Sunday, 21 May 2017

Penguin Cuddlies - Replacements with a New Look - and thus a New Cuddly Model.

Good to be back with you once again, Everyone.

Cy Bear dropping by with some speedy news from the COLDHAMCUDDLIES' World - because today happens to coincide with one of the EtsyFRU Team's HEART ATTACK events, and Isobel has spent a large part of her time this week preparing quite a few of our CUDDLIES to be listed in the special Thread.

Several of our Toys were due to be re-listed - as happens every 3 months if one is part of the World - and as it costs the same to re-list as it does to renew (but the former appears in the on-line Shop as a "brand new" listing), Isobel decided to go the re-listing route this time around.  

Three have already been posted on the HEART ATTACK site - both in our Shop, and on the HEART ATTACK site:

Baby Black Bunny Rabbit Stuffed Black and White Toy Cool Tots Toy Shower Basket Gift Toy for Mobile Toy for Boy Gift for Girl Toddler Gift

Tan Coyote Toy Brown Stuffed Toy Collectible Adult Toy Coyote Toy for Kids Boy or Girl Toy Adult Companion Toy Cuddly Coyote Toy Coyote Gift
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Once we've told you about our Penguins with their New Look, she'll be going back to the Team site, to carry on re-listing (and publicising the fact throughout the Etsy team world(s) - as well as on Facebook, and this time  - as a first - on Pinterest and something called Tumblr as well). As Isobel only operates with a laptop (smartphones are a technological development too far for her at the moment - given that she rarely even uses a mobile, unless absolutely forced to) the Tumblr activity is one she will not be participating in, although she's always open to correction.  It is her understanding at the moment, that Tumblr doesn't work if one doesn't have a smartphone to hand.

When Isobel hasn't been re-listing (drafting) Cuddlies for presentation in the EtsyFRU HEART ATTACK today, she has also been sewing the new version of our Penguin Toys.  Two have been done - and if they look a little reminiscent of our Puffin Toys, you could well be correct!.  It was while she was making the Puffins recently, that Isobel decided to make some more Penguins - having only made the one to date - who looks like this:

Percy Penguin, Stuffed Toy, Black and White Cuddly, Shower Basket Item, Cool Tots Toy, Toddler Gift, Cool Tot Toy, Boy Shower Toy, Girls Toy
Penguin - Original Plush Version.

Whilst he's been much admired, Percy Penguin does look a little woolly compared with the "real thing" - or least Isobel thinks so.  Thus, when she was making the Puffins recently, and because we've got plenty of the black and white fleece fabric in stock (and it's relatively easy to replace if and when needed), she decided to cut out patterns for two more Penguins - and they now look like this.  

As you know, Isobel cannot make a Toy look EXACTLY the same at any time - let alone when different fabrics are in use.  However, she is really happy with the way these guys look, and will be listing them later today (yes, in the HEART ATTACK!).   They didn't take her long to make - both were done in 6 evenings, while listening to the radio, and/or some programmes on the TV (that DIDN'T include mentions of Elections - she's fed up to the back teeth with those already, and there's another 2.5 weeks to go yet!).

Here are Paddy and Petula Penguin - we're not sure yet which one is which - maybe some of you can let us know?

Then here are a couple of different photographs- taken from different angles for both Birds.

Sideways views.

And finally, a shot of both Fleece Penguins from the rear.

Having completed these fleecy toys, Isobel yesterday cut out and started sewing a replacement for our Hairy Bear - one of our most popular models.  This new one will actually be Hairy Bear Number Nine or Ten - Isobel has lost count. But the one showing in our Shop at the moment found a home in the middle of last year, and this is the first opportunity we've had for Isobel to actually sew his replacement.

Hairy Toy Brown Bear Faux Fur Teddy Hairy Teddy Bear Stuffed Cuddly Toy Furry Companion Collectible Toy Cuddly Toy Bear Furry Bear Mom Gift

Once he's been completed, another round of new photographs will be taken and he will be re-listed: probably as a brand new Toy, because our original Hairy Bears Etsy reference number might be making it a bit more difficult for him to be recognised - or maybe folks think he looks too fierce for them?  One can never tell, you know.   Isobel always likes making her toys with "happy faces" - but she did get asked one time (and it was indeed for one of the Hairy Bear versions) if his "look" could be a "sad one".  Naturally, she obliged - but it took quite a bit of doing not to finish up with a Grumpy Bear.

Right I've been waffling on long enough for this week.  Will be back next week, hopefully, with the new look Hairy Bear and other news.

Meanwhile, have a great week everyone!  We've had a lot of rain here in the last few days - but we've been promised lots of sunny weather for next week, so hopefully the photograph session (or sessions) will not be spoiled by unexpected showers!

Bye for now!  Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Carrying on, carrying on: replacements, and some new looks.

Hello Everyone:

Cy Bear greeting you, in the hope that you've all had a great week-end, and are ready for the oncoming week and it's developments.

In the spirit of the replacing regimen Isobel embarked upon last week, there are some new things to show you.

As our Profile picture (sometimes referred to as an avatar, I'm told) had been in existence throughout our Social Media sites, as well as here on the blog and in our Shop ( for almost 2 years, Isobel decided the time had come to think about a replacement.

Accordingly, on Wednesday morning last week - and taking advantage of a really lovely sunny day - Isobel asked daughter Clare to take photographs of herself and me (reflecting the dual nature of our activities related to the COLDHAMCUDDLIES),  and then she took some new photos of me in Clare's garden.


The second one is currently being used for the intended purpose:  we might well move to the first one later on in the year.  (Isobel was not too keen on all of her right arm being shown - so went with the second one, apparently!)

Isobel then "borrowed" some of  GrandsonE's outside toys - and took some up-to-date photographs of me.  Until now, she'd been using pictures that she took when we lived down in Wiltshire, shortly after the COLDHAMCUDDLIES business first became operational. They were taken about 6 years ago.   Although I don't think I've changed that much, the background scenery definitely has.

While GrandsonE was quite resigned to me sitting at the top of his slide, I'm not so sure that he was quite as happy to see me taking a spot in his prized Dinosaur Car:

While this picture was being taken, GrandsonE was standing by with a very dubious expression on his face, so he was very happy to watch Clare position me among the flower boxes on the nearby patio  -

I didn't sit there for long - and the pansies were not hurt during the session!  Finally, Isobel tried me sitting on the patio table.  We don't think this one will feature very much, because I don't stand out too well - probably too much glass and a crowded background maybe.  But, if we don't experiment, we don't find out!

While all this photography was going on, we were all being "supervised" by Isobel's "Grandog" Dotty.  She's been part of the family for about 5 years now, and has become an inseparable "partner in crime" with GrandsonE.

The process of familiarisation with the new Etsy Shop format has carried on all week, and everyone seems to be getting used to the idea.  Lots of comments are being read by Isobel, but she's buckling down to getting herself around - and at the same time, the changes have coincided with a lot of re-listing being needed for many of  the existing Cuddlies.  Isobel has recently discovered how one "re-lists" our Shop contents - as opposed to "renewing" them every quarter. (It costs the same, but the newly acquired skill means that the Buyers can't see how popular (or not, as the case may be) each Toy has been - which apparently can make a difference when potential customers are browsing the scene.  Isobel may have been operating the Shop since 2010, but she's still learning new things almost very day.)  

Before completing this week's bulletin from Nottinghamshire, Isobel was thrilled to get an update about the Easter Duckling (ED) who now lives with our Friend, AndyB in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  Apparently ED (equally shorthand for Edmonton Duckling, I think) accompanied his young friend when AndyB spent time at his "daytime home" recently:  he had tremendous fun, and ended up looking like this:

Amazing photo, isn't it?  To think a little chap like our Easter Duckling could carry a "load" like he's shown doing here - and NOT TAKE OFF himself, eh?

Hope you all have a great week - see you all again soon, I hope.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Embarking on the replacement regime- Stage One

Greetings Everyone - Cy Bear back once more.

What with new layouts to cope with on the Etsy Shop front, and a steady stream of orders since Christmas, plus other activities in support of our Shop,,  Isobel has been building up a list of replacements that need to be done so that our stocks get replenished. Over the past few weeks, she's been finding a bit more time to sew, as well as attend to all the on-line social media activities required of anybody trying to operate an on line shop, and we thought we'd tell you about some of those this week.

Two of the replacements actually are not really proper replacements of the Toys - but replacing their listings in our Shop.  In an excess of activity a few weeks ago, Isobel inadvertently deleted a Fox listing and a Wolf Toy from the Shop. As the original photographs were not easily found (on a separate disk, somewhere in the flat, is what she told me!) she decided to wait for some more sunny days to arrive - and to take the photographs outside in the gardens here.  (The originals had all been taken inside the flat after they'd been made last year.  We try to take pictures outside, if we can, because we think they look nicer for visitors to see in our Shop, too).

So, after a few trials and errors, we recently re-listed our Fantasy Fox - seen here:

Fantasy Fox Toy, Fox Fantasy Toy, Yellow Fantasy Fox, Yellow Fantasy Toy, Fantasy Dressed Toy, Dressed Fantasy Fox. Yellow Fox Toy Present,

It was a bright sunny day, as you can see - and Isobel found a nice bench on which  Fantasy Fox could be perched.   

At the same time, photographs of our Grey Dressed Wolf were taken, using the same bench, but the other end of it for her new portraits.

Grey Wolf Dressed Toy, Grey Wolf in Blue Dress. Wolf Dressed Toy, Traditional Animal Toy, Dressed Wolf Toy, Furry Wolf Dressed Toy, Toy Wolf

Then a couple of week's ago, Isobel embarked on properly replacing toys in our store, by cutting out and re-creating our Puffins.  Two more were cut out and sewn (usually in the evenings, after Isobel has done her daily stints on Facebook and Etsy - and other places in between).  They were completed last Monday, and after another photography session (this time in daughter Clare's garden mid-week), our Puffins were re-listed, because inevitably they don't look exactly like our original two Birds.   They, as you may recall, are now residing on opposite coasts of the United States of America (Rhode Island - in the case of the former patient in our Stuffed Toy Animal Restoration Clinic - - and Maryville, Oregon in the case of our Dry Run Puffin).  

Here is how they now look in our Shop:

The last photo was among some Isobel later took when she arrived back in the flat on Wednesday - just in case the outside ones didn't work out.  They can always be substituted in the Shop, when Isobel decides that a "change of look" is needed.  (Or that's what is the plan, anyway!).

Work on the new Etsy Shop Manager site has continued, with Isobel spending more time on the new version being offered by Etsy.  As she gets more familiar with the layout, she is beginning to get more comfortable with it, so hopefully everything will settle down and life can once more resume a less hectic feel!!  (Believe me, as one who has to deal with Isobel when she gets worried by online developments, that's definitely a plus for this Beaver Lamb Bear!!)

Right, that's it for this week.  Not sure what, or who, is in the replacement plan for the next sortie.  I'll keep you all posted as and when that happens.  Until then, here's wishing you all a good week all round. 

Your Friend, Cy Bear

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Some Travelling Coldham Cuddlies - and News of their Easter Homecomings.

Hello there Everyone:  

Cy Bear back once more with good news of the recent departed Coldham Cuddlies Toys - one Duckling - who left for Alberta, Canada a week before Easter,  and the Fox Hand Puppet that was posted to Santa Cruz, California when Isobel returned from her Easter Break.  Both travellers appear to have reached their separate destinations safely - the Duckling having taken longer to get to Edmonton, Alberta than did the Hand Puppet - which appears to have reached Santa Cruz in around 7 Working days - although both destinations are situated on the western sides of Canada and America respectively.  (Just goes to show how much depends on the timing of the Toys arrival at our local Post Office, whether or not they catch the "right" 'plane in which to travel to their individual destinations, not to mention the attentions of the Customs authorities of both jurisdictions!)

A day or two ago, Isobel received an Etsy "convo message" regarding the Hand Puppet from 

A copy of the Departure Photo shown in last week's post.

MsBB  in which we were told that she would try to send us a photograph of the Hand Puppet "in action"  for us to use in a future post here - which made Isobel feel that the Puppet had indeed got to Santa Cruz.  Until we hear otherwise, we'll assume that this is another satisfactory "Job Done"!

On the same day, we got an email, with a series of photographs of the Alberta-bound Duckling,, which had actually left us in Kirkby in Ashfield, UK a week before Easter, but only finally arrived in Edmonton 2 weeks later.  From the photographs, (used with permission of MrsHB, AndyB's mother)  it would appear that the wrapping had done it's stuff, and Duckling arrived in one piece.  He and new Best Friend, AndyB. are now, presumably getting to know each other.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, and almost on the other side of the world, AndyB's Duckling Companion and an Easter Chicken were providing some excitement for Isobel's GrandsonE - who was so pleased with his Easter presents that they accompanied him to St. Barnabas Cathedral, in Nottingham, for the 1000 BST Mass on Easter Day, and is still creating pleasure on an almost daily basis (among a selection of trucks, cars and trains as well, of course.)

Shown with permission of Daughter, Clare

And, now, we can complete a story that actually began around Christmas time last year.  A good Friend of the ColdhamCuddlies, MrsSS - who has bought a Cuddlies Hedgehog in the past - ordered these Baby Bunnies for her two Grandsons, one of whom was celebrating the Festival for the first time..  Although they arrived in plenty of time for that Holiday, given the huge number of other Toy gifts that she knew were being provided for the young gentlemen, MrsSS decided to keep these two Baby Bunnies back and give them when they might appreciate them somewhat more.

So, a few days before Easter, her grand children arrived to see her, and found the two rascal rabbits well hidden among a basket of seasonal goodies.  (I did try to enlarge the photograph somewhat, but it was even more unfocussed than this one - but I think one gets the idea!!  Guess, one does have to "grab the moment" when Little People are around!).

That's it for this week, folks.  Isobel has been doing a lot of work online this week - because there was a big need for her attention to be focussed there - largely because the Etsy "Shop Manager" site is being "re-jigged" for want of a better description.  That has meant Isobel having to find her way around, which she doesn't really like doing - but if we want to continue meeting friends and selling our Toys to those who want them, it's a necessity for her to do it.  (The learning process is apparently not as difficult as she had at first feared!)

Hopefully, things will settle down somewhat soon, and we can return once again to more regular and "normal" behaviour.  Until next week then - wishing you all a good week.

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Safely Back Home - and Some Up to Date Cuddlies' News as well.

Hello Everybody!  

Isobel here with a shorter post than usual, because I only got back to Kirkby in Ashfield on Tuesday afternoon, and much of the time after that has been spent catching up with all that happened while I was away in Buckinghamshire with elder daughter, Philippa.  A lovely break from normal routine, and reasonably easy travelling conditions, it's very good to be back home again - and almost back to normal (or what passes for it these days!).

Cy Bear, in his last post here, mentioned that we'd recently received an order from Santa Cruz, California for a Fox Head Hand Puppet - and I was able to cut it out and almost finish the sewing involved BEFORE leaving for my Easter Break.  So, when I got back, I got on with the rest of what was needed.  Basically, making the finger guide and sewing it into the Neck region of the Puppet's Head and finishing off the seams for the Glove component, and putting together the lining and outer cover.

Here is the new Fox Head Hand Puppet, with it's white felt collar - decorated with orange and green  French Knots, joined together with a yellow running stitch, picking up the main colours of the Buchanan Tartan plaid fabric with which the Glove component is made.  The paw-pads are created with our brown leatherette fabric (which is often used for the beaks of our Owls Toys - see below)

Barn Owl Toy,  Stuffed Toy Owl, Fluffy Barn Owl Toy, Brown Cuddly Toy, Cool Toddlers Toy, Collectible Toy, Cool Toy for Tots, Kids Toy Gift.
Beak and Talons made with the Leatherette fabric

I also used a Copper-coloured plush fabric for the Fox Head and Ears, which are lined with a matching copper-coloured satin lining.  (Previously, I've always described the Plush Fabric I use for making my Fox Heads - and Squirrels - too) as being "Chestnut Brown").  However, recent changes to the Etsy Listing processes have resulted in the colour being called "Copper", so that's how the relevant COLDHAMCUDDLIES Toys will be described in future!

Red Squirrel Toy, Copper  Squirrel Toy, Plush Squirrel Toy. Squirrel with Acorn, Special Toy Squirrel, Toy for Tots. Toy for Boys or Girls.
Our Red Squirrel Toys - previously made in "Chestnut Brown" Plush!

The Fox Glove Puppet was duly dispatched to Santa Cruz to our Buyer, MsBB on Saturday, a day later than I had hoped - for a very good reason.  I've not always been satisfied with the way my Glove Puppets' final "look" can turn out:  because until now, I've finished the lower part of the glove component with seam binding tape - which can sometimes result in a "scratchy" finish.  Making the California-bound Puppet, I decided to see what it would look (and feel) like if finished off with a satin ribbon (as I do with my Novelty Slipper' trim around the ankle area)- 

Snowy Owl Slippers, White Owl Slippers, White Faux Fur Slippers, Made to Measure, Gender Neutral, Gift for Her, Gift for Him, Cosy Footwear.
Our Snowy Owl Novelty Slippers, complete with Brown Satin Ribbon trim

Frankly, I like the new look (and feel), so in future all COLDHAMCUDDLIES Hand Puppets will be finished with a suitable satin ribbon trim, looking like this

Showing the Puppet's finished base area
One of the great things of making toys as I do, is that it is an ever-evolving process.  I can experiment as I go along, and adopt the ideas I feel work best - and discard those that don't!  (And, there's no one to tell me which way is best!!!  Other than, of course, my individual Buyers!!).

I also managed to re-list two of our Toys which had inadvertently been deleted while I was learning another listing technique a few weeks ago.  This did mean that I had to wait until the weather was right to take the new-look photographs, because I do think Foxes and Wolves look better with an "out-doorsy" background.  I do hope you do too!!  (Previously, the photographs had been taken inside, and while effective, it's good to have a change!!)

Our re-listed Fantasy Fox Toy-

 as well as the newly re-listed Grey Wolf Toy -

Grey Wolf Dressed Toy, Grey Wolf in Blue Dress. Wolf Dressed Toy, Traditional Animal Toy, Dressed Wolf Toy, Furry Wolf Dressed Toy, Toy Wolf
Listing Number :

Well folks, that's it for this week!  I'm hoping to be able to get down to some much-needed replacement sewing this week,as well as to update the listings in the Shop (  Most of the Toys are listed as being particularly suitable as Gifts for Easter - and with that Festival now a week away already, it's time to find another suitable Occasion or Celebration (new Etsy-inspired "attributes" which have to be taken into account when listing the COLDHAMCUDDLIES these days).  With 105 different Cuddlies available nowadays, that can take some time to achieve too!!  So, I'd better stop now and get on with it!!

Until the next time - sending you best wishes from Cy Bear (who held the fort magnificently while I was missing last week-end!),here's a photo of the Fox Glove Puppet and Cy Bear, before the former got wrapped up and prepared for the  journey to California.

Showing off the new-look Glove Puppet formula!
Your Friend, Isobel

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Duckling Toy Production - Part 2

Greetings to you all!  Cy Bear here again, on a beautiful sunny afternoon - with temperatures in this part of the UK at summer time ones today.

We've been very busy here in the ColdhamCuddlies Shop this week, with Isobel spending a lot of time marketing us Toys (that's what she calls all the time she spends on the computer!) as well as sewing new Poultry Toys.  

We've now got 3 more Chickens in the Coop, and  3 new Ducklings - and I'm delighted to say that the Chicken and Duckling promised to our Friend, MrsSF (who provided Isobel with the original patterns for the toys - as I told you last week) were sent off on Friday.  They arrived in Worcester, in the UK West Midlands (we live in the East Midlands!) on Saturday.  We received a very nice message from MrsSF to the effect that she was pleased with the way they'd turned out!!

Here's one of the farewell photos that Isobel took before the pair left for Worcester.  We've found that these Ducklings and Chickens really do need a dark back ground if they are going to show up on any pictures!!

Now to the second phase of making the Ducklings - having left off last week, where I told you that Isobel likes to begin her toy-making by sewing up the "peripherals" - the beak, and feet - for the Ducklings, in this case.

She's now made three more Ducklings since these photos were taken.  The pictures were used for the listing in our Toy Shop ( -

and has now got the production process down to just over 2.5 hours from beginning with the beak, then doing the feet and wings, sewing up the body and finally attaching the feet and wings.

The process is as follows:

Once the feet are sewn and turned inside out, Isobel stuffs them lightly, and creates a "web-look" by sewing through the stuffing on each foot.  Then having sewn the beak and turned it inside out, she rolls the beak and attaches it to the spot on the Duck's head where that should be.  She then sews the eyes in place.

To make the eyes, Isobel makes a knot at the end of a piece of Black Double Knit Yarn.  She decides the spot on the head (on each side) where the eyes should be placed, and then using a darning needle, she pulls the knotted piece of wool through, with the knot on the right side of the Duck's head. (The process is repeated on the opposite side of the body/head piece).  She then fiddles with the knot, gets it into place, and then - using matching black cotton - she stitches the knotted wool into an eye shape, and finishes off the whole process (on the wrong side of each body-piece) to make sure the knot/eye remains in place.  Choosing the right spot is helped, in the case of the Duckling Toys at least, because when the beak is in the right spot, the tip is pretty well where the eye needs to be!

Then the body pieces are sewn together.  Over the week, she's found it's best to sew the body sides to the body front - from under the beak to the tail, first.  She sometimes then sews the body back half-way to the tail, leaving an opening through which the stuffing is pushed. (MrsSF suggested we left the gap under the tail area, but Isobel found it easier - with her arthritic fingers - to do it via the back).   Then the whole Duck's body is turned inside out and the stuffing pushed through and manipulated into place to produce a Duck Toy that looks like the middle one in the photograph below.

The two feet are then sewn in place onto the body of each Duckling and then the COLDHAMCUDDLIES label is sewn under what looks like the tail of the Toy Bird.  That helps to make sure that the Toys stay more or less upright.  They can also be "persuaded" to stay that way by some pressure being applied from on top of the body!!

Then the wings - you can see them on the right of the middle toy in the picture above - are each lightly stuffed and sewn into place on each side of the body, and you are left with the completed Toy - ready to take "wing" to wherever.....

Here are the completed original three Ducklings.  One, as I've said already, has been sent to MrsSF (the one in the middle of this photograph, actually.)  The one on the right of the picture was the one selected by AB, son of MrsHB - who lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada -  and is the lady who ordered one of the Ducklings almost immediately it was first listed in our Shop a week ago, yesterday.  The third one, who was provisionally booked by one of Isobel's friends at Mass last week, is still with us.  but has been joined by two more fully-fledged Duckling toys, with another in the process of being made.

Here's how they look in our Etsy Shop (link given earlier in this post) - beginning with the one just above us.  Then:-

A side view of the Duckling Toys

The Ducklings from the rear

The Duckling Alberta-bound.

And finally, the Duckling on the left of this final photograph is the one that has now landed in Worcester, UK.

We also received an order, early last week, for one of our Fox Hand Puppets this week - see below

Coyote Hand Puppet, Plush Coyote Puppet, Cool Toy for Tots, Toddlers Toy Gift. Tots or Toddler Toy. Scottish Toy Coyote, Kids Activity Toy.
A similar Hand Puppet Toy to this Coyote, but with a  Fox Head instead.

The one chosen from the Shop had recently found a Forever Home, and what with Ducklings and Chickens, Isobel had not had time to replace it.  So the Order will be fulfilled and sent off after Easter.  It will still reach it's intended destination in good time - and well before the official dispatch date on the Order itself (which is not until the end of April).

 Isobel is due to spend the Easter week-end in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire,  with her daughter, Philippa.  This time - as she's only going to be away for 5 days, and has a busy schedule of activities already fixed down there - she's not taking the computer with her.  Thus, there will be NO BULLETIN from here next Sunday.  I shall be in charge of the Shop - supervising the Toys from my spot on Isobel's bed.

So I'll close this post by wishing you ALL a very Happy Easter, and look forward to telling you about the Fox Hand Puppet and the preparatoons for its final destination - Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A. - in two weeks' time.

Until then, have a wonderful holiday Everyone.

Cy Bear, Your Furry Friend.