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Blog & Life 2015: Out With The Old.

6 Jan

I am now entering my 3rd year of blogging.

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My blog meets none of the blogging criteria of a successful blog.

But it’s my blog and a pleasure still to me as I never intended to become a ‘read blog’ nor still do I.
I have always used it as my personal muse to find the “good in everyday”.

In saying that I do however like the fact that others do pop, have a read and leave messages. This was a pleasure I never expected to have – so Thank You to those that do, despite my slack posts, poor spelling & grammar and somewhat dull wafflings.

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As mentioned ‘The Blogging Criteria’:

One of these blogging criteria recommendations is regular blog posts – fail one.

A second being combine blog with other social media – fail two.

I’ve had a huge gap in blog posts and twitter, Instead Ive been found over on IG. I’ve found IG just the right amount of social media to fit in with my schedule for the later part of 2014. But New Year – New Schedule.

I’ve organised and sorted many aspects of the HAF household over the past few months and one area that remains a shamble of miss matching posts and WIP is my blog. I feel I should give a little TLC to the poor thing which is serving me so well.

So first out with the old…

There are 3 topics which I have covered in posts over the past 2 years that have come to an end for me at least.

CPSH; Craft Photo Scavenger Hunt: I really enjoyed taking part in this. There are lots of monthly photo taking variations out there but I enjoyed the personal nature of this as it was a small group which I could actually enjoy everyone’s posts each month. Unfortunately I joined this at the end of its life really the original organiser had passed the torch on and lives got busy and the group naturally and amicably fizzled as far as I am aware.
So this topic is no longer a feature on my blog.

BHBC & CCC: ; Beaters Hut Bakers Club & Clandestine Cake Club: Again two things I tremendously enjoyed taking part in and pushing the grey baking cells and skills. But alas baking is not always easy for me as it requires a full good week as I have to shop & bake, then commit to a date a month in advance when I have no idea how I will feel, leaving me feeling pressured and letting people down. Which means I can not take part unfortunately.
But both local groups still continue successfully and with some very hard work of 2 lovely groups- much recommend.

Crafty Creatives #CC: I stopped my Crafty Creatives boxes as to be honest I was getting a little bored of the format and I didn’t have the inkling to either do the crafts or the time. As I stopped though the format changed and I was given the option to test the new format but I declined – stupidly. As I do quite like the look of the new boxes. This maybe something in future I choose to do again.
I have however in its place taken more day classes in crafts which I have greatly enjoyed too and there will continue to be blog posts about.

Things I’ve not quite finished, Blog WIP’s …

A-Z of Me: I started this with my blog essentially and haven’t got past ‘E’.
So *ahem* it is in my blog planner; oh yes my organiser has one [*Tick* one criteria of a successful blog – have a planner- I just have to use it haha], so 2015 will see more of The A-Z of Me.

WSW; Window Shopping Wednesday: I haven’t done a WSW for over a year.
My break was due to Window Shopping often turns into shopping and with the Wedding I had to resist temptation to house shop and concentrate on the Wedding.
Our Wedding didn’t actually involve that much shopping. I had a clear picture in my mind and found or made what I wanted with a little help from Family & Friends.
Instead of shopping a lot of pinning happened and you can still see all of our Blush, Gold & Navy themed wedding inspiration on my Pinterest boards [Serotiny_HAF].
One day I will share our amazing day on the blog.

I Quit Sugar; The ‘diet’/Life style of quitting sugar: Well I lasted the first 5 weeks of full detox then had my Bridal Shower & Hen Party.
A Bridal Shower Afternoon Tea Party & A Best Friend who is a cake goddess and ‘I didn’t quit sugar’. I slowly slipped down the slippery slope again.
In saying this we do not quiet have the same amount of sugar as before as I have never restocked some sugary condiments and such like. I have also continued to switch to no sugar brands of certain foods. My snacking is slightly different too I switched some snacks to things like rice cakes & nut butters and this was always the area which was a high sugar concern in my diet.
I hope in the new year to attempt this again as I did feel some benefits.

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So that’s a summery of the blog tidy & round up.

Blog Aims 2015

I aim to blog at least twice a week for now and increase my twitter communications again as I miss the interaction & knowledge to be found on twitter. I’ve found many a fab company or recommendation on twitter – not to mention twittering peeps becoming none virtual friends.

I aim to blog once a week on a positive good in the week for me, this could be snail mail, baking, a craft etc.

The second post I aim to do is continue to take part in Jocelyn at The Reading Residence, Word of the Week. I hope to make the link up most Fridays – Sundays.

The Reading Residence

My other occasional Blog Aim is to post about our Geocaching progress and have a bit of a catch up with this.

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From time to time I hope to increase posts with participating with other blog link ups as I have done in the past.

I think it’s all looking ship shape over here and ready for 2015 and a 3rd Blogging Year.

I look forward to seeing what the new year brings.

Sx

CPSH: September

3 Oct

It’s time for Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt and Once again I am late but I think it’s an all round quiet month so I haven’t missed anything.

This month I’ve used last September’s topics.

Something I’ve Made

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I made this month a matching flower crochet gift tag & keyring, for a letter writing ladies (belated) birthday present.

Inspiration

I’m not having a very inspirational time at the moment but our animals always help when I’m lacking in oomph…

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Changing Seasons

October Apple Season!
Worcester & Russet Apples.
I wish you could smell these beautiful local apples.

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They are destined for my CCC bake. The theme is Gluten Free this month and as all my cooking is Gluten Free I’m making mine have a seasonal theme too and making Apple & Blackberry Cake. (A recipe you will find on my blog)

Doodles & Drawings

I have recently started to get into Zentangles and this is a wooden postcard I engraved with Zentangles for a Post Gift for a Lovely Lady.

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Motifs: Music

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And that’s September.

Octobers CPSH host is Sally over at Diario.

S

CPSH: August

5 Sep

“I’m late I’m late for a very important date” as a certain white rabbit once said.

This months CPSH topics were set by Rachel over at The Awesome Lady.

I have actually been pretty stumped this month, as August was a quiet month for me and Ive been out of sorts. Mr S & I haven’t been on holiday this summer. Which now we are in September I am starting to feel a bit mopey about and I haven’t been up to much at all.

Anyway lets start Augusts CPSH and see how I go.

Something I Made:

I have been improving on lots of my making and crafting skills as you can see in my August posts.
I’m not sure what achievement I’m most proud of. Knitting my hand warmers, sewing following a pattern or just any of the fun things, like needle felting or baking.

But here are my hand warmers again.

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I think knitting them, correcting dropped stitches and finishing them all by myself has left me more confident with my knitting.

Inspiration:

Mr S inspires me all the time his such a positive person to be around that when I am lacking in inspiration and drive he helps me find it.

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He sent me these flowers over the August Bank Holiday weekend, which inspired and cheered me up a lot in his absence.

Adventure:

Mr S & I are embarking on the adventure of marriage!

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We got engaged on the 29th August & We have set a date of July 2014 to get married.

Drink:

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Cheers!
Thanks to Mr S’s friend champagne to celebrate.

Motif: Cameras

Oh Er Hmmm I really haven’t seen anything with Camera motif this month.

Say cheeeeessee or cheese & miceeee in this case….

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I tend to use my phone as my camera these days as its always with me and I always forget the actually camera. So I am using my camera roll as my camera motif picture.

September’s host is Ruth over at The Goldhawk Project

Hopefully I will be a) on time and b) have more photo’s.

S

CPSH: July

31 Jul

Another month that’s flown by which means its time for a Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt Round Up.

This month due to people’s busy schedules topics were not set so I’ve used last years July’s 2012 Topics as its all new to me.

Something I Made

I’ve had a go at lots of new crafts & continued with the more well known to me during July.

But one thing that’s proven a constant pleasure during July is #postcircle & our group #goose.
I’ve loved thinking up creative things for my letters.

So something I tried this month was making decoupage writing paper. As well as on a small wooden heart pendent.

Just one of the sheets of paper.

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Inspiration

Inspiration is also #postcircle related.

During all this glorious hot weather thirst quenching drinks have been high on the agenda.
Two of the #goose ladies & I discussed refreshing water infusions which gave me the inspiration to try a fruity berry mix I hadn’t before.

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It’s lovely I might add.

Ladybirds

I haven’t seen a single Ladybird this year, which is sad. As our native Ladybirds are in decline.

A while ago now I studied Ladybirds as part of my dissertation so I have a fondness for our native varieties.
Did you know there are 42 species of Ladybird classed as British, though some sadly are possibly on the extinct list now. I could go on all day about Ladybirds and Butterflies actually as they were also part of my project too.

I’ve hunted high and low for pictures of Ladybird DNA I had but they seem to be filed away. So this is my Ladybird Picture showing you some great colour variation in our native Ladybirds.

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From a very interesting book called Ladybirds, by the late Michael Majerus & Peter Kearns.

Art Deco

Art Deco/1920/1930’s are my favourite eras but yet I’ve seriously struggled finding anything around me.

So a little cheat here… Have you heard of the Mitford Sister’s well if not google.
Nancy Mitford the author of “Love In A Cold Climate” etc writes her books set in the 1920-1930’s with the girls attending ‘debutante coming of age balls’ well just let your mind wander to the Art Deco opulence of such balls! And if you like romantic classics give Nancy Mitford a read.

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I brought the pink copy from
amazon but the ochre version was found in Hay-on-Wye book hunting so has more of a fond provenance to it.

The Colour Blue

Blue; had to be the beautiful Blue summer skies we have been having.

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Here is to them continuing through August!

And that is my July CPSH.

Next Months CPSH is hosted by Rachel at The Awesome Lady, if you haven’t popped over to Rachel’s blog before and you especially like photography blogs do pop and see she is a regular poster always something new.

S

CPSH: June

1 Jul

I’m a day late with this months CPSH I fully intended on posting last night but it just got to late.

Anyway this months topics were set by Emma at The Gift Shed.

Something I Made

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Finally I finished my birdie garland this month!
Which now hangs in our kitchen and has amazingly escaped the kittens. I do fear one morning the curtains will be down and a kitten will greet me proudly with a flock of material birds.

Inspiration

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We hardly have a complete garden at the moment. With the odd spring weather and a few other things it didn’t get as sorted as we would like.
But my Alliums have put on a lovely display and these white ones have just opened up.
The different types of Alliums have been my visual inspirational view while I’ve been writing my #postcircle #goose letters.

Re-Cycle/Re-use

I have a re-cycle/re-use pile of things to do (despite Mr S’s eye rolling sighs).

Here are a few in this picture…

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This is my ‘craft desk’ my sewing machine normally lives on this, it was a friends vanity table and she gave it to me when she was going to chuck it out.
When I do the craft room I want to paint it turquoise or purple.
The chair in the picture was my first attempt at re-upholstering and painting furniture and the jam jars I am going to spray paint and use in the craft room for oddments.

Tea

I love tea! I drink it strong with no sugar and I drink to much in a day.

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This is where the ‘magic’ happens haha. The kettle and importantly the biscuit barrel – I’m not ashamed to say I AM A DUNKER AND IM PROUD!

Happiness

Life for me this past year has been the happiest time ever and this is the main reason …

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My Family So Far. I can’t tell you how amazing Mr S is to me & for me.
This picture I drew for him, lives in the study. I added the quote yesterday someone Tweeted it and I thought it very apt.

And that my lovelies is June’s CPSH.

Pop and look at the others great pictures; my favourites thus far are The Happiness photos; Ruth at The Goldhawk Project Happiness is her & her other Half’s adventures in “Black Betty” I love camping and the out doors. Then there is Rachel at The Awesome Lady Happiness; Pink converse she brought when she was 18 which have seen many happy days with her and continue to.

I think it’s important to hold on to the thoughts that make us happy and reflect on them when the not so happy days have the habit of showing their unwanted faces.

July’s CPSH is hosted by Cinders & Rain.

Thank you Emma at The Gift Shed for some lovely topics.

S

CPSH: May

3 Jun

So it was a busy month for the May host of CPSH as she got married and CPSH has had a break.

As I am new to CPSH I thought rather than take a break for May I would refer back to The Gift Shed’s CPSH records and follow May 2012 and use them as My May 2013.

Something I Made

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Earlier in May I took part in an excellent Granny Square class with Joanne at The Sheep Shop and I made these sample granny squares, joined and edged them.

Inspiration

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Marks & Spencer’s GIANT Chocolate Buttons.
Really are GIANT and even though they were large there was still a descent amount in a bag.
Why have I chosen these as inspiration? Well I think they would make great cupcake decorations and Chocolate always gives me the inspiration kick I need to get on.

Urban

Having spent a long weekend in Dublin, Ireland. I think it deserves to be my Urban.

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This is a view of the Bridge joining 2 parts of Christ’s Cathedral in Dublin.
The Old Urban; Historic Dublin and The New Urban; Cars and Road system etc.
The design of the bridge is said to be based on The Bridge of Sighs.

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Transport

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Our Open Top Bus Tour around Dublin and Look SUNSHINE.

Motiffs: Graffiti

Examples Civil War Prison Graffiti at the Kilmainham Gaol Museum.

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June’s CPSH is hosted by Emma at The Gift Shed I look forward to seeing what’s on the June CPSH list.

S

CPSH: April

1 May

Secretly I’m glad Sally at Diario; our host this month, is running late as so am I.

I think we are kindred soles in the late stakes by the sounds of it. It’s something I’m known for.

So on with …

April’s CPSH

Something I Made:

I am disappointed in myself it’s not a picture of a crafty project as I am a multiple offender of unfinished projects at the moment. But alas it’s food again, rather than baking I thought I would go with a new recipe I tried for our dinner last night.

Presenting “Gule Kambing”
“An aromatic lamb stew”

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The recipe is from this book that I brought hmm 2 years ago and it’s just looked nice on the shelf since, so I thought it was time to give something a whirl.
(It needs some extra colour I feel, but yummy wise it was good)

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Inspiration:

Saturday morning in the dark we set off for sunrise at the beach.

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We got to see the Sunrise and the beach, then it RAINED & RAINED & RAINED & SLEETED.
Regardless it was a lovely start to a relaxing birthday for me.
Which inspired me to feel all crafty when I got home … Which leads me to.

Rocks:

I posted about my rock/pebble/shell love a few weeks ago and when Sally picked this topic, I skipped and jumped with joy at my excuse to start another project with a reason to finish for a set date.
Still come Saturday I hadn’t started my pebble project and inspired by the beach I thought I would give it a go.
Firstly I couldn’t find the purple cotton yarn I especially brought for this project (complete mystery)
Secondly well …

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Meet Mr Rock. I had a play with some other yarn but this wasn’t what I had in mind. It did make Mr S and I laugh though.
Craft FAIL.

The Colour Red

My Red Tulips finally showed their flowering heads in April and the whole spring boarder came to life bringing a much needed up lift.

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Motif: Western

I declare myself a cheat! Or disqualified for this one. As its not technically correct.

Western was a great topic as it made me struggle and think- I liked the challenge but our home and surroundings are lacking the Wild West it seems and Horses and I just do not get on so that ruled that picture out too.

Which left me thinking literally and I came up with this!

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South Westerly but still WESTERN in direction.
I saw this earlier in the month while visiting my Grandparents.

And that End’th Aprils Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Over on at Sally’s blog Diario you can find this months other participants.
I love seeing what they come up with.

Just waiting to hear what is happening for next month as Emma at The Gift Shed (the organiser) has mentioned Jenna at Timballoo has just got married – Congratulations !
So guessing she is just a little busy at the moment!

S

CPSH: March

31 Mar

My First Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt how exciting!

I need to learn how to make the most of my phone camera I think and apps like Instagram.
(Though watch this space I’m looking into the possibility of a new eeeekkk camera)

Sooo….

MARCH CPSH

Something I Made

I have started lots of little bits this month and alas I am sad to say have finished totally very little – well nothing.
My pottery classes have ended till May so I have to wait till then to finish glazing, we have class sessions of firing and glazing so even when I finish a piece I have to wait for a class firing and glazing to be able to finish.
My little birdies have taken me a while as hand sewing challenges my poor hands in this weather and the same goes for my Flora Bunny who I hoped so much would be done for Easter but she is earless.
I’m completely stuck on her ears I’ve been giving it ago again this weekend with no luck. L helped me a few weeks ago but I lost the plot and had to unravel.

But! I have been making Cakes

Though I don’t have a picture of my fully finished Pre-eaten Easter cake (it went that quickly, can’t be a bad thing) there was a mini slice left this morning which I’ve taken a picture with the eggs I used to decorate.

Lemon Cake with Mascarpone & Lemon Curd Icing:

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Inspiration

I found a lot of inspiration on our trip to Nice, it really lifted the spirits.
The markets on the “Cours Saleya” and the old town were particularly inspiring. With the colours, smells and vibrancy.

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I was very inspired by the colour of these pots with the Ranunculus in them – I have pots like these I was going to chuck out but I’m thinking now I could incorporate them some how in the craft room.

Quiet

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Ok so how does this picture say Quiet? …
My first day in Nice, it was beautiful spring weather I had strolled through the busy hustle bustle of the markets and around the cooler aired thin streets of the old town where the sun was blocked by the romantic tall buildings. When I found myself heading up some steps (90 steps) to the “Colline Du Chateau” anyway after more strolling around the park I wanted to head back to the market area for lunch. So I took another route back.
The birds were twittering and the sun was shining and not another soul was about as I walked. I descended down some more steps and found a tiny hidden old wooden door to a nunnery (unfortunately the door was dark brown wood and in the shade so my photo didn’t come out) but opposite this door in the peace and quiet on the sunnier side was this mural on the wall, of a little girl and so to me this was the Quiet in Nice.

Beast

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In the park “Colline Du Chateau” I found these sloping steps decorated with pebble mosaics representing Greek Gods I think. Anyhow I take the ODYE to be Odyssey etc.
But regardless I just wondered what Beast this knight is off to fight in his armour?

Motifs: Numbers

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Ok so sorry if Nice overkill … But this was staring me in the face when I was thinking numbers; our flight numbers.

So that’s my first CPSH.
A Lady called Sally at Diario is down on the list for Aprils CPSH list if you have just read this and are interested.

S

The First Day of Spring

1 Mar

So today is officially the first day of spring! Spring has Sprung.

And the 1st March is also St David’s day.

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The Daffodils I brought yesterday are just coming into bloom another day and their vibrant happy faces will be shinning. Hopefully just like the sun.

The Daffodils in the garden are also slowly coming out.

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And other bulbs are appearing slowly. Unfortunately the garden is a shady one in parts and those parts happen to be the flower beds. So it’s been a long winter for the bulbs as well as being a wet one.

Today has been a wash out, I started feeling poorly yesterday and by last night was at squeaking point, by this morning I had no voice only this squeak and had a cold, temperature, cough, aches the lot.

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So what’s the done thing for ill people to eat – Grapes. Which have helped sooth my woes along with tea today.
As I was to ill to bake cakes.

While I have taken to my sick bed I’ve had a huge amount of time today to read and enjoy other people’s blogs finding some new ones along the way.
Today while I was reading The Gift Sheds blog I had the time to look into a post I’ve seen her do called the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt. Tracing it back to its origins and then back once again to The Gift Shed who took it on after the founder.

In summary the idea is on the 1st of the month the host posts 5 categories and throughout the month you take a photo relating to each categories and your life.
Then at the end of the month you post your photos in a blog post and let the host know.
The full rules and hosts can be found on The Gift Shed’s blog.

This months host is Ruth at The Goldhawk Project and I am really looking forward to doing this with these ladies.
(Their blogs are all very lovely and I’ve Loved their previous Months Photos)

So the categories for March are:
*Something I made ~ I best get on and actually finish something!
*Inspiration ~ which was the title of my first post and a draw to this quest.
*Quiet ~ I wish springs to mind.
*Beast.
*Motif: Numbers.

That’s me set for the month!

Apart from blogs today and playing around with WordPress this is all very new to me. I had a look for some new bedtime podcasts until Dr BC comes back to the airwaves with The Infinite Monkey Cage. The RHS have a new gardening podcast so I’m going to give that a whirl. Bedtime listening for me has to meet certain requirements, the presenters have to be easy on the ear, the topics interesting and sounds odd but occupy my brain so I can sleep; I’m the kind of person who has to be doing 3 things at once my brain is too busy, and it had to be long enough for me to nod off. Fingers crossed for the RHS.

This afternoon I photographed my purchases from yesterday.

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These little lilac beads were on sale and I liked the tiny roses in the centre.

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These little gujarati bells are for my birdie chain. Which is still at very early stages.

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Finally these tiny beads are for the little birdies eyes I’m going to try them out I’m not sure if they will be on the final birdies.

The birdies may be still on the to do list but tonight my head was a little clearer so I cracked on with the bunny.
I’m so nearly done, in fact this would be a done in the day project if you aren’t me it’s lovely and satisfyingly quick.
Tomorrow I just need to stuff the head and embroider the face, before moving on to the finale bunny ears.

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Most days our animals are in my blogs and today has been a quiet day the dogs been ill too and the kittens went out in the morning and only The Princess came back in at lunch which was odd as Parrot Cat isn’t even one for going out in the day. I was concerned for 2seconds until I found him fast asleep in their little hutch and was to comfortable to even come in until dinner time.

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At last it’s the Weekend and I get my man for 2 whole days.

Sx

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