr Bear remains in body, if not in view!

Each limb had a joint attached and because there were two pieces of fabric for the post to go through, Isobel used a knitting needle to make the initial hole.  The joint post then went in quite easily as a result and the arthritic fingers Isobel suffers from coped quite well.  She does find it quite difficult to get the limbs to stay tightly together, but they are fine for Brr Bear I'm pleased to say.

By this time, it was Friday again (where do the weeks go to, I wonder?) and the weekly meeting with Mrs.DK Brr's Best Friend took place.  The chosen brown eye was returned.   It was agreed that the growler would be put in so that Brr Bear spoke when he was tilted forwards (the positioning of the growler inside a bear apparently is crucial in deciding whether  he/she has to be tilted forwards or backwards in order to make a noise!).  The things we bears have to put up with!  Finally, Mrs. DK did not want claws to be embroidered on to Brr's legs and paws - as she could not remember him ever having any!

Brr prefers to sit down, so he is propped against the printer for his sideways view

With all that settled, Isobel was able to put the eyes into Brr's face immediately she began Friday evening's sewing session, and then stuffed the rest of the head, gathered the neck around the joint piece and attached his head to his body.  Then each limb was put in place and the body began to be stuffed.  Isobel laid Brr Bear on his tummy, put a layer of polyester fibre in position in the middle of his body and then put the growler in.  After that she arranged the stuffing all round the growler, making sure that the end with the holes in faced backwards so that he spoke properly!  Once he was fully stuffed, the final seam on his body was completed and I'm told you cannot feel the growler at all - but he certainly makes a noise when he gets moved!

That item was a first for Isobel, and she is very relieved that it appears to have worked!  She has a booklet provided to her by another company providing bear basics which gives her step-by-step instructions on how to put growlers in, sew on ears etc. which she refers to all the time. However, it's one thing to read about it:  quite another to actually do it!

When the body and head were fixed together, it was time for Brr Bear's ears to be placed on his head.  With the eyes in place, and head on the body it is much easier to see where they should be attached, and Isobel pinned them in place - but left them to be completed the next day, because they can always look different in daylight!  With the aid of the picture of Brr Bear which she had been consulting along the way, there were some adjustments to be made, but she thinks she has now got them in more or less the right position.  (It may not be exactly where he had them before, because with a new coat and two layers of fur there is a slight difference in size - not really noticeable - but it does affect the position of such things as ears, noses and mouths.)
Brr isn't lop-sided:  it's just that he does not like to stand!

Having got the ears sewn in firmly, the penultimate thing  to be done were the facial features.  His nose was embroidered on, as was his mouth and then Brr Bear was ready to be introduced to the world once more.
However, when Isobel looked at him this morning, Brr Bear looked as though his mouth was a little crooked.  She undid the stitching, re-did the mouth and - hey presto - he now has a really cheerful, straightforward look and I'm proud to call him my latest Bear friend and honorary member of the Coldham Cuddlies family!

The final thing Brr Bear needed though was to have his muzzle plucked.  This is an optional bit of facial grooming, and Mrs. DK specifically asked that it be done for Brr Bear as she could not remember him looking any other way but bare-nosed!  This action, too, was a first for Isobel and took quite a bit of time.  Using a pair of tweezers (from a manicure set) Isobel plucked the fur off and used the wood stuffing edge to provide the borders.   This action is provided as an extra treatment in the Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185)
 at a cost of £10.00 GDP.
Brr Bear - ready to stride off back home
With that, I'll end this post -  Cy Bear.

Isobel, meanwhile, is pleased to tell everyone that Brown Bear Glove Puppet is complete and she is well on the way to completing Panda Bear Glove Puppet.  These will form the next post in a couple of days or so.  Tommy Teddy's fabric arrived at the end of last week, but his treatment is not going to begin until after the Greatest Coffee Morning in the World (in aid of MacMillan Cancer) on September 30.  Philippa, Tommy Teddy's Best Friend is quite agreeable to the delay and it will enable me to produce some more Glove Puppets with different animal heads in the interim.  They seem to be taking me a couple of evenings to produce, which is helpful!  Now I, too, will end this post!  Isobel

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Brr Bear Renovation Project - the next stage

Hello again - Cy Bear here, being allowed to tell you what has been happening to my friend Brr Bear. In our last post, Isobel left him waiting for a bath, I believe, and I am pleased to tell you that the dousing happened later that evening.  He was soaked in a lukewarm bath with a soapy substance especially meant for "delicate" fabrics.  His pieces spent the whole night in the solution, and early next morning, he was thoroughly rinsed until there were no suds left and then Isobel stretched and pulled each piece back into shape and they were hung on a rack to dry.  Here is a picture to show you what I mean!

In the interim, while they dried, Isobel had a conversation with Mrs. DK, Brr Bear's Best Friend.  It was agreed that the wood stuffing used to stuff the muzzle area of Brr Bear's face should be used again, that his eyes would definitely be brown, but bigger than the ones that had been taken out and the growler to be placed within his torso was also chosen.  However, when Isobel got back home, she realised that she had more than one version of a brown eye!  So, she sent a sample of each to Mrs. DK for her to choose and the answer was received by telephone this morning.

So, while Isobel was waiting, she actually cut out and started sewing another Bear Glove Puppet - this time a Brown Bear - who by the look of it is going to resemble my good self!  He's not made of Beaver Lamb like me, but a nice soft dark brown plush fur fabric (whose label is Bruno, actually - which I am told is a bear type name!)  We'll post about him another time, because this is supposed to be all about Brr Bear, but you may be interested to know that the body is completed, as is the head.  They've just got to be put together, once the ears have been put in place.

Then last night, Isobel suddenly realised that it was already Monday evening and Brr Bear was supposed to be ready to be handed over on Friday.  So, she got a move on, and ironed all Brr Bear's pieces, drew a cardboard template of all of them and then transferred them on to the mohair fabric that we'd got from Bear Basics a few days ago.

Taken under electric light - hence the yellowish tinge to the fabric!

One thing that Isobel noticed when she was deconstructing and washing Brr Bear was how on some pieces the way the fur laid on the fabric differred.  Now Isobel takes a great deal of trouble to ensure that all our fur is lying facing the same direction.  In this picture - of Brr's arms as it happens - the fur is going in two different directions - can you see?

Now I know one arm is the left one and the other is the right one, but even so, it must have been very uncomfortable for Brr Bear  to have his fur going in two different directions at the same time. It was the same for both sides of his face, too.   But then, if it was always that way, perhaps he did not realise it should not have been like that! Isobel is making sure that his new coat has the fur going the same way, all over. (By the way, this is the colour Brr Bear was after his bath!)

Also, talking of his new coat, because we've now learned that Brr Bear arrived in Mrs. DK's life "circa 1953-ish", and he was made by a well-known  British bear factory called Chad Valley (who are not around any more),  it does mean that he may well not be the exact colour he was before he was deconstructed.  Bear Basics provides mohair which is made by the well-known bear-making company Steiff Schulte and they may well use different goats and other materials to those that were used in the 1950's by Chad Valley to make Brr and his friends.  He will still be creamy brown and very soft and furry, but not exactly the same.  But, Mrs. DK has been warned and is ready for it!

Having drawn the pattern on to the selected fabric, Isobel then cut out the new pieces, and put them on top of Brr Bear's original pieces, matching each bit in turn.  She then placed the cardboard templates on top of the various piles - all ready to begin sewing him up, as and when she knew what colour eyes Brr Bear was going to have.  Now she does know, the construction process can begin - and, in fact, it already has.  His head has been sewn up and the wood stuffing put into the muzzle.  His body is ready to be stuffed and waiting for the growler to go in.  Next Isobel will sew up his arms, legs and ears and then the fun bit begins:  putting all the bits together.  So she's going to stop me twittering on, so she can get on with the job!

Here, before I go, is a picture of the template piles awaiting attention (before the head was sewn).  Till the next time! Cheerio.  Cy Bear.

And another thing.... because Mrs. DK's  bedroom is being "done" - to quote her - Isobel now doesn't have to deliver Brr for another week!  That's so good, because she didn't like the thought of rushing to have him finished by this coming Friday!  It also means that we can get to know each other before he finally leaves us!  I like that - as the official ColdhamCuddlies mascot (

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Brr Bear Renovation Project - Deconstruction process

We've been talking about Brr Bear and his proposed treatment in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) in several posts during the last few days:  so, here is the first post about the actual process.

This is what he looked like upon arrival in the Clinic towards the end of July this year.  The delay in starting his treatment has been due to the fabric supplier for his new coat being on vacation the whole of August, and because there were other patients already in the Clinic undergoing treatment.  Therapy is offered strictly on a first-cum-first-served basis, or strictly in order of arrival.

Brr Bear sitting in Tommy Teddy's lap, both  being welcomed by Cy Bear
The first step was to send an ear off to Susan at Bear Basics to see if she was able to match his existing coat.  It's a little worn, but not nearly as bad as Ed Ted when he arrived in the clinic in early July.  By the way, Tommy Teddy is a Morrell Bear, who has been in the family since the early 1970's.  He's travelled to Western Canada and back to the UK, and even went to Belgium for a spell while my elder daughter was working there, so can be described as a "well-travelled" toy.  He was an interesting pale apricot and blue bear when new and has been sent to see if he can have a complete make-over so that he doesn't continue to let down the Bear Team back in the UK.  He arrived here at much the same time as Brr Bear, and his ear was sent off at the same time to Bear Basics.  Alas his coat match is proving more difficult to achieve.  Bear Basics has nothing to offer, but am very pleased to say that a piece of  Steiff Shulte 17mm Old Cream Windswept Finish Mohair fabric is ready and waiting to be used to renovate Brr Bear and give him a new long-term future.  Meanwhile, the search to complete Tommy Teddy's treatment goes on - with some light at the end of the tunnel, I'm pleased to be able to report.

Brr Bear while waiting for his new coat material to arrive
Now that the Glove Puppet project has been launched - but not yet listed on the shop site (we're waiting for a few more to be constructed before we do so) - Brr Bear has occupied my full attention.

His sample ear came back and has joined the rest of his pieces, which have now been taken to pieces, prior to being washed.  He has accumulated "wear and tear" dust over the years he's been sitting on his Best Friend, Mrs. DK's bed, had an eye replaced - but in the wrong place, and his paw pads in particular needed replacing, as they had badly frayed.  His coat has several bare patches as well.  Mrs DK also mentioned he once had a voice:  so he will be given back  a growler, as I now have a selection in stock.  Later this week, a conversation will be held between Mrs.DK and myself so that final instructions concerning Brr Bear's reconstruction can be carried out, and she can then choose the right voice tone to be placed within his body when it is stuffed.  Meanwhile, here are some more pictures of Brr Bear - as he currently is:

This one shows Brr Bear's face (right front of picture, next to the unpicking tools),  then in the front centre is the crown and on the left of that his two ears.  Behind them is part of his body (the other half is just out of the picture, but is definitely there!), his two arms come next and on the right at the back of the photograph are his two legs pieces.  They are all inside out, waiting to be first scrubbed with a brush to remove the remaining kapok stuffing before they are washed.  Otherwise, the sink would get severely blocked, as over the years, the stuffing has collapsed and now looks like this:

I've had to put it into a plastic bag, as otherwise it would fly all over the place.  Taking it out was quite difficult and I spent a lot of time sneezing and coughing with the dust and broken down stuffing material.  Though very soft, it was very flighty!  It is destined for the garbage, together with the cotter pins and old growler once this post is complete.  We have no need for any of them now.

You will have noticed the pair of red pliers in the tool kit:  these are a vital component of getting the cotter pins out of any bear I've found.  You can see the collection of 5 different ones I've extracted from Brr Bear's arms, legs and where his head and body were joined and found when getting them separated that the original construction was nothing if not scrappy.  Put it this way - it's not to the standard I offer and it amazes me that Brr Bear has lasted as well as he has!

The final photograph for this post shows the rest of Brr Bear's innards as it were - the cotter pins, the existing non-operating growler (interestingly the current growlers are just as big - which makes the job of selection a lot easier!) - the hard wooden chip stuffing which make up his muzzle and the blue eyes (two of them - Mrs. DK was under the impression that one of his eyes had been brown originally, but when extracted, they turned out to be blue, but not the same pattern - which would account for the misunderstanding).  I'll have to establish whether or not she wants the replacements to be brown or I could still re-use the mismatched ones.  Also, as the wood stuffing is in quite good condition, will she want it put back (which I'm happy to do) or will she go with a stiff, clean polyester fibre stuffing which is my preferred option for any toys with which I am connected. 

Now the next step is to clean up the little chap and see where we go from here.  till the next post then.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Two projects completed - fast!

Goodness, gracious me!  This is Cy Bear back again - so soon!  However, Isobel wants to get on with sorting out Brr Bear.  She has been able to complete the first Glove Puppet we have been posting about just recently.  She has also managed to take a photograph of Rupert, so we decided to do a quick post this evening - because it may be a day or two before we have anything to show you (probably, the end of the week at least).

First of all, as promised when we finished last night, here are  a couple of pictures showing Rupert with his new patched cheek - hiding that nasty burn he had before.

This one is a close-up of the little chap:

Then Isobel took a full length one - which does show that the patch does not stand out too much!

Isobel thinks that Rupert would look almost as though there is nothing wrong if the fur was cut back a little.  However, she is going to leave that delicate operation for Rupert's Mum to do - if she wants to!

Now, to the first Glove Puppet - Isobel did not have as much trouble as she had anticipated completing this project.  Putting in the finger guide went in reasonably easily, as she used the one that had been in the Sooty look-alike, and treated it like she was putting in a neck joint into a fully grown bear - like me, if my head moved (which, of course, it does not).  She fitted the guide in half-way, leaving sufficient space for the body (or glove bit) to be sewn on to the lower part of the guide, and then she sewed the head to the glove.  Then she sewed on the paw pads.  Here is a quick picture of  our Golden Bear Glove Puppet - think we'll have to borrow a hand to show him off properly, but it does give you an idea of the finished project.

I think he looks rather splendid - and am looking forward to meeting the next two or three glove puppets, once Brr Bear is completed.  Isobel thinks one will be a Panda Bear glove puppet - using up the black ears she had cut out originally and then she'll do a Brown Bear glove puppet using up the brown ears she cut out at the same time.  (By the way, there are already 8 finger guides made up for use in the future puppets!) We'll probably be listing them in the shop at when we've got a series to introduce.

Until then, you (and I) will have to be patient.  Bye for now!  Cy Bear.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Glove puppets - latest, plus other things

Good evening once again - Cy Bear posting:  seems to have been some time since Isobel allowed me to have another go!  Still, she has been busy as you know, and alas, I've still not learned how to do it by myself!

We're both very pleased to draw attention to the fact that our blog ( -  in case you've forgotten!) now has 30 (THIRTY) Followers.  We cannot believe it!  Thank you all so much for doing so - we look forward to welcoming even more as the weeks proceed!

Now on the glove puppet front:  Isobel sorted out the pattern pieces (ending up with just 6 in the end) and when she came to fit them on the material found that actually there was only enough material for just one of the Sooty/Sue type puppets.  She began to sew it up yesterday evening, and has decided not to use the Black ears she had cut out for the puppet she is making.  It will be made totally in the golden plush fabric - since there was enough material to allow for the four pieces required - and that way there can be no possibility of offending copyright etc. because Sooty and Sue do still operate somewhere on British television.  The brown ears that Isobel mentioned she had cut out will be used to make another coloured bear glove puppet.  They don't seem to take too long to make, which is a good thing, so I'm looking forward to meeting, greeting and, hopefully, selling lots of them shortly!

Rupert Bear is now looking forward to going home later this week.

Showing the burn on Rupert's cheek

His Mum and Isobel met at the Saturday Produce Sale in Heytesbury Church as arranged and when shown the material sent from Bear Basics earlier this week,  decided that it was such a good match  (even though not an exact one) that she would prefer not to have him go through the whole treatment programme.  She asked Isobel if she could just use the swatch as a patch - Isobel did it this morning, and although you can see that Rupert has had some treatment, it's no where near as visible as was the horrid burn the poor little fellow has on his left cheek in the picture. We'll take a picture of him tomorrow or before he leaves so you can see his brand new patch.

Expect that Isobel will be taking him round to his home later this week.  She goes shopping on Monday and then does a lot of washing - so Monday is out, on Tuesday she is going to begin a Zumba class - whatever that is.  Expect she'll tell us all about it once she's experienced it, but it's something to do with losing weight apparently and was suggested by her doctor.  So, I expect the appointment for the hand-over will be Wednesday or Thursday.  Meanwhile, Rupert is sitting very comfortably in the wicker chair we have in the sewing room and getting used to his new appearance.

Right, I'm getting the idea that Isobel wants to get on with her new sewing project - she's got more time to make more glove puppets now that she doesn't have to completely recover Rupert.  But once she's finished the first glove puppet, and photographed it, she will be getting on with doing Brr Bear.  His delivery date to his Best Friend has been set for Friday. September 16 - and it's September 5 tomorrow, already!!  Time goes by so fast, a Bear doesn't have time to think!!   Before I leave, here is a happier picture of Rupert - don't you like his fancy paw pads?

The paws match the hydrangea - or is it the other way around?

Good night !  Cy Bear

Friday, 2 September 2011

Introducing Glove Puppets to the Cuddlies

The time has come for me to branch out a little - and that's thanks to Ed Ted's Best Friend, RFE.  After sending Ed Ted for treatment, and continuing to clear out the attic in his childhood home, he came across Big Koala (who was pictured with Cy Bear and Ed Ted appeared in our last post) and two glove puppets.

  Many of you may well be familiar with the television puppets Sooty and Sue (golden teddy bear glove puppets) who featured for a long time on Children's Television here in the UK during the 1970's and 1980's.  These two are Sooty and Sue look-alikes, having been hand made - probably by RFE's Mum or a friend of hers - to entertain  him when he was a little boy.  They were a little worse for wear, but not like Ed Ted and I've again been given a free hand as to how I treat them and what I do with them.  When complete, the intention is for both puppets and Big Koala (who still has to undergo his Clinic treatment) to be given away to a children's hospital for the patients there to play with.  The exact donor site has yet to be selected - but I'll keep you posted when a decision is made.

Big Koala, with his friend Ed Ted
So, to begin with, I took both the puppets to pieces.  The Sooty type has a really nice head, but was stuffed with lots of bits of wool, tightly packed together. They were not very clean looking, so have been discarded. Once in pieces, the Sooty head looks as though it will provide a really good template for a new puppet.

The Sue look-alike was a bit less impressive, her head was much smaller, her ears were badly crumpled, and the whole head was  a very hard feel. When I took her apart, I found the head to be made up of wood chippings, tightly packed together and shaped to provide a bear-type head.  Her eyes were small, perched on a thin piece of wire - there's a photo of head innards and eye coming up - and as I took them out of the stuffing, one eye came away in my fingers.   Very little force was needed to effect the separation! Tres dangereux!

Having got the heads off, I then attacked the bodies - or the bit where the hand goes in to operate the puppets.  Sooty's was a somewhat complicated piece of cloth which had been folded and stuffed into the wool.  Am not sure how it operated as successfully as it did - but I have decided to discard that piece as well as the body, as it seems to be more complicated than required to use in future.  This is how it looks:

The V-shaped darts are where the separate arms were sewn in.  Don't think my arthritic fingers would enjoy attempting to fit these into place, so am going to go with Sue's more straight-forward design, shown here:

To complete the Glove Puppet project, I've decided to actually use a combination of the two Bear puppets' patterns.  Sue's body and finger stall which fits into the head through the body - you can see where it should go in the centre of the  photo above;  the rest of the completed puppet will be taken from Sooty's profile.  A picture of all the bits can now be seen:

On the left of the photo, are the crown - with a plastic nose so tightly fitted that I cannot get it out, Sooty's hands and side of face, complete with his eyes - which again, I cannot move, there's Sue's head stuffing left in as a contrast (it's now in the garbage bin!), with the little eye and finger stall peering through.  The finger stall is made with cardboard, which has been shaped and glued together.  Sooty's black ears (in much better shape than Sue's brown ones) are being retained for the pattern template.  When made, I will be able to differentiate between the two puppets, because Sue's ears are made with brown plush and I'll embroider the facial features in black and brown yarn to match the respective toy.  When the templates are drawn, I will be discarding the original fabric pieces, as they are really too disreputable to use.

So the next stage is for me to press the pieces flat,  draw the templates on cardboard, as I have done with all the other recent toys I've made,  and cut them out and place them on the new golden plush fur fabric I just happen to have in stock.  There's enough for at least two puppets, and I may be able to get one more - it will depend on how they fit on the piece of material.

However, the really exciting thing about this whole glove puppet project is that when complete, I think the finished head will be similar in size to my Rabbits and Foxes already offered at  I'm going to experiment with a head of each toy to see if my suspicions are correct.  If so I will  then be able to offer Bear Glove Puppets in future, as well as the other animal puppets as well.  With Christmas, Thanksgiving etc. coming up, think they should provide a good novelty or stocking stuffer item!  What think you?

A quick update - the Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) - can now forge ahead.  Susan from Bear  Basics got back in touch yesterday (September 1), having re-opened her business after her summer vacation. She has been able to match Brr Bear's fur and the material has been ordered - and actually arrived here today!.  Alas, Tommy Teddy's matching has yet to be achieved, but I have decided to look for something in the fleece line - there are more pastel colours on offer in that area, I believe.

The little bear with a big burn on his cheek is called Rupert, and I'm meeting his Mum tomorrow to see if the swatch from Bear Basics is acceptable to her.  If it is, I will be ordering that at the beginning of next week, together with a selection of Growlers for placing in bears that have been known to talk.  Brr Bear is one of them, so by the time I've deconstructed  him, given him a wash and ironed him back into shape, I'll be able to place his new voice into his body when I come to re-stuff him.  Delivery date for him is  two week's hence!

So, I've got my work cut out - think Cy Bear will be posting the next few editions of the blog!  Meanwhile, I'm signing off.  Isobel