Soft, Cuddly, and in Need of a Furever Home

 Soft, Cuddly, and in Need of a Furever Home

Penny Tabitha Tortellini

  Seven years ago I lost my adopted feral tortie cat, Penny Tabitha Tortellini (named by the kind staff at the rescue society). Her name was probably a tribute to her copper coloring and tortoise shell tabby breed. I didn’t change a single one of her nine syllables, though often she was just Sweet P.

  When I decided I must have a cat, I asked the owner of a nearby rescue group to show me a kitty who needed a quiet home with one adult. The owner readily took me to see Penny who was housed in a cubby with one other cat. Immediately, Penny seemed to know I would be her momma. Though normally mistrusting of strangers, she readily came up to me to have her head rubbed. In subsequent visits Penny would walk on top of her cubby-mate to greet me.

  Penny wasn’t quite ready for a home when I met her, but that was fine as I had to move to a townhouse where cats were allowed. Even our timing seemed to say we were meant to be a pawsome pair. Penny was with me for thirteen years and never got accustomed to strangers, but she was a sweet girl with velvety soft fur.

  Sadly, at age fourteen, Penny developed diabetes and didn’t make it through the year. As any pet owner who has experienced the loss of a furry family member, I was heartbroken. As I mourned, I decided to let the universe send my next cat—maybe a stray at the doorstep, hiding under the car, or some other happy blessing.

  After three days of crying and without a fur baby to shower love on, I was tired of waiting for the universe to get its act together! I went online to view cats up for adoption at the same rescue facility where I’d found Penny. This time I hoped for a gray cat and found a picture of an adorable one named Bridgett.

Bridgett, aka Bridgie

  Bridgett was the purrfect reminder of the Rainbow Bridge that pets are said to cross to heaven. When I met Bridgett in person, it was even better. She was not just a gray cat, but a torbie, which is a tortoise and tabby mix--a great bridge from my first kitty love to my second. 

  Bridgett had come to the shelter with three kittens, all of which were adopted but no one wanted the mother. Of course, I would be the one to give her the loving home she deserved as much as her kittens did. At one and a half years old, she wasn’t much more than a kitten herself.

  Bridgett doesn’t mind strangers and is a happy, healthy little girl of seven and a half pounds. She vocalizes several different sounds from purrs, meows, and chirp-like noises. I may be biased, but she’s so adorable that vet visits take a little longer because the staff all like to have a cuddle session with her.😀

  Though they never met, both of my little girls loved resting under the Christmas tree. Penny liked to snack on the lower branches, while Bridgett likes ribbons on presents. But neither one climb the tree or break any ornaments. They are both pawsome!



December Wrapping Up December



Stenciled, inked, and stamped

 December saw a continuation not only of holiday card making, but other crafts as well. As always, I didn’t get as much done as I’d planned due to a short illness. Doesn’t something always mess up holiday plans? (Note to self: this is why you plan further ahead!)

But, no time for digression, Christmas is coming! Lots of wonderful cards got made thanks to the Cricut. Frustrated with the lack of options on the Cricut site, I searched online for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files for Christmas cards. I was not disappointed! Here is one of my favorite, whimsical cards in a gate-fold style.
Another style of card I like to make uses patterned paper. This design allowed me to incorporate five different specialty papers. A Facebook group I follow had many wonderful examples of cards using patterned papers and unique folded cards. I found plenty of inspiration!

Because I had so many new designs I wanted to try, I ended up with just one card of each type--Cricut, patterned papers, and stamped. No one will be getting mass-produced cards from me this year, nor did they last year.

I made way more cards than I know people to send them to, which begged the question “What to do with extra cards?” My husband came up with a great suggestion to send them to nursing staff at our local hospital. We can drop them off at the visitor information center to be distributed to different floors.

Mint soap
Cards weren’t all that I worked on. I’m really happy with the mint and orange soaps I made for family.
In addition to cards and soaps, this year I tried my hand at a soup mix in a jar. The mushrooms I grew and dehydrated over the summer are part of what make this homemade gift special. 
I had one success at making ornaments (I don't sit still long enough for hand-sewing projects). So I'll end this post with a gold star. 😊




Time to Make a Mess. . .I Mean Make Cards!


The Christmas Card Crafting Kit

It's that magical, wonderful time of year--Christmas card creation! Otherwise known as the season the craft room looks like a blizzard blew through. 

To get started this year, I ordered my first card kit from Stampin' Up. I was impressed with all that came in it. There are enough goodies to make ten cards from two different bases, including decorative envelopes.

Cue the Christmas music and let's get started!

There are several videos that show what you can do with the card kit, but I went straight to an original design. Here, the silver border accents the silver Noel sentiment, and I love the curved front of the card that reveals the stamped row of trees on the inside.

In addition to the kit, there is also the Cricut library of cards. I've already made two cards using a new foiling tool I bought over the summer, and I'm very happy with the results. 


How about a pop-up card? Yes, this actually folds flat for mailing. It's another one done with the Cricut. I'm hoping the recipient is as happy with it as I am.

Here is another Cricut design I love. It has multiple layers of snowflake cut-outs that look like decorated cookies. Yumm!


Though I've saved so many card designs on my Pinterest board that I still want to use, I also took advantage of a two week online class featuring various techniques for making Christmas cards. Each day had two different instructors showing their card variations along with tips for using the materials.

Here are two techniques I learned in the classes that use an embossing folder with foil and ink blending. 


Card making will continue for the next month and I'll share more creations next month. I have another kit on its way and I can't wait to enjoy more time in the craft room!











My Two Craft Rooms




We recently organized our craft room in preparation for the holiday season. I love that the crafting table now has so much more space for working on projects. All of our inks, papers, stamps, vinyls, and embellishments are together in drawers, on shelves, and in paper cubbies.

Fall is also the time of year I'm busy in the kitchen making jams, applesauce, apple butter, herbal salt, and my husband's favorite, fruit cobblers. I try variations on old recipes and some new to me, making the kitchen what my husband refers to as my tastiest craft room.

I am so happy to grow and cook good food for us. I mentioned to a friend at work that I’d planted cabbage for the first time and he introduced me to the ease of making sauerkraut. Not only did I find out it is extremely simple, but it is a fermented food that has great health benefits.

Since my cabbage won’t be ready for six to eight weeks, I purchased a bag of coleslaw mix and added a bit of jalapeño pepper from the garden. This video provided easy instructions, and in just two weeks our first batch was ready. The result was excellent.

Our first batch of sauerkraut!

With the fresh jalapeño, we found out as the video mentions, a little goes a long way! I'd like to try adding a bit of garlic in a future batch, which will be fresh from the garden next year. 

As the garden vegetables produce their final crops for the year I'll be back in the other craft room making holiday cards. The kitchen craft room will be busy as I cook up gifts of soaps, pasta, cookies, and other ideas I gather from that great internet resource--Pinterest!

Herbal salt and apple butter from our garden.



No Bears Were Seen


Photo by Francesco De Tommaso on Unsplash

Leavenworth FB photo
We spent two days out of town a few weeks ago, the first time in two years. Yes, we had a lot of anxiety about breakthrough infection, but most of our activities were outdoors in Leavenworth, WA, a small Bavarian-styled village and our favorite vacation destination.

We were able to enjoy our favorite hike, the Icicle Gorge trail, twelve miles from civilization. “Enjoy” might be a stretch for me since I am deathly afraid of encountering a bear in the woods and had a firm two-handed grip on the bear spray canister the entire 4.16 miles. The winds picked up that day and lodge pole pines knocking against each other make for a horrific sound in the forest!
We also had a lot of fun during our first time metal detecting along the banks and in the water of local rivers, though we didn’t find anything more valuable than quarters. While trekking to one river where my husband wanted to search, we encountered a lot of bear scat. The animal that left that would easily outweigh both of us, so I offered a compromise. Instead, we searched a river bank at a lower elevation where the temperature was beyond cool and the water was glacial runoff. I shivered, but at least I wasn’t eaten by a bear!

On the way home I was able to pick my fill of elderberries (oh, yes, bears love these, too) that became jam the same afternoon. September kicks off a big preservation month for me and these foraged berries are just the delicious start.

Photo by ceit wonders on Unsplash


Soft, Cuddly, and in Need of a Furever Home

 Soft, Cuddly, and in Need of a Furever Home Penny Tabitha Tortellini   Seven years ago I lost my adopted feral tortie cat, Penny Tabitha To...