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Archive for September, 2011

Update

No Etsy tonight… I had two days down time with no oxygen, so I’m catching up on orders and am enjoying this Fabulous weather! It rained all night last night with barely a power flicker! The ground is wet and earthy, and the huge cracks in everyone’s lawns are softening up and filling in a bit.

Nelson has officially reached his Psycho Kitten stage. He still has not destroyed anything of any importance, but he’s too obsessed with the phone cord. His newest toys are Mr. Sarah’s feet and legs while he’s trying to sleep. He’s very good with his claws, though. In fact, I taught him to use the scratching post and he actually uses it!! What luck I’ve had with this little guy. (So far.) Next week, we’ll be relieving him of his testicles. They’re kind of big, and he hasn’t grown into those quite as well as he has his paws.

Psycho Kitten, Qu'est-ce que c'est

Mo got in trouble for cornering him by the open bedroom window just now. Trouble means that she gets chased down, scooped up and locked into the bathroom. I shout “BAD! Very BAD!” and slam the door. She knows what she’s doing is bad, or she wouldn’t run away after she does it. She just can’t help herself. But all in all, it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it might be. She hasn’t drawn blood yet, and sometimes she lets Nelson walk by her without even looking at him. Fred, of course, could not care less about Nelson and is perfectly content to share space with him, even on the bed… Fred is such a sweet boy, and I think he and Nelson have a similar temperament. They obviously communicate well enough to work stuff out in a civilized manner, and there’s been no hissing on Fred’s part for a long stretch of time. There’s no snuggling or licking going on, but peaceful coexistence is the best you can hope for with cats. If you need a pile of stripey, furry, purry snuggles and licks, we have Cute Overload for that.

I’ve really been watching Fred and Mo, and Mo tries to cow Fred around the same way she does Nelson, but Fred gets big and hisses at her, and she always backs down. Nelson is growing quickly, and will soon be able to handle Mo just as well. Mr. Sarah forgot to shut the bedroom doors this morning when he left for work, so all the cats were allowed to roam. Nothing happened, as far as I can tell. Nelson was with me when I woke up, but Mo heard me stir and that means FOOD, so she came trotting in and Nelson quickly made himself scarce.

In other news, my ribs are out. This means agonizing stiffness in my upper back, right between my shoulder blades and up to the base of my neck, which is all clicky and crunchy. It’s been working up to it for a little while. Then we flipped our mattress and that was that. Even Mr. Sarah’s shoulders were giving him grief the day after. Maybe it’s time for a new mattress, or even maybe a fancy mattress pad. I’m fine sitting or standing, and I can make beads just fine as long as I don’t turn my head too far to either side, or tilt my head down too far. But laying down and sleeping is a painful experience. You know how when you’re laying down, you lift your head up to begin the process of moving yourself to a sitting up position? I literally can’t do that, it just doesn’t work. I can’t decide if it’s because it’s too painful, or if it’s because that part of the process is just broken because the ribs are out of place. I have to lift my head up with my hands without using any of the muscles in my neck and upper back, and once I can get that far, I can get upright with the strength of my arms. Once I’m up, I’m fine, but very stiff. I can’t get to the chiropractor until Monday, and Mom suggested hanging from a door. She instructed me to put a towel on top of the door and grab ahold of it, hands placed above my head and shoulder width apart… then just relax and slowly take my weight off of my feet. I’ve always been scared of doing that, but I was desperate – imagining spending my entire weekend in this much pain was enough to get me to try it. It really did help a little bit, and I guess I’ll just do that whenever I feel it’s necessary until Monday. Bleh.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know what was going on, and that Etsy may not be likely next week either. We’ll have to see. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Etsy.

Click HERE to visit my shop, or the thumbnails below for each item.

Magic Hana Turbo Bubbles: (my personal favorite)

magic hana turbo bubbles - click me

Dotty Hana Turbo Bubbles: (mom’s favorite)

dotty hana turbo bubbles - click me

Ivory Rainbow Seascape: (might be your favorite)

ivory rainbow seascape - click me

There’s a good chance I’ll rework the Marmalade Melange and the Tie-Dye Tide-Over sets and relist them in their new forms within the next few days… so if you like those sets as they are, I highly recommend grabbing them while you can.

Okay, that’s that! I gotta go make stew and dumplings, yum. Perfect 55 degree rainy day food. Thanks for checking in!

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I’m wearing a sweater!!!

57 degrees at 5 in the afternoon! Cloudy, rainy, breezy. I could not be happier about that. And my sweater is a wonderful, soft black cashmere men’s sweater from Banana Republic that I found at the thrift store last weekend for $7. It was probably $90 new. I even washed it in the machine and hung it up to dry, and there was no shrinkage or wrinkles. Perhaps my luck is on an upswing.

I have some interesting beads cooked up for Etsy this evening. I’ll post again later once they’ve been listed. Here’s a quick peek:

tonight's etsy stuff

I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet here and not talking about much of anything but etsy postings. I feel like I’m spread too thin lately. I have a new cat, and I knew what that was going to be like, but I grabbed him anyway, considering his other options. He’s gotta get his paws on everything, he’s taken a shine to my beads, and he’s busy doing nothing, constantly. The honeymoon phase is over; we’ve moved onto the obedience/training/scheduled feeding phase now that he’s reached a good weight… I’ve slowly grown used to the constant sound of something, ANYTHING, being nudged across the wooden floor.

nelson - click for detail. his whiskers can't decide if they want to be black or white, and some of them are even half black and half white.

I’m trying to figure out when I can work in a boro binge, and that always takes a lot of planning, but people are asking after the boro beads lately, and I’d be silly not to oblige at some point fairly soon… I promised my stylist a Blue Cake ring, and I haven’t messed with metal since July and am really enjoying glass at the moment… but I’d really like to learn to sew and make some really cool bags, but have so little time to dedicate to it. I’ve tried to get used to it, and I have, I guess, but I still dislike Microsoft Outlook. When I start an email and don’t finish it before I shut the computer down, it files it under “Drafts”, out of my view. So they’re not nagging me to finish them and send them off when I start up again the next day, and in some cases, by the time I remember, several days have passed, and then I have more email by then, and… ugh. I sure do miss my Eudora.

Then there’s this blog. I really kind of hate this thing sometimes. Sometimes, I feel like talking about my feelings and what’s going on in my life, but mostly, my extremely private way (and the fact that the rest of my family is the same) prevents me from doing so. I don’t want to come off as whiny, or as a pompous windbag. We all have traits or emotions we’d rather not bare to the rest of the world, and if there’s any chance of scaring off a good client, I’d rather not take it in These Tough Economic Times. I try not to use this thing only to announce new stuff for sale, but if I’m working all the time, there isn’t a whole lot going on besides work…

Seriously. People who have kids, pets, a job and still find time to dedicate to their hobbies, and a blog, even, have my admiration.

another nelson shot - what a stripey-head

A set Etsy sale schedule might help my over all mood in the greater scheme, and I’ve been sticking to Thursdays, almost every week. Not because I specifically picked that day, but that seems to be The Day lately. One of the things I desperately miss about Ebay is the auction format. I’d list my beads on Tuesday evening at the same time every week, and they’d stay there all week while I worked on orders or whatever. No matter what they sold for, they’d sell on Sunday and I’d go to the post office on Monday, and that would be that. With Etsy, there’s no telling when something will sell, and since I am so obsessive about timely shipping, I find myself packing up beads and going to the post office at least twice a week. I’m not complaining about having enough sales to send me to the post office… but I simply despise packing up beads, and I find myself doing it more often than I used to. I don’t know why, but I just can’t stand it. On the list of things I don’t enjoy about making and selling beads, it’s at the very top, way above cleaning beads and dipping mandrels. I think I need to get over my odd, baseless superstition about packing up the beads before they sell. I’m convinced that it jinxes the sale, but it sure would save me some time to have them all cleaned and strung up, rolled up in bubble wrap and in their ziplocs with the postcards, in one swoop. After that, it would take me a fraction of the time to actually get them ready to go.

Anyway, enough sharing/whining/blowing hot air for now. Etsy stuff is coming right up, so stay tuned.

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ETSY!

Yep!

Click HERE to visit my shop, or each thumbnail to see the individual item.

Lavender Mint Turbo Bubbles:

lavender mint turbo bubbles - click me

Thistle Part ONE:

thistle part ONE - click me

Hawaiian Shirt:

hawaiian shirt - click me

Thistle Part TWO:

thistle part TWO - click me

And that’s what I’ve been working on! Also, those listings from last – whenever – are still available on Etsy…

Marmalade Melange:

marmalade melange - click me

Tie-Dye Tide-Over:

tie-dye tide-over - click me

It’s been so nice here. Since Sunday, the high temps have been in the low 80’s. I sat on Mom’s porch last weekend with a sweater on, and the sky looked like September and I felt comfortable for the first time in months. It was strange to sit on the front porch of the house I grew up in and be reminded of so many Septembers all at once. It will warm up again briefly, but hey, it’s SEPTEMBER! Hooray. I’ve not taken for granted a single moment with the cats in the open windows or the slight chill in the fresh air.

Thanks for checking in, enjoy the new beads!

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Meet Nelson.

I hope Nelson never grows into his paws, legs, eyes and ears.

That’s his name. Of course, I’ve been busy with him, and also, I had been treating Fred and Mo to canned cat food last week to make up for the uproar and new smells Nelson brought with him. Big mistake. They weren’t used to eating canned cat food several days in a row – even though it was served to them for only one meal a day – and they’ve both been experiencing intestinal difficulties, and made a couple of, ahem, messes. It doesn’t help that it’s pretty much fall now and they get a little blah this time of year anyway. If you own cats, you know that any change in posture or appetite or facial expression is cause for concern. Needless to say, I was very worried until I figured out that it was the canned food. Who knows, maybe it was bad. But they both seem to have recovered, and their appetite is back to normal. In fact, Fred and Mo are politely requesting and quacking incessantly after their dinner, respectively, at this very moment. Nelson, of course, is fine. He was used to eating whatever the neighbors and I gave him, and I don’t even want to know what else he ate when he was out all summer. Everyone’s back on the kibble, and that’s fine with me because canned cat food makes me a little nauseous.

nelson's adoptive siblings

So, now that we’ve named him, it means we have to keep him. I’ve been hesitant to get into the story, but since his chances of staying are still pretty good at this point, I’ll tell you. Remember the 3 black and white kittens + momma cat I told you about a couple of months ago?  A stripey kitten showed up out of nowhere, right about the time the other kittens were about to be weaned. The momma cat adopted him immediately, which was exactly what the person who left him was counting on – Momma treated him like he was her own. Everyone on our end of the block had been working with these little black and white kittens and getting them accustomed to being handled by people so that they would be easier to find homes for. (And I was still vehemently opposed to having another cat at that moment.) They didn’t mind being handled by then, loved to play and were starting to wander around on their own. The stripey one, however, was not in the same frame of mind and was extremely frightened of people. I could twitch my toe and he would run away and not come back to the food until I went inside. Since we had no idea where he came from or exactly how old he was, and since we weren’t able to catch him (not that we didn’t try with all of our might to trap him, entice him with toys and displays of affection), we left him with Momma when we took the three kittens to the shelter since we couldn’t find anyone to take them.

nelson hears a fred behind him, but the toy is over THERE

Another neighbor had “claimed” Momma, and even though it had been so hot, the two cats refused to go inside anywhere. Nelson was panting from the heat some days, but would come no closer to me than 5 or 6 feet. I’d hose down the deck to cool it off and made sure they always had fresh water and a little something to nibble on. Momma took very good care of him over the last couple of months, she found cool places for them to hang out and made sure the two of them were well fed by making the rounds to all of the softhearted neighbors’ homes. They’d been inseparable, and the bigger he got, the more friendly and bold Nelson became. In the last couple of weeks before I was able to bring him inside, he’d let me pet his head and skritch his ears, and he would reluctantly let me, but only while he ate. Then that last week, he allowed me to pick him up and put him on my lap, and he barely mewed in protest. One Wednesday evening was the last straw – some other cat had him cornered on a neighbor’s porch and was yelling at him, and Momma and I hurried over to see what was happening. Nothing really, but it was a close call. At the same time, however, Momma was showing definite signs of being done with Nelson. She was running him off and hissing at him – she was ready to send him on his way towards gnarly tomcatdom, or a fate much worse.

My resistance to having another cat still stood, but had been wavering a bit. Mr. Sarah was adoring him right along with me, and was just as determined to get his hands on him. I knew something had to be done about him whether we decided to keep him or not, so the next morning, I made the quick decision to grab him while he was eating and bring him inside. I had tried that numerous times over the summer, but this time, it took.  That did not please Nelson in the least. I had already cleared out and prepared the bathroom for him, where it wouldn’t matter as much if he wasn’t litter box trained (and he is, thanks be), and he would be safe from the other two cats, and they would be safe from whatever might be ailing him. So, we get him in the bathroom, and as expected, he completely freaked out – trying to climb the walls, howling like a stuck pig, making a mess of the various potions lined up on the bathtub ledge. He couldn’t get out of the bathtub, and I was afraid he might bite me if I tried to help him, so Mr. Sarah grabbed him and gently convinced him to settle. And he did, no biting or hissing, even. We had him purring within fifteen minutes. It’s been uphill from there. I looked him over and couldn’t find a single flea or flea evidence on him and his ears were immaculately clean. We took him to the vet the very next day, and he came out with good results – a negative FIV/FeLV test, a deworming, and the first few of his vaccinations. The vet and I both were surprised at what good shape he was in, having been outside constantly since June, and hanging out with all kinds of animals. I’m sure it helped that he was a clever escape artist and lightning fast. He was just a bit underweight, the vet said his hips were a bit too bony, but we’ve gotten that licked. The next round of vaccinations and the testicular removal are coming right up.

I am this big

Thing is, I didn’t exactly want a kitten. There are few better things in life than the friendship of a trained, mature cat. Sugar was fully grown when we adopted her, so I haven’t had kittens since Fred and Mo were small, and that was about 12 years ago. Lucky for Nelson, I conveniently forgot that I like kittens only slightly better than I like small children. Yes, kittens are cute because everything about them is small. But don’t let the small sized poopies fool you – they stink huge. Kittens and their nearly constant movement and play annoys me. But Nelson isn’t so bad… yet. He hasn’t hit the adolescent phase of his kittenhood. Fred drove me up the wall when he was a big kitten – talk about stolen bead stringing projects and spilled size 11 seed beads – but he’s a very good cat now. Mo never got into anything or made messes – she was sharp as a tack and trained quickly and preferred chit-chatting with us to playing with a toy. Nelson’s pretty relaxed most of the time, and when he’s in the mood to play, he won’t stop, so I wear him out with the string. And now that he’s discovered the red dot (laser pointer) I have all the accountrement I need to zonk him out.

Fred

I’m not sure what his personality will be like when he’s older, but he seems to like and trust us. He greets us with a meep when we walk into the room and squeaks when he wants food, purrs loudly when we pet him and poops in the box, and that’s all I care about. He’s smart and gentle with his claws, he isn’t destructive, and doesn’t climb everything, and that’s good, too. I can hardly believe that this cat, who I’ve been chasing and pining for all summer, is now inside my house and snuggling and licking my ears and demanding breakfast. Fred has adjusted to him and isn’t bothered by him at all now. But Mo, who we thought was actually going to play nice for the first time in her life, finally got him the other day. Nelson was minding his own business, like always, and I hear a scuffle-thump and a “SCREEEOOOWWW!” After Mo was squirted several times with the spray bottle and put into time out, we pulled the poor little guy out from behind the bed to find a shedded claw stuck in his forehead. Mo shoots first and asks questions later. Actually, she doesn’t ask questions, ever, she just shoots and leaves. I’ve kept him separate from her most of the time, but the musical litterbox/food dish extravaganza is getting old. I don’t want to keep him locked up in my bedroom all the time because I want him to get plenty of exercise, but the fact that Mo is a big old bitch will be the determining factor in whether or not he must stay separated from her forever. Even the vet and the receptionist said the same thing: “Calicos Are Bitches.” Mo could live many more years, and I hope she does, but dang. Does she have to be so evil? Nelson’s going to get big, so she’d better watch it. I keep telling her that, but she’s a cat, so…

Mo

Life with cats. We may try the Feliway. Any comments on that?

Anyway, that’s the skinny on Nelson. I plan to make some Etsy listings happen later today, so keep an eye out for the announcement here. Thanks for reading!

 

(I miss my Shoogs, she would have been Nelson's best buddy, no questions asked)

 

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