Dream Weaver Jewelry (and more!)

Just an artist making her way.


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A return to normalcy…

… is a deception!

Sassy is doing very well, though is not allowed out of her apartment enclosure just yet.

I do not, however, need to spend the entire night with her anymore!  I do need to be up late, but no longer need to spend the night awake to keep watch, then be up all day trying to get things Mom wants done out of the way when I really should be asleep.

I’ll tell you one thing: Sleep is Sweet.

Now that I am moving back to a more normal schedule, I can get back on target with things that had been thrown in the air.

My laundry’s a bit behind.  I haven’t cooked anything to tuck away for weekly meals.  I haven’t really CLEANED properly in almost a week.  Oh sure I’ve kept things from becoming disastrous, but I’ll feel better when I’ve scoured everything properly.  I’m fairly sure I’m an inch from losing a plant or two since I haven’t talked to or cared for them in a week.  My snails are out of control and my main aquarium is in need of…

I’m ahead of myself… I was supposed to explain The Army of Snails last post.
The aquarium got covered in algae.  Pinky, the Albino Corey Catfish we have in there, is unable to keep up… and the few snails we put in were little more than snacks for the Betta, Perry (Short for Perriwinkle, but we just call him whatever comes to mind – usually Fluffbutt or Hey Stupid).  So I got a few of the snails and put them in my spare 5-gallon, and let it get algae ridden… and they bred. A lot.  Thus, the Army was born.  Now I have enough snails for Perry to snack on AND to clean the aquarium!
And thus, The Army of Snails is explained.

… a water change and more snails added.

And the big one.. I have FOUR commissions, one of them past due to get done as quickly as I can.  Luckily one of them is just reproducing the final prototype, and I can get IT out the door.  One is in concept stage, and the other two are new.

With any luck, Mom will schedule these “emergencies” a little better so they don’t land on MY head and ONLY my head, while I have commissions due, when I’m already exhausted from the LAST chunk of emergencies…

In the meantime, I need to get back to work, since I mainly wanted to make sure this post got up on time (Thursday) at least day-wise, if not time-wise.

Here’s hoping my hands remember how to work the pliers as well as they did a month ago…


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When the Body says… “Nope!”

Writing this post on Monday night…

… After sleeping all day.

 

For a few weeks, as some of you may have seen on my Facebook posts, I have been on a very odd schedule.  Keeping an eye on a kitten in-and-out of heat until we can get her to the vet (which is Wednesday, the day before this post goes live) has been very taxing, since my mother wants me up doing things during the day, but reminds me to keep an eye on the cats at night.

… Wat?
That’s right, I’m supposed to be up during the day, but watch the cats all night.

Catnaps helped… but any time I took a catnap, I had to be absolutely certain that I could HEAR if a cat fight started.

… Calli (mother to Sassy, the kitten in question) has attacked her little offspring often enough that I stopped letting her out of her room.

This whole business is driving me out of my mind.  I’m up all night, but my eyes are more strained at night when I’m trying to work (though I am not a stranger to staying up all night to finish/work on projects), and when my mother gets up, she requests that I do things… which of course I do.. then I catch a couple of hours nap and resume the long night vigil (or Kitten Watch), to do it all over again.

Today, though, my body said “Enough”.  I was up all night once again, listening to and trying to soothe the kitten out of wailing, keeping Calli away from Sassy until I finally gave up and put Calli back in her room.  Monday morning was cloudy, but by 11:00 was gorgeous.  I went to take my usual cat nap until 2:00 so I could get up, photograph the stones I haven’t gotten a chance to yet (Stupid rain!), and also to do a 25% water change of the large aquarium so I can add The Army Of Snails (I’m not sure I ever explained this.. if not, I will in a later post)… and also to clean the kitchen, get some laundry done… y’know.. normal stuff.

… I woke up, with UberAwesomeBoyfriend calling my name over Skype, at 9:00 PM.  My head was killing me. My hip hurt from laying the wrong way. My leg was numb from combination ingrown-hair-gone-out-of-control aftermath (Moment of TMI – ingrown hair on my thigh turned into Boil of Doom, but has drained and is now healing) and hip hurting from laying the wrong way.

By 11, my headache started going away after I ate something, and my throat is finally starting to feel better about an hour later after several glasses of juice/water/liquids.
I am now starting to work on a soda, to see if the caffeine will help the Advil to knock the rest of the headache out.

I’m hoping that 11 hours of sleep will keep me going until Thursday at least, when we figure out just how long it will take Sassy to recover, so I can finally go back to a NORMAL schedule.

I’m a night owl, and freely admit it, but… even a night owl cannot be up all night keeping watch on cats, then be up during the day doing normal chores, as well as keep up with her sleep.

I have gotten very little jewelry work done, and it bothers me, because in the amount of time I’ve been dealing with the cats, I should have finished at least one of the commissions I have, and started on at least another two prototypes of another, plus I should have been able to finish the two windchimes I’m working on.  Then again, the windchimes went out the window (ha, no pun intended) more due to the fact that Sassy thinks they’re awesome and gets up on my workspace to bat them around.  Maybe I can finish those up while she’s recovering and too groggy to steal windchime parts/bat at the chimes/chew the hanging base…

At least I am nearly done with one of the commissions, and with luck it will be on its way to its owner within the next two weeks.
Then it is time to start concept 2 of the next commission.
And then I can begin preliminary design of the one after that.


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Gah. Kittens.

So most of you know that last August, we took in a stray calico, and said calico had three kittens.

Two of those kittens were spoken for before they were even born.

The third, we kept.

Calli (short for Calliope, and the stray Mama) is an absolutely sweet angel – provided Mom’s cat Gracie is not involved.  Gracie is a spitfire, and kind of has illusions of grandeur for a small breed.  She’s a grey tabby striped Singapura mix, so far as we can tell.  Her eyes are a giveaway, after all – that and her love of getting on the highest thing in a room in order to survey her domain, like a fluffy striped vulture. (For reference, and I might be dating myself here, but think of Snoopy doing the vulture-glare.)  Calli, having had to fend for herself, is ALSO a spitfire, and a fighter, while Gracie’s life began with back and leg problems.

If they both had claws, they’d probably kill each other; Gracie is fully declawed, Calli is front-declawed.  Midnight (also fully declawed) stays out of things and just glares at the “babies”.  She would have made a wonderful mother, if she could have had kittens.  Not that she doesn’t Mother Gracie…
Sassy, Calli’s kitten that we kept, has yet to go in for her Surgery Day – Spay/Declaw.

Now, before I get raged at for daring to declaw, Gracie and Midnight (another stray with health issues early in life) are my mother’s cats.  My mother is on Plavix.  Plavix + Claws = A LOT of blood.  We could of course have turned Midnight (a 5-week-old kitten rescued from a dumpster because her mother abandoned her for having lung problems) and Gracie (born with a bad spine, and without Mom exercising her back legs, would never have walked), and Chewy (my cat, has claws that I keep up with; I got him years before moving back with my mother, and who has a nasal condition that put him at a point of being put down if I didn’t take him… if I declawed him now, at ~10 years old, it would just be mean… so I’m careful to keep up, and even then, sometimes he still manages to catch Mom just the wrong way), and Calli (a pregnant cat who showed up on our front deck, starving and begging for food and love) away and let them die or be put down instead of living full and happy lives as spoiled feline gods.  We chose to take them in.
All of our cats are strictly indoor cats.  The most “Outside” they get is harnessed and leashed, and they occasionally come out on the front deck, with humans in immediate attendance. (Well, harnessed and leashed other than Chewy, who, though the DUMBEST cat I’ve ever known, never offers to stray from the deck, leashed, harnessed or not.)

Calli actually belongs to my niece and nephew-to-be; once they have their own place, they will take her, which will resolve the Gracie-Calli conflict.

Until then, we have to keep them separated.

For a while (during pregnancy), Calli lived her days in a cage in the living room.  Heh. Cage.  Ferret Cage rigged with a complex of boxes and hallways so she had an apartment.  In the evenings, when Gracie, Midnight and Chewy were shut away into their respective rooms, Calli got her roaming and play time before being put in the guest room overnight.  When the kittens were born, they all lived in the apartment, and Calli was brought to the guest room for play time and “OMG GET ME AWAY FROM THESE SQUEAKING HUNGRY THINGS” time, for a couple of hours interspersed through the day.  When the kittens got bigger, they were all moved to the guest room.

After the boys (the two spoken for kittens) had gone to their forever homes, Calli and Sassy continued to dominate the guest room.  When Sassy was big enough, we let her out.  Gracie didn’t think much of this.  Midnight didn’t think too much of it until she realized “Oh.. I don’t have to be Mom to this one? Okay, whatever.”  Chewy didn’t care, other than it was small, moved and whapped him on the head when it passed by him so fast he didn’t see it until it was across the room.

We thought, once the kittens were big, that Calli would be less aggressive, no longer pregnant or in “Menacing Mommy Mode”.

Hah.  Not.

There’s LESS of a head-to-head, but not by much.  Gracie is older “weak”, and Calli thinks she needs to be Alpha, being younger.  Midnight would roll her eyes if she could, and Chewy doesn’t care.

Most of the time, Calli spends in the guest room.  When Mom goes to bed around 4, she takes Gracie and Midnight with her, and Calli and Sassy get their time out.  Sassy is also often out during the day, and while Gracie still doesn’t think much of the new addition, she doesn’t attack. Midnight kind of sighs and rolls her eyes, and Chewy doesn’t care.

 

And then.. late last week, Sassy started giving us signs she was going into heat.  Usually, we spay/declaw at 6 months.  Things have been so hectic that we actually lost track of when 6 months was.

Calli began to attack Sassy.  And my sleep went out the window.

Sassy had to be kept separated from Calli, and both Mom’s cats.  Chewy, being neutered, didn’t care.. but Sassy started laying on the courtship, sending Chewy hiding.  So THEY had to be separated.

To keep “omg animal cruelty omg” to a minimum, cats were in constant shift.  Sassy stayed out overnight, Calli continued to sleep in the guest room, Gracie and Midnight continued to stay in Mom’s room over night, and … Chewy stayed in my room, but with my door open, so I could hear Sassy’s cries and make sure she had company and comfort.

 

Thus began the old “Kitten Watch” schedule.  When Calli was due, I stayed up over night to keep an eye on her, and Mom kept watch during the day.  I stayed up from the time Mom went to bed until she gets up in the morning, and slept when Mom was up.

Until we can get Sassy to the vet, we have to keep a close eye on her, and if she goes back into heat, my days and nights get reversed once again.

 

With luck, they will have an appointment open for her soon, and by that time, Mom will be used to new pain meds (but that is another story, and will be told another time).
Of course.. that means I’ll be on Kitten Watch (the name I have given my overnight vigil schedule) once more, to make sure miss Sassy-pants doesn’t pull stitches or do stupid things during her recovery.

The one ray of hope I have, is that hopefully, during her recovery, Sassy will not try to play with the glittery, shiny things I’m trying to work on.  She’s already taken apart a half-finished wind-chime, and I had to dig a wrapped stone pendant out from under the china cabinet.  From tiny-kittenhood, she has been one of those magpie types, prone to steal and walk off with things.  If she’s groggy and recovering from surgery, maybe it will calm her down so I can get something done during Kitten Watch hours!


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Now that’s out of the way…

I assume you’ve realized that this blog is about jewelry.

Not just any jewelry, mind you, but jewelry that is hand made, by me.

However, I would like to point out that this is also a move, for me, from blogger, where the format and such got to be a bit of a hassle.

Starting over fresh this Spring, I’m hoping to update with not only shiny things that I create, but I would also like to showcase others’ work, as I had done in the past – and this time, not just in a seasonal way, and as before, not just with jewelry.

My goal here is to bring the importance of hand-crated items and the quality they represent back to the foreground, as over the years, mass-produced and machine-made have become the norm in our disposable society.  There are some things that are better when made by machines, but other things that you can only find when they are created by one person, with their own two loving hands and the tools of their trade.

What you will find here:
My jewelry (of course! when I make something new, I like to show it off, of course!)
The work of others (Why just show off my work when there are lots of others out there who love what they create?)
Soapboxes (Not literally; I tend to wax eloquent when trying to educate others on the difference between hand-crafted and machine-made items.)
Random odds and ends (I am human, and I don’t just chill and make jewelry; I have other hobbies as well, as well as emotions and life events, etc.)