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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

2 comments:

  1. My very best wishes for your new venture Jenny, I have no doubt you will do brilliantly! In fact I need a Happy 1st Birthday card for my little granddaughter in three weeks, I wonder could you do one for me. I'll email you with details or do you want me to go through Etsy?
    And of course Florrie is adorable as always!

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    1. Thank you for you kind words Vivienne, I'm certainly going to try my hardest to make it work! With regards to card for your granddaughter's 1st birthday I don't mind how you would like to do it. If you would like an existing design then it might be easier to do it via Etsy, but if you would like me to do a different design just email me at jenniferkeelan@hotmail.co.uk and let me know as I am trying to build my portfolio at the moment anyway. x

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