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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Lots Of Birthday's and Lots of Food!

Hi everyone! I hope that you are all having a good week and that you're getting ready for the weekend that's on the horizon! We have had a couple of busy weekends celebrating birthday's here, so I am hoping that this one will be a relatively quite one!

Firstly on the Saturday of the May Day Bank Holiday weekend we celebrated one of our nephew's birthday's at my-brother-and sister in-laws. Luckily it was held on a day which turned out to be one of the only sunny and warmish ones that we've had over the last few weeks, as there was a bouncy castle in the garden for the kids. 

It was a lovely day spent catching up with the family, despite the fact that I was rather stressed when we arrived as I had been rushing around all morning trying to get the flat and food ready before we left, as I had the girls coming around to celebrate my birthday that evening before we were to hit the town, and I knew that I wouldn't have time to do it when we got back!

Luckily the girls arrived at ours a little late as we only just got back on time after dropping people off, which I knew would happen! But again I had a good time once I was ready and able to relax!

The third birthday that we celebrated on the weekend just gone was that of my sisters, for which went out for a lovely late lunch with her girlie friends on the Sunday, before going back to her and her boyfriend's new flat after for drinks and nibbles.

We then went out again with my family on Tuesday for her actual birthday to a lovely steak house, where the food was just gorgeous!

Below you can see the yummy chorizo, onion, and bruschetta starter that I had, followed by a medium steak with peppercorn sauce and fries!


Needless to say after going out for both of those meals and a meal in the week for a rare date evening with my hubby, plus attempting my first Shepherd's pie last week, I feel like I need to behave a bit this week both on the food and drink front!

Below you can see my efforts with the Shepherd's Pie, which I have to say went down very well with the hubby!


On the Bobby Bunny & Friends front I have been busy over the past few weeks converting my new "Mum To Be" and Baby Shower" cards into different colour options, print testing them, photographing them, and listing them on my Etsy shop. Below you can see my test prints and some of my photographs of the cards ready for Etsy.

As well as this I have also designed and ordered some Bobby Bunny & Friends flyers which turned up yesterday. I am really pleased with the quality of them as they look and feel more like postcards. Perfect for putting up on notice boards as I wanted!

Once again I ordered them through Vistaprint as I was happy with my business card from them, plus they offered the best value for money as I had a voucher for them.

Below you can see how they turned out!


I have also been working on getting my studio room looking like a studio room rather than a junk room! I am getting there, but there is always going to be clutter around when I am about!

Below you can see the progress that I have made so far along with the lovely sign that hangs on the door, which I also got for my birthday but that I forgot to share with you last time!

I can't believe that time is going so fast and that it had been nearly seven weeks since I left work already, time sure does fly when you are doing something that you love! I do have days where I freak out a bit about the fact that it is going so fast and that I am quickly running out of time before my redundancy runs out and I need to be earning more, but I am doing everything I can to make it work which is all that I can do really.  

On the Florrie front her grass has grown so very much in the couple of weeks since I last blogged, that she was able to have her first taste of it on Sunday! As you can see below you can tell from the look on her little face that she liked it! 
Needless to say at nearly a week in since she first tired it, it is now substantially shorter and may need to do a bit more growing!

The other Florrie first that also took place on Sunday was her taking her first steps on the front room floor, or should I say our rug as there is no way that she will walk on the wooden floor as it's too slippy! To be honest she was still a wimp when it came to the rug though! I knelt with her on the floor and she just sat there on me for a good ten mins or so refusing to move, which she never does when she is in her comfort zone! Eventually she did get down but only after a lot of coaxing, and even then she kept coming back to me for safety. I'm pretty sure that I could have left her on that mat all day and that she wouldn't have got off of it! She's such a funny thing! Like I say when she is in her comfort zone of the hutch, sofa, or our bed she's a confident little monkey, but anywhere else she is very timid. As for the ladder to her play pen, she still won't use that either! We can leave the hutch door open all day and she won't even try, and even when she chews the bars for attention she still won't use it the little toad!

On the picking up front we have now got to the stage where I have to dismantle the whole hutch in order to get her out, as the clever little monkey has got so wise to me tempting her up the top with treats that she runs back down the ladder as soon as I move towards her, let alone pick her up!

To be honest though even though dismantling the hutch is a faff she seems to be more relaxed with me picking her up from the bottom, as I tend to clean her out first which relaxes her a bit before picking her up. She's still not keen, but there has definitely been less snorting and squeaking going on from the hormonal little monkey.

As far as the nail clipping goes I have given up trying as she just pulls her paw away every time the clippers touch her nails and I am going to end up hurting her, so again it is a bit of a faff and stressful for her but it is going to have to be a vet job as it is not worth the risk. Again she seems to have got worse for this as she has got older and more hormonal! In time when she is a bit older we will get her spayed, as much as she and I will hate it! But it needs to be done, as regardless of her behavior over 80% of un-spayed does get uterine cancer before the age of five if they are not.

Lastly in the last couple of weeks or so despite us supposedly meant to be coming into warmer spring weather (not that we seem to have had much of that lately, regardless of whether the sun is out or not!) Florrie seems to have decided to grow a bit of a lion mane, or should I say a neck ruffle as it looks like when she is sitting! Her fur has definitely got longer and thicker around her face and her head more like when she was a little baby, but she seems to be thinning out around her bum again. To accompany this for the first time I am starting to find fluff everywhere too, so I think that I will have to hoover more often even if her ladyship doesn't like it!    

Below you can see Florrie taking her first steps on the rug, and her sprawled out in what we refer to as slug mode! She's such a long bunny!

Plus apparently what remained of Florrie's tube made a good chin rest!

Thank you for dropping in and enjoy the rest of the week/weekend, and hopefully the weather will be kind! x

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Easter, Bunnies, And A Birthday!

Hi everyone I hope that you are all well and have had a good few weeks, as well as a good Easter and Easter break! I had a lovely one despite having been quite ill with a very heavy and heady cold, which has taken me the best part of the last few weeks to even think about shifting! But despite this didn't let it ruin my Easter break as it was my first full one in about 12 years due to the fact that I'm usually tied up with work, so I made the most of it and had a lovely few days spending time with my hubby and catching up with family.

On Good Friday the day started with the grass box that I had ordered for Florrie turning up just in time for Easter, which I was very happy about! I had been looking into buying or making one for a while but hadn't been able to find any seeds or soil that weren't treated, so when I stumbled across the gorgeous grass box below on "Not On The High Street" from the lovely people at "Potting Shed Designs" I was really chuffed! Plus it also comes with your bunnies name on!
 
As you can see I think that Florrie liked it! 

So the seeds have now been sown within the last week, and this Sunday just gone they began to sprout! I can't believe how quickly they are growing now as after only two days we have a good few cm of grown as you can see below, so I don't think that it will be long before Florrie can tuck into it!


So as well as Florrie's grass box turning up, Good Friday was also the day that my hubby and I decided to venture into town for a bit of fresh air as I hadn't been out in days, and it was the first day that I started to feel a little better. Plus the annual Italian Festival which always runs over the Easter break was also on in town too. 

The Friday marked the day of the Ferrari parade and Mini's which we caught bits of this year, but we didn't watch it all as we caught it in its entirety last year which you may remember me blogging about. So for that reason I focused more on taking pictures of the mini's this year rather than the Ferrari's, some of which you can see below.


Easter Saturday consisted of us driving up to Croydon to see my hubby's mum, step-dad, one of his brother's, plus his Fiance and our little Niece. 

Once there we had a lovely day chilling out and catching up, which was really nice as I haven't seen my Niece since Christmas as they don't live that locally to us. We also don't often just get to meet up with them as we usually have the hubby's other brother's, sister their partner's, and nephews there too which can make it bit too chaotic to talk much. Plus as I mentioned in my last post I also had to miss our Niece's first birthday last month due to work, so it really was a well overdue catch-up for me. My mother-in-law also cooked us a huge amount of food as always, so we were fit to burst by the time that we left!  

Easter Sunday was then another chilled one this time spent at my parents, which consisted of another feast with my sister, her boyfriend and my grandma in attendance too. We also received plenty of Easter eggs, and spent the afternoon playing many games of Uno. Below you can see the lovely roast and dessert that we had, as well as my many Easter treats!

As well as Easter eggs I also had a bit of an Easter shopping haul of my own since there were so many lovely bunny bits about! I have been pretty good at resisting all of the bunnified things that appear around Easter over the last few years, but this year I just couldn't resist! Below you can see my collection Easter finds! 


On Easter Monday the hubby and I made our way back into town for the Italian Festival again, this time because the hubby wanted to see the Bugatti Veyron that they were going to have there for the first time. It's one of his favourite cars and he had never seen one before so like most men he was in his element and like a kid in a sweet show! It took a bit of hunting out but after watching another parade of super cars and stopping for a spot of lunch, as well as us stumbling over the hubby's all time favourite car the Nissan GTX we found it. Below you can see both cars as well as some of the others that we saw! Most of the photos come courtesy of my hubby!        

 The Bugatti Veyron! Crazily worth over one million pounds from new!
   
The Nissan GTR left and a kit car that took my hubby's fancy on the right 

A selection of other super cars that my hubby felt were photo worthy

Plus a pic of the parade that I took left and the back of an old car that I liked

On the walk back we saw some lovely bluebells and my first butterfly of the season. I also spotted a common blue butterfly just after this and have seen another one since, but they were too fast for me to capture!

So all in all like I said we had a lovely Easter break. The weather wasn't bad either, and hasn't been for the last few weeks. It's been very dry and we have had some lovely sunny spring days, but there has definitely been quite a chill in the air!

Below you can see the lovely blossom tree outside of our window that I mentioned in my last post in full bloom!

It really is truly stunning when it comes out like this, but the pictures never really do it justice. I look forward to it blooming every year, but sadly it doesn't last long though and most of the blossom is dying off now.

On the Bobby Bunny & Friends front my business cards excitingly turned up last Tuesday, and I am pretty pleased with them! I wasn't sure how they would turn out as I went for Vista Print in the end after having looked at Moo for a long time, but I just couldn't justify how much more they were. Below you can see the outcome!


I have also been working on some new designs! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen the Happy Easter design that I put up. It wasn't a card design this year but maybe in the future! I enjoyed doing it, but it did take me a few days as it is one of the more detailed designs that I have done as of late! I also struggled a lot with the hat on Bella bunny which got drawn and re-drawn many times until it was right, but I got there in the end!

Below you can see it as a sketch, work in progress, and the finished article!

As well as the Easter design I also had a request for a "Teacher You Are Leaving To Have A Baby" card, and as I need to build my portfolio at the moment I made a bespoke design especially for the customer. It had to be bigger than my usual cards as it needed to be signed by a class so I made it as big as my printer would allow. 

It was a design that I enjoyed doing, and I didn't struggle with much of it like I did the Easter design so it was completed relatively quickly. The teacher in question also doesn't know the sex of the baby so I tried to keep the colours quite neutral. Below you can see the result both as a sketch, finished design, and as card.


The design will also be going up for sale on my Etsy shop within the next few weeks in the same sized format as my usual cards. 

This weekend just gone was another busy one with us popping into town before going over to the hubby's brother's to see him and our nephew's so that we could drop off their Easter eggs, as we didn't get to see them the previous weekend. Once again the weather was lovely and sunny so we spent the afternoon having catch-up up outside in the sun, before returning home to got out for a meal with some of my old school friends that I haven't seen for a fair while. We had a lovely time but were pretty stuffed by the end of it!

Sunday was again another busy day as it marked not only St. George's Day, but also my 29th birthday! So I spent the day celebrating with family by going out for lunch to one of our favourite pubs that has the most beautiful views overlooking the south downs from it's garden, before returning to my parents for some Connie Caterpillar cake and another round of Uno!

I had a lovely day and was thoroughly spoilt and obviously there were lots of bunnifed things! Below you can see them along with my yummy dinner, cake, and the beautiful views from the pub garden!   


On the Florrie front the little monkey has gone up in weight again, surprise, surprise, and is now 1.9kg! She is all good though and has been continuing to like sunning herself as you can see below. I also made her a little toy the other day out of an old toilet tube which I stuffed with hay and hung from the top of her hutch, which she thoroughly enjoyed playing with again as you can also see below.


It was funny watching her play with it whilst to tug it down, even though she did try to cheat at one point by simply trying to bite it off from the string! She's definitely not stupid that one! In the end it lasted nearly a week before she completely wrecked it, and now all that remains is the string!

Our new approach to getting Florrie out of the hutch by taking the top floor off seems to still be going much better than me just trying to get her out from the door. Again some days she takes more coaxing up and down the ladder, but it's defiantly a much safer angle plus one that she can't try to pounce or bite at me from!

We did however have one slight bunny drama the other day though when I was clipping her back nails, as she wouldn't let the vet near them when we last went to get her vaccinated. I was clipping them with her on the top of the sofa as usual but when I went for her back outside nail she decided to jump off of the sofa as I was cutting it. Luckily I didn't get the quick, but I was a bit concerned that I may have damaged her toe, leg, or foot. Thankfully though all seems to be well, even though I think she is going to be even less inclined to let me trim her nails next time! So far she is wonky and has one back foot trimmed and the other not!

Apart from that the other incident was that the monkey managed to get her paws or rather her teeth into my hubby's laptop wire charger yesterday! I had literally just put her on the sofa and had reached to cover the wires as usual as I had forgotten to it prior to getting her out, but despite having shown no interest in them before she beat me to them! Thankfully it wasn't plugged it in but she was happily munching into it as if it were a stick! What is it with bunnies and wires! I need eyes in the back of my head with this little one as she really is like having a toddler!

I hope that you are all having a good start to the week, and thank you for taking the time to visit, as always it means a lot! x      

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Spring & Big Changes!

Hello everyone, and welcome to spring! In my last blog post I mentioned how the weather had begun to change here, that we were starting to get a few glimmers of spring, and how I hoped that it would carry on that way! Well what a difference a month makes! I am very pleased to say that it very much has and that we have had some beautiful sunny spring days with barely a cloud in the sky over the past week or so, then this weekend we even reached temperatures of 25 degrees which is practically tropical for those of you that don't live in the UK!

With regards to everything else this last month has been pretty busy as usual but also full of some very big changes for me that have been gradually being put in motion over the last month or so, but that I will get onto a little later on in this post.

Firstly I want to take you back to mid March where I left off my last post by showing you my new "First Mother's Day" card design. Shortly after I managed to mock up my design into a card, photograph it and pop it up on my Etsy shop in time for Mothering Sunday. Below you can see the finished article.   
 
 
 On another bunny related note I just couldn't resist the "Bertie" bunny t-shirt below which was released alongside a number of other animal designs in order to raise money for Comic Relief. Technically it is a pyjama top and came with red spotty shorts too but I ended up going for it anyway, as for some reason they only did the bunny t-shirt design in children's sizes! However the pyjama t-shirts and normal t-shirts were pretty the same in style and cut so it didn't stop me wearing it to work on the day! 

For those of you who aren't in the UK Comic Relief (also know as Red Nose Day) is a national charity and fundraising event which takes place every two years at the end of March, in order to raise money for those in need both in third world countries and at home. People wear red clown like noses which have a different theme each time, and wear them whilst doing funny fundraising events. The fundraising then culminates in a TV event which features a number of comedians and comedic sketches, with millions of pounds being raised by the public each time.
       

On the same week that I found my "Bertie" bunny t-shirt I also had my first go at putting my culinary skills to the test by cooking my hubby and I our first beef joint. It's nothing spectacular but I'm not very adventurous when it comes to cooking so I was rather pleased with how my first go turned out, and it was delicious! I did get my timing a little bit off so had to put it back in for a bit longer after I had carved it, but like I say it tasted fab and went down well with the hubby too! 


The weekend after marked the first birthday of our little niece, but unfortunately I couldn't get the time off of work in order to go to her Beatrix Potter themed party which I was rather miffed about. However I did get to go out shopping for her birthday present and found the lovely Joules outfit below, which I then wrapped up in one of their boxes complete with a little hare on the front which I loved just as much as the outfit itself!


The Sunday was then filled with me making a trip to the DIY shop to see if I could find some screws, clips and flooring for her ladyship's playpen. I then set about screwing some clips into the ladder that my dad dropped over, which he had kept from the hutch that he built for my other bunnies Dusty, Milly & Molly. That however was the easy bit as it turned out that the ladder was a little too long to fit in the playpen, so I set about sawing through it for the next few hours with a little handsaw as it was all that I had! I then also had to cut one of the pen panels in half and add one half to each side of the pen to extend it out a bit. 

But after all of that the little monkey refused point blank to use the ladder no matter how much I tried to coax her out! That was a few weeks ago now and she still hasn't been brave enough to use it, even though I have made her a makeshift step out of a grass covered hut from the pet shop, which I then weighed down with some loam gnaw bars to weigh it down and stop her from moving it! I have even tried having her out to see if she would go up it, but she wasn't having that either! Hopefully she will get there in the end, but we shall see! Below you can see a pic of the pen and of Florrie pulling her best "I'm not going down that ladder mumma however much you wave treats in my face" look!
          
 
 On that same week clearer signs of spring started to appear in terms of the weather, starting off with skies of sunshine and April like showers as you can see below and leading to beautiful days without a cloud in the sky which made way for some gorgeous sunsets!  


Also on the Florrie front we seem to have taken a few steps back with her willingness to be picked up since taking her to the vets for her second lots of vaccinations. She was very good with it again and didn't try to jump off of the table this time and was even a little inquisitive! The vet also said that she is still a good weight at now 1.8kg. But like I say since taking her the issues with her being picked up have now got to the extent where the safest way for me to get her out is for me to take off the top of the hutch, tempt her up with her up with food sticks, stroke her for a bit and then pick her up. It's an easier angle for me to pick her up so she is less likely to kick out and potentially harm herself, it's less stressful for her as I can get a better grip on her, and it also makes it harder for her to try and pounce or go for me which she had tried to do out of fear a few times. 

Prior to taking the top off of the hutch I had tried numerous other approaches such as using treats, leaving her in for a few days, stroking her to settle her and stroking her more towards her back to get used to the sensation more. But she's not stupid and would know every time when I was going to try and pick her up. Even after a few days of taking the top off of the hutch she has already started to cotton on that she will get treats and then I will try to pick her up, as the other day she had some food stick and then tried to run off down the ladder with it as she knew that I would try to pick her up next. 

I haven't wanted to leave her in for too long though because as much as she dislikes being picked up she still needs the exercise, and all the time she isn't brave enough to use her ladder I can only get her out by picking her up. The strange thing is though that she loves being stroked and coming up to say hello, she's also fine once you have hold of her and loves jumping about on the sofa once she's out, plus I can pick her up fine from the sofa it's just the hutch that's the problem. I'm not sure why she has such negative associations when being picked up as I have never dropped her and am careful to support her bum and try and tuck in her legs when I pick her up, plus when she is out she has so much fun playing and binkying about! I do wonder in part if it's to do with her hormones and her getting a bit territorial as it seem to have got worse as she has got older, but we will keep on working on it and see!
    
Below you can see a few pics of Florrie chilling this month, and of her cute little feet!
 

Plus Florrie having fun shredding her chewy mat on the sofa giving her best "I have not made this mess mumma there is nothing to see here" look!


So as I mentioned at the beginning of my post there have been some massive changes that have been happening with me over the last few few months that I can now reveal to you.
      
Basically back in Feb I was given the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy from my retail job, or to drop hours after having worked there for the last 13 years! After numerous discussions both within work and with my family we all decided that taking the redundancy was the opportunity that I have needed in order for me to get out and really try to pursue my illustration dreams. It's a massive risk for me especially when I am not a risk taker by nature and there is a strong possibility that it might not work out, but I am in the best position that I can be to do it now and I really feel that I can't waste this opportunity as I am not going to get it again! So the plan is to take six months out to really try to push my little business, which up until now I haven't had the time or the means to fully focus on. If I fail I fail but I'm not going to know if I don't try.

So I left just over two weeks ago now on the day before Mother's Day and of course after being there for so long it was quite an emotional day, especially so since I'm very close to all of my work colleagues to the point that we are like a little family. They gave me a lovely send off though by getting me the lovely hamper of goodies below, and as you can see they know me well!


Since then I have been busy putting plans in motion, coming up with my business plan, designing business cards and coming up with new designs. It's exciting but also a little daunting as I know that I have to make it work otherwise I will have to return to my retail job or something else in six months time. Some days I really feel that I can make it work but on others I can feel quite overwhelmed by the whole thing. So watch this space over the coming weeks for updates and new work!  

So as I said I left on the day before Mother's Day, but Mother's Day itself started with me as a bunny mummy letting our little monkey come for cuddles on the bed which she thoroughly enjoyed investigating as you can see below.  


We then moved to the sofa for another little Florrie photo shoot! Below you can see just a few pics of out little poser!


I then went around to my parents to give my mum her Mother's Day gifts which went down very well, especially the gin tasting kit! We then had a gorgeous family roast and dessert which my Nan also joined us for, as you can see below.    


The weekend after Mother's Day was not only my first weekend off but also the weekend that the really sunny weather kicked in here, so my hubby and I made the most of it by going out and sitting outside for a lovely pub lunch on the Sunday.

Below left you can see the lovely blue skies from out of our bedroom window, and below left a pic that I took of the beautiful weather and trees in bloom at the pub/restaurant.  

 

Florrie has also been enjoying the afternoon sun that hits her hutch by sun bathing as you can see below. 

 

The sleepy bunny below has also gradually continued to destroy her sea grass tube, to the point that she can't really hide in it anymore so I am going to have to invest in a new one! 


She has also now adopted the "Nutbrown Hare" that was originally for our little niece for Easter as she liked the bell inside it! Don't worry though my niece is still getting one!

Below you can see her having fun playing with it.  


So that brings me to the end of another rather long blog post! Thank you for baring with me again! They will be getting much shorter from here on in now that I have more time to post!

I hope that you all have all had a lovely weekend and start to the week! I spent it chilling and enjoying an evening of belated leaving drinks with my colleagues, which was lovely as I haven't seen them for a few weeks. I also hope that and that the weather has been as good for you as it has for us! Today we have another lovely sunny day out there, made all the more glorious by the fact that blossom trees that surround our flat finally bloomed on Friday.
   

Enjoy you week and thank you again for visiting! x