Saturday, January 26, 2008

Winter White - Feline Style

I have been very inspired by Shari's winter whites , so a little winter white that lasts all year around here. Yes, that white hair of his blesses everything: my black pants, brown couch, gray couch, navy blue wool coat.......................I actually welcome him lying on my favorite white sweater that I always leave laying around because I know the damage is easily hidden. That long white hair is just so pretty that all is forgiven!

When I adopted him he was nestled on a heap of newspaper, so his hair was more of a dingy gray, but I knew he would clean up well .

So, the story of Polk (somewhat long) goes like this:

My first cat, who I got when I was five, passed away the exact same day I went faraway to college - he held on long enough to see me go. I guess I just needed a feline companion, so adopted Chicco (not Chico but Chicco), a.k.a Polk, from a woman who had 40-some kitties in and outside her home. Evidently, in Miami people think that since it is warm all year the animals can fend for themselves - she takes in these abandoneds. So, she found my cat, left by its owner, cowering underneath her car. He was the first male cat she ever had who took a liking to the baby kittens, bathed each and every one like he was their Mama.

Well, my poor white kitty was beaten pretty badly by his original owner. The first couple of months that I had him he hid from everything and everyone. He would bolt every time he heard footsteps and all of his front teeth are missing - a pretty good sign that some #?#!#!!!!! kicked him around pretty hard.

Over the years he has adjusted well. He is no longer afraid of footsteps and grows more trusting and affectionate all the time! So why Polk and not Chicco anymore? I thought he needed a new name, a fresh start. The poor thing had bad diarrhea when I got him, caused from emotional distress? bad diet?, not quite sure. A friend informed me that our late president James K. Polk had chronic diarrhea; hence the name.

Although he may look "winter white" Polk hates the winter months. Everyday he stands next to the sliding door that leads to our porch because he wants some fresh air... and everyday that I open it for him he backs away when he feels that gust of cold air. It's funny, he keeps thinking that one of these days it is going to be warm air that hits him in the face. Yes Polk, in a few months that warmth will be waiting for you. So, I saved him from abuse and 40-some others to compete with, but I moved him to a climate that just does not agree with him.

Here is Connor's portrait of Polk from art class. I love the way he attempted the side profile, pretty good for a kindergartner! Also, the attention to detail is priceless - Polk has back claws but no front claws. (I did not capture that big bushy black tail in any of my pics!)

Here's to you "Winter White Cat" - spring shall come!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


It has been COLD here! We haven't had a lot of snow, just that arctic chill. We did get a little snow though on Monday. I love the way it sticks to the screens on our porch. If we get enough it feels like you are inside a little snow fort.

So, a new scarf to keep warm. I used some old wool my mom gave me for one side and an old linen shower curtain for the other. That button keeps the scarf in place which is definitely necessary in below zero weather.

This blue one is for sale here. It is made from hand-dyed wool that has been pieced together.

I used the same basic pattern for both scarves (wrap around once & button) but varied the details. Mine is made from a continuous piece of wool that is top stitched down the center while the other is a patchwork design. Can't decide which I like better but green is my color so that is the one for me! I hear the weather is supposed to improve - a high of 22 tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend Redo

I just finished up enjoying a long weekend (5 days of no work)! I did a little redecorating. I get that urge to change things around once in awhile (well probably more often than most). I have been hoarding this Nani Iro fabric for a long time. I splurged on it months ago, not knowing what I would do with it but loving it too much to say no to. Deciding that it was too amazing to cut up into small pieces I decided to frame it.

I stapled this one to a vintage frame that has been tucked away in my closet forever.

The next piece I stapled over an old piece of framed fabric. Yeah, I was too lazy to remove the old piece from the wood frame - they had it wrapped around too many times and really tight. I attached some linen leaves... just because linen leaves make everything prettier?

I never would have dreamt that I would have a purple wall in my dining room with pink artwork, or that my husband would like it! The purple is actually almost gray, if that makes a difference.
I have one more vintage frame to fill. After hanging it though I kind of liked it empty - maybe I will just hang something inside.

And, some changes to the mantel. New additions: 2 vases ($1.50 each), the "Thinking Man" ($1.99). Total cost: $5! It is even more fun when it comes so cheap (makes up for the not-so-cheap Nani Iro fabric).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

To Do......

Lots of projects underway! I seem to start a ton at one time and finish them around the same time. I am definitely not one to finish old before diving into new.

So, currently on the To Do List:


(thanks Mary!)


Other than the shipping task, I am in no hurry to complete anything. This is a welcome break after crazy December! Oh, and I signed up for this mobile swap - looking forward to starting on that.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ahh, Thanks!

Thank you to Sew, Mama, Sew for featuring my fabric basket. All of the kind comments about the basket and bookmarks put a smile on my face!

Happy Friday

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sunday Skating

We did a little ice skating on Sunday. Connor has been itching to try and he could not contain himself anymore. After a warm weekend, the rink was full of puddles but he was determined to make a go of it anyway. This made for some wet falls.

He did pretty well for his first time. By the end of the day he was moving around without hanging on to an arm. He took the most spills when his mind wandered away from the skating - watching passing cars, people (2 teenage girls in particular, goofing around being silly girls - yes this was very captivating for my son).

And, Justin was shocked at how good a skater his wife is. He was a little nervous about me bringing the camera out on the ice with me (yeah he snatched it away right after I laced up my skates). He was certain I was going to end up falling in one of those puddles. But I stayed up the whole time, which kind of surprised me too - it has been years since I have done this. I am very far from graceful, Connor will probably surpass me very soon, but it was lots of fun! I can see this becoming a frequent activity.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Handmade Christmas

So now that all (well most) of the Christmas gifts have finally been given, here are some that I worked frantically to complete. I wanted to do the same last year but did not start early enough. If I make one for one person I feel like I must make one for everyone!

I have been wanting to try this fabric basket pattern for awhile now. It is from this book, designed by this talented lady. This one went to Katie, Justin's sister.

Some scarves (1 for Dad, 1 for my Mom-in-Law) and an embellished linen pouch for Mom. That pouch was so much fun to make - I really enjoy embroidery because I am able to get comfortable on the couch & under a blanket (not hunched over the sewing machine).

And for Grandma, a handbag with all the bells and whistles - button closure, pockets, and embroidery.

I saved the best for last! Connor and I made these bookmarks together - he drew the pictures and I put them together. I'm not sure who had more fun, he or I. We made one for all of the grandparents and great grandparents: Nana & Papa, Nana & Papa, Nanny, G-Ma, and Grammy & Great Grandpa. Isn't he a lucky boy to have so many!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Welcome 2008

Already an exciting event for the new year: a new family member, well extended family member. He belongs to my parents, but as Connor put it, "Even though he lives with Nana & Papa he is still all of ours." So, meet Toby the little black poodle pup:

He just looked so cute prancing around in the snow, all black against a sea of white.

Anyway, New Year's Eve was very laid back this year. We stayed home and it felt great! Connor and I had game night (Justin had to work late :( counting inventory). Operation and Crazy Eights were the games of choice. One game of Crazy Eights lasted over an hour, I kid you not.

After games, after Connor fell asleep, and after Justin got done with work, we celebrated by breaking in a martini set we received from Justin's boss as a Christmas gift. Cranberry martinis to ring in 2008.

Happy New Year!!