Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Goodbye, lawn

For the past few days I have carried each chick,  individually, from the brooder in the shed to the Cube run. Each one carried correctly, with my finger between their front legs, legs down, bottom facing away from me.

It has meant 10 trips each way, twice a day. It means sorting them out in the morning us a bit slower,  and much slower in the evening. 

However,  it does mean they are getting used to being handled,  they are - mostly - less stressed,  and it will save time later.  It's so much easier dealing with hens who are happy to be handled. 

The chicks love being outside. The older ones are now 5 weeks,  and they need more spac. If it was just them, they would be living outside in the cube now (with an electric hen).  But it isn't just them,  and the tiniest wouldn't be able to cope.  The biggest DO need even more space though,  so today we put netting round our one bit of 'lawn' and opened the cube run doors to let them out.

They have been running around chirrup ping excitedly.   They haven't yet discovered the Grandpa's Feeder, which is full of chick crumb and wedged open.  We've found in the past that if something is there from the beginning, then they take it in their stride. 

From tomorrow,  the big ones will be put in the cube each morning, so they can get themselves diwn the ladder and in to the run. The littlees will be placed on the run as normal.  

Friday, 26 June 2015

Easily bought

I bought some mini mealworms for the chicks (and Gloria and Poppy).  It was a deliberate attempt at bribery.  Eat from my hand, have a mealwork. Let me stroke you, have a mealworm.  Now let me pick you up, have a mealworm.

Today was the second day of educating them. 

It worked really well - almost too well - with the 5 big chicks and with the Maran.  Too well, because I had to keep pushing them out of the way to let the Tinies have some.

One of the Lavender araucanas and the Wyandotte were reasonably easily persuaded to eat out of my hand, but would not succumb to the stroking.  Teh other araucana and the Appenzeller would not eat out of my hand.


This evening, catching the big chicks and the Maran was so easy.

Catching the others - not so much.

One of the araucanas snatched a worm, but wouldn't eat it while I was carrying it.  I stood him/her in the mealworm box and he flicked the worm fully into his beak straightaway.

Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

..and other crappy things

Now that the parcel had vbeen delivered, I rushed outside to see the chicks.

I'd put the outside Hen on at lunchtime, in case the weather warmed up enough to get the chicks out for a bit.  It was probably warm enough to get them out for an hour.

I opened the door to the brooder, and started to catch the chicks. I catch the big ones first, putting then in a cardboard box to bring outside.  I catch the smaller ones in a separate trip.

When I leant down to pick up the first chick I saw, to my horror, a dead chick.

One of our own, home hatched ones.  The yellow one, offspring of Nora or Batty.

I suppressed a little shriek.

I carried on collecting the chicks, two trips and they were all outside.  I then went to get the body of the poor chick that died.  No obvious cause.  It was partially under the Hen, partially out;  no sign of trauma or attack.
No funny leg positioning or anything.

I've no idea what happened.

Poor little soul.

RIP yellow chick (left)

Missing parcels.....

My eagerly awaited parcel containing a couple of reels of thread (and some needles and some stabiliser) arrived, bang on time.  It also arrived just in time, as I had this morning run out of one of the colours. The supplier had very kindly rushed the order through for me.   When I ripped open the envelope, one of the reels was the wrong colour.

Fortunately, the one I needed was the right one.  A quick instant message with the supplier, and a fresh reel was posted for tomorrow.

I wasn't worried. She's never ever let me down before, and it was an easy mistake to make. So easy that I had had to check it wasn't my mistake in the ordering.


On Friday, I ordered some beef from a really great online supplier, Pipers Farm.  One of the (many) things I like about them is that they have morning deliveries, which is very important when you're buying such highly perishable food. I selected today as the delivery day.

I waited in all morning.  At 12.15, the beef hadn't arrived. I contacted the company, just in case there had been a dispatch problem.  Nope.  It had veen dispatched.  Their carrier told them that I had no answered the door, and so they had left the parcel with my neighbour at number XX. 

This was rather odd.

Firstly, I hadn't gone out so why would there have been no answer?

Secondly,  if a delivery man didn't get an answer from my door, it seemed highly unlikely that they would randomly try number XX.   My immediate neighbours, both sides, were in.  The next-but-ones, either side, were both in.   XX is actually a flat in a small block, quite a few doors away from me.

I did, however, knock and see.  And then I tried all the doors in between.  And then two doors the other way.  No delivery.

I phoned Pipers Farm back. I explained what I'd done, and asked them to check with the courier in case he had left it at the wrong road.  They contacted the carrier, then came back to me to say that the delivery man might have got the number wrong, but he definitely left it. In fact, he would come in half an hour to collect it from the place he left it, and deliver it to me personally.

I waited.  I tried to keep watch, as I was curious to see which number he had left it with (whilst believeing that he'd actually gone to the wrong road).   I gave him extra time for traffic.  And extra time for discovering that he had gone to the wrong road.

I didn't risk going out - not even to the shed to check on the chicks.

After an hour and three quarters, I phoned back.

At 16.30 the van arrived with my parcel.  He had left it at another road, in the next village.


On Thursday, I ordered some extra doors from Omlet and paid for next day delivery.  It turned out that "next day" translated into "Monday", which seemed a bit odd... but I didn't query it.   Of course, nothing turned up yesterday.

I waited until mid afternoon today,  and then phoned them to find out what had happened.  Turns out the order hadn't been dispatched yet as one of the items wasn't in stock.

Normally, I would bite my tongue and just accept that sometimes things go wrong.   It's been a crap day for deliveries though, and so I asked why it was that no one had contacted me to say that there was a problem.
"Good question!" was the response I received,  and the lady on the phone said she would find out what had happened/was happening and would phone me back.

Apparently it was a system problem. The system said "out of stock", but that wasn't true.  The warehouse didn't tell customer service, so customer service didn't tell me.  It's too late to send it today now, so it will be sent tomorrow and will be with me on Thursday.

There really wasn't any point in getting cross with the girl on the end of the phone, and nothing would be achieved by complaining so I thanked her for sorting it out.

I am going to stop giving companies leeway - waiting an extra day, just in case. If I'd phoned them yesterday, or this morning, then I would have it tomorrow.


On the plus side, my Living with Birds order, containing a different type of squirrel proof feeder,  arrived as next day delivery without a hitch.

So it isn't all bad.

More rabbit

DH came back from parent-sitting on Saturday.  Later that afternoon, he was busy in the garden: sorting out the greenhouse, harvesting the garlic, etc etc.  He spotted something big and brown out of the corner of his eye, and came in to tell me he needed to collect a rat trap from the allotment.

The bunny reappeared on Sunday.

This was again courtesy of Wash, who tried to sneak his prize in without us noticing.  He left it go in the hall, and DH and I spent a farcical couple of minutes trying to catch it.  It was unharmed.

It was, presumably, the "rat" that DH thought he saw.  We don't have any other wild bunnies in the garden, so we decided to let it go on the recreation ground.  We're assuming that's where Wash had caught it originally.

I hope it's OK.  It certainly hasn't reappeared.

Hearing a ruckus and fearing that Izzy was having a fit,  DH got up at 3.30 to see what was going on.  It wasn't Izzy, it was a mouse.

Wash is very good at catching things, but he's not very good at keeping them (or killing them). I'm a little bit ashamed that I am proud of his ability,  although of course I wish he wouldn't do it.  At least with the mice, there are plenty of them and they reproduce quickly.  I really hate (and am not in the least proud) if and when he catches birds. Apart from, perhaps, his attempts to catch pigeons.

It turned out that Izzy had had a fit as well, but we couldn't see it on either camera.  She's having them in a slightly different place now. I need to leave a light on I think, then we will at least see the shadows of it.
This is her 3rd fit in 4 days, and I would have thought that the antibiotics would have kicked in by now. (The antibiotics are to resolve her urinary infection; the urinary infection is preventing absorption of the phenobarb which prevents her fits).

DH caught the mouse and released it over the fence.  It hasn't reappeared yet, so I'm hoping it got away.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Rabbit, rabbit

Izzy had a fit last night at about half past midnight.  I heard her cry, so I got up and sorted her out.  i went back to bed but kept waking up. I got up at 5am to make a cup of tea.

A bit later, I found what I assumed was a very tiny amount of watery chicken poo (although the poo was a bit odd) by the french windows. I was puzzled. I cleared it up, and went off to have my shower.

Later, I sat down at the computer to check the camera feeds to see if Izzy's fit was on camera.  It was. Good.  I noticed a lot of other activity in the middle of the night, so I started to watch the beginning of each recording, just in case it was another fit.  I expected to see Wash coming in and out.

I did see Wash coming in.  He had caught something ENORMOUS, so big he had to hold his head right up to keep it off the floor.   Was it a rabbit?  Or a giant rat?  Or, what the heck was it???  The stupid cat let go and walked off.  Whatever it was sat still for a split second, then bolted , pursued by a ginger cat.

The ensuing video clips showed the saga of Wash catching it, and carrying it from, say, the kitchen to the hall.  Then it came running back into the kitchen (just a blur on the camera - was it a squirrel??)  followed by the cat. Then it ran back into the hall, followed by the cat; then the cat had caught it and carried it back to the hall. There were then lots of videos of Wash looking for the lost prize. Then videos of me getting up to make tea.

DH was away. I emailed him one of the videos and asked him to confirm what it was.   Meanwhile, I watched the other camera to see it from the other room.  DH confirmed it was a rabbit, so I began to search the hall for it. I'd asked DH's advice on what to do if it was injured.  I found bunny currants, but no bunny.  I moved everything out from under the stairs, dreading finding an injured rabbit.  No bunny (but I hoovered under there while I was at it).  I was puzzled.

I pulled out the pull-outable things in the kitchen.  No bunny.   I went back to the camera, and started to watch all the subsequent videos, which I had assumed were triggered by my movements.  I watched myself carrying washing, making tea... and then I saw the bunny rabbit run out of the hall into the kitchen, while I was in the utility room.  Switch cameras, there it was.   Then it ran back to the hall.  But it wasn't in the hall, I'd emptied it. Where was it?

I watched video after video. Lots of videos of Wash looking for the rabbit. Videos of me making tea etc.  It must have gone into the living room!?  I pulled out everything in the living room. Every time I moved something, I expected to find an injured bunny in need of despatching.  I really, really  didn't want to find it. 

No rabbit.  Had it gone upstairs? Oh god. The floor in the bathroom is up. If it gets into the floorboards, I'll never find it.

And then I saw  it on the video.  Running across the kitchen (again) but the video jumped and the rabbit literally disappeared.  Back to the other camera, could I see it entering the hall again?  Yes!   It even obligingly stopped at the threshold of the hall, obviously considering which way to run - straight back into the hall, left into the living room, or right into the utility area. #

Then I saw myself looking for it, whilst on the phone to my husband, so it wasn't that long ago.   Then it went back into the kitchen.  It didn't cross the kitchen again. and by this time I had had the french doors open.  I guessed it had gone outside.

I accessed the outside cameras.  The door was open so it blocked my view - but I did see that Izzy was lazing in a trough by the back door...and then she ran.  That must be it.  I looked at the other garden cams, and eventually I saw it. A blur being chased by a while cat, round the pampas grass and back!  Honestly, if I set it to Benny Hill music, it'd be almost hi-larious.
Izzy didn't catch it.
I'm pleased that the bunny bested the cats.
And i'm even more pleased it isn't in the house.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Self Service

I'm in big trouble....or I will be when DH sees this blog post.

I've been feeling sorry for Gloria. She was the Girl I brought back from the Allotment to keep fox-attack survivor Poppy company.  Poppy went broody a while ago, and poor Gloria has been on her own.

I've been giving her free access to the whole garden, and I've been trying to spend time with her.  This has been good in that she's now much happier (well, much less horrified) when I stroke her, and she come and stands by the open back door so we can chat. Obviously corn has had a big part to play in this.

Today I discovered this:

In case you can't quite work out what you are looking at, maybe these two pics will help

Gloria has seen where I keep the corn pot, and has now flown up to help herself.

I am in B I G  T R O U B L E.

Monday, 15 June 2015


Poor Izzy has had several fits recently.

She had one (plus a subsequent petit mal) last Friday, and then another one this morning.   Luckily we had a Vet appointment today anyway for her monthly B12 injection, so we talked about her fits and whether she might have an infection.

The Vet did some tests and poor little baby does have a really severe urinary infection.  

I was relieved and actually let slip a "that's great, thank goodness".

I was relieved because urinary infections interfere with the epilepsy medication,  so having one present was likely to explain the recent episodes
An antibiotic injection then, as well as the B12.   I asked what we could do to try and prevent the infection - being a cat the obvious things (stop wearing tight clothes,  avoid bubble baths, avoid scented cleansers) don't really apply.  The practical things, like getting her to drink more, are easier said than done.  However, he did say we should make sure her toiletting area is raked and maybe screened might be worth trying.  We'd already tried a litter tray, and she won't use it unless she's locked in.

New mummy

It's been a stressful couple of days.

Firstly, I've been a little on edge over the new chicks and whether they would be OK. There wasn't any obvious nastiness.  We did see a bit of pecking, and I was concerned that the teenytinies might accidentally get injured, and then if blood was drawn there might be a frenzy.  (Remember Hannibal the Cannibal?)

The teenytinies did end up spending a fair bit of time in their sectioned off area.  We removed the lid as  was concerned it was getting too hot,  and we removed the cardboard from the entrance.  I think they were just exhausted with all the change and, also, teenytinies do tend to sleep a lot.

I put in a third feeding and watering station, just in case.

I installed a baby monitor so that I could hear if there was any trouble.  I also popped in frequently. For the first 24 hours, the newbies slept a lot, or were together-ish,  slightly separate from the others.   When they were awake, they were mixed in.

Then I went in and found all the chicks sleeping in 2 piles, with a mix of chicks in each pile.  Since then I find them all over the place, and there doesn't seem to be any trouble.  The teenytinies do still sometimes pop under the hen in their safe area,  but usually they are wandering around the brooder, or are sitting under the other (higher) hen with some of the others.

They are so tiny and so fast! The Araucanas look like penguin chicks.

I waited until last night to pick the newbies up for the first time.  I wanted them to get over the stress of the move and being put in with a load of strangers first.

If the weather is hot tomorrow, then they'll all be going out together for a while.  I've bought another electric hen to use outside, because it's such a faff undoing some of the shed ones and setting it up outside, then bringing it back in.  I hope it arrives tomorrow.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Taking risks

We knew after 7 days of incubating, at first candling,  that we didn't have any baby Normans.

I started to contact breeders (of the breeds on my 'wish list')  to see if they had any eggs hatching around the same time as ours.  I knew from the Norman experience that it is possible to introduce chicks of a slightly younger age to other chicks,  but I wasn't sure what the limit was on ages.

Eventually I found a breeder about an hour from me who potentially had 3 of the breeds I wanted, with their hatch being due 1.5 weeks after ours.  I lodged my request and waited.

The reason I wanted to raise all the chicks together was (a)  any that turned out to be boys, and any 'spare' girls, could all grow together and go to the allotment together.  Any 'spare' girls would bring diversity to the allotment flock;  we might even consider keeping one of the boys, to cross with our current ladies.   And (b) our garden grass management means that we can give one area over to one load of chicks and if they trash it, it has time to recover before next year;  we don't want to put a second hatch on the same patch of grass in the same season.

It all turned out to be a bit academic. The chosen breeder very sadly had a problem with their incubator.   However, they had another hatch due a week later, which had some of our preferred breeds in. This would mean there was a 2.5 - 3 week gap.  Was this too much?

DH and I discussed what to do.   Did we risk it?  Or should I just wait until next year.

Then Poppy went broody, and poor Gloria was on her own.  Poppy is an exceptionally broody girl, this would not be her only period of broodiness.  I decided to risk it.

The risk taking didn't stop there.

We had tested that we could run the incubator off a spare car battery and inverter,  and we went to collect our chicks this morning.  I already knew that one of he breeds I wanted wasn't available,  and the breeder had a gut feeling that the two hatchlings of another were boys.  I already knew that we would only be getting 3 chicks, instead of the 8 (2 each of 4 breeds) I had originally planned.

The place was lovely. The birds were well kept, each breed in a separate pen with no way of getting mixed.  It was clean, smelt fine, the birds looked healthy.  We were happy with the 3x4 day old chicks.   And then on impulse,  I picked 2 slightly older chicks, probably 2 weeks old.   So we brought home 5 chicks, 3 teeny tiny ones, and 2 tiny ones.

We transported them in the incubator. We had thought about using the spaceship brooder,  but decided that the incubator temperature was more easily controllable. Although the journey home took less than an hour, we stopped en route to make sure they were OK.

When we got home, I moved the incubator into the kitchen while we finished setting up in the shed.
TinyTinies: 2 lav araucana and an Appenzeller.   Tinies:Wyandotte and Cuckoo Maran

More risks.

Our biggest risk was that we weren't keeping the newbies in a completely separate brooder. Instead, we had enlarged (doubled the size) and separated the existing brooder.   We had 2 electric hens, at different heights,  we had the heat lamp lowered and more at one end.  We had separate feeders and drinkers.   If our new chicks are carrying anything,  it will spread to the other chicks.

After a discussion, we decided to put the 2x2 week olds in with ours instead of in with the tinytinies. Their heat needs were different, and they should be big enough to cope with the rigours of our bigger chicks. We beak dipped them, they ran off and threw themselves into whatever the bigger chicks were doing. All seemed well.

We then popped the 3 tinytinies in the separate section.  They immediately started trying to get in with the bigger chicks.   We had a discussion , then took out the divider, and watched to see what happened.  All seemed well.   If we had had many more bigger chicks, I wouldn't have risked it.  Even so, I was concerned that they might need to get away from the bigger chicks. After all, at 4 days old they would be spending a lot of their time trying to sleep.

We then decided to put the smaller electric hens inside the top of the spaceship brooder, and to cut a hole in a newly made cardboard entrance. This would enable them to get in, but the bigger chicks wouldn't be able to.
The tinytinies end of the brooder

The other end of the brooder

I popped the tinytinies in,  and they wouldn't come out.  They looked dead when I moved the hastily made shelter....but they were just asleep.  How quickly I had forgotten just how tired they get at that age!

I keep watching the camera and then popping out to see what's happening.

I'm nervous that I've put them together without a period of quarantine ; I'm nervous that putting 3 tiny chicks in with 6 (well, now 8) bigger chicks might be a bit foolish.   I am, however, very aware of  the potential consequences, so I haven't gone into this blindly.   In reality, even if we kept them separate, we would probably accidentally end up transferring anything between the two pens.  And we've put in the small-entranced safe place for the tinytinies to escape to.

Of course if it does go horribly wrong then I'll be wishing I'd listened to my cautious side.

Wyandotte and Maran, having a nap under the lamp (tiring day!)

Friday, 12 June 2015

Fitting it in

Izzy had a fit this morning.  It's been a horrible month, cat-wise.

This is the 3rd fit she's had in less than 3 weeks.  The first two, 5 days apart, were because we'd somehow managed to miss 3 tablets in 2 weeks.    The previous fit was 12 days ago. We haven't missed any tablets since then, so this fit was a bit of a shock.

She's also recovering from getting her collar caught in her mouth (luckily it was a safety collar).

We're seeing the Vet next week for her monthly B12 injection, so he can check her over and, if necessary, do some tests to make sure there is no infection interfering with the Pheno.


A busy month for cards.

These are all quite high density stitches - even the "Dad" card - so I couldn't stitch them directly on to the card.

I used a double layer of stabiliser for the first two, then cut it out and stuck it to the card with Pritt. It was impossible to get it flat and unpuckered.

I guess I'll have to rely on  "the thought counts"

A father's day design (for my dad, obvs).  The letters came from Britt Designs http://www.britt-designs.com/Pages/DreamsofSpringAlphabet.aspx)

Then a "thank you card" for a fellow chicken keeper who is doing me an immense favour on Sunday:

 I read on one of the Facebook groups that felt works better.  Felt isn't cheap, but I did happen to have a few rolls (bought from the excellent www.paper-and-string.co.uk.  This lady is now my first port of call for anything felt-y).

I didn't have much white, so I picked a colour I had quite a lot of, and made this for my brother:
I trimmed a bit too close to the design, but there wasn't much puckering.    (The "I" is the same design as the fathers day card,  the other lettering was one of the fonts in my embroidery software).

The rest of my embroidery stuff this week has been related to a banner,  I've sill got lots to do so it may be some time before I get to post a pic.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Chicks - outside, and Gloria photobombs.

Today, at last, the weather was hot enough and still enough to put the chicks outside.

They had been outside once before, a few days ago, but the weather in between then and now has been horrible.

They are currently in a small area (don't want to overwhelm them with too much space yet); they have an electruc hen in the corner,  a dust bath, a swing (which they haven't discovered yet) plus of course food and water.

Gloria, the girl who came back from the allotment to keep Poppy company,  has been a bit lonely lately.  Poppy has gone broody, and so Glo is on her own a bit.   I've been letting her have the run of the garden so she can come and see me.

She was fascinated by the chicks today.  Either that, or she was fascinated by their food and was trying to work out how to get in.

She spent a lot of time munching the grass just outside the chicks area.  Then she started photobombing.

We sat together for a little while. She's very hot, so I fed her some cucumber

When she had finished with the cucumber, she went back to watching the chicks.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Hair fail

I went to a fifties hair pin-up thing.  Only an hour, learn how to do some of the classic fifties hairstyles.

I delayed going to the hairdresser so that the hair on the top of my head would be longer.  My hair needs colouring, but the curls hide a lot of the lurking grey.

A few days before the course, an email with a shopping list arrived.   A smoothing brush. Hmm. My hair doesn't get brushed, it ruins the curls; Pomade. Hmmm (Its made from a mixture of vaseline and wax).     Never mind, it's only one evening.  Bobby Pins - no problem.   A barber comb... I ordered the one from the link provided. When it arrived, I laughed out loud.  No way is a comb that fine going to get through my hair.

2 days before, another email.  Bring hairspray (and scarves if you wish).  I was about 12 last time I used hairspray on my hair, and that was because I wanted my hair to bounce the way the "Is she or isn't she?" girl's did.  I do know that Elnett is meant to be one of the best, so I bought that. It was a bit more expensive than the Harmony (or whatever it was) 38 years ago.

And I went along.

It did not go well.

Not their fault at all. They tried to help. I had an inkling that this wasn't going to go so well when they used straighteners on my fringe before we started.   I knew I was in trouble when the demo started, and I realised that I'd never "sectioned" my hair,  nor back-combed any of it, or anything.   (I haven't even used a hairdryer on my hair for more than 25 years). Ihave no experience of "styling" it to do anything other than what it wants to do.

My fringe was too short.      When it came to the side rolls. my hair was too curly.   I couldn't understand how they were rolling it.  Someone showed me.  I just couldn't get my hands to do it (I've since worked out where I was going wrong). 

The other girls styles worked really well.  Mine was a disaster.    I should have straightened all my hair before I went, and I might have had a chance.

But probably not.

I tried to straighten it with the smoothing brush...my god, the grey roots stand out on straight hair.

My hair smells of pomade and Elnett. My heated fringe has collapsed into a triangle the middle of my forehead, like a horse's forelock. My desperately brushed sides are trying to curl but are neither one thing nor the other at the moment.

At home, I stood in front of the mirror and eventually worked out what I was doing wrong with the finger rolling.. I might try it on my hair when my hair is back to normal.

I've eaten 2 Mars bars in a vain attempt to cheer myself up.

Actually that's not quite true. I ate 1 Mars Bar because I was feeling sorry for myself.  I then ate the 2nd one because I was annoyed at myself for eating the first one.

I'll feel better tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

CHicks 2015

The chicks are just 2 weeks old, and today I put them oustside for the first time - just  for half an hour.

Initially they were overwhelmed by the light, the noise, the fresh air.  Soon though they were busy nibbling grass and running around.  I put some compost in a kitten litter tray and put it in, and they LOVED it.

When I put them back in their brooder, I put the dirt tray in with them.  I popped out an hour or so later to check on them, and they were mostly sparko, with one of them asleep in the tray.

I've just checked the camera, and they are now wide awake and playing in the tray. It was hard to get a snapshot, they were moving so fast:

Friday, 5 June 2015

So us

My thoughts on seeing DH's card to me on our annivesary

"Clever Machine!"

DH's comment on opening the card I made him for our anniversary

Thursday, 4 June 2015


One of my reels of thread had thread dangling out of the drawer, all the way to the floor.

I didn't notice.

I did notice that Raymondo wasn't picking things up very well.  When I flipped him over to have a look, this is what I found....

I also found at least that much again wound round his long brush. 

Poor Raymondo.

Gripping stuff

A new freebie hair clip design was posted on the German Bernina site. It gives me a new shape, and also a way of covering a hairclip in fabric rather than just felt. I haven't tried that yet, I've had to order some more hirclips first.

I rustled up some clips for the chikdren of two friends.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


I have no idea what has happened.

Yesterday I sat down to cheerfully write a blog post to include a couple of my minor creations. I had to go out, and decided I'd leave it to today.

Today I'm in a right old grump.  No. This afternoon I'm in a right old grump. I don't know what happened.

Actually, I do know what happened.

I had a final piece of an anniversary card to make for DH, and one of the numbers wouldn't stitch out properly. The design was flawed, but it looked like rubbish embroidery on my part.  I was working against the clock - DH only out briefly - and I looked in my files for a replacement font.  None of them had number how I wanted.   In desperation, I created and stitched a replacement, but it wasn't great.

Then I decided to go and buy a font, but I couldn't find one that was perfect. They weren't cheap (in embroidery design terms), ranging from $10 to $20,  but most sites give you several different sizes for your money.

I got as far as putting a "not bad" one in my basket, but then I realised it was $10 for just one size.  I was supposed to get 2 free designs with it, but the checkout process would only let me have 1.   And I think that's when the Grump started.  I emptied my basket, and made the card with what I had.

And then I found that I had somehow managed to get a fold across the middle of the first part of my design. I steeled myself not to tear it all up - apart from anything else, I just don't have time to do it all again.

I'll post a pic tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a card I've made for my friend Sue's birthday:

Monday, 1 June 2015

Squirrel proof cages

...aren't always squirrel proof.