Sunday, 19 June 2016

Coldham Cuddlies Piglets in Production - latest bulletin

Well folks, yet another week has flown by, and here's your Friend, Cy Bear, to share the latest news from the Coldham Cuddlies World.

Isobel is getting on well with the introduction of the new sets of  Piglet Twins, but before going any further, I thought you'd like to know that AJ , the Orange Dragon arrived safely at his Forever Home and his new look would seem to be satisfactory as far as MsLA is concerned.  We received this message to confirm his safe arrival.

"Artist agreed to make alterations to existing plush. It arrived today. It looks so much better and sturdier.  Artist has excellent comms and does excellent work.  Highly recommended".

This equated to a Five Star Review via the Etsy System, for which Isobel is duly grateful - and it's been added to the other 54 similar reviews we've been given for Cuddlies who have found their Forever Homes or Toy Animals (mostly Bears) that have been treated in the Stuffed Toy Animal Restoration Clinic since we started operating in 2010. 


Once AJ had left us on Monday morning last week, Isobel got down to the business of sewing and dressing the new Piglet Twins.  Four are now almost complete and will join those that were pictured at the end of last week's post.

You'll notice that the White Boy Piglet still needs his shoes attaching - and gives some indication of the height difference between the Piglets that have been "shod", and the one still going "bare trottered" ( if there is such a word!).  One shoe is ready to be sewn on and other is still in the process of construction.

As for the original Pink and White Piglet Twins, a cursory search for them among the Toy Store has so far resulted in Isobel not being able to locate them!  So, there is going to be a more detailed search undertaken early next week, so that the White and Pink Piglets can be separately listed - along the lines I outlined last week in my post here.  If not, some more White Piglets will need to be made, so that we can have three different colour schemes offered for each Piglet variety!  Then Isobel will return to the production of Nursery Mobiles - so she's got a busy schedule ahead of her. 

However, this week is likely to find Isobel engaged on family matters for some of the time she would be sewing - because her GrandsonE celebrates both his 2nd birthday on Friday, followed on Saturday by his Baptism at St. Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham.  That important ceremony in a Little Person's life is going to be followed by a terrific party at Clare and Alan's home to which up to 120+ were invited. To date, over 100 have said they will be present -,but not all will be at both the Saturday events,   

These activities may therefore also impinge on whether or not a post will happen next week!  YOU ARE WARNED.

In the meantime, mid-week,  Isobel received an enquiry about whether or not she would be prepared to have another - more challenging - attempt at treating an existing toy for someone different;  a Customer who turned out to have a connection  to AJ the Dragon.  The Customer wanted this 8 ft Squid

turned into a Horse-like structure looking something like this, with mane and tail and horn too, if possible!!

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Mare Pony Pattern and Tutorial - Make your own Pony Plush!

The fabric from the Squid would be used - and keeping his eyes, mouth and the letter R.   

The horse pattern is one that is available for download from an shop, and is offered with permission for anyone to use it, provided attribution is given to the source Etsy Shop. Naturally that attribution would have been given had the need occurred.   (There were actually three patterns suggested by our Customer, who was prepared to buy the one Isobel felt she could do the best job with.  The other two had patterns for manes, tails and horns - you all know how useless Isobel is without a pattern!).  In the event, although Isobel was up for the challenge, the Customer changed her mind because she discovered  the Squid to be stuffed with Lavender for some reason or another. (That's a FIRST for us in the time we'd been Toy Animal Restorers!),  

Isobel had suggested that an 8ft fully stuffed Squid could cause immense logistical problems for either Royal Mail, or any another Courier, to handle with ease.  As a solution, she asked if the Customer would de-stuff the Squid - as that way it would not take up as much space.  Also the amount of stuffing (Kapok or otherwise) might pose a problem, or two, of its own for us here - since our rubbish collection arrangements could become somewhat overloaded!!  When the raw Lavender was discovered. our Customer decided the effort wasn't worth it, and Isobel - though disappointed at not being able to have a go - also agreed to abandon the idea.

 (Bless her, the Customer offered to pay Isobel for "wasting her time":  needless to say, the offer was declined.  Not much time was involved, and really it's a part and parcel of the toy-making/replacement/restoration business.  You win some..... and you lose some!)

Meanwhile, we both wonder what might turn up on the Coldham Cuddlies front next week - apart that is from finishing off our Dressed Piglets, followed by the business of listing them in our Shop ( and getting on with the Nursery Mobiles

Looking forward to the next time we meet - until then, have a good week (or two, as the case may be!).

Your friend.  Cy Bear.


Sunday, 12 June 2016

Toy Dragon Therapy - Coldham Style

Hello there Everyone:  Cy Bear back again and delighted to be so.

This post is being prepared somewhat later than usual because Isobel was out at the Parish Barbecue held every year to celebrate the Feast of St. Barnabas, the patron of the Nottingham Catholic Cathedral, which is the family church.  The Barbecue is held on the nearest Sunday to that Feast Day, and this year it was slightly marred by heavy rain, but it didn't dampen anyone's spirits.

Then Isobel had to arrange the departure of my temporary friend, AJ, the Orange Dragon.  His treatment has been successfully completed - but did take her longer than she expected, because she found him quite difficult to wrestle when doing his arms.  However, the "battle" was successfully achieved yesterday evening, and he was wrapped in the plastic bag he came in and placed in the cardboard carton in which he travelled to meet us.

This is what AJ looked like upon arrival.  His arms were very floppy and Isobel had been asked to try to make them look more like his legs if possible.  More stuffing seemed to be at the root of AJ's unhappy condition, so as we needed a re-supply, more was ordered from our suppliers of this material - F. Aldous Ltd, who are based in Manchester and are the source of  everything seemingly needed by crafters, no matter their particular project. To date,  we've only purchased polyester fibre for our toys stuffing, and some rug wool last year when Isobel was asked to complete a latch hook rug on behalf of her fellow residents.  We'd actually not heard of F. Aldous before, but thanks to the internet, Isobel discovered that they've been in business since 1886.  The required polyester fibre duly arrived on Monday, June 6 - as I told you in my chat with you last week, and Isobel got down to dealing with AJ.  (That was, after she'd completed existing piglet oriented work - of which more anon!)

First of all, we removed the black sock-like things on his feet, which showed Isobel how she could get the legs firmed up. (She had checked with MsLA, our customer, that she didn't really mind them going).  By making a small hole in the existing seam at the end of each leg, she

removed some of the existing stuffing (up to the elbow of each leg).  The existing stuffing was found to be kapok filling, and since it looked to be in good condition, Isobel left well alone and added some of our own polyester fibre so that the legs could be firmer and enable AJ to sit more upright. 

Under other circumstances, existing kapok used in older toys than AJ looks is taken out all together:  but AJ doesn't look to be that old -  that is compared with some of the nearly 100 year old Bears who have been treated in our Stuffed Toy Animal Restoration Clinic 


From the angle of this picture, Isobel noticed that the arms did seem to have similar elbow shapes to those in the legs, so she decided to emphasise these when redoing the arms.  You can also see that AJ's head is a little "wonky" and it became obvious as she was undoing each arm that the shoulders too needed some strengthening as well.  So, not only did the arms come off, 

but Isobel wielded her Quic-Unpic tool and made holes in the shoulders on each side of the body and stuffed more polyester fibre in among the existing kapok, making the shoulders and neck a lot firmer.  AJ's head did not require any more attention than that - he just needed a firmer platform on which it could sit more upright.

Then came the job of attacking each arm. Once the kapok had been removed from the top of each arm, the existence of the elbow became very much obvious, so extra polyester stuffing was inserted in and around the elbow area and each arm was then attached to the body, once the upper arms had been firmed up with extra polyester as well.  Isobel sewed the back of each arm on - first matching the arms' seams to those at the shoulder and under arm area of the body.

The first arm, when finished looked like this -

You can see that the result presently is that the arm looks as though it's sticking in the air going nowhere in particular.   However, as time goes on, it is usual for polyester fibre to "settle", so Isobel feels that the arms will lower themselves, and end up resting on the tops of each of AJ's thighs.  (This process could be helped by the angle at which AJ is lying inside the cardboard carton too!)

Here is AJ with both arms and neck complete. (I think he looks as though he's welcoming everyone to come and be hugged now!)    Isobel had wondered whether his tail and mane might needed extra attention, but now that he can sit more proud, decided to leave well alone, so he can "shake" them if and when it is appropriate. (It was also easier to fit him into his carton that way as well!) 

Here am I performing my traditional role as Coldham Cuddlies Mascot of saying "Goodbye" to all the Patients who pass through our Stuffed Toy Animal Restoration Clinic.   You can see just how small I look beside him!!  He's even bigger than Colin the Giant Koala!

By the way, the cream tip of AJ's mane, with its red ribbon appears behind my left ear - and that's part of his tail, together with it's red ribbon behind us both on the left of the picture!!

 I'm expecting that Isobel will be back on the Nursery Mobile production line this week, so watch this space.  In the interim, she's dressed two of the extra Pink Piglets she made when constructing the Piglet Mobile earlier this month. (Please see the earlier comment!)  They're going to form part of a new Piglet offer - by joining the Pink Piglets dressed in Green garments already in our Shop under a new Listing - leaving the existing White Fleece Piglets dressed in black and white gear under the existing one.  Since she's in the Piglet mode, they may get joined by some more White Fleece Piglets, dressed in another colour than the black and white our existing Twins are shown in the Shop.  The new Piglets have been dressed in Blue garments - and we'll show them in a future post here.

Toy Piglets, Pink or White Fleece Dressed Crib Toys, Safe Toy for Tots, Pram or Cot Toy, Unusual Basket Filler, Cool Tots Toy. Toddlers Toy.

Until the next time then:  meanwhile have a great week everyone!  

Your Friend, Cy Bear.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Some More Piglets have arrived in the Coldham Cuddlies Shop

Good afternoon Everyone! 

Cy Bear once again wishing everyone a really good afternoon.

As ever, we've been busy this week, so I'll get weaving here straight away.  Isobel has cut out, sewn and now finished our third Nursery Mobile.  It's just been listed in our Toy Shop ( and here are some shots used to illustrate it on the site.
These were taken last night under electric light, so Isobel decided to take some others this afternoon, after her lunch, just to provide another "look".  Again, as some of last week's photos of our Polar Bear Mobile show, they were taken outside and therefore not necessarily in a "normal" situation for what is essentially an indoor object - but, we're talking toys, and imagination here, so why not?

Back ground being buildings and garden surrounding our home
Having now got three Nursery Mobile offerings in the Shop, Isobel is breaking off the production line for a day or two, so she can concentrate on AJ the Orange Dragon - presently languishing in her bedroom as a Patient in our Soft Animal Toy Restoration Clinic.  She's ordered a re-supply of polyester fibre - due to be delivered sometime on Monday (6th June) and she's planning on finding out what it will cost for AJ to travel to the Isle of Wight - where his Forever Home is located.

She's going to get prices from the courier delivering the polyester fibre tomorrow, as well as an estimate from the courier we used to send Colin the Giant Koala.         (I  last wrote about him in this post - - ).

A side view of AJ when he arrived.
She received an email notification that their carriage rates had recently been increased, so she's just making sure.

An additional reason for doing this is because AJ the Dragon has similar dimensions to Colin (the Koala), so it makes sense to get a price comparison for AJ's onward journey.  There's going to be a refund due to MsLA,  our Customer - and as you may recall, we like to over-estimate our Patient therapies' costs, so this can happen where feasible.  Isobel wants to make sure she gets a good price for AJ's travel arrangements.  She may well also check the price of Royal Mail's Parcel Force too - which is the way he arrived here a couple of week's ago.  That way, a proper price comparison can happen!

The parcel from Romo Fabrics that I mentioned in last week's post also arrived - as promised - early last week, and turned out to be off-cuts of the Laughing Owl fabric we were planning on buying from the factory.
Mommy Hedgehog

Baby Hedgehog
There's enough for a couple of Baby and Mommy Hedgehogs, so we can postpone ordering more from Romo Fabrics for a month or two - even though, we need to replace Daddy and a Baby or two soon.

That's it for this week, everyone.  We've got what feels like summer today - and already, I gather folks are saying it's HOT.  They've all be complaining that it was too cold!  Humans never seem to be satisfied!

See you all soon - and here's wishing you all a wonderful week - wherever you are reading this!

Your friend, Cy Bear.