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Monday 30 May 2011

Goodbye Miss P

  Miss Pricklesworth (Miss P for short)
7th January 2011-16th May 2011
Miss P was an African Pygmy Hedgehog born into a family of four siblings and brought into the world by Kelly from Fragglewood Hedgehogs in Essex. We adopted her the day she turned 6 weeks old and brought her home in a cardboard box on the train.When we got her home and opened her up she couldn't wait to take a peak around her new home! 
Her main diet was Whiskers chicken flavour cat biscuits - with a particular preference for the yellow variety.
She was my first pet and brought with her so much love and affection, everything she did made me happy. Every time she ran around the park with her head held proudly in the air as she scurried off with her little legs, my whole heart felt light. She was such an incredible pet. And very intelligent too! Once she was shown a part of the flat or park, the very next time she was there she knew where she was. But the most impressive thing happened one morning when I was getting my breakfast. I don't have a garden but do have a little concrete courtyard and every morning she would run around it in circles. She could be happily left for 30 minutes and continue running without boredom.
That morning I let her out, watched her for a few minutes then went inside to get my breakfast. When I opened the front door of my flat to go back outside she was there proudly waiting outside and wondered into the flat as though nothing had happened where as infact she had climbed out of the courtyard, up some concrete stairs and walked through a corridor to find her way home. She casually wondered around a bit then climbed back inside her house.
I only ever got upset with her once, when I was really tired and desperate for sleep, she wondered underneath my wardrobe and refused to budge. I spent from midnight to 12.30 trying to entice her out, but she refused, so fed up, I left her and went to bed - 5 minutes later she wondered out of her own accord and went home.
She loved snuggling up inside fleece blankets but given a choice, especially in the early days liked to climb inside Matt's very hot and sticky shoes. She also loved his stinky socks! And generally loved him him very much as was always climbing up his back and around his neck making content snuffling noises. 
 Hedgies can swim and she also loved having a soak in the bath and a good paddle around. This is a shot from her first ever bathtime. 
Probably her most favourite thing to do though was hiding in the leaves at the park and munching on ants. 
She was a fantastic climber too and felt at home among the trees.
One morning we were watching her play and zoom around the park then in a blink of an eye she vanished. We searched the park in fear, high and low for 45 minutes and eventually found her hiding inside a concrete tunnel. We spent another 30 minutes trying to get her out, and when we did she was very happy and had obviously loved her adventure.
Miss P after being rescued from inside a tunnel!
She was always seeking out the next challenge so my messy room was like a dream to her. She would climb up folders, hide behind cushions, inside carrier bags, scale picture frames, watch me type on the computer and loved pooing behind my craft tool box. 
 Sadly in the end it was poo that made her life so short. She eat some mouse poo which made her very poorly and despite a few days of TLC and medication she passed away aged just 4 months : ( It is a terrible tale as although mice are very common in London we don't see them much, but it turned out the reason we attracted a mouse is because they discovered her food supply and were helping themselves to her cat biscuits and subsequently pooing around the entire flat. Before we realised, it was too late : (
On the day she passed away we took her to the park and buried her in her favourite spot, adjacent to the concrete tunnel she so adored. It was a small service attended by our neighbours who's rabbits Elvis and Priscilla she enjoyed playing with. 
Then we had a small wake were we all recalled our favourite memories of her - for she touched everyone who had ever met her.
As in life where she was so adventurous, her death became adventurous too. The morning after we buried her we returned to discover her grave had been dug up and she was missing : ( It was one of the saddest feelings ever. We eventually decided to search all the bins in the park and found her coffin which had been a little chewed by a dog.
So we brought her home and put her in the freezer until we decided what to do. We put her coffin inside a thick Ikea carrier back advisable because this prevents any freezer burn while the freezing itself prevents decomposing.
We buried her again today, properly so she can finally rest in peace.I knitted her a special blanket and Matt engraved a message on the back of a sequin. One of his 'stinker' socks also went inside.
Miss P, you brought so much happiness, laughter and joy, life is not the same without you - there was so much else in the world I wanted to show you but never got a chance. But I hope you have some good memories of us and look forward to seeing you again on the other side.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Tea cup land

On a recent trip to Holland I visited a town called Veere, in Zeeland, which on first inspection looks like a picturesque coastal town with cobbled streets, yachts and old buildings. Yet wondering around the shops I discovered I was actually in teacup heaven. 

Every store I went  into whether it was down a secret passageway or on the main high street seemed to sell the prettiest range of tea cups imaginable. 

 All the stores had their own unique way of displaying the teacups, it was like wondering into a sweet shop and being amazed by all the delightful colours and not knowing where to start.
 You can never go wrong with spots.
 And even if you don't like florals, seeing so many types looked very appealing.
 And of course there were attractive teapots to match.

 And even tea cloths...

Yet what was utterly strange was that I drunk approx 12 cups of tea in different cafes/ restaurants over the weekend and every single one was served in a transparent glass mug.....I didn't see a single teacup in sight, even when I order tea in Veere!  
How most peculiar......

Wednesday 11 May 2011

How to make a notice board

I used to think funky foam was really pointless but it's actually as versatile as felt with many  crafty uses if you keep an open mind. I made this project recently for a craft session at the Geffrye Museum for ages 5-9 years but I think it can be pretty much enjoyed by anyone, especially as you can theme it how you like and it can be used immediately. It's inspired by a similar project designed by Crafty Chica many years ago in one of her early books (more on that to come in a future blog post!):
What you need:

  • A4 sheets of funky foam/neoprene (I got a pack of 10 for £1 in Poundland)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Pencil
  • PVA glue and applicator
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Ribbon
  • Something circular to drawn around

 1. Start with three pieces. Tape the front piece to the middle section using strips of double- sided tape ensuring all the edges match up neatly.
2. Before you attach the back piece, staple one piece of ribbon across it to create the hanger and then close the three pieces with tape or staple for extra security. Three layers gives you enough thickness so pins don't go through, you can use a 4th if you really want to but I've found that's not necessary. 
 3. For this floral design I drew round a circular coaster lots of time in different colours. 
 4.  I then freehand drew flower shaped using the parameters of the circle and then some smaller flowers and circle shaped for the centres. These were all glued around the edge of the  board to create a decorative boarder. You can cut the foam to whatever shape you like.
Leave it to dry. It's ready to stick some drawing pins in and hang on your wall. 

A super quick useful craft project that everyone can make use of!

Top tips:

  • Neoprene is available in bigger sheets so you can make larger boards
  • Make one for a housewarming gift for a friend
  • Make in colours that suit your home
  • Glue on sparkles or add stickers, feathers....whatever you fancy to personalise it to your taste