Quick Update

I am really pleased with how the site is going at the moment. Glad that I decided to separate my pride designs from everything else as it is making promoting both easier and I can join, target stuff and generally work more efficiently and with the right audiences. I love the fact that I am able to work with things that I love and have a genuine interest in, however the disadvantage is there is so much I’d like to keep for myself lol 🙂 I have some grapefruit and lime candles that arrived yesterday and they smell totally yummy! The citronella tea lights are nice too. Handy for keeping away bugs.
Grapefruit and Lime Candle

I have some pretty glass tea light holders just added as well available in pink, yellow and clear glass. Each comes with a white unscented tea light.

Pink Glass Tea Light Holder

I am currently working on some new incense blends and may make them into cones rather than leaving them loose. Not many people seem to go for the loose though I thought maybe that’s because they aren’t sure how to burn it? Personally I like the loose as I can mixed up whatever I fancy and have it ready to use in no time and it still stores well if I make a batch

Over the last few weeks I have been doing a lot of writing and have added links to some relevant articles to the side bar on Elderberry Arts. I am mainly working on a series of introductions to various things including herb magic, feng shui, chakras, healing crystals and incense. Working on a project for Bead magazine as well.

In other news the ducklings are so big now. They haven’t any heat for a few weeks now and spend all day out in our housey type area and I bring them in at night. Should be able to go outside soon. They still run away from me though 😦 I have been hand feeding them slugs and mealworms in an attempt to win them over. In the mornings they are calmer about me picking them up and letting them out which is good.  The quail are not even two weeks old yet and are huge compared to when they hatched, about the size of a chick now. They have the right idea and often sleep in the food bowl so they don’t even have to move to eat! lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catch Up

Time has been flying! can’t believe it has been weeks since I posted. Everything is ok but busy here. The ducklings are really big now and nearly as tall as their brooder. I am hopefully going to start on their outside pen this week if the weather stays ok. trying to decided where in the garden to have them as although the garden is big it’s on three levels and there is quite a bit of other stuff out there like swings, trampoline, shed…

 

I have five tiny quail chicks that just hatched yesterday. They are very cute and funny and unlike the ducklings, actually like me. They always run away 😦

 

Ickle blondie 🙂 All the others are darker coloured

I have been working on a few new projects for the site including splitting my pride designs from the rest and having a separate website for those. Which is all now stocked and up and running and can be visited at http://www.rainbipride.co.uk It’s something I’ve been considering for a while and I think it will make promoting the sites and marketing a lot easier. I am going to be adding some new lines to Elderberry Arts in the next months as well as jewellery too.

My oldest son was 15 yesterday (where do all the years go!?) and I made a dairy and wheat free cheesecake using tofu and avocado to create the ‘cheese’ topping. I really wasn’t sure about the tofu but it worked really well. It had a printed rice paper topper but it that soaked up some of the moisture from the cake and got a bit soggy.

Wheat and dairy free cheesecake

Ducks!

I have been incubating some duck eggs and after missing my quail hatching a few years ago was determined not to miss the hatch this time round! I started out with six eggs, three turned out to be infertile or died very early and one sadly died in the shell later on. But I have two happy little ducklings chirping away in my kitchen, here’s their story.

Eggs just set in the incubator – 06/05/12

I first candled the eggs after six days revealing what looked like four fertile and two infertile eggs. I checked those two again a few days later but still nothing. Here you can see the network of blood vessels beginning to form.

Fertile egg at 6 days after incubation began

And again at 14 days – half way through incubation

Fertile egg candled at 14 days

I tried to candle the eggs later but was unable to get clear pictures much after as the ducklings grew and filled the egg. On Friday 1st June two had their beaks in the eggs air sac which is a good indication that they will hatch soon – most likely within 48 hours. I could also hear them chirping from inside the egg. On Saturday morning a tiny crack had appeared in one egg so they were definitely on their way.

1st duckling pips at approximately 10:30pm on 2nd June

By 11pm there was a clear hole

Then everything went quiet so time to get some sleep

Woke up and checked again at 1:30am and could see a little beak poking out

1:47am 3nd June

Waited for a bit and then back to bed for me until 5:30am when the 1st duckling had broken the shell end away

5:30am 3rd June

And out it came about 5 minutes later

1st duckling hatches

I was a bit worried about how lifeless it appeared at first. I knew they would be from the work of getting out of the egg but it was worse then I expected. But it’s heartbeat looked good and strong. I noticed now that the second egg had pipped. Opening the incubator now would of risked chilling the baby and also drop the humidity in there making it harder for the others to hatch if it became to dry.

2nd duckling – 8:34am 3rd June

By 8:30 am the second duckling had broken away most of the end of the egg and you can see it’s beak.

2nd duckling at 09:06am 3rd June

By 09:10am it was almost out and shortly after the first duckling, still very wobbly and hardly able to stand, struggled over to help the other by pushing it around and breaking away the shell with its beak. Amazing!

2nd duckling out – 09:10am 3rd June

2nd duckling – 5:23pm 3rd June

At this point I saw that the third egg had a large crack along its side. At first I thought the chick was in the wrong position and was trying to come out wrong but now I think maybe it got cracked by the other two moving around. Will never know as the little guy didn’t make it. I candled the egg later when removing the two ducklings and it had died. Though I have no way of knowing when, it looked to be quite late as most of the eggs was filled with dark feathers. It is now buried at the end of my garden.

The incubator was still very steamed up and humid so the ducklings were not drying out so I quickly removed the ducklings and put the top over them on the side while I emptied the water container and dried everything off. Made the world of difference as they were looking much drier and fluffier within a few hours.The first to hatch carried on cleaning and picked some bits of stuck shell of the other while cuddling up to it.

Fluffy babies – 8:50pm 3th June