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Ready To Rock (Cat Collage Card)

I don’t know about you, but I am very rarely primed and ready to do anything, let alone rock.  I follow more of a resigned and begrudging style of embracing life, to be honest.  Not so my nieces and nephews.  I have been spending a lot of time with them lately, and one of their favourite things to do is craft.  Whether it be colouring in or drawing, making collages or cards, or a combination of all four, they really love being creative.  Which is a bit of a relief.  What if they were super sporty or into playing computer games? *shudders*

A couple of weekends ago, we had a few happy hours of card-making and magazine-scrap collage-making.  Good fun.  The kids are so good at it because they just CREATE.  They don’t think too much or worry about anything other than putting paper and glue together in a design them pleases them.  Bliss.

Anyway, as all good Aunties must, I had to participate in the activity – just being a casual bystander was not going to be acceptable.  Can’t say I minded – what better way to spend a few hours than with little people I love, doing something I love almost as much.

So, this funny little cat card was one of my completed pieces.  Made from scraps of scrapbooking paper, corrugated card and pieces cut from magazines, it came together pretty quickly.  The hardest part was finding the “rock” text (which, of course, I could have just cut out from individual letters).

I like the cat’s saggy little belly and his general attitude.  Who doesn’t love a tabby in a party hat?  All he is missing is some cheese on a stick and he’s good to go 🙂

Hope you are primed and ready, to do whatever you need to do today –
thank you for reading x

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Critter-Sittin’

This weekend I took some time out of my box-packing schedule to house-sit for my Aunt and Uncle.  They’ve both been dreadfully unwell the last couple of years and my poor cousin has been run ragged looking after them and making sure they’re ok.  She lives several hundred kilometres away so she is forever travelling to and fro to take them to medical appointments and make sure they’re looked after etc.  Every week she drives over 300km both ways to stay with them.  It’s been a very stressful time for all concerned.

Anyway, my cousin decided it would do everyone some good if she arranged a little weekend getaway, now that my Aunt and Uncle were well enough to travel.  My Aunt, though elderly and not in very good health at all, is a very outgoing lady and not one for sitting around doing nothing.  After a long period of recovery from a very serious illness she is pretty much going stir crazy, just being at home and having to “take it easy” all the time.  So a trip away, just for a couple of days, would be just what the doctor ordered.

My Mum and I happily agreed to house-sit for them.  Although I had SO MUCH packing and organising to do at home, it was actually a nice break from all that and gave me some much needed down time.  My Aunt and Uncle have three lovely furry family members – Heidi, a tricolour Rough Collie, Sox, a black and white moggie, and Fibber, a white pony – and so, of course, they were the main priority.  Heidi is an absolute delight – she is loving and gentle, but also fun and playful (she has the biggest box of toys I have ever seen!) and she is a great companion.  She’s pretty happy to just stay by your side most of the time and doesn’t ask for much, other than a few bouts of tug-o-war or “rub my belly”.

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Sox has always been a bit of a devil child – very wild and bad tempered – but she has mellowed a lot in the last couple of years and is now very placid and will give you a smooch if she’s in the right mood.  She makes me laugh because she actually asks to be put to bed at night.  Come 6pm and she meows and gets you to follow her to her “bedroom” (the laundry) where she has every mod-con available, including a cosy bed inside the linen cupboard.  She gets fed, you close the door, and that’s her done for the night.  In the morning, you let her out but she takes her time actually getting up and isn’t in any hurry to rise and shine.  She has the most amazing, upside-down, heart-shaped markings on her face/muzzle.  So pretty!  I’m glad she’s settled down too, because I don’t like to think of her being ill-mannered with my Aunt and Uncle.  She apparently even had a lap the other night with my Uncle, which was a first!

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Fibber is a gentle little pony with a nice temperament.  She unfortunately has laminitis , which is an inflammation of the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin or pedal bone of the foot to the hoof wall.  Very nasty, painful, and can be fatal.  Proper management is essential.  Fibber’s diet is very strict (over-feeding can often result in laminitis) and she is stabled in deep sawdust to give her a comfortable standing position.  Care of her hooves is obviously very important and she has a regular farrier who makes sure her tootsies are in tip-top condition.  She wears little covers over her hooves that help to protect the damaged parts and she is not lame or suffering at the moment.  She put up with my fumbling efforts at putting her covers on at night and whinnied at me across the paddock when I was bringing her food bucket.  Last night was quite stormy and so she was a bit nervous and jittery, but I managed to get her settled and comfy in her stable with her dinner and a warm coat.

She’s actually going to be moving down to the coast, to stay at my other cousin’s equestrian centre.  I think it will be good for her – she will have more company and my Aunt and Uncle will know she’s being cared for.  Her little stable has already been built – it’s really just waiting for when my Aunt and Uncle can bear to say Goodbye to her.  They themselves might be moving to be nearer to my cousin, so it won’t be Goodbye forever, and at least Fibber isn’t going to live with strangers and have an uncertain future.

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So, a nice, relaxing weekend, albeit with extra responsibilities (which I didn’t mind at all).  I am so looking forward to getting my own cats – I have missed being a “proper” animal person.  Having grown up with so many animals around me, I’ve felt like a bit of a fraud the last few years, not having any pets at all, due to renting and ex-hubby being allergic to cat and dog fur.  Be prepared for many, many posts about cats and all things feline-related in the future!  You have been warned! 🙂

I hope my cousin, Aunt and Uncle had a lovely time away.  They’ve all had a rotten couple of years, health-wise, and I know my cousin is really struggling to keep everything together (why does one sibling always carry all the responsibilities?).  I’m glad I could help out, even just for a short time and I hope it gave them a much needed, well deserved break, and some respite from worrying about their health and life in general.

Have a happy day, everyone.  Take care of your four-footed family and friends 🙂

This Week

This Week

It’s been a busy week, starting with last Friday night, when I stayed at my Aunt’s house.  My Uncle is very ill in hospital and my family and I are taking it in turns to stay with my Aunt, just so she isn’t alone at night.  She’s perfectly able to take care of herself, but she is worried and stressed and sad – much better if she has company.  It was actually really nice staying with her.  We got to chat and catch up, which is something we hardly ever get to do.  She’s awesome 🙂  As children, we always loved her because she was the one adult who would always listen to us and not think we were silly or whatever.

So I got to hang out with her and her pony (Fibber), her cat (Socks) and collie dog (Heidi).  They’re all lovely and such good companions for her and my Uncle.  Socks was a bit of a wildcat in her younger days, but has mellowed a lot in recent times.

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Heidi is a pretty, gentle girl who just wants to be with you all the time.

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On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum.  We had lunch out and bought some presents for my brother (it’s his birthday this weekend).  We also went op-shopping and I got some nice skirts and tops (which I drew into my art journal).

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On Sunday, I had a lazy day at home, pottering around, doing lots of laundry (as it was sunny and warm outside) and trying to tidy up my wreck of a house.  I finished off some jewellery a friend had ordered – mostly repairs and revamps of stuff I had already made for her (that she will insist on wearing in the ocean and swimming pools so they fall to pieces).

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I must admit I spent some time on the couch, dozing a bit, too.  Sundays were kinda meant for that, right?

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I did go for several walks this week, so at least I can feel less guilty about my exercise routine.  On Thursday, I went to my cousin’s for dinner.  She, my two nieces, and I, went for a nice evening walk and then did a 7-minute home workout (she has an app on her phone that yells at you in a drill sargeant voice).  I am so unfit, but at least I didn’t die or pass out.  My legs and arms hurt though haha.  I had a horrible migraine yesterday and I think it may have been from the tightness in my neck and shoulders (from attempting pushups).  See?  More proof that being healthy is dangerous to your health! 🙂

I got to cuddle my nieces’ guinea pigs, Charlotte and Ella.  They are adorable, and relatives of my own beloved Roderick.  They are very well behaved little piggies – quite happy to sit on a towel on the floor, munching on a food treat while the girls pat them or give them kisses.

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Yesterday, in the afternoon, I went for a walk, to try and clear my head and get rid of the migraine that was threatening to split my skull open.  My library assistant had recently discovered a path through the nearby bushland, so I decided to check it out and go for a stroll.  In hindsight, probably not the best idea, going into the bush on your own – next time I will try and go with a work-mate.  The day was beautiful – cool but sunny and bright and it was so peaceful and calm in amongst the true and other plants.  I thought I might see a snake (as we had one outside work this week) but I didn’t, just heard some rustling, which could have been anything from a lizard to a mouse.  Not a lot of wildflowers in there but a few pretty ones were spotted.  The bright colours stood out against the brown barks and dried leaves, grasses and shrubs.

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The only wildlife I saw was a cheeky Willy wagtail, bobbing about on the path in front of me.

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It was a nice way to spend half and hour.  Didn’t get rid of my headache, but still nice anyway.  The path went for miles and miles so I couldn’t explore it all, but will go back another time.

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When I got back to work, I decided to head home early (with some pushing from my assistant) as my head really was splitting and I just needed to lie down in a dark room somewhere.  As I was leaving, I saw these two pink and grey galahs in the trees outside our car park.  They let me get quite close, to take photos, before flying off into the trees further into the bush.  We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much natural bushland and to experience a few visits from native fauna.

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I went home, took my migraine pills and then slept for 18 hours.  Isn’t that terrible?  I slept and slept and didn’t wake up until mid morning.  Still a bit “foggy” in the head, but better than yesterday.  Hope it will be gone by tomorrow so I can get on with some things.  My Mum and I are staying with my Aunt again tonight and tomorrow we will visit my brother.  Then the whole weekend will be gone and it will be back to work (boo hoo).  I’m seeing a rheumatologist this week for my stupid painful finger and hand.  I hope it is nothing nasty…

Hope you’ve had a happy, healthy week 🙂

Festive & Frosty

Festive & Frosty

Sunday evening rolls around quicker than…well, something that rolls around quickly!  I don’t know where the year has gone – it’s flying by, and each week seems to go quicker than the last.

Still very sad about Boyo.  So I won’t make this a long post – I know I get overly dramatic at times and I don’t want to do him a disservice by doing that now.  We loved him very much and now he is gone, and we are so very sad.
That’s all there is to write.

I will say that being creative is as good a way as any to take your mind off sorrow and loss. Today I spent a day at home with Mum (she stayed with me all weekend so she wouldn’t have to be in an empty house) and we crafted and read, drank tea and spent time in the garden together.  I made a few more Christmas cards (trying desperately to get enough done for Christmas and my sale in a couple of weeks) and was fairly happy with the results.  It was nice to have someone with me to bounce ideas off.  Sometimes you just need another pair of eyes to tell you if the red button looks better than the green one, if  the card needs lace or ribbon, or if a background would be better in cream or white.

So here are a selection of some of the cards I created today.  What do you think? 🙂

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Goodbye Sweet Boy(o)

Goodbye Sweet Boy(o)

A sad weekend this one.  My Mum and I had to make the difficult decision to have our beloved Alexander (Boyo) put to sleep.  He had developed cancer in the roof of his mouth which was spreading to his nasal passage and sinus area, and behind his eyes.  He also had a newly-diagnosed thyroid problem and a heart murmur.  It broke our hearts.  He has been such a special little man, seeing us through times of sorrow and stress, never bad-tempered or spiteful and always loving and gentle.  He has lived with my Mum for the past 7 years so, although he is technically “mine”, she is devastated to have lost her companion.  She stayed with me all weekend so she didn’t have to go home to an “empty” house.

Boyo’s health had declined quite rapidly over a short space of time and, although he was not depressed or miserable in himself, he had lost all his energy and “zest”.  He slept a lot and wasn’t eating, despite us buying him every tempting treat we could think of.  He had lost a lot of weight and, we believe, was starting to feel uncomfortable with the cancer (we imagine he was getting little feline headaches and at least feeling a pressure in his head and sinus).  Although we couldn’t bear to lose him, we couldn’t stand to see him suffer and would not allow that to happen.  We made the decision to say Goodbye to him on Friday night.  The vet was so good, quick and efficient but caring too.  She gave him a quick sedation to relax him and he basically fell asleep in our arms while she administered the fatal dose.  There was no pain or fear, no struggling or distress.  It all happened so quickly and quietly that it was almost a lovely experience.  I think it helped my Mum a lot, though she was absolutely distraught and guilt-ridden.  We stayed in the room with him, crying and cuddling him until we were ready to say Goodbye forever.  He looked so peaceful and serene and beautiful.  I am glad we chose to do it now, rather than allow him to carry on getting sicker and weaker, out of selfishness and inability to let go.  He had given us so much joy and love over his (almost) 18 years of life, the least we could do was release him from any further pain or suffering, allowing him to go peacefully and while he was still “himself”.

I will miss him so much – he was a truly special cat.  I had hand-reared him from a 4 day old kitten who had lost his mother, so I really do think of him as my baby.

We used to say he had invisible angel wings (because he was so graceful when he leapt and jumped) – now he has them for real.

RIP Boyo – we love you and will miss you forever, until we get to see you again x

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Christmas Cards 1 & 2, Cowardly Cats and Some Crazy Dogs

Christmas Cards 1 & 2, Cowardly Cats and Some Crazy Dogs

Hey there…it’s Tuesday!  That’s, like, nearly Wednesday!  Which is almost Friday, right?  Well, maybe not, but today was a better day than I had had in some time and so I am being optimistic and forward-thinking.  Nothing amazing happened – it was just a good day with friends at work (my workmates returning after a short-but-seemingly-long stint away) and some laughs.  I went for a good walk after work and watched the antics of all the neighbourhood dogs in the park which never fails to put a smile on my face.  They are such clowns.  I saw a golden retriever outrunning a greyhound to get to a ball, a beagle becoming suddenly deaf when his owner was calling him back and a tiny terrier trying to take on a much larger dog (always a recipe for disaster!). I also “rescued” a beautiful black cat who was being dive-bombed by a feisty Willy Wagtail.  The cat saw me and bolted towards me meowing pathetically and took refuge in my outstretched arms.  So funny – he’d never seen me before in his life but he knew sanctuary when it walked up to him I guess!

I managed to make a couple of Christmas cards this weekend.  I am so behind on my card-making this year.  I’ve not done any at all in ages.  But usually I get into panic mode and make a few before the situation gets too dire and I have none to sell at my Xmas craft sale.  These two were ok – I like the first one the best as it came together easily and looks co-ordinated.  The second one was less so but it will do.  I did make a 3rd and 4th one but I’m not happy with them so I won’t show you! (so there!).  I bought myself a little guillotine thingy this afternoon so I can cut with a bit more precision.  How have I gotten by all these years without one?  My cards will be less wonky from now on I hope!

Have you started your Christmas preparations?  (If you celebrate Christmas) The count down is on! 🙂

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