A slight obsession with books

Reading and Fibrecrafts


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Tents and tunnels

The adventure playground for our cats is looking good. The grasses are coming up nicely, apart from a couple that I’m keeping an eye on, and the cats are really enjoying being able to go outside when they want.

As they’re spending so much time out there, we wanted to provide some places where they could get shade if it’s sunny, and hide in to watch the birds and squirrels.

We’ve put their Hop-in cube and tunnel out there, as it’s weather proof and they like snoozing in there. Someone in a FB maine coon group had a brilliant orange tent with tunnel, which we were all admiring, and I managed to track one down online. 

Last year we spotted a bright yellow kiddies tent in Aldi. It might not last long but it was cheap enough so we added it to the collection.We’ve just put them all outside and fastened them down and so far, the cats are loving them.Both Frodo and Sammie have stayed outside during quite heavy rain, snoozing in the tents. Rosie was in the Hop-in earlier while it was raining with just her head popping out so she could watch a huge pigeon.

Hopefully I’ll get a few pics of them playing outside in them when it’s not raining at some point. It has to stop soon, right?

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Animal Kingdom & Rosie

More scrapbooking and this time I’ve done one of Rosie when she was quite a bit younger and smaller. I have a pad of cat-themed papers that I’ve been working my way through and the colours in the pad are perfect for Rosie. I also have quite a large stash of cat embellishments that I bought when we were thinking about getting cats again, so it’s nice to be able to use them now.

I love the way Rosie was posing for this photo. It’s one of my favourite pics of her.
I’ve also been working my way through some more Holiday photos from last year and have done a couple more layouts of Animal Kingdom.

This one is going to be the section divider for AK.And this one is just to show off two of my favourite photos from the park.Both of those layouts are using some very old papers. The black/Kraft one is probably the newest one of them and that was dated 2008! It’s great to see old stash being used finally.


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Clear the desk

I’m still enjoying working my way through Shimelle’s class, A most magical scrapbook, and I’m getting my Disney photos from last year done really quickly. As I was on a roll, I signed up for another of Shimelle’s classes that launched in Feb. It’s a class to encourage you to use up older supplies. For some people that just means using up the lovely stash they bought last year, but I have stash dating back to 2005 and maybe earlier.

I kept buying patterned paper but struggled to actually use it. Shimelle’s style uses a lot of pretty paper so I’m getting through it nicely now but I have lots to use up yet.

I had a really good rummage and pulled these papers for the first prompt.

That’s A-Z, Kaisercraft, Chatterbox, MME, Fancy Pants, 3 bugs in a rug, and one by American Crafts that didn’t get into the photo. The ones with dates on were 2005/2006.

This is what I made with these papers plus a mix of old & new embellishments.

Six layouts! I did four on the first evening and another two when I got home from work the following day. I don’t think I’ve ever been so productive so I’m chuffed to bits.

I’ve been busy with other stuff the past week but I’m going to dive in with a second set of supplies for the next video asap.


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Fun in the snow

The cats loved playing in the snow last weekend. Two of them did, anyway. Sammie refused point-blank to go out in it. Frodo was outside for most of the day, with a short interlude for a wash and a snooze on my lap. Rosie was outside for a fair bit of the day although she wasn’t as keen on the snow falling on her and didn’t like the sound of the snow crunching under my wellies.

This photo was taken on Saturday before the snow really came down on the night. There was just a sprinkling so it gave them a chance to get used to the idea before playing out on the Sunday in the deeper snow.Frodo had a whale of a time. He was chasing snowflakes, helping Stephen to shake the snow off the enclosure roof and stalking Rosie. Rosie was a bit more cautious but didn’t seem to mind the snow underfoot. It was great seeing them have so much fun and it definitely wore them out as Frodo spent the evening cuddled up next to me, fast asleep, while Rosie curled up in her favourite bed on the cat tree.


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Adventure playground

The cat enclosure is pretty much finished. We’ve got a couple of ornaments, the water feature & some solar lights to go out there but we’ll wait for spring for those now. Other than that, it’s all done, apart from a couple of places where the paint on the woodwork needs touching up.

I’ve taken a couple of photos…

There are planting areas around the roof supports. The supports are on bricks, which are cemented in. I’ve planted with lots of different grasses. They look a bit weedy at the moment but will be all different heights, textures and colours once they get going next year. I’ve left spaces between them for the cats to stalk through. I’ve added an extra layer of weed-proof membrane as I planted, so hopefully no weeds and the cats won’t be able to go digging. I’ve used river cobbles on top of the membrane as I love the look it gives and also I was hoping that the cats wouldn’t move them. I was wrong on that one. Rosie has been playing football with them. Still, they’re easier to put back than smaller pebbles so all’s good. The new step looks good and the cats love the border of slabs that goes around the edge. They like to lie on it, especially if the grass is damp.Frodo is enjoying being outside more as we can now let them out after it’s been raining. Before it would turn into a mud bath out there. He has some lightweight balls outside which he loves to bat around the grassy area. Sammie is a bit of a gymnast and balances on the roof supports. She loves all the higher sections, including the new shelf we’ve added between two of the supports. The big of garden immediately around the enclosure is looking good but the rest of it is still a mess. We’ll be working on that next year as well as sorting out the conservatory.


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Cat flaps

The cats are loving their new enclosure but it was getting a bit chilly having the back doors open for them to go in and out. Because of where we’re situated, and because Rosie tends to panic if she can’t get in and hide if she needs to, we couldn’t just close the doors and leave them out there.

We’d been talking about having a cat flap for a while but couldn’t decide where to have it. The options were to go through the wall in my craft room, which would be a big job but would only need one flap. I was worried about getting a draught in there though as it’s a cold room to start with.

The other option was to go though the kitchen door. Then to either go through the conservatory wall, or though the door, which is double-glazed. If the latter, we’d have needed to have a new glass bit made with the cat flap already in it.

We’d been going back and forth on it for ages so eventually we found a company online that looked reputable, (Facebook reviews/good website etc) and gave them a ring. They turned out to be a godsend as not only did they give excellent advice, but fitted two flaps the next day (last Friday).

We had one in the kitchen door and one in the conservatory door. We had the glass panel replaced by a solid one as the door wasn’t wide enough to take the cat flap and still be strong enough. It looks a bit odd having the glass on one side and a solid panel on the other but I can live with it. If it does bother me, I can always get the other panel replaced to match.

The company we used is All Glass & Glazing, and we’ll definitely use them again if we need any glass work done. They were fast, efficient and friendly and left absolutely no mess at all. They supplied the flaps, which we chose from their website and they’re plenty big enough for the cats.

Frodo got the hang of using them straight away. I’ve been trying to get a pic of him but he’s so confident that he goes through them at about 90mph. He’s loving it.

Stephen made a little step for them outside as we thought the drop might put them off using it.

Sammie took a little longer to use the flaps and would still prefer for us to open the door instead, but she has been using them and has been in and out a few times today.Rosie is the most reluctant. She has used them but isn’t keen on trying to push them open. There are magnets holding the flaps steady, so they don’t blow in the wind. The cats do have to push a bit harder than if there weren’t any and that is what Rosie is struggling with. She’ll soon get the hang of it though.I’m noticing that the back door needs cleaning. Everything got a bit grubby out there while the landscaping in the enclosure was being worked on. Now it’s pretty much finished, I’ll have to get my scrubbing brush out!

I’ve been taking photos of the enclosure and I’ll post them soon. We’re really happy with it, and so are the cats.


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Adventure playground – landscaping day three

Late shifts and rain have prevented me from posting the daily progress on this, plus the guys couldn’t work on one day due to unforeseen problems.

We do have lots of progress though. The gravel has been put down around the three sides, outside the enclosure, and it looks great. It’s still to be tamped down and levelled but we’re really pleased with how it looks.

The hardcore has been put down inside, leaving gaps where the planting will be. A finer layer was added after it was tamped down.

The slabs have been laid round the inside edge. They look great!

The step has been re-laid, with bricks beneath it and an extra step, partly because it looks nice, but mostly because otherwise we’d have had a patched bit of artificial turf as the roll isn’t quite long enough.

They’ve also weeded the patio and jetwashed the soil from between the slabs. They’re going to put some stuff down there to deter further weed growth as it’s a pain trying to get the weeds out of those fine gaps.

Looking good so far but lots more to do.