Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Santa was good to us:

There are very few ornaments on the tree, due to the cats' love of taking them off.

I still don't have any crafty stuff to blog about, but there's no shortage of cat pictures.

Max decided he wants to go to work with me next time I go.

"This bag is just my size!"

We seem to have a new fetch player at our house.

"It was fun having Mama throw the mouse for me today!"

And this one spend a good part of the day in time-out:

"But Mama, your glass of milk was just sitting there. And after I got out of the first time out, I was hungry, and your rolls are so good..."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Easily distracted by shiny objects

I had Monday and Tuesday off this week. Today, too. I *should* have spent the time working like crazy on my stealth projects, since they are Christmas gifts.


I made a boatload of stitch markers and a pair of earrings. Actually I made 4 pairs of earrings. It's just that two of them were more peppermint candy earrings, and I've already posted those twice. The other pair I just didn't get a picture of.

I also re-strung my peppermint bracelet, which I dropped last week at work. Marble floors are *really* hard and glass beads are very brittle. I put a different toggle on the bracelet, so now it doesn't come undone when I move around.

I put this together, too.

It needs more of those glass beads inside, but I only had one bag of them. I'm thinking about mixing in some red beads instead, just to get some color in there. I should probably add some pretty ribbon around it and a bow on top, too. If/when I get around to that, I'll post another picture.

I did finish one of my stealth projects today. That just leaves one more to go. I'm not sure I 'm going to get it done in time. I better get busy.

"I'll help you, Mama!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mouse Wars 2009

One of my coworkers, Lisa, decorates our office every year for Christmas. This year, she brought in this calendar.

There's a little mouse that travels the pockets. Lisa says it's a count down calendar and started the mouse at 24 on Dec 1, as in 24 days till Christmas. The rest of us say it starts at 1, so Mousie goes in the pocket number of the date.

Thus started Mouse Wars. We kept putting Mousie in the pocket number of the date and Lisa kept moving it back, eventually stapling it in place. It was then unstapled, moved and safety pinned in place. Mousie disappeared, the calendar itself was moved out of a public area, and finally removed altogether. Mousie has been spotted around the office, though.

I have a feeling he'll really be getting around....

Personally, I think the calendar's defective. If it's meant to be a countdown calendar, the numbers should start at the top with 24. If it's meant to be more of a regular calendar, it should go all the way to 25. Confusing.

In other news, a friend of mine is an Uppercase Living consultant and she and couple of other consultants held a project night on Thursday. I made a couple of lamps. Here's the first one:

And the second:

The design wraps around 3 sides of both lamps. If you like the lamps themselves, you can get them at Ikea. I think craft stores carry vinyl stickers to put on them. Or you could contact and Uppercase Living consultant to get their stuff.

We also each got an ornament. I decorated both sides of mine:

We all got another expression. Mine is a "Welcome". Oh, and I won a $25 gift certificate. :-)

See this?

That's Blue's collar. Notice it's not around Blue's neck. I've been finding it in various places around the house in the morning, or when I get home. This morning I found it about 4 feet up in the as-yet-undecorated Christmas tree. He won't tell me how it got there. He got a new collar this afternoon. Hopefully it will stay on better.

The scene last night on the couch:

Yes, they're laying on a Halloween quilt.

A few minutes later:

Yes, that's the Christmas tree in the background. And....?

Friday, December 4, 2009

More beady goodness

We went to Crop Bistro for lunch today. I had the Mac and Brisket, which is a really yummy mac & cheese topped with pulled beef brisket. We were admiring the artwork but couldn't figure out what one of the pictures was. Any guesses?

Apparently it's Monstera Deliciosa - a weird fruit that grows in kernels on a central stalk, like corn. The whole plant is poisonous except the fruit, and that's only okay after it's ripe. Crazy. It sounds a little too dangerous for me - like eating blowfish. I think I'll pass

I had the day off Wednesday. I'm still working on my stealth projects, but I had intended to spend the day sewing. I did spend most of it in the sewing room, but I was playing with beads instead of fabric or yarn. Here's what I can show you.

I got the hematite rings, beads and crystals in the clearance bin at JoAnn's. When I went to put the toggle on the bracelet I noticed there was no eyelet for it, as you can see. I improvised a loop with the small beads instead.

I had a few of the beads leftover so I made some tiny stitch markers, for use with projects on smaller needles, like socks or lace.

The red and green peppermint earrings are for my friend KB, who requested them that way. I also made a couple of dozen beaded icicle ornaments that I gave to the women's club at work for their craft sale today. As far as I know, none of them sold. And a bunch of the fabric ornaments I made a year or two ago were still there, too. It's kind of depressing, actually. I won't waste my time making crafty stuff for them again. :-(

Ripley loves me, at least. This picture was taken a week or so ago, but it's a good one of my senior baby.

"Who you callin' old, Mama? I make 17 look good!"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I got nothin'....

Well, not exactly nothing, but very little. I am making progress on my stealth projects, but they aren't bloggable yet. 'Tis the season and all that.

I did do something I can show off. A while ago, I saw these and these in a catalog and thought they were cute. Not long after, I found a whole string of those peppermint beads for $5 here. Using a lot less than half of that string of beads, plus some other supplies I had on hand, I now have these:

Not bad, huh?

The boys were thrilled beyond measure.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

All cats, all the time

My arm got quite a workout yesterday. Blue was in a "fetching" mood. Isn't he cute?

"My eyes don't always glow like this...."

I thought I finally tired him out....

"Chasing that mouse is hard work!"

... but about 2 minutes later, he was bringing his mouse back to me. He's such a weird little cat.

Later in the day, these two unsuspecting girls got to go see all the nice ladies at the vet's office.

Emma's mouth is healing well and Runt is healthy, too. After we got back, we found Runt behind the chair.

"They shoved me in a box. TWICE!!"

And we finally got a picture of Emma in the box.

"Hey, it's pretty nice in here."

In non-cat news, I've mostly been working on my stealth projects. I can show you one thing, though. I embroidered another blanket for someone at work.

I cleaned up my sewing room and fixed a pair of earrings that broke at the wedding last week, too, but I didn't get a picture of that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A movie, wedding and a lousy photographer

My cousin Amy got married on Saturday in my parents' hometown of Bellaire, OH (home of NFL players Joey Galloway and Ben Taylor, btw). My dad called that morning and told me that they were filming a new Denzel Washington movie, Unstoppable, in town, and there might be some traffic issues. No kidding. Every road I tried to take to get to the church was closed. I haven't spent a lot of time there lately, so it wasn't a whole lot of fun wandering around there. We did make it before the ceremony started.

The wedding was in the same church my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have been married in. I thought that was pretty cool. I didn't take my camera to the wedding, since that's usually frowned upon.

I am a lousy wedding photographer since this is the best picture I got of the bride and groom:

I'm such a loser. I got a nice picture of the reception hall (I don't know the people in this picture).

The wedding cakes:

One of the bride's younger sister/maid of honor and her fiance:

Amber and Ryan

One of me and my parents.

And one of my mom and her siblings:

Aunt Karen, Uncle Todd (aka father of the bride) and Mom

The crafty content might be kind of thin for the next 39 days or so. I'll be working on a couple of stealth projects, but they won't be bloggable till after Christmas. The best I can give you today is this link. That's a picture of my friend Jeri from the Cookie A sock class last weekend. I'm glad someone got a picture of her. :) That's my red head behind her.

There was a kitty cat love fest on the couch last night:

Emma's feeling much better now, btw.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Projects, a mystery and more yarn I don't need

I had Monday off and managed to find my sewing room!

I added borders and the piping/binding to this baby quilt, which is a group gift for a co-worker's new baby.

It was a pre-cut kit I bought here. I'd say it's a good value for the price - it was nicely kitted up, and the piping was already made. We decided against using the plain flannel backing and used a floral printed fleece with no batting instead. I would buy kits from this seller again, but I don't think I'd choose one that has piping in it. It looks nice, but putting on the piping too fiddly for me.

I also finished this small April Bag that I cut out a couple/three months ago. I was in the process of sewing it together when I realized my mistake.

Do you see it? The fabric is directional - and upside down. I'd already cut the shaping so it was too late to fix it. Clearly, it wasn't obvious enough that I noticed when I was doing the cutting. At least it isn't sideways. I'd have a much bigger problem with that. I have two more of these cut out, but I haven't changed the thread in my machine to the right color yet. They are definitely right side up.

I bought two of these fountains when Emma was diagnosed with kidney problems. I originally bought the medium sized one to keep on the living room side of the "Magic Door", where Max and Emma sleep at night. Then I noticed that Ripley was making a beeline to the fountain every morning. Apparently, a bowl wasn't good enough anymore. So I bought this small one for the kitchen.

The mystery is, this one appears to be leaking. I take it apart at least once a month to give it a good cleaning and change the filter. The bottom is a solid piece of plastic, and I haven't been able to locate any cracks. I have no idea where the puddle is coming from. It's about 3 years old now, and I've already replaced the pump once. Maybe it's time to spring for a new one.....

Here's the yarn I don't need.

Pretty, isn't it? That's two 100g skeins of Sheep Shop Yarn's Sheep Feet in Lilac and Ocean on the left. On the right are two 3.5 oz skeins of Three Irish Girls Adorn sock yarn in Masquerade and Elsbeth. I ordered the TIG yarn back in July during the dying contest for the Sock Summit, and I just got it today. I guess they underestimated the demand. I was anxious to get it, but I was okay with waiting. It's not like I'm going to get to it any time soon. It's nice and soft and I'm looking forward to knitting it up. Eventually. :)

Update on Emma: She seems to be feeling much better now. She's back to her normal shape. Her belly behind her rib cage was really bloated when we took her to the emergency room.

"See my waist, Mama?"

Can you see where they shaved her neck, just at the top of her spot?

And her digestive system seems to be back to normal now. Is it sad that the high point of my week was this cat going "Number 2"? I really need to get out more....

"I don't know why Mama was so happy that I went potty. She still didn't let me have any of her dinner, though."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Emma's Weekend Adventures

Allow me to re-introduce you to Emma, aka Princess EmmaCat CrabbyPants.

As you might recall, Emma had some dental work done on Friday. She had two teeth pulled and was a bit dopey when she came home. She was eating just fine and laying on laps as usual, till Saturday night. Then she started to get a little standoff-ish. Sunday morning she was still sitting in the dining room doorway. Not only did she *not* join in the swarming of my feet for breakfast, I had to take her food *to her* and she didn't eat it. She also looked a little bloated.

I admit I'm a little overprotective of Emma. She has kidney issues, which we first discovered because she was standoff-ish and not eating. I called the emergency animal hospital and decided she should take a ride. They did blood tests and found her kidney numbers were all in the normal range, but her lactate level was 4.7, and the normal is under 2. They decided to keep her for the day, give her IV fluids and run some more tests.

[Warning: due to the graphic nature of the next paragraph, reader discretion is advised. Also, you might not want to eat while reading it.]
We picked her up around 9pm and got more info. They did x-rays and found that she was *extremely* constipated. To put it less delicately, she was literally full of crap.... to the point that her intestines had displaced most of her internal organs! No wonder she looked bloated. They gave her two (!) enemas and sent her home.

She seems to be feeling somewhat better now. She slept with us last night (Ripley was not amused, btw), but she was reluctant to eat this morning until we broke out the StarKist tuna. I was just happy to see her eat something. We're going to keep trying to get her to eat anything she wants and see how she's doing tomorrow. I'm hoping she'll be okay by then. I don't think she'd take kindly to another trip to the vet. Neither would my wallet, for that matter. :-(

"They shaved both of my front legs and part of my neck, Mama! And they stuck things in me. That's no way to treat a princess!!"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cookie A

I took Cookie A's Toe Up Sock with Gussets class today. As a nice surprise, my friend Jeri was there! I didn't get a picture of her by herself, but that's her in the blue shirt in the standing at the back table.

It was a fun class and I really liked Cookie. Here she is helping Regina (who I met at the LYS sit and knit one night):

I like the toe up socks I did before, but I've decided I'm not a big fan of short row heels. This technique is pretty slick. It looks nice and I don't have a hole at the ankle. Here's my class sample:

I had issues with the figure-8 cast on, and had to start over 3 or 4 times, which is why there's really no "foot". I ran out of time and had to pretty much go straight to the gussets. It's still kinda cute.

I need more sock yarn like a need a hole in my head (or a third armpit, as Jeri's daughter says). But how could I resist this?

That's Destination Yarn in the Harvest Moon colorway. It's so pretty! It was really hard to choose from all the different colors there.

And Jeanne, the dyer of this beautiful yarn was in the class, which made it doubly tempting. I was good and limited myself to just one skein. Jeri took home three! I see from Jeanne's blog that there's a Yahoo (and Ravelry) group doing a sock knit-along using kits with her yarn. It's very tempting, even though I don't know what I'd wear golden yellow socks with. :)

In other news, Emma had her teeth cleaned yesterday. She had to have two of them pulled, one of which they think must have been pretty painful. We're thinking that might be why she's been so excessively crabby lately.

"They gave me some really good drugs, Mama!"