Hippie circles!

One of my favorite musicals is "Hair".
It was my sister's record - record as in vinyl for the younger people among us. Black, big and it was not a good thing to scratch them. My sister generously allowed me to record my favorite songs to tape.
I didn't listen to the tape today. By now I have the CDs and I have my favorite songs on my PC and my MP3 player.
I wish I could dance.
Instead I let it inspire me. There was nothing much else to do after the title song had glued itself to my brain.

Do you remember the cool tie-dye t-shirts? I had more than one and I might even still have one in my wardrobe ...

Wouldn't this pendant go great with one of them and jeans and a jeans jacket?
"Hippie circles" is made from scratch. I handformed the sterling silver wire and I filled the ring with colorful copper wire (crocheted of course!).

Peace, brothers and sisters! ;-)

Oh, and by the way, you find this pendant in my Zibbet shop.

Felt critters

No, not by me, don't you worry. I've told you before that I can't sew if my life depended on it.
But I know someone who can.

She is witty, she is funny and she makes the most hilarious felt creations.
And now you have the chance to win one of them!

Go to her blog Kitty creates and check out her giveaway!
Comment on the blog, tweet about it, blog about it and if you are the lucky winner, choose from three fun items.

But don't you dare take away my evil lemon!!! :-D


Squeaky clean

I'm not talking about myself, but about my latest project.
The hedgehogs made me taste blood, not because they got me with their (non-existent ;-)) quills, but because I feel the challenge to see what I can do.

Once more my head is full of ideas which is dangerous for the other WIPs still lying around. On the other hand I'm still on vacation which is perfect for Frankenstein experiments.
Come to life, my little creatures, mwahahaaaa!

Today's "monster" is Mr. Pigster.
Mr. Pigster has had a little too much to eat over the Christmas holidays (just like his creator) and he looks as if he is on the lookout for more with his nose in the air like that.
Unusual is that he likes to keep very clean. No mud for this piggy! And I'm sure he squeaks while I'm not around ;-)


In the garden

The first close encounter with a hedgehog that I remember vividly - except seeing them as roadkill :-( - was many years ago at our local zoo, the "Tierpark" in Göppingen. It was winter and I was mucking out the wallaby stable. Of course in the winter there is even more hay in there than during the summer to keep our little Bennetts warm. So I was there mucking along, sticking my fork into the pile of hay in the corner when the pile suddenly moved.
Of course you already know what it was, but I didn't. I have been jumped at by rats before and automatically jumped back. But instead of a rat I saw a hedgehog, quite a big fellow too. No wonder the wallabies had stayed in the front part of the stable!
We decided to make him a new nest somewhere where he wouldn't be disturbed all the time.
I can't be sure, but I like to think it was him who came back many years to spend winter at the zoo.

Then of course there was the little fellow that was brought up by Frieda, the good soul of the zoo for many, many years. When he (or she? I don't remember) was stronger, he broke out of his box every night and wreaked havoc in the kitchen. Such a small creature, but so full of energy. She must fed him well indeed!

In my sister's garden there also used to be hedgehogs every, now and then. They scared the cats sometimes when they started grunting loudly. Served the cats right, you don't disturb a couple in intimate moments, even if cats think they're allowed to intrude anywhere and anytime.

A very close encounter with a hedgehog was when we had to "rescue" one. My sister and my mother walked me home one night and there he was sitting in the middle of the street. Sis and I both have soft hearts and we were sure he was going to get himself run over. I didn't have gloves on me of course, but at last he was sitting in a garden next to the road (I was so glad nobody came out to ask what I was doing in their garden!), probably a little confused what had happened to him now.

Yesterday a dear Plurk friend who loves hedgehogs as well, wondered if I could make an ornament from wire. This was a challenge I could not resist.
I used gunmetal and ivory colored copper wire. The problem was that the ivory colored one is coated differently which means working with it is tougher. The wire also feels not as bendable as the gunmetal one. Listening to a concert of Max Raabe and his orchestra on TV helped to keep me relaxed enough to finish it.
Today I decided to try it in a different way and with bronze wire instead of the ivory one. The bronze wire also is not as smooth as my beloved copper wire and also I used smaller hooks, so it took somewhat longer, but in the end I was quite happy with the design. I think I was inspired by my Steiff hedgehogs.
I guess I'm not done experimenting yet. I need a good way to put ears and feet on there. And then there was the idea to make some farm animals .... hmm .......

Here you see them together in their little patch of (artificial) grass and flowers.


The last minutes of Christmas Day

Now I am sitting here in the dark and let my mind wander back to the last two days. Christmas Day is almost over for us here.
For me it was a peaceful Christmas. Getting together with the family, no drama, great food, relaxed talk - all around nice and perfect.
Except for the fact maybe that I didn't know what to wear to neither be overdressed nor too sloppy.

My life is not really as in the treasury I put together yesterday, but dreaming is allowed ....
By the way, there is still time to click and comment on Dressing up for Christmas!

18 more minutes for me to say ...


Santa is one day early ....

.... and he's in our kitchen!
Oh wait, I think I was wrong. That's not Santa. The tummy is right, but this one is little bit smaller.
It's Santa Greeb!

"Why has Mom closed the door? And why is she trying to humiliate me? If I just don't look, maybe she'll go away ...."

"Oh no! Where is everything?? I'm blind!! Couldn't she at least have gotten a cap my size?? I used to think she loved me ..."

"Oh yes, Mom, you are SO going to pay for this! Are you done destroying my reputation now? Why didn't you post the fun pictures you took when you tried to put this ridiculous thing on Ponder? And why don't you show them the scratches he gave to you as a pre-Christmas gift?"

No animals were harmed during the making of this post. One human was, but only to the usual degree.


Snake, chai, Christmas carols and snow

Today is the first time I really feel Christmas is near.
First I delivered a commissioned necklace, another snake in bright violet with pearly eyes, but unfortunately the color doesn't come out perfectly in this picture because I took it in a hurry before wrapping the necklace up. Then it was off to the vet's.

Since yesterday evening it had been snowing, not as heavy as elsewhere, but enough for me. Now that I'm not out in the streets (I'm really good at slipping in snow and I managed to do so five times today), I can enjoy the snow outside.

When I signed in at Etsy, T-West was just about to open, so I had to improvise and of course the first snow fall inspired me.
Have a look at The first fall of snow ..., there is still plenty of time to comment!

Now I am sitting at my desk, looking at the sugared roofs in the dusk, having my second cup of chai, I am listening to Christmas carols in different styles (just now it's a soul version), I had my snuggle time with Greebo (don't ask how I took this photo, it was tough) and I wouldn't be surprised if I turned around and saw Santa standing there.

If I didn't already have a date for tomorrow, I might just stay at home, watch Christmas movies, work on the earrings for my forum swap and soak in the atmosphere.

Over all it has been a good year so far. Most important is that I got to know a lot of people who are mostly far away, but whom I wouldn't want to miss in my life. They make me laugh, they make me mushy, they teach me things, they lift me up when I'm down (even if they often don't know they do).

Have a very "messy Kweznuz", all of you out there!
And for those that don't know the Blackadder Christmas episode - a merry Christmas!


Five gold riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings ...................

Not quite, but I couldn't resist to quote from one of my favorite Christmas songs (Twelve days of Christmas).
Four silver rings would be correct.
I think it's amazing how using different kinds, sizes and cuts of stones make each one look so different although they are all pretty much made the same way (except for the fact that I don't think it feels so good to have faceted beads in the back too, therefore I chose only to use wire there).

Here they are (and if you have a great idea for what colors or stones would look good in that design, let me know!).


A Christmas miracle! (And some hard work ;-))

You have seen parts of my desk before, mostly with a cat in the front like here. One reason for that was I didn't really want to show it to anyone.

I don't mind that it is an old dining table (this is the 20s room - yes, the rooms in this house have furniture from different decades), but I very much minded that it was a complete and utter mess.
People who know me at work are surprised how messy I can be at home. At work I would never leave notes on a desk. Things are done? Throw the note away. Two pens, one pencil and one eraser at each computer. The drawers have to hold at least two pens and one pencil, more are allowed. And could you please put the stapler right where it belongs? This is 4.349347 degrees off to the left! Do I have to do EVERYthing alone here?
OCD? Yes. At work.
Then I come home. Keys on top of the last 3 "Spiegel" that no one had the time to read yet. The new book I bought on the dining table (the real one, not my desk). Cat, get off this chair, that is where my bag goes now.
Up to my desk. Writing down things I want to transfer into the computer on little notes. You want to know why I don't do that right away? Because my desk wasn't organised which mostly wasn't even my fault. A dining table only has one drawer and the rest is in the tall guy's desk and one of the files is in his computer and I would have to turn it on (no, we can't get the file over to my computer, but that's too long a story).
Of course I always had beads on my desk as well, a lot of biz cards lying around and the odd things you absolutely need - envelopes, stamps, stapler, letter scales, books, a spool knitter, coasters, a little wooden manikin ... you get the drift.

But finally the tall guy found a little cabinet for me and now re-organising was the task of the day (and much more fun than doing the laundry).

I won't bore you with the details, only with the results.

The cabinet is from a paper merchant's office obviously, at least that is what Wikipedia told me about the name that is printed on.

My desk. Do you want to bet on how long it'll look like this? ;-)


It seems .... it seems ...

... that my life consists of train rides and incidents and even if I had not planned to come up with another story so soon again, I just can't help it.
You remember the sign on my forehead, right? "Talk to me. Ask me. I'm the expert. And nice. I'll help you and I'll understand."

But this time I didn't understand. I wanted to, but I don't speak Italian. Well, I can say scusi and trente and pizza, pasta, Napoli and Roma, grazie and molto bene, but that didn't help in this case.
And it all happened because my train was delayed and it was cold outside.
As I was too early anyway and much too early now with the delay, I went back into the station where about one million other people were waiting as well (Did you know I'm (in)famous for exaggerating with numbers? If not, now you know.). And of all these people he picked me. For my charming self, for my great looks, for standing right beside him, who will ever know? ;-)
"He" was a young man with some papers in his hand and "he" was asking me in half English, half German (? not sure about that part) if I spoke Italian. At least that was what I understood. So I told him in English that I didn't. He didn't understand. He kept asking me in this strange mix, I kept telling him I didn't. That didn't hold him back from showing me the papers. One was a reservation for a train seat and (I think) he wanted to know what it meant that it said "64 Mitte". I told him that was the number for a middle seat in a compartment. He seemed to think it was the platform number where the train left. Finally he showed me his ticket.
Oh no!! He was in the wrong town!! He wanted to travel to Italy, had had to change the train on the way and had gotten off in the wrong town! I went to check the timetable on the wall and got the next shock. There was no way he could go from here! Now how to explain that he had to go back first and take a train from there? We did a lot of stammering, holding up fingers for numbers, looking at each other helplessly. I told him by gesturing that I'd go to the service point to ask and he gestured back he'd already been there.
The clerk gave me a slightly strange look when I said an Italian not understanding German needed help. I turned around and the Italian not understanding German hadn't followed me to the service point. Oh well, he wouldn't have been of any help anyway.
She told me he needed to go back and take a train from there. I said I knew that, but if she would be so kind to print out exact directions which she did then. Of course it now was much too late for taking the train he had reserved for.
When I came back, he came up to me looking hopeful. I gave him the printout, showed him what platform and then I failed. I should have taken him to the machine myself to get him a ticket for the way and I can only hope he made it without getting into trouble with a conductor.
Granted, I was in a little hurry myself by now, but for me the next train would have been fine, for him it made a big difference. I just didn't think of it at the moment. Is it an excuse I was not really awake yet? An explanation maybe, but no excuse *sigh*
In the end he shook my hand almost solemnly, smiled at me and said "Thanks".

Another train story without an ending, sorry. I really hope he made it, no, makes it, it's a long ride and he won't be there yet.

Maybe I should take a course for important train-connected words in different languages .....


Another story by the train lady

I should have taken one "S-Bahn" (local train) earlier, I knew it. Only because I wanted to finish something, I didn't,and so I chased my delayed train out of the station instead of catching it in the nick of time.
On the other hand I would have missed something, but I didn't know that when I trotted to the next track and got on the later train. At least this one wasn't delayed.
At the first stop my sister came on the train, on the other side of the wagon. She didn't see me, but the train was too crowded anyway to find seats next to each other.

At the next station we stopped, people got off, people got on, but ... hey, we didn't move on. We stood, well, not us (except for a few luckless passengers who hadn't found a seat), but the train did. I suspected the earlier train was still in our track, but then the announcement came:
"Dear passengers, due to an emergency ... an emergency with a doctor ... a doctor who will be here soon, we can't continue our ride at the moment." Ah yes. That was an unusual announcement and don't forget I have been commuting for 23 years. Unusual was not only the fact that there had obviously something happenend ON the train, but also the way the conductor sounded.

Around me people started calling their family, others discussed the announcement. A merry group of three thought the conductor might have had a little too much mulled wine, the girl next to me thought he had sounded upset, my sister later voted for out of breath.

We waited. After a while from the corner of my eye I noticed some red and white jackets entering the train (not alone, I suppose, although THAT would have been really exciting). That was all we saw. At least after a short while the train began to move again.
Suddenly there was another announcement:
"Passengers going to Geislingen and Ulm should get off in Goeppingen. There will be a fast one - behind me."
People started giggling again. A fast "one"? I felt as if this man did that on purpose to keep us in a good mood inspite of the delay of now "circa 21 minutes" of which he hoped "we might be able to reduce it a little". What an entertainer!
Then he continued: "You know we had an emergeny in the train, an emergency ...". Here you could hear he was about to tell us what happened and ears were popping up like bunny ears. "An emergency, well, you know how that is." What?? The ears went down again. He didn't want to tell us? Of course we knew he was right, it was none of our business at all, but we happily had given away "circa 21 minutes" of our lives, didn't we deserve to know what for? Obviously not.

Shortly before Goeppingen I got up to pick up my sister at her seat. We stood together at the door when the conductor went for the final kill:
"I want to remind passengers going to Geislingen and Ulm - and only there! - to get off at Goeppingen to take the train - now what's it called again?" After a little pause he told us the train number and "it's faster". I was surprised he didn't get any standing ovations for that. Many of us were standing already, giving a little applause wouldn't have been difficult to do ;-)

Still talking about this train ride we went to my sister's bicycle when suddenly a person with her hand raised to a high five appeared behind us - sister # 3.
"Who else is for founding a fan club?" she asked and we high fived each other.
Then she told us she had been sitting in the same wagon, just on the upper deck.

Welcome the three members of the "Unknown Train Conductor Fan Club 2009"!! ;-)


They couldn't be more different

I am talking about the two necklaces I listed on Zibbet today.
It was an impulsive decision to join Zibbet, but now that I am there I try to fill up the shop a little and as I still had a few things around that only needed to be woken up from their hibernation (although it was summer and fall, but that's ok, you know what I mean), I found I like the setup.

Today I listed this "old" piece, from my early days. The colors and the beads are so bright and bold that I thought a simple design would work best.
It's from two twisted strands of crocheted copper wire and the beads are glass that is "filled" with color and glitter (now am I a glass expert or what? *lol*)
Looking at it gives you a summery feeling which is not too bad now that the days are very dark here.

The other necklace is a new one. When I got these frosted Brazilian amethysts, they made me think of frozen berries right away. Only they didn't stick together.
Compared to the other necklace this is a very feminine design. Classic understatement with a twist.

Why don't you check out my Zibbet shop?

Hmmm, those brown tigereyes on my desk .... I must have some brown wire somewhere ....



As mentioned before I am not a lonely fighter on the streets of the internet. I am member of Etsy's SATeam (Starving Artists Team) and a member of the all new and shiny ArtFire guilds Handmade in Europe and the AF Plurkies Guild. If it weren't for my great admins and fellow members (and other online friends, but this is a story for another time), I would have lost faith very quickly I guess, and I might not be here anymore. My wire would slowly tarnish in its corner and my crochet hooks would rust. The cats would take over the bead stash and ... oh, you already got the idea? Good ;-)

What is teamwork? I actually found something in Wikipedia and I quote part of the article:
Teamwork is a joint action by two or more people in which each person contributes with different skills and express his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group in order to achieve common goals. This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved harmonize their contributions and work towards a common goal.
Teamwork can be more than two people, but the importance is working as one.

Now you probably think it was unnecessary to write that down? That is something everyone knows, you think? Well, everyone might know it, but it's not easy for everyone to do it. Actually I think it's hard for most people to do it and I am counting myself in, no doubt about that. "Ah, today I don't feel like it." "Oh, there will be enough others commenting." "I am so tired." And my favorite one (NOT!): "She/He is doing such a great job, I don't feel I am needed."
That's not true. Everyone is needed. Granted, there will be days you just can't make it and it's a good thing to be backed up by others, but you have to do your part of backing up as well. That is what teamwork is about. You know what? After a while when you have defeated what we call our "inner pig dog" in Germany ;-) you'll feel so good. If you don't have that feeling you are maybe not a team player, but that's ok, we can't all be the same way, right? Most people though can contribute something to a team and if you put a whole lot of little things together, something great can develop.

Look at this example - the SATeam Wrist Candy Holiday Giveaway. Team members have each chipped in to create a beautiful bracelet that combines many different talents. Each time a new charm donated was posted, I had to hold my breath. That is what collaboration is about. This is a team bracelet, it doesn't matter who made which charm.

What are you waiting for? Check it out, there is still time till the 6th of December. And while you are at it, check out my team. They are worth it.


The big ones

Last night I was at a friend's house. It was time for a girly chat once again. Granted, those girls are not exactly teenagers anymore, but who cares? So when I came home in the afternoon today, I was tired. The laundry basket was full, but I walked around it very careful in case it would try to catch me. I also ignored the laundry upstairs that needed folding. I ignored the fact that the fridge was almost empty as I had bought some bread on the way home and this household is rarely without Nutella which means we can survive for at least two days. In case it goes faster than I think, I'll just go and raid my Mom ;-)

I checked my email, but I was even too tired to do much at the computer. Finally I turned on the TV and watched cartoons. Then I got up again to get my hooks and wire. I have a project I am working on the moment, but I didn't even feel like that. Under strict supervision of Esme I put some beads on the wire, took them back off, put others on there, played around with an idea I had had a long time ago, and wondered if the little hoops I had bought also long ago were sterling silver at all (I have to check on that tomorrow in the daylight), managed three stitches, cut the wire again - if you used a small hook, it's next to impossible to "unravel" wire - and did a lot of sighing. Then finally the moment had arrived when I gave myself one more chance before throwing in the towel. And like so often something started out as something totally different than it ended up as.

Fine silver, sterling silver (for the back) and garnet beads

Fine silber and multi-colored sapphires (the back is crocheted as well)

I am not sure yet what to do with these rings. They are prototypes and not perfect, but still I kind of like them. Keep them and try to go for better, maybe even planned versions? ;-) Offer them at a reduced price for the modern and adventurous woman? Put them on my cat's ears? Ouch, no - he is giving me the look of "Not funny, Mom. If you want some more scars, just go ahead and try."

P.S. Excuse my chubby hands in the pictures, they were the only ones I had handy at the moment ;-)


Playing with sapphires

Quite a while ago I bought half a strand of tiny faceted sapphires in all colors of the fall, orange, yellow, greenish, almost everything but blue. At that time I had no idea what to do with them. Every, now and then I took them out and waited for the muse to tell me what she wanted me to use them for.
You know my muse by now. If she is not in the mood she just stays quiet, and if she is she gets violent easy ;-)
So the last time I took a peek at the stones she told me to put them on the wire and then let her take over (she hates the part of stringing the beads first, I guess it's too boring for her). And boy, did she suddenly take over!
I had had a vague idea when I reached out for the marquise shaped closed form of silver wire and I thought about giving it some sparkle, but suddenly there was sparkle all over.

Then I remembered I still had a silver spool knit necklace and although I hadn't been happy with the last pendant I had teamed it with, in this case it gave just the right extra kick.

Now there were still a few sapphires on the wire, so when I took it out a few days later I wondered about something little that I could do with it.
Here's the result - a fine silver wire ball with polka dots. Not quite what you let your children play with. Also I doubt it'll jump very well.

This is a night picture, I hope you can imagine what it will look like in the light ....


My dragon girl has a name!

The month is over, the polls are closed and it's settled.
My dragon's name will be Tomomi from now on and just like most of you I think it suits her well.

Now it's time for the drum roll before I announce the lucky winner of the dragon's nest.
Are you ready? Are you?
Congratulations to Susan from Fantasy Clay! The pendant will go out to you in the next days.

I want to thank everybody who voted and I'm sure this is not the last we will have seen of Tomomi ....


With the nose high up in the air

Have you ever wandered the streets of your hometown with your nose up in the air? From time to time I like to do that and today was one of those times. I miss the old town.

I was born here and almost daily I see something gone. Just recently they tore down a small building that belonged to my school. It was called Lu because the entrance was on Lutherstreet. I had my English and Latin lessons there. We sat in the garden in summer and wondered what Cicero really tried to tell us. My brother called me late in the evening and yelled into the phone: "They are tearing down the Lu! Half of it is gone already!" Not that my town has ever had to offer much, it seems. Two big fires (1425 and 1782) left not many of the really old buildings and many more were replaced by what I can only call architectural sins (just my opinion), especially in the 70s, not a decade that I'd call famous for its sleek architecture. But if you look closer, you can still find charming bits around the town.

There is the private road with the cobblestones, there is the house with the old-fashioned glass part in the back or the one with the beautiful and wild garden that looks so lovely in summer. If you look a little higher, you see the old house on which side it still says in tall letters "Cheese storage", from the 1920s, I'd guess, or the one with the stained glass window showing a swan you never noticed before.
Look up there, there is still a pattern in the shingles on the roof and this house, seen from side, reminds you of old Ms. Vogel's house with the grey and white checkered pattern. She had chicken and loved children visiting her (which had probably nothing at all to do with the pattern). Where her chicken used to feed in the grass, is a parking lot now. Which one of the children walking there today to get to the half-pipe they build on the other side of the road knows that there was a little path and the "city creek" running along it?

When I walked or rather strolled home today, it was getting dark already, so I couldn't see clearly. I wonder if I had never seen it before or if I had forgotten it - the house with the bay window. There were the letters A and S and stone flowers, so beautiful even in the dark that I decided I need to come back in daylight to have a closer look. I bet there are many more of those little treasures out there, you just need the will and two open eyes to see them. I know they always make my day and put a little smile on my face, the old treasures like lovingly restored stucco on a house or the new ones like the stars in the windows of the kindergarten. The flower fighting the cold in the old cemetery that isn't used anymore, the little old lady waiting with a smile on her face while you take a picture of your school with your cell phone cam.
The angel you loved so much from when you were a small child ...

Am I nostalgic? Oh yes, I am. It's what gives me some of the strength for the modern times. And so I will walk by the cheese storage again and try to imagine what is like in those days .....


My muse has struck again!

Really I hadn't expected her yesterday. I worked on a necklace in a style I had used on other necklaces/chokers before, only in fine silver and suddenly she struck me over the head, held on to it and yelled: "Look at the texture!" What I hadn't seen during making three necklaces and two bangles was that it seemed like snake skin. Now I know many people have a hard time with snakes and I also would prefer to not be bitten by one, but still I think they are beautiful animals. Also a friend who happened to be there at the moment when I noticed said the same thing. My muse laid back happily. She thinks it's enough to have an idea and leaves how to realize it to me. The head was not that much of a problem, but as I was already past the part where I could have put a clasp, I needed some idea how to close the necklace. I "filled" the silver tube with a wire that is sturdy enough to hold the shape and still bends, so now you just put the ends together and voilà!
It's not in my shop yet as I didn't take pictures today, but it soon will be.

Not only my patience was on ground level at that time, but also my wrist (we talk about almost 10 hours in two days). So I decided to take it a little easier today. Usually I don't talk about work on this blog and I won't start that now. All I want to say is that last week was my boss' birthday, but she was away on vacation. She said she'd like some flowers, so I told my coworkers I would make a little extra beside the bouquet she will get. I thought some roses in one of my wire crochet baskets might be nice, so I set to work and here is the result.

I so hope she will like them! (And I so hope I found at least most of the cat hairs! Esme just walked by without even touching the clay and everything was covered, ugh.)


I'm sorry, Esme

It would be wrong to think that Ponder is the only psycho cat in this house.
His sister Esme (Terry Pratchett fans might know her full name is Esmerelda Weatherwax) comes close, even if she doesn't have "Da Voice". She's a girl after all and while Ponder is the yodelling expert, Esme has a wonderful squeaking soprano.

There are two situations in particular that make her show her diva's abilities.

The first one is when I take pictures on the chest of drawers in the tall guy's "playing room". For some strange reason she can live well with me taking pictures somewhere else, but although she likes to sit on the chest without getting angry or anxious, she comes running from downstairs (!) as soon as I set up something there. I haven't found a reason yet, but it makes her downright aggressive sometimes!

The second one is when I whistle. She can't stand my whistling. Today I was sitting at the computer, listening to music, one of my favorite songs came up and since I lost half of my singing voice (the high-pitched notes), I whistle more than I used to. Mistake! Lady Es came running upstairs and squeaked the second voice to the song in utter despair. When I didn't stop right away, she bit me. Not the kind that hurts, but the kind that says "Stoooooooooooop, please!! My ears!!"

Now all I want to know is - why doesn't she do that when Kyu Sakamoto is whistling in his song (that I was listening to)??? Feel free to comment on this .......


It was bound to happen

Haven't heard a Ponder story in a while, have you? Well, here is one, but I have to tell it in a very low voice as I don't want him to hear it. He might get embarrassed and I don't want that because I love my crazy cat very much.

Sunday evening often is time for me to relax once more before the weekend has gone by and what do I like to do for relaxing (besides playing with wire)? Lying in the tub with a book (Linda Fairstein this time), looking forward to my handmade soap (pomegranate this time), listening to music (none this time, I forgot) and trying to keep Esme from drinking the water. For some reason she likes my Dr. Hauschka baths that I got for my birthday.

Ponder also is a regular guest at the tub. He likes to jump into the corner, tries to conquer the mountain that is our taps without slipping, hanging his tail into the water and telling me stories while doing so. He hadn't done it for months, almost years, it was enough for him to walk the shower screen. He loves the adventure.
Today he sat in the corner, though. He played with the water a little and next thing I saw was bottles with shower gel and soap swimming in the water next to my cat. I think he had slipped on the soap dish.
Amazing was how cool he still was, he didn't panic at all and probably he wouldn't have needed my help at all. When I dragged him out and put him outside the tub, he only shook a little and then walked off with all the dignity he could bring up. Others of my cats get hit by a drop of water and start licking like crazy. Not Ponder. He came back into the bathroom after a while, jumping on his usual spot beside the washbasin and only licked a little. I swear he looked as if he was wearing sunglasses, my Mr. Stibbons.

Oops, he is coming up to visit .... shhhhhhh!!


European ArtFire guild giveaway!

And here it is! The Christmas giveaway from the European Artfire guild. For the past couple of months we have been working to put together the collection of goodies you can see in the picture below. There are hairpins and hairclips, some holiday themed glasswork beads, a shawl, gorgeous jewelry, Christmas decoration, a pair of ladies' fingerless gloves, a christmasy box and I bet I forgot to mention something.

If you want a chance to win all these lovely handmade goods from Europe all you need to do is write a comment to our guild blog, you can even get your name in the hat twice if you blog or twitter or help us promote this giveaway in any other way. So be sure to let us know.
We will ship to anywhere.

On the 27th of november we will ask random.org to pick us a winner.
Please don't forget to provide an e-mail address you regularly check when you comment so we can contact you for your home address if you turn out to be the lucky winner.

Participating artists:

Jane from http://loopylou.artfire.com/
Bernadette from http://berniolie.artfire.com/
Alison from http://thesheriffsdaughter.artfire.com/
Neki from http://nekidesu.artfire.com/
Jenny from http://jennykarlssondesign.artfire.com/
Wendy from http://eddyspressies.artfire.com/
Helen from http://kittyballistic.artfire.com/
Cat from http://catswire.artfire.com/
Susanne from http://BabsBeadsandDesign.artfire.com/
Mary from http://truecolours.artfire.com
Liesan from http://ignisfatuus.artfire.com/


Letting the week pass by in my memory

This wasn't one of my best weeks. Nobody's fault, there are just times that stress me out easier than others.
It was a mixture of a cold coming and going, dry lips (yes, that IS a problem if it starts to keep you from smiling or eating because it hurts), not enough people at work, a "neglected email" list that goes from here to Saturn, five million WIPs at home, items waiting to be photographed, darkness when I came home (bye bye, "summertime") and two more highlights I want to tell you about.

Number 1 - how to lock yourself out

1. Take a camera, a Christmas ornament and your keys and go outside to catch the last light of the day
2. Be sure to not wear a jacket because you only want to be outside for a few minutes
3. Take pictures on various plants and surfaces
4. Go back inside, only to see a plant in front of the downstairs neighbors' door that looks perfect for one more picture
5. Go back outside to throw something into the trash can, taking the ornament and the camera with you
6. Reach into your jeans pocket to notice you forgot the keys beside the plant IN the house
7. See that the door closed
8. Ring the neighbors' bell just to see they are not home
9. Decide to wait for the tall guy (you can insert whatever matches for you) and feel it getting colder
10. - 29. Take silly pictures of yourself until it is too dark for that, afterwards delete them because you look like a creep
30. The tall guy arrives after 45 minutes. You go upstairs and jump into a HOT bubble bath and go to bed afterwards

Number 2 - take the train to Beimerstetten

1. Make an appointment for dinner with a friend
2. Take the train and get your feet trampled by a 4 - 5 year old girl whose grandmother is worn out by the day and won't tell her not to play standing on other people feet (not even after you carefully dare to bring up the topic)
3. Shortly before the train reaches your station, listen to the train conductor telling you you all have to get off at Beimerstetten (2500 inhabitants, I checked in Wikipedia) and from there buses will pick you up - reason: an accident in the next station
4. Call to get picked up by car
5. Get off the train with hundreds of other people who gather in a large crowd in front of a pathetic little station building (sorry, but I doubt that station has ever seen so many people)
6. Come to the fun part - talking with fellow victims, for example the guy who tells you he just made it home from Madagascar without any delay and "now I am standing here in BEIMERSTETTEN". He was surprised that nobody came running out of the house to take the chance and offer coffee and sandwiches ;-)
7. Really enjoy the talk which makes waiting much easier, then see the car pulling up and say you are going to leave now.
8. Listen to an incredulous "you won't go and leave us here now", get into the car and wave while driving by. Ok, I'm not sure if that was taken the way I meant it, but I felt the urge to wave goodbye, just to the people I had talked to.
9. Warm up in the car!!

There were some nice events, though.
You know I still have my giveaway going (have you voted yet and commented yet?) http://catswire.blogspot.com/2009/10/help-me-name-my-dragon.html) and this week two more giveaways started, from my Etsy's SATeam and from my ArtFire guild. Check them out, they are worth it!

As for new items, I must disappoint you. No pictures yet, but I really hope you are looking forward to the ones coming up soon!


Etsy’s Starving Artist Team Wrist Candy Holiday Giveway and Sale!!

Take a look at this amazing collaboration of SATeam members! This holiday themed charm bracelet could be yours. You want to know how?

If you buy something from one of the participating shops on Etsy, your name will be included in the drawing and maybe you are the lucky one to wear this bracelet on YOUR wrist soon!

The SATeam Holiday Sale begins today, October 26, 2009 and continues through December 6, 2009.

You'll find a list of the participating shops at the Starving Artists blog. You can also find holiday sale items on Etsy by searching for sateamwrist.
During this special promotion I'll put in a little surprise gift with each bought item.


Christmas - already??

My goodness, are we really that close to Christmas already? Today my coworker told me she already has bought my present weeks ago (that's what I called prepared!), the stores don't play Christmas music, but ginger bread is offered in abundance and we just put up the Halloween decorations at work yesterday!

But to be true, I am getting ready as well. I ordered some wire a while ago (from my favorite place) and just had to play with colors. I am not done yet!
The idea developed from my ball pendants and the baskets, it grew, the hooks became bigger, I needed more hooks, I played, tried and experimented and suddenly I had a Christmas ornament I was happy with.
This is just a part of all the colors available, I'll keep you up-to-date here when adding new colors or even combinations.

And now they were featured in this great treasury, Ornament time! Yay! Thanks, Cindy!!


Help me name my dragon!

This morning I saw her again.

She wasn't hiding and she had brought me a new nest.

I guess that means she is going to stay and that means she needs a name now. I asked my friends and my coworkers, I played around with a dragon name generator one of my Plurk friends recommended and still I can't decide.

I need your help and you shall not go unrewarded, well, at least not the winner. You will get five names that have come from different sources. There would have been so many more I liked, but five it is now. Pick your favorite. The majority will then decide what name my girl will carry from now on.
I will then randomly draw a winner who will get the latest little dragon nest!

Poll will be open for a month, so the nest will definitely arrive in time for Christmas.

And go! Please don't forget to comment, so I'll know who voted and can draw a winner!

By the way - if you like my dragon girl (and how couldn't you??), you should really go and check out the shop and blog of ColtPixy. She is one talented lady with polymer clay and it's her merit the dragon flew to my house! ;-)


Crawly creeper in my house

I like spiders, I really do. They are beautiful creatures, they are talented little artisans and even if I wouldn't want to meet one as big as Tarantula (there is nothing like old b/w movies with great special effects ;-)), I like watching them. I have watched them spinning their webs for hours.

I have owned spider earrings before (now where did they go?), I have a beautiful huge rhinestone spider brooch that lost one leg, though :-( and soon I hope to impress my coworkers with my new beaded spider hairpin.

So when I saw these coasters from Auntifrannis Sunny Days Embroidery, I was smitten at once.

And do you want to know the coolest part? The spider is glow-in-the-dark! Since I still didn't get a black light, I finally chose to take pictures in the dark. You will forgive the quality (of the pic!), I hope. At least you'll get the idea.
I love my coasters so much that I almost feel bad about using them now!

Check out Franni's shop, she has so much more cool things to offer. I know I will be stopping by in time for Christmas!