Gift horses

My life is currently  a juggling trick extrordinaire, flaming clubs, swords, an axe. While riding a unicycle. On a bed of nails. Wearing a blindfold. And all the things i want to do are the very things that have to go at the bottom of the to do pile. But such is life and while it keeps me away from posting as much as I want to, I just need to keep trying, trying to find time for the things that make me happy, the things I want to do amidst the ever increasing things I need to do. And try to squeeze in time to fill you in with the goings-on!

The babies are thriving – their first trip to the vets was to be spayed which thankfully all went well, despite the hangdog expressions when they were first brought home…



They are a joy to come home to after a long day at work, and never fail to make me smile in the morning, which at 5.30am is no mean feat.



How could you not smile at that?

There’s been a couple of birthays…and couple of presents using my new favourite bracelet design





And Ive had  a package of my own….my dad, who  is now  retired, likes to attend the local auctions. So I’d asked him to keep an eye out for any job  lots of jewellery I could upcycle, but not to  really  spend any money..

 He phoned one night to say he”d picked up a box and it was on its way.  Less than 5  pound  but  he didn’t  know if it was what i needed.

And so i  waited impatiently for the postman….  

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Repair, recycle, rejoice

It will probably come as no surprise to learn that I’m not a fashionista. I’d never buy something just because it was a designer label, or because X-celebrity wore it to that thing. Equally, I’ve no problem if you do, it’s just not for me. I get as much pleasure from getting a bargain buy for a couple of quid at a charity shop as from spending ten times that on one item. Which doesn’t mean I’ll turn down a bargain when ones presented to me. Like a cashmere jumper for £10 just because it had two little holes in it.

before….

and after. Very much a bargain for a small repair.

Now, the recycling! 

I finally got round to reusing some of the stuff my friend at work had given me. Mother’s Day was coming up and my mum loves that I can give life to something old, and I have one vivid childhood memory of my mother, dressing for Sunday church, putting on a bracelet, that she only wore on Sundays. I wanted to give her an everyday wearing one!

From this



I deconstructed the beads into respective sizes



Used a nifty jump ring design from Dorothy Wood’s  The Beaders Bible





And ended up with this





I really love how a bead can look so different, just by altering the setting. And I love the design so much that I’ve already made a couple more. I’ll save them for another post, because….it’s rejoice time. A year after losing my sweet Toby, the house is once more filled with binkying and leaping and happiness. Meet Daisy

And Millie

it’s a wonderful thing to get home from work and have a happy reaction! It’s lovely watching their individuality develop – though they do share a love of Lakeland catalogues, just like me!



And 14 partridges not in a pear tree

Finally!! Some time between the evening of Friday 13th and the morning of Saturday 14th Mama Partridge decided it was time to hatch the babies! Up early I checked the nest long distance as usual and saw broken shells (along with one un hatched) but no sign of the occupants. I was so worried she had taken them away and I’d missed it, but a few hours later she brought them back and presented her brood.

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I think she looks pretty proud. And so she should.

They’ve been back a few times, I’m not sure where she takes them overnight – we’ve a couple of brick outhouses so they may be there, but she’s very good at hiding them underneath her! There still seems to be the same number as I counted that first day, 13, so she’s a clever Mama to keep them all safe. None of the eggs from the first nest have hatched but I’m not sure what to do about them now.

I did think “hurrah, I can weed the path properly now!” as we’ve had to let it grow for nest coverage…..

but, wouldn’t you know it, we seem to have a new resident.

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I can barely explain how ridiculously tiny he is! He’s so relaxed in the garden he fell asleep in the garden beside my car and we almost stepped on him! He twitched an ear when we turned the engine over but went back to sleep. Poppet.

Ridiculously tiny

I’ve been on an unsuccessful bunny buy two weekends in a row. It’s not good for the soul. Today, the world tried to make it up to me, by having this ridiculously tiny chap appear in my garden. He’s having lunch by the path under my window.

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It’s not usually that weedy, but that’s where Mama Partridge decided to build nest number two, amidst the pampas-type grass, so I’ve not been able to weed it for three weeks. (Seriously? Best excuse ever.)

For a sense of perspective at how Ridiculously Tiny it is, how about atop a standard sized brick…

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Pretty tiny.

I was creatively inspired….a brooch maybe? Or a key chain if done in thicker wire? Pretty happy with it, for a prototype.

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Thanks, little chap.

Not the bunny I’d planned….

I thought this weekend’s post would be introducing you to our new addition…but it’s just not felt like right time to see if there’s a bunny out there with my name on him/her. I’m a little worried that the longer I leave it, the less right it will feel, but I’m trusting in kismet. Or trying to.

However, I do have a little chap to show you, courtesy of my newest follower, The Green Dragonfly, and you can follow her excellent tutorial here – https://thegreendragonfly.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/nibble-nibble-hop-hop/

I’m relatively new to crochet but am pretty pleased with my efforts…tho I had to make do with google eyes!

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He has a fuzzy butt!

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What I am thinking about, is that I could adapt it as a crochet wirework brooch….hmmmm.

What’s everyone else up to?

(Ps – still no baby partridges….but the eggs are moving!!)

Catching up

I know. It’s been a ridiculously long time. But there’s this pesky thing called life and it just keeps on messing with me and my plans. On the flip side, it means I have several posts to make to fill you in on some things I actually have managed to achieve, but first, let me show you one of the main reasons while I’ve been MIA.

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Say hello to Toby’s shaved butt. Let me set the scene for you. Sunday afternoon, Six Nations rugby on the tv. I go to the kitchen in need of a cup of tea and Toby, as is his way, mistaking himself for a dog, follows me out, into the dining room where his pen is. He stands in the kitchen doorway watching me – he won’t come in, as there’s a step down of about an inch, and Toby does not do steps. Nor does he jump. This is important. I head back into the dining room, he follows, sits between his pen and the hearth and I go up to the bathroom. I come back down minutes later and he’s lying on his side, unnaturally, in his pen, breathing wildly.
Unfathomably, he has a transverse fracture to his thigh. Our amazing vet James, sends his xrays to a colleague who specialises in osteo-type ops and he’s booked in for an op 48 hours later. We bring him home, where, ketamined out his mind more than we thought, he does even more damage, fragmenting said bone by trying to move and falling over.
It’s probably fair to say his op day was the longest day off my life. We dropped him off at lunchtime, and his op was due to begin about 5.30, dependant on when the surgeon finished his previous op about 100 miles away. A pretty severe storm began to kick off, just to wind me up more. Also, I kept forgetting to breathe. About 7.30pm our vet called to say he’d come through the op and was in recovery. He’d call us in another hour or so, to tell us more. I swear to you the hands on my clock did not move at their normal speed. Even though I tried not to look at them.
An agonising hour later, the vet phoned, saying ” he’s doing really well, come and take him home!” I didn’t care about the storm outside – I wanted my boy back! James showed us the xrays, complete with his little strip of meccano plate and bolts before Toby was brought out to us. He was so much better than after the xray, I was amazed – he was much brighter and responded to my voice, sticking his nose to the air vent on his box. I admit I nearly cried when the box was opened – Karen, James’ wife, who is also a vet and had assisted in Toby’s op – had arranged his blanket so that it folded up over his poor shaved butt and that simple act of kindness pretty much took me over the edge.
The next 48 hours was pretty much like having a newborn baby – thankfully without the crying. From the slow drive home, like we were carrying explosives that would go off at the slightest bump, to the two-hourly feeds through the night. He went back for a check the next morning, about 12 hours after we picked him up and James was surprised at the change in him in such a short time – no temperature, wound clean and an alert bunny. We got good at syringe feeding, I pretty much bought out the fruit and veg aisle at the supermarket to tempt him back to real food and we perfected the art of scooping out just enough of the centre of a chunk of banana to fit his meds in without him knowing. Two days after that, we had another check up, where James wanted to see if Toby was able to bear any weight, lifted him out his box and set him on the floor. Toby ran across the floor to me, a proper, even series of hops, like nothing had ever happened. And he really, really didn’t want to go back in. It’s lovely to still be able to surprise an expert! James even took Toby’s photo and put him on the surgery’s facebook page, calling him Toby the wonder rabbit.
As I write this, on Sunday morning, 10 days after the op, he’s in a reduced-size pen, next to the couch Im sitting on. He’s eaten some breakfast, hopped in and out of his litter tray and is currently trying to push the pen four inches to the right, because there’s a sunbeam just out of reach and he doesn’t like to waste a sunbeam. He has another check up tomorrow, where James is going to try and gauge how the leg is healing, before another xray in about 4 weeks. We were watching him the other day and worrying as he seems to not sit with his foot flat on the floor, but toes raised. And then we remembered it had only been 8 days since the op, an op that, for an oldish bunny, was a major deal.
I’d always thought it was a myth, that, if you shaved a tiger, he’d have stripes on his skin, but I know it to be true now, as Toby’s grey splotches show! These coloured tufts are growing fast, faster than the white, plus he’s started to shed his winter coat, so his face is looking almost as scruffy as his rear. But I don’t care. He’s home, he’s doing well, he’s my wonder bun.

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The Easter Bunny (baker)

I’ve got a couple of knitting and cross stitch posts in the pipe line but as they’ve not reached their intended destination you’ll have to wait!

Last weekend tho, I got creative in a different way. (Keep it clean, smutty minds!). It’s highly likely that this is the only food post I’ll make this year, so excuse me for wandering off the craft reservation, just this once….

A couple of people at work had decided to do an Easter bake sale, the Tuesday we went back to work after the Easter holidays. Now, when it comes to the kitchen, I pretty much go in there to make a cup of tea and to clean it after my other half has turned it upside down cooking for us. Seriously, when we were living at opposite ends of the country for a year, I ate cereal for dinner as well as breakfast. And sometimes for lunch too….I’d honestly rather just go hungry than be bothered to cook. And frequently have.

But baking. Now that’s a different story. Baking is definitely not cooking. And therefore I like doing that. My mum likes to bake and I have lots of her recipes, but nothing is ever quite as good as hers and even tho my shortbread is pretty fab, it’s still not a patch on my Granny Henry’s. it’s a sad fact of life I’ve just had to accept!

So I don’t really need an excuse to bake, but it’s nice to have one, so I thought I’d do a couple of things, like cakes and biscuits. So I went for an easy fairy cake recipe and ended up here

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I thought I’d just do a simple butter cream frosting, but then thought it was a bit boring. At the same time I didn’t want to be too Easter Obvious but I did have some little chocolate eggs. Thankfully I resisted the temptation to make nests….and just went for the “bunny ears sticking out the top”

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Because I’m known for being a bunny mad girl, it wasn’t a hard decision as to the biscuits…bunnies come with multi-coloured sprinkles and marshmallow tails. Who knew?

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For any UK people, I can tell you that Stork have brought out what may be my new favourite thing – liquid butter. It’s basically like melted butter without the grainy texture you sometimes get. It’s great for creaming (the frosting was super smooth thanks to it) or if, like me, you don’t have a food processor. I know – you’d think it was the dark ages, but Granny Bell’s Moulinex hand mixer circa 1960s is still going strong two generations later, so who am I to put it out to grass?

So there it is. We made about £150 just from a few people’s effort for our work charity and there’s still some frosting in the fridge so excuse me while I go eat it and return to my normal crafty pursuits!