Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

I was at the bookstore a few months ago and I almost picked up this book called "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. Instead of buying it, I thought I would just check it out from the library. I found out the waiting list was so long, that I wouldn't get the book until April 2011. I made my request and forgot about it. Last week I saw a copy on my coffee table so I picked it up and after just a few pages I knew I would like it. My daughter's book club at work was reading it and Evan was trying to finish it before the next meeting. She finally gave me her copy this weekend. It's a great easy to read book.

Bea and her teddy bear

With all the talk about who is getting their forever homes, Bea found something to snuggle up to that won't be leaving. Daisy and Rosie have new homes and hopefully Sunny (mommy) will too. Poor little Haz, no one seems to want a male cat. I'm working with him to improve his cuddle game, which at pet fairs is very important. I've also found out he's a "stress" eater, so I make sure he gets something to eat after we get home of the fairs. Working in the studio today finishing up the 100+ valentine cards for our troops. Will post photos when I get them done.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunny may have a new home

I have my fingers crossed that Sunny may have a new home this week. She was at the "Other Living Things" pet fair on Saturday along with several other foster cats. She had nice cuddle visit with someone looking for a lap cat. Sunny is really chatty and I finally figured out that she is a big time lap cat. When I'm on the computer, Sunny is right there - see photo. Sunny's new mommy asked that she get another physical from her vet to make sure everything is OK before signing the final papers. We only need to find a nice home for little Haz now.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

This was one of the Christmas cards I made for my son for his present to his sister. He gave her the cash to pay for a very $$$$ parking ticket she got last month. Parking tickets in San Francisco are more like a mortgage payment! Anyone want to guess how much the ticket was?
This is the first Christmas my son hasn't been home. He's on a different deployment cycle, so won't be back until next year.
This morning we are getting ready for what we call the "Itatani food fest". Coming from a really large extended family we all get together for the holidays. It will be a smaller group this year, only 40 - 60 people.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kitten Invasion

Mommy cat (Sunny) and the kitten have invaded my inner art studio. If I'm working on my computer and it's close to nap time, everyone piles into my office. Good thing I have two office chairs so we don't have to share. Had a major break through with Haz. He's not one to want to cuddle a lot but last night he let me hold him for 30 minutes but of course as soon as he woke up he farted and pooped on me. Usually it's Daisy that does that. Good thing I had my "please don't poop on me" shirt. Sunny, Haz and Bernie will be at a pet fair this coming Saturday. Here's the link to the store which I've been told is a pet boutique so it won't be as stressful as the last pet fair.

The perfect ornament

My hubby is not into the whole Christmas decorating thing. In fact I've sold off most of my collections for all the grief I get every year. This ornament actually made Mr Humbug smile and he asked when was I going to post it on my blog. :)
One of our good friends found it and had to get it for him. Two of his favorite hobbies, scuba diving and bee keeping all in one ornament!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Treats 2009

I'm not much of a baker but I'm a really good at bartering! Laurie, one of my card making buddies (she's in channeling Martha Stewart mode right now) made some great caramel candy for our Cornflakes(card making group)holiday party. They are really really good (how can you go wrong with mass amounts of butter and sugar!) so I swap some of my yarn stash for a big box of caramels. I made little bags to hand out to our neighbors along with some of our honey. I had to bag them up quick or I would have eaten them all. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

High Maintenance Kittens

My foster kittens are so high maintenance. Had to take Daisy into the vet's last night. She now has to be given 3 meds 2X a day and a change in her food. I have to also stop her from nursing so I'm getting ready to have mommy cat Sunny go another foster home. Because of all the tummy issues, I have to clean the nursery twice a day mopping up the floors and washing the bedding. This morning I wipe down the walls,floors and bathtub with a little bleach. Then I search the rest of the house for any "little" accidents. I thought I was over furry butt washing, but the Dr. told me Daisy needed a little more help with keeping things clean. Group photo of the fur babies and Haz in a rare moment of sleep.

Iris Folding Green Card

I'm always looking for something interesting for my free card class I do down at the Japanese Senior center. Diane was nice enough to share one of her ideas about using tea bag wrappers and iris folding card. Not only is this a "green" project, the ladies will love it. I have to break my habit of crumbling up the tea wrapper when I open it. I'm so use to throwing it out right after I open it. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kitty Butt Warmer

The kittens have found out how to turn off my computer by stepping on the surge protector's on/off button under my computer table. I found Daisy sitting on a transformer and wondered why she wasn't moving from that spot. All I could figure out was that it was warm and her butt was cold. She sat there for about 30 minutes, which in a kitten's world that is a long time. :)

Kittens Go Green

After weeks and weeks of cleaning a litter box filled with clay litter every two hours (it's better for kitten to use non clumping litter) and dealing with all the dust it causes, I broke down and searched for something better. One cat litter kept coming up as the best but it's name "World's Best" wasn't enough to convince me. I clean up the kitten nursery twice a day sweeping up all the clay litter they track everywhere and bedding. Now that Rosie, Bernie (Bea) and Daisy have been spoken for, I broke down and got the new "World Best" corn litter. OMG what a difference it makes! No more dealing with dust (it was causing mommy cat to cough) and no more clay litter sticking to everyone's paws which then gets flicked on to the walls and tracking it everywhere. I have to work with Daisy to get her use to this new litter. It's amazing the small places she has found to do her business.
Tomorrow is the big day for Haz and Mommy cat Sunny who will be going to their first (and we hope last) pet fair.
Photo: Haz and Rosie

Monday, December 14, 2009

A little snuggle time

Daisy is getting a little snuggle time in with mom before she heads off to the pet fair this weekend. Now that Sunny is no longer in heat, she is a very sweet and gentle cat. We have high hopes that she will find a new home before Christmas. Rosie (sleeping in the photo on the left) and Daisy have a cuddle date set up for Wednesday so one of them will have their forever home after Christmas. Poor little Haz will have to do the whole pet fair dance since boys are harder to find homes for. I swear his legs grew an inch this past week. It's hard to get a photo of him since he's always on the move!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Big day for the kittens

This morning we took everyone in to be "fixed" but Little Miss Daisy (1.6 lbs) and Rosie (1.8 lbs) were not big enough so they got to come back home and have breakfast. Sunny, the mommy cat is in heat again so we got her the doctor's just in time. The big news for the day was that Boris (on the right) is not a boy but a girl. Boris who's new name is now Bernie was the kitten I wanted to keep when we first got the litter back two weeks ago but the rescue person said she was a he. Since we don't think Mr. Purrcy would tolerate another male around the house, Boris/Bernie was not an option for us but she was always my favorite. I had to make a big effort not to get attached to her. We had decided not to keep any of the kittens but now that Bernie turns out to be female, I may get an early Christmas present. Daisy is super cute too and I know once someone holds her, she will have her forever home. Haz and Sunny will be ready for adoption at the end of next week. In the photo Daisy, Bernie and Rosie in the back.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Faux Holly Berry Card

Today is my day to volunteer at the Yu Ai Kai, the Japanese Senior in downtown San Jose. I know the ladies really wanted to do a Holly Berry type card but it take way to long to make. So I came up with what I call "faux Holly Berry". It has all the layers but no cutting. I used the Cricut cartridge "year of the child" and cut out the snowflake starting four inches and working my way down. I know it should have glitter but time is an issue so I used white StarDreams paper to add a little shimmer instead. The picture looks blurry but it's all those layers that make you think it is.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cornflake Christmas

My card making group is meeting tonight for our holiday party. Since I'm on a triangle box roll, I made one for everyone in the group. I found these cute table name card holders (Michael's) in the shape of the Christmas ornament. They are flat on the bottom so they are perfect for my box. I used Christmas paper from my huge stash so not all the boxes match. I added a California lotto ticket which is now at 100 million.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Little Miss Daisy

Keeping up with all the kittens is a lot like have a new born in the house. Feeding schedule, cleaning up the litter box (every two hours) and social time. Having to make sure Mr. Purrcy is down for his nap out in studio or outside before the little ones can come out and play. Everyone has to be picked up and cuddled so they aren't afraid of humans. Little Miss Daisy (the runt) is doing well but is still very small compared to her siblings. She looks even shorter because of her white paws. I've been told they will be ready for adoption at the end of next week.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Over The Top Cookie Exchange

I was asked this week to help design something for an upcoming cookie exchange being done at a local private school. My buddy said there were prizes for the best tasting cookies and best presentation. Everything has to be homemade and since neither of us bake well, that was the biggest challenge. I was in the middle of unpacking all my Christmas decorations when I saw a small snowman from See's candy, not sure why I kept it but that gave me the inspiration for the cookie exchange. Snowman with snowball cookies (round Russian tea cakes made really really small) in a forest of trees. The Snowman doll (it's a woman) was handmade by Carol Kennedy, a local doll artist. The triangle boxes (one for each person attending the cookies exchange) holds the required 6 homemade cookies, which my hubby baked. With only a few days to work on it, I think it turn out well enough to win a prize. :)
Update: Won Best Presentation award

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bee Keeper Doll

Isn't this just too funny!!! It's a great doll for any beekeeper.
I've been busy cleaning up after the kittens (every two hours the litter box has to be cleaned out) washing bedding and sweeping the floor. I've also started to decorate the house for Christmas which means dragging in several super sized plastic containers of all my Christmas decorations. On top of that I went to visit my "dealer" (a retired antique dealer selling off his inventory) of vintage items to stock up on my booths. Let's just say my house is a hot mess right now.

Doll and photo by:
wee-mee whimsies

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Cute Factor

Mommy cat Sunny and Boris are working on their "cuteness" factor so when they go to the pet fairs, someone will want to take them home. I'm working on trying to find homes for them before they have to be herded into cages and groped by strangers.
Little Miss Daisy is doing 100% better and is gaining weight. She's always the first one to the food dish. We are fighting a eye infection now but it's not slowing her down. She's an ankle biter when playing with her much bigger siblings. She's not tall enough to get them in a head lock or pull them down with a ear pull.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Stocking Gift Card Holder

After seeing the pattern for a Christmas stocking gift card holder on Splitcoast Stampers, I decided there had to be a faster (if not easier way) to whip one up. Cutting it free hand or as it's called in the paper crafting world "fussy cutting" takes way too much time. I used my Cricut machine and the Christmas Cheer cartridge set on black out at 9". Martha Stewart holly leaf punch with some red rhinestone.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas CAS Card

Another Christmas CAS (clean and simple) card. Super fast to make and the little bird is one of the Martha Stewart punch. Magenta cling stamp.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Detox Day

I'm not a drinker but I did binge on carbs. I'm on a no carb diet so the holidays are the only times I indulge. To help my body detox from all the carbs from my trip to Nepal and Thanksgiving I made a trip to my local produce store. I picked up some fresh ginger (for ginger tea) and fruit. I'll be good until Christmas eve then all bets are off. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Little Miss Daisy

I was finally was able to get a photo of our little Miss Daisy (the runt of the litter) with her big sister Hazel. You can see how small (less than a 12oz.) she really is. Mommy cat is so over nursing her kittens. Since all the other kittens are now eating moist food, Sunny doesn't have to nurse as often. She's also sleeping on the highest counter in the bathroom. She can keep an eye on her babies but they can't get to her. Miss Daisy is now eating a little on her own (she has been dewormed and getting antibiotics twice a day) but because of her size, needs a warm body to snuggle up to. We still have our fingers crossed that she will make. There still is a lot of bathroom clean up and litter box cleaning every two hours but the major blow outs are getting better.

Mayflower Story

When my daughter was in second grade, the class had a pot luck where each child was asked bring in a dish from their family heritage. My daughter decided to bring something from her father's side for the family. My husband is a mix of many European countries, so we narrowed it down to something German or English. Since my knowledge of German or English cooking is very limited, we sent a letter off to Grandma Smith. She sent some recipes and a photo of the Sheldon family (her maiden name) homestead which turns out to be the oldest surviving building from a Mayflower passenger. I asked my husband why he never told us he (and now his children) were descendants from "THE Mayflower"? He said there are thousands of descendants, so what's the big deal?
Hope you have a great Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CAS - Make a Stack - Part three

The third card (there are four total) for my "make a stack" card class at Memories Live On. I wanted to mix up the colors a little and go with something non traditional. I used square punches to make the frame and heat embossed the silver part of the image. I was used the Studio G clear stamps.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Little shrine in Nepal

On Halloween we made a hike up to a small shrine behind the lodge we were staying at. Once we got to the shrine ( it was an all up hill hike with no trail path) it was about two flights of stone stairs straight up with no guard rail. Wasn't so bad going up but you sure had to watch your step coming down.(top photo) There was a big bell right at the top step you could ring and say a prayer. Maybe a prayer so you don't break your neck going down. Once at the top there was a little alter building and (in the picture on the left) a place to make a live sacrifice. In this case, it was a goat and yes that is blood. Some big festival or religious event happened right before we arrived in Nepal and goats are the live sacrifice of choice. One of our guides said this is what they call non vegetarian Hindus. There is a goat barbecue after the sacrifice. We did notice that we didn't see a whole lot of adult goats (only babies) in any of villages we passed.
Update: Here's a link about the sacrifice festival.

Family Photo

This is a family photo of all the kittens and their mom Sunny. You can see that Daisy (in the side photo) is very tiny, about half the size of her litter mates. She is the only one not interested in eating moist food. We are now getting ready to bottle feed her to help her gain some weight. They should be ready for their forever home in about 5 weeks. If your interested let me know. The adoption will go through the Safe Haven program.
Left to right: Hazel, Boris, Daisy, Rosie and Sunny

Next Cat Adventure

After the sudden lost of both Lucy and Honey Bunny Scooter, we weren't really sure if we wanted to get another kitten. Mr. Purrcy, I know would like a buddy but he is very happy not having to be the live chew toy for a kitten. As I was checking out Criag's list, I came across a request to be a foster family to four kittens and their mom. What most people don't know is when a nursing mother with kittens are dumped at the animal shelter, they are killed right away. The shelters don't have the space or time to keep everyone together. The only thing that saved this family was a rescue volunteer happened to be there. She begged to keep them a few days longer and she would find a foster family to take them in. Fostering kittens is the best solution for us. We can raise them and see if any have that feisty but cuddly personality my hubby wants in "his" little fur baby. Kittens are about 5 weeks old and mommy cat is very young too.
We've named the mommy kitty - Sunday or Sunny for short
Boris (the only male) looks just like mom and eats like a horse.
Hazel (already a talker and cuddlier) and Rosie are the gray stripes.
Daisy (not pictured) is the runt and very weak right now. She was curled up with Sunday, so I didn't want to move her to get photo. I'm not 100% sure she will make it.
Next week we will have open kitten time, if you would like to come by and socialize with the gang. In order to get them ready for the pet adoption, they have to have lots of social interaction with people.

CAS - Make a Stack - part two

Another one of the cards for the "make a stack" card class at Memories Live On. Nice way to use up your scraps too!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hiking in Nepal

Some of my trekking buddies are emailing the photos they took on our trip to Nepal.
De (she's a professional photographer from Washington DC) had a top notch camera with a huge lens.
Northern Nepal is all mountains so you are either going up or going down, there isn't any flat land. I was one of the few that always covered up against the sun. I guess living in California I try to avoid direct contact with the sun's rays.
The top photo we are crossing a creek/waterfall during one of our day hikes.

CAS - Make a Stack Card Class

I was asked to do a Christmas "make a stack" card class. This is a class where you make four sets of each design. The cards have to be simple so you can get everything done in a reasonable amount of time. The style is called "clean and simple" or CAS. The card is super simple and fast to make but still fun.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Himalaya Lodge - Early Morning in Nepal

All of us woke up at the crack of dawn (they bring out coffee and tea to get us going) so we could see the sun coming over the mountains. Those with the better cameras took some great shots. My old camera just wasn't able to capture the moment. Yes, I was very tired and it was chilly until the sun is high in the sky. I think we were at 7,000 feet.

Things you meet on the roads in Nepal

We ran into a lot of water buffalo on the trails and most of the time the farmers would give a fair warning to get off the trail or what I called "in coming".
The rino in the road (that's how I got the name for my travel blog of helpful hints and tips) was taking his sweet time walking along the road in Chitwan. This was the area some of us also picked a few leeches. If I wasn't so shocked to see a leech on me, I would have taken a picture but all I could think of was to pull it off and kill it. :)

Origami Christmas Tree

I've had this origami card in my design file for ages. I finally got around to make a sample for my upcoming Christmas card class. It's doesn't use as much paper as you would think and very simple to make. Great way to use up your scrap washi paper.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Honey Bunny Scooter - Sad Day

Our little Honey Bunny Scooter was killed yesterday. We are not sure how but I found she in our front yard early Thursday morning. It's been very hard on my hubby as Honey Bunny was he's little baby. Full of personality and energy but always had the time to cuddle and snuggle. Honey Bunny also had her own set of groupies (kids walking home from school) who came by everyday to play with her. She loved everyone which may have been her downfall. Very sad day at our house.

Christmas Triangle Box Class

I've been having a hard time getting my creative flow going. I think I'm undergoing a creative shift. I finally had to sit down and force myself to get the design ideas I have down on paper and turn them into samples. People have been asking me about doing another class with my triangle box. This class is scheduled for (tentatively) December 3 at Cranberry Hill. It's very hard to write the directions for this box without making your brain bleed, it's a very hands on type of project. When I learn to do a YouTube video, this will be one of the first project I film.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday card

One of the cards I will be doing today at the Yu Ai-Kai Japanese Senior center in downtown San Jose. I volunteer once a month and teach a free card making class. The cards are always on the simple side so we can get done in an hour.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Nepal Photos

Some people thought I was crazy going to Nepal (long fights, unstable government, water issues) but being able to hike and see views like this made it all worth it. I was also very lucky to travel with a group of some amazing women. The photo above was taken right as we started up the trail we called "StairMaster on steroids" after 7 hours of hiking.
The fields are rice and millet. It was harvest time while we were there.