March 19, 2012

Finish Something Already!!!

Studio time continues to elude me.  On the mom front, I am scrambling to get my son ready for a Spring Break trip to Germany.  As the mother of a teenager, I should be immune to his disinterested, uncooperative efforts to pull things together, particularly when his brain is focused on *#*%&@ video/computer games.  We have created a monster.  He thinks "old people" are nuts for wanting to spend money on things like travel when they have nothing to show for it, as opposed to spending money on a new hand-held game system that will be obsolete three hours after production when a newer, shinier, faster model comes out.  Not that I'm feeling a bit sarcastic or unappreciated.  Oh, no.  But I feel better after 1) having found the plug adapter he needs for his charging devices in EXACTLY the spot I told him to look yesterday (he said he did and it wasn't there) and 2) tossing the enormous pile of clothes from the floor of his closet to the middle of the bedroom floor (I should have been wearing a gas mask) while the monster load he did manage to get into the laundry room (two days after laundry was finished) is being washed.  Grrrrrrrr.  I think the next trip will be reserved for the parents who appreciate it!!!  The little savage....

On the art side, it's Monday.  This is the regular day that I bring home from school my young friend and Kevin's classmate Jasmine, a mature and artistic young lady who inspires me to get to work.  We decided last week that we need to craft while we yap or we'll get nothing but yapping (OK, and a little snacking) done for the afternoon.  Jasmine stays through dinner until her mother is finished with graduate school classes, so it's one day a week where I'm guaranteed getting a little something accomplished.  I'm quite tardy, having made incredibly little progress on the project for the Susan Sorrell online course.  Today's the day!  Tomorrow is a post of the photo!

Alas, having a studio cat has been a little bit of a problem when that cat frequently an upset stomach.  I will spare the details other than to say that I am the happy owner of a carpet cleaner and my rug isn't all that big.  Another ugh.

March 4, 2012

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I have been advised in every way, shape and form of the importance of sketching and brainstorming on paper, but never really got it.  Today I got it.  I have spent two weeks bonking my head against a virtual wall trying to complete step 2 of the online class I'm taking.  It shouldn't be this hard!  I think I've said this a few times before.  The task was to come up with a quote or lyrics from a song or something and create a simple image for it on a 7 inch square of assembled fabric layers.  I looked at books, magazines, clip art, junk mail, and web sites, all the while having a blank brain.  Argh!  I have had to remind myself over and over again that the point of this exercise is to learn a technique and NOT to expect to produce a family heirloom.  There is seriously no chance of that happening!  This is where I am so far:

Initially, the inner "filling" was too firm and impossible to stitch through with a full six strands of embroidery floss.  I took it apart, replaced the filling, and settled on a theme.  We'll see what it looks like after tomorrow.

March 3, 2012

I Have a Studio Cat!

About a week and a half ago, I saw a scroungy black cat skulking on the back deck and shooed it away.  I noticed the cat stagger a bit, lean on a bucket, and thought that it looked quite ill.  It slunk under the deck to hide.  The next evening I saw it again, and this time I noticed that it was more than just sick.  It appeared to be starving and, worse, blind.  I started putting food out for the kitty and on closer look, saw that the poor thing was also de-clawed.  This is clearly a lost pet.  With no success combing adverts for lost kitties and posting my own "Found Cat" notices on the internet, I knew I had to either take her in or find her a suitable home or she would likely die and soon.  Days of torrential weather and neighborhood gardeners scaring her to death with lawnmowers and leaf blowers delayed our trip to the vet.  We finally made it yesterday.  We were informed that "Tabitha" is 14-15 years old and is, in fact, blind due to detached retinas as the result of hyperthyroidism and related hypertension and cardiac issues.  She is free of all of the bad and communicable kitty cooties, and has now been vaccinated for anything and everything.  If we were to treat her hyperthyroid condition, she'll go faster into kidney failure.  The vet suggested that no matter what, she'll eventually just poop out.  Giving her love, attention and plenty of food will make her last days happy.  We're hoping for a lot of days.  Because we have two indoor kitties, one of which is a bit of a bully that delights in the whooping of weaker kitties, Tabitha is in the garage studio.  She actually seems to love her spot.  She's assumed ownership of my work chair and immediately discovered the makeshift litter box (an overpriced service tray from Target with the handle holes taped shut as a regular litter box has sides that are too high for a blind kitty).  She's eating like there's no tomorrow, adding a tiny bit of weight so that she now weighs 6.5 lbs.  Only 6.5 lbs.  I hope that she is just a lost kitty and that she is not here because some horrible pet parent decided to just open the door and be rid of a kitty with medical issues (which the vet reported they see a lot).  I can't imagine how terrified she must have been in the dark, lost and starving, not even able to hunt (we saw lizards run past her unnoticed, then saw a gross possum eating her food one night just a few feet away from her, to which she was oblivious) and then terrorized by the sounds of packs of yipping coyotes at night.

I'm happy to have another kitty to love until and unless someone else wants to give her a quiet little indoor home.  Studio cats are a good thing.

OK, I know she's not in the studio in the photo, but all the noise in there today scared her.  I HAD to make a cover for my Bernina, so she zoomed outside to enjoy the super hot day (following sleet just six days ago?!?) until I got her settled in for the evening.  All is well.