Tuesday, 10 December 2019

A little 'pupdate' - as my friend SaRn would say

We took Dudley to see Georgina the vet again today. He trotted in happily to her room this time, a week ago we had to slide him along the floor - a bit like a puck in ice hockey!

He's going great guns apparently. The outer stitches are dis-solvable so, until the crusty line/scab goes, we'll keep his onesie on - that was one less trauma than I expected to be honest as I thought the outer stitches needed to be removed. She confirmed that they did indeed dig deep and quite wide to be sure of clear margins just in case it was exactly what it turned out to be. But, he's totally clear now - hooray!

And, best of all - he can finally now have free run of the house again. The pure joy on his face when I moved the lower stair barrier and said 'Off you go then Dudley' was priceless. He goes up two at a time in bunny hops and was up there in a trice, on the landing with his tongue hanging out - grinning down at me :)

And, once again, Georgina reiterated how helpful our rapid detection and getting him to the vet had been. There's no knowing how things could have panned out had we just left it and we're just so very grateful things worked out well. It isn't over reaction to have things checked out after all and if you ever have concerns, this really is a lesson in getting to your vet soon.

Next, I queued at the village Post Office for ages (returning something for Len, so not even my own post) - Christmas madness is starting! Afterwards could hardly squeeze into my car for the huge 'Tonka Toy' car parked so close you'd think it wanted to be more than friends with my little car. My new one is now delayed until mid-January - purely at the manufacturer's end, sigh.

Then I ran the gauntlet of our local Sainsbury's and stocked up on a lot of Christmas (with long shelf life or freezable) goodies. Needless to say, full of shoppers with bursting trolleys - and literally four tills open in what's one of the biggest supermarket stores in our area.

Came home and finally collapsed - and there's still two weeks to go - I might have peaked early!

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #367

I'm sure many of you know that we got Dudley's results back on Wednesday, late afternoon. I wrote a little post about it HERE, and thank you again for all your lovely and very supportive comments. As you can imagine, the relief is enormous and now we just need him to have the outer stitches removed on Monday (the inside ones dissolve on their own of course) and what we hope is his final check up for this little adventure we've been on. I think he's going to miss wearing his sweet onesie! He's been totally amazing as well as really patient and now we want to just put this behind us and move on, whilst doing regular little checks of course. As a few of you have said, knowing your dog's body and then acting fast if you find something untoward is certainly what helped with a happy outcome in Dudley's case.

So, happy thoughts here and we're finally feeling a bit like Christmas is in the air!

Here's my snippets (very un-Christmassy) card for today:
I used:

- 5.25" x 4" white card blank, side opening

- snippets of white card - and I have  tons of those - trimmed to the same size as the card front

- then die cut the aperture in the piece of card for the front, using an MFT Peek-a-boo Window' square die - placed that piece of card onto the card front and lightly penciled in the frame I could position the stamp I wanted to use for the image

- before setting the front panel to one side I used the Misti to line up a sentiment from the Clearly Besotted 'Hot Stuff' set of stamps and stamped it using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

 - then stamped the image I wanted to use onto the card front itself, within the square I'd penciled in earlier

- rubbed out the pencil marks and coloured the little 'newly hatched dragon' using Pro markers

- because the Pro markers had bled very slightly through to the inside of the card front I covered that with another snippet of white card, trimmed to slightly smaller than the card front

- time to assemble the shaker element. On the reverse of the front panel I ran some red line tape right around the die cut aperture, then right around the sides of the panel and a couple of strips across as well

- working from the bottom I added the panel to the card front, leaving the top of the shaker punch aperture, the very top of the card and also one side open - don't ask me why I didn't put the shaker bits into the punch and gently place the card front straight on top, hindsight being 20/20 vision this might have worked better but I didn't want it to be 'wonky'. The result of me choosing this tortuous route is explained below

- used some Lucy's Card 'Little Things' 'Bubblegum' sequins for the shaking element - I almost drowned the poor little dragon - note to self, use a LOT less another time!

- due to a bit of an issue I had to rootle though my ribbons and add a  knotted length of ribbon down one side of the cards - not really by choice but there you go!

I've had the lovely set of stamps for over a year now, and the aperture die and shaker elements almost as long! For some reason I didn't get matching dies - either they weren't available or I was still on the fence about dies which leave a white margin around the images when they're die cut, I'm fine with them now! And of course have also had the same as a duplicate waiting in the Playground toy box.

Lack of concentration thinking about Dudley meant that I managed to get a couple of really tiny clear sequins trapped in between the card front and the die cut layer with the shaker pouch in place as I was filling it. Grump, grump! Also, it showed all the more as I'd picked a snippet of quite thin white card stock for the die cut front. What an eedjit, lesson for the future there, sigh.

Of course this 'boo-boo happened right at the  very end and I just didn't have the heart to tackle another card - so found a snippet of lilac ribbon and tied it in a knot, around and running down the side where the teeny sequins were trapped to cover up the two very slight bumps. Job done - although I'd have preferred a more CAS card, without the ribbon.

I love Lucy's sequins mixtures, but every single packet I have is discontinued, I think Lucy moves onto new mixtures very frequently. Sequins are easy enough to find but her mixes are quite special - Simon Says Stamp used to stock them I think. In the UK you can buy directly from Lucy.

And here's the prize for this fortnight:
A Clearly Besotted 'Hot Stuff' set of stamps (can be used for babies, friends and Birthdays with the sentiments provided in the set), an MFT Peek-a-boo Window' square die and a packet of 10 MFT Square Shaker Pouches (quite why they call them replenishments I don't know - possibly as they're 'consumables'). And it's all one prize - sadly no sequins though, explanation above.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 21st December. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry, please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

The little hedgie seems to have gone into hibernation - we haven't picked it up on CCTV footage for a good few days now. I hope it survives the Winter and we'll still be keeping watch.

And just a quick 'heads up' - I'll be running the Grand Christmas Draw again this year. The format will be the same as it always is and it will run from Sunday 22nd December, closing on Saturday 4th January. During that time you have to enter just one snippets make to cover the whole fortnight as usual, it also keeps a level playing field, but you'll need to comment on each individual prize that you would like to be in the draw for as they appear day by day - and there are a LOT of prizes to be won. So, as I keep saying, you will need to comment over here if you want to be in the draw. And do try to comment as the days go by - not all at the end. I know that we have busy family times over the festivities so I will allow some leeway of course! Comments show up on Blogger's dashboard in date and time order so it's really easy to spot a 'cluster' of comments from one person all made at the same time so you would be found out. This is to be fair to people who do take the time to hop in regularly.

No photo of Dudley this time round - he's fast asleep right now and I don't want to disturb him.

Edit: Huge apologies! First of all this post was still marked as draft so it didn't publish on time - and secondly, I totally forgot to add Mr Linky! It's all sorted out now - just shows my state of mind recently!

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley (woof, woof!) and of course me,

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Dudley update - the results

I'm using almost the same words I've used to at least a few bloggy friends- right now I can't reinvent them so here goes:

Georgina, Dudley's favourite vet, phoned us late this afternoon with his pathology results.

Using fancy speak it was a melanocytoma - basically a melanoma,which thank goodness is benign.The wound is so big as they took away a fair bit of margin around it and the borders of that are totally clear. I'm so relieved and yet stunned - melanoma was my worst unspoken fear, and possibly theirs, and of course it's wonderful that it's benign/hasn't spread.

From the rapid bit of Googling I've done it seems to often stem from a hair follicle if it's on the dog's tummy or such and also it tends to affect dogs under one year old. Exactly Dudley's visual symptoms and around his age group.

We apparently did really well to jump to attention and get him to the vet when we did and will both be giving him an even more thorough check at least once a week, although with luck he should sail merrily through to old age.

Of course, he'll lie on his back and absolutely love being stroked! Hooray for Dudley - a positive result and he's also 'positively' delighted at the prospect of being fondled even more than usual.

Which takes us full circle -  as that's exactly how Len initially found it in the first place!

And the little chap? Fast asleep and totally oblivious here with his head on one of my slippers, with my foot inside, so he knows if I move away from the desk!

With grateful thanks for all your positive thoughts for this happy outcome, and a happy albeit unknowing woofle from Dudley.

Much love,

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #365 - results

Well, that's one week I don't fancy repeating. I did a little post last thing on Thursday to let folk know that Dudley came through his little op. fine. He was still very groggy and twittering like a little bird when we brought him home. We've have such a lot of good wishes for him - they're certainly helping us to get through quite a distressing time and I'll add a later update further down this post.
First of all, let's get going with this fortnight's picks:
Liz really came up trumps, creating no less than 17 cards! To see how she did it, do hop over to Liz's blog HERE - she's very kindly got the sketch of how she divided the sheet of paper up there for us to see, Amazing!

Eemeli used a ton of different snippets for this lovely card  - and she was brave enough to colour the image first and THEN go on the hunt for snippets to pick out the image colours - very impressive indeed.
Heather skipped in with these two lovely cards. Such a perfect design for using up little snippets - a great one to CASE I think. And the combination of blue and green patterned paper is perfect, topped with a snowflake and a matching green button - love them!

Boy, that was hard to whittle down this time round - everyone is so talented in the Playground, it gets harder all the time to choose.

And we had one new Playmate this time:

Do please hop over to welcome Nora and comment on her beautiful work.

So, that's my picks, and our new Playmate from Challenge 365, and I do hope they've given you some inspiration for ways in which you can use up some of those snippets.

We had 55 entries and including one new Playmate this time round - a nice steady number of entries!

Time now for the prize draw, which is for the SWALK 'Friendship' stamp and a Gemini 'Stitch Edge Circle' set of dies. And the winner is:

Well done Tina - it seems like ages since you last had a win! Please send me your address, with your full name at the top as well so I can copy and paste or just write straight from the email onto the envelope - for speed and ease. It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course and I'll post your prize once I hear from you. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always.

Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #366 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a Neat and Tangled 'Paint Night' set of stamps - plus the matching set of dies. And do remember that we still have our Guest Designer Karen's wonderful snippets make of a gorgeous wreath as well as a very generous give away - over on her blog HERE.

I'm so sorry I didn't remind you girls to go and check for the winner of Karen's first giveaway for the Snippets Playground (who was Gail Scott). I think Karen will probably post the next winner's name as soon as challenge #366 closes.  That's what threw me as I give myself a week's grace to do the results write-up these days. Once again, huge thanks to Karen for being our GD and also for her commenting on your entries, as well as her generosity and wonderful inspiration.

And more wild life, we've just spotted a fox picked up on our CCTV the other night - having a mooch around the front garden. We've occasionally seen one trotting up and down past the house but not one venturing so close. It's doubtful if it could squeeze under the gap we deliberately had left at the bottom of one of the side gates when the back garden fences were replaced - just enough for a hedgie to get under. Otherwise young Dudley might meet his match!

We've also spotted the little hedgie on CCTV, still coming to feed now and then - but the last time we spotted him 'live' and had an opportunity to capture him was the evening before Dudley's op. - and there was no way I could focus on trying to fit in taking him to the rescue centre when it was all I could do to get Dudley to and from the Vet.

Dudley went into the Vet's animal hospital at 8:30 on Thursday and we collected him at 4pm, so it was a long old day. In fact, they had anticipated we could collect him at 2pm but when I phoned to check, he was still too groggy and they wanted to keep an eye on him for another two hours. He just laid his head against me in the car on the way home and closed his eyes with a sigh of relief. He alternated between dozing in silence and twittering like a little bird all evening, covered with his little fleece blanket - and most of the night. Yesterday was a pretty quiet day as well but today, Saturday, he's bounced back into his usual lively self and the problem now is to stop him from doing 'zoomies' around the house! We've got the stair gates back in place, thankfully they're portable - and Len is carrying him up and down the stairs when needed as he usually bounds up them two at a time. And yup, he came home wearing a cute dark blue onesie. I took the dressing off his wound yesterday as instructed by the Vet - bit shocked at the length of the incision but my guess is they may have played it safe. Of course he has a pretty big shaved patch there, and also a small one on a front leg where the IV was inserted and one on a back leg where they placed the blood pressure monitor. So he certainly looks as if he's been in a bit of a battle.

Len managed to take a photo of him yesterday. I've tried to capture a photo of him standing up showing off his onesie properly - with his lovely plume of a tail poking out of the back end where the poppers are, but no luck yet.

Dudley goes back for a quick check on Monday and then we have a wait a further week for the pathology results and his second follow up appointment. So that will be 11 days after his operation (the weekends got in the way!) and with luck he'll have the stitches removed and we might be able to leave his onesie off. It's working really well and he's quite happy wearing it - although having to undo the poppers and roll it up out of the way every time he needs the toilet is a bit of a palaver, but much better than a cone or similar.

Anyhow - here's the photo:

His head looks huge - partly as it's close to the camera but also his body does look so small in comparison once his fluffy coat is flattened! Actually, you can see a 'dip' in the hair on his front right leg where it was shaved for the IV to go in - it looked very red and bruised when he first came home but already it's calmed down a lot.

Edit: Success late Saturday afternoon. Not brilliant but here's Dudley at the door to my craft room watching Len go down the stairs:
His tail is flopped over covering the cute little strap which goes up onto the back of the top of the onesie (one either side of his tail). The pad at the back is partly to stop the onesie from riding up and also to protect his (ahem) crown jewels area in case that was the operation site. The onesie was supplied new by our vet but they're sold by Amazon as well - made by Medical Pet Shirt and they come in 11 different sizes (His Nibs is an extra small size).

It's going to be a long week and a bit for us until we get the results, but we can't change those and have to be thankful that his op. went off without a hitch.

Both Len and I have been so touched by your concern and the many lovely comments of support. It's meant such a lot to know he's so well loved by people who've never met him. But then, he's that sort of dog - full of personality and a total joy each new day.

Love from Parsnip, a happy wave from Dudley - and of course hugs as always from me,

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Dudley update

He's home again, went in at 8:30 this morning and we finally got to pick him up at 4pm! Today was one of the longest days ever and the house was so quiet. In fact, it still is as Dudley is somewhat groggy and sleeping most of the time. In between twittering like a little distressed bird - bless him. We'd been warned about the twittering etc. - thankfully.

And yup, he's wearing a very smart dark blue 'onesie' with his plume of a tail poking out. He does look rather cute I must admit.

I'll add an update to this Sunday's Snippets Challenge results post but wanted to just let you know in the meantime that he's through the little op. 10 days until the lab tests are back but we're staying upbeat about that. He goes back to see the vet on Monday for his first post-op check-up, then a week later it's results time.

Thank you so much for your concern to date - it means more than you'll ever know.


Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Rudolph Days - November - 2019

I suddenly remembered it was coming up to the last Rudolph Days Challenge of 2019 over at Scrappy Mo's. I haven't missed a single one this year and didn't aim to start slipping now, so I did a little batch of six of these:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, side opening

- Stampin' Up's 'Real Red' card stock, cut an eighth of an inch smaller on all sides and set aside for now

- a 'pre-loved' but brand new/unused matching set of stamps and dies (from a Facebook De-cluttering group), made by Sizzix and called 'Fairisle Stocking'

- first used SU's 'Real Red' ink pad to stamp the stocking onto white card and then used a Dewdrop Brilliance ink pad in 'Pearlescent Ivy' to stamp the holly sprig

- die cut the stocking and holly sprig using the dies that came with the set

- then die cut the aperture into the 'Real Red' layer, using the MFT 'Peek-a-boo' Window rectangle die, having checked using the little die cuts for what I thought was the best position on the piece of red card

- glued the red layer of card complete with aperture onto the card front, using Collall All Purpose glue

- then stuck the holly sprig onto the top of the stocking using a teeny piece of narrow red line tape, before adding the whole stocking into the aperture using thin sticky pads

- the sentiment is from a Clarity Stamp Word Sticker Collection called 'Clarity Christmas & Celebrations'. A great idea and a huge time saver as well

- finally, added some tickles of red sparkly Stickles to the holly berries. I generally add my Stickles using a very fine pointed brush, which is better as I'm a bit clumsy and also it allows me to mix two colours of Stickles together on a scrap of paper then pick it up with the brush (deep and a bright red in this case)

Once again, I forgot that the double stitching on this lovely aperture die doesn't show up so well on dark coloured card, sigh. And, although it doesn't show up in real life, I think that in future, when I'm using the black background Clarity stickers it would be worth gently running a black marker round the cut edge just to hide any smidgen of the white backing before adding them to cards etc. Little Miss Picky strikes again :) But I do so love the stickers anyhow!

I keep telling myself to just stop making new Christmas cards and concentrate on actually doing the inserts for a bundle of Christmas cards still not totally finished and then get cracking to get them in the post. It's a bit hard though, all the more as I plan to run our Grand Christmas Draw again this year and need to make all bar a couple of the samples for when it runs! Having said that, I guess finishing and posting what I have should take priority - certainly for Overseas.

I'd also like to join in with Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge #465 - so sorry I haven't been along to play for a while Hazel! It's always anything goes, with an optional theme, which this time is 'something beginning with the letter R' - so my red qualifies there, wahoo!

Of course, tomorrow is the start of Dudley's 'Little Adventure', as explained on Sunday's Snippets post  - wish us luck. 

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #366

It's drier, but noticeably colder down in the South of England - Winter is closing in for sure.

Once again, we have a slightly different format this week, in addition to my own card and prize(s) we also have Karen back with us as our November Guest Designer,  more further down this post.

First of all, here's my snippets card for today:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, tent style

- snippets of plain (ish) green and also striped paper card from Lawn Fawn's 'Really Rainbow' paper pack. I love how just a strip of left over paper from this vibrant pack adds so much 'oomph'

- hand cut the green paper to form a wavy 'hill' and glued it in place using a small tape runner, then trimmed off the sides from the back of the card

- did the same with the straight strip of paper, leaving it straight to form a border along the top of the card as if the wee girl had been trying out her huge paintbrush :)

- then stamped the images I wanted to use onto snippets of white card using stamps from the Neat and Tangled 'Paint Night' set of stamps and the Misti, plus Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and also stamped the sentiment onto the card front

- adding the little scene into the plain easel was easy using the Misti. To be on the safe side I did mask down each side of the easel using strips of Post-it notes, in case the little image wasn't lined up properly - knowing I could always carefully fill in any blank stripe down a side using a fine tipped permanent marker. Not needed though as it was lined up perfectly, a very precisely designed and made set of stamps and dies

- coloured the images using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and hopefully picking out the colours from the stiped strip of paper at the top of the card front

- die cut the images using dies from the matching set of dies and then glued them in place using a Zig glue pen

- final touch was to colour the letters in the word 'COLOR', again picking out colours from the striped strip of paper at the top of the card

I've had this lovely set of stamps and dies for over a year now, bought last September when I went to a Dies To Die For pop-up shop. For some reason I kept avoiding using it, probably fearful of the colouring aspect.

I would have liked to place the little girl and the easel closer together so that she is more obviously showing off her painting, but I'd added the easel image a tad too far to the right  and had to pop the little girl further to the left to balance the thing out (ain't hindsight wonderful). The set comes with a good few different options and three sentiments to choose from. There are also little (or in fact  quite big) paint droplets, complete with matching dies. I stopped short of using them for fear of overload, but on a bigger card they would be a fun touch. And, on this design of mine they would have probably looked quite cute almost dripping from some of the coloured strips on the top backing paper.

And here's the prize for this fortnight:
A Neat and Tangled 'Paint Night' set of stamps (14 in total so you really can ring the changes) - plus the matching set of nine dies. Obviously it's all one prize!

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 7th December. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry, please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

And now onto our Guest Designer for November - who is Karen Letchworth, of 'My Cup Runneth Over'.

It was lovely to see how many of you already follow Karen, and I reckon at least 10 more of you added yourselves as followers. Wouldn't it be great if you could bump those numbers up a bit more - Karen only needs 29 more followers to reach the magic 1,000!

And here's what Karen made:  
Another fabulous card making such clever use of a variety of gorgeous snippets, similar colours and designs to last fortnight's papers used by Karen. I really think this is gorgeous, and I adore the beautiful bow as well!

Thank you SO much Karen for being Guest Designer again this fortnight and for your snippets inspiration. Please don't be a stranger - you have some wonderful ideas to share and it would be great to see you joining in with the other girls and entering the fortnightly challenge.

Do hop over to Karen's blog, the link is above and Karen also has another give-away of her own for this challenge.  How generous is that?

Latest Dudley news:

Dudley is as full of fun as ever, although on Thursday he's going into our vet's animal hospital for a little operation - nope, not THAT one! Whilst in Cornwall we'd felt a very dark mole on his side, hidden by his silky coat but enough to ask the vet about when he had his booster shots after we came home. She said to keep an eye on it - and back we went yesterday as it's grown, is standing more proud and doesn't look right.

She can't say exactly what it is, so he's booked in to have it removed and checked out. That's the only way to rule out anything sinister and it's best to do it in one go rather than a biopsy, which might then be followed by a further op.

Poor little scrap doesn't know what's coming. Needless to say I'm almost beside myself worrying over the anesthetic, the results etc. etc. Len is more pragmatic - although I think there's no doubt he's doing it to keep my spirits up as much as possible.
We'll then have to wait a further week for the pathology results - whilst nursing what may well turn out to be a very cross little dog! He doesn't like us leaving him anywhere for long (although if all goes to plan we'll leave him first thing in the morning and should be able to collect him later on that afternoon). And he'll probably be even more cross when he finds out he most likely has to wear a 'onesie' whilst the stitches heal :) The scar won't show once it's all healed up - and tomorrow I'm taking him to the Groomers for a bath and blow dry as well as a nail and pads trim as we won't be able to take him to be groomed for a little while after the op. of course.

We only just found out, after days on end of no activity, that the third little hedgehog is still around and not fully into hibernation mode as we thought might be the case. CCTV picked it up at around 7pm this evening (Saturday), having a little feed. We missed it and only realised when Dudley went out for his final wee of the evening and Len spotted that the food had been disturbed (he has a Heath Robinson system whereby hedgies can nose a little cover up to get at the food but local cats can't. It then cleverly drops back into place - he should patent it really). Checked the CCTV footage just now and 'shoo 'nuff' - there the sweet little critter was, tucking in! So, we're back on high alert here.

Not using Dudley as an excuse, but hope you understand that right now my head is all over the place and I know I've fallen behind on commenting on the Snippets challenge that closed on Saturday morning. Having said that, who knows - by the time you read this I just might have caught up!

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley (woof, woof!) and of course me,