Tuesday, 31 May 2011

two new friends.

Well they are not really new because I've been seeing them twice a week for the last 8 months, but some huge steps for two little kitties at The Cat Corner.

First Rosie Red. Rosie would be considered maybe semi-feral. She really doesn't seek out us humans and seems to be able to get along without any feline company either. You tend to see her scoot about quickly, making her way from one perch to another and her favourite place is in a wicker basket right on top of some of the kitty condos, well away from arms reach ...... except when she let's out her loud unmistakable meow in demanding to be let back into her own condo. She has us volunteers all well trained so we open it and she rushes past to go in, get some food and use her litter tray. She will then meow to be let out again!! Like I said she has us well trained. Anyway today, she asked to be let in and I did as I was ordered, except I absently minded reached in to give her a little loving.

Well, before I realised what I was doing, contrary Miss Rosie decided she liked it and gave me a few head nudges. Awhhhhhhhhh, so of course I stayed a little while longer stroking her and getting head nudges in return. Eventually I got back up and left the door open as I figured she would want out again ........... oh no, she stayed a while longer so I had to go back and give her some more. Way to go Rosie!! How could you not love this face?

There must have been something in the air today. Let me tell you about Helga. Helga is the most beautiful Calico cat I've ever seen. When I first started I checked out the pics of all the cats that were there and Helga caught my eye immediately, but when I went to volunteer I couldn't see her. That's because Helga spent all her time on top of the condos, hidden in various boxes or cat beds that were up there just for that reason. After a while I'd occasionally see her bolting from one place to another, but that was about it. Helga has spent her entire little life so far living in shelters such as ours. She was adopted for a short while but the person didn't seem to understand how long it can take for a kittie to gain confidence and trust someone, and after a short time they lost patience and brought her back.

Then I was made a designated opener which means I open up the shelter two days a week and give the kitties their breakfast and medications. Helga of course had to be fed up on top of the condos. Well over the months, I got to know where she might be in the mornings, and each day would talk to her as I offered up her food. At first she would bolt away, but eventually she started to stay when I got on a chair and let me put the food quite close to her, but would shy back if I tried to move anywhere in her direction, but still I talked to her telling her how beautiful she was and what a scrummy breakfast I had for her (just call me a crazy cat woman lol!).

Well about a month or so ago, I started leaving my hand close by the dish as she ate, at first she drew back, but after much reassuring and talking from me she started to eat whilst my hand was beside the dish. She also started staying around on the screen porch a bit more too, although if I tried to give her food there she bolted back up to the condos. But, last week she was lying in one of the cat trees and I told her to stay where she was, I would get her breakfast first! When I came back I approached her quietly, talking to her and what do you know, she stayed where she was - I was so pleased!!! She's beginning to trust me, maybe in two or three years I'll get to stroke her if I'm lucky I thought.

But, it seems Helga had a different thought because today she was on a high shelf. I duly went to get her breakfast and gave it to her there. She shied back a bit and I let her alone to eat. A bit later though I thought I'd better get the empty dish back to wash. I got up and took the dish and chatted away to her as usual, then I reached out and she turned like she was going away ........ but she didn't!! She turned her back and I reached and touched it!! She didn't move and in fact seemed to move in to the touch so I tried to stroke her, well what do you know, she raised her butt up and wanted more. I can't begin to explain how great it feels to gain the trust of a little animal that has been avoiding people for so long and not only did I do it once, but three times throughout the day I got up and gave her some strokes. By the third time she was rolling over a bit and actually padding with her paws!! If she keeps this up I might just have to see if M. will let me bring her home.

You know that saying about taking time to smell the roses .............. well today was a day to take joy in getting to touch and be trusted by a couple beautiful kitties!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

a mini deck makeover.

Well whilst M. was out of town working, I decided to get busy with the paint brush and sewing machine. The kitchen table and chairs I bought about 20 years ago from Habitat, they are still solid and the table has the added bonus of having two extending leaves. If you were able to see the table top you'll see the signs of many a happy hour spend crafting! But, we don't really have room for it in the house so I thought we could make use of it on the deck.

To tie in with the deck colours, I repainted the legs the same colour as the adirondack chairs and found some lovely outdoor fabric at Hancock fabrics to reupholster the chairs. I think it looks pretty good and will give us an outside dining space. The chairs used to be covered with the legs of old denim jeans and that fabric was still wearing well so I decided to recycle that too - I made some rough and ready table mats. I deliberately left the edges raw as I'm hoping when I wash then they get the ole frayed look.

The rest of the adirondacks finally got painted too, and I potted up some tomatoes in the corner. Now just to get some summer flowers for the pots and I'll call it done.

Friday, 20 May 2011

a trip home.

I hadn't been home since I moved west so it was a little overdue. The weather was usual NI wet and cold but as I was just there to see my friends and family, the weather mattered not a jot!

I also managed to pick up my precious (think of lil Gollum type hysterical laugh here). A fabulous little Singer Featherweight 221 machine. I'd spotted it on ebay, a US spec machine in Scotland of all places. I wonder what it's story was and how it got there? Sadly the seller didn't have any clues.

I'm speculating that it made it across the Atlantic on a ship when it was quite young and because of the different voltage used, didn't see much action since. It's in fabulous condition considering it left the factory on 22 April 1947 - that makes it 64 years old. I plugged it in, the original light still works and it purrrrrrs along like a kitten. So will be having a wee play over the weekend. Not sure what I will do first but will share when it's finished.

Isn't it a beauty! Oh and if you are wondering is it a really small machine or a really big cat - hmmmmm well it's a bit of both. The machine is a dinky little thing, our boy Checkers on the other hand, is not!!

Saturday, 7 May 2011


Well just for Sharon, because for some strange reason she was eager to see what I would make lol!

I'm part of a swap on Split Coast Stampers and the theme was the Beach. Well when I spotted this stamp by Jo Manning at Stamping Bella, I just couldn't resist it.

Anyway they turned out pretty cute I think. First time I've worked with watercolor crayons and I have to say they are great. Very easy to work with and a good range of colours for not too many $$$. Soooooooo I think I'll be leaving expensive Copic markers to those whose production can justify the cost. I've now got What Women Want and Red, White and Blue swaps to do but they will have to wait until I get back from the Emerald Isle.

Off now to make a flourless chocolate, lime and chilli cake for the Cat Corner annual meeting this afternoon, and if I get time, to paint another couple of the adirondack chairs on the deck.

Catch ya later!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


OK so inspired by Sheleen and having seen some other friends at this I decided to join in!

Firstly I have to say that I don't actually have a workdesk at the moment. We're still getting the house from a bachelor pad to married couple status and that is taking time! Hopefully some day in the not too distant future (like when the kitchen laundry is finished), I should be at least able to get up to craftyness on the dining table.

So for the moment I am using one of those little fold down TV tables - a challenge all of it's own I tell ya. So what's on it right now. Well I've been putting some unmounted rubber stamps on to some cling foam. Not the most well known brand but a much cheaper version I found on Ebay.
Seems to be working just fine. You might just see the back of an envelope where I took off the access ink after I'd stamped the foam and before I stuck them together. The madame in the bikini if to make some cards for a Beach themed swap I'm part of over at Split Coast Stampers.

The Cook this Not That I bought yesterday. Michael and I are fast approaching that age where we need to look after ourselves better because illnesses and accesses show on the body ............. sigh ........... but it looks pretty good and seems to be a good way to ensure we make healthier choices! I have no idea why there are a pair of Michael's safety glasses doing on there, other than that it is a flat surface lol!

The postcard is from a friend Linda. She is the sweetest and most amazing woman. She volunteers at The Cat Corner along with me but does so much more besides, rescuing kitties who are living in parking lots of local restaurants, strays and friendly ferals. Every year she goes to England where she spends a three week holiday ............... can you guess ................ working at a non profit cat shelter there too. She was sweet enough to send some us a postcard!

So what else has been happening lately, well apart from the little task which is turning out to be a bit epic - that's the fitting of some cabinets in to our laundry area, I've been sprucing up the deck and painted our adirondack chair red. This was an experiment to see if I could coax Michael in to letting me paint the front door - happy to say it worked - the door will be red in the not too distant future lol.

I've also planted up a herb pot to sit by the BBQ so we can pick and use them when we grill, and I've been watching for the Hummingbirds which have returned - horray! In fact it seems we have a bit of a territorial battle going on as I spotted two together this morning. Sadly I doubt that I'll ever be quick enough with the camera to catch their battle for the feeder.

Of course, there's been the arrival of our boys too. More to follow as this has turned into a longer ramble than I anticipated. Ohhhh well, nothing new there then lol!