Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Just Can NOT figure out!

OK. First off, I'm not feeling up to par. Just kinda achy all over and my head hurts where I just can't focus on what I'm trying to do.
Second, I've am TOTALLY computer Ignorant! It's actually kinda amazing that I can even maintain my BLOG! So this is the problem: I've been trying to set up and open my Etsy shop. Obviously thousands (or probably millions) of people do it and have no problems. But I have been struggling along, not quite sure of what I'm doing but thinking that it's going OK and then I tried loading my photos! To be honest, I'm not really sure about this whole pixel thing and the "nice" people in my life don't know anything about any of this. AND of course the people that DO know about this stuff can't understand my questions or are too busy to help or too frustrated with my learning abilities.
So, I have all these little Valentine cat (and 1 dog) dolls that I wanted to list THIS weekend and I am totally stuck. When it comes to technical stuff, I tend to do the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde thing. I have A LOT patience for most things but the technical/mechanical... well you don't even want to know about the VCR incident years ago!
So, I gave up! I listed 12 dolls on Ebay.
I know, I know, Etsy has all these great articles but...dah!
If only I had someone to visually show me...but I don't, so if you feel like checking out any of my stuff (which I've shown in previous posts) they are on Ebay.
I'm going to have a BIG glass of wine and then it's off to bed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My First SKELLY!

And I owe the inspiration to my good friend and fantastic artist Pam aka yoborobo!
Check out her wonderful blog at :
and her Etsy shop!
She is an awesome artist who creates the coolest plushies and paintings!

She LOVES Skellys!
 I love following her blog and I am one of her biggest fans. Her posts are always so warm and funny! It's like sitting down for coffee with a great friend chatting about art, kids, PETS, the weather or whatever comes up in her creative mind. She is the one nicest people that I've never met! LOL!
So... after seeing all the fabulous skellys that she has created I decided to give it a try! I'm still experimenting and trying to find my way as I create my "dolls". (I personally find myself liking the painting part much more than the sewing!)
Now that I have finished my Skelly, I plan to start on the next project (the one with the metal base) and I think that I will go into an entirely different direction!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Don't Know What This Is But ...

I know what it's going to be!
Almost every month on a Friday my friend/co-worker go to lunch together and we drive over to the ReStore.
The ReStore is just the coolest place. It's a non-profit organization run by a few employees and a lot of volunteers. All the building materials are donated and then sold to the general public. They run specials and discounts and send out emails for special events and they hold classes where they make something new and different out of the things that probably would have just ended up in a landfill. Most of the stuff is from old houses that have been torn down or remodeled. Then they use that money to help build homes for the poor and needy.
 I have bought old cupboard doors there and used them for my paintings. I took some old drawers and converted them into dog beds. I just bought a box of tiles for a project that I'm working on and will unveil at a later date (I'm still collecting things for that one). My friend is a "regular" there. The ladies always give her a wave and a chuckle. Once when they had a 75% discount on doors, she bought TEN! She called her husband and told him to stop by after work with his truck and pick them up. (He no longer even asks what her purchases are for, he just comes and gets them! Ha! Ha!) She ended up making an awesome headboard for their bed and a raised platform. They are now doing a bathroom remodel and it will be exciting to she how she uses all her "salvaged stuff"!
On our last visit I found these things. It's a metal plate measuring 6" X 6" and the curved metal bars are welded to the base and at their highest point, it comes to 4 1/2" tall. They sold for 25 cents a piece! I was so excited that I bought them ALL!  That was a total of ten!
While my friend is little "Miss Mechanically Inclined" and seems to know what everything was originally, she had no clue on these things. The ladies at the register were puzzled too. One of them said to me "What the heck are you going to use these for!?"
So I told her. "I'm going to use them as a base for the dolls I'm going to make". She replied "What!?"
So I told her "Like, these weird different type of dolls"....(sometimes it's just better not to tell the truth or to mumble...I like to mumble and say "ya know" a lot) so, we just looked at each other and she said "Well, take a picture!" and I will!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Muse...Harry

I've created some small weighted black cats. I think I like this tiny little size! Maybe I will create more small little things.I actually liked making those little houses too.(The ones I made for my sister for Christmas) Hmmm.....I'm starting to get a whole bunch of new ideas now. Maybe I'll start creating smaller things!
 And this is Harry! my Muse...OK, I'm kind of  hesitant to talk about Harry because I am unsure about revealing this side of me, but...
I have several cats (and dogs!) but there is "something about Harry". Of course all my pets have their distinct personalities but Harry is different. To say he is a smart cat would be an understatement. I've seen him actually reason out  problems. He comes running to me when I call him and he throws his front paws around my neck and leans back and "looks" at me. He's not scared of ANY of my dogs and all the other cats bow to all his wishes.  He used to slip outside all the time a couple of years ago when I had a doggie door. Some of the dogs took awhile to figure that door out but not Harry! Within a few minutes of the installation, he ran into the room and out the door! It got to the point where I was bungee cording the doggie door closed, especially when he started to drag his trophy half-dead kills inside! I would slam the laundry room door shut and hear awful sounds as he finished off some poor bird. Sometimes it was a field mouse or mole and later I would set him down in the laundry sink wipe him down and he actually seemed to enjoy that, sort of like I was grooming him! Then he started to sneak my timid little cat "Ghost" outside with him. I would be in a panic but people I knew with cats said that cats know where their homes are and not to worry. Well (as I talked about in my very first post) Ghost disappeared for a month and 3 days.
After that I nailed up the doggie door and then after some research, I found an article about how cats won't jump up on unsecured things. They said that if a person has a privacy fence (I do) that you could staple gun bunched up chicken wire to the top and when the cat springs up there unto the springy loose wire, they would jump back down and not go over the fence. So I spent a weekend (and a small fortune) staple gunning chicken wire to the inside top of my fence. Then next time the cats went out, it worked like a charm! Up they sprang and back down they came, very content to just lounge in my backyard...except Harry. He prowled back and forth staring at the top of the fence, back and forth and back and forth. Then suddenly he stopped. Ran full force to one corner, up to the top and perched for a moment as he actually pounded down the wire fencing with one of his front paws! Over he went and was gone. Later in the early evening, he was sleeping on my front porch....
Last year I got replacement windows, the windows in the basement have a gadget that you pull back to pop out the screen and I opened up the windows and went outside. I turned around and saw Harry staring at me through the screen as I was gardening. Next thing I know, he reaches up with his paw and pops out the screen!
 What I'm trying to convey is that, well, I don't think he's really a cat! Oh sure he has a cat body and he can "act" like a cat but I think there's "someone" in there! OK, now you see why I didn't want to reveal this for fear of being thought NUTS! Crazy cat lady! But if you asked my sensible cynical sister, she too would tell you...there's something about Harry.
Maybe now you are wondering, Well who the hell is BOO!? (as in oldblackcatboo) well,  Boo was my first black kitty I ever owned. I had stopped down at a kill shelter with a friend to see if her cat was there. I didn't even have a cat at the time (amazing!) So anyway the man at this shelter said that they had maybe one adoption a MONTH for cats. If people want a cat, he said, they go to the no-kill Humane Society or get one out of the paper. Well, in the far corner cage was this full grown but little black cat. She had this perfect little round face and she just looked at me. She didn't get up or cry or meow but just looked at me. It was like "You know I am the ONE."
So I adopted her. From the moment I brought her home she was always with me, very quiet and never making a sound. She would be VERY aloof around all people and just tolerated my dogs. She would only love up to my Golden Retriever, Maddie, and no one else but me. Then one night I woke up and she was making this very weird crying sound. I got up and looked out into the darkness. I could see nothing down below but then Maddie woke up and started to loudly bark. Someone was in the shadows but then I could see the shadow hurrying down the sidewalk. I scooped up Boo and held her close.
 My Boo went to heaven four years ago.
Some cats are cats and some aren't. Everyone can believe what they will and I believe that not everything is always as it seems.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Who knows how long I've loved you,
You know I love you still.
Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to I will.
(-The Beatles)
So, this is the last kitty in my first series of Valentine Broken Hearted Cats. I like this one least and even hesitated posting it but decided to in case someone was counting how many figures were in the post where they were not yet painted. Besides that so many times I've found that when I don't so much care for something, someone else will say it's their favorite! Now I'm off to finish up some "little" cats that I've made!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


As most of you know, I take my dog Blue with me to work everyday, I take my Boston Terrier mix - Jimmy (Chew) and my Jack Russell mix Ralphie (Lauren) along with us too. The little guys sleep in the back of the car and then go into high gear as soon as we arrive at work. Those little guys love to race around the huge enclosed play area. They chase each other around with tennis balls and rope toys and sometimes Blue will join in the fun. He's like a big horse romping around with them. They haven't really been able to play as much since the snow came and it's been so unbelievably cold outside. But God as my witness I really thought that Blue was getting some good exercise! I assumed that he might have even lost a few pounds.
So... I take him into the clinic to get his nails trimmed.This is usually a four person deal with me on one side holding him and another person on the other side bracing up against him and then someone standing in front of him rubbing his head and talking(mouthing) words to him, (remember he's deaf) and then the fourth person actually cutting his nails. ( He hates people messing with his feet!)
Anyway, in conversation I'm telling everyone how the day before someone was screaming out their car window as Blue and I stood in the driveway -"Oh My GOD! Look how big that dog is!" and I was saying that there isn't a day that goes by without someone wavy, pointing or gawking at him. I go on to say that I know he's a big guy but haven't these people seen a BIG dog before!?
All of a sudden I notice this exchange of looks between everyone and then they all start telling me that they think he's gained weight and how bad it is for him. So of course I get very indignant and say that he HASN'T! and I will weigh him to prove it. One of the Veterinarians said he would make a bet on it and RUNS up to the big floor scale to see what Blue weighs in at...............173 lbs.
I could feel the tears just well up. I am so embarrassed. I am one of the stupid Mothers who are in denial.
Maybe it's because he's with me night and day but I truly didn't see it.
This winter has been hard on both of us. To say we are pudgy would be putting it lightly. The word they used for Blue was Morbidly Obese. (I'd hate to know what word they use for me when I'm not there)
anyway, drastic measures need to be taken. I must measure out his food. The cup that I was using and thought was 1 1/2 cups turns out to be 2 1/4cups! So instead of the 3 cups AM and PM totally 6 cups a day turns out to be 9 CUPS!!AAHHHHH! and no more cookie bone treats! I bought some baby carrots for treats and when I tossed him one he jumped up and grabbed it in his mouth like usual but rolled it around for a moment and then dropped it on the floor....poor guy, I know what he's feeling! Tomorrow I'm going to pick up some rice cakes and try pieces of that.
So today while he was sleeping in his kennel at work I took a photo of him and Whoa, he does look big! I had the same reaction to that photo as I do when I see one of myself! It's like "How did that happen!"
So, most of my life I've been on that roller-coaster of weight loss. In my twenties I was thin but weighed myself 3 times a day, so terrified I'd gain an ounce. As the years have gone by my priorities have changed.
I know that I started to gain weight after my Dad passed away and then I had a MAJOR career change where I no longer had to wear dresses to work and every year a few pounds more....
well. 2010, a nice ROUND number! And while I couldn't find the motivation in the past for myself, I know that I will find it for my BLUE.
Here's a couple of photos. These will be Blue's "before" pics!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sally says...

It is better to have loved and lost,

than to live with a psycho the rest of your life!


If you love someone, set them free.

If you have to stalk them, they probably weren't yours to begin with!




Monday, January 11, 2010


That's what this little Valentine cat thinks! He's had his heart broken........

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Have ONE Done!

OK, I have just completed one of my Valentine (DOG) Dolls. I have the rest in the very finally stages. The rest of the dolls are cats and I made each one a PaperClay heart. Boy, those little hearts took forever! But it has been a learning experience. I was getting very frustrated with my dolls as I was working on them because they are not coming out like I want them to.
I like things a bit Odd, maybe a little twisted, eccentric and just plain weird. I wanted to make them imperfect and a bit strange and sad. I'm afraid that some of them are kinda CUTE. Don't get me wrong, cute is fine and most of the people I know prefer it but I lean more toward Edward Gorey, Tim Burton and anything Johnny Depp has been in. LOL!
So, I decided to give myself a break and just keep trying. So here's some pictures of the first one. I believe in the previous post his body was the first one on the left. He's a little Shih-Tzu.
His title is "Who Says You Can't Buy Love!" - of course he's a little rescue dog that was abandoned at a shelter. A lot of dogs, both mutts and purebreds with pedigrees unfortunately have been dumped at shelters. All my dogs are rescues from shelters or from people who just didn't want them anymore and half of them are Purebreds.
So...let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I've gotten this far so far!

OK, after a very frustrating morning yesterday where I just about tossed the sewing machine out into the snow, I finally have gotten the bobbin to stop jamming up! I am truly "self-taught" when it comes to just about everything and I haven't used the sewing machine in quite awhile. I tried blasting it with canned air in case it was clogged with dust and I tried taking apart the bobbin "area" a FEW times and of course I have no idea where I put the manual! (It's probably in between some of my magazines that I've collected!

I would stop every now and then to CALM down. Sometimes I'd check out a few blogs or turn up the heat higher in an effort to thaw out my water pipes (yeh, it was a fun day) the temperature outside was something like 12 BELOW and I didn't dare to venture out (I did go outside long enough to run the car for a bit so that it would start if I needed it.)

So, after the water finally came back on and I had a nice hot bath, I sat down with a glass of wine and watched YouTube videos on "sewing machine problems".

Nothing worked.

Then I rethreaded everything and tried it again and "Ta-Da!" -it worked. So between last night and today I have gotten this far... 5 cats and one dog sewn.

So Stage One is now completed.

Oh, by the way, that's "Ghost", he was the subject of my very first post!