Monday, February 27, 2012

daddy's gift

I made Matt a "rock" for Leo to give him for Valentine's Day. I found this tutorial on making faux lava rock from black polymer clay and thought I'd see if I could do it since it's something I already have in my craft closet.

mine came out more like a river stone (which is what Matt said :P), but I think it's still cute :)

I need to get more pictures of Matt and Leo together and maybe I can glue this to a frame or something so it has a place to be and doesn't get lost in the shuffle of things!

I really like this idea and wanna try it sometime, too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

my Joe

Tuesday night my kitty passed on :( his health had been going downhill for a little while and I suspected he wasn't going to live for a whole lot longer (he would have been 15 this October), but it was still a shock to find him gone.

Joe was always a big cat. he ate like a goldfish and it caused some pretty bad UTIs over the years, but he always pulled through. I think he was up to 22lbs at one point. I don't know what he weighed in the end, but he started thinning out last year and was looking more normal. then the weight just kept coming off and he started to worry me, but he never let on that he didn't feel well.
Joe had two names and he answered to both. you could rub your fingers together and he'd show up for you to pet his head. he was really good at knowing when I wasn't well and would sit in my lap and not bug me for food... as much! he also knew how to annoy me. he would disguise trying to get my goat with affection and rub up against my legs when I was wearing black dress pants. he would come over and lay on top of anything I was working on in the floor like he didn't notice I was cutting fabric or wrapping a gift or knitting. he was also good at mooching food off of Leo.

he was the cat that would sleep on your head and push you off your pillow at night. I loved waking up to a furry tummy in my face and a really loud purr with that smug look he had like "yeah, I gradually stole your spot while you were sleeping.", but Matt is allergic so we had to stop letting Joe sleep in our room at night a few years ago (I tortured Matt with him for a while before I gave in) and he stayed in the garage after that. he liked to sleep in the floor of my MG until we gutted it, then he made a nest in the pile of parts.

Joe liked to open my kitchen cabinets - it was always kinda creepy to walk in and see him in the middle of the floor and all the doors open. reminded me of The 6th Sense.
he also enjoyed water from a cup better than the same water in his bowl - I guess he thought we were holding out the good stuff on him? - so we had to be careful not to leave glasses out at night or he'd knock them over for a sip on his midnight prowls.
I loved how he would chase Duke when he had enough of the dogs yapping at him, and how he'd catch mayflies with his hands and put them in his mouth.
I used to give him tuna water when he was younger (until I learned that's a bad thing :\ ) so he would come running anytime he heard me even pick up a can of anything. he was a meat eater. he loved Thanksgiving leftovers. he got to where we could hold out our hand and say "turkey?" and he'd bolt across the room and nearly bite our fingers off, even if we didn't have anything!

Joe was pretty much how he's always been his whole life, and besides moving a little slower and getting skinny, that's how he was until the end - that I am grateful for.
when my dad came over to take me and Leo out for dinner he was normal-Joe. we came back not even an hour later and he was gone :(
I'm so sad he's not here anymore. I still hear his noises in the garage and think I see him in the room out of the corner of my eye.
he was with me for more than half my life and I miss him terribly.

Monday, February 20, 2012

dimensional embroidery

I did some video searches for embroidery and found some stitches I wanted to try, and made this ring from what I learned. I made another flower before this one, but it won't be scheduled to post until after my mother-in-law's birthday!

I made this in purple to match my new favorite purse, but after seeing it on my hand it's not quite something I think I'd wear - maybe if it was half the size and a different shade - so I've put it in my Dawanda shop.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine stuff

I found an awesome dessert to try for Valentines day :) Dulce de Leche mini cheesecakes! it's really good. it's pretty easy, too. I substituted Nestle's La Lechera Dulce de Leche that I found on the Mexican isle at the store instead of making my own from sweetened condensed milk like the recipe says to do.

I baked mine in silicone baking cups instead of in a muffin tin because I thought it'd be easier... but I ended up having to cook them for a LOT longer than the recipe said to, so next time I'll put them in something metal. lesson learned!
I made some cupcake boxes at the last minute from some small shirt boxes I got from the Dollar Tree and some stuff I already had. it was a pack of 3 for $1 and I made 2 boxes that held 6 mini cheesecakes each!
while I was at the Dollar Tree I couldn't help but look around for other stuff because it just seems silly to not browse! I found a hand held fan that was white with striped blades and a red blinking light. looked very 4th of July, but Leo has always loved fans. it's the first thing he looks for in a room. not sure why. anyway, it wasn't very Valentine-y, so I took the blades off (they had a stiff plastic coating on the front side of the foam that hurt while it was spinning :\) and replaced them with plain red craft foam. I added some Hoops and Yoyo stickers to the white handle part and called it done. I think it came out pretty cute :)
I also found some real photo picture books. I never liked this type of books, but Leo really seems to enjoy them more than cartoon lookin' books.
I found a cup at Wal-Mart for a buck that's a frog hugging a heart that I had to get. I was gonna fill it with candy, but the opening is small so I might just leave it empty and keep the candy separate.

I made Matt something that I might show some other day - it's up in the air weather or not I'll give it to him on the 14th.

happy valentines day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

accordion sewing box

for my sister-in-law's birthday I found a nifty wood sewing box on ebay. it showed up late and the handle was broken in shipping :( but I fixed it up a bit.
I buffed the wood out smooth with steel wool and rubbed walnuts all over. the oil in them stains the wood and hides scratches - pretty cool, huh? I glued and clamped cracks here and there, filled chipped spots on the inside with glue and sawdust (makes a great wood filler if you don't have any on hand... but happen to have glue and sawdust) and cleaned up the hardware a bit.

then I removed the old, tacky, shelf paper printed to look like marble and replaced it with embossed felt.

I needed to cover the parts on either side of the box that the handle was on since I decided to just remove it altogether, but it was kinda icky looking. I took ornate little bookplates I found at Michael's and inserted some embroidery I did on faux suede - they came out better than I expected! I want to do more embroidery now :) and I just happen to have a small mounting hoop I bought the other day for a buck!

I'd really like to try my hand at making my own box like this one, and I really wanna use dovetails. this guy makes it look easy. if you don't watch it all, at least skip to 5:08 - it's a great shot... of nothing noteworthy! but nonetheless a great video. I could watch instructional videos all day - I love how inspired I get after I watch someone make something cool.