Raquel English

Category Archives: DIY

How I Keep A Cottage Bunny

Good Afternoon,

I wanted to share my story of Oliver Twist, how he came to live with me, and how to keep a house bunny.

I had written this almost a year ago, but I’ve had some blog issues, so I’m attempting this again.

I had two little dogs in my previous marriage which were a shorty Jack Russell and a silky Yorkshire terrier. Dave is the JR & Savvy is the Yorkie.

They were sweet dogs, but I had honestly always desired a bunny, probably since my early twenties. I even had the name ‘Oliver’, picked out that long ago. The truth is, I actually wanted to name one of my boys Oliver, but their father wouldn’t hear of it, so I stuffed the name away, until one day. I would have a house bunny and then name the bunny Oliver. I’ve also had a fish named Oliver too.

After my divorce and I moved back to Florida, I thought to myself. I am going to do, be, and have all the things I’ve ever wanted. When I first began dating Jeffrey, and on one of our little conversations, I spoke of how having a house bunny had always been a dream of mine. He surely filed that away and remembered it.

When my birthday came around, my BG asked me what I’d like for my birthday, and I told him I really wanted a rabbit. He smiled, asked if I had found one and that we’d surely go and pick up that bunny I wanted. I cried a puddle of tears,  I could not believe he was actually going to buy me a bunny.

I was shocked and so pleased. He said, ” Baby, I want you to be happy and I know you’ve wanted a bunny for so long, and I want you to have one. I want my baby happy.”

He said, ” Baby Doba (my nickname because he says I look like I have doe eyes’), I want you to be happy and I know you’ve wanted a bunny for so long, and I want you to have one.”

I’ve had many people ask me about caring for a house bunny, so let’s chat about that.

Here’s how I care of my ‘Oliver’ at the cottage.

I went to the pet store and purchased Yesterdays News, which is a cat litter. But they recommend it for a bunny as it won’t cause them harm. I actually had my father reconfigure an old antique pie safe by converting it into a bunny house (below). I had bought this pie safe over twenty years ago, and it seemed the perfect bunny house.

I keep Oliver in the bunny house every evening, so he doesn’t get into things. I take him out every morning when I get up and he roams the cottage. I only let him in two rooms and have little gates up to block off the rest of the cottage so he doesn’t chew on things that are harmful. They will chew all sorts of wires and outlets. They love plastic, so you must remove all those types of things from them.

I’ll list the things I bought for Oliver when I brought him home:

  • Yesterday’s News kitty litter (it’s not harmful to the bunny)
  • Fresh Parsley, Carrots, & Cilantro (Oliver’s Favorites) I tried all kinds of veggies…experiment and see what they like the most.
  • Timothy Hay
  • A Blanket
  • Water bowl (I had some vintage ones packed away)You don’t need the fancy hanging bottles with the rollerballs. Think about rabbits in the wild, they drink from water naturally, they don’t need anything but a water bowl.
  • food bowl (clay bowl) I already had
  • Plastic Rubbermaid pans (I purchased at the dollar store) I bought 3, and then gradually took two away after a few months.
  • Some old driftwood, pinecones (from my back yard) and tree limbs  for him to sharpen his teeth
  • Capture Carpet and Rug cleaner kit

The only places locally you can find Capture is at Home Depot. You can find it on Amazon . I’ve kept up with this product for almost 15 years. It’s hands down the best product when having any kind of animals in your home. It works phenomenally. It will completely eliminate the smell of urine and potty.

The way I litter box trained Oliver was to prepare a few little plastic Rubbermaid dishes (below) with some yesterday’s news on the bottom and then added some hay at one end of the dish.

I picked mine up at the dollar tree. I could use these small sized ones because Oliver is very tiny. I then went to Hobby Lobby and found several wooden boxes (below) that the plastic would fit inside because of course, a wooden box is much nicer to look at. Oliver likes the wooden boxes also and tends to chew the edges to keep his little teeth filed.

 I then placed about three of them around the room, in spots that I noticed Oliver liked and mostly stayed in. Rabbits are very much like cats and dogs; which means when they find spots to eliminate, they will go back to those same spots everytime. Another thing to remember when training a bunny or any small animal is to keep their space for roaming to a very minimum. You can later extend the space for them to roam, but don’t give them all sorts of space. Little animals tend to get overwhelmed and will start urinating and pooping everywhere. 

Oliver is a Jersey Wholly Rabbit/ Blue Tort (which is a rare breed), Oliver only weighs 3 pounds and he’s at his growth capacity. I wanted a small rabbit and a gentle temperament.

When my BG and I went to the breeder, we had our eyes on a black Jersey Wooly, but when I got to the breeders home and began looking and holding the rabbits, I saw Oliver and wanted to hold him immediately.

My BG was holding him the whole time as I was talking with the breeder and chatting away. I looked over and Oliver was nearly asleep in Jeffrey’s arms. I knew right away he was our bunny.

So, If you plan to get a bunny, first, do your research and secondly listen to your beautiful heart. The rabbit that belongs to you, will speak to you, for sure. I believe in the Law Of Attraction… even when it comes to rabbits and who wants to belong to you.

I hope this was helpful and if you have any other questions, just comment below, or tail mail (email) me.

Staffordshire Cottage ~ My Little DIY Journey~ Scale 1

Good Day Shoal Family and Mermaid Junkies,

I thought I’d write another post since I seem to be on a roll. I have spent all last week and this week trying to really dive deep and figure out how to do this whole blogging/web thing-a ma-jig all by my lonesome.

I had put it off for quite some time because I couldn’t figure out the darn loading camera images and iphoto stuff. I’m still having glitches, so bear with me, if you don’t mind your pretty little heads. 🙂

I about lost my Mermaid mind. You know like when you are swimming and can’t get to the top of the surface quick enough. And you literally feel like you’re gonna freaking drown! hahaha… that was me, so being me and yes, I talk to myself, heck… I even answer myself back too…

I was saying to myself,” Raquel, you’re trying to force things, back away and use Law of Attraction methods on this whole blog thing…. blah blah blah…”

Pssttt… I know I’m a mess, especially in my own head. You don’t talk to yourself all day, do you? I must be the only one. But, I bet I’m not.

Okay, so anyway, I have been knee deep in this little cottage that I named ” Staffordshire Cottage.” I like to name stuff, my homes, vehicles, furniture… you name it… I name it…

I’m going to share with you something. I’ve decided that I’m going to be raw and talk to you the way I do on my Youtube channel. If there’s anything that I’ve learned through my divorce, It’s that I am transparent. I wanna live the rest of my life that way, and not just because it’s going to be another new year soon. I have decided on many things about my life and one is most definitely letting you my fin-loving friends know all about me. I want to let you see me when things aren’t going the best, or I’m feeling like an idiot about a project I’m working on. 

This is Staffordshire Cottage. Sorry about the non-editing, but I’m doing the best I can. I love the huge bottle brush tree It has loads of bees in the Spring and it’s quite lovely. Don’t you think?

Life is too dang short to act like everything is always perfect. A perfect house, perfect marriage, perfectly dressed kids, etc. I had enough of that stuff in my old life.

Do you start projects, DIY and then abandon them, out of stinkin’ frustration! Well, I do. And that’s what I did here.

I kept telling my BG that I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I usually love doing projects. If anyone of my friends knows me, know I’m a bit of a lunatic when it comes to starting projects. I will start a crapload of projects, get overwhelmed and get so aggravated that I abandon ship!

Okay, so all of this to let you see what I’ve started over here at the SC (Staffordshire Cottage).

I’ve been thinking a lot and I wanna take you on this little renovation journey with me. so here we go… get your life jackets on my darlings…

Let’s hope this goes better than the Titanic ending.. What, too soon? teehee…

This is the look I gave when I started my first project. The insanity and a boat load of pink carpet! How was this ever a good look, even in the seventies? That tells you how old our little house is. It was built in 1974, and obviously, the carpet has been here since. Don’t even say it, I already know what you’re thinkin’…

I started with the closets. Don’t ask me why. There is a method to my madness, though. (P.S. can you tell that my BG loves the Bucs?)

Okay, so after ripping two whole rooms of pink carpet, then I had the lovely task of figuring out how to dispose of it all. Here’s a tip. Cut all the carpet with a carpet knife in strips, roll it up and it’ll fit into your trash cans. I even asked my neighbors if I could put a few rolls into their can. They were sweet and let me.

I need to name this little series something… Do you have any ideas?

To Be Cont’d…

Yours til my next swim, Rac

Mermaid Monday: Faux Wood Canvas Mermaid Art

Hello lovely merfolk,

I saw this custom design cabinet for $3600 on a blog in 2007, & never forgot it. It reminded me of faux wood contact paper. I’ve been slowly collecting different pieces of decor to make a collage in my master bath, so when I found a piece of canvas for .39 cents @ the Goodwill I was excited. I thought…why not a wood grain mermaid?

woodgrain cabinet



DIY faux 7

diy faux 1

Supplies: Wood grain contact paper (You can buy it @ Walmart for $4.99 a roll)

Exacto knife

Canvas (I bought mine @ Goodwill for .39 cents) It had an ugly design on it, but I just primed it white.

Craft paints

Silhouette image

DIY Faux wood mermaid

Paint your canvas & while your letting that dry, go cut out your vinyl.

DIY Faux

DIY faux 4

Decide on a silhouette that you’d like. I chose a mermaid…of course. You can purchase images on istockphoto, or google free downloadable images. There’s lots out there to choose from.

DIY faux 5

Cut out your image, & then peel away the backing & stick it on your dried canvas. I didn’t have to resize my image on the printer, it just happened to be the right size. You may need to re-size yours depending on your canvas size. I think a massive canvas would be cool like this. An 8×10 is what size canvas I had already, & I was going for cheap.

DIY faux 6

DIY faux 7

Now that I’ve had time to sit & mull over this, I’ve decided it needs something else. I don’t know what, but I have a few ideas swirling & swishing in my head.

DIY faux 8I love how she turned out though, I’m tickled pink. One more art piece down…many more to go.

Have you made any fun things with faux wood contact paper? I’d love to see.

Mermaid Cutting Board De *Tail*

Hello merfolk,

I love cutting boards & I have found many uses for them. I was cutting some onions a few weeks back & as I was looking @ the handle of the (below) cutting board, I saw a mermaid fin. I’ll admit sometimes boards can be pricey. I happen to find most of mine @ the local Goodwill for less than 4 dollars. I think the one painted below cost a $1.50. 
cutting board edit


This is a fairly easy DIY project, so I used a collage for the steps. If you feel uneasy about free hand drawing, you can always go to google & search for free download templates. I chose a mermaid tail, but you can change your image to anything you fancy. 🙂

PicMonkey Collage mermaid tail cutting board

I drew my image & then hand painted the details. Waited til the paint dried & then put several layers of varnish.

I used varnish to seal my paint. I’m not quite sure if it’s food safe, but my image is on the handle & therefore, I don’t use that part of the cutting board anyway. So, I think I’m okay. If you’d like, you can research for yourself to find a food safe sealer. Let me know what you find. I’d love to know what’s out there.

Do you collect anything? Where do you find your treasures & what inspires you as an artist/crafter?

Have a *fin* tastic day!