Welcome from Crafty Chicita

A big welcome to old friends and new. Follow my crafting adventures as I take you on a journey through the daily life of a creative crafter. Experience the successes and disappointments that are all part of my working day, but most of all, enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Woozle Revisited

Well, what a first week in the Robins household Dinah formerly known as The Woozle formerly known as Dinah has had. She broke out in eczema last Tuesday as well as sharing her fleas with me, so the little critters were zapped straight away. She decided to go on a nil by mouth diet last Thursday and not a drop of food or liquid passed her lips, despite my best efforts. I offered her different flavours, textures and shapes, but no yummy morsel would tempt her to eat. She was wafer thin and looked as though a gust of wind would blow her into the air.

The fabulous heat wave arrived in Manchester on Friday and the sun enticed her into the garden. Initially she had me attached to a piece of string so I couldn't escape or get lost, or so she thought, but after half an hour I was realised from my bonds and allowed to make earrings while following her around the garden (not an easy thing to do, I can tell you, but said pair of earrings were promptly sold).

But the crash diet continued despite the heat. So, on Saturday night, when I was at my wits end after a very tiring but successful day at a craft fair, I told her to buck up her ideas or else it was back to the cats' home. Well, who ever knew that cats understood every word! Sunday morning found her making up for lost time, and she has been stuffing her cute little face ever since and gaining weight.

It's not all good news though. This morning I felt the biggest lymph nodes in her groin and whisked her off to the vets, to discover that the poor little lamb had extremely inflamed gums and a full set of bad teeth, all of which need to be extracted next week. A shot of antibiotics and one of steroids has boosted her no end, so at least I can understand the super-model diet phase she had adopted.

Despite the discomfort she must be experiencing, she has her own bolt hole, my tee shirt cupboard, where she disappears to when it all gets too much, although she hasn't gone there since her treatment this morning. She is settling in well, knows her way around the garden and loves hissy-spitting at Zebra and Dolphin whenever she gets the chance. Dinah the Woozle is in residence.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

City of Green

I bought a bike last week, mainly for my daughter to cycle to school on, a round trip of only one mile. On Thursdays she walks to school as she has a trumpet lesson, and so that lovely bike was just sitting there this morning looking forlorn and dejected. I have not cycled for around 25 years but let's face it, it's like ... well, it's like riding a bike. You never forget how.

I live in the suburbs of Manchester, the second largest city in the UK. I'm only 3 miles from the city centre which I avoid like the plague, but only half a mile up the road from my house is the Fallowfield Loop, a stretch of converted disused railway line that runs for miles and miles. This is where I headed this morning on a gloriously warm and sunny day, and this is what I found.

The peace and quiet was amazing. A few people were out walking their dogs and several retired gents were cycling the route. I met a lovely chap with his two small dogs and we got chatting. Turns out he is a creative type, writing, painting, alternative lifestyle and very interesting brain. Manchester never ceases to amaze me. How green is my city!

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Woozle Has Landed

In early December my lovely cat Norman died of stomach cancer, leaving his mum, Zebra, and his brother, Dolphin, searching for him for days. Eventually they cosied up together for a long cold winter. It seemed odd to only have two cats to feed. I've been known to have as many as five at one time, and so my daughter and I decided to visit the local cat sanctuary a couple of days ago and adopt an adult rescue cat. Off we toddled with the intention of bringing home an adult male or even a squeaky little kitten.

Well, the best laid plans of mice and Chicita are always altered by fate, and despite an overwhelming choice of both kittens and adults, it was we humans who were chosen by one lovely female. I was kneeling on the floor as she was let out of her pen, and she promptly made a bee line for my lap and settled herself down. Utterly confused after spending 2 hours getting to know all the cats on offer, and having not even spotted this quiet and gentle mass of black fur in a large pen on the floor, we rushed home to check that daughter's bedroom door closed properly, downed a cup of calming tea and pelted back to the cats' home, keeping our fingers crossed that she hadn't been whisked away by one of the many people perusing the feline collection.

The cat formerly known as Dinah is now officially called The Woozle, a never yet seen but most definitely existing weasel-like character from the Winnie The Pooh stories. Woozle settled in to her new room immediately, drank 12 gallons of milk, ate a few cat bikkies from our hands and settled down in a ball on the bed for the night.

How she could have been named Dinah, heaven only knows. This beautiful and graceful cat has eaten hardly anything since she has been here and is far from a diner. In fact she reminds me of a size zero super model who claims to have overeaten when offered a second lettuce leaf.

It's early days still, and she has just had her first grand tour of the house, met the other guys and done some amazing throaty gurgles. Her vampire-like fangs are huge, especially when she screws up her face to do the hissy fit thing. Zebra and Dolphin are not finding her a threat. After all, she is nothing but a small fluff ball that can't weigh more than an ounce or two.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Twinkle Toes

Every morning this week I've leapt out of bed to find the sun shining on my beautiful garden. Once my daughter has been fed and watered and has set off for school, I get stuck into a few writing briefs (my proper job) in the hope of getting outside and sitting at the table to make some jewellery before lunch time. However, the best laid plans of mice and women are always scuppered by some force greater than that of the mere mortal, and that big glowing ball of light in the sky miraculously runs and hides just as I'm switching the laptop to hibernate mode. Is this one of Sod's Laws or are the elements programmed to annoy? Another of Sod's Laws is the one that states that ten minutes after the entire contents of a washing basket is pegged to the washing line and the washing maid is comfortably esconced behind a bar of chocolate and steaming mug of tea, subtle drops of rain begin to fall, and go unnoticed by said servant for at least an hour before she scuttles outside to find a dripping mass of washing that is now wetter than it was when first pegged out!

Let's get optimistic about the great British summer, shall we? I have high hopes for summer 2010. It's been one hell of a cold winter. My five huge hebe shrubs will flower no more, devastated by the snow fall and persistent frosts. In the fifteen years that I have lived in my house I have never lost a single plant to the cold. So, seriously cold winters usually mean seriously hot summers.

Let's cut to the chase here. My witterings about the weather must be leading to something, I hear you mutter impatiently. Here's my suggestion. When the heat begins to rise, go barefoot whenever you can. Stroll around the garden without shoes, wander the house with your tootsies exposed. Barefoot life is so good for your feet, and strengthens the calf muscles. Now, I find that feet are not the most beautiful body parts but when appropriately decorated they can be turned into sexy features in an instant. What they need is a pair of Summer Barefoot Thongs, a kind of combination of toe ring and ankle bracelet. I first discovered these in my teenage barefoot hippy days, when my girly posse and I lurked around Fog Lane Park in Manchester, hoping to see the eye candy of the day, commonly known to us as the pink shirt gang. Man, those boys were cute! Shoeless and with black and green striped painted toe nails our feet caused quite a stir.

This fabulous foot bling can also be worn on your beach holiday as you dance across the sand at dusk, or for doing barefoot exercise like yoga, tai chi and Nia. If you haven't heard of Nia, watch this space as I intend to write an article about that very subject soon. Oh, and did I mention that these lovelies are available in my Folksy shop for only £13.50?