Hello there Everyone - Cy Bear calling in, before Isobel takes over!
It's been a while, but just because I don't appear every time doesn't mean that I'm not on duty on behalf of the Cuddlies and over-seeing what should be happening in the Shop (www.etsy.com/Shop/COLDHAMCUDDLIES - just in case any of you had forgotten! - while Isobel has been visiting venues all round us here in Kirkby in Ashfield (and there's more to come later here).
However, Isobel has almost completed work on a prototype new Coldham Cuddlies offering - Nursery Mobiles. She's spent a few evenings recently making furry Baby Monkeys, which look a little like Orangutangs - but we're going to continue calling them Monkeys (the other name is a bit difficult to spell, let alone type!). While the Baby Toys have worked well, she's not quite so sure about the mobile frame, but is almost satisfied. We thought we'd give you a sneak preview, before finally listing them in the Shop in the next few days - after a bit more work has been done on the mobile frame.
The Baby Monkeys are going to be strung up by 3mm Yellow Satin Polyester Ribbons, one of which you can see at the top of the mobile frame in the photograph taken above. The lighting is not all it could be, but it was taken late in the evening a couple of nights ago, just to be able to show you what is in the process of arriving in the Shop.
The loop from which the whole mobile is strung from in this picture is being held in place with the first thing Isobel could think of using when she was producing the frame - thumb tacks. Now anyone who knows anything about those will know that they don't take stress very well, even if there are four of them in the same area!! Also, if they are removed, there are then holes left in the frame (made from polystyrene) where they had been fixed!!! So, Isobel did try to sew some covering stitches to hide the holes, and also give the hanging loop some strength. While that has worked to some extent, the stitching is not to her high standards, and some further work is needed to hide even that attempt. (It may result in this first attempt being throw away in the end - but that's what protypes are all about, I'm told!!)
The mobile is also not strung from a hook (Isobel has purchased plastic ones, with a sucker fitting for use on ceilings when purchased, which will accompany the final product). The photos above show the product hanging from one of the side lamps in the living room, which is also providing the spotlight effect - not altogether successfully!! However you get the drift? Hopefully!
Now to some pictures taken recently during a visit made by Isobel, Clare and GrandsonE when going to meet with a very good friend of Clare's who works in the Town of Newark, Nottinghamshire - which is about an hour and a bit's drive from where we all live. It's a Market Town with Roman origins (according to Wikipaedia) and situated on the old Roman Road called The Fosse Way. The Town is built around a Castle - now a ruin - and used to be the centre of the wool and cloth trade many moons ago. Nowadays, it is on the East Coast Main Line railway from London to Edinburgh, and the A1 road between London and Scotland.
That's enough of the background, I think. So, I'll hand the rest of the post today (and probably for at least another bulletin) to Isobel. Good being back with you, even though it is for a short time!!
Your Friend, Cy Bear
Cy Bear mentioned Newark Castle just now, and here is a picture of one of the aspects of what remains of the original building. It lies beside the River Trent, and is not far from a newly opened Civil War Museum - which features the story of the Cavaliers and Roundheads led respectively by Charles I and Oliver Cromwell. (That's another story all together!!). You can see cars parked on the side of one of the roads into the Town, and we were approaching this from a car park situated on the near side of the picture.
The inside of the Castle grounds now feature lawns and gardens, and on the day we were there, there were several parties of primary school children being led and guided by a mix of teachers and parents. There was also a wedding taking place - because the Town's Registry Office is situated on the Town side of the Castle grounds.
This picture of the front of the Registry Office is actually taken from the street that runs in front of the building, and forms part of the Inner Road around the Market Place and other shopping areas of the Town.
This is the rather impressive entrance to the Registry Office - making a rather imposing background for wedding photos, although the day we were there, the wedding party chose to have theirs taken on the Castle garden side of the building.
This is the first view of the Castle one gets when entering the Gardens on the eastern side of the site, and gives one an impression of how grand it must have been in its original existence. This picture, together with the photographs that follow, are courtesy of Clare's mobile - thanks to my camera batteries choosing to close down, and my forgetting to have spares handy for such an occasion!!
Had you walked round the left of the last picture, this is the view that one would have! Given that these walls were built in the 1500's (I think - my history is getting a little hazy these days!), they've lasted pretty well, really, have they not?
This is the wall and garden from the opposite end - from that shown in the second photograph of the Newark Castle series - (taken by me, after we'd walked into the Market Place and I'd purchased some replacement batteries). You can see the little groups of children sitting on the grassy bank and it was lovely to see some of them dressed up for the occasion! School seems to be so much more fun than I remember it being!!
If you walk to the railings, you look over the River Trent and towards the northern side of the Town.
So that this bulletin doesn't get too long - and so that we have something to blog about next week, I'll close this dissertation down for today. Hope you've enjoyed our trip to Newark Castle as much as we did - we were jolly lucky in the sunshine, although the wind was pretty strong and still very chilly.
(Incidentally, when Peter and I first returned to the UK with Clare and her sister, Philippa, after 12 years spent in Alberta, Western Canada, we actually bought a house about 6 miles down the A1 road from Newark, towards London. As often happen, even though we visited the town on an almost weekly basis, this was the first time that I'd really spent any time in the Castle Grounds - and we left the area in 1998!!!) So this visit to the Castle and its grounds was long over due!)
See you all next week - hope you all have a great one, and that everyone of my many American Mother Friends have had a great Mother's Day today. As I type this on Sunday evening, it's heading towards 1730 hours BST, so it's probably just beginning for many of you across the Atlantic!