Posts Tagged ginger cat

Tight Lipped Tuesday #17

Three days to go before the collar comes off.

Any cuddles gratefully received, even if it’s from somebody you’ve only just met.

 

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The Cat In The Collar

Henry has been in the wars again.

The poor thing has already been diagnosed with hypertension so has to have medication syringed down his throat every day but now he has ear trouble too.

Firstly it was diagnosed as an ear infection so I had to administer drops twice a day for 10 days.  This didn’t seem to sort out the problem completely and then I felt a lump under his ear.

I was going to take him to the vet on the Friday but he didn’t come back for the whole day then, Saturday morning he returned with a large wound underneath his ear where I’d felt the lump.  The vet kept him in for the afternoon and, when I went to pick him up this was the inevitable result.

The vet thinks the ear infection made him scratch at his ear which, in turn. caused an abcess which then burst but, other than that, she says the two things aren’t connected.  I’m not so sure but time will tell.

In the meantime, that plastic buster collar seemed overlong and the sharp edge was just on the wound and I was worried it would dig in to him.  Also, those ribbon thingies that hold the collars on aren’t that efficient and kept dangling in the water bowl.

So, what’s a sewing person to do but improve upon the original?

As I make dog collars to sell to help raise funds for a dog refuge, not to mention having a rather large fabric stash, I had all the necessaries to hand to make him a small webbing collar with quick release buckle.  I cut the top of the plastic collar down low enough to improve his peripheral vision but still high enough so that his foot can’t reach to scratch the wound.   Then I traced round the shape of the plastic collar and. after adding a seam allowance, cut out the shape in two pieces of fabric, added some tabs in the seamline to thread the webbing collar through, sewed up the seams leaving one end open to slot the plastic collar through and installed a snap to close the ends.

He managed to get out of the house the other day (Mr Tialys isn’t that good at remembering to close doors 🙄) and I was panicking but I think he’d just gone to show off his headgear to his mates next door.

I wonder what they thought.

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A Tale of Two Gingers

My lovely ginger boy, Henry, has had to have a trip to the V….E…..T.

He’s normally a big boy but was looking skinny, always looking for food and his back legs seemed a bit weak.

Anyway, a blood test, a blood pressure check and couple of hundred euros later, it turns out he has hypertension caused, probably, by some kidney problems.  Who would have thought such laid back animals as domestic cats could get hypertension? Anyway, he now has to have two different medicines administered orally with a syringe every day.   At the moment I’m keeping him in overnight then putting the medicine on a bit of tuna first thing so he’s hungry enough to eat it.  I’ve tried administering it directly down his throat but he chokes and spits and generally makes a huge fuss and the medicine often ends up on the floor.  The medicine for the hypertension will be for life so if anybody knows how to do this without causing stress – and thus more hypertension – I would be grateful for any tips.

The second ginger in my life is my pair of Ginger Jeans.  Yes! They’re finished – I was waiting for silver rivets to arrive before showing you.  If you remember my first pair – they turned out O.K. but I couldn’t bend my knees (or much else) due to using fabric with no stretch.  I made these ones in exactly the same size but, due to using the right fabric, they fit.  Who would have thunk it?

Here’s a full length pic.  I wouldn’t normally wear everything so cropped on the top with skinny jeans but, as this is all about the jeans, I wanted to show you them properly.

I probably wouldn’t normally wear skinny jeans with heels either but, because the pattern on this denim is so ‘extravagant’, I probably could ‘posh them up’ with a dressy top and heels.  Just thinking aloud here.

A few close ups of jeans laid flat so you don’t have to study my nether regions too much to see the details.

The silver rivets were ordered from Japan as I couldn’t find them anywhere else and wanted them to go with the silvery grey pattern and the top stitch thread I used.  I was quite pleased with my top stitching overall and I managed to hide a bit of a ‘wobble’ on the waistband with one of the belt loops.

I did a simple design on the pockets and stressed for a long time about where to place them.  Apparently pocket placement is a big deal with jeans.  How close should they be to the centre seam and the yoke, what angle of slant should there be, how high or low to place them – apparently all make a difference to the way your derrière will present itself to observers (should there be any).  In the end though, I pinned them on in the position I thought would be right but nearly did myself an injury twisting round to look at my own denim clad bottom in the mirror – Mr. Tialys being unavailable for comment – so on they went for better or worse.

I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say I’m excited by a coin pocket.

I’m wearing a belt, mainly because my jeans button is, unfortunately, half an inch too far in from the edge.  This is one of the two things that have made these jeans less than perfect – there’s always something isn’t there?  My sewing machine couldn’t manage its one step buttonhole function because of the multiple layers of fabric at the edge of the waistband so would stop mid-buttonhole.  I had to unpick it about three times and the fabric started showing signs of damage in that spot.  In the end, I resorted to the four step buttonhole on my very basic Singer machine (not my 1950s one) and subsequently remembered I had to do exactly the same thing with my first pair.  Shame I didn’t remember earlier.  It worked but I had to position it where the unpicking had happened to hide it so a belt will probably be the order of the day.

Since then, I’ve heard about a gadget called a ‘buttonhole height compensation plate’ which apparently solves such a problem.  I had a quick look – they’re only cheap – I just need to check if I can get one compatible with my Janome.  Because, yes, I’m going to make more jeans.

The second thing to moan about is that I have leg twist.  The inseam is trying to twist itself round on to the front of my leg at calf level. Apparently this is very common – even with high end ready-to-wear jeans – especially the skinny ones.  The pattern I used was Closet Case’s Ginger Jeans and Heather has you lay out the pattern pieces for the legs in a way that attempts to avoid this happening.  That is, the legs are cut out from a single layer of fabric and the front and back legs are laid on the fabric in different directions. Or, in Heather’s words ‘to help prevent leg twist, the best way to layout your pieces is front leg, back leg, front leg turned 180 degrees, back leg turned 180 degrees (make sure these last two are also flipped wrong side up so you’re not cutting the same leg twice!)   I cut mine out on a double layer 🙄  and couldn’t turn the leg pattern pieces because it would have meant the design on my jeans doing a different thing on each leg.

As I usually wear skinny jeans with boots, here’s a couple with me wearing the jeans ‘booted up’.  It’s usually too hot to wear jeans in the Summer here  but I think they’d look fine with sandals too.

And just to prove I can bend my knees this time…….

Now I’ve got the fit right with the Ginger Jeans which is an excellent pattern, by the way, with a very useful sewalong on the Closet Case blog, I will definitely make more pairs, but thought I’d make some more traditional jeans next with rigid denim (i.e. no stretch) in indigo and gold top stitching which, of course, will be much more visible so has to be perfect.  I’ve ordered the new(ish) Dawn Jeans pattern by Megan Nielsen and will try to source the perfect denim to make them.  Of course, the fitting issues will be different so another challenge but, hey, sewing projects would get boring if everything was too easy wouldn’t it?

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Pole Dancing Cats

Mlle Tialys the Elder has been pole dancing.  Apparently it is a legitimate form of exercise.  When she was doing a class earlier in the year, close to her University on the South Coast, she did it in shorts and trainers (I think).  Now, she is doing an internship in London and when she rang to ask for details about a local class they said  ‘some of the ladies like to wear high heels’.  Do they now!  I was a little worried because even though I flung myself about in spandex à la Jane Fonda back in the day, there was never a pole in sight.  Unless you count the one holding up the pub sign where I usually ended up after class to down a swift lager and lime.  Anyway, we have communicated by text this morning and she appears to have escaped being kidnapped by shady characters and was designated as being worthy of the  ‘intermediate’ class.  Perhaps it’s best if she doesn’t get too advanced.

Anyway, when she first started this pole dancing lark, she made me laugh by telling me about hanging upside down on the pole and having to lower herself slowly to the ground and her thighs were making a loud squeaking, creaking noise against the pole as she descended which resounded around the room and that reminded me of this –

Forget all those other famous lines from classic films,  ‘Feed me –  if you dare’ has got to be my favourite.  Plus, how gorgeous is Antonio Banderas’ voice?

Talking of cats – which we sort of were – on one of my rummages recently I spotted this poster for an art exhibition.  It just gets into the ‘vintage’ category (or the American one at least), being over 20 years’ old, so I bought it for my shop but I then made the mistake of hanging it on my wall and now I just might have to keep it.

Vintage French Poster

A bit on the creepy side, I know but just look at that cat’s face.  He reminds me of my own long suffering black cat Salem.  Every summer he gets eaten by some sort of insect and his face, eyes and ears go all scabby and sore looking.  I put cream on which helps a bit but it happens every summer and, round about this time of year, it clears up and you’d never know he’d ever been affected.  It’s so bad that, if he wasn’t mine and I saw him wandering around, I would think he was a poor neglected creature with no home to go to.  As it is, if I see him and I’m in company, I just pretend not to know him which saves any embarrassment and wards off threats to report me to whatever passes for the R.S.P.C.A. around here.

Scabby CatSalem’s Summer Look -note the missing fur round eye, scabby nose and nibbled ear.

Of course, I also have a cat that looks like Shrek’s Puss in Boots

Who has also let himself go and is not ashamed to show it.

(He is alive in this photo by the way)

Back to sewing, knitting, crafting news next time but a change is as good as a rest to a blind horse as somebody who likes to mix up their proverbs might say and, anyway, I have too many projects on the go and nothing ready or worth photographing yet.

Yes, I know I should really have called this post ‘Pole Dancing And  Cats’ but that wouldn’t have sounded quite so intriguing so I sort of cheated.

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Made It, Making It, Going to Make It

tweeddressI think I told you, back in the mists of time that was 2012, I was having a dabble in a bit of dressmaking after a long time doing other things.  Well, I bought a pattern (Simplicity 2648) and some vintage tweedy stuff (it smelt and I had to wash it twice!) and I enlisted the help of my friend Sandra who is always making clothes and, anyway, has an overlocker.  I apologise for the photos but Madamoiselle Tialys the Elder is away at Uni and I had to model it myself and, as you can see, I am shy.

I was fairly pleased with how it turned out and I might even wear it in public.  I think I will use the pattern again to make another for the spring in less wintry (and smelly) fabric.  I used the rare occasion of allowing myself to be photographed to show you my gorgeous leather bag that I picked up in a flea market recently, intending to put it in my vintage shop.   Even though I don’t have that much occasion these days to carry anything resembling an ‘officey’ type bag (made up word!), it is the perfect size for an iPad, a couple of documents, a book, a wallet and a phone which came in handy when I had to go to Toulouse for an appointment the other day so perhaps I will keep it for myself after all.

Leather Satchel

I have been pondering on new things to make for my handmade shop as, although I love those  Bunny Bentos, they are a bit fiddly to make and I am getting bored with some of the other items as I’ve been making them for a few years now.  I was lucky enough to find a range of lovely Liberty Tana Lawn locally and, although the price in euros is not particularly cheap, at least there were no shipping costs.  I always feel a little guilty cutting up  Liberty fabric too small so, this time, I’ve gone in the other direction and kept it in one big piece, backed it with soft, cosy stuff, ‘quilted’ it together in a minimalist fashion and made a lap quilt, throw, baby blanket, whatever.  It’s a nice way to showcase the fabric I think and, of course, it feels lovely and buttery soft and silky on one side because of the tana lawn and cosy and cuddly on the other because of the towelling or flannel (I’m experimenting with both at the moment).

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 libertybirdsblanket

I’ve free motion quilted (new verb!) some bird shapes on the second blanket but I used an erasable marker to transfer the shape and, I must say, it is taking a remarkably long time to disappear so I am hoping it will go soon, or at least after I’ve washed it, because I am panicking just a bit.

I went through a phase recently of throwing those retro crochet blankets over arms of chairs and backs of sofas.  I am ashamed to admit I bought them rather than made them myself as I don’t crochet much – although I am going to re-teach myself soon – and they seem to sell for ridiculously cheap amounts of money considering the work that goes into them.  However, they are a magnet for cat hair and, as anybody with cats will know, those buggers are incredibly difficult to get rid of once they are in the weave.  I can never understand why they sell dog and cat blankets made from polar fleece either – same thing happens and those hairs are there for life, even after being put through the washing machine.    So, I started thinking lately that I might make a throw from good old cotton fabric and, rather than keep it upstairs away from all fur babies as I normally do, I will sacrifice it to my lounge and I am sure it will stand up much better to the occasional sleeping cat as, surely, the smoother cotton surface will be less attractive both to the hair and maybe even to the cat!

Relaxed CatHenry – Wearing His Superman Pants and Getting Hairs Into the Weave

I was thinking of something simple but then this caught my eye on the Moda Bake Shop site and it would be a perfect match for my colour scheme and look brilliant over the back of my leather sofa (even though it’s described as a wall hanging) so, after foraging on Ebay U.S. for the exact same fabric, I will start collecting newspapers and embark upon a paper pieced, patriotic, luxury cat blanket.

unionjackwallhanging

I could have gone for different colours but this one suits me fine and I want to follow that tutorial to the letter and I feel that having the exact same fabric will make it somehow a little easier!  Maybe I should get my Mum to send me a copy of the Daily Mail too so that I can follow it even more slavishly.  This tutorial was put on the Moda site by Lynne at Lily’s Quilts and, when I popped over to have a look at her blog I found lots of things to slaver over and also interesting things to read so I’m a new follower.

And no, I haven’t finished Madamoiselle Tialys the Younger’s 18th birthday quilt yet but the fabric for the Union Jack  is coming from the States so it will take a couple of weeks and, anyway I have 32 days, including today, to work on it – it’ll be a doddle!

By the way, on the vintage side of things, did I show you this wasp waisted beauty? She’s missing her stand but still a bit gorgeous.

I wondered whether she was original at first but, the wood underneath the base is very old and the découpage is a bit ‘off’ in some places which wouldn’t be there if it were a repro.  However, I do believe somebody has varnished it at some stage, presumably to preserve it better which is why it has that shine in my photo.  The date, as proclaimed just under the right armpit, is 1898. when they obviously didn’t eat anything or waists were sucked in to the size of my thigh with a corset.

Decoupaged French Mannequin

I’ve been a bit ‘diverse’ in this post but haven’t written anything for such a long time that I got carried away.

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Little Things That Fascinate

Sometimes I forget that I’m an ancient being with teenage daughters and rediscover ‘the child within’.  That or I’m becoming addled but, either way, I sometimes become fascinated with things which, of themselves, aren’t particularly fascinating really but, to me, for a while, they are.  The sort of things I mean are the things that  make me want to keep them, even though they are useless, and put them in a little treasure box or at the back of a drawer. 

My youngest daughter is still like this at 14  – she has never yet grown out of picking up stones, pieces of wood, scraps of fabric, wine corks (of which she has a huge collection – can’t think why) and depositing them in various places around her bedroom for me to find and marvel at whenever I go in there, which I try not to do too often to be honest.  It’s a health hazard.  I can’t understand her collections.  If she chose pretty stones and pebbles with different markings on them or little fossils embedded in them I could understand it but some of them look as if they’ve been picked out of a gravel drive.     Pieces of rough pine or chipboard left over from my husband’s projects find their way into her room even though, as far as I can see, they have no aesthetic value or possible use.  I suppose everybody has their own fascinations and obsessions and she must see something in these bits and pieces that nobody else can.  Either that or she is part squirrel and has an incredibly strong hoarding instinct.

Anyway, two things  have appealed to my ‘inner child” recently so, before I am forced to throw them away by somebody far more sensible (almost anybody), I thought I’d record them here.

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Rusty Nails

We live in an old, wooden beamed house  and occasionally we come across some of these old nails – or spikes really – which are rusty and bent and huge.  I don’t know what it is about them but I love them and I can’t throw them away. 

We are in a very rural area, near lots of fields and forest and there are quite a few old barns in the vicinity.  Apart from the edible dormouse (which I have mentioned in another post) I guess there must be quite few rats and mice around.  Recently my husband was taking down some old insulation in the wine cellar in order to spray for woodworm, put up nice clean insulation and board the ceiling.  In the old insulation were channels and tunnels – well, rat runs really – where generations of rats and mice had raised their families and charged up and down with food supplies.  Fortunately, all the droppings and nests were very old (phew!) but he also found some remains and, here is my second ‘can’t throw it away’ item.

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Rat Skull

 Well, I see plenty of dead rodents around the place as we have 4 cats but, there is something about bones, especially skulls,  which is fascinating.  Not that I ever want to find anything bigger than a rat skull in the insulation, but I keep looking at its teeth and the eye sockets and the bit of the spine that remains.  Am I weird?  I mean, I haven’t actually put it on show in the house or anything but I find that I don’t want to throw it away either so it’s on a shelf in the shed.

I hope we never get invaded by rats in the future as, although we have four cats and, although I see the aftermath of plenty of murderous cat activity, I can’t help wondering  whether, if a really cool, hard-man type rat came along, he would be intimidated by this sight

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Henry's Scary Look

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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