Hello Everyone - Cy Bear back with you once again, with some updates.
To overcome this potential difficulty, we asked our Friend, SS - puppeteer extraoradinaire from Tulsa, Okalahoma for his thoughts (as he designed the original Oscar template for us). Just to be sure, he suggested two other Rabbit patterns which might fit the bill better. They've been sent to MsKA for her thoughts - because Isobel is not actually going to begin the OAC commission until the week-beginning 26th March, 2018.
We think by using the pricked ears from one of the patterns (Pattern 1), and the body, head and limbs from other, rounder pattern (Pattern 22), we'll achieve what MsKA is looking for. The original request from MsKA was for a toy that closely resembled their design for The Blue Rabbit - star of the film promoting their Charity's work in the field of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) (You'll be told the results of this consultation as and when we know the answer!)
Isobel is actually making Oscar No2. at the moment - and we're hoping that he will be en route to Tulsa by the end of next week, so that the OAC Order can be started. Isobel is incorporating the suggested amended "looks" into this latest version, just to see if they WILL work, or if they could be improved by using the new pattern.
Meanwhile, because Oscar No1 used most of the existing fleece in our stock - Isobel has purchased another batch - which, needless to say, looks almost the same colour, (but not exactly the same) - but feels somewhat softer and cuddlier. OscarNo2 is being made with the new supply, as will the proposed Batch of Six!
Here's a photograph, taken on our dining room table of the fabrics we will be using:
You'll see that we've got two different fabrics in the darker blue colour: a length in Dark Blue Fleece, and a smaller amount in a matching polyester material. All future Oscars' noses will all be made with the Blue Fleece, as it was with Oscar No1 and we used that fabric for his ear linings as well, because we hoped that it would help them to stay pricked up! We're not sure that is going to be a really long-term solution though (and may well suggest that Oscar be returned to our Toy Animal Restoration Clinic- for a free Make Over as a result). Oscar No2's ears, as well as having Blue Fleece linings are also being stiffened with a layer of inter-facing - which looks as though it will provide a longer-term answer to the floppy tendencies caused by fleece fabric in all cases. (The loppy ears shown in Pattern 2 shows the "look" that Oscar No1's ears could end up with, if left as they currently are!)
In addition, all COLDHAMCUDDLIES Rabbits, whether dressed or otherwise, or whether made with fleece or plushes, have ears made with polyester or satin-type linings. We're going to give MsKA the option to choose, once we've got a response about the patterns. In the end, it's a question of "feel", as well as "look" as to which way the decision will go, we suspect.
Talking about Makeovers, which we wrote about in our last post, we've embarked on a new path - in particular to do with the Toy Animal Restoration Clinic, (https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/589621523/animal-toys-mended-toy-bear-special-care?ref=shop_home_active_1 ) whose services have long been a part of the Shop's activities. Since moving to Nottinghamshire, we've not had as many Patients visiting as we would like, so Isobel began to research how we could make these services better known to the "Great British Public" - in a way that is different, but much the same, as we attempt to do via the Etsy.com route. We had our sewing machine repaired earlier this month, and while she "googled" to find out where our local Sewing Machine Repair Shop was located (in the next Town, as it happened - Sutton in Ashfield), she noticed an advert for yell.com (the on line version of that long running publication "Yellow Pages"). She telephoned the number on the site, and actually met a Consultant to discuss her options last Friday. (Co-incidentally, he was with us when Isobel received the news about the 6 Further Oscar Models!)
The result of this is that we are trialling - for an initial 3 month period (of an annual offer) for an advertisement site for the Restoration Clinic. There will also be a link to our Etsy Shop on there, and we can include up to 25 pictures there too, plus that old on-going bugbear "keywords"!! It's going to be aimed at customers living in "London Central" and "Nottingham" areas for which there will be a monthly fee (which can be covered by our existing funds currently, as well as from the results of the OAC Order). In addition, we will be getting coverage - for free during the same period - in the Chesterfield, Derbyshire and Mansfield, Nottinghamshire areas (both larger Towns located near to where we live). If nothing materialises in the first 3 months, the contract can be cancelled. If business does arrive, we will have the option to continue the advertisement for the specified 1 year period, or upgrade the site to a full website. Isobel feels that after 8 years trading, COLDHAMCUDDLIES needs to expand it's borders - so please wish us luck (we already do have a suitable domain name that we can use). The site is due to "go live" sometime during this coming week (beginning 19th March, 2018).
Interestingly, the yell.com Consultant was kind enough to suggest that our services can be regarded as somewhat of a "niche" one! Saleman's "talk", may be, but looking at their existing classifications, there didn't seem to be THAT many others offering such a service, and given that many of those have their titles beginning with "T" = Teddy Bears", the fact that ours is going to be labelled COLDHAMCUDDLIES, and "keywords" will incorporate "Animal" in them, might (we say just MIGHT!) end up with our services being seen higher "up the page", than many of the others UK-wide, not just in the areas we're paying for! It's true: after all, we've had Dinosaurs, (see below) Dragons, as well as Puffins and multiple Teddy Bears admittedly, as Patients since we started out in 2011!
Here's hoping! See you all next week, hopefully!
Your Friend, Cy Bear.