Sunday, 27 November 2016

Moving on then - Two Cuddlies find New Homes

Hello there Everyone - another week has flown by, it's getting ever closer to Christmas (and Isobel still hasn't started her Christmas cards - although the annual letter to Family and Friends has just been drafted).  

Two Cuddlies have been sold this week - which is terrific news for us all - hence the "moving on" in the title to this post!

The first Cuddly with a new home in the offing, is one of our Yellow Plush "Treasure" Baby Bunnies.  MsMcN who enquired about it last Sunday evening was given the choice of our new Shop inhabitants in that category -

With or without a ribbon round their necks, and both with white plush chests. OR

All self-colour, but still with the option of having ribbons sewn around their necks - and the ribbons don't have to be white.  MMcN was given the choice of pale green- as used in our Fox Baby Mobile, seen here -

Small Fox Baby Mobile, Fox Baby Mobile, Nursery Baby Mobile, Chestnut Fox Mobile, Kids Room Decor, Unisex Child Present, Baby Shower Gift.
 with the suggested ribbon being sat on by the Baby Fox in the centre front of this picture.

or any other pastel colour ribbon of her choice.  The eventual choice was the White Chested Baby Treasure Bunny with it's white ribbon already in place.  So, as he was in stock, and once the payment had reached Isobel's local Bank Account in the UK (mid-week), the Baby Treasure Bunny was wrapped in chemical free tissue, then bubble wrapped and put into a polythene postage bag, duly addressed to MsMcN who lives in Auchtermuchty, Cupar, Scotland. But not before our usual farewell ceremony had taken place.

(These Yellow Plush Baby Rabbit Toys have the "Treasure" label added - because that is what Philippa called her first Rabbit Toy.  Her late Grandmother often used to call her "Treasure", so she decided to call her first Toy "Treasure" too!  The colour was an accident - Isobel happened to have a piece of yellow plush, as well as some white plush, to hand when the first model was made way back in the 1970's!!

Then, on Monday evening, Isobel was contacted by a gentleman, MrJF wanting to know exactly which colour he should choose if he wanted to order Winston Wombat, our Three Way Bed Adornment Cuddly.  (Etsy's Purchasing System can be somewhat confusing - to both the Seller and Purchaser, sometimes!!!  After an exchange of convos, a choice was made and the order received).   

Winston Wombat, 3-Way Bed Pillow. Pajama Case, Plush Pillow Case,Pyjama Cover, Novelty Hot Water Bottle Cover, Faux Fur Toy, Christmas Gift
Both now need replacing!
The Wombat on the left, the only one in stock, was then prepared for his journey - this time not as far North in the UK as our Yellow Treasure Bunny - just to the City of Lancaster, in Lancashire.  Again, once the monetary transactions had been satisfactorily completed, this version of Winston Wombat was duly wrapped in tissue paper, but not the bubblewrap.  MrJF had told Isobel that Winston was going to be a birthday present for his wife, later this coming week, so we offered to wrap him in suitable wrapping paper. Normally, we charge extra (£2.50/parcel) for this service, but because of our Shipping Policy of over-estimating and then being able to send a refund, this charge was well covered, so there was no further payment required in this case.   (Wrapping Winston Wombat in both bubble wrap AND birthday paper was felt to be "over-kill" - and does affect the overall package weight as well!)

Alas, I wasn't able to get to Isobel quickly enough to have our usual Farewell Ceremony - but I'm including the photograph of our last Winston Wombat who did have an official send off, when he travelled to a new home in September this year, again within the UK- (Brighton to be exact).  It would have looked pretty much the same way, anyway!

In addition, because the order was placed after Isobel had created the following announcement on our Shop About Page, MrJF was due a  Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales discount of 20% - since Winston's cost is over £25.00 - and he hadn't claimed it when ordering the Cuddly.  

For everyone's information, this is the announcement, 

Special Coupon FESTIVEHOLIDAYS2016 available until 31.12.2016 - on all items over £25.00 each.

and = 30% sale-visit Shops for details

We're hoping, with this fabulous offering, we'll get some more chances to find new Forever Homes for our Cuddlies, while also enhancing our Team Friends' offerings simultaneously.

This is something of an experiment for us - we're wondering if a Three-Shop Discount Offer will have more appeal than the same three Shops doing it individually! Watch this space!!!!

Oh, before I go - the Canadian Christmas Parcel was duly sent off on Tuesday afternoon.  Isobel had hoped to get it off on Monday, but the weather was simply awful all day and there seemed to be little point in getting the parcel wet before it started.  One of our friendly residents gave Isobel a lift into Kirkby in Ashfield Town Centre to the Post Office - and once she'd got her breath back after paying the travel fee (almost double what she'd thought it would be!) she was able to send the travel ticket number (a.k.a. Tracker Number) and notified, NieceAS in British Columbia, Canada that the package was en route.  Isobel was first told that the package would only take 2 Working Days to travel the many thousands of miles between Nottinghamshire and it's eventual destination.  (We think the Clerk was trying to encourage Isobel after the shock to her system!!!)

 A couple of days later, when posting this week's travellers off to their new homes, the Post Office Manager gave a slightly more realistic time table - of 5 Working Days!!  With experience of postal services on the other side of the Atlantic, Isobel will believe THAT when it happens!  The 5 Working Days will be up this coming Monday - and NieceAS has told Isobel she won't be travelling the 40 kms down the road to the Post Box until at least the 1st of December  thus giving the parcel a little bit more time to get there and be picked up by it's intended Recipient(s)!!.  (The Post Box location is also 8 hours behind the UK in time!!)

Until next week, then - here's your Friend, Cy Bear signing off.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Canadian Christmas Parcel is ready for The Off

Hello there Everyone - Cy Bear back again, albeit a day late.
(Isobel here - sorry about that:  but because I'd been active on one of the newer social media sites I'm using to try to beef up sales of our Toys, somehow items I'd selected and used for that purpose found themselves posted to the blog here as well!  I spent most of Sunday afternoon (normally used for writing the blog) trying to clear the items).  Managed to do it in the clear light of day today - and here we all are once more!)
Now it's back to me, Cy Bear again!!
Finally, after what seemed a long time, Isobel managed to find time to wrap up all the Novelty Slippers we've been posting about recently , but not before gathering them all together on her bed.

At this point, we suddenly discovered, Isobel had omitted to include the White Bob Tail on Canadian Dad's Slippers.  These were rapidly added, so that they now look like this:
Then, I insisted on having our traditional farewell pictures taken with me before they all got wrapped and ready for their journey.
In case the family see these pictures before Christmas - don't think they'll have the link, but one never knows - I'm not going to say any more about who is destined to get which slippers.  So that there is some element of surprise left for Christmas Day itself.
That ceremony having been satisfactorily completed, I sat on the Toy Store (aka  in the family as "The Body Bag") and watched as Isobel laid out the wrapping materials.
Two and a half hours later, with all slippers (and the special present for the youngest member of the family) first wrapped in tissue paper- with slipper toes stuffed with some tissue paper to hold their shape - and then in suitable Christmas paper, they all looked like this:
By this time, Isobel was pretty tired - she didn't begin until she'd done all the usual chores for the Shop on the site - so the parcels were all put into a cardboard box we had handy (which used to hold the large roll of bubblewrap most Cuddlies are parcelled up in prior to their journeys to meet their Forever Friends).

The next day, having gone into our Town Centre, Isobel returned with 3 rolls of Brown Paper (we only actually needed one in the end - but, one can always use Brown Paper, and often don't have it handy when needed!) and the cardboard box was cut open and folded over to create a shell into which all the presents were fitted - nice and snugly!  The Box was then well cello-taped to hold its shape and double length of string tied around it. (Isobel really missed Peter's help here - he had the knack of knowing exactly how long the string needed to be to achieve the final result!).  The parcel is now well and truly tied up - but somewhat "littered", if that is the right expression, with knots hither and yon.
It now looks like this - and is due to be taken down to the Kirkby Main Post Office tomorrow and sent on its way.  It weighed exactly 6 lbs when put on the bathroom scales - which in metric terms, according to our computer - is 2.72 kilos!  We now wait to learn just how much it's going to cost - but what ever that may be, when one considers the distance between Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire and 150 Mile House, British Columbia, Canada as well as the number of intended recipients (8) and the fact that it is going by Tracked Air Mail, it's hopefully going to result in everyone having warm, toasty feet this winter.  Isobel was told by her niece that the first snow has well and truly arrived!!
Just to give you an idea of the size of the parcel, and also to show you that I can stand (provided I've got something to lean against!) here's this last picture of the Canadian Christmas Parcel.
Before I go, though, thought you might also like to see this photo Isobel took the night after the Super Moon last week.  She was in our kitchen getting ready to cook her evening meal, and for once, the sky was almost really clear.  She did her usual trick of holding the camera up and clicking - and this was the result, seen through the glass!!
Until next week, then - hope that everyone in the U.S.A. and wherever else you celebrated Thanksgiving at the week-end, had a good one.  
Your friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Canadian Christmas Parcel still being prepared

Greetings everyone!  

Cy Bear is taking a well-deserved rest this week - largely because the Canadian Christmas parcel is still not complete - although the slippers that formed the subject of last week's blog are now ready for dispatch.

Sideways view of the Grey Rabbit Slippers

Full face view of the new Novelty Slippers
Before sending the entire package off, I decided to quickly check how the other slippers had fared while stored in the Cuddlies cupboard, and was not happy with the way one of the larger slippers had been constructed.  I therefore exercised my prerogative - available to all handmade Toy Makers and Crafters alike  - of changing the final look,  As a result, I'm now halfway through the new look for our Owl Slippers (the largest available in our Novelty Slipper collection).  Looking at it, with the benefit of constructing several later models, the ankle position did not meet my current production standards; nor was I entirely happy with the way the Owl Heads had been attached to the finished slippers. One new version is now done:  the second one is in the process of being deconstructed and hopefully it will be done by the middle of next week.  I'm hoping to have the package ready to be sent to British Columbia by the end of the week, if not the start of the week beginning 21st November.  

I've found myself busy with offline activities this week, which has also curtailed my plans for our Toy Shop (www,, but when possible I've been re-tagging and re-pricing - to take advantage of upcoming Sales Days (Black Friday and Cyber Monday to name but two - look out for announcements about these!) - which has all meant lack of time to finish the Christmas present plans.  So, to round off this blog, here are a few photos (which were promised for such week-ends as this!) taken while I was away during September - visiting family and friends while being driven around by daughter, Philippa.

The next few photos show the view to be seen while walking around the locality of my cousin's home on the outskirts of Paignton, Devon.  They are of parts of Torbay and taken during the late afternoon of the day we arrived, having driven down from Buckinghamshire.

The Town of Paignton, looking westwards - with Cornwall on the other side of the furthest headland

Looking the other way, towards Torquay and eastwards up the English Channel

Pathways used by the "locals" to exercise themselves, and their dogs.  What a view, eh?
Many of the gardens we passed have very healthy looking palm  trees in them!

Torbay, and the south west coast of the UK, is often referred to as the "English Riveria"- due to the prevalence of warm westerly breezes (sometimes, a.k.a."storm force" gales) which pick up the warm temperatures of The Gulf Stream and contribute to a more Mediterranean climate than can be found elsewhere in the UK!  Hence the presence of such exotic fauna!!   (While we were in the area, we had lovely bright sunny, calm days, so I can't confirm that description of the winds myself!).

Think that is enough for this week's post - so I'll close.  Until next week, here's hoping everyone has a happy week and all that you wish yourselves

All the best.  Isobel.

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Canadian Family Christmas Parcel Nears Completion.

Hello Everyone.  Cy Bear back again, with the latest news on this project of ours.

At the beginning of this week, we received confirmation that our Panda and  Polar Bear Slippers, sent the week before to Italy, arrived safely. The news was conveyed in a message received via the Etsy convo system from SnraCF - who said:

"Package arrived safely this morning. The slippers are amazing! I am sure the girls will get lots of use from them. Can't wait for Christmas💕💕💕
Thanks so much for the quick response to my needs and super fast delivery! As soon as Etsy let's me I will leave feedback."

One of the Panda Slippers being discussed

The plan then was for production of the last pair of Slippers (destined for Isobel's nephew-by-marriage, named Canadian Dad (C) for the purposes of this blog) to be completed by the end of this week.  We showed photos of the initial stages of the first slipper in last week's post.   

Alas,  circumstances beyond our control intervened - also known as an attempted hacking attack on the Cuddlies Bank Account  on Monday - and Isobel's attention did get diverted elsewhere. However, thanks to the efficient Fraud, and attendant card-producing departments of our Bank, by the end of the week, we had returned to "normal".  However, Isobel's enjoyment (and therefore speedy sewing skills) did suffer somewhat as a result.

Some sewing did take place - as can be seen by the following photographs:

The final photo in last week's post showed CD's Slipper ready to have the poodle faux fur insole attached.  This shows it in place.

The slipper now required to be turned inside out (shown above) - and the next stages of the slipper production process to be started.  This meant that the outer layer of the Slipper (the Grey Plush) had to be sewn all the way around to the leatherette side of the insole, and then the ribbon trim attached all the way round the ankle area.  (Isobel had by this time found out the exact measurement needed for CD's ankles, so that the necessary elastic can be cut to fit, once the ribbon trim is completed). 

We decided that we'd do a black satin ribbon trim for this pair of  Slippers and this is the first one done.  It was joined last evening by the second one, so the pair now require the elastic to be threaded through - and the Rabbit Heads to be attached.  The heads have been sewn together, with the ears, and now need to be turned right side out and have the stuffing and facial features sewn on them.

We're hoping that next week, we'll be able to show you the finished pair destined for CD, together with all the Slippers being prepared for their journey to British Columbia.  Isobel wants to get them on their way as early as possible - so we can miss the usual Christmas parcel rush, at both ends of the journey,  We've yet to decide which method of travel they will take - Royal Mail international parcel service or by another international courier.  That decision will be dependent on two things: ease of pick-up at the other end, together with the best, most economic method of travel!!

Meanwhile, Isobel has found a stash of Christmas wrapping paper which can be used for each pair of slippers - to which she will have to add appropriate Christmas parcel labels.  It's getting quite exciting to watch from my daily spot on Isobel's bed.  When the items have been packed, and sent - there will be quite a gap in the corner of the bedroom where they are currently stored!

You'll know more next week.  See you all then.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic