Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Isolde and Dottee

Steve and I scooped up these two lovely girls yesterday after they came down with colds at the shelter. Isolde had just had her surgery, and Dottee couldn't go (because of her cold.) Once again, we saved some furry little lives. They're doing great, and I thought I'd share pictures. I may already have a home for Isolde with a customer here at the shop! I'm trying to get together a group of volunteers for a Sneeze Brigade; fosters who are willing to take in these dogs and cats who just need ten days on an antibiotic in order to survive. No takers yet, but lots of friendly support.

This is Dottee. She's a grey and coral-pink calico with olive-colored eyes. She's a chunky gal (there's just more of her to love.) She's very happy to rub her face on my legs, and she's got a quiet calm manner about her.

And this is Isolde. She walked into our house last night, checked out the joint, then found a nice spot on Steve's lap while he watched Storage Wars. She's very lean and lanky and is kind of a seal point/tabby mix -- silver with blue eyes. She loves to knead her tiny little feet on anything soft, and she spent the night resting comfortably on the pillow in our guest room.

Wren's new owner, Sharon, wants to express her thanks for all of your good wishes. Steve and I drove him half-way to Pensacola and got to meet his new family -- Sharon, and her daughter and her mother. There was some discussion about what to name him, but they decided on "Tabasco." Sharon reports he's doing great in his new home; he's found the food and water no problem and loves to snuggle at night.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Azrael (aka Zee Zee)

This is Azrael. I didn't take this lovely picture; it was taken by one of the volunteers of the Pet Photography Project at Southern Pines. Azrael came home with us on Wednesday, because she developed a little cold. Standard protocol at the shelter is to euthanize cats with colds, due to space restrictions (they don't have the room to treat a cat for a week and a half) and fear of spread of infection (these colds are very catchy, and sometimes can wipe out our entire cat cottage.)

She has just been fixed and is a lovely girl. She's got long pretty fur, a white chin and bib, and white socks. She was trapped outside, but I am thinking she had to have been someone's cat, because she came to our house and immediately acted right at home, finding a great spot on the couch to hang out. She's very affectionate with a nice, loud rumble of a purr, and gets along well with our other cats. She does like to be held and be close to people, so I know she's going to make a great pet for someone.

("Azrael" was Gargamel's cat in The Smurfs and is also the archangel of death...yikes! This morning I started calling her Zee Zee, which seems a little more friendly.)

The shelter estimates Azrael is a year and a half old, so her adoption fee is $50.00. That helps cover her surgery, rabies shot, microchip, and health and temperament evaluation. If you or someone you know is interested in adopting Azrael, contact me by e-mail at

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kitten update

You may remember we adopted out Fargo two days before Christmas...he is settling in at his new place and getting bigger already! His name is Dexter now, and in addition to being "a major snuggle monster" to new mommy Sam, he also tipped over the fish bowl and ate her fish. She said he's very happy and loving. Aw!

In other news, we came home with a new foster cat yesterday. She had been to surgery, and was set to go to PetSmart, but had come down with a cold. Unfortunately, that's usually a death sentence, due to space issues at the shelter. FORTUNATELY for Azrael, we just happened to be walking by the right people at the right time, and we scooped her up. I'll post a picture tomorrow, but I will tell you she is grey with a white bib and chin and a tiny sliver of white on her forehead. She's a long-haired beauty, about a year old, who is SO loving and sweet. I'm hoping maybe we can find her a home here from someone reading the blog (hint hint) or on the Southern Pines Animal Shelter web page. I've only heard her sneeze a few doesn't seem very serious, but we're going to keep an eye on her for a few days.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Blog

Just a quick announcement. I started another/new blog this morning for Raise the Roof Designs. The first post includes some big news about Raise the Roof...some pictures...and some dorkiness/humor. Find me at

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jane Pattison Thread Pack

I'm very busy getting ready for Nashville Market/Market Season -- my friend Kathy is very busy stitching on Jane Pattison's reproduction sampler! This is being stitched with The Gentle Arts WOOL threads on 32 count Vintage Navy Bean by Lakeside Linens. You will be able to substitute The Gentle Art cottons...the names are all the same. But the original was stitched in wool, and Kathy tells me it's looking really awesome in the wools.

The Gentle Art will be doing pre-packs of the threads for this sampler; we do not know yet how many skeins will be in it or the price, but if shops are thinking they'll pick some up at market, Jim said you can let him know at The Gentle Art how many, and that way he can make sure to have enough to fill market orders.

I CAN tell you the colors of the wools/cottons (but again, I do not know yet the amounts):
  • Tea Rose
  • Chives
  • Harvest Basket
  • Faded Rose
  • Maple Syrup
  • Baked Clay
  • Schoolhouse Red
  • Terra Cotta
  • Parchment
  • Old Purple Paint
  • Soot
  • Barn Grey
  • Cidermill Brown
  • Forest Glade (I do know you will need a LOT of this color)
I am also designing the new Jenny Bean Gentle Spring Sampler. It's LOVELY so far and is in beautiful soft and gentle springy (think antique spring) colors. The fabric is 32 count PLATINUM Belfast linen, but Navy Bean in Lakeside would make a nice substitute if you prefer hand-dyed. This will also be going in a Family Tree Co. (a.k.a. Crescent Colours) frame.

I will release more information as I have it, and yes, sneak peeks will eventually come your way.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Great news for Wren

He's going to be a Florida Orange (Cat)! One of my customers/blog followers from Pensacola, Florida is adopting Wren. She's got three teenagers and three other cats. She said they fell in love with his little face, and her daughter has already called snuggle-dibs at night time with sweet Wren.

Wren is feeling fantastic -- on top of everything else this last week, I took him to the vet to get his ears checked, and he had mites. Now that he's been treated for all of his woes, he's a new man and gained SEVEN ounces between Friday and Tuesday! I can practically hear him growing. He's an affectionate and happy little guy, and I am so glad to know he's going to be part of a loving family with a few cat friends to boot. Hooray!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

He's baa-aack!

I received a phone call from the shelter on Friday afternoon wondering if I could pick up Wren. He's sick, she said. Upper respiratory.

A simple cold can be a death sentence for a cat at the shelter, where there is little room to treat an illness for a few weeks while the sweetie gets better. Of course, I went and picked him up right away. I had dropped him off a week and a half before that, thinking he would go for surgery and then be adopted.

Well, that poor baby was crying, and had ringworm in four or five places, and a few fleas, and a cold, and his eyes were all crusty and swollen. And he was dehydrated and hungry. I thought, good golly, what have you guys been doing with this poor baby for ten days? He hadn't gained one ounce! I went and checked in the kitten cottage, and everybody there was fat, happy, and healthy. I just decided Wren has delicate sensibilities...a "Prince and the Pea" type situation had developed, and he needed some good loving in a proper home.

Luckily, I had my carrier in the car that afternoon, and so I scooped up Wren and started driving home. Within a few blocks, he was scratching at the carrier door and reaching his poor little paw out as far as it would go and meowing and meowing. At the next stop light, I unlatched the gate, and that pitiful orphan leaped into my lap and started rolling like a crocodile, over-and-over-and-over. Purr, purr, purr, said Wren, and he was practically saying: "I thought you'd NEVER come back!"

So, we got home, and he ran right to where the food goes when it's time to eat. I put out a tin of chicken, and he wolfed down a bunch of it, drank for a while from the communal water bowl, everybody gave him a good sniff, and then it was bath time. I used a couple different types of soap, then dried him off in a big old towel. And I put ointment on his ringworm (which isn't really a's a fungal skin condition). And I cleaned out his ears really well and scrubbed all the crusties out of his eyes. I picked the fleas off his belly. We all loved on that kitten for the next few hours, and he curled up in bed next to Steve that night, and wouldn't you know it, he already looks good-as-new.

We'll have Wren for another week while he finishes his antibiotic, and then I'm hoping a Facebook campaign will help him find a home, so he can skip going back to kitty "jail." He just likes to be pampered, that's all. He's going to be a big old orange cat who likes to sleep on laps, and I know he'll make someone a wonderful pet. How lucky we get to borrow him for a little while longer.

(P.S. If you want to see what Wren looks like, take a peek at my previous blog post.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An angel, a bird and a girl

Some announcements today... (oh, and happy new year, by the way.) I had a nice Christmas with my family, a nice 21st anniversary the day after Christmas, and a nice case of strep throat and a cold virus on the 27th. I'm finally feeling better, but spent my week off sleeping, sneezing, coughing and dripping. That's how it goes!

This is the first in a monthly set of angels I'm releasing via Raise the Roof Designs this year. Above is February's angel which can be purchased as a graph from me (or through your local shop, which can get the designs from my distributors). OR, you can get it as a monthly offering as a complete kit with the custom-cut 30-count hand-dyed linen, enough threads, buttons and pins (JABCo) to finish for $35.00/month. You do not have to sign up as an auto -- you can pick and choose the ones you like, but if you get them all, the last one is free! They will all be about six by six inches (finished). This first one was fun, and I am looking forward to filling up your stitching baskets with 11 more!

Wren isn't really a bird -- he's a kitten we took care of for a few weeks in December. He's back at the shelter now -- I thought he was heavy enough for surgery, and although he was scheduled, he was slightly under the required weight last week, so they're beefing him up a little. I thought I'd share a picture. He is a great little guy. We're taking a kitten break for right now. The litters aren't coming in like they had been, and our cats need respite from the kitten storm. They have all been very lovey-dovey with us and with each other. They need some TLC, and things are definitely quieter for the time being.

And here is a PIECE of the Elizabeth Milner sampler from 1848 that I bought about two years ago for about $125.00 from eBay-UK. From now through June, you can collect one part per month to stitch the entire sampler by purchasing something at Shakespeare's Peddler. Get on an auto, or talk to me if you want to set up some orders over the next six months to make sure you don't miss out on one part of this band sampler. I am not showing the entire sampler now...but I will tell you there are squirrels and owls at the bottom...some strawberries...and a verse about how a good woman should be seen and not heard! Well! I will be releasing the piece for SALE as a full chart in a year's time, but you can get it stitched long before anyone else can find it, can't you?