Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Snail Mail delivers Rabbit Love (worldwide)

Arabella and I are rather partial to the sound of snail mail coming thru the letter box.

More often than not it is treats for her and Wesley, supplies for me and bills to keep the home in good order.

But today we both got a delightful surprise when the same letter was for BOTH of us!

I support the BUAV, a UK based charity who's vision is to create a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals.
Count me in! I support them wholeheartedly!
and I receive their newsletters by snail mail and today in the mail was the latest issue ....

Arabella and I opened it together - Arabella was catching the warm spring rays - and after reading the first page and turning the second - who should we see? but ..

the Princess herself!! Arabella!!

WOW! did we both fall over in astonishment! I sure did!

Arabella took it much more calmly than me and proceeded to read thru the article.

It's all about the Bun Blog Pledge I started a month ago to highlight the plight of labs animals in the EU, and the cosmetics industry trying to delay a ban on these experiments! (why? just crazy! - 1 good reason to avoid the companies and outsourced labs testing for these commercial giants)

Arabell said that the only type of bars on a rabbit should be those made by the sun's rays. I agree.

we were delighted to see a photo of Arabella there with her friend Humphrey from Cottontails!

Then after we had finished reading and smiling and feeling chuffed, Arabella turned over the page for us

and we had more to celebrate as our favourite supermarket Sainsburys is now BUAV approved on it's own brand cosmetics and toiletries! Well done Sainsburys!
As soon as I heard the news I phoned their public relations department to thank them.

I've been shopping in their stores for years because the staff are always friendly and always go out of their way, even for someone as fussy and particular as me, and it is never too much bother for any of them. And I like that! So glad they came on board to support the animals and make it easier for their customers.

Arabella is happy too because it means that I can now buy my toothpaste and shampoo there when I rush in every couple of days for her greens, carrots, turnips and kale!

This is Ms Rabbit when she first came by to say hello to us and help spread the word. (I'm the type of gal who likes advertising material, posters, tickets, adverts etc, so when I saw her I knew I wanted her straight away!)

Please take a minute of your time and fill in the SAY NO TO CRUEL COSMETICS online petition - it has 41,308 signatures already - and there are over 6 billion humans on earth - and good news! the petition is WorldWide - look for your country in the drop down bar.

(incidently the human population is forecast to hit 7 billion this year and there is a website dedicated to raising awareness about human overpopulation, Population Matters, especially in regards to endangering the world for all the other species ~ are we not all equal beings in this shared utopia? I hope to believe so)

billions of beings aside - in my life I concentrate on my two precious little beings here, Arabella and Wesley.

Arabella came into my life in August 2005 when I saw a brown doe with no name in a cage in a rat rescue centre one hours drive up North from here. She had been locked up in a hutch her whole life and was now thankfully at the rescue centre, waiting for me to take her home and into my heart.

She has been a good bun - she is an angel, and I absolutely love her to bits and centre my whole life around her. I chose rabbits instead of children, and I'm blessed to have two beautiful human nieces as well.

Now that she is at least 6 1/2 years old, maybe a little older, (older than my nieces!) she has been showing signs of bad arthritis in her hind quarters. We've been looking for a solution to work since 2009 and tried a few things. We are into mother nature cures and remedies like homeopathy and herbs and stuff like that.
So I recently bought 2 types of magnetic products for her to try.
That small pad I'm holding has super strong Neodymium magnets in it that actively help the cells and stimulate circulation. It's called The Senza and is marketed as a tool to help cramps - but I like to improvise.

Arabella uses her front feet to support her body nearly all the time now, and if she is not lying flat with legs stretched out then she 'hunches' painfully for a while. She can't put any weight on her left leg at all and a few times has 'stumbled' over.

The pad has a clingy side, so I made a cotton sleeve from old brushed cotton sheets

that way it doesn't cling to the fur on her feet. Her tail has disappeared too as her back has worsened. No more fluffy butts photos from us folks :)

I also bought her a less powerful magnetic pad to lie about on. It's called the Stress Buster Pad and every night she sleeps on it, and usually a few hours during the day.

I bought these pads online from Liz, and she was very attentive and a very lovely lady. I have had a real bad run of migraines this year, worse than ever, so I've been trying them too. (er, when Arabella lets me!)

Because she rarely uses her fleece lined kitty litter any more, I sewed up lots of towel / brushed cotton pads and I place these in all the lie-up spots that she uses during the day. That way when she does do the toilet then no fluid is left soaking into her furred feet.
Whilst the fleeces were great when she was more mobile, as her arthritis has progressed we have found these pads work great. One stain and they are in the wash and a new one goes down. The fluid is wicked away instantly from her feet and tush area.

I know she is in pain, and my heart breaks at this, but at least her feet are dry, she has plenty of fresh food and an unlimited supply of top quality love, 24hours a day, on call, at your service, free-fone, pre-paid, everlasting! (you get the picture :)

Plus she wants to know when her delivery of Myristol pellets are coming from the Colorado House Rabbit Society? We read that they have helped other arthritic rabbits and Arabella said she wanted to try some straight away, but it's already been a week - perhaps the snail is tired? and maybe the hare can carry the parcel faster to us?

Fingers, er, paws crossed we get them thru the letterbox tomorrow!

Meanwhile I have been flat out like the boastful hare in the Tortoise and Hare race - and been busy making these and

making these and

coming up with 30 stories for these named baby hares, all collared with their names, and

busy stuffing up some mamas and then naming and storying them! whew!
(huh? what do you mean storying is not a verb? - sure is to me! I'm nearly all storied out - only 40 more to go!)

My exhibition will be starting in a weeks time in my local library in Portobello, Edinburgh

it will feature about 40 baby hare and mama hares with stories beside them. After all - libraries are for reading (and looking :), so will be nice to have some of my stories for others to see

My mum has been coming down to whip me into gear! What would I do without her? I would be floundering! and she came up with a delightful way to display the stories next to each hare! ...

they shall be on scrolls, and unfurled, on unglassed black and gold frames, and their namesakes shall be near them! voila!
(just, erm, a few dozen to finish off within the next week!)
- Can you see Arabella supervising from her In-Out Lie Up?

Arabella as always, gets the last word -
'3 dozen stories, yeah, yeah, well when I was at the rescue I could tell you 30 dozen stories!' ...

... 'and hey! don't forget to sign that No Cruel Cosmetics petition! - put your paw print on it! ...
c'mon! - surely I have at least a billion blog readers eh?'

'(and one day Annette will eating my Myristol too, just wait till it's my turn to make dinner :)'

Sunday, 17 April 2011

quick! bag a card!

I love cards and I love bags ...
and if they have a hare or two on them, well, so much the better!

Mother Hare Muskova inspects my gorgeous Winter Hare bag from Lucy and gives it the full (hare) stamp of approval!

Lucy has an etsy shop LilyBiscuit where she sells her cards and bags, all handmade by her ofcourse and

she has a website Lucy Rebecca Watkinson where she has more of her art on display.

After a visit there I just had to have the 2 sets of hare cards and this gorgeous bag!

it was hard to part with this adorable hare in a field but my mum had her eyes on it! I shall have to get a replacement!

ofcourse every time I visit my mum I get to see it because it's on display. My mum, like me, keeps all the cards she gets. Or should that be - me, like my mum?

and I still have this couple. They are keepers!

quite a while ago, a long while ago infact, I won a writing competition run by Tamera and her sister Toni based on this etsy treasury with the prize being a gift voucher from Toni's etsy shop The BuckToothed Bunny!

Well, the voucher was easily spent, plus a little more, and I received 2 excellent quality bags from Toni.

There were no rabbits to be seen in the Bunny shop so I settled for doggies instead and on my run arounds I make sure to hold my bag 'picture out'!

here it is filled with apple tree branches, on it's very first outing, for Arabella and Wesley.

I got these from the Secretary of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society here in Edinburgh. He and his wife were so kind as to let me visit their apple-tree-filled-garden and stuff as many apple twigs, leaves and tasty branches in my BuckToothed Bag as possible!

Needless to say they have been devoured already with only barkless stubs left!

The RCHS was founded in 1809! Goodness, 202 years old! and did you know there are literally hundreds of different types of apples and the RCHS holds an 'apple day'? I didn't ashamedly! I've been whitewashed by the supermarkets but now I know better. Arabella and Wesley will be eager to visit it this year for 'taste testing'.

And one last non-card and non-bag point - if you live in Scotland and can hardly grow a green thing then rest assured that it's not really you, but the inclement weather here - this page on 'Hardy Plants' shows you the plants that will flourish under greenless-thumbs!
(hardy is the Scottish word for anything tough and robust - eg your teenage son going out wearing a T-shirt in the freezing weather - 'och! he's a hardy lad!')
(and for a few more 'Scottish words' check out Here - I rather like the last one, wabbit)

anyway! back to the bags - my second bag has a love heart on it with the word Love in many different languages

I speak Russian so I zoomed in on 'loobov' straight away, and I had a wee go at pronouncing the German version and er, a muffled noise for the Hebrew one ...

just perfect!

Tamera is a big rabbit lover like me and she has an etsy shop too, Tamera Herrod, and like me, she loves making etsy 'treasuries'.

I particularly love stopping by Tamera's Ts because they always, always make me laugh and smile!
Making a treasury is an art form and Tamera is very gifted in this arena.
Check them out, you won't be disappointed.

Another rabbit lover and owner, em, I mean co-habitator, is Diana from etsy shop QiPapers. I love Diana's work and when she unveiled these new old-cards on her blog a while ago I just had to have some.

(I had also been in the same boat myself, but on a different sea, ending up with something like 18,000 cards from my unresearched and over presumptuous marketing ideas!)(albeit 100% extra had been printed in error, so I got 9000 more than planned for).

Muskova approves of them, particularly the white rabbits!

For some reason one of each card never seems enough for me. Infact that could be applied to nearly all of my treasures.

and this is my other set from Diana. Love the textures! and I love the past years date on them. I'm not date fussy, or event fussy, Christmas cards at Easter are fine and dandy by me. Happy Birthday Son is perfectly acceptable if the hare is agreeable, thank you very much.

I was swithering whether to include this bag here, but decided to go for it as I love the illustration.

it came out last year, as a 9p recycled plastic bag-for-life by a UK supermarket I loathe.
Why do I loathe them? because a couple of years ago they ignored public outcries about their animal cruelty policies and still insist on selling caged battery hen eggs.
So in all the years I have lived here in Scotland I have spent less £5 in their store. (and that was all in one day because I bought 50 of these bags at 9p each as soon as I saw them).
I won't give them any more publicity though, I score out their store name at the bottom of the bag in pen and texters, and I try not to get irritated when I see actors on TV doing ads for them - do they not have a conscience?! or enough money already?! Don't they know that actors are 'acting' - not endorsing?
suffice to say it's name starts with T and ends in O.
Nice hare though!

so on a completely better note - and with full concern for an animal's welfare, I am proud to boast about the newest card to be stocked in the Hare Preservation Trust's online shop! I got my set just the other day!

This absolutely adorable card of a orphaned baby hare being hand reared by a fosterer is doing great work for the Trust which relies on donations, memberships and shop sales to keep afloat.

the leveret was photographed by talented photographer Sean Hunter who gave the image free of charge to the Trust to raise funds. Thanks Sean!

This is one of my favourite images of Sean's work and I could 'awww' over this baby all day long. I love that the feeder is wearing a heart shaped pendant, isn't that a lovely touch?

I have been the Volunteer Business Development Manager for the Trust for nearly 2 years now. In that time I have expanded their shop to include many talented artists, most of whom I met thru etsy, and raise awareness of the Trust.
I started a blog for the Trust and it gets updated occasionally. Depending on my own hare production activities!

I have plans in the works for the Trust, when I find a spare minute in my day between making hares and writing stories, and soon all the clothes will be from an ethical, environmentally aware supplier and I'm excited to say that Jane from etsy shop The Dog House will be doing our printing on them!

I'm lucky to live in the same town as Jane and now I own some of her bags! I've had my eye on the tiny treats bags for rather a long time, and I just adore the Tricks for Treats greyhound jumping thru the hoop on this small bag.

just how cute are those minature paw prints?? and I got to choose the numbers too!

Ofcourse Arabella and Wesley wanted to know why it was not rabbit foot prints on the bags instead - what's with the bun-poo-shaped toe pads they said?
Well, I said, Jane just loves her greyhounds Max and Molly but perhaps the Trust could get their own hare footprint pouches instead ? ... and that was definitely met with approval from my two!

so one last pic of that baby hare again! the sets come in packs of 4 - one to give and, er, 3 to keep!

cards - can I ever have enough? bags - always room for just one more?
Answers - No and Yes!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

HOT from Austria!

Arabella is delighted to announce that her photo-shoot was in Austria!

and she appeared in their popular, widely read magazine frisch gekocht - Freshly Cooked

as soon as the magazine came thru the letter box she ripped open the envelope and scoured the cover for her picture but only saw an egg masquerading as a rabbit, gulp!

then she called over her friend, Arabella-Elk, and they started to flick thru the pages, 4 eyes are better than 2,

but they got side tracked on some nice looking kale soup pictures, yum

then they came to a page filled with rabbits, rabbits and more rabbits ...

and they scoured the pages for Arabella ....

only to spot her in the corner - and on her side - gosh!

they peered closer, Arabella took a little gulp and thought maybe it was a mistake and perhaps it was that sculpture that has been usurping her at the photo-shoot, but no, ...

... with their whiskers touching the page, they could clearly see that it was indeed Arabella!

... on her side .. with her contents awry on the floor ....

and it was not just Arabella in a tussle, but a chicken had lost their head too ... oooh!

Arabella-Elk wanted to know exactly what had been going on in Austria? at the photo-shoot?

Well, Arabella began, I sneaked off to have a go on the red rocking rabbit and got it moving at quite a speed when suddenly the next thing I knew I was sprawled on the floor with the photographer shouting
'little bahnni geev me ahttitude'
'geev me beeg ears'
'bee my seksi bahnni'
crikey! and all I could see were flashes of blinding lights!

hmmm ...
they both sat there in silence for a few minutes then quietly admired the little foil chickens making their way over to help Arabella get up

and as they silently turned the last few pages Arabella was thankful that she never ended up in the carrot soup like this rabbit

Arabella and I would like to say a BIG Thank You to Verena at Frisch Gekocht for such a wonderful photo-spread! We love it and are delighted! really!

and I would like to say many thanks to Karen at Selvage Blog for featuring my very first Arabella Art-Accessory bag with bits of selvedge on it that Verena's editor first noticed and requested for the photo shoot.

Well, that bag was sold a couple of years ago so after a nice visit to the Chanel counter for some wayward ribbon I managed to make this one up in 6 days and have her couriered to Austria in time for their photo shoot.
Arabella is now looking for a forever home in the limelight with no rocking rabbits or flash photogaphy thanks! nor carrot soup either!