Well, all I can say is that there were a distinct lack of blog posts last year. There was a lot going on which sapped some of my creative mojo, but I'm happy to say it is coming back to me and the Christmas break has certainly helped.
Toby Tux (above) has certainly helped fill the Kizzy-shaped hole in my life. He wanted to say 'Happy Christmas' earlier but he was in a food coma for two days. When he finally emerged after midnight on Boxing Day evening it was only to puke up a load of half digested turkey all over the only carpet in our house (in the bedroom). You're welcome.
I proceeded to drag myself out of bed to clean said mess, but luckily my husband was in a port-induced coma and I was able to trot up and downstairs twice with the landing light on and clean up without Steve even stirring!
As usual, every year I put a small amount from each sale aside in a 'charity pot', and every December my dad (who is known as 'the banker') counts it all up for me. I divvy it out between several animal charities and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The recipients this year were as follows, in no particular order:
REAN (Rescuing European Animals In Need) - dedicated to rescuing European dogs and cats.
Cruelty Free International - formerly the BUAV, fighting against animal testing.
FourPaws - a charity with a global reach, focusing on many of the larger worldwide issues, e.g.: ending the cat and dog meat trade and fur farming
Fleecehaven - a UK sheep sanctuary rescuing these sweet and gentle animals.
Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats - the UK's only goat rescue charity. Goats just crack me up. Plus I learned recently that the Scandanavian tradition of the Yule Goat ('Jolbuck') may be a precursor for our very own reindeer!
Harmony Fund - a feel-good charity, mostly working with European rescues.
Hillside Animal Sanctuary - rescuing UK farm animals.
Brooke Hospital for Animals - action for working equines in the world's poorest countries.
CIWF (Compassion in World Farming) - raising welfare standards for farmed animals.
Help Bulgarian Street Cats and Dogs - does what it says on the tin.
Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary - a Manchester charity rescuing pets of all kinds and finding them new homes. This is where we adopted my beautiful Kizzy cat.
No To Dog Meat Foundation - I first heard about the dog and cat meat trade about 30 years ago and unbelievably it's still going on. Luckily charities such as this have made great strides recently in putting an end to some of it but they need more help to end it forever.
Safe Home Foundation - an Indian charity rescuing dogs from the most horrific vehicle collisions which happen all too frequently in India it seems.
These guys really need your help, so if you fancy getting a warm fuzzy feeling too, why not donate?
For now I hope everyone has a happy and safe Christmas period, and I will be writing another blog post soon with some exiting enamel-related news!