I've had a really wonderful Christmas this year with my family of both humans and animals. I'm very grateful that everyone is happy and healthy and I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a great year in 2024, but we've still got 2023 to finish off yet!
I've been very quiet over the summer with regards to artistic stuff because we took advantage of the nice weather whenever we could and did A LOT of work in the garden and built yet another shed. Looking out at another storm it's kinda hard to believe that the sun will ever come out again! I have, however, been busy over the Christmas holidays and I've got right back into silversmithing. I'm hoping to have bits and pieces to show you soon.
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 the proceeds out between several animal charities and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'm pleased to say that with a last minute donation from a work colleague the total raised was £200!
The recipients this year were as follows, in no particular order:
Maria's Cat House - a lady in Chania, Greece, who does amazing work for the local stray cats. As far as I'm aware they don't have a website, but you can easily search for them on Facebook and Instagram.
Oak Tree Animal Sanctuary - a lovely animal sanctuary in Cumbria where we adopted both Cinderfrost and Lily (above with me).
Willows Animal Sanctuary - a sanctuary in Scotland which does great work for farm animals. Famous also for their 'cat hotel' for stray cats which is a great idea.
Kitty Rescue Bury - a group of kitty heroes in Manchester working for the local stray cat population. Again, please search Facebook and Instagram for their details.
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.
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 tradition of reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh!
CIWF (Compassion in World Farming) - raising welfare standards for farmed animals.
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 wonderful and safe Christmas period and that you all find happiness, fulfilment and peace in 2024.