Sunshine in a flower

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rotary Shoebox Appeal 2007

Once again this year The Rotary Club in the UK are doing their shoebox appeal.

The shoebox appeal involves people filling shoeboxes provided by The Rotary Club with a variety of items to be given to those in desperate need in Eastern Europe. Although this appeal is seen as a Christmas appeal, The Rotary Club actually run this scheme all year round as makes sense as people need help year round.

So many people are in need and it's a REAL need. This baby is called Bruno and I can't help thinking of my beautiful niece Isla and how her first Christmas will be very different to little Brunos. (I suspect Isla will, like Bruno, prefer the box to the expensive goodies inside the box!!).

Local newspapers, schools, radio stations and youth club often support this appeal but you can contact The Rotary Club if you want help in finding a local source for the shoeboxes.

You can choose what to put into your shoebox in accordance with one of the specified groups. These are Toys (boy or girl), Teenage or Household goods.

Once filled, the box should be returned with a £1 coin to help distribution costs.

How easy is that? A little effort for smiles like these is as good a deal as you're likely to get.

I've got mine to fill and I can't wait to think up loads of goodies for my box! Although you mustn't wrap the box, you can decorate it and I'll enjoy that bit too I'm sure!

Apparently the household boxes are much sought after so I'm definately going to do one of those. The idea of children not having Christmas presents to open or toys to play with is awful, but somehow the idea that people are desperate for parcels which contain washing up liquid, washing powder, soap, disinfectant, toothbrushes and toothpaste is even more sad to me.

I think I may do a teenage box for my second although I did fancy putting a few basic crafty items in like stickers and bits so that may suit a younger child more..we shall see. Can I resist cuddly toys after seeing the photos on The Rotary Club site?

I'll let you know how I get on with my shoeboxes. How I'll decorate a Christmas present box that contains washing powder and toothpaste without a few tears is beyond me. That's really upset me actually.

Go and get a box, or two..next year The Rotary Club website could have photos of people WE made smile.

Shoebox recipient photographs taken from The Rotary Club shoebox appeal website.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cardmaking, I never left you!

What with making fabric flowers, sewing beads onto fabric for my pretty box and tearing my hair out over the wooden letters, cardmaking has taken somewhat of a back seat for a while.

Being as it is cardmaking that revived my creative urges (so to speak) after years in the artistic wilderness, I had been feeling increasingly disloyal to my pretty papers, rubber stamps and glue pen to name but a few of my papercraft friends!

Yesterday I received the October newsletter from Pink Petticoat which proved a great incentive to step away from the paints, fabric and thread and embrace my old friend, the paper trimmer.

Pink Petticoat deserve a mention here as well as a recommendation. If you haven't heard of Pink Petticoat then do look them up as they have a great site full of inspiration for contemporary cardmaking using original and really fun and primarily 'girly' designs.

Best of all, if you sign up for their newsletter, as well as an initial 'Welcome Pack', every month you are emailed a link to download more FREE papers. They're all original designs and I think of them as 'feel good' cardmaking as the designs are just 'happy'!

Anyway, back to my new cards...!

This was the first time of using this beautiful stamp that I longed for from the moment I saw it! The papers are from the October Pink Petticoat freebies. The chipboard is from K and Co and the ribbon is from the Making memories ribbon words range. The metal swirl is Hot Off The Press.

If you could please ignore the wonky ribbon (thank you!), the Pink PetticoatOctober Newsletter papers are again used, the cork letters were from Ebay (unknown manufacturer) and the (wonky) ribbon is by Anna Griffin. The rubber stamp (which I love) is by Great Impressions. I think I should have another go at making this card actually as the ribbon looks awful! I also stamped the image in 3 colourways, and then layered the 'tiles' in a 3d effect which is impossible to see properly with my lousy photography and instead looks at wonky as the ribbon!! Anyway, you can get the gist of what I was TRYING to achieve at least!

OK, red face aside, this is my final card of the day (3 cards in 1 day is an incredible workrate for me, I amaze myself sometimes). Happily I was at last able to use my 'de Paris' rubber stamp from Hampton Arts. I also have a 'le shop' rubber stamp too and great plans now for the christening of that image!

The rubber stamp is by Docrafts and a recent bargain in the sale! The ribbon is from the same Making Memories pack as before and again the metal swirl ( do they have a proper name?) is from Hot Off The Press.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

US fire tragedy

The forest fires in California in the US are still raging. It is impossible to imagine how terrifying it must be to be involved in something so horrifying. Man may have sent a man to the moon but time and time again the strengh of nature shows itself.
There seem to be so many forest fires, most if not all cause by arsonists. How stupid and selfish is a person to do this?

This evening (UK time) it is reported that the ferocious winds that have fuelled the fire and incresed its unpredictability are easing.

According to the BBC, '400,00 acres have been scorched, an area bigger than New York City'. Three people have died with many more injured. Tonight, many people have no home and only a handful of possessions from a lifetime of living. Land with trees and plants that have taken centuries to develop has been destroyed and will take years to recover. Wildlife, domestic animals and pets have died in numbers too high to bear thinking about . People have had no alternative than to just open the gates to release their horses in the hope that they can outrun the fire.

It is unimaginable to think what destruction and devastation will be seen once the fires are eventually over.
I am thinking of all those involved and desperately hope that the fires can be brought under full control soon. The bravery of firefighters and all those involved in tackling the fires is incredible. So many people are going towards the fires in order to help people and animals.

I pray for better news tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beautiful Fabric Flowers

I love the whole corsage look and have a fair few bought flower hair accessories etc. I'd love some knitted corsages but can't knit so I was thrilled to find a few patterns for fabric flowers on some of the beautiful blogs I have come across. My particular fabric flower favourite is the one on Wise Craft.

(Photo courtesy of Wise Craft blog)

I was a little confused (as I am so very easily) about how exactly to layer the petals once cut so I emailed Wise Craft. I got an immediate and very kind reply clarifying the petal formation and also adding that the petals can be placed unfolded/folded/however you like. What a lovely lady Blair is.

My first attempt is below.

I actually spent far more time trying to choose fabrics than making the flower as the instructions are very clear. The most difficult bit was trying to cover a button with fabric. I bought some special buttons and an odd device that enables you to put the fabric of choice on these buttons, but couldn't fathom the instructions at all. There were no words, just very confusing pictures. Clearly I did manage to cover my button in fabric but I wouldn't call it perfect, nor secure so I certainly need to improve my technique before giving my flowers to anyone as a presnt, or just use pretty plain buttoms and skip the fabric covering bit! (Sounds tempting).

Overall though, I'm pleased with my first attempt actually and it will be the first of many I'm sure. I think they'll look super on Winter coats and having a few coats, I'll be needing more flowers. I'm going to try to make one out of felt next which hopefully will work!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Long posts....and on....and on....

I've noticed that my posts are all very long. I hope I don't go on too much (who moi?) and will try to get a better balance between long and short posts!! Be kind, I said TRY!!

Enid Blyton, midnight feasts and strange book bans!

When I was growing up in the 1970's I lived (and believe me suffered) through the ridiculous virtual 'ban' on Enid Blyton books.

I vividly remember my school and Mum being very anti Enid Blyton and not being allowed to read her books. If I remember rightly many UK libraries also did not stock Enid Blyton books during this time.

The reason my Mum did not want me to read Enid Blyton books was because of the limited vocabulary within the books which did not 'stretch' a child nor add to a childs 'wordcount' so to speak. The 'ban' within public libraries was due to apparent 'political correctness'.

I adored Enid Blyton books, they may not have taught me long words but Enid Blyton taught me more about imagination than anyone other than C.S.Lewis and his 'Narnia' tales and of course Roald Dahl. In truth, I'm not entirely certain that Roald Dahls children books extended my vocabulary all that much (other than glorious gobblygook) yet Roald Dahl was, is and should be championed as a childrens author.

I've always felt very strongly that adults sell children short in terms of intelligence and awareness and most certainly entirely underestimate a childs ability to understand whether something is likely to be true or not. On that note, adults also sell short a childs ability to play with a toy/read a book without growing up to be sexist/racist/homophobic/violent etc as some of the most wild accusations suggest.

I most definately knew that although the Famous Five were allowed to go off on a caravan holiday, or onto Mystery Moor (the scariest Famous five ever) without adult supervison was not remotely similar to the realities of my life!! I tried Ginger Beer and it was awful, though the thought of all of those Midnight Feasts did and still do create huge excitement! Try as we might, my siblings and I never once managed a midnight feast at midnight. The best we could manage was a feast at bedtime when we would amass our carefully hoarded goodies and feel rather short-changed and disappointed as it was

a) 8.00pm on a Summers evening and so still light and thus no need for torches to see

b) We had no torches anyway as Dad wouldn't let us borrow them in case we broke them/ran down the battery or both

c) No ginger beer (we were secretly glad about this as awful)

d) A Kit Kat, Wagon Wheel, a couple of melted chocolate fingers and a jam sandwich was never quite the 'feast' we had read so eagerly about and hoped for

e) We had parents who did think that going to bed and sleep at a certain time was important (unlike Uncle Quentin and Aunt Fanny!).

f) We actually were tired and suddenly a midnight feast that didn't consist of lashings of ginger beer, hunks of bread and milk straight from a cow following a days adventuring with Timmy on the island owned by George (of course) wasn't all that appealing.

The disappointment of the failed midnight feasts didn't dampen our enthusiam though and the Malory Towers books triggered a fresh desire for midnight feasts once my sister and I moved onto those from The Famous Five. We tried many, many times to have a successful midnight feast. We also tried camping in the garden in a tent my dad got after collecting tokens from numerous Weetabix packets, but it was too scary and going all the way up the garden and into the house to go to the loo soon dampened any sense of adventure that existed within us. The nearest we ever got to the true Famous Five spirit of adventure was running around the garden causing utter confusion for our beautiful but fat (aren't they all) Labrador who couldn't understand why we were calling her 'Timmy' when for as long as she had ever known she had always been called Pansy!

Despite the Enid Blyton ban I was able to obtain 'contraban' copies of her books. I used to spend a great deal of time with one my my sets of Grandparents. My Granny and Grandad were the best Grandparents in the world, full of unconditional love, kind, generous and fun. I used to stay every weekend and most of the school holidays at my Granny and Grandads and would cry when I had to go back home.

I had my own room at my Granny and Grandads house with my own things in it. Enid Blyton needless to say wasn't banned and we used to go to the local charity shops (I especially remember an Oxfam) and buy up as many Enid Blyton books as we could find!

I cherish my copies to this day and happily dig them out every so often for a read. I still love the mini-stories best of all and can't read The Famous Five without food to hand as the constant and vivid references to food are impossible to ignore. (You can still keep the ginger beer though!)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lovely surprise!

On Thursday afternoon whilst feeling a bit fed up and worried about Basil, I heard the doorbell. On the doorstep was the very friendly Royal Mail parcel lady with a huge and somewhat mysterious parcel for me!

As I opened it I realised what it was. A few weeks ago I received an email from a craft shop, I have bought some bits for mainly papercrafting, including some fantastic stamps, a PSX (R.I.P.) Rose stamp which is stunning. Artymiss have been expanding recently and their website now includes projects, tips and a craft glossary. Artymiss had provided several craft definitions themselves and were asking for contributions to the glossary. Definitions were required on crafting tools/techniques/products and so forth and any published on the site would receive a goody bag.

It's impossible to peruse a glossary that is incomplete without thinking of definitions not already listed. I emailed a few ideas off, some definitions were relatively easy, others required more thought as a 'ready-made' definition was not readily available.

The result was an amazing 8 definitions published and the above box of craft goodies. I am thrilled with the new stash, so many lovely bits including rub-ons, stickers, glitter glue, chipboard embellishments, a big pack of coloured foam, some DCWV goodies and a lovely 8" x 8" scrapbook! Chuffed isn't the word to describe my delight and for these goodies to arrive just on a day when I really needed a lift made an amazing surprise even better.

I feel a bit bad though, in the sense that Artymiss have shown such incredible generosity for just a bit of time spent rifling through my craft stash for suitable definition subject matter and a bit of thinking to create definitions where none were easily found.

Needless to say I throughly recommend them as a craft supplier, though I would have anyway as they have such lovely things and with FREE P+P over £10.00, it's hard to resist! Where I live is such a small town in a rural area so Internet shopping is a necessity for many things and certainly for variety of craft goodies.

My lovely parcel certainly lifted my spirits and I can't wait to use the goodies, especially the beautiful pink glittery alphabet, the vintage stickers, the DCWV bits and the 'snow' stuff which is entirely new to me so will be subject to experimentation soon I assure you!

What a lovely world the crafting community is.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


All is well.

Basil had to have 2 teeth removed (ow!) and a general clean and polish at the vets on Thursday. When I telephoned at 2.00pm having dropped him off at 10.00am, Basil was awake and recovering well. I was able to collect a very frightened Basil from the vets at 4.00pm.

I managed to get completely up to date with the bunnies and their myxomatosis vaccinations which is a relief to get ticked off the 'to do' list, extremely lengthy as it is. As they have the myxomatosis vaccinations every 6 months it sometimes seems that we've only just been before we're back vaccinating again! With 3 bunnies, it can be quite an event especially as we've only 2 carriers at the moment. We had plenty but the older and cheap ones have all broken recently, the doors wouldn't stay fastened etc which is not a good thing at all. I need to get some more asap. I discovered the Pet Cargo Cabrio a while ago and bought one to see if it was as good as it looked. It is. I have large cats and rabbits and this allows them space to lie down without being excessively large which can be dangerous in terms of the possibility of being flung around inside the carrier whilst in the car.

It opens at the top as well as the front which is an absolute necessity both for ease of extracting a reluctant animal and for putting in a reluctant and aggresive one!

The carrier is closed and private which is another must for frightened animals but has plenty of air vents for decent circulation which again seems to be lacking in most other carriers.

Big cats and bunnies also weigh a fair bit so the carry strap enabling the carrier to be held like a handbag is also a useful and unusual addition. I realise I sound like an advertisment but I thoroughly recommend this carrier. It costs more then the usual £10.00 carriers but is sturdier and so much more animal friendly to make it absolutely worth the initial outlay.

The whole vets rigmarole is usually very stressful for all concerned but since we've had this carrier I can honestly say that at least the carrier bit is far less of an issue than it used to be.

I'd better get an order placed as I'd like one for everyone ultimately. Only problem with this carrier is that it doesn't shrink down to the size of 1 matchbox between uses and storing 5 carriers is not easy in our little house!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Feeling nervous - Basil at the Vets tomorrow

Tomorrow poor Basil cat has to have some dental work done at the vets. It's hard to know exactly what is going on in his mouth as though his teeth may be in need of some TLC they nonetheless still pack a punch.! I'm taking him in about 10.00 ish and whilst I'm there Jacob bunny will have his myxomatosis vaccination as all the bunnies have them at 6 monthly intervals as recommended.

I find it so hard to leave any of my animals at the vets. they're my family, they all mean the world to me and it's hard being at home when one of them isn't here as it's just not the same. Basil will also be frightened and confused and would expect me to be there to protect him, so I feel bad about that. The risk of anathestic is low but real so that frightens me; it's just a tough time all in all.

Although rabbits don't fast before surgery (and indeed it is dangerous to fast rabbits), Basil had his food removed at 6.00pm and is allowed only water prior to his vet appointment. Just as with people this is to reduce the risk of vomiting under anathestic which is potentially very dangerous. Goodness knows how Basil and Tom of course will cope without their food being around. I shall have to sneak some food to Tom of course but they're used to dry food being available all the time and wet food on demand (i.e. every 5 minutes day and night!).

I am trying to think ahead to this time tomorrow and that everything WILL be fine, but I can't help worrying. Poor Basil came to me absolutely terrified of everything. In the 18 months or so he's been with us he has come along leaps and bounds. Basil is so brave, but having only one eye means that at some point he has seen more than his fair share of vets and so tomorrow will be really hard for him.

My vet is lovely though, a really nice man and the girls who work there are all super too so I know Basil will be cared for. I'm still helpless though and I know they'll be tears tomorrow as there always is when my animals are at the vets. Jacob bunny who is Basils best friend and I will just have to get through the day and tomorrow night he'll hopefully still love me and be pillow nabbing as usual!

One evening he came and sat on the back of the settee above me and I knew things would be OK. To this day Basil is terrified of other people and when the doorbell rings he runs upstairs. In the early days, he was hiding under the bed in the spare room (otherwise known as Erics room and where Jacob hangs on mainly) and Jacob sat right next to Basil and groomed him. It was an amazing sight, Jacob loved Basil long Persian coat. The bond remains and they spend most of their time together indoor sunbathing! Basil sleeps most nights literally on my pillow (not good for allergies, but that's what antihistimines are for), but frequently Basil won't appear until 5.00am or will disappear off early and sneak into see Jacob! Jacob is the kindest creature ever. I always say he is made of love and kindness and he adores company. Basil is a fantastic friend to Jacob as Jacob is to Basil and it makes my heart sing to see my animals friends with one another especially different species.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Plastic's not fantastic!

Before the world went 'green' I worried about energy consumption, bought energysaving lightbulbs that cost a fortune, took my own bags out with me and annoyed shop assistants by refusing to use a bag to put a bunch of bananas or a few oranges in! I'm a vegetarian and ethical concerns are contagious - once you've adopted one, countless others follow others follow.

I favour the oilcloth/PVC variety as strong and waterproof, handy when you live in the UK. Nothing lasts forever though and every so often the handles break or a tiny hole becomes apple sized and the bag is retired to become a pretty storage bag for winter hats, gloves and scarves..(yep, I have rather a collection of these too!).

Sadly I've had a run of bag retirements, happily I spotted these fabulous Burleigh shopping bags and unable to choose between the two patterns got both as they'll be used that's for sure.

They're a bit smaller than my usual shoppers but size isn't everything (apparently) and anyway they satisfy the William Morris criteria being both useful and beautiful.

I love Burleigh patterns and am chuffed to bits with my new aquisitions. I've noticed that Oxfam are now pushing the 'bring your own bag' approach and if reducing the size of ugly, smelly and toxic landfill sites isn't your thing and you don't mind the 'cut hand' look and accompanying pain, remember the whole 'I'm not a plastic bag' frenzy and get hip! (Besides as far as I'm concerned Primark may be agonisingly cool (according to The Times no less) , but the carriers aren't.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Charity shop find!

Being both a hoarder and a magpie personality, I adore charity shops for their electicism and 'needle in a haystack' amazing find quality! Patience and vision is needed to sort past the not so nice things and find the treasure. As with most British high streets, my town has an ever increasing array of charity shops. This is good in some ways, 'more is more' (as I do like to say)but it also means that the shops are hugely competitive and business like so bargains are mostly something that 'was' rather than 'is'. Nonetheless, I do believe that an item is worth what you'll pay for it and things for alteredv art such as pencil tins, old scrabble games with bits missing, word games (again) with bits missing, battered costume jewellery and old books with interesting pictures are not highly prized it seems - except by myself.

Books are also in plentiful supply which is great (wey hey) but also not so great (storage). I LOVE books though and my town happily seems to have a plentiful supply of books on many, many subjects but especially my favourites of gardening, crafts, cats , art, rabbits and alternative health. I'm afraid I don't read and pass on as is suggested by one well known charity shop. Oh no! Once in my possession forever in my possession. Hoarders don't pass on...very often anyway!

I came across a beautiful find the other day and I'm extremely chuffed. It's a beautiful Sylvac dish, a beautiful glossy pink flower head design. I love it. When I took it to the till to pay the lady told me it had only just been put on display. Right place, right time for me. On the base it is dated 1955 so it's done well to survive 50 odd years. It was also a bargain at 75p!! It is one of the nicest things I have in the world! I must research them, I'd love a whole gardens worth of them in all the colours on the rainbow! I love it!! (Do you get what I'm saying here? I like this dish VERY much!).

The Snowman

I've noticed an increasing number of advertisments on the T.V. recently concerning CHRISTMAS! I hate, hate, hate the whole Christmas thing going on for months and months as when Christmas actually does arrive, I'm Christmasd out. The other thing I find is that I ignore all the Christmas talk for so long that suddenly it's Christmas eve and I haven't bought any presents, or food and it's a crisis. Last year the shops has sales on before Christmas which is awful, all the Christmas items then looked cheap and sort of past their sell by date. If you're a late shopper it made for a cheap Christmas I suppose but Christmas isn't about being cheap or getting 50% off is it?

There are a few nice things about Christmas that I do enjoy. I love the fairy lights, the smell of cinnamon, ginger and fir. I love the thrill in the air as the day approaches and I love Channel 4 for putting The Snowman on EVERY year without fail.

I loved The Snowman (Raymond Briggs) from the start. I remember vividly when The Snowman first was created, the music was everywhere and has to be one of the all-time Christmas songs. My love of The Snowman has never diminished, I have a collectors video etc and best of all a collection of Royal Doulton figurines. I don't have all of the figures produced by any means, some of them are worth an absolute fortune nowadays. I'd give my eye teeth for the one with The Snowman and the boy flying through the air. It's amazing, absolutely beautiful and very expensive and hard to come by.

My collection is on display all year round, though moves to prime viewing position in December! My photos don't do the figures justice, too dark really, I'll have to try again on a sunnier day.

I think I may potter off and watch my video again..I always, always cry at the end. It's so sad.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Favourite fabric

I love this music score piece and I've never seen anything like it. I picked this up from my local Interior Designer, the manuscript and panels came from him too. He's a lovely chap and he has the most talented ladies who sew the most beautiful things. I grab what I can from there in terms of the excess bits and so have a fabric stash to be proud of!

Amongst the many things I enjoy collecting, fabric is one of the best. It comes in so many varieties, some of them are works of art in themselves. I mainly just hoard them and get them out every so often and am just glad I found them! I DO intend to do the most fantastic things with them one day, but it's hard deciding and what if I wished later I hadn't made X but had made Y instead?? Anyway fabric stashes (or any sort of stash for that matter) are almost even nicer in stash form than made into something else..

I love beautiful things and never imagined that fabric could come in such an array of subjects and styles. I'll do some more pictures soon as I have a fantastic shoe fabric and also my collection of Toile de Jouy which is my utter favourite of favourites!

I seem to have the nose of a bloodhound for finding fabrics. I love the bargains though, end of rolls, the excess from another project etc. They can always be made into panels onto a larger piece but frankly much of what I do make is smaller anyway, mainly soft furnishings, bags etc and so these littler gems are perfect and being unusual means that I avoid the horror of joining every one else in my small town with the latest bag!

Craft projects

I'm spinning several plates in the air at the moment craftwise, all new projects and techniques. I've started decorating the letters for my beautiful niece Isla, (photos soon) and also making various things for my Mums birthday which is very soon.

I have been putting my bead collection to use on a project to decorate a small papier mache (I think) box. Just the plain brown boxes found in craft shops, I am hand sewing beads to fabric for a lid which will be padded with wadding. I'm not the greatest hand sewer and I've found the process to be very fiddly indeed. I found it hard to find fabric with a small enough pattern on to suit, despite having a huge fabric mountain! It's typical how no matter how much stuff we crafters accumulate, we always need more. I bought more beads, the wadding and thread actually, so only had the box initially!

In the end for fabric I used a tea towel (new of course) that's very pretty and more to the point has a small flower pattern on it. I am totally new to this so my first efforts may not win any prizes but I'm pleased so far. I realise I can get far more complex with regard to the beading, put beads on top of one enough etc but to be honest I didn't think I could do this at all so I'm amazed I've managed this.

I still have to finish painting the boxes with acrylic paint and then attach the fabric, wadding etc to the lid and complete, so basically still plenty of time to mess this all up. Fingers crossed I will not ruin it all and it'll be a pretty and personal gift.

By the way, I'm not ruining the suprise by mentioning this as she doesn't look at my blog, so it's Ok to preview it all.

I've an ear infection at the moment and achilies tendons that are agony so crafting isn't easy to say the least. Time is running out though so I'm trying to do what I can. The letters have had a coat of white gesso on each side, not to decide on decoration. I can't go too fancy as they're for a little one and I don't want to distract from the letters too much. Hard to decide what to do to be honest..all baby pink or different colours? Stripes? Polka dots?? Whatever I decide I just want them to turn out beautifully and be something adorable Isla will learn to treasure.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Vaccination time again!

Been back and forth to the vets recently, vaccinations are due for all but Tom cat. Humphrey rabbit and Basil cat had theirs and an MOT a few days ago. As I thought Basil also needs some dental work which will very stressful for him and me waiting at home. It will also be very expensive! The bunnies are all insured healthwise but Tom and Basil cat aren't as they were too old alas. I always have rescue animals and older cats are often looked over at rescue centres. Too many people still get kittens from breeders or in the paper when rescue centres are full to the rafters.

Jacob and Sophie need their myxomatosis updates so must make an appointment. The rabbits get a myxomatosis vaccination every 6 months and VHD annually. http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rwf/articles/understanding_myxo_feb06.htm

Myxomatosis is a horrible disease that is ever increasing amongst the 'pet' rabbit population. Though my rabbits are house rabbits they are still at risk as the cats could bring myxomatosis in to the house via fleas, mossies carry it too. The rabbits do go in the garden during the Summer too so if a rabbit with the disease had been in the garden my rabbits could catch it.

VHD (Viral Haemorrhagic Disease) is another horrific disease. http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rwf/articles/VHD_UK.htm

As with myxomatosis, VHD is deadly and causes an agonising death. It is very contagious. Rabbits can catch it from contact with an infected rabbit or hare, it could be on hay from farms and can even be brought into the house on feet, animals or humans.

VHD can be prevented with an annual vaccination. Each time your animal is vaccinated the vet will carry out a health check so it's a very useful exercise.

I cannot overemphasise the need for vaccination of all 'pets'. It's not expensive and certainly not as costly as the alternative.

The Rabbit Welfare Association has loads of information concerning the care of rabbits be them house or outside animals. Poor rabbits are overlooked so often, they don't get the care they need. As the RWA says 'rabbits deserve better'.

It's a lovely sunny day today, good for the spirits. I'm in the middle of several craft projects, but also some house decorating, bits and bobs so time is short and energy in even less supply!

I'm waiting for some wooden letters to arrive which I intend to decorate for my beautiful niece Isla. The letters form her name and I will use acrylics and pretty papers, also some embellishments to create a very personal present for her bedroom wall.

I'm also trying to make various fabric flowers as seen on some of my favourite blogs. I have a huge stash of fabrics in all sorts of designs and which I want to use to make some blinds, cushion covers, table cloths and other soft furnishings. I also have a fair amount of small pieces which happily are perfect for fabric corsages.

I've bought some brooch backs and so it's just a question of cutting and stitching now! I'll post some completed ones asap.

By the way, the fairy bookends are a new aquisition. I found them in a charity shop and they're as new. My intention/ambition is to re-paint them in prettier colours, maybe pinks and yellows, with the result being proper fairies! Think they'll be a lovely pressie for my little niece once she's old enough to have books. As she's only teeny now it gives me a fair bit of time to complete the project..phew! I'm not the worlds greatest artist but think I can make an already very pretty thing even prettier.

Humphrey and Sophie

Humphrey and Sophie