Sunday, October 7

Guest Room Fabric & Easy DIY Idea


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Hello everyone!

I recently received this sweet floral fabric collection from Canadian designer Kristyne Czepuryk called "Guest Room" featuring pretty roses, whimsical posies, tiny ginghams, a charming floral stripe and pin dots. I'm particularly loving that chambray blue and can imagine making all sorts of pretties with these premium cotton fabrics. The small scale prints are great for making dolls clothes and other smaller items, such as pin cushions. 
🌾
Hallo, ihr Lieben!

Ich habe vor kurzem diese sĂŒĂŸe Stoffkollektion namens "Guest Room" von der kanadischen Designerin Kristyne Czepuryk erhalten. Die Kollektion beinhaltet nostalgische Röschen, kleine Bouquets mit Schleife, sĂŒĂŸe ton-in-ton BlĂŒmchen, Vichy und Polkadots in aufeinander abgestimmten Farben. Besonders das Kornblumenblau gefĂ€llt mir! Die Stoffe sind einfach bezaubernd und eignen sich fĂŒr vielerlei NĂ€hprojekte, z.B. Nadelkissen, TĂ€schchen und Puppenkleidung!


Today I'd like to share a simple DIY idea using these fabrics. The entire project is done by hand, but don't worry, you can finish it in one afternoon :)

Heute zeige ich euch ein kleines DIY. Das Projekt wird ganz von Hand genÀht, aber keine Sorge, es ist an einem Nachmittag geschafft :)

You will need // Ihr braucht

7 different cotton scraps // 7 verschiedene Baumwollstoffreste
one 5.5" hoop // Einen 14 cm Stickrahmen
1.5" hexagon template // 4 cm große Hexagon Vorlage
Piece of solid color fabric larger than hoop // ein StĂŒck Stoff in Uni, grĂ¶ĂŸer als der Rahmen
textile glue // Textilkleber
fabric marker pen // Stoffmarkierstift
thread // Garn
hand sewing needle // HandnÀhnadel
embroidery thread // Stickgarn (optional)
fabric scissors // Stoffschere
iron and board // BĂŒgeleisen und Brett


Step One:


Use paper hexagon template and fabric marker to trace shape onto the back of seven fabric scraps. Carefully cut out.

Step Two:


Take one fabric hexagon and fold a scant 1/4 " to the wrong side. Press with hot iron and continue folding all sides. Repeat with the rest of the fabric hexies.
Instead of sewing I'm using the glue method - add a drop of textile glue onto a toothpick and dab into the overlapping corners only. Press firmly and let dry.

Step Three:


Thread your needle with one long strand of thread, and starting with the center hexagon, sew another hexagon to one side (right sides together) using the whipstitch method. Use small, even stitches. Continue adding hexies to the center one. Once all remaining hexies are attached to the center one, start closing the sides. You should now have a flower shape. Press with hot iron.

Step Four:


Place your solid color fabric into the frame and make sure it is smooth before tightening the screw. Cut away the overlapping fabric at the back. Dab a little textile glue onto the back of the hexagon flower. Make sure you get some on the edges. Center the flower onto the solid fabric. Textile glue doesn't dry immediately, so you have a minute to adjust the placement. Once you're satisfied press gently with your finger. Let dry. 

Optional: If you wish, you can use embroidery thread to stitch along the outline of the flower - I made a couple of wonky stitches, please ignore ;-)


Schritt Eins:


Mit dem Stoffmarkierstift auf der RĂŒckseite der Stoffreste und mit Hilfe der Papiervorlage die Hexagons nachzeichnen und vorsichtig ausschneiden.

Schritt Zwei:


Nun ein Stoffhexie nehmen und die RĂ€nder knapp 0,4 cm nach links falten und mit einem heißen BĂŒgeleisen flach bĂŒgeln. Dies bei des restlichen Stoffhexies wiederholen. FĂŒr diese winzigen Hexies habe ich Textilkleber verwendet, um die ĂŒberlappenden Ecken zu fixieren. DafĂŒr habe ich den Kleber auf einen Zahnstocher gegeben und in die Ecken getupft. Danach von der rechten Seite ĂŒberbĂŒgeln.

Schritt Drei:


Die NĂ€hnadel mit einem langen Faden einfĂ€deln. Das mittige Hexie nehmen und eine Kante mit einem zweiten Hexie rechts auf rechts mit einem Überwendlingsstich zusammennĂ€hen. Dabei kleine, gleichmĂ€ĂŸig Stiche machen. So fortfahren bis alle sechs Hexies mit dem mittigen verbunden sind. Anschließend die offenen Seiten auf die gleiche Art zusammennĂ€hen. Nun habt ihr eine Hexie-Blume. Mit dem BĂŒgeleisen flach bĂŒgeln.

Schritt Vier:


Das StĂŒck unifarbenen Stoff in den Stickrahmen spannen, dabei darauf achten, dass er schön glatt ist. Etwas Textilkleber auf die RĂŒckseite, besonders die RĂ€nder der Hexie-Blume tupfen und mittig auf den unifarbenen Stoff platzieren. Der Kleber trocknet nicht sofort, so dass man noch eine Minute Zeit hat die Blume richtig zu platzieren. Mit dem Finger andrĂŒcken. Trocknen lassen. 

Optional: wer möchte kann nun mit etwas Stickgarn die Hexie-Blume umranden. Bei mir sind ein paar Stiche verrutscht - bitte ignorieren ;-)



Happy Crafting!
🌾
Viel Spaß!

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Sunday, September 9

Dawanda - Dohero - Life lately!


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*I'm required to add this by law



Hello everyone,
excuse me while I brush off all the dust from my very, very neglected blog. It's been ages, I know. But it's not like I've been twiddling my thumbs all these weeks. Far from it - after Dawanda announced it will be closing its doors permanently it was a mad scramble securing all the data. Customers kept asking me where they can buy my stuff. Sadly, I won't be selling on Etsy. The transfer tool did not work for me and even after multiple emails back and forth with Etsy Support it still did not work. I guess it was not meant to be. Funnily enough, soon after Dawanda's closure, all of these new selling venues started popping up out of nowhere. I spent a good amount of time researching at least six new sites, making pros/cons lists and finally, after careful deliberation I settled for a new site called Dohero. This site is completely brand new and only launched yesterday! I chose this site, because the people who built it already have a huge following on FB and are a driving force in the handmade scene. They also have concrete plans for promoting this site on all media outlets including radio and TV. But most of all I chose this site for their server capacity and compliance to all legalities. Of course it is still a work in progress. They wanted to be sure the technical side functioned before starting on the visuals. They will be adjusting things and optimizing the site from behind the scenes. Bonus: they were able to save all of my reviews before Dawanda shut down! I have a good feeling about this site and I'm thrilled to be right there with them at the start and watch it grow.



Not blogging and not having a second shop to maintain (not by choice, mind!) freed up some time for sewing! Last year I announced I was going to make a quilt with the gorgeous Gazebo fabrics and this year I actually finished it (see top photo). Instead of the traditional three layer "quilt sandwich", I backed it with a really soft micro fleece. With cooler weather approaching I can't wait to wrap up in it while reading a good book.

In other news my body is now able to tolerate the medication I'm currently on due to my health issue. It probably doesn't sound like much, but to me it's huge. In hindsight this forced break was actually a good thing. I got into the habit again of daily gentle exercise and generally being a lot more mindful while going about my day. Thanks to climate change we've had an incredibly hot and long summer this year with temperatures well into the 90s °F. All summer long I went about placing flat bowls of water in our garden and outside for the birds and squirrels and stray cats. Leo got an extra large bowl and boy, did he enjoy it.

My birthday was in August and I was gifted a Spa weekend from my hubby! The Spa (different one to last year) was set in the middle of the woods, included outdoor and indoor pools, sauna area, beauty treatments, sulfur and crystal baths, massages and so much more. Taking a walk in the woods was also wonderful, as there were fascinating stone, wood and metal sculptures dotted all around. Also, it included one of the best breakfast buffets I've ever had. Sometimes it's just nice to treat yourself :)

A while back I purchased a sewing book by Sarah Peel @coolcrafting. I'm loving the projects in this book. I've made the bunny and a few outfits for her to wear. The clothes are tiny, so there's a lot of sewing by hand involved, but I find going slowly is actually quite meditative. I really loved making the French knickers - remember I used to make them in grown up sizes. Here are some pics, some of my readers may have seen these on Instagram already.


So, with my second shop up and running, things will be picking up pace again. Of course my main focus will still be Duni's Studio - there's a new collection scheduled to arrive at the end of this month plus some lifestyle products for Christmas which I'm really excited about. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading along! Have a beautiful day ~
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Monday, July 2

Goodbye Dawanda


So, this past weekend I received news from Europe's biggest online selling venue "Dawanda" that they will be permanently closing on 30th August 2018. As my regular readers know I started my first shop selling fabrics on Dawanda and was pretty successful, until they changed their business model in 2015. As the saying goes, it's best not to put all eggs in one basket - one reason I decided to host my own website a year later. After receiving my official termination notice from Dawanda I'm especially grateful today that I can fall back on my own online shop. However, I have been steadily selling off merchandise, such as kids' fabric, hard to find Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry fabrics not to mention all sorts of ribbons in my old shop on Dawanda. I've sold about half my stock and the abrupt closure  kind of thwarts my effort to sell off the rest. According to the message I received, Dawanda has an agreement with Etsy to provide a tool that will enable Dawanda sellers to move to Etsy. (I'm pretty sure current Etsy sellers aren't thrilled about that). I have 2000+ positive reviews on Dawanda which I don't want to lose. I'm currently undecided. If I use the tool and transfer my shop to Etsy, I will start from scratch but save the reviews. Or I could re-open my existing account (thankfully I secured the Duni's Studio shop name) where I already have around 1600 shop followers, but lose the reviews. Plus, once Dawanda shuts down all of my links as well as my features on their blog will be lost forever. I can live with that, but the bottom line is, I need to sell off the rest of my  stock. Any suggestions??
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Sicherlich hat es die eine oder andere Leserin ĂŒber die Sozialen Medien bereits mitbekommen. Dawanda - Europas grĂ¶ĂŸte Verkaufsplattform stellt ihr operatives GeschĂ€ft zum 30. August 2018 ein. Die offizielle KĂŒndigung erreichte mich am vergangenen Wochenende. Wie langjĂ€hrige LeserInnen vielleicht wissen habe ich bei Dawanda vor vielen Jahren mit meinem ersten Shop angefangen und es lief bis 2015 alles bestens. Dann Ă€nderte sich leider das GeschĂ€ftsmodell von Dawanda und ich bzw. mein Shop wurde kaum noch gefunden. Mit ein Grund warum ich ein Jahr spĂ€ter meine eigene Webseite Duni's Studio gegrĂŒndet habe. DafĂŒr bin ich heute natĂŒrlich besonders dankbar! Nichtsdestotrotz lĂ€uft bislang mein Dawanda Shop nebenher, denn ich habe dort noch einige seltene Amy Butler und Joel Dewberry Stoffe und diverse Kinderstoffe im Angebot. Die HĂ€lfte habe ich davon schon abverkauft, aber mit einer abrupten Schließung von Dawanda habe ich natĂŒrlich nicht gerechnet. Wie ich aus der Nachricht von Dawanda eruieren konnte gibt es wohl eine Abmachung mit Etsy sowie ein Tool welches Dawanda VerkĂ€ufern ermöglicht nach Etsy zu wechseln, ohne dass dabei die Bewertungen verloren gehen. Sobald Dawanda den Stecker zieht gehen natĂŒrlich alle Links und meine Dawanda Blog BeitrĂ€ge verloren. Naja, damit kann ich leben. Letztendlich geht es mir darum, die Ware, die vom Design her nicht in das Konzept von meinem Online Shop passen anderweitig, möglichst unkompliziert abzuverkaufen. RatschlĂ€ge und Tipps willkommen :)


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Friday, June 15

Flower Friday

Hello lovelies!           Hallo, ihr Lieben!



It's been a while since I last posted. I've been quite busy behind the scenes actually! Apart from day to day business, much of my time was spent on the tedious new GDPR or general data protection regulation, which affects my shop, my blog as well as my newsletter. I've had to make a few changes to my blog and sadly had to throw out quite a number of links, banners, ads and entire blog posts! Henceforth I won't be accepting any ads nor will I be doing sponsored posts, because of legal implications. At one point I seriously thought about deleting my blog altogether, but then I remembered it will be my 10th Blog Anniversary this October, and I had planned something special for my readers. Stay tuned :) 

Since I've been pretty much house bound these past couple of months a friend suggested visiting one of the many gardens that are open throughout the summer months. Spending time in nature has such an uplifting effect. I admit I went a little overboard taking hundreds of pics, but this beautiful garden we went to had so much to offer - I couldn't resist. Here I'm sharing a small selection of the pretty flowers that were blooming. Enjoy!


Es ist schon eine Weile her, seit ich das letzte Mal gepostet habe. Abgesehen von der tĂ€glichen Arbeit musste ich mich mit der Umsetzung der neuen DSGVO sowie dem EUgH-Urteil auseinandersetzen. Diese neuen Regelungen betreffen ja nicht nur meinen Blog, sondern auch meinen Shop und den Newsletter. Um meinen Blog rechtskonform zu gestalten musste ich leider einige Links (darunter auch Bloglinks), sowie Werbebanner, Anzeigen und sogar ganze Blogposts entfernen. Wie viele andere Blogger hatte ich auch schon ĂŒberlegt meinen Blog ganz zu schließen. Aber da fiel mir ein, dass ich dieses Jahr im Oktober mein 10. BlogjubilĂ€um feiere - das war mir dann doch zu schade, zumal ich eine kleine Überraschung fĂŒr meine lieben LeserInnen geplant habe :)

Da ich die letzten Monate doch ziemlich ans Haus gefesselt war kam mir der Vorschlag einer lieben Freundin gerade recht, einen der vielen offenen GĂ€rten, die ja zu dieser Jahreszeit besonders prĂ€chtig sind, zu besuchen. Eine gute Gelegenheit auch mal wieder meine geliebte Kamera "auszufĂŒhren". Es gab so viel zu entdecken in diesem wunderschönen Garten. Hier zeige ich euch einen kleinen Anteil der vielfĂ€ltigen Blumensorten. Achtung - Bilderflut!




Wednesday, April 18

Fabrics, handmade + Life lately.

Gazebo collection

Hello everyone!
I just realized another month has passed without an update on my blog. I guess this is my new posting rhythm, and frankly I feel more comfortable posting something worth showing, even if it is far and few between.
Back in January I mentioned I had a set back regarding my health. Since then I've had a bunch of doctor's appointments and been poked and prodded multiple times. They've put me on different meds (the side effects are horrendous) which I absolutely must take for at least three months for them to take effect. After a whole year of pain it is quite a challenge to keep the faith and I suffered a spot of depression back in February. Also, the cold and gloom didn't help.  But now, finally, spring has arrived and with those first warm rays of sunshine my spirits have lifted again. I'm ready to fight this!

Meanwhile, all the fabrics from Tanya Whelan's newest collection Gazebo (see pic at top) have arrived, except one (blue dots), which I will receive next week. These designer fabrics are superior quality and the designs in this collection are both elegant and nostalgic. I love the combination of navy, pink, mint and soft grey so much that I'll be making a full-size quilt from these :)


Hallo, ihr Lieben!
Ich habe gerade festgestellt, dass seit meinem letzten Beitrag schon wieder ein Monat vorĂŒbergegangen ist. Irgendwie scheint dies mein neuer Blogpost Rhythmus zu sein ;-) 
RegelmĂ€ĂŸige Leser haben mitbekommen, dass ich im Januar wieder einen RĂŒckfall hatte was meine Gesundheit betrifft. Seitdem habe ich etliche Arztbesuche und Untersuchungen hinter mir. Da geht ganz schön viel Zeit drauf. Unterdessen hat man mich auf ein neues Medikament eingestellt (die Nebenwirkungen sind fĂŒrchterlich), dennoch muss ich mindestens drei Monate durchhalten. DrĂŒckt mir die Daumen.

Stoffe! Bis auf einen (blaue Punkte, kommt nĂ€chste Woche) sind nun endlich alle Stoffe aus der neuen Kollektion Gazebo von Tanya Whelan eingetroffen (siehe Bild ganz oben). Die nostalgischen Motive und die Kombination von Navy, Rosa, Mint und Zartgrau  gefallen mir ausgesprochen gut. Ich möchte mir so gerne einen Quilt daraus nĂ€hen, aber die sind ja bekanntlich aufwĂ€ndig. Naja, ich kann ja schon mal Quadrate schneiden.


Hearts are such a classic motif. New in from the Sophie porcelain range are these pretty and useful bowls with all over heart pattern and handpainted pink rim. More items in this range include paper napkins, tea towels, mugs and jugs. Also, I love the stylish packaging (see egg cups).
💗
Herzen sind ein klassisches Motiv. Neu in der Sophie Kollektion sind diese sĂŒĂŸen Schalen mit all-over Herzchen in Zartgrau und einem handbemalten rosa Rand. Passend dazu gibt es GeschirrtĂŒcher, Tassen, MilchkĂ€nnchen und Papierservietten. Die edle Verpackung (siehe Eierbecherschachtel) ist auch nicht zu verachten.


There's also some fun new stationery from Krima & Isa plus new button badges matching the Fairy Dawn range from April Rose England. I made some backpacks, sewed a little polar bear in a jumper (I named him Nils) and a patchwork spring bag. 
đŸŒș
Es gibt schöne neue Hefte und Bleistifte aus dem Hause Krima & Isa sowie farbenfrohe Buttons mit Fairy Dawn Motiven von April Rose England. Außerdem habe ich ein paar NĂ€hprojekte fertig bekommen.


Lastly, First Romance, a sweet fabric collection by Canadian designer Kristyne Czepuryk arrived last month. These are selling like hot cakes and the white fabric with small roses is almost sold out.
🌾
Und zum Schluß zeige ich euch noch die sĂŒĂŸe Kollektion First Romance von der kanadischen Designerin Kristyne Czepuryk welche letzten Monat geliefert wurde. Diese Stoffe gehen sehr schnell weg und leider ist nachbestellen nicht mehr möglich. Der weiße Stoff mit den Miniröschen ist fast weg.

Thank you for stopping by and reading along. Take care...till next month!
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Vielen Dank fĂŒr's Vorbeischauen und Lesen. Ich sag dann mal...bis in einem Monat!
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Saturday, March 17

Easy diy Fabric Box


Sewing fabric boxes isn't an original idea, but they are fun to make, especially if you use pre-cut fabric squares from a 5 " Charm Pack, like I did! This makes a neat little box to store craft supplies. Filled with folded up fat quarters, thread and a sewing kit it also makes a cute gift for a sewing friend!
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Dies ist keine originelle Idee, aber Stoffkörbchen nĂ€hen macht einfach Spaß und geht schnell, vor allem wenn man vorgeschnittene Stoffquadrate verwendet, wie z.B. aus diesem hĂŒbschen Charm Pack. Das fertige Körbchen ist ca. 11 x 11 cm. BefĂŒllt mit Fat Quarters und Kurzwaren ist es eine nette Geschenkidee fĂŒr die nĂ€hende Freundin!


You will need

Charm Pack 5 x 5"
fusible interfacing, like Pellon to add stability
thread
bias tape
sewing machine
basic sewing utensils

Ihr braucht

Charm Pack 12,7 x 12x7 cm
Decovil I Light, fĂŒr die StabilitĂ€t
Garn
SchrÀgband
NĂ€hmaschine
NĂ€hutensilien


How to:

  1. Select 5 squares from your charm pack stack for outer box.
  2. Cut 5 x 5" squares from Pellon and iron on wrong side of fabric squares.
  3. Sew the four box panels together, right sides facing, using a 1/4" seam allowance. At the bottom of each seam stop sewing at 1/4". Press seams open.
  4. Attach bottom panel right sides facing, making sure corner seams meet all four points. Pin all around.
  5. Starting in the center of one side seam stitch all around, pivot at corners. Go slowly!
  6. Select 5 squares from your charm pack for inside box.
  7. Repeat steps 3 - 5.
  8. Turn outer box right side out and push out corners. Slip in inside box, left sides facing, seams aligning. Pin all around and use a narrow 1/8" to stitch layers together.
  9. Starting in the center of one side pin the bias tape all around. When you come to the starting point, fold under the opposite end and overlap. Pin and stitch through all layers, catching both sides of the tape.
So geht's:
  1. 5 Quadrate fĂŒr die Außenseite aussuchen.
  2. 5 StĂŒck Decovil auf die GrĂ¶ĂŸe der Quadrate zuschneiden und auf die linke Seite bĂŒgeln.
  3. Vier Panele rechts auf rechts zusammennĂ€hen (1 cm Naht), dabei am unteren Ende ca. 1 cm aufhören zu nĂ€hen. NĂ€hte auseinander bĂŒgeln.
  4. Unteres Panel rechts auf rechts feststecken, dabei treffen die NĂ€hte auf die 4 Ecken. 
  5. An einer Seite mittig anfangen und langsam um das Quadrat nĂ€hen, in den Ecken Nadel stecken lassen, Fuß anheben, Quadrat drehen, Fuß senken und weiternĂ€hen.
  6. 5 Quadrate fĂŒr das Futter aussuchen.
  7. Schritte 3 - 5 wiederholen.
  8. Box vorsichtig auf Rechts drehen, Ecken rausdrĂŒcken. Futter links auf links in die Box schieben, NĂ€hte treffen aufeinander. Obere Kante feststecken und knappkantig steppen.
  9. SchrĂ€gband an einer Seite mittig befestigen. Um die obere Kante legen und feststecken. Das Ende einschlagen und etwas ĂŒberlappend ĂŒber den Anfang legen. Knappkantig durch alle Lagen steppen, dabei darauf achten, dass beide Seiten des SchrĂ€gbandes genĂ€ht werden.

Happy Sewing

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Monday, February 12

We will never forget you, Sammy


Sammy was found abandoned in a plastic bag. The person that found him brought him to the local shelter where he was adopted by a family with small kids and a dog. Needless to say, traumatized cats don't do well with boisterous families. A couple of months later he ended up back at the shelter and remained there for about a year, until my husband and I found and brought him back to his forever home. The previous family had given him such a daft name, so we changed it to Sammy immediately.

The first two days in our home Sammy hid in one of the lower kitchen cupboards and no amount of cajoling or tuna made him come out. So we kept the cupboard doors open, set out some water and food and hoped he would eventually calm down and come out on his own. I guess it got boring in there, because on the third day he started exploring his new surroundings. Most shelter cats are skittish and it took about a year for Sammy to fully trust us. He bonded with my husband first and spent many happy hours in my husband's mancave thereafter. One day I was sitting on the couch and he jumped up and curled up on my lap. That's when I knew he finally felt safe. Over the years Sammy grew into a quite a large (and heavy) cat. The above photo was taken when he was in his prime. He was unusual in that he didn't display typical cat behavior. He didn't "hunt" flies or other small insects nor was he interested in bird watching. He basically preferred laying in a sun puddle all day watching me! 

He had a few annoying habits, like shredding our soft furnishings, but despite that we loved him to bits and spent many happy years getting to know each other. He was an expressive cat, meowing in agreement (or not) when we were having a conversation - it was too funny. When he slept he snored and the sound was somehow comforting. And most unusual in all the years he never once hissed.  Not once.

Last year we noticed that he was showing signs of old age. We had bought some plush covered little steps to make it easier for him to get up and down from the couch. We exchanged his big litter box for a flat tray as he seems to have difficulty getting in and out. We exchanged the food to an easily digestible one. We spread out blankets and cushions everywhere. 

Then last August we discovered a little lump on his left hip that turned out to be a tumor. He had it surgically removed and sadly it turned out to be malignant. He recovered surprisingly well, the scar had healed nicely and he was basically back to his normal self, when in January I discovered another lump. We were devastated. We went through all the options, then decided on a second surgery. Second time around it took longer for Sammy to recover, so we helped him all we could. Made sure water and food was close by. We took turns checking on him at night. Apart from being a bit wobbly on the legs he seemed to recover bit by bit and even played with his mousie. Then in the last week of January something changed. There was a noticeable decline in his overall health. I think Sammy felt it too, but still fought on like a brave little soldier.

Last week my husband and I had to make one of the most difficult decisions ever. It broke our hearts, but we needed to end the suffering and put our beloved Sammy to sleep. To make matters worse my pain symptoms that I had managed to get down to a tolerable level have come back with a vengeance. I'm up to my eyeballs in painkillers in order to write this blog post. But Sammy deserves a post. I featured him several times on this blog and through him I have met a bunch of wonderful blog friends with pets (you know who you are).

We had the vet come to our house to perform the euthanasia. We laid Sammy on his favorite pillow, gently stroking his furs and talking to him in a calm voice right until the end. It was beyond awful and I had to pull myself together not to break down. We had a proper burial and Sammy is now at peace in our garden beneath the oak tree. It's been almost a week without Sammy and it feels so strange. Apart from us crying in turns it's eerily quiet at our house. So much for a "happy" new year.

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