Jan 24, 2022

Pillow Cat

A promise made is a debt unpaid…
— Robert W. Service

I would rather be accused of breaking precedents than breaking promises.
— John F. Kennedy

I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character — not wealth or power or position — is of supreme worth.
― J.D. Rockefeller

Once upon a time, I promised the grandbaby I’d make her a Pillow Cat. Pillow cat, for those of you who are not subjected to children’s programming on Netflix, is one of the cats on the children’s show, Gabby’s Dollhouse. This house is not, as one would expect, filled with dolls, it’s filled with cats.

This is a screen shot from the show:

Looks pretty easy, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. *insert maniacal laughter here*

The first time I went to Fabricland to look for material, I did not think to have a picture with me, I was sure I could remember what colours I’d need. I may have tried to look up an image of pillow cat on my phone – which is not ideal because the colours don’t always show up properly, but it’s the only excuse I have for why I would have bought bright blue instead of green, and why the light pink didn’t make it into the mix at all.

But those were the colours I had, and I had them well before Christmas but I kept putting it off. So then I promised the grandbaby that I’d make it for her for her birthday. So a week before her birthday I pulled out the material I had, consulted the internet, and made plans to go back to Fabricland the next day for the pink and green material I was lacking.

I started with the face, figuring once that was done the rest would be a cake walk. It took me two days to do the face. I started with the lines on the forehead and it took me like five tries to get them straight.

During this time I was consulting the internet for images, which were hard to find, to work from. Most of these images were of plush Pillow Cats for sale on Etsy. They were a little pricy, otherwise I would have cheated and bought her one instead.

Anyway, one of the things these Pillow Cats had in common were the faces were embroidered on. Okay, I could do that. So I started with the eyes. Or rather I started with one eye. Four hours later I was still working on that eye. The birthday deadline was getting closer and at the rate I was going I was still going to be embroidering when it came. So I decided to do fabric eyes instead and spent another hour and a half picking out the embroidery I’d done.

I might add at this point that I broke my glasses last week and was having to use my reading glasses to thread the needles. Then I’d have to take them off again because I can only use them for really close work.

I used Stitch Witchery and black and white satin to create the eyes, and I was pleased enough with the results that I used a pink cotton for the cheeks. In retrospect I should have gone for the darker pink, but it is what it is. I did embroider the nose, which is why it's slightly off kilter.

The body was straight forward sewing, or it would have been if my sewing machine hadn't decided it didn’t like the stitch I was using and started having a hissy fit. Not half as bad as the hissy fit I was having because it was the day of the birthday and I was supposed to be delivering the finished product the following day.

It was at this point I realized I might have overestimated the size of my Pillow Cat. Well, it was supposed to be a pillow, wasn’t it? A really big pillow as it turned out. I had to go to Walmart for the stuffing, and came home with two of those long body pillows. And even at that, I also used the stuffing from one of our extra pillows for the face and butt. And a second pillow gave its life for the legs and tail.

And here is the finished product:

And this is what made it all worth it:

Now pardon me, I have an afghan to finish. :-D

Jan 17, 2022

This ‘N That

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
— Mark Twain

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
— Mark Twain

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
— Mark Twain

So . . . I didn’t do a post last week because the weather was crappy (sucking my energy dry) and I really didn’t have much to say. Besides, it was my birthday and I can slack off if I want to. LOL

It sucks having a birthday so soon after the holidays – it either gets downplayed or skipped over altogether. I’ve never understood why most people just about bankrupt themselves over Christmas, then downplay the lowly birthday. Wouldn’t it make more sense to spread the joy throughout the year? Or maybe that’s just me. Birthdays have always been a big deal to me, whether it’s mine or someone else’s.

Anyway, it was a nice birthday. There was no cake, but I got presents to open from my best bud in Montana, and a really nice dinner from one of my favorite restaurants. AND I got a video of the grandbaby singing Happy Birthday on Facebook. I spent my day working in my office (and by working I mean cleaning and organizing), and I finished my Amazon afghan – the afghan I started when we first got Amazon Prime, thinking I’d be spending more time in front of the television.

One of the features of the Weather Network is that it’ll tell you how many hours of sun you can expect. Like, today for instance we’re supposed to get 0 hours of sun. We had a few days like that last week, warmer but darker, and the days that were sunny were stupendously cold. Saturday was sunny, and it was so cold my car almost didn’t start.

The hubby and I got our boosters last weekend, and then I heard on the radio that they’re taking appointments for a fourth shot. I think I’ll pass. I’ve had two shots of Pfizer, and one of Moderna, and that’s good enough for me. Unless these forth shots have something new in them that will help protect against the variants, then I’m done. The daughter had her booster the same day, and was sick as a dog for several days (she had a bad reaction to her previous shots as well.).

I had hoped to start the new year with a clean, organized office, but thanks to Staples screwing up the order for my mesh file cart (don’t get me started, I’m still mad at them) it didn’t happen. Although to be fair, even with the cart it wouldn’t have happened. I’m still working on my office.

But before I started the office though, I tackled the closets again. The linen closet was a mess, but thanks to a couple of small plastic bins you can actually find stuff in there now. The craft closet wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as well organized as I would have liked. So I spent a day putting it to rights.

One of the things I’m trying to get away from in the new year is the amount of time I spend on mindless games. Which is one of the reasons I pulled out my Amazon afghan and got it finished. I started to back slide into gaming last week, but then I remembered my mother-in-law has a birthday coming up. She’s in a nursing home, and what better gift than a blanket to keep her warm? It just so happened I had a dark peach colored, and a contrasting cream colored yarn in my stash.

Now we’ll see how fast I can crochet. Her birthday is Groundhog Day.

Jan 3, 2022

Happy New Year

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.
— David Bowie

Sometimes a year has been so disastrous and so terrible that entering a new year will automatically mean entering a wonderful year!
— Mehmet Murat ildan

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
— William E. Vaughan

Well, a new year has begun. Anyone sorry to see the last of 2021?

In some respects it wasn’t a bad year, for me, but in other respects it really sucked. Big time.

It started out all right, but then I got diagnosed with cancer and had to have not one but two surgeries. Recovery was a long ordeal, and even now I still tire easily. But a scare like that makes you appreciate life a little more, know what I mean?

For the good part of the year . . . the pandemic restrictions relaxed enough that I was able to go to the writing retreat I’d booked in early 2020. And I had the best National Novel Writing Month I’ve ever had.

Even December was pretty good. I was as busy as I usually was, but I didn’t feel as frazzled. Holiday dinners turned out well and on time, cookies were baked and given away, the decorating done (and undecorating too). I even remembered to buy the potato chips to top the hash brown casserole served at Christmas Day brunch. Normally I forget.

I do have one somewhat humorous story concerning Christmas dinner. . . One of the side dishes I traditionally make is Green Bean Casserole. The finishing of said casserole is the sprinkling of chow mein noodles over the top. I was sure I had some, but no, I did not. So I looked online to see if there were any stores open where I might find some. The internet assured me that one of the local grocery stores was open. I had my doubts, but off I went.

Well, the internet lied. So next stop was the corner convenience store, which was open, but they did not have any. However, the Chinese restaurant across the street from them had an open sign. Too bad it was actually closed.

Then I remembered that the tiny mall where the grocery store is had a Chinese restaurant that was open, so back I went across town. The woman behind the counter thought I was crazy, and we had a bit of a communication problem, but eventually I persuaded her to part with some chow mein noodles. For $10.00.

And the moral of the story is, check your recipes and then your cupboards to make sure you have all your ingredients before you grocery shop. :-D