Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Drugs are Finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 And I might even be slightly forgiven.  Not last night, of course.  That was the last dose and after that, Theo hid under the forsythia bush and had nothing to do with me the rest of the night.  But today I've been out picking cucumbers in the garden, which is ALWAYS really interesting in Kittyland, and when I moved into the sewing room, he first hung out right outside the door, then hopped up on the window, then:
 which is, of course, right on top of the table runner I had just prepped for binding.  Oh well.  If you had been having to torture a cat twice a day, could you make this sweet little face move?
 Or at least not until after I've made pickles, at any rate..................
 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Which Injury Were We On?

The stubbed toe is healing, the carpal tunnel issues are improving, the first round of scratches are scabbed over.......so Wednesday night when I gave Theo his dose of sticky, awful meds, he got one claw deeply embedded in my left hand--right between the second and third knuckles, and it took me FOREVER (probably 30 seconds) to wrestle a wiggling and ticked-off 18-pound cat into a position where I could remove his claw without ripping my hand wide open, all the while trying not to scream in pain because a frightened wiggling and ticked-off 18-pound cat is more than I can handle.  He left a nice puncture mark that didn't bleed much, but hurt like crazy.  After my father's ordeal with the staph infection, we're probably maniacs about infections, but I immediately washed my hands twice with lots of soap, then applied antibiotic cream and a bandage, and took an Aleve for pain.

Yesterday my hand was still throbbing, and most tragically of all, I couldn't knit.  Not even a little.  Curious, I finally took the bandage off to discover that the area underneath the bandage had swollen into an extra knuckle, which explained the pain.  I iced it yesterday and continued to take an anti-inflammatory, and today it's sore but almost back to the correct size.  And we have one more dose of the icky goo to get through tonight, and Theo and I can start healing the physical (me) and emotional (him) scars.............

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Catching Up

There was a brief moment of horror last night when I cleaned out my purse and discovered that the notes on the vet receipt said the antibiotic needed to be given for 14 days.  The bottle says 10, and today is day number 7 and while Theo still has a little congestion, an 18-pound cat feeling better and who knows what is coming is spectacularly hard to medicate.  In terror, I called the vet first thing this morning to verify that we only had to endure this torture for 10 days, not 14.  Luckily, it is 10 days--I think I would still be sobbing if it were 14.

Theo is feeling better, and was even chipper enough to hang out with me

until he discovered that I wasn't going to stop giving him the goo, so now he is staying as far away from me as he can:
and even though I know this is for his own good, the guilt is overwhelming.  I can't say that I blame him--I wouldn't be thrilled with me either--but since he caught cat flu because I boarded him, I am actually responsible for the last couple weeks of misery for him, so I was feeling guilty enough already.

With all the stress, lack of sleep, and the recent flying, Andy and I both seem to be coming down with colds ourselves, which would usually earn me a get-well kitty, but Theo says I am on my own this time, so I took Nyquil yesterday so I could sleep during the day, and I think that helped.  I have also done something to irritate my carpal tunnel issues, so I can't really knit, so when conscious, I worked on
I don't even think this has made the blog, but it's a simple stamped cross-stitch table runner that I started a couple months ago.  It requires no outline stitching or anything except nice little "x" stitches, and
 is now almost finished.  Stamped cross stitch doesn't look as nice as embroidery, but as I'm pretty much a novice at needlework, I think it's a nice way to start.  And that pillowcase stash isn't looking quite so silly now...........

Speaking of stash issues, the new ornament kit has arrived,

and I have still only finished one ornament.  I am definitely canceling when I've hit the one year mark, but I just find these so delightful that I can't bring myself to do it sooner.  Don't you just love the bats?  I can return any kits I don't like, but I haven't received any that I don't want to make, so I've got a NEW stash now.  I think I might need to do the Project of the Month program for myself again next year.  I do like the surprise every month, and I definitely have enough projects.  I'll be able to surprise myself without anything new arriving in the sewing room.

The nice thing is, even slow projects do generally get finished around here.  I got this Sunday,
 which is a knitting box AND my Valentine's Day present for this year from Andy.  I actually hadn't heard of such a thing, but apparently a lot of woodworkers have wives who knit, so LumberJocks.com had some ideas, including
adding holes for yarn to travel through.  Isn't that clever? 

And lastly, a couple finished projects by ME.  After my spending ban ended last year and before the one I have so completely failed THIS year started, one of the dozens of machine embroidery websites that email me had a really inexpensive lace ornament set,
 which I, of course, purchased but hadn't yet tried out. Some of them are hard to see, but there's a snowman, angel, reindeer, sleigh, ornament, gingerbread man, and an ornament.  I still have the wreath, tree, and something that may or may not be a snowflake left to do.  I still have one ornament set left untried--it involves a backing and several new steps for embroidery for me, so I'm building up my courage for that one.  These
were probably a good step.  While I have probably given out some unclear directions in my time, I didn't charge money for them, and after seven ornaments,
and the introduction to DMC metallic hand-embroidery thread (of which I'm still not ready to talk about), I fail to see how any machine-embroidery project can be more challenging or difficult.  Maybe that will be my Labor-Day weekend project..........

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Lessons Learned This Week

*  It is easier to catch a sick cat than a healthy one

*  Medications for a cat's own good are not an accepted concept in the feline world

*  Cat flu cannot be passed along to humans, but stress and lack of sleep CAUSED by the cat will make the human nice and susceptible to circulating human cold viruses

*  No matter how many times I lose this battle, my little toe and the bedpost insist on having regular rematches

*  Two humans and a towel are no match for a cat who really, really, REALLY doesn't want bubble-gum flavored goo shoved down his throat.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Real-life Story Problem

If one woman is left alone with two cats and has to take one of those cats to the vet twice in three days AND has to get 2 doses of sticky drugs down this cat every day for 10 days, at what time is it socially acceptable for said woman to pour a glass of wine?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Crafting Vacation - Day 2....

...and the bleeding has stopped.  Mine, not Theo's.  To be fair, in all the years we've been together and all the drugs I have given Theo, last night was the first time he scratched me, and he had had a pretty rotten day.  I mean, if someone had stuck a thermometer up my backside, I'd have been pretty crabby too, and he really wasn't feeling good and had thrown up on the carpet about an hour before, so I can't really blame him.  He wasn't even trying to hurt me--he was just trying to push the horrible bubble-gum goo away from him.  Unfortunately, one bleeds the same whether it was intentional or not. 

But today we've had both doses and even a little togetherness in the sewing room,
albeit, barely in the sewing room and not close enough for any petting.  One does not forgive bubble-gum flavored sticky goo being shot down one's throat THAT easily....But I did need some supervision:
More quilting!  I'm doing another one with different designs on each join, and the hearts turned out surprisingly well.  There are a few others that really surprised me as well, but I'll have to photograph those during daylight I think.  It's too hard to see otherwise.  Maybe tomorrow I can bind a couple of these.

I had intended to reward myself with the new kimono ornament pattern after finishing the table runners, but after cleaning cat barf off the carpet and receiving multiple wounds in the line of pet-owner duty,
I dug them out tonight.  I know that this fabric
isn't at all Japanese, but I thought it hinted at it enough for the kimonos, and since they are Christmas ornaments anyway, it's not like they were going to authentic in any way.  The pattern was a tad bit confusing, and while the author just said to press folds, I ended up having to use quite a bit of fusible webbing to get these to work--and add the tiny little bit of gold embroidery thread to hold them closed.  It took a while, but I am very pleased.  One more day of Crafting Vacation left!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How I Spent Crafting Vacation - DAY ONE

Yep, back at the vet.  Although, for a fun twist, I had a dentist appointment this morning to just round out the fun.  My poor little sidekick,
started sneezing Sunday morning, and I kept an eye on him for a couple days because he does have asthma, the house hadn't been vacuumed in a week, and the sneezing wasn't accompanied by any other symptoms.  But by last night he was really uncomfortable--very clogged up and not able to smell food so wasn't eating very much.  He was so clogged up that I got out Vicks Vaporizer that we've used when I've had bronchitis to help him get a bit of relief. 

I actually felt sorry for our vet's office when we walked in, because frankly, all of us had been feeling just a little bit smug about Theo being able to pee while he was boarded.  The vets had checked on him a couple times, everything seemed good, and everyone was pretty happy.  But apparently pride goeth before a respiratory infection.......

They're a good group and didn't charge me for the visit in case he did pick it up there, but respiratory infections are pretty rare in cats, so it could also be stress.  The drugs will fix the infection if it is one, but not exactly help the stress--for either of us.  So......
At least this will help one of us.......................
Poor little guy.........

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vacation Number 2

Andy is off on a business trip tomorrow, and aside from a dental appointment, physical therapy appointment, and a couple trips to the gym, I am planning to spend the next 3 days crafting.  YAY!

And, with fabrics ironed and lightly starched and ready to go on the new kimono ornaments
as an incentive, I am finishing up the 4 remaining spring table runners.  I walked 4 miles this morning and did a little gardening, so I'm taking a break to do a little quilting on number 4:
this time alternating two stitches to see how it turns out.  I prepped all three last night,
 so they were ready to go if I had some free time today.

While I was at it, I also put together a practice piece
to try my hand at stippling later.  I think I could really like it, and could use it on one of the table runners.   I'm repeating the same project over and over to get better at quilting and to practice techniques, so it would be the perfect time to try it if the practice goes well.  Speaking of techniques to improve,
last year when my mother asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I sent her a link to my wishlist at Nancy's Notions.  I have never been a real "gadget" sort of person, but I hate binding quilts, and after seeing these on Sewing With Nancy, I thought I might try them for machine stitching the binding.  There are 4 guards for different quilt thicknesses, and by setting the guard against the quilt, it theoretically holds the binding so that one can stitch in the ditch on the front and catch the binding on the back.  It doesn't look quite as nice as hand-stitching it down, but since it is the back, I can get over it.  I used it on the first runner and only missed the binding on the back twice--a new record for me.  For the second one,
I used a decorative stitch instead, which I think could have some possibilities--maybe an accent stitch, maybe an accent color brought back in with the binding--a good technique to know, and also from Sewing with Nancy, though surprisingly, not one that requires buying anything. 

I also have Jeeves fired up this morning to make some new lace ornaments.  
 I had sworn that I wasn't going to use lace ornament sets as finished projects any more, but maybe just one more set wouldn't hurt....

And, while I did very little knitting on our trip,
 the Kimono Shawl had quite a bit of progress on it before we left as I was very good and trying to rest like I'm supposed to do.  There are 25 pattern repeats for the shawl, and since casting on on August 1, 6 repeats are done.  That's downright speedy for lace, don't you think?
 I think someone's glad we're home.............

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Maybe Forgiven

During our trip, Theo had to board with our vet because of his bladder issues.  He has to be given medication twice a day, and he's such a pill about it that so far even Andy can't do it--just me.  Luckily, our vet also has facilities for boarding, so that's where Theo spent a week.

I picked him up yesterday morning almost as soon as they opened, and Theo didn't stop chastising us the entire day.  He finally forgave me enough for a little reassuring cuddle and toe-sucking (him, not me) in the early evening, and today
he was willing to sew with me.  In fact,
he is the reason you're not seeing a great picture of the second spring table runner.  What you would see underneath the big ticked-off kitty if you had that sort of vision is a binding attached with a decorative stitch rather than stitch-in-the-ditch.  I can't decide if I like the look or not, but the third one is ready to bind, so maybe I'll try it again with a different decorative stitch.  I have 3 more runner tops ready to be quilted, so I have LOTS of chances for options.  And will definitely be ready to move on to something besides spring table runners.............

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Whew!

Was anyone else relieved to find out that everyone else is pretty well addicted to Pinterest or getting over an addiction to Pinterest?  I know I was.  :)

We've been on vacation this week to Victoria, British Columbia.  Besides being one of the most beautiful cities one could ever visit, their August weather heat wave almost hit 80 degrees, so we thought it a fantastic place to go to escape the heat.  The trip was to celebrate Andy's 50th birthday, so we really wanted to do something special, and the best thing for my back would be short flights and lots and lots of walking, so Victoria fit perfectly.  We found a family-owned motel right on the water,
which was sort of our back up plan because we both assumed that I would need to rest my hip/back....and eventually I did, but aside from the pain from the completely uncomfortable seats on Horizon Air, I didn't really hurt until the last night, and we walked EVERYWHERE.  Our hotel was a mile from downtown, and we literally left the hotel in the morning, walked all day, and usually didn't get back until dark. Really, it was impossible to do anything else because we could either walk downtown through beautiful historic houses, or--with just a little more effort--get there through Beacon Hill Park:
How could one NOT want to walk in such a place?   Of course, bicycling is popular too, but I can't do that yet. 

We did stop at TWO yarn stores to browse, but I stayed strong and didn't buy yarn!  The quilt shop, however, got me:
though I feel less guilty about buying patterns than the little fabric samples.  The pattern on the left shows a quilt with a kimono, but what I bought it for was the pattern to make kimono Christmas ornaments (hence the little packet of oriental fabrics).  They had examples hanging in the store, and they were just ADORABLE.  They also had an example of the tree wall hanging in the center, and we both found it stunning.  I'm sure I am also going to find it really, really, REALLY challenging, but I think it will be a great project to make over and over to learn from.  The kit in the far right is a pattern for fall leaf runners or wreaths, and did come with fabric, but as I already have quite a bit of fall fabric, I can make several of these without any other fabric.  The tree wall hanging will require some shopping, so that will have to wait.  Obviously, I'm not doing to well on my resolve to not buy crafting things for a second year, but at least I won't be shopping for a while now.......

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pinterest

I have stopped hanging out on Ravelry so much, just in time to be sucked into Pinterest.  Have you checked it out yet?  On the one hand, I'm glad to have someplace to queue non-knitting projects, because while there are dozens of sewing and quilting Ravelry-wannabees, none of them are as good.  On the other hand, do I really need any more projects to make???????????  Didn't I have a big enough list without anyone helpng me?  Especially now that so much of my time is taken up by physical therapy and exercise--I have SO much less crafting time, and yet I can always kill 15-20 minutes browsing new projects I don't have time to make.  What is wrong with me????????????

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

There Has Been Crafting!

and pickling
and gardening
and exercise
and socializing

which is why there hasn't been a lot of blogging.  It's so hot here that if I'm walking, I have to get up early to get my loop in--which it turns out is 4 miles rather than the 3.5 that I've been thinking for all these months, so I've not been slow and poky like I thought.  If I'm going to the pool, I go in the afternoon when it's crazy-hot because it's a perfect way too cool off, but that tends to mean I'm exhausted and ready to collapse by 4 every day.  If I could nap, I would have taken one every day this week.  As it is, I was only NOT in bed by 5 today by the great strength of willpower and the fact that with the windows open I didn't want the neighbors to see me in my jammies at 5:00 pm.  Like I'm probably NOT considered the crazy neighbor lady by everyone already--and they haven't even seen my stash! 

Speaking of which, this
is my new portable knitting project, and it uses
the oldest laceweight in my stash!!!!  It's from 2004 or 2005, and I have quite a bit of this stuff in several colors, but I'm very proud to say that it has been discontinued but I'm using it anyway!  It's a big hank--1375 yards and 100 grams, though unfortunately taking this out of the lace bin made no visible difference at all, but after 10 years in the stash, it's lucky to see the light of day at all. 

There has also been sewing.  One table runner is quilted,
a second is in the process,
and numbers 3 and 4 are ready to be cut into blocks.  
I like the look of the blocks using yellow between each stripe best, but the decorative stitching shows up best in the join between pink and blue stripes, so they each have their charm.  If I get brave, I might try stippling on one of these.   I think I've figured out the problems I was having with the decorative stitching and walking foot, and I like this batting, so I think I might be tackling one of the my quilt-top WIPs later this year--or perhaps in January when I'm not trying to finish 100 projects......

And just because starting projects is so much less helpful than finishing existing ones,
I have YET ANOTHER project.  So because one uses muslin for EVERYTHING in sewing, I buy white muslin by the bolt when it's on sale, which works out really well--except when I have forgotten where in the blazes I put the bolt.  I had to go rummaging for it because I wanted it for the backs of the table runners, and then since I had it, I wanted to try out a patternless tiered skirt pattern I'd run across.  Muslin is perfect, because if it turns out well, it's light and will make a nice summer skirt, and if it doesn't turn out, I'll know where to make adjustments.  Since it is muslin, I'm doubling the top layer so it (hopefully) won't need a slip and could maybe handle a little embroidery of some sort.  Sometimes it's nice to take a break from patterns and just play for a bit.  I think that's why I grew up knitting instead of sewing.  I taught myself how to knit from a book, so there was a lot of "I wonder what would happen..." sort of experimenting.  Sewing, however, I learned through 4-H, and it was as rigid as it could possibly be, and after two years I bailed and didn't go near a sewing machine again for the next 20 years.  Of course, had I actually enjoyed sewing during that first go-round, that could have led to 20 more years of stash accumulation, so maybe things worked out for the best after all.............

Friday, August 1, 2014

21 Months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's been 21 months since I bought yarn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wish that translated into a really noticeable dent in the stash, but last year's ornament challenge wasn't exactly a yardage burner, and I finished up my 27th ball of yarn for the year yesterday, but at least it hasn't grown in almost two years.