Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Hairballs - a gift of love


Again this morning I wake to the sound of a cat 'gacking', and then play 'dodge the gift' on my way to the bathroom.  I have about a 60% success rate at avoiding the little offerings - which means, yes, about 40% of the time I step right in them... 

It's always the same cat, the fluffy one, surprise, surprise.  I know she does them near me because that's where she sleeps, and that's because she loves me, but still!

Sometimes the kids hear her as well, and come running into my bedroom yelling 'Mum, Mum, Ada did a vomit on your floor!'.  Thanks, darlings, I already found it.  Pass me some wipes for my foot, thanks.

It could be worse. Thanks Cheezburger for putting that into perspective

And can you believe, MS Office doesn't have a clipart for 'hairball'?  Astonishing! Hence the Biohazard...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Klimt - chickens with garden path

Or more correctly, 'Garden path with chicken', by Gustav Klimt, painted in 1916, destroyed by fire at Immendorf Castle, Austria, in 1945 (for a really interesting article about that fire, here's one from the UK's Guardian newspaper).

What's not to like - it's green, it's Klimt, it's chickens (I'm wondering if they had Australorps in Austria in 1916?!?!  I'm not sure what breed they would be otherwise)!  The pathway motif also really reminds me of Monet's garden at Giverny, near Paris, which I was lucky enough to visit in 2011.

This lovely copy was printed just for me by the lovely folks at Big Quince Print, in South Australia. It measures around 85 x 85 cms, and has pride of place on my kitchen wall.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Fair trade craft (with chickens)

This little picture has been in my collection for donkey's years, I picked it up at an op shop (AKA charity shop, thrift store, the usual translations!) for a dollar.  Of course it has chickens, but I also like it because of the charming scene, it's got lots of green in it (my favourite colour), it's clearly hand-stitched, and I'm quite keen on Indian regional fabrics.

Approx 5x7 inches in the frame

It says 'Aarong, Bangladesh' on the back, and until today I didn't know what that meant.  Turns out that Aarong was established in 1978, and is 'a fair trade organisation dedicated to bring about positive changes in the lives of disadvantaged artisans and underprivileged rural women by reviving and promoting their skills and craft'.

So while I'm a bit sad that my dollar didn't go directly to Aarong, at least I've now learned something new, and I get to promote Aarong through the magic of the interwebs.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Prettiest cat in Adelaide (tm) - Haiku

Oh Princess Ada,
My fluffy little pusskin:
Grey, white, bony, soft.

Wow, I've never written a haiku to a cat before, that was fun!  Ada is of course totally unimpressed... 

Ada (AKA Pretty Princess Cat, or The Pocket-sized Princess of Perfection, or Trotty Trot Cat) is a grand old lady cat of 11 years, we got her as a tiny tiny stray kitten, and she was my baby until our kids came along.  She's still tiny, just 2.8kg.  My ickle wickle princess licks my feet while I'm sitting on the loo in the morning (TMI maybe?), and sleeps on my feet in bed.  She is named after the first programming language that DH learned at uni (ADA, which is in turn named after Lady Ada Lovelace, the 'first lady' of computers).  Total nerd attack!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Building a chook pen in an afternoon

When I was first getting into keeping chickens, I did a lot of research about what type to build/buy.  A-frame, chicken tractor, plain old shed, DIY or very very fancy, there are so many choices.

The City Chicken website was my absolute go-to for information, pictures and ideas, I highly recommend them.

So, after a bit of trial and error, this is what we came up with:

I'm a firm believer in recycling / repurposing, and other than the wood for the frame and a roll of chickenwire, everything else was recycled. 

Hubby built three not-quite-square frames from permapine and we positioned them to form the beginning, middle and end of the pen.  These were then joined together by long beams to get it stable against the fence.  As you can see, the hen houses are old kitchen cabinets we had leftover from our re-fit.  We used old tin sheeting from a shed we'd demolished a few years back, and an old wardrobe gave us the front door of the pen.

We remembered to position the hen houses before attaching the chickenwire - the job would have been much harder if we'd forgotten that!

Old galv bucket = water container, old broken frying pan = food bowl.

NOTE TO SELF - next time, make the roof higher.  We wanted to keep the roof in line with the fence, so as not to bug our neighbour.  Six months later he built a massive shed next door, and I get a sore neck every time I go into the coop.....    Live and learn, hey?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

IKEA dining chair hack

Today I took one IKEA Norrnas chair, scored for $45AU in 'As Is' section (RRP $145)

I selected some chicken fabric that happened to be in the craft drawers, grabbed my staple-gun, and 10 minutes later, voila!

I added some fabric tape to cover most of my hideous staple-gun work (weak wrists suck, trying saying that 5 times fast!), and I'm pretty pleased with the final result.