Sunday, 26 July 2015

Follow up description of the latest Fox creations.

This is Cy Bear back again for the promised follow up on our new Foxy characters - even though I did suggest in the post last week that may be Isobel would tell you about her trip to Wiltshire.  However, we both felt that it made more sense for us to finish telling you about the latest Coldham Cuddlies additions before that happens.  So, here goes:

Having finished the under wear for the new Ladies, Isobel began creating the dresses - beginning with the skirts - which are essentially pieces of fabric 36 inches long (91.4 centimetres) and 10 inches wide (25.4 centimetres).  The bottom is turned up to make a hem, and Isobel - who actually doesn't like hemming that much - then tacks the seam and adds ric rac trim which she sews on with embroidered french knots.  (Before proceeding, one of our "COLDHAMCUDDLIES" labels are fixed onto the back seam of the skirt, on the underside of the dress).  The top of the skirts are then gathered and fitted over the body and sewn into the "waist" of each toy.  Then having sewn up the fabric paws, she stuffs the arms and sews them into the bodice and then fits it over the skirt top - to create a look like this:

Fitting  - or nearly - on to a pillow
Then her creativity is allowed to let rip - this time on the white felt collars with which most of our lady toys are provided.  Here is what she did for use with the yellow dressed toy:

Followed by the one for the Light Brown Chenille Coyote:

The Grey Plush Lady Wolf:

Last - but by no means least, our more familiar Chestnut Plush Lady Fox:

This results in our reaching the final stages of each Lady Toy - whether it be a Fantasy Fox (the yellow version), the Coyote, Wolf or Fox.  The order in which Isobel tends to do this is to add the tails on first, followed by adding the Head.  Finally, the collar is attached  - and here is how the Coyote and the Fantasy Fox now appear:

By the time Isobel had done everything described here last night, she only had time to do these two. The other two will be done later today, and then she proposes to list them in our Shop ( over the next week. 

 Some of them, together with other Cuddlies, are going to be taken for display on the shelves of "The Artful Buttoner" - the haberdashery outlet in our local town, Kirkby-in-Ashfield.  Several Cuddlies have been on show there since just before Easter, and we've decided that it's time they came home, and other Cuddlies had a chance to be seen in the "outside world" - and possibly find Forever Homes for themselves!  Several Cuddlies have been adopted from this venue - and who knows what will happen to the selected ones this time around.  (Should any one of these four find a Forever Home while on show in the Town, it's not difficult for Isobel to pick it up and bring it home for me to participate in the Farewell Ceremony that happens whenever a Cuddly leaves us, and then for it to be packed up and mailed off to wherever it is destined).

I'll keep you posted, of course - and show you what the Wolf and Traditional Fox end up looking like next week.  Meanwhile, wishing everyone a good one - and here's hoping our weather will improve somewhat.  We're all feeling as though Summer will never arrive in this country!

Until the next time - your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Good to be Home Again - with updates on our last posts.

Greetings Everyone 

Cy Bear  back again, and able to update everyone now that Isobel is back from her travels.  By the time she got back last week, she was a bit tired.  So neither did she attend her Zumba class on Tuesday (having only arrived back early evening the night before), but there was so much to catch up with - in the Shop (, and on other social media sites - that no blog was forthcoming from either of us. 

However:  it's good to be able to tell you that the latch hook rug is now complete - except for some tidying up of the edging.  If you refer to our post about it (08/06/2015 - "A Different Craft for Isobel.....") you'll see how the project started and now here is how it looks today.

The current edging is a plastic tape and was put on to keep the canvas backing from fraying on each edge.  Isobel put it on by herself, which did not work very neatly.  So she got another reel, and is hoping to do a better job tomorrow - hoping that some of the other residents will be able to help her during the weekly handicraft get together. 

Entitled "Busy Bees", most of the partcipants busy themselves knitting (toys, baby wear - hats and matinee sets mainly),  These are then sold via a Womens' Institute Market in a nearby town, with proceeds going to a local charity - chosen each year by the residents.  

 Isobel normally gets on with the latest Cuddly project.  But since the beginning of June, every afternoon - for about two hours - has seen her hooking the rug, and it's eaten into her normal activity on the internet on behalf of us  Coldham Cuddlies.  However, after tomorrow, she'll be back - and has a long "To Do" List to work through for the rest of the summer.  (She'll also be exploring how the rug can be raffled to raise the maximum amount of funds of other charitable enterprises, as well as some of the proceeds coming into the Residents' own funds - so that we can organise outings for ourselves around the beautiful countryside that surrounds us here in Kirkby-in-Ashfield). 

In the evenings, since she returned from her travels to the South West of the UK (to where we lived until August last year) - she'll blog about that, probably next week - she's got on with the Foxes I told you about in our last post a couple of week-ends ago (05/07/2015 - "More news from the Foxy Production line").

The first stage at the beginning of this week comprised the attachment of shoes to each of the bodies and making the pantaloons with which all our Lady Dressed Toys are provided.  (Our Lady Dressed Toys have shoes made with felt, or similar fabric:  whereas, most of our Gentleman Toys are given Boots or Shoes made with real Leather).  

Then, over the last two evenings, the bodices and arms have been sewn together.

As you can see, Isobel has had yet another change of mind with regard to the fabrics that will be used for each Fox, Wolf, Fantasy Creature or Coyote.  (That's the beauty of making lots of toys all at the same time - she can change her mind as she goes along! ) 

Now all the arms need to be stuffed, and the bodices fixed onto the bodies.  However, Isobel needs to do the skirts before the latter actions take place.  So - she's off to begin that later this evening.  

Meanwhile, it is good be back telling you about our activities in the Coldham Cuddlies world.  See you all next week-end.  

Your friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

More news from the Foxy Family production line

Hello again, Everyone:

As Isobel is busy getting ready for a short visit back to Wiltshire, starting mid-week she's been busy trying to finish the latch-hook rug we wrote about earlier  (our post on 08/08/2015 told you all about it).  That's likely to be an objective to be completed AFTER her return, as well as getting on with the Foxy Family I wrote about last week.  What with creating a hostess gift  to take away with her - pictures of  their family dog, whom Isobel used to look after when they went on holiday - and deciding what she's going to wear when she's away, time has been pretty scarce this last week.

(Alas, the little dog went to Doggy Heaven before we left Wiltshire, but Isobel came across some photos she took of Widget while she was staying with us one time.  Two of them have been made into a collage, and Isobel intends to find a frame to put it into tomorrow).

Nevertheless, some progress has been made with the Foxy creatures that we will be introducing into our shop at soon (but definitely only after Isobel has come back from her holiday).  So there won't be a post from either of us next week, although Isobel might bring back some photographs of  her trip away to share in a post with you sometime after she gets back.  Meanwhile, here are some Foxy photos for you to be going on with.

In our last post, I showed you their heads and tails unstuffed, together with a selection of fabrics that might be used for their frocks.

Here are the Foxy bunch - as they now look:

They are bit closely packed together here, but they just fitted onto one of our side tables so Isobel decided to photograph them like this.

However, the more Isobel looks at the Yellow face on the left of this picture, the more she thinks she will not become a Coyote - as I mentioned might happen last week - but she will become a Fantasy Fox, because the plush fabric is definitely a yellow (and not a light brown - and Isobel thinks she might be able to create a nice story about her sometime in the future too).  

The Grey Plush Head will definitely become a Girl Wolf, and the Chestnut one will obviously become a Fox.  The Brown Chenille head will be the Coyote, and Isobel is particularly pleased with the way she looks - as to begin with, this head was viewed as an experiment.  It's a fabric that is prone to fray, though, so all the seams have to be over sewn to preserve their integrity.  Nevertheless, I think there will certainly be more Coyotes made with this material.  They look more like the original, apparently!!  (Or at least Isobel thinks so - but then she's never seen a real one I'm told!).

At the time of writing this post, the selection of fabric to go with each head looks like this:

On the other hand, Isobel may well change the Fantasy Fox and Coyote fabrics,  so that the former has her frock made with the plain yellow material, and the Coyote is made with the green floral patterned one.  She is also dithering between giving the Fox a purple frock, and giving the proposed Wolf the blue one, so that she can be matched with our Gentleman Wolf already in our shop, which can be seen by using this link -

All will become clear once Isobel comes back from her travels.  Meanwhile, I'll end this post for this week, by wishing all my American friends a belated Happy 4th of July - I'm told it's a great excuse for tremendous celebrations, but being a Beaver Lamb Bear, they doesn't mean as much to me as they will do to you.  Anyway, I just hope you all had a great time - and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Your Friend - Cy Bear.