Sunday, 2 December 2012

SUPER SWEET BLOGGING AWARD

Somehow I almost forgot to mention another prize, The Super Sweet Blogging Award prize, this time given to us by Hannah from Animal Tails blog. I'm very grateful for it. It's a very pleasant feeling, to win something, although - to be honest - my little piratess Kropka doesn't give a damn. If it was for a nut... ;---)


Anyway, dear Hannah, don't worry because I do care about such a yummy treats as in the badge above ;-) Thank you once again for your appreciation. It means alot to me. I hope you'll find even more sweetness in here in the future.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KROPECZKA ! :-)

On the first day of December, as it had been settled, we celebrated Kropeczka's first birthday. We don't care she may be probably a little bit elder; we craved for a party and we got one! The most important was a cake, so I made one using my secret celeriac and red beet recipe, saved for a special occasion like this :-)
     

The birthday cake was served inside Kropka's cage. I did remember, of course, to put off and take out the candle first. It was standing there: juicy, sweet and ready to eat, waiting for the noble jubilat who wasn't appearing (!). Well, it was one of those days when our little Kro leaves her nest barely and unwillingly...


When our super star finally left the tubes, she was moody, sleepy and really surprised; she didn't expect any celebration at all. To be honest, she wasn't quite happy about this Huge Smelly Something standing in the middle of the cage, on the road to her toilet and she actually had no idea what to do with it



  
For a long time she was sniffing the air, balancing on the edge of the platform, before she realised that this strange thing may actually be edible, but even than she didn't dare to take a bite. It was me who had to have it cut into pieces and give some to her. Only than she liked it and rushed with it quickly to her nest.




She only came back for one piece more and closed the tube entrance with some of her bedding to make sure she won't be disturbed. She was so pleased with the two pieces she got, that she was eating them and groomed herself (not mentioning sleeping) for the rest of the night. So much for the celebration ;-)

 
Whoa! And a gift, of course, I totally forgot about the gift; as a birthday present for Kropeczka I reorganized one of her cages by adding two cartoon boxes filled with deep litter to dwell in. I also warmed up one side of the cage bars (next to the window) with natural cotton and moved around tube entries to make some room for the improvements listed above. She loved, I mean LOVED them! :-D

Friday, 30 November 2012

MIXED FEELINGS

Last night Kropeczka scared the shit out of me. Even now I still have no idea what was that I saw yesterday... Let me start from the beginning: I was working on one of my novels late at night, next to her cage. Kropka was still sleeping (she sleeps alot this fall, as if she new the winter is comming) but suddenly I heard her rushing down the tubes. I turned to check on her and I realised that she was acting in a very strange and disturbing way: she was moving slowly, with her head like twisted to the right and her fur in a mess, and she appeared to me so... skiny and thin in comparison to the regular fur ball I saw in the morning... I took her out of the cage to examine her and once again she scared me, 'cause she lied on my hand like a ragdoll, with her feet hanging on both sides of my palm... And she was so quiet and unlikely still, closing her eyes as if she was very, very tired and craved for some sleep... I was caressing her and held in my arms for a long time. The problem was she was in heat last night and because of that I couldn't tell whether she was harmed or not (since she is always most excited when she's in heat and even when she's tired she can run like a rocket just to be stroked). Due to estabilish her condition, I put her on the carpet, just to see her moves, and once again, she was very dizzy, and sort of stretched-like, with this head pulling her right... It was a nightmare. I woke up my husband asking him to come and tell me what he sees and thinks 'cause - honestly - after Lilly I have all of those most horrible scenarios in my mind in a second when I see Kropeczka acting like that... Unfortunately, he also admitted, that she looks strange to him, so we were observing her together...


Once I saw her grooming herself and collecting some carrot pieces, I decided - whatever it is - I'll leave her alone, back in her cage, to let her get some sleep. And today, early in the morning, I checked her immediately: she was perfectly fine, doing all the things she usually does as if nothing ever happened, no sign of the yesterday disturbing behaviour... During the day the same: nothing strange, she was just calmly sleeping in her nest. So, I don't know. Maybe it's just the age... I'm not sure how old she is for real, maybe we all think she's about a year old and in fact she's like 1,5 for example...? The only thing I know is that I was freaking out last night because of her and I told her: Nawet się nie waż mnie teraz opuszczać, ty mała piratko...! Nie waż się mnie zostawiać...!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

AUTUMN KROPECZKA SPAM

At last...! I've just found time to post some actual photos of Kropeczka. For those who cared and wondered: we're doing fine, thank you. My little girl is now a proper, adult hamster with her habits and humours I have to deal with.

DON'T BE SHY, KROPECZKA, OUR FRIENDS WANT TO SEE YOU...!
WELL... I DUNNO... I'M NOT SURE IF I WANT TO BE SEEN...

See what I'm talking about...? ;-) We get on well together, we also know each other better, now. I respect her likes and dislikes (although she doesn't respect mine, LOL), for example: once in a while Kropeczka needs some time for herself and - although she never protests - it's better to leave her alone, than. Well, not everybody has to be in a playful mode every time I am, right...? ;-) Aw, there's also this one thing I'm insanely happy with (I'm sure you've noticed): the ability of taking hamster pictures is slowly comming back to me! Yay...! :-D


This little precious soon will celebrate her first birthday. Once again, I have no idea which day she was born exactly, but her previous owner stated that it were last days of November or first days of December. But we won't guess: the "cake" will be served on the 1th of December. I will share the recipe, of course ;-)

Monday, 1 October 2012

GUT GOTT HOW I LOVE MY FLOWER POT !

Once in a while you have to go crazy just to stay sane. Here's the movie showing Kropeczka freaking around in her secret hideout inside our wardrobe. As creepy as it may seem, it's just my cute little hamster girl playing and bathing:


This little movie is dedicated to our dear friend Juergen from Roborovsky Hamsters Addicted due to the title ;-) Juergen likes watching happy hamsters so we think he may actually like this one since she went overboard this time ;-)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

VOGUE !

Hi, I'm here just for a while today 'cause I wanted to show you how 'beautifully' Kropeczka has been posing to my pictures lately. It seems like the only thing we can admire now is her round, fluffy rear end. Isn't it adorable?

KROPECZKA MODELLING

Whenever she spots the camera, she turns her back on me immediately; it would be a miracle to take a sharp shoot of her. Yesterday, I was trying to make a little session of Kropeczka in her Autumn cage, but it turned into disaster ;-)

FIND A HAMMIE IN THIS PICTURE

It was supposed to be a photo of a hamster with a corncob, and it's a photo of a corncob with a hamster, instead. These are the only two of over thirty (!) pictures that hardly were good enough to share. No cooperation at all. Period.

Monday, 24 September 2012

KROPECZKA FINDING HER WAY... HOME ;-)

As you probably know, my Green Zone project was a disaster, thanks to Kropeczka's urge to crawl under the grass. But the whole area couldn't remain uninhabited so I changed the 'decor' and let Kropeczka in to give it a chance :-)


This time it was bull's eye! First she was very cautious, sniffing around and exploring, but once she got the big picture, she was running like crazy through the new tube channels and cage area. It seems she likes her new playground :-)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

HOW TO MAKE FANCY CLAY BURROW FOR YOUR RODENT

As you know, clay burrows are one of hamster favourite hideouts. They are natural, non toxic, feel good under paws and give this pleasant, cool chill in hot summer days. That's why I'm gonna show you the clay burrow processing.
 

FOR CRAFTING A CLAY BURROW LIKE THIS YOU'RE GONNA NEED:

- 1 kg of self hardening clay (f.e. JOVI Terracotta)*, 
- a bowl with a little bit of tap water,
- a dish min. Ø 20 cm wide,
- a cutting tool (f.e. blunt knife, line),
- a ruler,
- a board (any that can be washed later),
- disposable gloves if you're alergic to clay (or dirt), otherwise I recommend using bare hands 'cause not many things compares to the feeling of smooth, wet terracotta under your fingers ;-) 

* There are many different products on the market nowadays. Make sure the one you choose is non-toxic and animal friendly. 


STEP 1/
PREPARATION

Take all of your accessories and make yourself comfy at the table. Use the board as your coaster and unpack the clay on it. It looks like a chocolate in the silver paper, doesn't it? Watch out 'cause it can get messy ;-) Good clay should be soft and humid, just like plasticine.


STEP 2/
CUTTING

What you need to do is to cut out a small, about 1 cm wide and 10 cm long (on the later stage about 5 cm long), piece of clay using your cutting tool and separate it on a board. Having it done, always wrap the clay back in the paper so that it won't dry! In case it did, you've got this bowl of water, to wet your fingers (just a little bit) and water the clay again.


STEP 3/
ROLLING

Now, what we've got to do, is to make a long, caterpillar-like roll from this little piece of clay. Depending on what size burrow you're making, the rolls will be shorter or longer (that's something you must figure out yourself) but all of them should look somewhat like this:


STEP 4/
SCALING AND FITTING

And here comes the plate! I bet you wondered, what the hec we need it for ;-) Well, it's very handy in scaling our rolls to the size of the burrow and also helps putting them in right place while crafting. Remember that our burrow is supposed to be wide at the bottom and narrow on top. Also don't forget about the entrance hole big enough to let your fuzzy friend in and out.


STEP 5/
BUILDING

As you've probably noticed, the real fun has already started. At this point you must repeat steps 2 - 4 as long as needed for receiving something that looks like the clay burrow in the first and the last pictures of this tutorial ;-) That means you add new layers of clay rolls one by one, fastening them together thoroughly (outside and inside). The higher you go, the shorter your rolls should be. Continue, until you reach the hight of the entrance. When you do that, prepare the next roll, bend it like shown in the picture below and fasten it to the side layers:


This is our entrance, our triumphal arch, 'cause if you got to this point, certeinly you will be successful having your own clay burrow soon ;-) And don't worry if your little work of art is lop-sided; there's nothing what can't be fixed while crafting in clay. See how I improoved this crapy arch from the previous picture...? It looks much better now:


If only you keep your terracotta humid and soft, and stick to the steps 2-5, everything should go peachy but once your roll layers reach the hight of the entrance you must change your tactics. See what happened? We don't need to go around the entrance hole anymore! :-)


From now on we need our caterpillar-like rolls to be more like closed rings, like links in the chain. You have to shape each next one properly before adding it to the construction.


At this point you're actually there. You may add a few more layers and leave your clay burrow open if you wish so, or you may also continue until your layers meet on the top, eventually closing the construction. I chose another way: I wanted my burrow to be generally open but also closed when needed so I made this little top-cap:


STEP 6/
OPTIONAL TOP-CAP

Start with a small ring made of another clay-roll, fitting the highest layer of your clay rolls.  This one may seem tricky since we don't cheat with the plate this time but I'm sure you'll manage.


Going up, add more layers of clay rings, every smaller than the previous one, as long as needed for receiving a cap-shaped object. You may also make some kind of an ornament to decorate your art work. In the end, leave all the pieces for few hours in medium sunlight so that the clay rest and self-harden. 

And that's it, ladies and gentlemen. That's the whole philosophy of crafting a self-made clay burrow for your hamster, rat, mouse, gerbil or any other kind of our dear rodents that likes cool, shady hideouts.


Remember, be creative! :-) Don't be affraid of trying new ways of using the clay: squeeze it, toast it, roll it, stroke it and pull it to discover new possibilities. It's YOUR clay burrow and now that you know how to make it, no one's gonna tell you how it should or not should look like. Good luck with that one! :-)


Ups, I almost forgot: in the picture below there is an example of using such an object inside the cage. As you can see, I put some fresh dill/parsley into the clay burrow. Kropeczka loves this trick, because their stalks are like little roots inside this 'cave' and she may also collect the leaves freely (she drags them to her nest and makes her bedding of them).


I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR CLAY BURROWS
IF YOU HAPPEN TO CRAFT ONE (OR MORE :-))
PLEASE, LINK IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW
THERE MAY BE SOMETHING FOR YOU AND YOUR PUPIL IN IT :-)

Saturday, 1 September 2012

RANDOM KROPECZKA SPAM

I've just realised I don't have any gorgeous photos of Kropka. In fact, I barely have any photos of her at all. I started to wonder: why? Well, one of the reasons is that she's not the model kind. An actress - yes, I've got plenty of cheerful movies starring my little piratess and waiting to be published - but not a model. It's because she's so rapid, so vivid, that seldom she can stay in one place for more than a second. She usually blurs in the pictures or looks like a wet chicken because of her empty eye socket, if you know what I mean. It wasn't easy to pick those few photos good enough to share, but here they are:


Now, if I mentioned the first reason, there must be also the second one, right? Here it is: I'm affraid I might have lost this little something, this inner spark for hamster photography after Lilly's departure... The more I think about it the more sure I become. Lilly was no more unique than Kropeczka is, but when she was gone I stuck with tones of her beautiful yet unpublished photos which only increased the pain and bitterness. Right now I may subconsciously be affraid of this situation repeating itself. Well, having myself diagnosed, it would be nice to do something about it, wouldn't it...? ;-) I promise I will do my best.

Friday, 31 August 2012

CRAZY LAZY LITTLE SUMMER

Okay, guys! The summer is ending, it's time to get to work! I've been so lazy lately I can't even believe it. That means I've got a lot (I mean A LOT) to keep up with right now. First of all a little news update: Kropeczka is perfectly fine, vivid as usual. Somehow she survived Snoopy's (my mom's dog) summer visit.
POOR SNOOPY WONDERING WHY KROPKA HATES HIM SO MUCH

She also travelled with us to another city for my brother's wedding and stayed there with us (and with her 'beloved' Snoopy, of course) for nearly two weeks. To be honest, she didn't like neither. It was hot, it was loud; she needed more than few days to get used to the new place and once again - although she managed quite well - she had troubles with accommodation, just like Lilly did.



Snoopy also didn't help; don't get me wrong, he's very quiet, wise and good dog and never gave any of my hamsters a reason to be scared of him, but it seems like both of them - first Lilly, now Kropka - intuitively feel threthen by his presence. Luckily, we all survived and came back. Now it's time for some Autumn cleaning: I'm willing to organize and systematically post all Kropeczka's movies, also finally get into some long-time-ago-promised topics like for example: missed recipes for Inky, clay burrow tutorial or cage tour. CU!

Friday, 27 July 2012

LULLABY

Hello, I just wanted to share with you this story. Kropeczka likes listening to my voice, especially when I sing to her. She's got her one favourite lullaby and when she hears it, she slowly starts to close her eye and falls asleep. The only part of Kropka that moves than is her little ear, the one that's closer to my lips.

KROPECZKA AND HER PILLOW

Yesterday evening I took Kropeczka with me to the living room, on the couch. I was tired and didn't really feel like crowling on the floor along with her. My husband was watching TV and I was holding her in my arms and let her run all over me. At some point I must have took a nap, or at least I was at the edge of sleep - you know that funny feeling of being half concious? ;-) Well, in this funny state I just felt Kropeczka trotting towards my face, finding this warm place where the neck meets the shoulders. She stopped there and after a while she streched like a dog in there, with her front paws ahead and... she took her nap, too :-) When I realised, I barely moved not to disturb her. It was amazing feeling, to have her so warm and trusting so close. It was for the first time, never before she did this. She must feel really safe with us. I'm happy she does.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

BURIED ALIVE (KROPKA REVIEWING THE GREEN ZONE)

Hello everyone! :-) It's been a while. I've been busy putting Kropka's new zombie movie together ;-) The one I promised to you looong time ago. Well, it wasn't easy considering the fact that I had to have my new novel finished and the whole family is preparing for my brother's wedding. :-) But here is the vid:


To be honest, I've had this funny and annoying feeling that I forgot something and now I reminded myself what it was: I totally missed the June ingredient in Inky's Recipe Challenge. I don't know whether Inky's gonna let me enter it, but I think I'll do the grapes anyway. Just for fun. Along with celery, perhaps ;---)

Monday, 11 June 2012

THE GREEN ZONE PROJECT

As promised, I give you the full report on my spring project that was creating grassy cage area for my hamster Kropeczka. There is also the step by step instruction to follow for those who would like to give it a try and test the idea. 


My goal was to provide Kropka with the 24 hours a day access to the nature. After Lilly, I ended with two identical cages which I was going to connect with the tubes anyway, so I decided to turn one o them into a real living meadow. It worked quite well in Lilly's case, remember how she enjoyed my Meadow In The Pot...? This time I was hoping for a regular green habitat with a sand pit for bathing in the middle of the grassy area. Seems like I succeeded but if you skip straight to the Kropka's Green Zone Review you might get some doubts ;---) Now, let me tell you what I used but - of course - you can make your own modifications if needed. Ready to create the Green Zone for your fuzzy friend?

WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED ARE:
- 40 x 60 cm wide and 12 cm high spare cage dish (the bigger and deeper the better);
- 15 l of regular gardening soil (choose the one without any artificial chemical fertilizers);
- 5 kg of chinchilla sand;
- a small bag of grass/flower seeds (if you wanna cultivate grass along with some flowers you can do that but make sure you chose hamster friendly plants since there are many spiecies toxic and/or even deadly to rodents);
- watering can;
- water;
- sun;
- time;
and a hamster to review ;-)

Step 1/ 
FIND A PROPER PLACE that will be warm and sunny enough for growing plants and comfortable while taking care of them, for example watering. Put the cage dish in a place that grants you free access to the whole flowerbed. It is essential to disconnect this area from your hamster's habitat for the time of cultivation.


Step 2/
CLEAN THE CAGE DISH if needed. Thoroughly remove all the litter, dust or any else expendable remains. If you're using detergent make sure you washed and wiped it out completely.

Step 3/
FILL IN THE CAGE DISH WITH SOIL AND SAND. Now, that's where the real fun begins. The thing is you have to cleverly form this round, middle sand area separated from the soil. You can achieve it by using the soil first and than adding the sand. Soil, if it's good quality, should be a little bit watery, soft and sticky in touch so there should be no problem with forming it as you want. Don't be affraid of leveling it by beating down if needed. Remember not to fill the dish totally in hight; depending on the sort of the seeds you chose, you will need some space later to cover them with additional layer of soil.

01.03.2012

Step 4/
SOW THE SEEDS of love :-) I'm kidding. Of course you must put some heart into it to make it but it's grass and flowers we're gonna cultivate here, not human organs ;-) My choice was regular grass and night scent flowers. Regarding their requirements (always read the labels!) I simply mixed them and threw the seeds randomly onto the soil (avoid throwing them on the sand if you wanna keep it plant free!). Once you finished, cover the seeds with required layer of soil and water it gently (be carefull: too much water may cause the seeds will hit the surface and we wouldn't want that).


Step 5/
WAIT. Depending on the sort of plants you chose it way take more or less time but eventually you're gonna see first sprouts comming out. That's half of the success. 


5TH MARCH 2012


Step 6/
DAILY CARE. Young, growing plants need much sun and water. Every day you have to check whether they require watering or not. But you have to keep in mind that cultivating plants in any plastic pot is tricky: too much water causes the soil gets mouldy. You have to be carefull with dosing but if you are soon you're gonna be granted with a dish full of upgrowing grass.


12TH MARCH 2012


You have to be patient. If you let your hammie too soon, before the plants root themselves properly, this little monster may ruin the whole work in it's early stage. As you can see, young grass and flowers are very delicate so even stronger water stream may harm them.


14TH MARCH 2012


If you've been patient and done everything right, one day you'll realise that you've actually got a meadow in your cage dish. Well, it may take few weeks to even few months if you had bad luck to hit poor quality bag of seeds, but it's gonna happen sooner or later.


30TH MARCH 2012


For example, in my case, the grass was very weak and yet it completely dominated the night scent flowers which were growing for some time and than perished giving the way to the grass. Well, I bought them in a hipermarket after all, why should I expect anything better...? But the general results were satisfying.




Step 7/
ASK YOUR HAMSTER FOR THE REVIEW and watch them having fun. Lets take Kropeczka: for the whole month she was smelling the dish filled with the fresh, humid, extremely aromatic soil standing next to her cage. Can you imagine what she must have felt...? Every evening she was standing, sticked to the bars, watching the sprouts smelling so tasety. And she couldn't reach them...! Can you imagine her torments...? LOL ;-) No wonder that when I finally let her in it took her about 15 minutes to 'review' and the results were... Well, see yourself:



EPILOGUE:
Remember Lil' Lilly stepping gently on her meadow, smelling and eating flowers...? Well... Kropeczka - once she felt the soil beneath her feet - turned into raging mole obsessed with the idea of getting under the grass. She didn't give a damn about the juicy blades, sand bath area or her new clay house (sand is for snotnoses!): she started to dig, dig hard and at some point she actually succeded and crawled under the ground. Luckily, I taped this happening so in the next post you're about to see Kropeczka anihilating my Green Zone.  So, was it worth it...? Surely Kropka had the time of her life. Still, if you wanna try, do it. Maybe your hammie won't turn out to be a monster...
[SNURF]