The Beauty Parade of Bears, referred to in this post title, took place yesterday afternoon following a request from one of my fellow residents at The Hospital of St. John who asked to be shown my current Bear Collection. She has a grandson living in Australia who is dying to have a furry friend - preferably a dog or cat - but whose parents feel he's not yet old enough to look after one. Granny has been deputed to find a substitute, and just before Christmas (during one of the Tea Parties organised for us residents) we chatted and agreed to meet in the New Year to discuss matters further. Yesterday was the culmination of that chat!
|Four Bears awaiting inspection and selection|
Prior to Mrs. JS's arrival, I arranged the four current members of the Cuddlies Bear Clan on our bed, and laid a selection of the plush fur fabrics in front of them - in case she decided to choose a completely new specimen instead. (With the light on them, and at that angle, the new fur fabrics - on the centre and right front of the photograph do show their colours a bit better than in my last post!) The inspection duly took place, and after wavering between Hairy Bear with a Felt Muzzle and Hairy Bear 4, the latter was selected, paid for and removed from the line-up! (William White Bear was deemed an unsuitable colour for a six-year old boy and Light Brown Furry Bear was "too like a Koala"! Hairy Bear 4 will therefore be accompanying Mrs. JS to Sydney, Australia when she leaves on February 29, and we've been promised a picture of the meeting between grandson, O and his Hairy Bear at an appropriate moment.
Speaking of arrivals, I received telephone call this afternoon from MrsPW (who recently purchased Ferdinand Fox for her Victoria, British Columbia-based daughter's birthday). Ferdy is now happily ensconced in Canada, having had a very speedy journey. He left Warminster one Saturday morning and arrived in Victoria the following Tuesday! Now that is very fast travel - Mrs. PW must have timed her postal arrangements to coincide exactly with the airmail 'plane departing from London Heathrow! Another happy ending to report, I am pleased to say.
|Another view of Ferdy in the Spring sunshine|
Incidentally, I have picked up a very helpful tip from this venture - how to cut plush fabric without creating a shower of loose fur in the process! Am sure everyone else who works with the fabric knew it already, but by following the instructions for Barry Beaver (as he will be called for the purposes of his eventual appearance in the www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com Shop) for the two replacement Brown Rabbit Glove Puppets last night, I have managed it without having any spare fur on the bedroom floor or flying about in the air either! One lives and learns - every day! Barry can be created as either a Glove Puppet or a Stuffed Toy using the same pattern - truly a good fit for proposed new members of the ColdhamCuddlies Family
Am pleased to say that my younger daughter, Clare - the really crafty member in the Morrell family (she can crochet, knit, stitch, dress-make, weave - just for starters!) - together with her husband, Alan, have kindly been searching on my behalf. They have come up with a vintage toy pattern for a Raccoon. Thanks to their efforts, it is apparently on its way - but has yet to reach me.
Clare has also found several vintage toy pattern books (circa 1960's - the very era when I first began this toy-making lark!) which she intends to present to me for this year's Mother's Day present! (We celebrate this festival earlier here in the UK - during Lent, rather than in May as you do in the USA and Canada). Apparently there are a huge number of animals available - but whether they include the Hedgehog, Badger and Guinea Pig I am still looking for remains to be seen. Roll on Mother's Day!
Incidentally, I have also been challenging my fellow bloggers with artistic tendencies, particularly those with the ability to create the custom made patterns I need. You never know someone may emerge from this source as well.
Meanwhile, I'm pleased to announce that Madame Lapin has returned, safe and sound, from her St. Albans 360 degree imaging adventure and is settling in once more to await her rejuvenation treatment. She travelled in enormous comfort, well wrapped in tissue paper, enormous bubble-wrap - which must have protected her from all the inevitable bumps involved in postal travel and I've suggested that I hope her return trip - for the "AFTER" pictures - should take place in 2-3 weeks time.
Having said that - I'd now better get on with editing this post and settling into sewing up the two new Rabbit Glove Puppets. So....Cheerio for the time being. Isobel