Category Archives: Cats

Cat Tinsel

The boys are in for an interesting December as we have decided to acquire a Christmas tree this year. I’ve googled what is likely to happen and I think this could be happening in a living room near me soon.

Scout the 20 year old tortie goes home

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The little cat from yesterday was again today sighted on and off the road near Macdonald town station. This time I was prepared – I had a cat cage in the car. I just to had to hope that she was happy to be carried a block to the car! Thankfully she wasn’t the bitey or scratching kind. In fact, she snuggled up in my arms and didn’t seem fussed.

I was delighted when I got her to Cat Protection to find out that she did indeed have a microchip. It turns out that she is 20 and called Scout. She likes to wander but now with a bit of dementia gets lost.

Alls well that ends well.

The one I couldn’t help

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Near work I found a man trying to get a cat off the road. He was successful but she went back on and sat down in the middle of the road. She had a collar on and seemed friendly enough so I picked her up off the road and took her to the footpath. When I lofted her I just felt ribs. She was clearly used to being held. I have her a rub under the chin and checked her collar. No tag on collar but noticed she was infested with fleas. I waited until it looked like she was staying off the road and continued to the shop. On my way back to work she was sitting in the middle of the road again. After much deliberation I decided to go back
to work and get a box and walk her to the vet around the corner to see if she had a microchip. She had a desexing tattoo. Someone has owned her at some point. By the time I came back with the box I couldn’t find her. I just keep telling myself at least she’s no longer on the road.

Fabric surface design workshop

Shiva Paintstick rubbing I’ve finally finished washing out all my dyed fabrics from last Saturday so have moved on to revisiting what I did last Sunday at the Surface Design Workshop with Lisa Walton. Yes, I had 2 days of fabric fun, followed by a week of very long hours. The audit to ensure my employer complies with the disability standards looms ever closer. I use the word ‘looms’ deliberately as I’ve been working towards this for months and it’s a bit of an unknown.

So given this is such a priority, I decided to go for a walk instead! I went in search of any interesting surfaces for some rubbings onto fabric. Unfortunately, this is a little tricky without tresspassing.¬†Mostly I just found manhole covers ūüė¶ (see picture above). Perhaps I need to go for a walk in a more stylish neighbourhood!

Dye Workshop fabric

Saffron (and a peek of Licorice) assisting with the photography

Since getting home I’ve been photographing some of the pieces I bought home from the workshops and some that I’ve done since. Of course, the girls have assisted as per usual. Pity they don’t help with policy writing!

Anyway, here are the photos of the fabric from the Dye Workshop. I have NO IDEA what I’m going to do with it. When I took the workshop I thought I would learn how to dye and possibly come home with a few pieces of fabric. There are over 24 fat quarters here (and no – they aren’t all orange, that’s just my camera not cooperating!)

Dye workshop - graduated set

Dye workshop with Lisa Walton – graduated set

I mostly used the more earthy pigments Lisa had available. When it came to my ‘graduated set’ I decided to use the fuschia mixed with something (I can’t remember what!) Anyway, I quickly discovered it was a little too pink in the lighter versions so I added black to most of the pieces and that’s why my fabrics are a little mottled. I’m still not keen on those really light ones. They scream ‘paint over me!’

I learnt my lesson and avoided the fuschia dye for the rest of the day. (I thought it would be more like alizaron crimson, or quinacridone crimson but clearly not. As it turns out I found that all my paint knowledge is fairly useless when it comes to dye colours – I really couldn’t predict what colour I was going to get (apart from the basic idea of hue). I did try to get an autumnal set and was quite happy with the outcome. Evidently there was a lot more staining power in the warm colours than the green as I ended up with 5 warm to 1 green but I’m not fussed. I like it anyway!

Dye workshop my autumnal colours

Dye Workshop – my autumnal colours

Finally, all the pictures below are either from the Surface Design Workshop or pieces I have done since using techniques from that day.

Lisa has just published the first in an ebook series called¬†Creative Journeys.¬†Last week she was very excited and couldn’t wait for its launch. Well mid-week, it arrived and is now¬†available through¬†amazon¬†or from¬†Lisa directly.¬†It’s on¬†Fun and Easy Textile Surface Design Techniques.

It includes many of the techniques we did last week and some more. Indeed, fabric painting is a lot of fun and pretty easy – especially when it comes to salt and sundyes.

Sundyed fabric with salt

Sundyed Fabric with salt

Sundyed fabric 3

Sundyed fabric

Sundyed fabric 2

More sundyed fabric

Using handcarved stamps on fabric

Handcarved stamps on fabric

Stencilling

Waste not! Stencilling on some of my clean up pieces

Handpainted fabric 6

Embellishing further with charcoal, inktense sticks etc.

Handpainted fabric 5

I didn’t bother washing my brushes. Consequently the ‘green metallic’ went more antique gold – but I like!

Handpainted fabric 4

Did anyone say autumn colours?

Handpainted fabric 3

Experimenting with rubbings

Handpainted fabric 2

More experiments with rubbings – mostly shiva paintstick

Handpainted fabric 1

Stencils and rubbings on handpainted fabric.

There’s gravy in my ear

What big ears you have

Safffron & Licorice in a post breakfast snooze

One of these days I’m going to pour gravy down Licorice’s ear. Every morning without fail I supply breakfast. I am a loyal subject and feed my 2 furry masters a generous helping. Despite this routine and commitment, Licorice seems to feel that unless she sticks her head over the bowl with great gusto that the food will not land in it. I know the day is coming when gravy will end up in her ear and I don’t really want to explain that to the vet. Perhaps it is this vigorous activity she has each morning that has helped to reduce her substantial girth. The last time the girls both went to the vets there was much cheering when Licorice tipped the scales at only 6 kilos and Saffron at 5.5!

While the girls have been busy losing weight, I’ve been creating a new art quilt for them to distribute their fur on. The first quilt I made is at Andrew’s place. The second I gave to mum for Christmas (last Christmas that is). This quilt is mine. I designed it inspired by Gustav Klimt paintings. I wanted something which suggested a female form but was not pictorial.

While I dabbled in painting fabric for the first quilt I did, this one has had a more concerted effort. It’s been fun making ‘art’ on fabric and then selecting pieces of it to sew into my quilt , together with store bought fabrics.

Quilt Centrepiece

Above is how it looked last Saturday. I’ve left it with my sewing teacher who is sourcing some woven interfacing to help stiffen the piece before trying to attach to the background. Interfacing or not… I’m expecting there will be a few curse words trying to fit the background into those curves. Still, it will be worth it in the end. A one of kind lap quilt for me to snuggle under… next winter!

 

For Carmen and my foot

Carmen has spoken. What has happened to the blog? I’ve never met Carmen. I’m sure she exists, although I suppose it is vaguely possible she is my father’s imaginary friend. Either way she wants to know, what happened to the blog? Hmm… I think I do too. I could write a post about what’s been happening in my life since April 25, or I could give you a stream of thoughts from just this morning.

The day started with pondering the connections between children’s songs. I know. You all wake up wondering how Old Macdonald links to the Wheels on the Bus song. This for me is a sure sign that work has infected my brain temporarily. It’s not an infection that you need the serious antibiotics to be rid of. More like when you have a cold and your voice gets gravely and people notice. It’s there, it’s different and you just have to wait for it to go away.

My boss has asked me for an inspiring presentation for Wednesday. I know that inspiration is not going to come from Old Macdonald – possibly one of the most annoying children’s songs of all time. If I were free to choose any topic I like I’m sure that I could unearth some inspiration somewhere. Sadly, I am not. I need to make a quality framework sound inspiring. Galumph and humph to that. The strange thing is that at times I have been inspired. Um… scratch that. Not inspired… fired up, emotional and passionate. If I can find that, perhaps I can meet his challenge.

Meanwhile my foot is starting to groan with pins and needles. On top of my foot (besides my leg) is my cat. (times 2). They have actually lost weight. Saffron is now a cool 5.5kg and Licorice an even 6 but with both pancaked on top of my crossed leg, my poor left foot is…. VIBRATING AND SINGING… oh that would the iPad with Andrew wanting to FaceTime.

I has unearthed the iPad from under fat cats, blankets and legs.

‘What are you doing?’

‘Writing a blog post?’

‘Oh. That would the first of the year?’ [Cheeky grin]

‘Nope, the first since April 25th if you must know.’

‘And what are you doing?’

‘Reading about the¬†legacy of pragmatism in the element of design’

‘Of course.’

Suddenly Quality Frameworks have an instantaneous appeal. They are far more lush and enticing than a 25 page orgy of academia on the construct of ideas in art. He did tell me the title of the article; I can’t remember it exactly but if I were to call it¬†the ‘permutation and liberation of design from post modernism’ it would make just as much sense as the real title.

He read me a paragraph. It reminds me of sentences created from word salad fridge magnets, except not nearly as much fun. Certainly a long way from the TED talk I watched this morning which is promoted as ‘lyrical origami’. Only after watching the video could I truly appreciate the accuracy of the description of ‘lyrical origami’. A truly delightful, witty and mellifluous talk. Here it is for you to enjoy for yourself: http://www.ted.com/talks/rives_on_4_a_m

Cat reluctant to give up sleeping spot

Did you know that wheelchair cushions have a gel insert designed to cushion your bum? Well, they make a slight well in the cushion, which, the cats tell me, is the perfect sleeping spot. Here is Andrew trying to persuade Pickle to get out of the chair.

Reclaiming wheelchair from the ginger ninja cat

disABILITY

AndrewA clever marketer came up with the concept of disABILITY.

Most of the time I would agree that to focus on the ability of people who have a disability is a good thing. Yet, there are times when the disability really has to be acknowledged for the hideous and limiting thing that it is.

Losing more function can be frightening, depressing, soul-destroying, frustrating, not to mention bloody impractical! At the end of several weeks which included all of those things, there ARE some things to be thankful for.

1) I have an amazing partner who despite losing the last remnants of his ‘walking’ and ‘standing’, only managed to lose his sense of humour for a day here and there. Without that wit and comic relief, I’m not sure where we would be right now.

2) We are fortunate to have supportive family, friends and workmates.

3) There are some bloody awesome Norweigans out there who made the molift hoist equipment.

and finally…

4) It doesn’t matter how stressed you become, the cats still give you cuddles. Sometimes two at a time.

Double trouble on the couch

Andrew and Pickle

A long time between drinks

IMG_4283Somebody stole February; abducted her in the middle of the night and stashed her in a cupboard somewhere. It must be so. In the blog-sphere, February has been swallowed up; surely it must be foul play.

Since February vanished, mum has once again been called an ‘enigma’, a ‘diagnostic conundrum’ and just plain ‘odd’ by her neurologist.

Since February receded from view, Andrew has managed – after much angst – to secure himself the purpose built disabled unit next door. This means no more text messages advising me that I have to be there at a certain time to retrieve dinner from the oven – it will now be at the right height.

Since February was snatched, Christmas presents were framed and hung (see left) and birthdays went by without cake!

Since February was eaten by a great white, I have been to Melbourne and back, with only an addition of Springsteen’s¬†Thunder Road to add to my iTunes library to show for it.

Since February disappeared, I have lost half an employee to university and half a partner as well.

But worst of all, since February flew by, we had to say goodbye to Pippy. She had a cancer that the vet found he couldn’t remove. That was how February ended. I was in the Melbourne convention centre near the end of a seminar. My phone vibrated and I opened it to find the words I was hoping wouldn’t be there. ‘I’m sorry, she’s gone.’ I so wanted to be with my mum and dad but I was 1000km away. I still had to do a presentation, before getting on a plane home. The next day I was able to be at “the mothership”. Pippy ruled that house. Pippy loafed in every square inch of it when she wasn’t cuddling up to my parents. Pippy adored my parents and they her.

I’ve included a few pics of her below doing what she did best, my favourite being the last one in the greenhouse ‘hammock’ that she made for herself and my dad didn’t dismantle because she loved to sleep there.

Pippy Connor

Pippy cuddle

Pippy Loafing

Pippy Sep 08 5

Pippy hamock

Pickle’s Folly: A tale in pictures

Pickle's Folly 1

I could do with a nap in the sun

Pickle's Folly 2

Ooh… a bird out the window I hear!

Pickle's Folly 3

False Alarm. Back to sunbathing.

Pickle's Folly 4

You’re taking pictures? Good thing I’m handsome.

Pickle's Folly 5

Wait. Make that extra handsome.

Pickle's Folly 6

Houston we have a problem…

Pickle's Folly 7

It would appear that my sun bed is not entirely stable.