Sunday, January 26, 2020

A new year

I hope this year will be much easier than the last one, for everyone I know.  I also want to say I'm sorry for not updating this blog since the end of October!  The end of the year was perhaps the worst of it; I'm not able to fake it very well, so instead of coming here and trying to be cheerful, I just don't come here!
That's not to say we didn't have lovely holidays despite it all; we did!
Here in Colorado January is off to a cold start; even though we get to see the sun on some of the chillier days, it's not possible to hang around outdoors.
A frozen fountain
I became ill shortly after the new year and continue to struggle with stuff (nothing real serious); I am looking forward to things being back to normal, so I can feel WELL and go back to the gym and have energy to spare!
I don't think I posted about it here, but we did get a new kitten to keep Art company after he pined and paced over Paul Simon.  We thought we were getting a little boy cat and we named him Jude.  It turns out he is a she, but the name still works.  It's taken MONTHS for Art to come around to liking Jude even a little.  But we're finally make some progress.
And, yes, she looks just like Paul.  That was my husband's idea.  She really is a sweet little cat, and she helps my heart to heal from losing him.  Having a new kitten in the house meant we couldn't do much with breakable decor for the holidays, so we had to get creative.  We hung it high...

 and hid it in cabinets...
and under glass!
Now that we've moved onto -- and almost finished -- January, I've been making valentine-y stuff for swaps, and some Downton Abbey art for my Etsy shop.
I still like to pop into the Goodwill "bins" (Outlet Center) for a steal, like this old magazine rack; prices there are going up, but they are still remarkable.  And you know how I love a project!
 Yesterday I went to the Simply Vintage Market and bought some treasures, like the hand-painted plaque above...
 Valentine ephemera from Pink Attic Cat,

 And -- my favorite find of all -- this antique thimble holder!
 As you can see, the thimble goes into that tiny basket...
but the best part is that it was made using A WISHBONE as a frame!  Dying!
 I bought it from a seller who mostly makes heart-stoppingly gorgeous jewelry; I also brought home these mustard seed earrings!
 Another dealer made me an offer I couldn't refuse on all these quilt squares!
 There are some really fun fabrics in these pieces!
The way things go with us, if my husband has a job and we all have health insurance, it is well with us.  And so it is.
I love valentine crafting!  This is from vintage scraps, and the pink holder is an antique shoe stretcher!
I'm looking forward to hearing how you are doing!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Fall Finds

Dennis has been at his new job for about a month, and seems happy so far.  I'm getting back to feeling normal, despite missing Paul Simon, and we are even thinking about adopting a little friend for Art Garfunkel sometime.  Maybe.
For the most part, I'm staying away from thrift shops and estate sales, but every now and then I "treat" myself to trip.  One Sunday there was a great-looking estate sale near our gym, so after we worked out I convinced my husband to stop by.  That was where I found this fabulous horse poster!
From an annual festival in Spain, this is a commemorative poster from 1974.  There is one created and sold each year, and they are collectible.  I just could not get over the horses!  And the colors!
And this beautiful work of art is an original hand stitched tapestry from around the same era.  Hard to see in the photo, but it is carefully framed in these beautiful pieces of walnut.  I wish it was signed!  I just know it was done by someone of great skill and, probably, fame.
Then, at a Goodwill stop one afternoon, I found this little vintage POLYESTER quilt.  Though not normally a fan of this fabric, I was struck by its color and composition, and especially by the careful little appliques of bugs and succulents and animals.  I just had to bring it home, and I hung it on my wall because I think it is so cheerful!
It makes me smile!

Art is good company, especially when I am home recovering from dental work or a car accident -- both of which I've done in the last two weeks.  Yes -- my brand new car now has $13,000 in damages and had to be towed from the scene when an idiot slammed into me from behind because she was too stupid to drive slowly on the ice.  She hit me so hard her airbag deployed, and her car was totaled.  I've been driving a rental for 2 weeks and it will likely be two weeks longer before I see my own car again.
I cling to the words engraved on this ring I bought on Etsy: This too shall pass.  I got it when I was grieving Paul, but it has continued to be pertinent as I struggle through this life of mine!

My crafting lately has consisted of a swap with friends from work -- The 12 Days of Christmas, a fabric page swap.  My day is Three French Hens.  It took me a long time to come up with a design, and the one I chose has tons of hand stitching, silly me.  But, it's fun.  I was amazed we were able to find 12 participants!  So, I'm posting this meme for my poor, understanding husband:
We have just had our second snow of an early winter here in Colorado and I am, seriously, OVER IT.  I didn't even have time to take more than just one photo as the colors were changing, before the trees were bare and there was ice everywhere.  I'm pouting.

Today I'm going to finally have a job interview for a promotion; I started this process back in May and I guess in a week or so it will be finished.  Wish me luck!
What does Fall look like for you?

Monday, September 2, 2019

Losing Paul Simon

Paul Simon didn't return home as usual one Friday morning in August.  As it had been a full moon, and the weather was unusually warm, I didn't worry too much at first.  He was the wanderer, and enjoyed being in and out of the house on warm nights.
When he was missing for more than two days, we began to look for him in earnest.  We asked around the neighborhood, filed a lost cat report with the humane society, put up flyers; and I began posting religiously on many lost pets pages everywhere -- on social media, Craigslist, etc. -- and spent all of my free time looking up posts.  I went twice to the animal shelter to look at cats that were not Paul, and kept track of another cat that a neighbor was spotting that also turned out not to be Paul.  I went outside every hour or so and called for him.  He was wearing a collar and was micro-chipped, so we were hopeful we could locate him.
We were so worried.  Everyone I talked to had an idea about what had happened to him: he met a she-cat, he took up with another family that's feeding him, he got locked inside someone's shed... Everyone knew, though, that he would come back soon.  I got all kinds of advice on how to find him and followed it all -- we put his litter-box in front of the house, put out our clothing for him to smell, searched for him before for dawn and at dusk.  I couldn't sleep for days.  I was so afraid he was hurt somewhere, or stolen, or starving, or dehydrated, or drinking algae-water and getting sick.  Of course I worried he'd been hit by a car.
On the 10th day after he went missing, we confirmed that a cat that had been killed in the street one block over and disposed of was, after all, Paul.  We had seen a photo of the deceased cat several days before, but it wasn't wearing a collar and we thought it couldn't be him.  The neighbor found Paul's collar days later in the bushes, next to where she'd found his body, and sent us a photo of it. We took another, close look at the photo of the deceased cat and that was when I knew it was him, even though the first time I'd seen the photo I hadn't been able to see it.
Paul had been killed by a neighbor's vicious dog, in a way that was violent enough for his collar to have been ripped off and damaged in the process.  No one saw it happen, but all the neighbors believe it to be true.  We'll never know for sure.  We are devastated that instead of taking him to be checked for micro-chipping, the person who found him discarded him with the trash, which lead to 10 days of worrying and wondering when really he had died the first day he was missing; and also, of course, meant we couldn't give him the burial we would have wanted.
I can't even put into words how awful I feel about all of this.  I've lost many beloved pets before, but never to violence, and it makes for a new kind of pain in the loss.  It was heartbreaking to tell Ben, because he was so bonded with Paul from day one.
I really can't wait until summer is behind us, now.  The warm weather just brings to mind those hot August nights I spent worrying about Paul; sitting out on the patio on warm mornings hurts because I keep looking for him to come over and sit with me like he always did.  Art Garfunkel is confused and lonely; he walks around the house meowing whenever he comes inside and there's nothing I can do for him except commiserate, and pet him and talk to him about how much I miss Paul, too.  I just want time to pass, even though it means wishing away the warm weather and season that I normally love.
Rest in peace, Paul Simon.  I will miss you forever.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Artisan therapy

I spent some time making some tags, to clear my head.  I enjoyed it so much, and it worked wonders.  I started by sewing together some fabric and paper scraps into tags.  That was a few days ago, and then last night I started embellishing them.

There was not theme -- unless "use whatever I have at arms reach" can be considered a theme!  Besides vintage ephemera, I used new flowers and scrapbook embellishments that I've had for quite some time.

Even just looking at them now makes me sigh in satisfaction and happiness!  I think my favorites are the ones that I used vintage photographs in.  How about you?
Besides that, I'm working on this fabric collage.  Here it is just pinned together; so far I've stitched some edges and details, but it's long from finished.
I also made this simple embellished runner, using new printed fabric, trim and then some vintage lace and crochet.  It was a gift for a friend, and she liked it!
I find it even harder to create in the summer, do you?  I just always feel bad about being indoors when I'm free and it's so beautiful out.  I try to do stuff out of doors, but there always seem to be just enough things to make that difficult (wind, bugs, not enough shade...)

I hope you are enjoying your summer!