Wednesday, 30 August 2017

WOYWW 430–More Kittens, of course!

Still nothing done on my desk. I seem to have had a pretty busy time of it lately, not including wanting to spend as much time as possible with the kittens, and this week I can’t seem to shake the fatigue which has hit me, not surprisingly. Fortunately I’ve got a few days without too much happening so I’m not doing anything except what’s absolutely necessary, and trying to rest and catch up.

Here are some more kitten photos and videos for your delectation and delight.

Relaxing on top of my hubby’s home-made cat tree after a particularly vigorous play session. They often sleep up there.

Relaxing on Top of the Cat Tower 22-8-17

Two irresistible spotty fat tummies! Lily on the left and Ruby on the right. They are getting so big now! Today they are 14 weeks old.

02 Two Spotty Tummies 26-8-17

This is Ruby at 9 weeks old, just after we got them – she looks very small there!

13 Ruby with N with Paws in Air 1-8-17

They are now eating about twice as much as they were when we first got them so it’s not surprising they are growing so fast.

Another one of them relaxing. I took this yesterday. They had just finished tearing around the house with paws like thunder – amazing how much noise two small kittens can make when they put their minds to it!

03 Asleep on the Chair 29-8-17

Most of the photos I’ve got are of them either asleep or relaxing or being tightly held by my hubby – photos of them playing are hopeless because they move so fast that the pictures are blurred. Videos are best for that. Here are a couple of new ones.

Clicker training

I am having a lot of fun clicker training them. I’ve been doing it for 2 weeks now. To start with, my hubby was extremely sceptical about this and didn’t think I’d get anywhere with it, believing along with a lot of other people (wrongly) that cats can’t be trained, but the other day, they were both playing upstairs with him, and I called their names followed by “kitty-kitty-kitty” which is their command to come when called, and they both came running! It doesn’t always work, though, if there is something more interesting to do at the time. They both look up when I say their names now.

They both seem to enjoy the training sessions very much and will always come running for that, when they hear me pick up the clicker and open the treats box. It’s a time of treats, personal interaction and lots of attention, and who doesn’t like a bit of that? The only part they don’t like is being separated. They have to be done one at a time or they would get confused, and Ruby, in particular, cries a lot when I shut her away on her own. I can hear her through 2 closed doors! The two of them are always together and they don’t like being separated. They are probably quite aware of what is going on and don’t want to miss out!

A couple of days ago I started with the target training. My clicker has an extendable target like a radio aerial with a green blob on the end, and they will both touch this with a paw now. Surprisingly, Lily got the idea of that a lot more quickly than Ruby, who has so far been quicker on the uptake with the whole training thing. I got Lily to sit several times this morning, first with, and then without, the target – just on the command “Sit!” I haven’t tried that with Ruby yet, because I am working hard on trying to get her to use the scratching post. Lily has been sharpening her claws on this from the beginning without any encouragement from us, but Ruby continues to prefer the carpet… I can get her to touch the scratching post most of the time now with the target, but it’s a bit hit or miss without it. Eventually I hope she will get the idea of actually scratching – every time I try to get her to do it, it is to the command “Scratch!”

Their attention span is obviously not very long, and a maximum of about 5 minutes each, per day, is all I can expect, but they are certainly getting the idea.

Eventually I want to train them to shut the door after them – we have had simply years of cats pushing the door open in order to come in and join us, and in the winter, it’s a pain having to get up and push the door closed again or alternatively sit in a draught! My hubby says I should train them to make him a cup of coffee.

We had some friends round the other night and I asked if they had tried this method of training with their dog, and the husband said “yes, but it was more successful with me!” I really laughed at this and said “Oooh, what a good idea, I shall clicker train my hubby!” Anything to get him to remember to tell me what he’s doing each day – he has had the habit for over 30 years of just disappearing off without a word so I have no idea where he is or how long he is likely to be. Funnily enough, someone else suggested the same thing at the weekend! He was NOT very impressed when I told him my idea!!

Day out

We had a lovely day out on Saturday with friends – lunch out, followed by a walk along by the river in Kingsteignton near Newton Abbot. Here are a few of the more arty photos from that outing.

05 Suspension Bridge Railings and Shadows

11 Curved Bench Detail with Shadow

13a Under the Railway Bridge B&W

19 Flowing River

Diet

Only 3 more pounds to go to reach my target weight! It is coming off extremely slowly but the only way to speed things up would be to have no more treats and I’m not prepared for that! Anyway, I have now lost nearly 4 1/2 stone (61 lb) since I started 3 years ago, although I don’t count 2015 when I had to stop it while I was so ill. I have lost 10 inches around my waist! My hubby is taking me shopping next week and I’m going to get some new clothes because my leggings are falling down and turning me into a Nora Batty lookalike, and putting on my bra each morning makes me want to burst into song, “Swing low, sweet chariot…”

Have a great week, everyone. Perhaps one day I shall do some art myself.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A Walk at Kingsteignton

On Saturday we went out for lunch with some friends, followed by a walk along the river at Kingsteignton. To begin with the day was warm and sunny but later it clouded over, but it didn’t spoil our enjoyment. It was a good place to walk with a level path, and surprisingly for a Bank Holiday weekend, not too many people about.

01 Across the Footbridge

A canoeist on the river.

02 Canoeist on the River

Approaching the suspension bridge.

03 Across the Suspension Bridge

View of the river from the bridge.

04 The River from the Suspension Bridge

The suspension bridge – I love railings and shadows!

05 Suspension Bridge Railings and Shadows

Looking up at the structure of the suspension bridge.

06 Suspension Bridge Structure

The metal cut-out figures. I love how the steel has rusted.

07 Metal Cut-Out Figures

Our party.

08 Our Party

A gorgeous sinuous metal bench.

09 Curved Metal Bench

10 Curved Metal Bench from End

Lovely curves and shadows.

11 Curved Bench Detail with Shadow

Industrial construction beside the railway bridge.

12 Bridge Construction

Under the railway bridge.

13 Under the Railway Bridge

Newton Abbot Racecourse through the netting. No racing unfortunately – I love looking at the horses!

14 Newton Abbot Racecourse

Acorns.

15 Acorns

One of several carvings along the walk.

16 Fox Bench

More carvings – my hubby astride a water buffalo!

17 N on Water Buffalo

18 Carved Water Buffalo

The flowing river.

19 Flowing River

They have constructed a special place for dogs to swim.

20 Dog Swimming Place

21 Dog Swimming Place

Carved kingfisher seat.

22 Carved Kingfisher Seat

Since then I’ve been really tired, so trying to rest now I’ve got a few quieter days, and enjoying spending time with the kittens.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A Storm in a Min-Album and More About Kittens!–WOYWW 429

I am very late with WOYWW this week (didn’t make it at all last week) but better late than never. I have been very busy with the kittens, and we have had a lot of people wanting to call and see them, and I have also been out a bit.

Art first, though. I haven’t been in the studio at all, but I have now made a video slideshow of my recent mini-album entitled “Second Wind” which I posted about some weeks ago. It comes complete with sound effects!

Kittens

Our new kittens, Lily and Ruby, are now thirteen weeks old and growing fast. They remain complete babies, though…

I bought them a circuit toy with a couple of balls for them to chase around the track, and attached to this are two fluffy things for them to play with. A few days ago, Lily started to suckle the black fluffy thing, and Ruby soon followed suit, and this is a regular habit for them now. It is adorable watching their little paws kneading, and hearing the little suckling noises they make, and the contented purring. It’s so funny because the fluffy thing is a lot smaller than they are, so could hardly be thought of as their mother, but I suppose they have no sense of scale! I think it’s a sort of security blanket for them – it’s obviously very comforting.

When we bought that toy, we also bought them a small kitten bed but until now, they had not used it at all. They were really keen on the stuff that didn’t cost us any money (the big cat tree my hubby made for them out of scrap wood, the wine rack, and a couple of toys given to us by a neighbour) but have tended to ignore the stuff we bought for them! Anyway, they have started using the kitten bed, first as a launching pad for other pursuits (literally – they spend ages chasing each other around) and just lately, for Lily to hide in so that she can prepare to ambush her sister without being seen, but over the past couple of days, she has decided that it is actually rather nice to sleep in. Not to be outdone, this evening Ruby decided to have a go as well, but they are getting so big now that it’s really only a bed for one. Not that that deterred her.

04 Both in Kitten Bed Close Up 20-8-17

They now have access to most of the rest of the house under some supervision, and they love the extra space for running around. There are two other litter trays strategically placed so they won’t get caught short!

I have also started with clicker training – if you don’t know what that is, there’s loads of info online about it. I am not intending to train them to do tricks, but simple things like knowing their own names, coming when called, and encouraging them to sharpen their claws in appropriate places and not on the furniture, and keeping them off the table and kitchen work surfaces. So far I think I have “charged the clicker” – getting them to associate the sound of the clicker with the giving of treats, and I am working on getting them to recognise their names and to come when called. Ruby is getting the idea, and is definitely ahead of Lily, who seems more easily distracted. Once this is established, we can move on to other training. It takes time and patience because they have to be done separately, and their attention span is fairly limited, so it’s just three or four minutes per session, once a day.

There are lots of videos of them on my Youtube channel, which you can access by clicking the Youtube logo in the RH sidebar of this blog.

Sadly, my hubby has now broken up the Kitten Fun box – they were getting too big for it, and it only served as another launching pad for assaults on one another and it was getting rather squashed! The carpet tube has also gone – they only played with that briefly and it was getting to be a bit of a tight squeeze. They have still got the fabric tunnel and they love chasing through that. My hubby is making a Kitty Castle for them which will be the next fun thing for them to play with.

We have had them for four weeks and we can’t imagine life without them now! This is the kitten stage that I really love – they are so much fun, and play together so prettily (and sometimes quite aggressively when it comes to wrestling and chasing) and it’s also the time when their individual personalities are starting to show, and each one has funny little ways that are unique to her. It is lovely having kittens in the house again!

Bread Baking Day

Today I attended a bread baking training day. A local microbakery runs regular training days, and recently my hubby won a ticket for such a day in a raffle, and thought I’d get more out of it than him, so off I went. It was the most fun and brilliant day ever. There was only one other person attending so we got lots of individual attention. She was doing the sourdough day, and I was doing regular bread, but we both learnt from each other. They gave us lunch (home made soup and sourdough bread) which was quite delicious. I had never eaten sourdough bread before and absolutely loved it – definitely something I want to try.

His approach was minimalist – all my breadmaking experience in the past has involved prolonged and energetic kneading but he seemed to do the absolute minimum. I was expecting this to result in large irregular holes in the bread but this was not the case. The dough was handled as little as possible and quite gently, and left to rest. A very different approach, with excellent results.

We both made loaves that were placed in special baskets which had been sprinkled with flour. After the dough had risen, it was turned out onto the sheet for baking, and the baskets left attractive floured ridges on the loaves which were retained through the baking process. I made one larger round loaf, two small oval ones, and half a dozen rolls (these had some seeds in them). We ate some of the rolls with our supper.

Here are the results of my labours.

01 Blue Basket of Bread

02 Basket of Bread

Camera Woes

My old Panasonic Lumix camera finally bit the dust recently (the focusing had become very unreliable) and I bought a new one at a very good reduced price in our local Curry’s/PC World. I put in my old SD card and took some photos which I was able to transfer to the computer, but was unable to delete them because I was informed they were “write protected.” I tried to remove the card and it would not eject. I had to dig it out and in the process it broke. I ordered another one (as well as a spare battery for the camera) and inserted it, but again it was “write protected.” Again it was very difficult to remove, but when I got it out, I found the lock on the side was in the locked position, and when I unlocked it and replaced the card, pushing it in locked it again. Again, great difficulty removing it, and I following some advice I found online, I glued the slider in the unlocked position and once the epoxy glue was set hard, I gently filed it down flush so that the card could be inserted again. Despite being fixed in the unlocked position, the card was still write-protected, and I was unable to format it in the camera. I removed it and formatted it in the computer’s card slot, but put back into the camera, the problem remained. I managed to format it in my hubby’s Panasonic Lumix but the write protection is still in place in my camera. There is obviously something wrong with the card slot. Having done so much digging around trying to get the original card out, I have probably damaged it and invalidated the warranty on the camera… I have got to take it back and get it repaired, which I will no doubt have to pay for. I can use the camera as photos will go onto the card, and be copied onto the computer, but I cannot erase them from the card, which will obviously fill up. It is really maddening and I could do without all this hassle…

Iron Woes – and Successes!

Along with all this, just over a week ago I was doing the ironing and there was suddenly an almighty bang and all the downstairs power went off! My old steam iron had finally bitten the dust. My hubby took me in to Curry/PC World and we bought a steam generator iron, and I was able to finish the ironing in double quick time, a process that was repeated last weekend. I have never in my life used such a fantastic iron and the job took about half the time! It is a Morphy Richards one (I did some online research the night my old iron broke, and according to various reviews, this one came out on top). It was while we were buying it that I spotted the cameras on offer and decided to replace my old one.

Why does everything always have to go wrong at once?

I am still very behind with everything because I want to spend so much time with the kittens while they are little (this stage lasts such a short time) and I am trying to catch up with my overflowing email inbox, unanswered forum posts and other matters, and feeling frustrated because I can’t get near my studio, and then having to mess about with all this technology going wrong is a bit much!! Hopefully things will get back to normal soon.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

WOYWW 427

As you will probably understand, there’s no change on my desk this week, so no photo to share. I have been spending all my spare time in with the kittens and making videos galore! They are 11 weeks old today and growing fast, very feisty and alternating between fits of extremely vigorous play and crashing out asleep for hours. I’m amazed at how much noise they make, thundering around on those little paws, with occasional yelps when the play fighting gets too rough, and lots of little chirrups from Lily.

Tomorrow, we will have had them for two weeks! How quickly the time passes. Their personalities and preferences and coming out now, and they have their favourite toys, and different food preferences. Ruby has decided she doesn’t like wet food and for a couple of days I was worried about her because she wouldn’t eat – she’d demand food extremely loudly (again, amazing what a huge sound this tiny creature can make!) and then when I put it down, she’d turn away, and go on asking. She loves the little kitten biscuits and wolfs them down. I am trying her on different brands of wet food because it’s important for her to have that as well, but at least they are both drinking plenty of water – something all our previous kitties have never done, at least, not from a bowl in a civilised manner, but out of the drains etc. outside!!

They are at this moment careering around my feet, ambushing each other and wrestling with each other. Half an hour ago this is how they looked.

01 Sitting Together on Step Stool 9-8-17

Ruby playing in the basket suspended from the cat tree my hubby made for them.

01 Ruby in the Basket

Crashed out asleep. They often sleep on top of each other.

02 Kittens on my Lap 5-8-17

I tend to do more videos than photos because I can usually only photograph them when they are asleep because otherwise they are moving too fast! Here is my favourite video of them.

All the videos are on previous posts on this blog, and also on my Youtube channel (link in sidebar).

One non-kitten thing I did manage to do this week was to make a video slide show of the mixed media mini-album I made in memory of my dad for my niece. It’s a project I’ve been meaning to do for ages.

I recently acquired an app for the iPad called LumaFusion, which is a powerful video editor and I can do most things on that that I can do on Final Cut Pro on the Mac. Very convenient as the iPad is also used as the video camera and there’s no transferring of video files to be done. More slide shows will follow, of other albums I’ve made since. They take a long time to edit, but they are fun to do. I’m planning to rig up the iPad over my desk so I can start videoing myself at work again.

Health Update

I’ve got an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow morning. When I saw him last (about 3 months ago), he booked me in for a CT scan of my abdomen to check whether my parastomal hernia had returned because it was “inconclusive.” It turned out that some fat had come through. Nice thought, esp. as I’ve now lost so much weight!! Anyway, he wrote me a letter after that, saying he recommended leaving well alone – at our last meeting he’d said he’d be reluctant to open me up and perform major surgery again unless it was absolutely necessary. Sutured parastomal hernia repairs have a 100% failure rate, and it rather looks as if it’s on the way to failure already (I had the operation on 1st Feb.) so I’m hoping it won’t fail and cause another obstruction, requiring another major operation as an emergency. What I really want is elective surgery for the insertion of some mesh around the stoma to reinforce the area, so hopefully he will do this when the hernia finally returns and before I get into difficulties with it. I don’t suppose he will have anything new to tell me tomorrow.

When I saw the oncologist after the CT scan result came back, she said there was no sign of cancer, but they should have scanned my chest as well (metastases from bowel cancer often appear in the lungs) so I had another scan. A case of the right hand not knowing what the left was up to? No cancer evident, and they are happy to see me as arranged in November, which will be the 2 year anniversary of my all-clear.

I’ve been a bit rough with my ME just lately but that’s probably from overdoing things, getting the kitchen sorted again after the new pantry was completed, and all the rushing around getting the kittens and getting them settled in (nice, though!). I’m resting when I can, and spending most of the time with the kittens. They tend to sleep all afternoon, having worn themselves out with their morning play session, and we all cuddle up together!

Monday, 7 August 2017

A Hard Day’s Play for Lily and Ruby

After a prolonged session of intensive play this morning and over lunch, they crashed out this afternoon and again this evening after another play session during supper. I’ve just taken these photos of them on the chair, beside the kitten bed – we bought this for them as the old kitten bed had fallen to bits, but will they use it? Noooo. Well, there’s no accounting for taste, although we think it would be a lovely snug little nest for them!

08 Beside the Kitten Bed 7-8-17

07 Asleep Beside the Kitten Bed 7-8-17

They had rather a disturbed afternoon’s rest today, with three different lots of visitors to come and admire them! They got woken up and cuddled and admired. They did a bit of desultory playing but that’s all they were up to for their visitors! I told them they should have come this morning…

I got some lovely video footage of them today. My hubby has introduced a new toy for them – a carpet tube. Previous generations of kittens have really enjoyed chasing through this long narrow tunnel and we were sure these two would as well – and they were soon playing with it!

First of all, some general play, very vigorous, with little Lily hardly knowing where to put herself, she was so excited! She gives out little excited chirrups and squeaks when she plays.

Now, some hi-rise birdie play.

Finally, Tunnel Time.

I’m always amazed at the contrast between these busy kittens rushing around at high speed, and the sleepy little bundles when they’ve worn themselves out – it’s almost like two completely different kitties!

Kittens, and More Video Editing

Here’s a short video of the two kittens playing in the TV cabinet.

I had some papers on the shelf with notes on them about how to connect up a VCR/DVD recorder, and my hubby’s list of all the TV channels for Mum, and Lily has become obsessed with these and has pulled them all off and rushed through them and chewed the edges – she likes the sound it makes! I’m not worried and just letting her get on with it!

The Kitty Fun box.

I’ve been getting some practice in with my new video editing app, LumaFusion on the iPad and it’s so easy to use, so I’ve decided to start dealing with the backlog of videos I want to produce of some of my art work. Back in 2014 I made a mini-album from recycled materials (see “Recycled Mini-Album” posts for 2014 in my blog archive in the LH sidebar) and at the time, I took a lot of photos of the finished pages in readiness for making a video slideshow, and over the past couple of days I’ve at last compiled this into a finished video.

The next one I shall do is of the Mamhead album I made last year, about our walk in the woods.

This app is amazing – I am able to do pretty much everything I’ve been doing with Final Cut Pro on the Mac. The iPad is so responsive and there’s no delay at all. The only slight drawback is that with the 9.5 in. iPad, the screen is a bit small and my fingertips feel a bit clumsy at times, particularly when editing text for the headings, but I think if I used the Apple Pencil this would be easier. I need to charge it up…

It’s a doddle to upload videos to Youtube from within the app, and there are lots of different parameters you can set.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Some More Fun Kitten Videos

It’s so long since we’ve been in kitten mode that I’d forgotten the sort of antics they can get up to!

First of all, here are some photos.

Asleep on my lap, one on top of the other. Criss-cross kitties.

02 Kittens on my Lap 5-8-17

Starting to wake up.

04 Embracing on my Lap 5-8-17

Starting to wrestle.

03 Wrestling Kittens on my Lap 5-8-17

A veritable tangle of limbs!

05 A Tangle of Arms and Legs on my Lap 5-8-17

“I love my sister…”

06 I Love my Sister 5-8-17

I put down a sheet of plastic to protect the carpet from any food spillages where we feed them, and today Lily decided this was put down for the sole purpose of her playing with it.

Inevitably the water was spilt on the floor. They now have their bowls on a tray, which isn’t nearly so much fun, but it makes life easier for me!

The next one just creased us up. I had to make a fun video of it!

On a more serious note, Ruby is being quite naughty with her food. When we took them to the vet on Wednesday for their inoculations, they got weighed, and Lily is heavier than Ruby, who had actually lost .01 of a gramme. Nothing to worry about, apparently. However, when I feed them, Ruby makes a huge fuss and absolutely bellows and carries on as if she’s starving, and when I put the bowls down, she’s not interested and walks away. I keep putting her back but she walks away again. The result is that Lily eats most of it. This evening I tried feeding Ruby separately because I thought that might help, but it didn’t. Finally, I gave her some dry food, and she absolutely wolfed it down! She obviously prefers this to the wet food. I’m not really very keen on her having it all the time, though, because it can lead to kidney problems later in life, but she’s got to eat! We’ve got another variety of wet food that I can try, and we’ll see if she eats that. I just hope she’s not going to turn into a really fussy kitty.

I have had several lovely cuddles with Ruby today. She loves to snuggle up as close as possible, and before dropping off to sleep, she looks up into my eyes so lovingly, and purrs her little head off. This morning I had them both for a while – which is when I took the photos at the top of this blog post.

I have to tear myself away in order to get anything sensible done! I’ve more or less decamped into this room so I can spend as much time as possible with them while they are little, and they are so much fun.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Kittens Now 10 Weeks Old

How quickly time flies. We have now had our kittens for a whole week, and they are ten weeks old already! Over their first week they have grown not just in size but in confidence, and in personality, and they are bonding with us and showing us great affection, especially little Ruby towards me. This is so great for me, because for years I’ve put up with both our old kitties favouring my hubby over me haha!

They are gradually exploring the big interactive cat tree my hubby made for them, and they have both been through the moving tunnel (no photos or videos yet as I’ve never had the camera handy in time to catch them at it!) and yesterday Ruby overcame her fear of the moving basket and hopped in, and she’s been in it today as well. To start with we thought they didn’t really like the bits that moved because it made them feel insecure, but they are getting bolder by the day!

01 Ruby in the Basket

Here’s the video of her playing in it.

We took them to the vet yesterday for their inoculations and had a new vet who was very charming and thorough. It’s a lovely practice and they’ve looked after our kitties so well since we moved here. Everyone in the surgery was delighted with our new kittens and enjoyed having a good look at them, but they weren’t too happy about it!

After the battle we had to try and clear the house of fleas before they arrived, I was a bit fed up when the vet found one on Lily. It’s a battle on several fronts really – we keep spraying the house, and I’ve recently discovered a non-chemical remedy which I am sure is going to help – diatomaceous earth. This fine powder made from ground-up diatoms affects fleas and other insects mechanically rather than chemically, and is totally harmless to animals and humans. It is very useful to put in parts of the house where it’s hard to reach with the vacuum cleaner, and I’ve also put some in the Hoover bags to kill any fleas that get hoovered up. I’ve also just got a little powder puffer from Ebay that I have filled with the stuff, and have been puffing a bit onto the kittens’ fur and rubbing it in well. Diatomaceous earth is also used as a food supplement for humans and animals so is totally harmless to them when they wash their fur. The vet wanted us to spray them with flea spray, and then keep them separate for a couple of hours to prevent them washing each other, but I couldn’t see how you could prevent them washing themselves and ingesting the stuff, so I wasn’t too happy about this.

Unfortunately fleas are an endemic problem wherever there are pets, and the warmer weather we have these days doesn’t help the problem, nor does the fact that we all keep our houses warmer in winter than we used to 50 years ago. They don’t bite people if there are cats and dogs in the house, but in the period when we were without kitties, my poor hubby was getting eaten alive again – for some reason they don’t like me and I never get bitten and neither to I get bitten by mosquitos! I set some flea traps overnight (a shallow dish of water with some washing up liquid in it to reduce the surface tension, put on the floor with a lamp over it) and managed to catch quite a few. There are lots of hints and tips online on how to attack them and with a multi-pronged approach, hopefully we’ll keep on top of the problem from now on!

I am delighted with my new video editing app on the iPad, LumaFusion, because it saves a lot of time with each video I make. Today I’ve started working on some of my art projects which I’ve wanted to make into videos for ages – I have made a new template for my art videos, after doing a kitty video template, which makes creating the videos a lot faster, as well as producing a consistent look. I said to my hubby this evening that my iPad Pro is one of the best things I’ve ever bought.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

WOYWW 426

I surprised myself yesterday afternoon – I managed to tear myself away from our new kittens and actually did some art!

WOYWW 426 2-8-17

On the left you can see my crib sheets to tell me what’s on which page, and how I did it. Resting on top is the first lot of pages from Vol. 1 of the mini-album I’m making, some complete with their tags, which are still awaiting some sort of yarn tassel.

Beyond the sheets are the pages for further volumes of the album, and in the centre of the desk are My Inkylicious Ink Dusters, the Black Soot Distress Ink and its home made ink blending tool. To the right of that are the small blot-off sheets that I am making from the mess on the craft sheet. Beyond that are the pages of Vol. 1 which still need tags.On the right, water spritzer, jar of water, acrylic paints, and in the foreground, pens. Apart from that, all the usual detritus of a busy desk!

Not sure when I’m going to get another chance in the studio but I’m keen to make progress on this project now. For more details of what I did yesterday, click here.

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or perhaps not!!) – KITTENS!

We got them last Thursday, and today they are 10 weeks old – I can’t believe we’ve already had them almost a week!

Both Kittens with N 31-7-17

If you keep scrolling down, you will come to all the kitten posts since we got them, with photos and videos.

As you can imagine, we are both totally smitten with these tiny creatures. You wouldn’t believe how much personality they are already showing, and how they make their wishes known, in no uncertain terms!

It is so, so good to have kitties in the house once again. Someone on the forum I am on said (being married to a vet): “When we get new animals after the previous ones have died, we are not replacing them, but honouring the ones that have gone by giving a good home to the next generation.” I don’t think for one moment that Beatrice and Phoebe would approve of them, though! “Who are these young whippersnappers taking over our house in our absence!” We miss our old girlies and will never forget them, but we are overjoyed by our new little arrivals! They are called Lily and Ruby, and are silver tabby British shorthair cross. Their father is a pedigree silver tabby, and their mother a brown and white tabby. She had five kittens, and here they all are, asleep together in the basket, awaiting our arrival on Thursday to pick up our two. The lady we got them from very kindly sent me this photo.

All the Kittens 27-7-17  from Catherine

Happy WOYWW everybody, and have a great week.

Infusions Mini-Album–Working on the Tags

The second of two posts for today.

I actually managed to do some art today – for the first time for goodness knows how long. I managed to extricate myself from the kittens and spent a couple of hours in the studio, working on the tags for the Infusions mini-album.

I began with the title tag for the “Various Effects” section, listing the three techniques on the front of the tag.

16 Various Effects Title Tag

The background was created using Black Knight and Are You Cerise Infusions from Set 1, sprinkling on the Infusions and then spritzing with water, and I repeated this for the reverse of the tag.

It was so long since I’d done any of this project that I’d forgotten that I was going to use Distress Inks and a minimum of Infusions on the tags! Having done it, I didn’t want to waste the tag, so proceeded with it, using the white Uniball Signo pen for the text, which matches the tag holder.

The next one was for “Drips,” on the front of the tag.

17 Drips Tag

I inked the background for both sides using Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Picked Raspberry and Victorian Velvet Distress Inks, applied with Inkylicious Ink Dusters. I sprinkled on a small quantity of Are You Cerise and Black Knight Infusions (both from Set 1) and spritzed it with water, and then dried the tag with the heat gun. I spattered this with water and blotted it off for a bit of texture, and dried the tag before adding the text with my white Uniball Signo marker pen. As I am doing for all the tags, I distressed the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink, using a home-made ink blending tool (just visible on the far left of the above picture).

The “Kissing” tag. This was done on the reverse of the “Drips” one.

18 Kissing Tag

I chose colours of Distress Inks to match as far as possible the two “kissing” pages. These were Tumbled Glass, Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans, all blue Distress Inks, and then Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint and Forest Moss in green, and finally a little Fossilised Amber. The Infusions I used were Royal Blood and Golden Sands from Set 1. I wrote the text using a black permanent archival pen and the white Uniball pen.

The “Infusions with Glimmer Mists” tag was made by inking Scattered Straw Distress Ink over the entire surface of both sides of the tag, using an Inkylicious Ink Duster. On the front, I sprinkled some Lemoncello Infusions from Set 1, sparingly, on two of the corners and dried it with my heat gun, and repeated the process on the back, using a bit more Infusions to cover the surface.

19 Glimmer Mists Tag

I spritzed both sides with my DIY Glimmer Mist made from Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink re-inker in water, with some Perfect Pearls added. The blue of the Glimmer Mist mixed nicely with the yellow of the Scattered Straw Distress Ink to create bits of green. Those little spray bottles don’t give a really fine spray, unfortunately, so I think in future I need to use my mini-misters instead. The text was done with a black archival pen.

These are the little mop-up pieces so far – for each tag I am creating a new one of these, to clean up the non-stick craft sheet and provide a resource for future projects. Each one is edged with Black Soot Distress Ink.

20 Mop-Up Sheets So Far

I’ve finished the “Miscellaneous Techniques” section and the next section to be done will be the “Painting” section.

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