Sunday, 15 October 2017

Progress Report - regarding latest COLDHAMCUDDLIES' Plans:

Greetings to One and All - Cy Bear back again:

It's seems to have been sometime since I was posting to you, but Isobel has been so busy what with one thing and another - a lot of which she told you about two weeks ago - that it's not been convenient for me to chat with you until today.




Last Sunday, it was also her birthday, and she found that daughter Clare had organised a surprise party for her, to be combined with a celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving - so she didn't return home until way after our normal posting time here, so we decided to wait until today to update you on what is currently happening/being arranged in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES world.  So, let me begin.


First of all, we have to introduce you to four new Baby Koala Toys - during the summer re-listing process, Isobel discovered that all but one of our previous 5 Baby Koalas had found Forever Homes - mostly off-Etsy, and with local friends and their families, and she needed to do some replacements.  With the proximity of the WINTERFEST 2017 getting ever closer, and because they often move fast at such events, she got down to cutting out 4 new ones, and was able to complete them all within 8 days of cutting them out - working,mainly, in the evenings, after her regular stint of Etsy Team duties had been done.  We still have to keep doing those, in order to keep a presence for the Shop on line you see.


Here are the new Koalas - sitting on top of the Brother Printer - in our living room, before being ticketted (priced!) and put into their storage bags ready for November 25th!




It's a convenient spot for Isobel to photograph them - as the computer is just in front of the printer, and the lighting is not too bad during the evenings!  She'll take some better ones soon - when she gets the time to set them up properly, but this will have to do for the time being.  To create the faces, she used a new pair of scissors, purchased from our friendly Mohair supplier - Mohair Bear Supplies of Telford, Shropshire, England, UK - when we got the curly plush fabric for our Grey Cat Puppet (see belowearlier in the year.




The booking for the Christmas Craft Fair at Thoresby Hall is now confirmed.  Isobel had quite a battle to find an insurance company who was prepared to give us a quotation for the one-off event, but it was eventually successful and we got confirmation that we have been accepted towards the end of last week.




So, it's now all systems go, to get replacement Baby Owls in sufficient numbers to make a decent display for November 25thIsobel rooted out the faux fur fabric from our stocks yesterday, and now has it ready in a big plastic bag - together with the white plush (for the Baby Owl faces) and the leatherette fabric- for the feet and beaks of 4 new Toys.  When we took the pattern template out of our library yesterday, we discovered that we still had sufficient of the latter fabric with patterns already drawn for 2 Baby Owls, so we're already a little ahead of ourselves.  We hope to get the other pieces all cut out and ready for sewing - to start sometime Tuesday of this week.




We're also planning to make a couple of new additions to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES Family - in the shape of Small Mohair Bears.  We keep forgetting we have some smaller pieces of Mohair in stock - left over from the Treatment of Ed Ted (way back in 2011, shortly after our  Animal Toy Restoration Clinic was first set up).  We did make a Little Ed Ted (who found a home in the USA in 2016) but have never replaced him.   As smaller Toys often get chosen quicker at Craft Fairs in our past, we hope we'll be able to find Forever Homes for them just before this Christmas.  We think we have sufficient fabric for one more Little Ed type Bear, and a similar sized Red Mohair Bear - who will be a whole new addition to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES family.


Little Red Ted and Me in our Garden in Wiltshire just after he was made.

In the past, Isobel and Clare (who helped us when we last had a major Christmas Fair attendance during our first Christmas in Kirkby in 2014, and will be doing so again, this time around) are convinced that we have lost sales for our Toys in the past because we didn't take Credit or Debit cards - preferring only to deal in cash and/or cheques.  This time around, because Isobel found a "special deal" on line from PayPal, one of the routes by which we accept payment through our Etsy.com Shop, Isobel has bought a Chip Card Reader.  At the moment though, use of it is limited because there are two more hoops for Isobel to get through before that will be an option for COLDHAMCUDDLIES.  Isobel has to "join the 21st Century" and get herself an Android Smartphone so the Reader can be attached to it: and then she has to undergo a credit check by PayPal (even though she has been a PayPal account holder since we set up in 2010) because we've had to upgrade our account from a Personal one in Isobel's name to a business account in the COLDHAMCUDDLIES name!  That cannot happen until we've decided on the exact model of smartphone we're going with, and the type of programme we're going to purchase once that decision is made.  Isobel hopes to be able to go to our local supplier (in nearby Mansfield) sometime later this coming week - or during the following week, together with Clare and GrandsonE - whose half-term will be happening at that time.  So, more anon.


Then Isobel spent most of  Friday this week in St. Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham where she was helping out a Friend at an Exhibition of Clerical Embroidery.  She took lots of photographs, and intends to show them to you in a future blog - which could well occupy this space in the coming weeks, as we prepare for the WINTERFEST 2017 show in November.  So, folks, just watch this space.


Meanwhile, all the best for this coming week to you all.  We're thinking of everyone who might be affected by natural events who read this blog - such as those living in California, and possibly near to the wild fires, and, even, in this country, as we await the after effects of an incoming storm expected to hit the west coast of the UK early next week.  We're not located there, but the island of the United Kingdom is not that big, and winds of 80 miles an hour don't take that long to cross the landmass here!  So - hoping to be back in touch with you all very soon, I'll now say Good Bye for this post.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

New Ways Forward - and Celebrating a Successful Week.

Hello FolksIsobel here (with Cy Bear in the background).

Once again, apologies for the break in posts last week.  All sorts of things have been happening, which, hopefully, will result in COLDHAMCUDDLIES getting a form of re-boot and a firmer foothold on reality!!  That meant that I spent a lot more time than expected on the background to the Shop (COLDHAMCUDDLIES.etsy.com) than originally intended.

The latest representation on the Shop Site, of the Cuddlies, most of whom have found their Forever Homes
We've just got two more items - both Fox-related, as it happens - that need to be updated and re-listed - thus completing the annual re-list programme.  They have to take their place in the Shop by end of play tomorrow (BST) - which as most of you know is 4 hours ahead of the earliest time slots in the U.S.A. (Eastern Standard Time for most of the world:  but Etsy Time for those of us involved in that world!!)  

This has involved some re-writing of descriptions, finding more photographs for items that will benefit from better pictorial descriptions to back up existing ones.  That's thanks to Etsy providing Shop Owners with 5 more photographic slots for each item - if one wants to use them.   (Apparently, it's not OBLIGATORY, but experience - over the 7 years COLDHAMCUDDLIES have been operating - indicates that it's actually better that one does take up all the options, rather than not!!!)  However, when that means doing it, individually, for 107 different items - it can take a lot of time, which has to be shared with the daily promoting regimen that is Etsy Team Thread participation.  Oh for another 24 hours to each day!!!!!

Nearly at the end of this operation, daughter Clare - who like elder daughter Philippa - is a very supportive and helpful person(s) in my life - telephoned'  She'd just read in a super market magazine she had recently picked up that Toys - whether dressed or not - are now VERY TRENDING ITEMS in the Internal Decor Field.  She suggested I consider changing the Category in which the Cuddlies appear on the Etsy Market Site.  Accordingly, I decided to explore - and it hasn't taken me long to realise the move could potentially be helpful - in all sorts of areas - too numerous, and complicated, to list here.

One of the recent photographs of  our Grandma White Rabbits
To begin with, there are several more categories into which Cuddlies, dressed or otherwise, actually fit a lot better than just being in the Toy category.  Accordingly, henceforth, all Dressed Rabbits (two shown above), Foxes - and related cousins (Wolves and Coyotes) and most of the larger Bears have been switched to the Home & Living category (with several more sub-categories into which these Toys fit better).   I have yet to discover (since it's still a new "world" for the Cuddlies) whether this will be "easier" or "harder" for potential buyers to find us:  however, my Stats (to which, as most of you know, I rarely take too much notice) do seem to show that more Visitors are appearing for a "look-see":  which might suggest more likelihood of Buyers arriving on the scene shortly!!  That would be REALLY nice:  they've been less visible than usual this year, even though Summer/Vacation times have regularly been similarly less populated since we started in 2010.  This year, largely because I've been bogged down with the re-listing process, it's seemed to be emptier than normal!!!  (The more I've re-done the placings listed earlier, the more I think that most of the animal toys - as opposed to the Slippers and Golf Club Covers we offer - are more appropriately placed in the Home & Living category - so this change will take place during the coming days).

A Group photograph of COLDHAM Bears - on a sunny day
This apparent lack of outside-Etsy on-line interest has been similarly matched with the feeling that the Cuddlies have exhausted their potential for the immediate locality.  While there have been sales, they haven't been as frequent, nor as fruitful from the Ashfield District area, as they were when we were all based in Wiltshire.  Thus, when I was approached by a member of the Nottingham Etsy team with news of an upcoming Christmas Arts and Crafts Bazaar -  WINTERFEST2017 - being held at  a well known local Hotel/Spa complex this coming November, I asked for further details.  Plans are still being made, but it certainly looks like COLDHAMCUDDLIES will be participating - so more of this anon.

Last Tuesday, the CUDDLIES were on display at this year's MacMillan Cancer Coffee morning held in the Residents' Lounge where we live these days.  During the event, a Family of Hedgehogs went to a fellow Resident, MrsTD-S who, like me, is a real Hedgehog afficianado. 

The Hedgehog Home was in MrsTD-S's garden, where it was empty:  it now resides in part of Clare's garden and is occupied!
Her daughter, MsKD-S (I'm not aware of her official status, so will continue to refer to her in this manner) not only bought Graham Grey Rabbit,

Graham Grey Rabbit
but has also ordered a pair of Novelty Slippers for her young daughter.  I think, they're going to be made in Hedgehog format, but that will be decided when the young lady's vital feet statistics are provided.  (In future, ALL Novelty Slippers, in whatever size, will be Made to Order:  as well as Made to Measure) - thus saving me storage space in my living quarters.  In the past it was easier to store the Cuddlies, but since numbers have increased to over the century mark, space has definitely been real limiting factor!

Mummy Buchanan Fox on the Right is the one that left us on Tuesday
Another Cuddly also found herself en route to her Forever Home- a Buchanan Fox (illustrated Right) was bought by a regular visitor to the complex - for his Grand Daughter, and he, too, has ordered a pair of Novelty Slippers for the same Little Person for Christmas.  This time, it's going to be based on our Panda Slippers - looking something like this pair:


 The Novelty Slippers on which the latest order is to be based
I'm waiting for the requisite measurements for the proposed wearer of these Slippers too:  it has been suggested that they should be more "dog like", if possible - because the intended recipient is currently very "into" Dogs!!
Then later in the week, when visiting MrsTD-S to provide a requested business card, she too ordered a pair of Slippers - for herself.  She, too, will be providing me with the requisite measurements for her new Winter Footwear - so, I'm going to be even busier immediately, followed closely by the need to stock up on smaller Cuddlies - such as Baby Koalas and Baby Owls, both of which have been reduced by sales over the past year.  

One of our Baby Owls - both of which have recently taken flight
There are none left of the latter, and only one of the Koalas (pictured at the end of this post) - and they've always proved fast-movers when we attended Craft Sales in the past.  The WINTERFEST2017 organiser with whom I am liaising presently did mention they'd had 3,000 in attendance last year (that's over two days, and I'll only be going for one day).    With the addition this year of a Santa's Grotto at the event, they are hopeful of getting nearer 4,000 visitors to the event.  That's a whole heap more people for the Cuddlies to meet than has ever been the case in the past!!

Then, this morning, a good friend, Mrs EH asked me to reserve one of the potential new Baby Owls so she could give it as a Christmas present to the latest addition in her family.  Thus, another Cuddly has a Forever Home to look forward to.  Her son bought our last Baby Owl early in the summer as a Christening Present!  So, our Cuddlies fulfill several useful functions when meeting their Forever Friends.

Finally - and another reason for the lack of posts recently - is the fact that I'm having another attempt at becoming a Childrens' author.  I've signed up for a 5 week Creative Writing Course (alas, I missed the first one, as I was travelling back from High Wycombe at the same time!) and have to say - not only is it most enjoyable, but I actually feel I might just be "onto something"!   Again - more anon, when I have the time, that is!!

As the title for this post says - it's been a good week for us in Nottinghamshire (with the potential for a great deal more fun!)  But there's a lot of sewing going to be required.....thus a lot of time required in an already busy schedule .......so I'll stop this now.

Cy Bear (or I) will be back next week - current schedule permitting, of course!

Your Friend,

Isobel - and Cy Bear, too, of course!


With the last batch of Baby Koalas - now reduced to a Singleton!







Sunday, 17 September 2017

A return to "Normal" - with news of more re-listings


Hello once again, everyone.  Isobel here.

My apologies for omitting last week's post, but even though the computer came with me, it wan't convenient for me to post another bulletin last Sunday.  When one is in someone else's home, one cannot really carry on as one would under one's own regimen - and that was the case while I was away in Buckinghamshire, staying with Philippa in High Wycombe.  I did carry on with the re-listing processes, though, and several more Cuddlies have had their Etsy.com lives extended by a further 4 months, accompanied by more new photographs (some of themselves - taken from earlier versions of each relevant Toy or Novelty item, some with pictures of similar Toys dressed with, or made from, different fabrics). 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/554371145/polar-bear-slipper - 1 pair in stock
Our Polar Bear Baby Slippers have been re-photographed - with a Christmassy touch - and include shots of how they are made (in particular, showing, the soles of each slipper made with the leatherette fabric all COLDHAMCUDDLIES Novelty Slippers have).  You find these additional shots by clicking on the link above, and then on the 12 different photographs underneath the main photograph.

It's amazing to realise, but our Puffin Friends have come up for their first re-listing opportunity 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/554134569/puffin-stuffed-toy - 2 are in stock

(four months after they first appeared in the Shop following the arrival of PuffinR as a Patient in the Stuffed Toy Animal Restoration Clinic). 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/539024767/animal-toys-mended-toy-bear-special-care

There are vacancies in the Clinic should anyone have an Animal Toy needing restoration - and we welcome them from anywhere in the world.  You might think shipping costs could be a barrier - but in fact, PuffinR proved they are not.  He arrived in an unstuffed condition:  so travelled as a small packet from Rhode Island, New York, U.S.A.  So, in a "light bulb moment" I realised this could happen to any toy from anywhere in the world - no matter it's original size.  Unless the toys are bigger than Cy Bear (and most of them are not, as you can see from this photograph), even the shipping home charge is within the most expensive quoted in our Etsy.com Shop (COLDHAMCUDDLIES.etsy.com).  So, if you've spent the summer months clearing out attics and come across an old childhood friend, please do consider giving them a new life, to become a New Friend to a younger member of your own, or extended Families.  Cy Bear and I would love to meet them, and provide them with a new opportunity to thrill and comfort a new generation - and such a gift would be VERY SPECIAL to the Little Person (or slightly Bigger Little Person, perhaps!).

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/539024767/animal-toys-mended-toy-bear-special-care
The re-listing process has also involved me having to check every single listing - because as a result of the recent Etsy Shop Manager changed format(s), new items have had to be added to each listing, and I had thought I'd complied with them when they were originally introduced.  Alas, once the new format was officially rolled out, one of the two additional items allowed "disappeared" from every listing to which they had been added!!!  So, with 107 individual listings in the shop, the re-tagging process has been more prolonged than originally envisaged, and there's still quite a few more items to be checked, and corrected.  

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/556937741/brenda-bunny-brown-plush-rabbit - Brenda is in stock as well
Still, it's keeping me out of mischief - while I prepare for this year's MacMillan Cancer Coffee Morning here at Old Chapel Close, Kirkby in Ashfield - where my flat is now located.  The event takes place on Tuesday, 26th September - from 1000 to 1400 hours BST:  and I will be taking a table from which I  hope several Cuddlies will be purchased for this year's Christmas and other Family Presents.  Sometimes wonder if going away is a good idea - although I did have fun staying with Philippa and enjoyed my break enormously!

(I'm also repeating last year's experiment of Crab Apple Butter - by popular request! That's got to be prepared sometime this week, in between all the other things that are scheduled already. Before leaving for my holiday, the Gardener kindly picked both Crab Apples, as well as Damsons, from trees that can be found directly under my kitchen window.  They've been in a freezer since that happened, and I'm hoping to find them in a good condition tomorrow (Monday).  It was pouring with rain when the harvesting took place:  so am not anticipating that I'll need to add too much liquid for the "magic" to commence!  I'm going to also produce Damson Butter this year.  More anon!!) 


https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/544171542/gentleman-jim-fox-stuffed-plush-toy-fox
Gentleman Jim has reverted to his original name - as Cy Bear told you was going to happen to many of our Toys in his last post to you.  We still have one version of him in stock - so hope that there is someone out there looking for a colourful, unusual, dressed Toy to give away at Christmas time this year.

Our most recent listing is Jemima Brown Bunny - and currently, she's just listed - as the last version of her departed earlier this year.  

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/544172264/jemima-bunny-plush-dressed-rabbit
As Cy Bear told you though,  I can make another Dressed Rabbit like her within 8-10 days from receipt of order, through cutting out and creating, to being ready to ship.  However,  BE WARNED        there is only sufficient fabric of her unusual, patterned aquamarine dress fabric for ONE MORE Jemima!  So, she's really now a Limited Edition Toy!

Cy Bear and I hope to be back with you again next week, hopefully nearer the end of this year's re-tagging exercised.  Until then, have a good week everyone - and hope the weather is being more benign for those of you in the U.S.A.  who have survived the recent Hurricanes and other storms that have wreaked havoc with you.

Good Bye for now.  Isobel


Monday, 4 September 2017

New Procedures in our Shops - as well as some "New Looks".

Good morning Everyone - on Monday morning, rather than Sunday afternoon! 

Not sure exactly what is happening, but at least, we're finally on the same page!  For some reason- and it may be because I got excited by being back on line again last week, and started checking out my Google Activity - and accidentally hit a button that I shouldn't!  But when I tried to start up, as usual yesterday afternoon, this page wouldn't open.  However, just before shutting down for the evening, I tried again - and low and behold:  after a bit of time, this page did open (but WAY TOO LATE for anything cogent from me!).  So, here I am - better late than never,but ready to hand over to Cy Bear.

 


Hello there, Folks!  

As the title of this post implies, Isobel is still busy re-doing things in the Shop, so not much "exciting" has happened this week.  There have been several new pics of some Toys (like the one of my Tiger Friends, below)  - which were due for re-listing anyway, and which have now been give the "New Look" mentioned.  They've also been given new tags, which we're hoping will attract some attention as the Holidays Season approaches - and I'm here to also explain some things that will be happening as regards the Shop (https://www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com) in the future, too.  We can't understand why these fellows haven't found new homes yet - because although they've got very long legs (which take up quite a lot of space in the Cuddlies Toy Storage area, admittedly), they are very CUDDLY, and easy to handle too!






Largely because of the storage situation in our current accommodation, and because Isobel wants to make some NEW CUDDLIES soon, we're going to be using our listings to show what we have to offer, obviously:  but not now necessarily having lots of versions of them all at the same time - as has been the case previously  (although in the case of our Long Legged Tigers, we obviously had to - given their different "suits"!)  

We're going to be much more a MADE TO ORDER business - or CUSTOM ORDER one, if you like.  Any new Toys shown in the Shop, will be OAAK (One of a Kind) - and once those still in stock go, Isobel won't replace them, UNTIL a new order is placed (although their pictures will still be posted in the Shop on Etsy.com).   One just has to be pragmatic and practical.


Betty Bunny - pictured last week in the Autumn sunshine - without her "sister" made simultaneously
NB:  Customers shouldn't feel they won't get their orders dispatched on time - because although we always service them on a "first come, first served" basis, all of them will still be made within the time frame shown in the order form - because the production time always allows for any "Work in Progress" that Isobel may be doing when that order is received.  She usually allows up to 3-4 weeks from receipt of order - and no Toy, to date, has taken more than 8-10 days from cutting out to completion in the 7 years COLDHAMCUDDLIES has been operating. (Yes - September 2010 is the month when Isobel first began listing us Cuddlies!).  They are ALWAYS posted earlier than the scheduled date!   Unless unforeseen circumstances occur, we don't see any changes happening in that modus operandi - fingers (paws, in my case!), crossed.  Also, as Isobel likes to keep in touch with each Customer as the project progresses, any problems that might occur would be discussed as they occur!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/540333002/panda-bear
Our most recent Panda Bear was re-photographed too - and may actually be facing a real new look himself.  These pictures make him look rather too prim, we feel - so Isobel may be booking him into the Stuffed Animal Toy Restoration Clinic (https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/539024767/animal-toys-mended-toy-bear-special-care?ref=shop_home_active_1) for something of a face-lift. However, as she's away for a few days - visiting daughter Philippa in Buckinghamshire - later this week, that procedure will have to wait until later in the month!  (He doesn't know about what is in store, by the way!).


Finally, because there has been quite a lot of re-tagging etc. being undertaken, here are a few more pictures - with the latest re-listings, all looking forward to the upcoming Holidays season, and hoping that by the end of the next quarter (when they will be eligible for the next re-listing session), some, if not all of them, will have found their Forever Homes.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/540332704/fox-kids-slippers - 2 prs in Stock!
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/541835226/hairy-bear-brown-y-teddy - in stock too!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/540333158/snowy-owl-slippers-white-owl-slippers?
So, I think this post is now quite long enough - what with all the new photographs!  I know the computer is scheduled to travel with Isobel when she goes to High Wycombe later this week, so I guess any new post will be done by her, as I shall be In Post - On Guard - In the Flat!!!  Hopefully, we'll be back again chatting to each other soon - as the trip is not for that long!  

See you all when I am next allowed here!  Have a great time - and really looking forward to being with you all again very soon.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Temporary Closure of Blogging Activities - and the aftermath: some Cuddlies being named!

Hello Everyone:




Sincere apologies from both Cy Bear and myself for the recent break in weekly updates from the COLDHAMCUDDLIES World:  as ever, they were caused by "technical difficulties" which this time resulted in the computer being sent for serious "replacement therapy" - namely a totally new hard disk.   (I'm never sure which way one is supposed to spell this particular technological gadget, so I'll also call it a hard disc - to cover all bases!).

Now, I'm gradually feeling my way back into "normal working conditions", and occasionally encountering hiccups along the way - because despite "all" data being backed up (according to my helpful technical gurus), some items seem to have slipped away - although. just today - trying to get back here -  I discovered a whole heap of photographs of former COLDHAMCUDDLIES family members on the "Google Photos" site that I hadn't realised I still had!!  I tend now to keep all the current - and more recent - photo opportunities filed on the computer pictures programme, which I presume is a Windows10 offering, rather than a Google one.  I really do get confused.  Think I'll just have to find somewhere (or, even, someone!) where I can just sit down and watch how I get every one, and everything connected with the Cuddlies and I, to just talk to EACH OTHER, than carry on as they once did (and some still do!! Facebook page activity is suddenly very "talkative" - in that when I post anything on one page, it tends to get duplicated:  although that doesn't happen every time. However it's easier to delete one item, and operate with nothing being seen by my Friends - or maybe, if I delete the second copy, then it will mean only SOME  Friends being updated, and not others!  See what I mean - I really am "dangerous" when let loose on line!!)

Now, those whines out of the way, thought you might like to see the opening paragraphs of the last post started before the breakdown occurred.  You will thus see that I did intend to notify you all of the impending gap in news from our part of the internet world.  The shock of finally having to succumb to the computer's woes, evidently drove me to abandon this, without actually posting it.  However, it will be a convenient bridge between THEN and now!   So:

"A short note from both Cy Bear and Myself just to give you news of a short break in communications caused by problems with the computer.

As you know, we've been engaged in a lot of relisting, re-tagging and re-photographing, and something went wrong in the proceedings.  Google Chrome (my browser of choice) is not playing ball with our Shop (www.COLDHAMCUDDLIES.etsy.com).  I'm taking the computer into the technical help desk at the nearest Shop from where I purchased it tomorrow (Monday 14th August) for it to have thorough clean.  I'm just not capable of doing it without getting into even more trouble.

Before I go though, here are some of the newest re-listings showing up in the Shop - which is currently "on vacation" until things get clarified.


Nicholas Rabbit - https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/535582698

From now on, we're in "real time"!!
 
This is just one of the listings that took place during the week beginning 7th August, 2017- although even while the computer and I were parted, I was able to keep re-listing Cuddlies who needed it - because I was able to access the Shop (www.COLDHAMCUDDLIES.etsy.com) via a machine located in the Kirkby in Ashfield Library. While I wasn't totally without internet connection, the time available was a lot less than when I am at home - because it's allocated on a one hour basis, with just one update being available!

You will notice that this Rabbit Toy now has a published name - and it's a deliberate, "new" move on my part. (Some Rabbits and Foxes have had names all along, and this is one of them:

Jeremy Rabbit - https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/550619779
September was the month in 2010 when COLDHAMCUDDLIES actually began listing it's wares and offering items for sale (we actually registered in January of that year, spending the intervening period building stock), so with our 7th Anniversary rapidly approaching, I decided to name some more, if not all, Cuddlies (current and future), in the hope that by "individualising" them, they will attract more attention.  I've tried different ways to do the listing, including naming each Toy, but over the years, that particular idea seems to have fallen by the wayside.  Something tells me that the time has come for me to do the "name game" once more, so I've decided the Dressed Rabbits and Foxes, Wolves and Coyotes in the Shop will again have their own names - as and when they come up for listing (when I remember to include the new labels, that is!!).  Some have been re-named:  as I go along - retagging etc.  

Those that slip through the net, will eventually get their own "monikers" (a bit of London Cockney rhyming slang, I believe, and a "saying" that Peter often used in conversation, with friends and me, when he was alive.  Please don't ask what it "rhymes" with - as I do not know!)     Needless to say, potential Forever Friends of these Toys are more than likely - and indeed, ENCOURAGED - to name their acquisitions whatever they want to!!  (I suspect that the effort of deciding what to call Cuddlies as they appeared on the scene is one of the main reasons I stopped doing it!!).

To return to the listing that took place in the week before we temporarily lost touch with each other:

Uncle Brendan Brown Bunny- https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/538718396
Since 2010, there have been several versions of Uncle Brendan - who have found Forever Homes as far apart as California, France and the UK.  This photograph is of the last model and he needs replacing - and is one of several Cuddlies, listed in the Shop, who are also in that same "replacement category".  However, anyone wanting to buy him, or the other similarly placed Cuddlies, need to know that generally it takes me 6-9 days (from cutting out to completion), so well within the 3-4 week dispatch date deadline quoted on any Etsy Order form associated with our Toys.  The dichotomy in timings is there just to ensure that any Work in Progress is covered when an order arrives.  All Orders are dealt with on a "first come, first served" basis.  So far, there's not been an occasion when a Buyer has been disappointed with a late arrival at their front doors - wherever in the world they may be located - although I do recall one occasion when a Cuddly's arrival was delayed (alas again as the result of a computer mishap!".  Customer details were on the computer - and not in my "hard copy" file! Fortunately the lady concerned was most understanding.)

Finally, for this week at any rate, here's a Dressed COLDHAMCUDDLIES Fox toy, who was re-listed more or less at the same time as these three rabbits - and she, too, has had a name since she was first conceived - Miss Prim Fox:


Miss Prim Fox - https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/535583154

Please God, this will be the last time that the computer and I are separated for any length of time: believe me, I now do know what the term "withdrawal symptoms" actually feels like - and means!

See you all soon.  Cy Bear sends his best wishes - and looks forward to chatting with you all soon.

Your Friend.

Isobel
 
                                                                                                               

Sunday, 30 July 2017

HQ temporarily away from base - but daily checks being maintained.

Hello Everyone - Cy Bear here today, on "guard duty" while Isobel commutes between home and TeamACE's base, three doors away, this week.


She moved up the road last evening, and is now house-sitting, dog and cat caring, while the Family are on an adventure camping holiday in Norfolk with lots of friends from St. Barnabas Cathedral at an annual get-together based around The National Catholic Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham. We've written about this place from time to time - because it's where Peter's ashes are buried, and Isobel and family try to visit it every year.  The get-together Team ACE are involved with is called "New Dawn", and it's something that's been on their "must do" lists for some time.  They left with the weather looking threatening, but dry:  news has been received that they all arrived safely, and the tent has been pitched - right next door to close family friends, the parents being GrandsonE's God Parents - so provided the weather co-operates, they're set for a lovely time.  Isobel has quite a crowded schedule this week, but will be able to fit things in so I'm not going to be on my own that long this time around.  Her "away time" this year is set for a few weeks hence.


Meanwhile, the retagging and retitling I spoke about last week has continued apace.  Daily listings in the Shop have continued - with more than one being done sometimes because there are quite a lot of Cuddlies requiring this attention at this time of the year.  Meanwhile, Isobel did complete the two new Baby Hedgehogs, more photos were taken - and here is one of the three examples now in stock in the shop - www.COLDHAMCUDDLIES.etsy.com.




During the week, two very new Cuddlies became eligible for re-listing, so the Ducklings - first introduced earlier this year - are now in place until 29th November 2017.  




They joined our Easter Chickens, which Isobel created at about the same time, but were renewed a day or two earlier.  When she made them, they were very experimental. She was making both the Ducklings and Chickens for the first time - from patterns provided by a Facebook friend - and in the Chickens case, she tried three different ways of making their beaks.




The Chicken in the middle has its beak embroidered throughout - and is not likely to continue with that look.  In life, it appears a bit cumbersome and unrealistic.  Not that Toys really need to be THAT realistic, I don't think.  The other two were made with different shapes cut out from felt, and Isobel has decided that the one on the left will be the future model we offer.  They don't need re-listing until 24th November this year.


Then, one of the other re-listings placed in the Shop this week was Hettie White Rabbit:  carrying on the "rabbit-naming" exercise, Isobel decided on "Hettie" (this model had previously been titled our "Halloween Rabbit", because of  dress and trimming colours she'd used when making Hettie in the first place).  The fabric for her dress is not only black and white gingham (quite a traditional mix for Halloween items, as is the orange trimming) but there is a rather unusual and pretty embroidered floral pattern involved as well.  Hettie comes complete with silk pantaloons trimmed with lace and can have a large carrot to hold, although these photos don't show it.  (Without a Carrot, Hettie will be £2.50 GBP ($3.28USD) less to buy!)





These two pictures were taken in our garden earlier this week, and show Hettie standing, as well as sitting.  She does prefer to sit, but provided there is something she can lean against, you can leave her balanced quite safely.

Then, finally for this post here's a photo of one of my best friends, Silver Grey Bear.  




He's sporting a bright orange ribbon, which shows him off very well, I think, and is eagerly looking for a Forever Home.  Both Hettie and Grey Bear have been registered as members of the Coldham Cuddlies Family until 25th November in the case of the latter and 26th November in Hettie's case.

Meanwhile, here's what happened to one of the Ducklings when he left us to travel to his Forever Home shortly after they were introduced into the Shop:

Meet Duckling "Super Duk"!  He now lives in Edmonton, Alberta
That's it for this week, Folks.  Looking forward to telling you about family and Cuddlies activities during the coming week, and wishing everyone good wishes for everything you plan to do!  

Your Friend.

Cy Bear.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Replacements underway - plus some recent Cuddlies relisted in our Shop

Greetings everyone - Cy Bear back again!

After a busy week doing lots of retagging and retitling, ColdhamCuddlies due to be renewed during the week, have been re-listed - on a daily basis.   Isobel wants to find if regular, daily changes in our Shop will really attract the attention that "the experts" (whomever, and wherever, they are/come from) say is a "must do" activity when engaged in on-line selling.  We've got a batch of Toys in this twilight area at the moment, so we're going to be able give the statement a real try-out.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/542358637/grey-plush-rabbit-dressed-rabbit
Graham Grey Rabbit (he's also listed as Graham GRAY Rabbit - to include the different spelling of the colour around the world) was one of the first to receive the new "treatment".  He's a cuddly toy with lovely soft furry plush fabric for head and paws, and a green velvet jacket.  When we first began selling toys in 2010, Isobel used to christen some of us Toys with human names.  Then she stopped doing it (have not got a clue why!) but she's decided to give it another go. Graham Grey Rabbit is now safely registered in the shop until 18th November, 2017 - unless or until he finds his Forever Home earlier!.   (Obviously, our Toys may have a name in our Shop - when they find their Forever Homes, it's entirely the choice of their new Friends whether or not to re-christen their new toy, or keep our name.)  


https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/528544324/yellow-plush-teddy-bear
One of my particular friends is this Yellow Plush Teddy Bear - although made with exactly the same pattern as all of us Coldham Cuddlies Bears, this young fellow looks a little smaller all around. That's because the rest of the Teddies in our Shop are made with faux fur and this chap uses Yellow Plush fabric - and there can be a distinct difference in pile thicknesses between the different materials. Both varieties are as soft and cuddly as each other - and I am proud to call them all my Friends.   (Not sure why, but Isobel doesn't give us Bears names:  all except me that is.  I'm told the reason I got mine, when I was first made, is because Peter decided I reminded him of one of their neighbour friends when they lived in West Lancashire.  We'd all moved to Wiltshire by that time!).  In the Shop, Yellow Ted has booked his place until 19th November, 2017.  Do hope he finds his Forever Home soon - he'll make someone a really good companion when they choose him.

Before showing off more relisted Toys, Isobel thought you'd like to see how the Baby Hedgehogs are made - because I did mention last week that some replacements were urgently needed.  She cut out two more on Monday afternoon - during what has become a weekly chatting session among our fellow residents. Since then, each evening, she has sewn and completed one new Toy, and today took some snap shots of the second one - before putting it together later this evening, or during tomorrow's Old Chapel Close crafters' meeting.

 (Originally, the gathering  was known as the "Knit and Natter" session:  but, alas, as months have passed, knitting has ceased to be the main focus, and nattering has gathered momentum.  This is largely because the former knitters have ceased to attend, or there is now no demand for their output:  but Isobel has always gone each week, because she found it a good time for her to concentrate on us Cuddlies, and she always gets useful tips whenever she talks to her fellow crafters.  Most are older than she is, and one is actually 97 - and still knits, when her particular items (fingerless mittens) are in demand.).


Here's the first replacement Baby Hedgehog - placed on the first page of the original Hedgehog pattern that Isobel uses to create these Toys.


Here's the face, and four legs, of the second Baby Hedgehog, with the latter items still waiting to be stuffed.  The face piece has had the eyes and nose fitted in place, and needs to be attached to the body when that has been sewn together and stuffed.

That is shown below - while it is still having the grey plush base being attached to the back/side pieces made with the "Laughing Owl" faux fur fabric.  It gives an idea of what the "wrong" side of the fabric looks like, before it is prepared for the Toy to be stuffed.



I'll finish off with the completed new Baby Hedgehog looking at his potential companion Toy:


With luck and a following wind (Sundays are always busy days for Isobel - especially having to fit in our weekly post into all her other activities for that day of the week), these Toys will be ready for listing in our Shop - actually just joining the one already listed to be really truthful - by end of play on Monday of this week.  (She might take some photos of the three of them together, too).

Here's our Unique item,Winston Wombat - 3-Way Pajama/Pyjama/Nightdress Case, Hot Water Bottle Cover or just a Wombat Toy Decoration for some one's Bedroom.  Thanks to the additional 5 pictures Isobel is now allowed for every listing in the Shop, she has been able to show pictures of what Winston looks like when he's acting as a Bed Adornment (the picture below).

Add caption
Then, Winston Wombat looks like this when he is acting as a Hot Water Bottle Cover:  (you can see the furry tail has a felt lining, and is ready for the Bottle Head to be placed into it before being placed in the bed.  The tail can also be faux fur on both sides - Buyers can let Isobel know which version they want, when they order their Winstons.)




Winston then could look like this when he's waiting to be used as a Nightdress Holder (or Pyjama/Pajama cover), without any stuffing in at all.  The pillow is made with the same calico sheeting fabric we use for the bodies of our Dressed Lady and Gentlemen Foxes, Wolves, Coyotes and Rabbits.



Or he could look like this, with the pillow inside.

Whichever way, Winston Wombat now looks forward to an undisturbed future in the Shop - until 21 November 2017.

(Now, to be strictly truthful, although we've shown you all these different views of Winston here, we actually don't have a model in stock.)  He only takes Isobel three to four days to make from scratch - and since space in our flat is limited, and the Toy storage bag even more so, as Winston takes up quite a lot of room whenever he's alive, he's now just listed in our Shop - and hopefully, we'll be called upon to make several more before too long!  The last version went to a gentleman in Lancashire earlier this year, who wanted one as a birthday present for his wife.  Winston has been given as Christmas presents to family friends' children too, as well as a present for the Mother of another client - so he's a gift for all ages, whenever he is chosen as a COLDHAMCUDDLIES Toy.

I think I've rattled on quite long enough for this week's installment.  I'll end with a wish to everyone for a really great week, and look forward to telling you next week - about what has happened in the intervening period.

Your Good Friend,

Cy Bear.