Thursday, November 19, 2009

More cat stories....

I think the reason I love cats is because they change just like people do over the years. I always thought they disliked change, but after consideration of the cats I have now...or the cats who have me now....I think they do like change as long as they are the instigators of said changes.

Until April of 2007, I had three cats. My very special baby, Ferdi, who was a little black smoke Persian guy, and Booboo's roommate since I brought them both home, died in late April 2007. Booboo and Ferdi ruled the roost...well, actually, FERDI ruled the roost. He was my constant friend. He rarely left my side, which is a polite way of saying that he dominated my attention. Booboo never seemed to care. He liked people, but I never thought he liked me that much. He liked me when I was useful to him, but otherwise I was just an obstacle to him getting his way in all things.

Then we had to put Ferdi to sleep. He had lymphoma and I refuse to let him suffer. I make a deal with all the animals who come to live with me. I promise to love them and take care of them to the best of my ability (and yes, spoil them until they run the place), and when they get sick and are in pain, I promise to let them go peacefully.

Booboo mourned Ferdi. I'd never seen a cat do that before, but those two guys were really tight. Without a feline companion, because our female tabby hated both Booboo and Ferdi, Booboo turned to me as his new BFF. He now allows me to pick him up and carry him around. He NEVER allowed that before. He seemed to feel that he had more legs than I did, so why did I need to carry him around? Ferdi, on the other hand, knew he had more legs, but they were little short Persian cat legs and, oh, by the way, he was cute, so I should carry him everywhere.

Booboo sits near me all the time. He hates it when I do my Wii Fit exercises as he considers ALL my time when I am not laboring to earn money to get food, toys and litter for him, to be "our time" together. He has even trained me to let him drink out of my water glass, as MY water is actually HIS water and, besides, WE share everything.

He wakes me up in the morning, usually a couple hours before I HAVE to get up, but he thinks that I don't mind because soon I'll be at work with humans and I'll miss him desperately. He has gotten nicer to Jazzi, our female tabby, probably because she younger and bigger and can potentially beat the crap out of him.

In short, Booboo has changed dramatically in the last 2+ years. And that's ok with him because it's now the Booboo Show and that's change he can live with.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mr. Boo boo

Our cat Boo boo is 13 years old. He's an oriental shorthair, which is basically a Siamese without the points. Boo traveled from Virginia to Maryland when I got him in 1997. Then in 2003 he traveled out to Hawaii. In 2007 we moved to Germany, exactly half way around the world from Hawaii. In 2009, we moved back to Hawaii. And Mr. Boo boo did all that with us. He's quite the world-traveled cat.

A few days ago, Mr Boo was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Fortunately, that condition is very treatable. I have medication that I put in his ear twice a day and he's doing well. He was vomiting a lot; sometimes 3-4 times a day and losing weight because he couldn't keep anything down. He hasn't vomited in two days, since the medication started, and he seems much more comfortable.

The vet said he's in very good shape and we should have him around for many more years.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!!

I turned 50 today! Had a nice quiet day, like I wanted. Began work on a series of quilts to commemorate my 5th decade. I've been making progress in my craft room, so that by next weekend, I should be able to put my sewing machine in there and actually sew. Have my first quilt planned and in progress and have ideas for my second one. I hope to have 6 or 7 small art quilts done by my 51st birthday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Update on crafts

As I get more and more organized, I'm realizing that beading is the way I'm going to go for my major hobby. I want to do more jewelry, more beaded quilts and more bead weaving. Therefore, I'm getting rid of a lot of my "paper" stuff. Most of the paper ephemera and odds and ends are going to go. I'm keeping my beads and fabric and sewing supplies. I am also keeping the majority of my cross stitch supplies because I do like to relax and do cross stitch.
Some of my supplies will go to my sisters-in-law and some will go on eBay. Gotta downsize!

Here is a picture of a bead weaving I'm doing called Lady Jane Gray. She's destined to take up residence at my mom's house when she's done.

Here's a picture of what she'll look like when she is done:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1920's Diva Framed!

I finally framed the 1920's Diva bead woven tapestry that I made! I'm trying to be better about finishing my pieces. I can use a bit of color around the house.

I have three new projects started and I am looking forward to working on them. Bead weaving has really caught my fancy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mirrix Looms and a Couple of Pictures

Until about a year ago, I'd never heard of Mirrix Looms. These are upright looms that you can use for both bead weaving and tapestry weaving. I must confess I love these looms! I have three now: 12", 16" and a 32 inch. I am thinking of selling my 12" and eventually getting a 22". For the kinds of things I like to weave, the 12" is too small. I'd rather put two smaller pieces on a larger frame. Right now I have a 12" piece (240 warp threads) and a 8" piece (160 warp threads) on the 32 inch frame. The fit well with enough room in between to be able to weave comfortably. The only thing I've found about these looms that is disappointing is that you cannot weave a piece as big as they advertise. Not comfortably, anyway.
The 12" loom is supposed to have a 9" wide weaving area. I tried to warp mine for an 8" piece using the 14 dent spring. I was a few dents short and that was going end to end on the spring. Most of the pieces I weave are 8-9 inches wide. I've done two on the 12" that were only 6" and 5" wide. I have other cheapie looms that can weave pieces that size on, when I want to. I don't want to that often.

So, I'm going to list my 12" loom in my Etsy store for a bit and if doesn't sell there, I'll list it on Ebay. I think I'll ask for $180 for it with shedder and all original parts, plus a couple of extra coils.

If you happen to be out there reading this and you're interested email me at .

Now, on to a couple of photos: First is the first, and largest, piece I finished on my 12" Mirrix loom: It is 6" by 15" and I had to get a custom frame to fit it. Still haven't gotten it into the frame, but I'm working on it.

The next piece I did for my long-suffering spousal unit, Bob. He puts up with the threads, beads and looms all over the house. He's a coffee and wine afficianado, so I made this for him:

Monday, August 3, 2009

So Many Topics...not enough time...

Gosh, a whole month has flown by since we've returned home! Lots of times I thought of things to blog, but, honestly, just never had the time. And you know I'm into "no obligation" blogging.

It is so good to be home. I had forgotten how laid back and gracious the people in the islands can be. Everywhere we've gone and told people that we were away and have come back to Hawaii, we've heard "Welcome Home!" I've even gotten that at work.

We've been working hard in the house to get things pulled together. It's coming along well. The main floor is almost there. The upstairs is a totally different story, but I made progress there as well this weekend. Some of the issue with my craft stuff is inefficient storage. I have drawers in my plastic cabinets that have one or two items in them. That's just bad.

Well, it's about 0430 and I have to feed my beasties and get the day going. It's Monday and it's bound to be busy!

Friday, July 3, 2009


We made it back to Hawaii!!! Along the way we had to spend 4 days in Chicago with two cranky cats crammed into a small, but luxurious hotel room. Our plane from Dulles to O'Hare was delayed because United Airlines didn't schedule a crew to fly our plane. Minor, but important detail. We ended up flying Continental with the cats safely in Continental's Pet Safe program flying on the plane with us.

And just a word about United Airlines. They have GOT to be THE WORST airlines flying in the skies today. We have now flown many airlines in the U.S. and Europe and United is BY FAR the lousiest! Even though it was their fault we got stranded in Chicago. Even though all our luggage, except one duffle bag, was forwarded to Honolulu while we were still in Chicago. Even though, they lost our cats for about 2 hours. They absolutely refused to do anything for us, except give us some coupons to a couple of fleabag hotels all an hour from the airport.
We finally gave up arguing with United personnel and decided to book ourselves in to the Hilton across from the airport. Not one manager from United would come talk to us. They were all hiding, I imagine. And the airport personnel kept saying how tired they were. I'm sorry, I just didn't freakin' care! Crappy scheduling, crappy customer service, just plain crappy airlines.

But, here we are. We're home. Our belongings were delivered and we're up to our eyes in boxes and bins. It'll take a while to sort this all out, but we will. And we're staying put for the next few years....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Two More Days....

Or is that "daze"? We're finishing up the cleaning in this humongous house and feeling thankful that our house in Hawaii is not big. The house in Hawaii is an end unit townhouse in a four house grouping. The biggest model of the complex, it's only about 1300 square feet. The monstrosity we've lived in here in Bavaria is at least 3,ooo. It has four floors and room upon room, most of which we never entered, let alone lived in.

The Hawaii house is just two floors, no basement, Oahu is, afterall, a volcanic island. The first floor is the kitchen, living room, dining area (we don't call it a "dining room" because it is more of a nook than a room), rather large wasteful foyer an large full bathroom/laundry room combination and a large, very sunny, very private lanai. The top floor has four bedrooms, two very small and two medium-sized, and a small full bathroom. There is also a really nice storage room/walk-in closet. It's a good size for us, not much cleaning, which we both are loath to do.

My only problem with the Hawaii house is the size of my craft stash relative to the size of my craft room. But, since I've been here in Bavaria and had a craft area at least twice the size of the room in Hawaii, I realized I have too much stuff for anything than a full scale craft studio. As my craft supplies, the majority of which are beads and fabric, arrive in Hawaii, I'm going to take a good hard look at everything and give some away to Goodwill. I really need to downsize and down-spend. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bella Italia!

Bob and I returned from our last trip to Italy during our stay in Europe. We will be back to Italy but not for a couple of years. It's expensive and time consuming to travel to Europe from Hawaii. And the jetlag.....

We chose to tour Italy by car this time. We've flown to Rome several times, flew to Venice, flew to Florence, but this time we decided to climb into our trusty yellow Mini CooperS and travel the Italian highways.

I don't know who ever started that vicious rumor that Italians are terrible drivers. They really aren't. They don't take any more risks than the rest of the European drivers I've encountered, although I think their definition of "road lanes" might lose something in the translation. They tend to drive in two lanes at once, but once you get used to that, it's easy to deal with. And they will occupy one lane, at least temporarily, if you wish to pass.

We stopped for several days in Tuscany. That region lived up to its reputation in beauty and food. However, it was rather touristy. And everything was perfectly manicured and cleaned. Anyone who has been to Italy for any amount of time will know that Italy is usually controlled chaos. I think that is part of its charm. Although I do realize that living in ultra-ordered Germany for two years, could be coloring my opinion.

After Tuscany, we traveled on to Abruzzo. We traveled south of the recent earthquake shattered L'Aquila area. We climbed into the mountains of Abruzzo which are wild and un-touristed. Finally we hit a spot with our GPS navigation system just gave up and left us on our own. There was only one way to go....up.

After four hours of driving through wild natural scenery, we arrived at our destination of Rocca Pia. This small...REALLY small hamlet was the birthplace of Bob's grandmother. I think that this small town was the real Italy.

We started at the only open restaurant we could in the town, there was another restaurant which wasn't open at least not for lunch. Needless to say the town residents were rather curious about the yellow Mini Cooper S with German plates that was driving around their town....or should I say back and forth in their town. There was only on street suitable for driving.

Once Bob explained his connection to this little village, the place came alive. The lovely owner of the restaurant in which we had lunch found us a room in her brother's B&B which was closed for the season, but was opened for us. We were assisted in every possible way to find remnants of Bob's family's past. And at 9pm as we were slumbering in our very nice B&B room, we were moments away from meeting some of Bob's family's present.

At 9:45 pm, there was knocking on our room door. Upon opening, Bob found two of his second cousins and one of their children outside our room. Apparently word had gotten around this small burg and the relatives came to call. Bob had a wonderful time catching up with all the family history. Bob and I don't speak much Italian and they didn't speak any English, but I've found that in Italy knowing some Italian nouns and Spanish verbs will get you through. So we managed our way through an hour or so of conversation.

The next day we got up early, having decided to drive straight through back to Germany. We drove along the spectacular Adriatic Coast and vowed to return to that area and spend a couple of weeks. That, however, won't happen for a couple of years. But we will be back...

Friday, May 1, 2009

To all the cat lovers out there....

How many of us cat lovers can relate to this You Tube video?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wave Bye-Bye to the Car

I waved bye-bye to my cute little car on Friday. Hubby and I drove to Stuttgart (3hrs from here) and turned my little Mini Cooper convertible over to the car shippers. In a little less than 3 months, it will arrive on Sand Island on Oahu all safe and sound, but probably a little dusty.

We took the train (well, TRAINS, actually) back from Stuttgart to Grosskarolinenfeld where we live. It took about 4 hours. It was interesting, but very expensive. It cost about 140 euros for the two of us. But, we couldn't rent a car to get us back for that price, so we had an experience and even got to sleep on the train from Stuttgart to Munich. We had gotten up at 4 am and left the house at 5 to get to the car shippers in time for our appointment.

Yesterday other than doing some laundry, I did virtually nothing. I have to pick up the pace in doing my last minute things, but I'm having a hard time getting motivated. At the last minute I'll just jumble everything into a box and have it all mailed to us after we get to Hawaii. I'm just exhausted right now. I am going to be able to use the three weeks off in Maryland to catch up on my sleep and gird my loins for the last push to Hawaii.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

After the stress....

comes the in virus. It's been lovely outside this week and I've come home every day in my little orange Mini Cooper convertible with the top down.
Everyone with convertibles seemed to be out driving around enjoying the 60-something degree weather. Well, it appears maybe I was too precipitous. This morning I woke up with a cold. I had avoided all the sickness of my coworkers all winter only to catch the springtime version. I think it is a result of delayed stress from packing up and seeing all my beads and fabric and craft supplies drive off in big crates. I tell you I'm really attached to that stuff. It's my sanity to counter balance the insanity of my job. At least I have some small beadies left to play with. I want to perfect my right angle weave technique and practice a few other kinds of beadweaving stitches. I'm also working on a beaded doll.

And when I get tired of beading, I have my cross stitch, which always calms me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Everything is GONE!

We survived the packout of all our stuff. Our cats survived, too. We're living with loaner furniture, which is adequate, but far from our own furniture. I was thinking this morning as I woke up on an Aerobed, our sleeping arrangements until we leave in June, that I felt weird...restless...out of place.

I am one of those people who, contrary to the popular trend, would not like to live "simply." I like my stuff. And I am a bit attached to my stuff, too. But this morning I realized it was not my furniture I'd miss, it's my artsy toys as I like to call them. I miss the wallhangings I've made, the needlework I've had framed, and my quilts. Besides my husband and my cats, they are what make my house a home. I feel out of sorts without those touches of home. I have some artsy creations at my office at work. I think I'll bring them home and put them up until the last shipment of last minute stuff in May. I think that would make me feel less out of place.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Winter Ever Going to END?????

I, personally, am weary of the cold, the snow, the ice, the feeling of being trapped inside. For a few days earlier in the week it was over 50 degrees farenheit. I guess the local Germans are also feeling "cabin fever" because I noted some convertibles being driven around tops down. I did get my Mini Cooper convertible out of the garage, where it has been since November, and enjoyed driving around with Jimmy Buffet music cheerfully spouting from the speakers, but I'm not hardy enough to put the top down in less than 70 degree weather.

Yesterday, when I went out to climb into my little car to motor off to work, I found the wipers frozen to the windshield and the boot frozen shut. I just hate it! I'm wondering if I'll see spring before I leave Germany in June.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Talk about no Obligation!

Things for our move back to Hawaii are skipping right along. Pack out is 1 and 2 April, then we get to sit around with gov't loaner furniture for two months. That's ok, when we moved here, we spent 4 months with loaner furniture so it's like bringing old friends back :)
I'm recently back from spending two weeks at my mom's. I had to get away from work. I really like living in Germany, although all the rules would drive me nuts after a while, but my workplace is just ridiculous. I don't think more than 40% of the people have enough work to do. I certainly don't and haven't for the last almost 2 years. Waste of time and money, if you ask me.

Before I went to my mom's, Bob and I went to Malta. Malta is really nice. A complete surprise! There is so much to see on one island about the size of Oahu. Lots of history, way back to prehistoric times. We spent 4 days there and we could have spent about 4 more to see everything we wanted to see.

My life for the next few weeks will be organizing the flotsam and jetsam of my life (specifically my crafts) and getting ready for the packers/movers.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blogging Without Obligation

AHA! It's come full circle! Millions of people have blogs. And how many of those people are chained to their blogs for some portion of time everyday because they feel they HAVE to blog?And when they don't blog for a while, their first blog posting after a hiatus is an apology for not blogging.

I know for myself that if I feel I HAVE to do ANYTHING (except work to pay the bills and feed my craft addiction), I'm likely not to do it. And for HEAVEN'S SAKE, people, don't we all have enough we HAVE to do to not need to add blogging to the list?? I don't even have children (well, unless you count my spousal unit and two cats) and I have enough obligations to not need to add anything else.

Besides, I'm going to be 50 this year and as much as possible, I'm not going to do things I just freakin' don't wanna do!

So, bloggers, the question of to blog or not to blog, should not be a gut wrenching question. Do it if you want or don't do it if you don't. And you don't have to even be 50 to decide not to blog! I give you permission :)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mill Hill Kits For Sale

I will be listing several Mill Hill kits in my Etsy store: The Beaded Cat . I've got to destash as much stuff as I can. I'm pricing the kits to sell quickly, so keep your eyes on my store to see if there's something you'll like :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

For all those interested in bead loom patterns, I have finally added some new patterns to my Etsy store: . While I'm in transition these will probably be the only items available on my site. I also have a Moving Sale on some earrings and supplies.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lots O'Art

I've often said that I have time either for being on the computer or making art, and that goes double now. I have been packing up knickknacks and art supplies getting ready to haul it back to Hawaii. How I am ever going to fit all this stuff in a much smaller area in Hawaii, I do not know. But, as Scarlett O'Hara would say: I won't think about that today, I'll think about it tomorrow.
I wanted to share a couple of projects that I finished recently:

The first is a special piece that I made in memory of my darling Persian cat, Ferdi. He passed away April 30, 2007 and until recently, I couldn't manage to make any memorial to him. For every cat that I've had that has passed away since college I've made some kind of memorial to them. For the first two, Moska and Keegan, I made quilts. I still hang Keegan's quilt in my bedroom. Moska's has begun to fade, so I don't display it very often. Keegan passed away in 1997 and Moska in 1990.

I didn't think that Ferdi would want what everyone else had. He also fancied himself extra-special. And he was. I couldn't really think of what to make him until I read in an issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors about making "shrines."

Here's my shrine to Ferdi:

It's truly a shrine fit for a little Persian Emperor, don't you think?

I call this piece: Autumn

The polymer clay face is the first one I ever made. I beaded around it with citrine and gold seed beads. I wish the picture had come out better. This one doesn't do the piece justice. The background is sparkly and shimmering. I used more of my polymer clay pieces just because I could....:)

This piece is one of my favorites! I call it Beaded Spheres. I fused pieces of black and white scraps and then some red over the black and white. I fused spheres on top and then beaded my head off. I used all kinds of beads: square, seed, circles and some really neat butterfly beads I've had for a while.

That's about all I've finished to this point. I have several pieces in the last stages of creation, so check back again to see whatelse I've come up with!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I have an announcement! I might as well get it out of the way right now at the beginning of the year: I will turn the BIG 5-0 this year! Some women cringe, others cry...I just scream it out because it's better than the alternative. I don't lie about my age. I couldn't care less who knows. I'm not vain enough to wear contacts (although I do have these ultra-chic, Euro-cool, glasses frames that I got here last year) and sometimes, on weekends, I sit in my jammies until at least noon. Today I am sitting on my couch, in my blue flannel night shirt and mismatched snuggly socks. And that's all 'cuz I'm old enough to do what I want!

Since 50 represents a half century, and I have no expectations of reaching a full century, I want do something monumentally creative to commemorate not having expired yet, not being in jail and not living in a trailer park. So, I'm proposing a series of Celebrate 50 Quilts. I want to celebrate the colors, sounds, smells, sights and moments that I enjoy. I'm thinking small quilts...not more than 10x10. Today I'm going to start thinking about my first opening quilt. A splashy affair with lots of color and noise. My actual birthday will not be until October, but by then I'd like to have my quilts done and on display. Who knows maybe I'll have a party :)

Tea Dying

I looked into my tea cabinet today and realized I had waaaaaaaaaaay to many boxes and bags of tea. I've been drinking coffee the majority of the time since my DH, Bob, got his new Italian coffee machine. We call his coffee efforts "Bobsbuck" and it is MUCH less expensive that that other 'bucks' should we even have access to any here in Bavaria.

So, I have lots of tea which I must either drink or do something with before we pack up in April. As I was rooting around in my fabric I found some white on white and cream on cream stuff that I always meant to dye. I used up all my dyes before coming here. I got the bright idea to use the tea to dye the fabric. It went very well all things considered. I achieved a light rose/purple from using a German tea of blueberry and vanilla. And I got a really nice mocha color from jasmine and vanilla tea. I'm going to try a few more kinds today.

One thing I did learn is that loose tea left loose is not a good thing to dye with. The color was fine, but rinsing the leaves from the fabric was a pain! I have a few ideas for vintage-look quilts which will use these fabrics.