Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Squaring some circles: updates following

Cy Bear here - bet you've been wondering where I've been!  Isobel has been busy recently, what with finishing Mme. Lapin and sending her back to St. Albans for her "After" 360 degree pictures at Outsphere UK & Ireland, and then rejuvenating Mons. Reynard (job now finished - and awaiting Mme Lapin's return so that we can complete the farewell ceremonies - with ME in charge! - before they go back to France and Mrs. IM., sister-in-law to Isobel and Peter.  Although the rejuvenation of Mons. Reynard is complete, Isobel will not be posting about the process  until the departure time approaches, as she feels it more appropriate to include the farewell pictures when she does the piece(s).  Suffice to say, Peter cannot believe "how clean" he now looks!

So, while we wait, Isobel and I feel it right to bring you all "up to snuff" as an English saying goes on what else has been happening in the world of the Coldham Cuddlies (  There seems to have been quite a lot, although the shop is still a little bare - and we hope it will tie up some loose ends for you - as it does for us.

Way back in October last year (in a post entitled "Just checking in - and playing catch up as well! /02/10.11) Isobel mentioned that she was working on some labels for use with us Cuddlies.  Well, it's taken some time, and we've gone to more than one possible source, but Isobel finally decided to try the manufacturer of those name tapes that mothers/children of former, and current,  boarding school pupils will recall - Cash's Name Tapes.  By "googling" that into the computer, Isobel was directed to the site of a company called Woven Labels UK Ltd who not only produce those kind of labels, but labels suitable for crafters too. 

The artwork was sent, a price suggested - which initially was for 500 or 1000 labels!   Isobel responded that given her work rate (at that time, anyway) she could be dead before that final number was reached and wondered if they could give her a price for, say, 250.  They came back - remarkably fast - and a price was agreed.  In the interim, both Peter, Isobel and Mr. RFE (responsible for the original artwork) had had some further ideas, and the artwork was changed a little.  We've now got to the point that we have a sample label to show you - it's been sent back, because they've got the colours a bit mixed up.  But, basically, if the line with "@" is woven in the same colour as "ColdhamCuddlies", we've got 250 labels shortly on the way.  Now Isobel has got to figure out where she's going to attach the labels to us Cuddlies!  That's her problem, not mine!   Here's what the sample looked like when presented:

Label as presented.
We want, if possible, for the label to  be easily recognisable as the Coldham colours, with its similarities to our banner in this blog and that of the shop (

As Isobel comments:  "It takes me back to my school days - just before term began, when all the new items needed name tapes to be attached!"  Whilst her mother did some of them when she was first at school, latterly, due to Mother losing her sight, it became one of Isobel's duties! That I believe was between 1951 and 1957!  Well before I was thought of as a  Bear, even though I was then still a Beaver Lamb Fur Coat.

Now for some news about our recent departures:

Hairy Bear (with Light Brown Felt Muzzle) has arrived safely in Sequals (his departure was announced in our post dated 10.02.12).  The last time we heard, he was sitting in the middle of Mr. RFE's sofa and very comfortable after his postal journey.  Mr. RFE's cat, Snow (who adopted Mr. RFE a couple of years' ago and is totally white in colour) has decided Hairy Bear is nothing to worry about.  Having sniffed him, pushed him about a little, he has since ignored him.  So, the presumption is that Hairy has been accepted.

The Panda Bear, destined for Neosho, Missouri also arrived safely at his Forever Home - and has been christened Peter Panda by Mrs. VY, his new Forever Friend. 

Now, here's an interesting anecdote:  during various conversations between Mrs.VY and Isobel, it was established that they both had an interest in HedgehogsMrs.VY, when a girl of 10 or so, had had two real ones and  has loved them ever since.  Isobel, as you know, has been searching for a pattern for one so she could add them to the Coldham Cuddlies Family at  Well, a day or so later, Mrs.VY - whose Etsy Shop specialises in vintage toys - sent Isobel a link which provided a pattern for a whole family of hedgehogs!  Isobel clicked onto it straight away, found there was only one available and purchased it immediately.  Result - it arrived in Heytesbury last Friday (February 24), and once  Mons. Reynard was completed (on Sunday), she cut out Mr. Hedgehog.  He has now been finished, and Mrs. Hedgehog is partially complete - the body needs to be stuffed, the head attached to the body, as well as the four feet.  Then Baby needs to be cut out and sewn.  Isobel is really pleased with this addition to the Coldham Cuddlies fold - and will be revealing them as one of her new products at the upcoming  "Spring Shopping Day" being held at the Heytesbury Primary School on Saturday, September 10. They should be quite easy to make up once she has got used to the new pattern(s).  The first editions are always slower than those that follow!

The Rabbits (shown below) that we sent to Mrs.SP in Medford, Massachusetts, although posted a couple of days earlier, only got to their destination at the end of last week.  However, they have been gladly received and more will be heard about them around Easter time (mid-April, I am told) when pictures  of them with  their respective Forever Friends will presumably be taken - and provided to us.  Here's a picture of the whole bunch, before they were packed up and sent off - you may recall, Mrs.SP was given a choice of the Baby Bunnies before they left us, and those selected are shown, with their labels in front of each.

Selected for dispatch to Medford, Massachusetts.
The Spring Shopping Day is turning out to be a lot bigger than Isobel had originally expected it to be.  It's arranged to last from 1000-1600 hours on March 10, which had meant that Isobel might have had to leave early so she could get lunch for Peter (who has complicated dietary requirements which only Isobel can fulfill).  However, Philippa (elder daughter and Forever Friend of Rusty Bear - still waiting for treatment in the Coldham Soft Toy Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185) and former patient, Tommy Teddy) is coming to visit that week-end and is more than happy to deputise (and well able to meet such requirements).  Thus Isobel will be able to stay for all the time required as, in addition to our stall, there are going to be 15 other sellers exhibiting, with wares on offer covering Jewellry, Homemade Cakes - being provided by the Jubilee Committee (those arranging the village's celebrations of our Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June), Single Estate Extra Virgin Italian olive oil, Ceramics and lots of other specialities, most of whose traders are sited in Heytesbury and it's surrounding villages.

For that reason, Isobel decided that she really needed to make more of an effort to exhibit us Coldham Cuddlies.  Up till now, she's taken us in our respective plastic and other carrying bags, and plonked (that's the best description I can come up with - there's been no attempt at "arranging" us!) us on the table reserved for us.  From now on, we will be shown on a background of emerald green plush velvet covering the table (we should all look good on that!) and the front of the stall will be decorated with a banner that Isobel has recently purchased from BekahJennings' shop - an Etsy shop which specialises in making hand-made banners for all occasions.  This was a customised order for Isobel, and consists of handmade cards with a yellow background and green painted labels spelling "COLDHAM * CUDDLIES" all linked together with a lovely bright orange ribbon.  Isobel intends to drape the front of the stall - with the crushed velvet background - with this banner.  I think it should look good and the Cuddlies Family (or those that currently remain will stand out well.  Isobel is (planning  the replacements!)

This post has gone on long enough.  There are still some more items to update you on, I believe:  in which case, I expect Isobel will be suggesting I tell you about them in the a future post soon.  Meanwhile, cheers for now.  Cy Bear.

Monday, 27 February 2012

BESTeam Feature Blog - for February 26, 2012 promo

The Boosting Etsy Shops Team's goal is to offer support
and promotion of one another's Etsy shops primarily through our
personal Blogs, and also through our Twitter Accounts and Facebook Fanpages.
Commitment to this common goal is what makes our team the BEST! 

Patty’s Dream Designs
is the first Etsy Shop I'd like to feature today.

Patty, who became a BESTeam member the same day as I did earlier this year, is a jewellery designer/producer par excellence, with a work-rate that leaves me totally breathless.  Every time I go on to check what my selected bloggers have posted about, Patty is usually there - with at least half-a dozen new products to boast about.  Heaven knows from where she gets her energy:  wish I could borrow some of it!

The particular item I’ve selected to feature this time around is a Peridot Swarovski Crystal Necklace with matching ear rings.  I’m a great fan of Peridot as a gemstone:  I’ve been lucky enough to inherit two sets of Victorian jewellery of which I’m very fond.  Patty’s modern version has therefore attracted my attention for that reason.  It stacks up jolly well against it’s older counter-parts, I might add.

Patty's contact details are Blog:;

Peridot Swarovski Crystal Necklace

It’s great to hear about a younger person’s dedication to dress-making and ambitions to become a full-time seamstress. Stitch Princess, the Etsy shop owned and operated by Faith Snowden is the next BESTeam member I want to feature in this post.  Her dresses are all wearable - whether bridal creations, evening gowns or just lovely daytime wear.  My choice from her current offerings in her Etsy shop is one of her versions of a reversible Flowery skirt.  My particular favourite  is the red, white and blue (so very patriotic for an English person in this year of our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations!) panelled version.  It actually takes me back to my young days (in the 1950’s !) when dirndl skirts were all the rage,  and skirts were meant to swirl, while dressing them up (or down, as the case might be) or just be comfortable .

Flowery Skirt OneSizeFitsMost Reversible Skirt

Faith has a really great selection of other dresses and skirts, so why not check out her shop at  You won't feel you've wasted your time!

Danielle Saletzki is a clever person who manages to operate two Etsy Shops at the same time and she's my third selected feature for this post.  One Shop specialises in retro/nostalgic photography, while the other - a recently started venture is known as ChickyDs - and  indulges her love of ribbons and fabric head adornments (Bow, Flowerclips, headbands, as well as branching out into pillows.  One of these pillows particularly attracted me - Owls in Trees, made with a corduroy fabric picturing multi-coloured owls in trees.  Since I’m considering going into the owl business myself shortly, this piece is particularly appealing.

Owls in Trees 18" Corduroy Pillow

So these are the three  shops I've selected for this BESTeam feature blog.  If there are any of you with an Etsy Shop looking to boost your visitors, why not check out the BESTeam Forum and maybe join the team.  If they allow me in, they'll be more than happy to have you become a member too.  They're a wonderful group of people and all most encouraging and helpful too.

As part of my BESTeam commitment, throughout the coming months (provided they accept me as a full time member) I hope to  be posting short features of each of the fabulous shops and talented craftspersons representing the team.  What is BESTeam?  It's The Boosting Etsy Shops Team and our goal is to give support to each other and to help promote each others' Etsy shops through blogging, Facebook and other social networks.  If you are an Etsy shopowner and are interested in learning more about BESTeam, please visit the team page on Etsy or have a look at the BESTeam blog.