Sunday, 28 February 2010

Uh - Oh! Who's this???

Arabella found a new friend in her daytime basket!


All in luxurious white faux fur and looking just like a new born kitten - this is my latest Arabella Art-Accessory Rabbit bag!

Already chosen for a special person, this fluffy Arabella shall be on her journey very soon but before she goes she tries out Arabella's 'nests' - small comfy fleece lined and padded sleeping spots that Arabella likes to lie up in during the day and use as a guarding spot when I am out of the house.

The first one is this super wicker basket which I got at the local Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home for a £5 donation! I've seen these in fancy shops for £90!
Arabella likes to rip away at the wicker inside and nibble the entrance into shape! the she settles down to doze away an afternoon. Not today though!


and this one here is by the window and gives a wide view of the whole room so Arabella can keep a watchful eye on everything, even when she is taking 20 winks! though little fluffy is more interested in the window and is showing us her anatomically correct rabbit tail.
All rabbits have a small thin tail bone and it sits neat with their rumps. On a relaxed rabbit you will be able to see how long it is, the (usually) thick black fur on the top part and the long plush white fur underneath.



Fluffy has finished her window observations and is now inspecting the room. She has settled cosily into the nest (with a fresh fleece blanket) and is now waiting to make friends with the real Arabella!
As usual, all my Arabella bags donate 10% to charity. The four I support are on the right here and this bag is pledged to the BUAV - the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.
They work very hard to investigate, expose, lobby and publiscise the plight of the voiceless animals that are tested on in laboratories in the UK and around the world with a goal of changing policy so that future decisions may protect the sentient beings we share the world with.
The BUAV have an internationally recognised symbol of a leaping bunny logo to represent their Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) which assures consumers that these products are not tested on animals by the company displaying the logo on their products.
Products such as make-up, face, body and hair care products and household cleaners.
I have supported the BUAV for years now and only buy products displaying this logo. This makes my shopping easier as I can avoid certain unethical shops and brands easily and just go straight to the ones I know who are serious about their customers and their future in our changing world.

Though now I have rather alot more choice as lots of companies are signing up and adhering to the strict criteria!
I can recommend all the CO OP products from body and haircare to household - they are terribly cheap compared to their unethical competitors and their Chamomile Hair Conditioner is the best I have ever used. Leave it on for 5 minutes for a deep nourish, and only 79p a bottle!!!
I love the 50p bars of soap from sparks - great for the kitchen sink and regular washing and they smell divine! (sparks is Marks and Spensers :)
The BUAV have a handy little booklet that you can carry around with you so you can zoom in on those friendly makes. For a pdf download click here. It can also be ordered online.
I often send cheques to Kathryn Holloway and always receive a personal thank you email. I'm not a huge donator, nor even big but Kathryn still has time to say thanks and that really makes me feel appreciated. Though ofcourse I will always support them and the invaluable work they do for the animals who go thru so much - who never should have to!
Please make your choices ethical, even your bars of soap, shampoo, eyeliner, face cream, dishwash and toothpaste. Your heart will be in the right place and it's a nice place to be.
Arabella says thank you for caring!
~ now she's off to investigate someone white and fluffy in her nest.....

Thursday, 25 February 2010

A Delightful Surprise!

Even though I didn't have much time to visit many of the One World One Heart blog participants I did make sure that I visited the blog's of everyone who had left a comment on my giveaway.

So I was indeed surprised and very delighted to find out that I was a winner!!

Linda sent me this very beautiful and gentle print of a fawn and her rabbit companion lying on a bed of wild plum blossom . She knows about my deep love for rabbits, hares and deer!
It was accompanied by a gorgeous pink badge of a lop rabbit in a Peter Rabbit tea cup! Hmmm, my young nieces will be eyeing that for sure!

Thank you so much Linda!! I have been looking for a suitable frame for it and soon it shall be on my wall.

Linda has a very informative blog - The Briar Rose Gate, that I have been following for some time. I love her posts which show her deep understanding of animals and her caring attitude towards them.

Her painting above is of a fox cub at the Briar Rose Gate portal waiting for his mother before they take a trip into a magical world!
Everything about this painting exudes gentleness, hope and wonderment for life.
I have found these qualities in all of Linda's works and they can be seen in more detail in her etsy shop ArtWolf.

and befitting an artist who paints animals with such grace is Linda's own furry companion Prince!
Here he is wearing a flower necklace and playing ball!
Prince has his own blog called Poppy's "It's a Dogs Life" and he has taken over the editorial, publishing, writing and researching from Poppy, who is no longer here in body.
He's doing an excellent job and what could be more fun than seeing him playing in the snow or with his toys! though he also does very serious posts about important issues affecting animals.
Arabella is pleased to hear that as she was wondering whether Wesley and her were the only two spokesfurs out there!

I met Linda last year on etsy as she is in the Etsy For Animals team with me.

Back then I had done a post about battery hens being rescued and rehomed and the call for warm jackets to be made for them, similar to the ones above.

Linda made masses of amazing fleece jackets covered in hearts for these featherless girls and sent them off to Little Hen Rescue in England.
I was very impressed! considering my jackets are still in the fleece in one piece stage!

Linda is also a highly accomplished realistic portrait artist as shown so beautifully in this painting of an Arabian Horse called Shaheen (White Falcon).
She has painted more horses and dogs in this same style. The use of light is very skilled.

To me, owning a piece of art is not just about the aesthetics of the work itself but of the artist who created it.
It means so much more to me every time I look at my deer and fawn knowing that Linda cares and loves all animals deeply.
As an artist myself I hope to aspire to that postion with my own work.
Art in everyday places is very welcome! Especially on a handy tote!
Such a tiny fawn amongst the snowdrops.
Linda also makes sculptures and this one inparticular caught my eye. A beautiful Snowshoe Hare in winter coat!
I love the tassles and the black ear tips!

I'm still smiling every time I look at my print! because not only do I see a gentle fawn and rabbit but I see a talented and caring lady who creates from the heart!
Thank you Linda!!
and ofcourse how could I not have another picture of Prince with his flower necklace.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Busy - Snoozing

Arabella was busying herself today with her kitty litter.

She was having a wee poke amongst the fresh hay and shredded paper.

and Wesley was busy snoozing in his nest!
When I went in to see him he was fast asleep, flat out on his side and with his back legs 2cm off the ground!
I gave him a few ear pats and he made small peeping noises of happiness without so much as raising an eyelid! aaah bliss!
He was unwell two nights ago and we had to use Rescue Remedy, so I'm giving thanks that both are healthy and well today.

This little youngster is still in the nest but should be out scampering around in about a week's time.
No name yet.
Don't forget to enter the Raffle to Win an Arabella Art-Accessory Rabbit Bag.
All funds raised go to helping the rescue rabbits at the Buckeye House Rabbit Society.
The bag is to your right, at the top - ....
.... good luck!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Saved!

Arabella has just heard the news!

The three young bulls Pooka, Spotty and LessSpotty have been saved from an untimely fate by the generosity of 100 people - thank you!


Arabella is grateful to have a healthy, tasty meal every day and she knows alot of animals around the world in human care and those that some people have been abandoned and 'cast-off' are not so lucky.
So these three bulls will be getting fed year round in a safe, loving home. Jodi and Dan are buying in hay for them just now to munch thru as their pasture is rather sparse and hasn't yet got it's spring green covering.
If you would like to contribute to their feeding then that will be greatly welcomed. Each bull eats about 50 pounds (20kg) of grass/hay a day!
Whew! that's ALOT of grass! says Arabella, her eyes becoming bigger...

Jodi has an etsy shop This Is It where she sells quality eco friendly paper goods and jewellery and also an etsy shop selling Quality Craft Supplies and jewellery findings.

Spotty here with Pooka in the background already have very distinct personalities coming thru and Jodi has written more about them on her blog.
But it is obvious that Spotty is the very brave leader!
Here is the rather shy Pooka with LessSpotty.
My Etsy For Animals team, EFA, has a blog and they often write articles about animals in grave situations.
They highlight situations that we can all do something about.
Whether that be by donating cash, and even the smallest $1 does count, or by volunteering your time, or by spreading the word or by taking an active stance yourself if you see an animal in danger and being abused.
If you are too afraid to step in to help the animal then immediately call the police and your local animal rescue organisation aswell. In Scotland it would be the SSPCA. The police will handle the abuser and the animal organisation will will take care of the victim.
If it is a wild animal being abused then call the police hotline and ask for a Wildlife Crime Officer. Wild animals are on the receiving end of far too many persecutions and these crimes are treated seriously. If you know of anyone committing criminal activities against wildlife then let your local WCO know. They will welcome the information.

We all live in a very civilised society where compassion towards our non-human species is slowly being universally recognised and given equal standing.
Do not be afraid to speak up for those who do not, and can not speak English, German, Arabic, Russian, Mandarin or slang ....
thank you

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

... and the winner is ....

The winner of my One World One Heart give away is

~

KansasAmy

~
Amy has her own blog called Creative Kansas where I read about her and her soon to be husband! Congratulations!
plus a photo of her very handsome dog playing in the snow!

Thanks for entering Amy, your special Lucky in Love Collage shall be on it's way to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered my give away.
I greatly apprecaite your time in stopping by. Time is a precious commodity now-a-days and I understand just how demanding a modern day life is though I try my very best to lead a 'slow life'.
I managed to enter only a few giveaways myself as I actually was so busy over this period! When I have time I shall revisit and read thru all the blogs.
I have already met a few new people in this OWOH event.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Together We Can Save Them!

I am participating in the OWOH giveaway. Please make sure to leave your name in the post a few below this one to be in the draw. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking part!

One full day left to save these three beautiful sentient beings from being slaughtered.

Jodi and Dan from etsy shop This Is It only need $1000 now to pay for their lives to be spared. I have just donated $10 on the Chip In link, so it'll be $990 actually. In just over a week they have already raised $2,600! Thank you to everyone who has donated so far.

Can you spare $1, or $5 or even $10 to help the bulls?

or can you tweet this or blog this or Facebook this? to get the word out?

Above is Pooky. He is less than two years old and lives on Jodi's land with his two friends Spotty and LessSpotty.
When I was in the Australian Army I trained at a couple of bases which were near slaughterhouses. The smell of the blood on hot days was so nauseating I was nearly sick and I remember the dry, dirt paddocks. Put me off meat for life!
Here in Scotland I see rather a few road trucks with animals in them going to slaughter, my heart sinks and I give a prayer to Mother Nature on their behalf.
I can never disassociate the animals fear and suffering from the hygenic packs of red meat in the pristine supermarket shelves.
One thing that may satisfy those who like the taste of cooked meat is the many vegan meat substitutes you can buy. I tried one - but it tasted so much like meat that I couldn't eat it!!
I'm not vegan but I just don't eat meat because ethically it doesn't sit with me. I don't like the taste either.
Here is Pooky, Spotty and LessSpotty this Tuesday relaxing in a field.
I'm going to repost a comment from Jodi's blog left by one person who donated money to them - and I can smell the fear as I read it ...
"I had an encounter once with 3 cows who escaped a slaughterhouse in my home town. They stood in the middle of the street late at night and we stopped and I have never seen so much fear in a living being. They were shaking and covered in cold sweat. I just stood there putting my hands and head on them. It still haunts me to this day. Eventually the police arrived and took them back. There was nothing I could do. I called the slaughterhouse the next morning, but people just laughed about my attempts at getting these cows...Thanks for seeing that all beings deserve a good life!"

Jodi says 'We are saving these 3 bulls in memory of these 3 (and the countless others) who are slaughtered every day.'
The following etsy shops are all donating proceeds to saving them.
Do have a look if you wish to shop for a great cause :)

veganosaurus.etsy.com - donating 50% of sales through 2/13
mvegan5.etsy.com - donating 10% of sales through 2/15
holisticallyheather.etsy.com - donating 100% of sales through 2/13
auntflospads.etsy.com - donationg 100% of sales through 2/13
aktie9.etsy.com - donating 100% of sales through 2/13
lolalynn.etsy.com - donating 75% of bracelet sales through 2/13
leandogpottery.etsy.com - donating 20% of sales through 2/13
kimbascritters.etsy.com - donating 50% of sales through 2/11
oooohshiny.etsy.com - donating 50% of sales through 2/13
doxiedoodles.etsy.com - donating 50% of sales through 2/13
vegandogslife.etsy.com - donating 100% of sales through 2/13
silentlotus.etsy.com - donating 25% of sales through 2/13
jenoconnell.etsy.com - donating 25% of sales through 2/28
spiderblue.etsy.com - donating 100% of sales through 2/12
luniquejewellery.etsy.com - donating 25% of sales through 2/28
shae7d7.etsy.com - donating $1 for every $10 sold
gingercardco.etsy.com - donating 75% of sales
buttonanza.etsy.com - donating 100% of sales on 2/13
thank you to everyone who helps, vegans (my two rescue rabbits are vegan :), vegetarians, carnivores, herbivores, insectivores and omnivores alike :)

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Biscuits for Both - no tricks only treats!

I am taking part in the One World One Heart Blog Giveaway - please see posts below and to leave your entry for my free prize draw :) Thank you!


I was invited to my 'etsy' friend Jane's house warming the other week and decided to bake a present that could be enjoyed by her whole family - her fiance Martin and two rescue greyhounds Max and Molly. I have met Jane and her family before and it was lovely to see them all again.


Molly greeted me warmly as I stepped thru the door, as did Max and to a non-cook like me that is a great compliment! as I carried in my little tin of home baked biscuits.

(I'm sure you all know that dogs' noses are incredibly sensitive and that all dogs just love food! ... however .... I like to think that my biscuits were 'tasty' - just like Jane's Trick for Treats bag that Molly is sniffing)

I made some orange flavoured reindeer shaped ones dusted with icing sugar.
They came in three sizes - large (mug of tea size), medium (cup of tea size) and tiny (no time for tea size).

Max and Molly could share these treats too as they had all dog friendly ingredients in them and nothing that would make a dog ill. There are rather a lot of things that make dogs ill so I had to rethink my biscuits when I was considering the garlic ones, then the onion ones, then the chocolate ones!

I have used my reindeer cookie cutters only once before and I ended up eating nearly all the biscuits myself. I was pretty happy about that but it did occur to me that perhaps my cooking skills were maybe a little lacking being rather a non-cook type of person ...
My lovely friend Eline from etsy shop ElineOf has a blog called From The High North and quite often she has listed tasty sounding recipes on there.
I drool slightly as I read thru them but the process of gathering, weighing, waiting and prodding all seems so time consuming!

Eline makes the most amazingly beautiful treasuries on etsy and I have been in them often (Thank You Eline :)! and just now my Baby Reindeer watercolour ACEO is in this gorgeous one -

Eline is also a very accomplished knitter and sells both her knitted garments and their patterns from her etsy shop.
What better way to enjoy a bite of delicious home cooking than to wear homemade slippers! Especially this luxurious looking pair - aaah! I can just smell the biscuits and hot tea!

And because the colours are just perfect here are Eline's cashmere and merino gauntlets too.
Like short trousers that chill your ankles, isn't it nice to keep your wrists cosy too?

..... So I am going to be brave and post the recipe that I used - and my version of cooking it!
For all you expert cooks out there - please look away now :)
and for all beginners and 'toast is my speciality' chefs - read on -
I used my mum's well read, tried and tested Mrs Beaton's Cookery and Household Management Book printed in the 1960's.
I chose the simple Almond Circles
Ingredients are in brown and my version is next to it
5 1/4 Plain Flour - I used Doves Farm Organic White Bread Flour and I poured in 1/4 - 1/3 the bag in a medium mixing bowl
pinch salt - I forgot to put the salt in!
2oz butter - I used Anchor Free Range Salted Butter and I cut a 100g chunk from a 250g pack
2 1/2oz sugar - I used Sainsbury's Fairtrade Golden Granulated unrefined cane sugar 1kg and I poured in roughly 1/3 the bag
1/2 teaspoon almond essence - I wanted orange flavour instead so I finely grated the rind from a fresh orange and squeezed all it's juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder - I used Fiddes Payne Baking Powder Gluten Free and this was the only thing that I managed to measure exactly (!)
egg - I used Sainsbury's Woodland Free Range egg x 1 Medium Size
or milk to mix - I also used Sainsbury's value brand Soya Milk Unsweetened - maybe about 1/2 cup
- Directions -
sift flour & salt & rub in fat
(my 'sifting' was the pouring from the bag and I used both hands to rub the butter into the flour - last time I did this was goodness knows when!)
Add sugar, essence & baking powder & mix to stiff dough with egg or milk
(I poured in the sugar and baking powder & orange rind and juice and added the whipped up egg and mixed with a fork then after 1 minute used my hands to knead it together, then added the soya milk to get the dough consistency)
Roll into 1/4" thick & cut into shapes
(I rolled a chunk onto a floured work top, one at a time, and wiped flour on my wooden rolling pin then rolled it in all directions until it was about 5mm thick then painstakingly began cutting with my reindeer cookie cutters)
Place on greased baking sheet & bake in moderate oven 350F / Gas4 until lightly browned.
Cooking time 20 minutes
Self raising flour may be used if desired.
(I put them onto a foil sheet on baking trays that had been warmed in the oven on about 220degrees I think and after 15 minutes I checked about every minute after until I thought they looked brown enough)
I repeated this about 4 times until all the dough was used up and had many moments of panic as the hot trays came out and the new tray went in. It was rather a rush trying to time the cookie cutting with the just ready cooked reindeer and to make sure that the legs came out of the cookie cutter in one piece and didn't stretch as long as a giraffes. The lack of worktop space was a big problem but I managed to eat a few incredibly hot ones without burning my mouth to make some room.
After about 3 hours of this rolling, dusting, rushing, transferring and admiring I was completely exhausted and ready for a cup of tea and a reindeer (large size).

The little batch is now all gone and I'm thinking I may brave the mayhem again to make some more!
~
Just a little reminder for everyone stopping by - I have donated an Arabella rabbit bag to raise funds for the rescue rabbits at Buckeye's in America. The bag is just to the right and tickets are $5 by paypal for 5 (or more) and $1 by US cheque.
I will also be giving away 5 x $10 vouchers towards anything in my etsy shop.
You may even find a tasty reindeer cookie in with your prize!!!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

3 Bulls 2 Weeks 3600 Dollars

I am participating in the OWOH giveaway. Please make sure to leave your name in the post below this one to be in the draw.
Thank you so much for stopping by and taking part!
~

Jodi and Dan from Southern Oregon had kindly let these 3 handsome bulls graze for free on their land.
Pooka the brown one, Spotty and LessSpotty are all youngsters at under 2 years.
The other day the farmer was sending them off to get slaughtered so Jodi and Dan asked that he sell the bulls to them to spare their lives.

The farmer replied they can have Spots and Pookaa for $3600.
He has also given a two week grace period so that they can fundraise like crazy to get the money!

Can you help? by buying something for yourself, or a friend? from Jodi's etsy shop ThisIsIt
and the 3 other participating shops helping fundraise for her.
Jodi will also very gratefully accept donations by paypal. If you are able to help spread the word please do.

Jodi is giving all proceeds today, the 3rd February, from her etsy shop to pay for her bulls.
This spiral journal has the right sentiments - what an excellent way to jot down your thoughts and ideas, that would definitely keep me in the right spirit and frame of mind!

and for Penguin Lovers they have this Gift Set with Free shipping in USA. International shipping is $5 plus $1 for additional items.
Plenty of penguin paraphernalia to persuse! and if you need your daily dose of penguins check out the Edinburgh Zoo penguin webcam! UK daylight hours apply for veiwing.
Gosh! Infact it's 9.30pm here just now and I can see them scuttling about under the moonlight!

Another very useful notepad is this What I am Grateful For one, with a choice of 3 colours. No spotty or brown ones here, only tasty rose, golden wheat and grass colour.
This pad will keep your perspective in check should you feel the need to feel needy about something.

Jodi is graciously being helped by Susmitha from India. Susmitha loves cows and has done great work in protecting them over there!
Her etsy shop Veganosaurus is donating 50% from sales until 13 February.
Here are turtlecyclops mama Rose and baby Lily. Small, adorable and friendly! They have a story to tell you ....


Lynn from etsy shop LolaLynn is donating 75% from the sale of her bracelets in her shop section 'Save the Bulls'

This gorgeous looking set is actually one strand of peach tinted faux pearls, natural black stones and silver beads on memory wire. Understated yet classy!


and Michele the founder of Etsy for Animals team is donating 10% from her etsy shop MVegan5 until 15 February towards the bulls. Michele has a huge selection of varied items in her shop from jewellery to commissioned/custom paintings, cards, magnets and accessories.
This compassionate 'zine features a cover painting by Michele of 'Kissing Cows'!
Inside this Issue you will find articles on Diabetes and the Vegan Diet, Marketing Veganism, Recipe Corner: Friend-of-the-Sheep’s Pie Becoming Vegan, Making the Transition to Vegan - Animals Are Not Ours To Use, Disaster Preparedness, Aromatherapy: Clary Sage, Wildlife & Trash: A Dangerous Combination, Taking a Road Trip with your Dog, Organic Foods and Cows and Cowches

... wonder what a 'cowche' is?
Jodi and Dan have a dream and on their Twitter they announced that they have raised a super $800 so far in 3 days with such generous help. Only $2800 to go.
I pledge 10% from the next baby hare I sell to them to help save Pookie, Spotty and LessSpotty and to give them a long and safe life.
This jornal really says it all - Dreams Come True - and they do - just believe enough!

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Jodi and Dan are helping 3 bulls that are very special to them.
I want to thank everyone who also helps them save these bulls.
If every person gave $1 (or $1.10 because paypal charge you when you receive funds from someone into your account) and everyone helped to spread the word then I am sure the $2800 will come easily.
Please pick up that coin by your nightstand and pledge it to Pookie, Spotty and LessSpotty.
~
Thank you! - and don't forget to enter my free Give Away!