February Cats – Busy Day, Sleepy Cats

I got up early this morning, spent 2 hours at karate class, did a bunch of crafting stuff with the kids, worked on a painting for the school auction, and then squeezed in a little time for the Catbug pillow. I didn't get enough done to bother posting a picture of the work in progress. However, Princess managed to record a quick video of one of our real live cats taking a snooze. Turn up the volume (I promise, this is not a trick) and listen carefully...    Yes, that's Mister Big, and he is snoring! Which is what I'm about to do right now. Good night!

February Cats – Day 05, 3 Spots Down, 3 to Go

 [caption width="642" align="alignnone"]Catbug's spots! Technically, it's really 3 and a HALF spots down.[/caption]  So today, I was able to scale down the egg pattern to make a smaller spot, and now I'm working on scaling it up to make the really big spot in the middle of his shell. Hopefully, I'll get the big spot done tomorrow or Sunday. On a completely unrelated note, I spent this afternoon with Girl Scouts who volunteered to make bag lunches for a local homeless shelter. These girls put together about 200 lunches in under an hour! Way to go! And now I'm tired, so I'm going to bed. Good night!

ACW Episode 286 – An Important Fact About Cats

[caption id="attachment_3864" align="alignnone" width="800"]Webcomic! Click on the image to see it full-sized.[/caption] Sing it with me folks. "My cat has fleas!" Or rather, my CATS have fleas. All three of them. Do you know how hard it is to wash three cats? There's a lot of bleeding involved. A LOT of bleeding. At least the kitties smell nice when the baths are done. Not that they'll let me get close enough to snuggle after I've dunked them in water, scrubbed them with soap, and dunked them again. But that's okay. I need the time to clean myself up anyway. Don't want to bleed all over my freshly cleaned kitties.

February Cats – Day 04, More Than One Way to Crack an Egg

[caption width="642" align="alignnone"]Catbug in progress! Marmalade models Catbug's shell in-progress[/caption]  If at first you don't succeed, find another way to do it. I did a search online this afternoon and found a pattern for Easter Egg coasters that gave me a big enough egg shape for at least 3 of Catbug's spots. I should be able to scale the pattern up without much trouble to make the larger spots as well. So thank you to the Whiskers and Wool blog for the egg pattern! It's just what I needed! In other news, I took another sick dy today. That's my third in two weeks, and each one has been for the same reason - joint and muscle pain plus fatigue. I hurt badly last night, especially along my triceps, back, and thighs, and my joints weren't giving me any happiness either. I (sort of) know what caused it - the water aerobics class I took yesterday morning. I'm still getting back into the routine of hitting the pool a couple times a week, and the change in exercise leads to muscle soreness. However, it shouldn't lead to crippling muscle soreness like I had last night and twice last week. But it did, and there lies the problem. I need to exercise to maintain my weight and keep the normal arthritis at bay, but a little over-exertion can leave me in agony for the next 24 hours or so. This seems to only happen in the cooler months (I can't recall it ever happening during the summer), which leads me to believe the problem is either related to weather or to stress, since the months of January, February, and March are the most stressful time of the year for me. I don't know though, and in spite of multiple tets, I have no diagnosis for whatever it is that ails me. However, I do at least have the liberty of taking a sick day when I need to, and that does seem so help. We'll see how I do tomorrow, and maybe, if we're really lucky, I'll have another spot or two finished for Catbug!

February Cats – Day 02 & 03, Seeing Spots with Catbug!

 [caption width="642" align="alignnone"]Catbug's spots! Oh Catbug! Why do you have so many spots?![/caption]  So, yesterday I went digging through my yarn stash (which right now really just looks like a huge mountain of yarn strewn all over the bedroom) and I dug out the Catbug pillow I had started last spring. I had managed to get the red part of the back done, as well as his light blue tummy. Then I started working on his purple spots and that's pretty much where I stopped because I COULD NOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE THOSE BLOODY SPOTS!!! I mean, seriously! Look at the spots on Catbug's back! They are lopsided ovals! And lopsided ovals are actually not easy to make when you've spent a couple years learning how to crochet perfect ovals! Ovals with stitch increases at regular intervals! Ovals that grow equally in all directions while you work! I tried so hard, but I could not make the stupid bloody lopsided ovals! Look at the big dark purple blobby shape on the left-hand side of the picture above. Do you see that? It looks more like an eggplant, or maybe even a mutated pear stricken with the bubonic plague. It does NOT look like an oval. But that's the only shape I could come up with after several attempts! And do you see the pointy little purplish egg-shape next to it? That's what I spent all yesterday and today struggling to make. It looks a little better, but still, NOT A LOPSIDED OVAL!! Ugh. I'm tired. I don't feel well today. And thus I am easily frustrated. I am sure (yes, I'm lying to myself right now) that with a little time, I will be able to figure out how to make Catbug's spots and not tear out my hair in the process. I will continue to post my results as I work. But right now, I'm going to take a long hot soak in the tub and go to bed. I'm declaring tomorrow a sick day, since I don't feel well and I know I'm going to be busy all this weekend with Girl Scouts and school stuff. I'll see you later. Good night!

Cats Theme – Day 01, Let’s Start with a Plan

 [caption width="642" align="alignnone"]Kitty nap time! Her Majesty Queen Marmalade is too busy napping to bother with a plan.[/caption]  I started doing creative themes back in October, and none of them have had a plan yet beyond "make something related to a theme!" This month, I want to see what happens if I have a plan. I have a few projects in mind that I would like to make for the "Cats" theme, and they are...
  • A crochet Catbug pillow
  • Another cat bolster, this one for Princess' birthday
  • A cat hat with built-in scarf and pockets
  • Crochet a Franken-kitty for Pixie
  • Maybe make a needle-felted Mitchiri Neko
That's four projects for the next four weeks. The Catbug pillow is actually already started. I've finished two big parts, but need to get the rest done. So I'm thinking that tomorrow I will clean up my yarn stash and unfinished projects and pull that project out and get back to it! Beyond that, I'm keeping expectations low. February is a busy month for Girl Scouts, with cookies being delivered this month.  So we'll see how I do.

Creature Comforts – Day 31, the Eye-Blinding Poncho of DOOOOOOM!!!

[caption width="642" align="alignnone"]Eye-blinding poncho of DOOOOOOM!!! Wow is this thing bright![/caption]  I had hoped to finish this incredibly cushy poncho today, but I spent all day doing Girl Scouts volunteering, including running a recruiting table at the school open house and coordinating and attending Scout Sunday. So, I didn't get quite as far as I wanted to. However, I did get a lot of crochet done, and I only have 5 rows left to do. I may do them tomorrow morning, just to finish off this piece before diving headlong into the next theme. I've decided that February theme will be "CATS," which may not seem all that this month's theme, since we all know cats are creatures of comfort, but I have a few specific cat-themed projects I want to get done, and since one of them is for Princess' birthday, this will be the best time to do them. I'll talk more about it tomorrow. Right now, I'm beat. Good night.

Creature Comforts – Day 30, Easy Patterns and Chunky Yarn

[caption id="" width="500" align="alignnone" caption="Hurray for quick and easy projects!"]Ripple poncho![/caption]

I realize the colors on this crochet project look a bit jarring, but trust me, they work together beautifully. I know this because I once dyed my hair these two colors, and I looked FAB!

Anyway, I think I'm over whatever bug I had earlier in the week, but now I am in the midst of a very busy weekend. This morning was 2 hours of black belt class at the dojo, followed by an intensive house cleaning. That was followed by an evening working with Princess and a group of her school friends. The girls were working on a painting for the school auction coming up in a few weeks. Things went well, but there's nothing like a gang of hyper pre-teens eating pizza and slinging around acrylic paint in my freshly cleaned living room to set my teeth on edge.

To soothe my frazzled nerves, I picked up my biggest crochet hook and set to work on a simple project. This poncho I'm working on only has 15 rows, and it's made with very chunky yarn. I'm already through the first third of it, and I expect if I get up early tomorrow, I can get through the rest of it before I have to pack up and head out for the rest of my busy weekend at the kids' school and church. The school is holding an open house and wants Girl Scouts represented there, and then we are celebrating Scout Sunday at the evening Mass, followed by a reception with CAKE and LEMONADE. (And I just now realized I forgot to buy the lemonade mix. Yay, one more thing to deal with tomorrow.)

So I'm thinking maybe I can get this poncho done by Mass tomorrow evening, or at least keep it with me to calm me down between stints of being a responsible Girl Scout volunteer. I plan to spend Monday avoiding anything that looks like responsible activity, but for tomorrow, I must be good. Blech.

Good night for now. I'll let you know how this all goes tomorrow.

 

Creature Comforts – Day 29, Kitten Cuddles

 [caption width="642" align="alignnone"]Kitten Cuddles! She is my constant couch companion.[/caption]  I took another sick day today. I did feel better today, but deliberately kept my activity level low key. Even so, I had to get some volunteer work done today, both for Girl Scouts and the school. That kept me off the couch most of the day, but while I was on the couch, a certain fuzzy orange someone kept me company. I'm not sure when Marmalade decided the couch and its occupying laps were her domain, but anytime anyone sits on the couch, she's there, right in the lap. I can type on top of her, draw webcomics on top of her, and crochet entire blankets on top of her. She will not move. She is one with the lap and the couch, and she's probably happiest that way.

Creature Comforts – Day 27 & 28, Sick Days

Yesterday afternoon (Day 27 of Creature Comforts), I started to feel a little less than stellar. By evening I had a pounding headache, aches and pains, and an upset stomach. I managed to do the bare minimum of work - crocheting together another strip of granny squares for the monstrous blanket of doom. [caption width="643" align="alignnone"]Kittens and blanket The kittens did their best to make me feel better.[/caption]  I decided to sleep late - very late - this morning, and spend the rest of the day doing as little as possible. So I curled up on my beloved couch and did a little more work on the blanket. Then I decided that was too hard so I switched to drawing instead.  [caption width="360" align="alignnone"]Sick Day Drawing She looks better than I feel.[/caption]  Really, this is more tracing and coloring than drawing at this point, and since I find those to be comforting activities, I'm including this drawing in Creature Comforts. I did the pencil work on this earlier in the week then transfered it over to Concepts on my iPad. I think I'm going to spend more time mindlessing coloring in tomorrow, since that's about all I feel like doing. I'm still not 100% today, and I have a ton of volunteer work to do this weekend, so I'm taking another sick day to recover and I will get done whatever I get done. I'll try to show the results tomorrow, if I'm feeling well enough. Good night for now.