Saturday, January 31, 2015

Update on new cat furniture...

We've had success with the new end table containing the litter box.  The entry is large enough for even the pudgy cat to fit inside.  The high sides of the litter box inside keeps our Sadie from peeing over the side of the box, in fact, so successful that I've replaced two of our extra large boxes with two of the high sided boxes.  We've left the door of the end table half open so they would get used to going inside and now we only close it when we have company which was actually the reason I purchased it in the first place, to hide the litter box from company.  And it certainly looks good, so good a guest recently expressed interest in buying one for herself. 

I have also reduced the number of litter boxes in the living room from three to two.  I sprinkled lavender essential oil where the removed box used to be.  I've had good luck keeping them from using the carpet or the mat with the lavender oil.  The only place I won't use it is on the mat or carpet leading to the box (that would kind of defeat the purpose).  So far, so good.  And, last of all, I purchased two new mats ( and oriented them long ways so the litter box is at the end of the long side and they have to walk the length of the mat which removes most of the litter from their paws.  Our original mats ( actually hold odor and need to be cleaned often.  So, we'll keep them as emergency mats after we've cleaned them thoroughly.

We have also been giving Sadie laxative a couple of times a week because she's depositing little marbles in one box and an hour later in another box.  The laxative seems to help her eliminate all at one time.  And she loves it.  An update with Sadie, for the last three or four days she's been pretty much with me, either in the craft room or following me around.  She let me pick her up yesterday for about five minutes, always a welcome surprise.  Yesterday she was eating in the dining room and actually brushing Sassy with her tail.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Introduction to a handsome fellow...

This is an Eastern Towhee and this is not my picture, but one of these little guys has been hanging around the feeder for several weeks.  I think I saw him in early spring drinking at the pond but he disappeared during nesting time.  If he came back to drink, I missed him.  Having the natural pond invites so much more wildlife than the more formal pond we used to have.  If you want to know more about this fancy guy, vist: where you can also hear their wonderful song. 

In other nature news:  the little possum came to visit us last night.  He drinks from the birdbath on the deck and then heads down the stairs to the bird feeders.  Ugly?  Cute?  Jury is still out.  We saw the doe with the twins a couple of days ago.  She was just walking down the street.  I suspect she's pregnant again and will be ditching the twins for the new baby/babies.  Maybe we will be lucky enough to see a hidden fawn this spring - always a joy.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hello, my name is Cindy and I'm a stamp hoarder....

I have been collecting rubber and clear stamps for 25+ years.  I buy and I don't let go of anything.  I started by keeping stamps in a drawer, then in a book, then in boxes.  My last reorganization had me buying photograph boxes from Michaels Craft Store and storing them by purpose.  So, I had a box for baby, birthday, boys, etc.  The problem with this is one set of stamps could have many purposes.

Take this set from Flourishes -  Summer on the Patio.  I have furniture, glasses, drinks, wine, chandelier, flowers and sentiments.  If I put this into my 'drinks' box, when I was looking for a table and chairs I wouldn't find it in my 'furniture' box.  And just laying in my Flourishes box, I wouldn't find it for anything.

So, this is what I did:

I created three folders in my external drive.  One was for my stamp manufacturers:  Hero Arts, Flourishes, PaperTrey, etc.  One folder was for stamps by type:  flowers, borders, frames, palm trees, etc.  The third folder was for stamp sentiments - I named a folder for every sentiment:  "I love you", "Happy Birthday", "You are my sunshine", etc.  Then I started cataloging my stamps.

I took my first stamp, one from Peachy Keen, either found the picture on the internet or scanned the package.  I added the name and the box number I intended to put the stamp in.  And then I copied that photo to the 'stamp type' folder, in this case "Space Ship".  The picture was already named with the box number where I'd find it.  I then copied the same picture to the sentiment folder, in this case "outta this world" and then I labeled the package containing the stamp with the box number, in this case Box 5.

So, in this example, to the right is my Penny Black folder.  If I know I want a Penny Black stamp, I can open the directory, find the stamp, check the box number and go straight to the box.  If I want a tree stamp, I open the "Stamps by Type" directory, open the "Tree" folder, find the tree I like which happens to be 'Nature's Friend - 30-261' - Box 3.  If I want the sentiment "Peace - Joy", I go to the "Words on Stamps" directory, open the folder 'Peace - Joy' and there's the "Nature's Friend - 30-261" - Box 3.

Before, I had 60 photo boxes filled with stamps (I know, right?), arranged alphabetically.  That does not count my PaperTrey, Clear and Simple Stamps and Stampin' Up stamps which reside in my craft room.  I had two GinaK boxes and when I needed a third box, in order to get them side by side, I had to move every box to the right of the GinaK boxes to slide the third box in.  Another problem was I had boxes that were only a quarter full.  I had a box for clothes, it contained all my dress forms stamps, and any stamp set that contained clothes - about ten stamps all together.  The way I'm doing it now, I catalog until the box is full.  That's Box #1 and I put in on the shelf.  Then I filled up Box #2.  Now, it doesn't matter who made the stamp or what type it is.  When I'm completely finished (I told my daughter it will be mid-May) I will copy the directories to my backup external drive just in case.

While I was doing this I discovered many overlapping stamps, especially in sentiments.  I must have 20 stamp sets that have the word "Hugs" on it.  All of them are in the "Hugs" folder.  Some are big, some are small, some are flourished, some are block letters.  But I have a pick of them for the card or tag that needs the word.  This gives my stamping flexibility and another plus was I was inspired again by some of the stamps I hadn't used in ages as well as finding stamps I'd forgotten I had.  I've made a promise that I won't buy any stamps until all these are boxes and on shelves.  Except maybe PaperTrey, it's only 21 days until their new release.  In the future I will be designing the cards using the directories on the computer.  When I settle on the stamps I need, I'll pull those boxes into my room, create my card, clean my stamps, put them back in their respective boxes, and be on to the next card.  Hello, my name is Cindy and I'm a stamp hoarder...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Open letter to Whipper Snapper....

First, let me say I love the whimsy of Whipper Snapper stamps and I have a bunch of them.  I recently received your 2015 Spring Summer Collection Catalog and I fell in love with four stamps - two images, two word stamps.  The largest of the images was 3.1 x 2.2 and I wanted them unmounted, just the rubber.  Shipping was $6.95.  $6.95 for four unmounted rubber stamps that would almost fit flat in an A2 envelope, they would surely fit in a small bubble wrap envelope.  I understand USPS costs have gone up, but surely you can see why I cancelled my order and will just have to live without those stamps.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The litter box has a new home...

This is our guest bathroom and has always had a litter box in this corner.  This looks sooooo much better.  The real test will be:  will either of the cats use it?  I will let you know.  I know I love it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The cats get new furniture...

In the middle of a reorganization project at home I finally decided to take the leap and order this piece of furniture for our guest bathroom.  I've always been unhappy with having an open litter box in the guest bathroom but the cats seem to like it.  I've had this box on my wish list at Amazon for about two years watching it fluctuate in price, first up, then down.  I ordered it this morning along with the recommended litter box.

I'm hoping that they'll like it.  We have already used a closed box with them, Sadie seems to like it more than Sassy but this is just one of six boxes so we can afford to experiment.  If this works, I'll get another set for the living room which isn't our main room to relax in; we have a family room we spend all our time in.  Our living room is devoted to Carl's desk and my treadmill along with the litter boxes and cat toys.  I will let you know how it works, how easy it is to clean (we clean boxes several times a day) and will post pictures when it arrives and we have it set up.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lifting you up...

GinaK Fabulous Frames
Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves Ink, PTI Dark Chocolate Ink
Kraft Card stock
Unknown Leaves

My daughter married a wookiee...

My SIL belongs to a Star Wars Costume group - The 501st Midwest Garrison.  This conglomeration of characters from the dark side of Star Wars movies attends events to help collect money for charities, hence: Bad guys doing good.  There is also a group of rebels (the good guys).  Brad for many years has been a Stormtrooper but is leaving the dark side temporarily for the good side.  When finished, this will be a full-fledged tarfull.  (Tarfful was a male Wookiee Chieftain of Kachirho who was an old friend of Chewbacca and fought in the Battle of Kashyyyk during the Clone Wars, at least until the battle ended during the start of the Great Jedi Purge. During the battle in 19 BBY, he had good relations with Yoda and was behind him for the entirety of the battle. Tarfful, while not a general, carefully planned out the placement of troops and warriors with Jedi Masters Luminara Unduli and Quinlan Vos. Vos also led the charge with both him and Chewbacca.)  OK, that's more than you wanted to know, right?
This costume is being created with football padding, an adult jumpsuit made out of cargo netting, hair and stilts.
The hair was purchased from a beauty shop in many different colors, boiled to straighten and individual strands were mixed to create this lovely color.
Now it's just tedious latch hooking the hair to the mesh underlay, hoping to be finished by spring.
The end...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dividing my blogs...

For the last three days I have been combining blogs, editing, repairing spelling.  My butt hurts but I'm glad I did it.  This blog started out being about creating greeting cards.  It evolved into lots of other things.  I've removed the greeting cards and moved them to:  If you like the cards, card making tools, tutorials and my digital sentiments, please follow me there.  If you like the nature related posts, photographs, and my musings, please follow this blog.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig

We returned home last night after two weeks in Southern Florida.  From the 80s in Key Largo to the 30s in central Illinois.  We were not looking forward to the weather but I was soooooooo happy to get back to my bed and pillow.  On the home front, we were regularly in touch with our cat sitter who is wonderful with our cats.  She understands their issues and doesn't get mad at them when they act out.  Sassy, apparently, was back to her old tricks, pooping on the carpet.  She had been using the box when we left after an extended stay in lock up.  It could be separation anxiety.  This morning I asked her if she had to go potty and she hopped right in the box and went.  Fingers crossed.  Sadie has been on her pill for about eight weeks.  She has been using the box regularly, we've found no marking around the doors in several weeks.  The Prozac needs about six weeks to really start working according to the ASPCA web site.  While we hate to medicate her, our alternative is to return her to the shelter.  We've tried every other suggestion we've found and she still would mark the doors.  The only downside besides having to give her a pill every day is it seems to make her more unwilling to be affectionate, to be touched or brushed.  I've picked her up several times since we got home and once she even purred but that's the exception, not the rule.  Carl hasn't been able to touch her without growling. 

Just before we left we noticed what I considered 'play' among the cats.  They were chasing each other.  No growling or hissing, just a little back and forth which encouraged us that someday, they might actually enjoy each others company.

Winter Wishes....

Penny Black Wintertime Wishes, Winter Wonderland
Copics:  R29, B0000, YR31, 0, B00
H20s: Ruby Red
Flower Soft