A Very Special Leopard

Most special toys seems to have been owned from birth, not so ‘Leopard’, the imaginatively-named BFF of my number one son Jack. I do remember the pre-leopard year, when Jack made no particular connection to anything fluffy or cuddly. He had just taken to a floppy lion, and brought him with us to Scotland, when POW, my Auntie gives him a new, spotty friend, and the love-affair starts.

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Floppy lion was unceremoniously dumped in favour of the spotty wonder. He was named ‘Leopard’ straight away. I always thought he may develop a real name as the years went by, but apart from the ‘Munnee’ phase (no idea, don’t ask), he has always been known by this simple moniker. Within a few days we realised, horror of horrors, that leopard was, in fact, a Cheetah! There was no way the name ‘Leopard’ was going anywhere by this time, so it stuck. Leopard has been part of the family ever since. He used to come EVERYWHERE with us. I know what you’re thinking, what if the worst ever happened and Leopard went walkabout? Well we thought that too, as soon as we realised how special he was to Jack. After searching high & low there was no identical leopards/cheetah’s to be found, except in the USA via Ebay for silly money. Jack was given various ‘relatives’ for leopard, which had spots, but were not the same, just in case the main guy ever got lost.

Luckily for us the only time our precious Leopard ever got lost was when he was left at the doctor’s surgery. We retrieved him, and had the talk about not taking him everywhere. I guess he outings have reduced now, 8 years later, but he is still a permanent fixture when Jack is at home. There is no way he can ever be replaced. Gone are the days when I could safely scrub him with antibacterial soap & a nail brush, his fur has gone to nothing on his back. He’s had so many repairs that his waist is tiny and he has no stuffing in his middle, making him a Leopard of two halves. We’re beyond any chance of extra fur or repairs being made, as then Leopard would not be Leopard. So, the solution has been a thick sock, made into a polo-necked jumper for the poor floppy beast!

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Leopard has a very distinct personality (and smell), and I hope he survives for many more years. He features in many pictures, as he’s always around!

If you have, or remember a special toy, or your child does, why not write a little about them and enter this competition? http://tattooedmummy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/a-special-toy-blog-competition.html

The prize is a stunning Hide-Away Rabbit puppet with mini-beast friends from http://www.onestopbugshop.co.uk. You have until 9pm on 30th November to get your entries in!

Exciting Buggie News!

Well, my poor blog has been in hibernation for a while, and I thought now would be the perfect time to come and tell you all my news! The next step of making The One Stop Bug shop has been made. I have spent the last few months making a brand new website, to run alongside the Ebay shop. The difference is that, unlike on Ebay, I now have the freedom to add certain products I could not before! This is my main reason for taking the plunge. All my lovely puppets have come over to the new site, due to changes in the rules of the supplier, and there will soon be more buggie friends there that cannot be sold on Ebay! This should soon become the Bug Shop of my (crazy, ladybird-spotted) dreams!

So, I suddenly had to become familiar with a whole new world of widgets and html, frustrating buttons that won’t go where I put them, and the tiniest little things becoming yet another learning experience for me. Luckily I chose to use a build-it-yourself company, so I have some support along the way (they may be fed up of all my emails by now of course!). The company was recommended to me by lovely, experienced twitter friends and supporters. Again, I have to say, the twitter community is a real support to new businesses and I wouldn’t be without them! The lovely Alison from https://twitter.com/AlisCraftStudio went above and beyond to offer advice (thank you Ali). And Sarah from https://twitter.com/Lilac_Dragonfly  has also helped with advice, being a lot more experienced on site-building than me (Thanks Sarah!)

So, after a while, I realised I had better just make this thing live and carry on tweaking things along the way. I mean, otherwise, would I ever have been happy with it? So, the brand new, bright and bold, labour of love that is http://www.onestopbugshop.co.uk  (phase two of the plan hatched in 2011) is here! To celebrate I’m having a competition to #win this fab caterpillar sockette puppet, who goes by the name of Chris:

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To enter, just find me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheOneStopBugShop and like the page, then share the competition post, OR just RT my competition posts coming up on twitter https://twitter.com/OneStop_BugShop . The winner is being picked out of a hat tomorrow, Sunday 22nd Sept at 6pm. Good luck!

I am very excited about the new look site, and hope you will love it too! Feedback is very welcome :0)