Sunday, 22 April 2018

Updated Photograph posts and latest Blue Rabbit Progress Report.

Hello again Everyone! 

Cy Bear greeting you on a lovely sunny Sunday Afternoon from the middle of the UK (or so I've just been told!).  Sitting in Isobel's bedroom, one really doesn't realise EXACTLY where one's home is located - at least if you are a Beaver Lamb Bear  like me, anyway!
First I've got to apologise on behalf of Isobel and I for missing out two of the photographs we promised you last week - because, for reasons best known to the technology involved in recording these posts of ours, although they showed up in draft form when we had read and edited the post, the photographs themselves did not show up.  Isobel only discovered this major error this afternoon, and has tried to rectify this today.  They've been recorded in a different way this time around, and hopefully will remain posted in last week's bulletin.  Just in case, and hopefully by repeating them here, we can ensure that the evidence of  Oscar Blue Rabbit 2's arrival (and acceptance as a New Cuddly Friend) by MrSS's grand daughter, MsV can be seen by you, our Followers here as well.

The whole scene is too good not to be broadcast to all of our Friends and Followers, we feel.
And, so to the latest news from the Blue Rabbit Production front:  Blue Rabbit 2 is ready for dispatch to MsKA of Oxford Against Cutting (OAC):  because of the interest created amongst our friends here, both at Old Chapel Close (and Isobel's wish to create maximum publicity among them for the cause for which we are all targetted), he will remain with us until Blue Rabbit 3 is ready to go to Oxfordshire - hopefully by the end of this coming week.  They can then travel together - and be used if required while waiting to be joined by the remaining three Blue Rabbits.

Last week, we showed you the components involved in creating a Blue Rabbit Model - for the purposes of creating a cuddly armful for viewers of the OAC Film created to assist in educating young girls in the unnecessary practice that is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  This is what happens next to the various pieces shown in our blog ("Blue Rabbits:  Progress to Report..." - 15.04.2018):
All the separate pieces get collected together - to form two basic pieces (The Body and The Head).  As Isobel progresses through the ranks of the eventual Six Blue Rabbits which comprise our order from MsKA, she is finding ways of improving on their construction - and Blue Rabbit 2 is no exception.  In the picture above, we've improved on the arms - which hopefully will be better able to withstand any extra stresses involved in being hugged by their future young friends.  They have been much more firmly attached for a start.   The Body now looks like this:

(Slope due to uneven seat on which Blue Rabbit 2 is standing!)
The facial features were then sewn onto one of the Head pieces we showed you in last week's Post - and looked like this - before the head was stuffed and sewn on to the body. This last action happens AFTER the final facial feature is added after the stuffing goes in - the Blue Rabbits' mouths.  
We are pleased to say that our whole relationship with OAC has been a friendly one, and we've made it clear from the outset that if any of the Blue Rabbits do become "victims" of  'over-loving', when Isobel next visits daughter Philippa in High Wycombe, both she and MsKA are going to meet - and any repairs will then be discussed and undertaken.  This is part of the COLDHAMCUDDLIES contribution to the work of the OAC Charity - at least in the initial stages - and because these 6 Blue Rabbits are destined for use by the Charity itself!   Any future arrangements, with other users of their own Blue Rabbit models will be subject to discussion.
Isobel does take pride in making long-lasting toys, but this IS the first time in her toy-making career that she has produced Toys that will be working for their living - as opposed to being playthings for children (of all ages!).  So, we're not entirely sure if these Blue Rabbits will last as long as say two of  Isobel's former creations - both made in the 1980's for family members in the UK, while Isobel was living with her family in Alberta, Canada.  These Toys are currently still going strong and living in Plymouth, Devon, UK.
This is Madame Lapin (she's spent most of her life living in Normandy, France sitting on a lady's dressing table - until recently going to live with Isobel's great niece).  This photo was taken when she arrived in the Animal Toy Hospital (  - in 2011.  She really didn't need much more treating in the Clinic, other than being washed and having her clothes starched and ironed:

The other Patient, Monsieur Reynard (with a similar background)  looked like this when he arrived with Madame Lapin - and really only required a bit more stuffing.  

However,  his boots did need replacing, as they weren't made with leather (and were splitting beyond repair) - and we had acquired (and still have!) plenty of off-cuts for making Toy Boots, so while we replaced them, Isobel also gave him a new jacket.  We do have photos of both Toys as they looked at the end of the their Hospital visit, but it will take us a bit of time to find and reproduce them here.  Hopefully, next week we can show you the finished photos!
Meanwhile, to revert back to the subject of Blue Rabbits - which are occupying Isobel's thoughts at the present time, naturally! - Blue Rabbit 3 is under production:  his feet are ready for stuffing and attaching to the legs, the eyes are ready to be sewn into place on the chosen head piece, and one arm has been sewn (cutting out of Blue Rabbit 3 took place on Friday evening, and sewing started in earnest yesterday).  We will keep you updated as the time goes on!
Have a lovely week, every one: we've had some beautiful hot weather over this week, but expect to revert to "normal English Spring conditions" for the up-coming week.  What is that?  Well, usually, April Showers:  these days, we're not quite sure- except that we're not likely to hit the high temperatures of last week for a while, anyway.
Good Bye for now:  
Your Friend - Cy Bear
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Blue Rabbits - Progress to Report: Global News about Cuddlies whereabouts

Good afternoon, Friends - Cy Bear checking in with this week's news on these fronts

Blue Rabbit production is now underway - with the decision that the last version of the Toy sent to MsKA last week is acceptable as  "cuddly" and with full approval being given for the new soft fleece fabric now being used.

With that go-ahead received, Blue Rabbit 2 is under way - as you can see from the pictures below:

Body and head pieces are on the left, with the white front to the fore.  Background right, shows a foot under construction, with the two cheeks sewn - ready to be turned inside out before being attached to the head piece which will carry all the facial and other Rabbit features.

All the other bits and pieces (said facial features) that go together to eventually end up as an OAC Blue Rabbit Toy:

From the left: - another view of the incomplete foot piece and the two cheek pieces.

Next, going right:  Front:  an ear, waiting to be turned right side out:  showing the inter-facing attached to one of the pieces.  

Along the rear of the above picture:  the two leg pieces (one showing the right side-on the right) with a completed foot, waiting to be stuffed before being attached to the leg of the next Blue Rabbit Toy (No.2 in the series).

You can just see the white cotton-tail - requiring stuffing, once it has been turned right side out.  
Just below, in the centre of the photograph, are the two eyes (which get sewn on to one of the head pieces), together with the Blue Nose - which awaits stuffing before being attached.

Next to the facial features, is an ear that has been turned inside out, and shows the dark blue fleecy "inner" ear .

Last, but by no means least, are the two arms/hands also needing to be turned inside out, before being stuffed and sewn to the body pieces.   (Isobel is still working out how best to attach these - to ensure, a far as possible - that they remain attached to the finished Rabbit Bodies once they are In Service as it were!)

The fluffy, fleece material is subject to intense fraying - so to be as sure as possible that they can withstand some hard wear, Isobel has decided that ALL the many seams involved are/will be over-sewn before the pieces get turned to their respective right sides before the Toy is put together.  So far, this has involved two afternoon/evening sessions of intense sewing.  But, this version is coming together a lot quicker than have the previous three Blue Rabbits, which - as you will recall - have involved the original OAC Oscar Blue Rabbit - which is still available through our Shop (  

We've also recently received an unexpected, but truly pleasurable,  update about our version of the Puffin Toy who was a Patient in our Stuffed Animal Toy Hospital a couple of years ago. The Current versions can be seen in our shop using this link (   Some time, after the Patient had returned home, the second Puffin Isobel made at the same time - so that the family could choose which version was most similar to the original, damaged Toy who arrived in a pretty poor state, if you recall -  (here's a reminder, in case some of you don't!!) - found a new home on the opposite side of the United States - in Washington State.

Puffin R as he looked when he arrived as a Patient early in 2016

The latest news (and picture to prove it) is that Puffin 2 is still well and entertaining his Best Friend - who recently celebrated his latest birthday (we're not sure exactly how old MasterM now is:  time does go by so fast these days!).  GrannyLS who ordered the Puffin as an Easter present, sent us the photo - together with permission for us to use it here (just before Easter this year!). Thank you GrannyLS!  We can't help thinking that this might actually have been the first time the two got together:  because we'd hazard a guess that Puffin 2 might not be looking quite so smart, had they been together for the period in between his leaving us and this photograph!  (Perhaps, GrannyLS could bring us up to date on that score - when she's had a chance to read this post, of course!).

On the Oscar 2 Front, we're delighted to tell you that he's arrived safely, and presumably has spent the week-end getting to know what life in Oklahoma is going to be all about.   MrSS kindly confirmed the news Isobel had already got (because we're several hours ahead on the international time scale stakes - and the USPS Tracking system advised us that Oscar had been delivered!) that Oscar 2's trip had been accomplished, albeit slower than we had hope it would be.  That's the problem about international business:  once a package has left the UK's jurisdiction, there's nothing left for us on this side of the Atlantic to do but check, watch and hope for speedy, safe deliveries. With the Easter holidays intervening on this occasion, the journey did take about a week longer than we had hoped it would.  But, we're all delighted to hear that the traveller has landed safely. 
Very shortly after he'd arrived - judging from the fact that the initial introduction appears to have taken place in a car (maybe after Oscar.2 had been picked up from the USPS sorting office?), these two photos were taken:  looks as though there's been instant rapport established, doesn't it?  Thanks MrSS (fond Grandad of MsVS):  technology can be terrific - when it works!!

And, on that note, I think we'll end this week's post.  See you all next week folks.  Although where on earth last week went, I do not know!

Your Friend - Cy Bear

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 8 April 2018

New Looks for Old Friends: and updates on New Ones!

Hello Everyone - and a belated Happy Easter, just a week late.
Cy Bear delighted to be back again and allowed to share some things that have been happening in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES' world since we last met.
First of all, news about Oscar 2:  thanks to the tracker number allocated to him when he was posted from our local Post Office, we've tracked him as his journey to Tulsa has continued.  The Easter holiday having intervened, it would appear that he got held up once he got over the Atlantic Ocean, and has only just begun his trip across the U.S.A.  Last night, MrSS told us that he'd surfaced in "Queen's, New York" on Saturday, and when Isobel opened up the computer this afternoon, we learn that he's now "in transit to destination" (hopefully direct to Tulsa - rather than via Chicago, as happened to one of Isobel's previous commissions for MrSS). 
During the week before Easter, Isobel embarked on the Batch of 6 Blue Rabbits on order from the Oxford Against Cutting (OAC) charity - to be used to cheer up the children and young girls who watch the film in which Oscar, The OAC Mascot Rabbit stars.  Photos of Oscar 1 and Oscar 2 can be found in our last blog post (25th March, 2018), and the one below shows the first Blue Rabbit - which Isobel posted to MsKA from the OAC last Wednesday afternoon.  He travelled Signed For Royal Mail parcel, and Isobel found out that the local postman had tried to deliver Blue Rabbit 1 on Friday, but - because the address we have for MsKA is probably her home one - he's probably spent the week-end in the nearest Royal Mail Sorting Office.  
We're hoping to hear early this week which body version MsKA and the Charity's Nurse feel will meet the important "cuddly factor" - between Oscar 1 and 2 and Blue Rabbit 1 (the latter having the fuller body).  The Blue Rabbit's fluffier neck also fits better on to the new body, resulting in a Toy that is more evenly balanced all around.  We'll keep you posted on the verdict, but meanwhile, Isobel has decided that she's going to start work on cutting out and sewing the head and ears for the rest of the 5 remaining Blue Rabbits - so that there will not be a mad rush at the end to meet the current deadline (May 1 - with some allowance for a few further days!)
Once Blue Rabbit 1 had left us on Wednesday, Isobel than began work on preparing a lot of new Cuddlies' listings for the Shop (all renewals, because we've not had that much time to think of  - or indeed, make - brand new Cuddlies just recently).  We're hoping that's going to change shortly!  However, while doing this rather boring chore, Isobel decided to do something she's been thinking about for some time.  She picked out Yellow Plush Sleepy Teddy ( and Sleepy Koala Teddy Bear (  and gave them both a face lift - .
Both Toys owe their origins to a Brown Plush Sleepy Bear originally belonging to Isobel's son-in-law, AR (made for him by his talented elder sister, so family legend goes), who had been one of our first Patients in the Toy Animal Hospital (  That Brown Version didn't actually have a mouth on its face, and when the first Yellow Plush Teddy was made Isobel was still finding her way around the treatment routines (and didn't think about changing the look in subsequent versions!)  This week, though, she decided both should now have new faces - and here are the current "new looks".  
First Sleepy Koala Teddy Bear:
Before treatment:

And this is how our current Sleepy Koala looks now - with a different nose and a "smiley" mouth:  (this has still to appear in our Shop!):  

Isobel also opened up the eyes more, and has given Sleepy Koala (who doesn't look quite so drowsy now, I think!) a "shave" around his nose and mouth, so they can be seen better (and so HE can see better himself!).
We're unable currently to find an old picture of  Yellow Plush Sleepy Teddy - because in her excitement at re-listing the Toy, Isobel forgot to keep one!!  We're sure that somewhere in our records, we will be able to find one - from an old blog post for example - but it will have to wait until another time.  However, THIS is what Sleepy Yellow Teddy now looks like (and believe me, he looks a whole lot happier, as well as not quite as drowsy!!).  They're called "Sleepy", because of the way they're made - sloping backwards against a pillow or cushion is their preferred way of "sitting"!
New Mouth and Nose, and some tidying up around the mouth too
It's still a little early to tell you about any reaction to the publicity activities Isobel has embarked on, and she's been a bit under the weather thanks to an infected tooth this last week too.  She (and I) are sorry for not posting last week - but it was Easter Sunday, there was a family lunch party up the road  to which Isobel was invited (and thoroughly enjoyed too!) so by the time it was over, as well as not having that much to tell you about anyway, we decided a week's rest from blogging was perhaps the best route!
Think I've been chuntering on long enough for this week now - so will close.  Hope you're all beginning to get some Spring-like weather wherever you all are:  there's been a slight improvement hereabouts!
See you all soon.  Your Friend
Cy Bear.
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 25 March 2018

More Developments on the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Public Relations' Front

Good afternoon everyone.
I'm giving Cy Bear a rest for today - he's been hogging the limelight here for a few weeks now, and we don't want him to get too used to the idea!!  Besides, he's a little sad this week, as one of his long time friends, Jasper Teddy Bear has left the COLDHAMCUDDLIES store for his own Forever Home. 

We always have a tinge of regret when one of our own leaves us, and Jasper has been waiting for a niche ever since he was made. However, we're delighted to say that he's moved to a Forever Home where he could be more than just a Playmate for his new Forever FriendI'm going to refer to this COLDHAMCUDDLIES customer as JFF (Jasper's Forever Friend) because to type it out every time would take more time that I currently have at my disposal.
JFF, who is still a Toddler,  has some potential developmental problems, which can cause him to get very wound up emotionally at times, and his parents thought they'd like to see if a Big Teddy (larger, as well as heavier and furrier than those JFF already has in his collection of cuddly Bears) might help him calm down when the world threatens to overwhelm him.  Professionals with whom the parents deal, as well as information from the many other channels available to them, suggest that a "tool" Toy such as Jasper can be very helpful in stormy situations, and we look forward to hearing how the new Friendship carries on.   Initial findings are encouraging!
There are plans, if required, to make Jasper an even heavier Bear - by sending him back to the Stuffed Animal Toy Hospital  ( so that I can perform an operation on him and add suitably wrapped-up weights into either his paws or his tummy to make him even more comforting for JFF.   We'll keep you posted as to developments, as we at COLDHAM CUDDLIES would love to help youngsters with special needs to fit into their surroundings more happily - and we believe we can provide other Bears,

a Big Blue (or any other Colour) Whale or two -
or even a New Cuddly Toy - yet to be made -  to serve in this therapeutic capacity.  
Meanwhile, Oscar 2, the second version of the Blue Fleece Rabbit Mascot for the Charity - Oxford Against Cutting (OAC) - has been completed.  We told you about developments on that front last week, and here's a photograph of Oscar 2, before he was wrapped up (in chemical free tissue paper, followed by being rolled up in bubble-wrap - to protect his ears in particular - against the rigours of international postal service treatment!) and then placed in a plastic AIR MAIL envelope ready for his journey to Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.  

Oscar 2 was handed in to our local Post Office in Kirkby in Ashfield yesterday morning at 1015 GMT:   (I've just checked on the Royal Mail tracker site - and Oscar 2 has been "handed over to the Overseas Postal Service for delivery to the United States...")

Just so you, our Followers, can compare the new version against the original, here's another copy of Oscar 1:

The latest version has also resulted in a "fuller" white chested body (hopefully making it more cuddly - as requested by MsKA).  Oscar 2's ears have been stiffened with the addition of some interfacing - similar to the stuff used in stiffening collars in any dress-making project.  His ears are more pricked as a result - and do seem to stand more erectly those of Oscar 1.  Oscar 2's neck has also been shortened, and fits lower on his shoulders, and as a result he's not as top-heavy as his predecessor.  We think, if MsKA of the OAC decides to keep with the original pattern, future Blue Rabbits will need to have slightly sturdier legs (near his feet in particular!) to make sure he's even steadier on "his pins".  

I heard back from MsKA last Monday that she leaves the choice of the eventual pattern to Me!  So, during the last week, I've managed to get the patterns shown in our post last week enlarged - so that, for comparison purposes, the resulting Rabbit Toys will be a similar size to the Oscar Blue Rabbits, and my next task is to cut, fit together the pieces and then stick them onto cardboard to provide me with long-term templates for the alternative Blue Rabbit "look".  I'm not prepared to be the final arbiter for the Charity's Cuddly Blue Rabbit Toys (they have to be "just right" in my view for their important task), so the current arrangement is that the first New Blue Rabbit will be sent to OAC.  Then MsKA and the Charity's Nurse will decide which version they consider to be the cuddlier Rabbit Toy.  Then, every future OAC Blue Rabbit will be made in the chosen pattern.
Watch this space, Everyone!

On the Public Relations/Publicity front, there have also been developments.  Our advertisement (mentioned last week) went "live" mid-week last week.  Developments, if any, are awaited - but meanwhile, I've been building up the site filling in the blank spots with text and photographs.  The latter still need to be increased - when time allows.  (I think this is the link to the site!  =

Then, I've also dipped my toes into the water with a Facebook advertising boost. I'm not sure how this will pan out either, but since Facebook were kind enough to give me a £30.00 advertising coupon, I decided to give it a go!  Have booked a space until April 29th, (and co-inciding with an sale as well) potentially spending £29.00 in total in this "campaign" (advertising a 20% discount on ALL items in our Shop).  Again, developments (if any) are awaited - with interest:  here's that link for you:
Another site to check out as the days go by!!   As it's a "freebie", and this is a FIRST for us, there's NOTHING to lose!!
Cy Bear (or I) will be back next week - all things being equal!
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic

Sunday, 18 March 2018

COLDHAMCUDDLIES Near Future is RABBITS - Lots of Blue Rabbits in particular!

Hello Everyone - Cy Bear back with you once again, with some updates.

Isobel has been busy continuing the re-tagging and re-titling that is an every day (seemingly) chore when one has an Shop like ours - in case you need reminding, ours is - but there have been two particular developments this week that we feel Our Readers may find interesting.

The first, some further news on the Oscar Blue Rabbit front:  our contact at Oxford Against Cutting (OAC)) - MsKA - sent an email last Friday afternoon, saying she had been able to identify funding for the 6 Blue Rabbits her Charity's Nurse hopes to use in her educational presentations to school children from May 2018 onwards.  We've been asked to make them "fatter" and "more cuddly" than the original prototype Mascot Rabbit Toy we created - and told you about in our post dated February 4th, 2018 ("Introducing Oscar Blue Rabbit......").  Here's a picture  - just to remind you what Oscar looks like:

 Isobel has also been asked to make his neck "thicker" too - but we're not absolutely sure that changing the templates we've got for Oscar will actually convert well into the kind of Toy MsKA is seeking:  something that little - and not so little - girls will want to hug and cuddle. 

To overcome this potential difficulty, we asked our Friend, SS - puppeteer extraoradinaire from Tulsa, Okalahoma for his thoughts (as he designed the original Oscar template for us).  Just to be sure, he suggested two other Rabbit patterns which might fit the bill better.  They've been sent to MsKA for her thoughts - because Isobel is not actually going to begin the OAC commission until the week-beginning 26th March, 2018

Pattern 1

Pattern 2

We think by using the pricked ears from one of the patterns (Pattern 1), and the body, head and limbs from other, rounder pattern (Pattern 22), we'll achieve what MsKA is looking for.  The original request from MsKA was for a toy that closely resembled their design for The Blue Rabbit - star of the film promoting their Charity's work in the field of  Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)  (You'll be told the results of this consultation as and when we know the answer!) 

Isobel is actually making Oscar No2. at the moment - and we're hoping that he will be en route to Tulsa by the end of next week, so that the OAC Order can be started.  Isobel is incorporating the suggested amended "looks" into this latest version, just to see if they WILL work, or if they could be improved by using the new pattern.

Meanwhile, because Oscar No1 used most of the existing fleece in our stock - Isobel has purchased another batch - which, needless to say, looks almost the same colour, (but not exactly the same) - but feels somewhat softer and cuddlier.  OscarNo2 is being made with the new supply, as will the proposed Batch of Six!

Here's a photograph, taken on our dining room table of the fabrics we will be using:

You'll see that we've got two different fabrics in the darker blue colour:  a length in Dark Blue Fleece, and a smaller amount in a matching polyester material.  All future Oscars' noses will all be made with the Blue Fleece, as it was with Oscar No1 and  we used that fabric for his ear linings as well, because we hoped that it would help them to stay pricked up!  We're not sure that is going to be a really long-term solution though (and may well suggest that Oscar be returned to our Toy Animal Restoration Clinic- for a free Make Over as a result). Oscar No2's ears, as well as having Blue Fleece linings are also being stiffened with a layer of inter-facing - which looks as though it will provide a longer-term answer to the floppy tendencies caused by fleece fabric in all cases.  (The loppy ears shown in Pattern 2 shows the "look" that Oscar No1's ears could end up with, if left as they currently are!)

In addition, all COLDHAMCUDDLIES Rabbits, whether dressed or otherwise, or whether made with fleece or plushes, have ears made with polyester or satin-type linings.  We're going to give MsKA the option to choose, once we've got a response about the patterns.  In the end, it's a question of "feel", as well as "look" as to which way the decision will go, we suspect.

Talking about Makeovers, which we wrote about in our last post, we've embarked on a new path - in particular to do with the Toy Animal Restoration Clinic, ( whose services have long been a part of the Shop's activities.  Since moving to Nottinghamshire, we've not had as many Patients visiting as we would like, so Isobel began to research how we could make these services better known to the "Great British Public" - in a way that is different, but much the same, as we attempt to do via the route.  We had our sewing machine repaired earlier this month, and while she "googled" to find out where our local Sewing Machine Repair Shop was located (in the next Town, as it happened - Sutton in Ashfield), she noticed an advert for (the on line version of that long running publication "Yellow Pages").  She telephoned the number on the site, and actually met a Consultant to discuss her options last Friday. (Co-incidentally, he was with us when Isobel received the news about the 6 Further Oscar Models!)

The result of this is that we are trialling - for an initial 3 month period (of an annual offer) for an advertisement site for the Restoration Clinic.  There will also be a link to our Etsy Shop on there, and we can include up to 25 pictures there too, plus that old on-going bugbear "keywords"!!  It's going to be aimed at customers living in "London Central" and "Nottingham" areas for which there will be a monthly fee (which can be covered by our existing funds currently, as well as from the results of the OAC Order).  In addition, we will be getting coverage - for free during the same period - in the Chesterfield, Derbyshire and Mansfield, Nottinghamshire areas (both larger Towns located near to where we live).  If nothing materialises in the first 3 months, the contract can be cancelled.  If business does arrive, we will have the option to continue the advertisement for the specified 1 year period, or upgrade the site to a full website.  Isobel feels that after 8 years trading, COLDHAMCUDDLIES needs to expand it's borders - so please wish us luck (we already do have a suitable domain name that we can use). The site is due to "go live" sometime during this coming week (beginning 19th March, 2018). 

Interestingly, the Consultant was kind enough to suggest that our services can be regarded as somewhat of a "niche" one! Saleman's "talk", may be, but looking at their existing classifications, there didn't seem to be THAT many others offering such a service, and given that many of those have their titles beginning with "T" = Teddy Bears", the fact that ours is going to be labelled COLDHAMCUDDLIES,  and "keywords" will incorporate "Animal" in them,  might (we say just MIGHT!) end up with our services being seen higher "up the page", than many of the others UK-wide, not just in the areas we're paying for!  It's true:  after all, we've had Dinosaurs, (see below Dragons, as well as Puffins and multiple Teddy Bears admittedly, as Patients since we started out in 2011!

Here's hoping!   See you all next week, hopefully!

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Our Yellow Bear Friend has a Makeover.

Good Afternoon Everyone:

Cy Bear back once more and, this time, at the usual time for our post to get written and published!  We've been less hectic this week, and concentrating on the Shop and it's latest re-listing cycle.  Isobel has worked on new Titles for the items we've attended to this week - doing one a day, while keeping up with the daily Etsy promotional activities required to draw attention to the Shop and our products.  It's enabled us to carry out some remedial work on one of my Best Friends, Yellow Plush Bear

Regular readers of this blog may recall that last Autumn (2017) Isobel decided to give my Friend, Panda Bear a makeover.  He'd  been skulking in the Shop ( ) for some time, and she wondered if the way he looked might have had something to do with his not attracting a Forever Friend.

Panda Bear became a Patient in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (  shortly after this thought had occurred, looking like this:

A couple of days later, after having his nose and mouth re-stitched, Panda Bear looked like this:  with a new nose, and a smiling face.

So, we were delighted when only a few weeks later, just before we attended WINTERFEST2017 at Thoresby Courtyard in November, Panda found a new home in Nottingham - just in time for Christmas.  This is the final photograph we have - taken in the car, on his way home, after the Christmas Bazaar, which he had been allowed to stay with us for - and which is how he came to have this red label on (he left us immediately after the Thoresby Show ended).

Whether or not the fact Panda had been given a new look played a part in this happy result may be just coincidence. but our Yellow Plush Bear(YPB) has also been waiting some time for His Forever Home, having found one once, and then his prospective Forever Friend changed her mind, and did not complete the transaction with us - an occupational hazard, alas!.

Isobel has often thought that YPB might be suffering a similar lack of interest on the part of potential Adopters, so this week she decided to do something about it - while giving her arthritic fingers some gentle sewing exercise to get them used to the idea of getting going once more.

When he was first made - for his original Adopter, she had requested that he didn't "look too cheerful", and as you know, Isobel does like to meet everyone's wishes as best she can.  So, YPB's mouth was sewn with a somewhat stern look.  When the make over was completed last week, YPB now looks like this:

His particular treatment consisted of his nose and mouth being cut out and completely re-designed, and I think he definitely looks a more cheerful and happy Bear.  (He's also still got the green spotted satin ribbon he had on for the Thoresby Courtyard Show).  Isobel  wielded her special scisssors, as well - purchased for shaping the faces of Cuddlies made with faux fur and thicker plushes, as YPB is, and cut carefully around both YPB's eyes.  He can now see his surroundings much better, and maybe more to the point, EVERYONE else can see his bright amber coloured eyes better too!

A side-ways view of  YPB's previous  "look

A close-up of how he faces the world now.

Isobel re-listed YPB earlier last week, and we now await developments with interest.  Meanwhile, we're deep into the latest re-listing session (which takes place every 3 months), so we've got plenty to occupy ourselves, as well as attend to developments on the Oscar Blue Rabbit front - to which I alluded last week as well.  That can keep for another post, so I'll close this week's bulletin now.

Have a good week, everyone!

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Normal Service has resumed: sorry for the break in posting!

Well Hello there EveryoneCy Bear and Isobel back again, with some catch-up news and a new COLDHAMCUDDLIES product to tell you about.

Guess you've all just about given up on us, since it's well over a month since we last posted.  There are good reasons:  when Isobel is not sewing, and helping me write about her activities here, she is also the Secretary to the Old Chapel Close (OCC) Tenants' Association (which is where we live, as most of you know).  That duty has impinged on our lives somewhat since the beginning of February, but it has now hopefully been handled to the satisfaction of our Friends here at OCC.  It did however involve letter writing hither and yon, attending meetings called to deal with the subject matter of said letters, and setting up an agreement between our Landlord and us Tenants, which we hope will provide a framework for future collaboration.  Since several of our Friends here are house-bound, that meant Isobel having to visit these ladies and gentlemen, and once there, she couldn't really rush away, because we all like having visitors to speak to, especially if one is dependent on Carers (with little time to stop and talk during their visits as several of them are.  So ...... hopefully you'll see where the time has gone?  Besides, Isobel isn't averse to a good chat herself either!

In addition, as we mentioned in our January 28th  post, Isobel's arthritis really flared up, and the treatment took its time  (really just increasing her already strong pain killer medication - because the arthritic variety she suffers is the osteo kind, and being "lifetime wear and tear", there's precious little the medical fraternity seem to be able to do about it)   took its time.  took.The increased medication has finally begun to kick in, so sewing is once again being considered - it's been a bit painful until now though.   

Before it got too bad however, we were able to cut out, sew and complete that pair of Ladies Slippers that we'd had on our Order Book  since October last year.  So, here are some photos of the latest addition to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Slipper collection.

The pair completed and ready to be fitted.

The original order came in as the result of our Customer - a fellow resident at OCC - seeing some Slippers during the October MacMillan Cancer Coffee Morning and asking if Isobel could make her a pair of Brown Plush Slippers, with a Yogi Bear type head on.  The Customer is not a fit person, and spends a lot of time in bed - so it was important for her measurements to be spot on.  She had feet that differed in size - both lengthwise at the foot, and around her ankles - but as all our Slippers are, "Custom Made" is one of our bench marks (as is "Made to Measure"). 

Keeping the Customer's feet warm and snug

During one of our visits, Isobel realised that it would actually be unsafe for the Yogi Bear Heads to be applied, as MrsPD-S favours long length clothing, and a Bear Head could actually become a tripping hazard.  That fact was accepted, and the production of the footwear commenced. 

As usual, we started off cutting out the insole to fit the measurements taken, and sewing on the leatherette cover - making an extra layer of covering for the final footwear.  Then the outside of the

slipper sides/uppers, together with the poodle fur lining we use for all our Slippers, gets sewn on, and the insole lining is attached.

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Isobel forgot to take a picture of this stage when making the Brown Plush pair, but we're showing you a photo taken when we were making our Snowy Owl Slippers a year ago - - because every pair of Slippers goes through the same procedure.  Once the insole is in, the front of the slipper is sewn together - lining first, and then the outer covering.  Isobel uses ladder stitch to do this, which results in an almost invisible seam for both layers - which makes it more comfortable the wearer.

Then the trimming is added - in this case, a crimson red satin ribbon one and elastic (cut to match the ankles of the wearer, plus a couple of inches - so that any future change in ankle circumference can be accommodated) is threaded through.  And there we are - the finished article.

It took Isobel 6 days to do the two slippers, not much longer than normal fortunately.

Before closing, some news about Oscar the Blue Rabbit and how the February 6th Launch of the film in which the original model, on which he is based, fared.   Apparently it went very well, and Oscar was much admired.  The specialist primary school teachers at which the presentation was aimed were duly impressed with both the film and it's model and several expressed interest in possibly purchasing some in the future.  As all teaching in the UK (and elsewhere too, of course) is planned well in advance, as are the budgets for the programmes involved, we're not expecting a deluge of orders - which is just as well, given Isobel's slower production pace.  

(We're hoping to get started on the Tulsa version of Oscar next week - on top of the painful hands, the weather here has prevented Isobel from accessing the fleece she wants to use for the future Blue Rabbits - as she wasn't entirely happy with the stuff she had in hand when making the first model.  As dyes rarely stay the same, she's planning on getting sufficient fabric for the future models too - because even if the order changes, she has enough alternative uses for Pale Blue Fleece for surplus supplies to be used in future.  With any luck, Oscar 2 will arrive in the USA around about Easter time!)

However, this week we learned that the Specialist Nurse attached to the OAC (Oxford Against Cutting) programme has declared she'd like to have 6 of them - with a May 1st dateline mentioned.  So, MsKA, our OAC liaison person, has now set out to fund-raise to be able to send us the order!  As the Nurse is part of the same organisation, the monies need to come from their supporters and friends.  We're hoping that the order will come in stages, so that we can fit them into Isobel's other production plans, as we do want to have a few new Cuddlies to offer this year, as usual.

More anon.   Hopefully, without too much more of a break in posts! 

Your Friend, Cy Bear.