Category Archives: My Cats

Something New & Just for Me

Most of my creative endeavors lately are something I might sell.  Even if I don’t plan on selling that particular one, it’s a tester for something I’m considering selling.  I did make a new necklace for myself, but that’s in a way to help me sell.  It’s embarrassing to go to a networking event, say I make jewelry, and not be wearing a fabulous statement piece that I made.

This new project, however, is just for me (and my cats, really)!   I had a funky thrift store rug the cats loved to sleep on.  It was thick and comfy in the afternoon sun.  But the last time I washed it, it really shed a lot, had more obvious gaps, and still smelled weird.  Time to toss it.

Old Rug

 

I don’t know what I saw, but I suddenly thought I should make a hooked rag rug.  Not a braided one, but one with lots of little tufts.  I’ve raided my fabric stash and come across fabulous, bright colors.  Cutting them into strips 1/2″ by 3″ is the hardest part,  I started with my pinking shears so there would be less shedding, but it was taking even longer and hurting my middle finger knuckle.  Regular scissors it is!

Rag1As my husband says, this is going to take forever, but I’m not worried.  I’m two rows into  a bazillion of them.  I have a little latch hook that helps me tie the strips into lovely little knots. Right now working on my rug is the closest I can come to relaxing.  (I really do suck at relaxing).

The little bit that I have done already feels nice when I step on it.  The cats are already laying on the rug, even though it’s bare canvas webbing.  Milo really liked being underneath it and popping again.  Sorry, I didn’t get a picture, I was too busy laughing at him.

Sure, I needed a new project like I needed a hole in my head.  But it’s a present for me and I deserve it.  And my cats deserve it, too, I guess.

 

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I love…

I love putting the kettle on to boil for tea.  I love being able to get all of the dishes in the time it takes for the kettle to boil.  I love my darling, supportive husband.  I love my new composter, all the dirt it will make me, and all the stuff I don’t have to throw away because of it.  I love my kitten sitting in front of my monitor.  I LOVE red, and lots of color.  I love turning “trash” into treasure.  I love the smell of the ocean.  I love old brick buildings and neat little architectural details.  I love reusing jars.

Jars picture from here.

I love blogging and sharing my world.  I love being able to work as an artist.  I love being able to be domestic and make house.  I love the smell of fresh baked bread.  I love warm sunshine on my back or face.

This post was inspired by a post from Dreaming Aloud.

 

Insert Clever Title for Post about Wreath ‘Here’

Blogging when I’m tired means I can’t think of a creative title for my post.  However, I still really want you to see my latest creation.  This giant wreath is awesome!  Its as big in diameter as my arm is long.  I used the last little bit of gorgeous, expensive yarn leftover from my favorite knit hat for it, the great sparkly burgundy stuff from the notions floor at Britex.

I took this to the Share Exchange, too, since I’ve taken my other, smaller, wreaths there and its so huge I have no desire to ship it from Etsy.

Milo really likes this wreath, too.  You also get a picture of me looking fabulous when I dropped off the wreath, with a peak at my pink wreath in the window of the shop!

A First Time for Everything- Bread By Hand

For the first time I baked bread by hand.  Yes, I have used and loved my bread machine since I got it for our wedding in July.  But challah needs to be baked by hand because of the traditional braid.  I’ve got a great 1970’s looking book The Complete Family Guide to Jewish Holidays that has a nice, basic “fool proof recipe for children”.

Image from www.Judaism.com

I made sure my house was warm enough for the dough to rise properly, I had the heater on, was baking other things, and washing copious dishes in hot or warm water.

The kneading wasn’t hard.  The most difficult part is timing, and knowing when its ready.  Has this risen long enough?  Did I knead it enough?  Has it risen enough while being braided?  Its some trial and error, without a concrete answer.  It depends on the bread, on the yeast, on the room temp, etc.

Here’s me with my little helper, Milo.

Milo really likes being on my shoulders.  Alex’s mom got me this great apron in Paris.  Milo likes the cat on it.

Left over challah makes great french toast.

Challah- Paraphrased from the book.

1 package dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup oil

1 1/4 cup hot water

2 eggs

5 cups bread flour

1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water for glazing

 

1. Mix sugar, salt, oil, & hot water to dissolve.

2. When water is lukewarm, add the yeast and let it dissolve.  Then add eggs and 4 1/2 cups of flour.  Mix, then knead for five minutes.

3. Grease a large bowl. Cover the dough and let it rise to double in size, about 90 minutes.

4. Punch the dough and knead it.

5. For my loaf, I made one massive one.  I divided the dough into 4 balls, rolled those into long strands.  Lay those on a greased cookie sheet and pinch one end of the strands together.  Take the strand on the right and go over, under, and over the other strands.  Repeat until you can pinch the rest together and tuck it under neatly.

6. Cover your braided loaf and let it rise again.  Mine took about 40 minutes.  The dough gets nice and taught.

7. Brush with yolk glaze and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.

 

 

 

 

My Cats, I’m a Little Obessed

I’ve gone too long without talking about my cats here.  They are such an important part of my life.  Jacques and Milo keep me company, make me smile, and give me someone to talk to during the day when Alex is at work.

I’ve had Jacques as officially my cat since October 2007, when he was about three.  I had been volunteering for Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County as a “Foster Parent”.  I would take cats into my house that had been in the wild or on the streets and help get them comfortable in a home, while accessing their personality to see what kind of home they might prefer, i.e. Kids, no kids, solitary, lap cat, playful, any quirks like meowing really loudly, whatever.  Jacques L’amour needed to get out of the shelter to have a biopsy done on his kidney.  The shelter had a cold going around and it wouldn’t do to have a cat having minor surgery be or get sick.  So I kept him before his biopsy.  He indeed had a cyst on his kidney.  I moved to from Rohnert Park to Santa Rosa, then took Jacques in again so he could get ready for his surgery to have the cyst removed.  They had to take out a whole kidney, the cyst was so huge!  He mostly slept in my closet while healing, eventually coming out to watch “Smallville” with me occasionally.  Jacques and I absolutely fell in love.  He is so affectionate, calm, and handsome.  Jacques just wants to be in the room with me and watch what I’m doing.  We could not be separated at that point, so I adopted him.  Sadly, Jacques is a jealous cat and didn’t like it when I brought other cats home from Forgotten Felines, so I stopped volunteering for them.

Fast forward years later to August 2011.  Alex and I are married.  All of our friends are ripe with babies.  I totally want a baby with Alex, but not right this minute.  We were at Bed Bath and Beyond exchanging some wedding presents with our friend Noel.  I say, “Let’s go look at the kittens at Petco!”  (Petco has rescue kittens for adoption).  Everyone loves kittens, so we go.  There are three cutie kittens and another woman who is picking one to adopt.  This means the kittens are coming out of the cage and we can hold them.  Before Milo comes out, Alex sticks his finger in to pet him.  Milo nibbles him.  It is love.  When Milo is out, he immediately climbs to the shoulders of whoever is trying to snuggle him.  More love.  Milo sits on top of Alex’s head.  Freakin’ adorable.  He must be ours.  The other lady wasn’t interested in Milo, anyways.  The adoption lady assures Alex that if Jacques HATES Milo, we can return him.  Alex is very worried Jacques will eat Milo.  Noel approves of a new kitten, which is important, since she watches Jacques when we are out of town.

Jacques does not approve of Milo.  But after about a week of slow introductions, Jacques tolerated Milo.  This was going to work!

Since then, Milo has eaten like a pig and gotten huge.  Jacques and Milo romp together and wrestle.  They sometimes groom each other and sleep on the bed together.  I think Jacques really likes having a little buddy, even if Milo can be the dumbest kitten in the world.  Milo certainly loves Jacques.

How did you get your pets?  Do you want pets?

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