Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cows, cats, and champagne

No, this isn't a Sesame Street special on words that begin with the letter "C" (can you imagine how many kids would be bewildered by that last word if it was? tee hee), it's a glance into the associative leaps my mind likes to make. Just a small glance, don't worry--I'd hate to scare anyone.

As you may have noticed from some of the photos on my blog, I have two white-with-black-spots cats. Since that's such a clunky way to describe their fur, I prefer to call them "cow-colored." Zorro is even kind enough to further this association by desperately loving chewing on grass (he tries to escape just so he can sit on the lawn and chomp away) and having a little pooch that looks remarkably like a slightly furry udder. (I tried to get a picture of it for this post, but Zorro glared at me with a "don't even think about embarrassing me like that where all the world could see" and was utterly undeterred by my reminder that hardly "all the world" reads my blog. Sigh.)

Consequently, when I found out that this month's featured etsy blogger was SpottedCowSoaps, I immediately thought of my cow-colored cats. And when I found her yummy-lishious looking bottle of champagne soap it left me desperately missing my old bathtub (the condo we currently live in has only a shower. So again with my sighing).

Now, about half the time I look at my lovely cow kitties I find myself suddenly drifting into a fantasy land with bubbles and bubbly. I think the cats are starting to get worried about the dreamy expression on my face when that happens--especially when it's while I'm, say, clipping their claws or holding their open-but-not-yet-dispensed food. They seem to prefer having my complete and speedy concentration in those moments. Gee, I wonder why...


Monday, December 29, 2008

Help protect handmade

I know I usually try to avoid anything that prevents me from smart-alecking myself all around the blogosphere, but I've become non-ironically concerned about the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, a very understandable response to the issues with lead poisoning in children's toys last year, but one that threatens to respond with too broad a brush and drive a lot of independent artisans and crafters out of business.

You can learn more abou this act, and what you can do about it, by checking out Cool Mom Picks' explanation of it. If you're in a hurry though, here's the skinny: the act would basically require extensive testing of all materials and items being sold to children, something that sounds like a good idea until you consider the fact that people who are hand-making children's clothing and toys don't have the resources to send all their items out for independent lab testing. The purpose of this law is, of course, to prevent the kinds of toxic disasters caused by irresponsible corporations cutting corners on their manufacturing processes (a goal I wholly agree with). However, it would--ironically--drive those artisans who are already being very careful about the materials they use (but who can't afford to send everything out for testing) out of business.

The most effective way of protesting this too-broad act is to write to your representative (and Cool Mom has handy links with sample letters to help you do that); if you're short on time, however, you can simply go and vote at change.org to modify the act.

Please take just a moment or two to help protect artisans and crafters from being indvertently crushed by laws that weren't written with them in mind.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The hubby gets big bonus points for this Xmas

Gift-giving is not always my hubby's strong suit, and I've become okay with that since he is so supportive and delightful in most other areas. But this year he really outdid himself, even by talented gift-giver standards. First, he got me the wacom bamboo fun tablet, so I can really push my digital art much further than I have been able to do when trying to draw with a mouse (note to self: if I ever want to create art that looks like it was drawn by children, pull out the mouse again. Otherwise just stick with my tablet).

Then (and just the tablet would have been enough, believe me!) he got me this super cool ring I've had my eye on from Catherinette's shop--isn't it just chock full of funky fun goodness?

To top it all off, the poor guy had to then spend most of Christmas day at the emergency animal hospital with our cat Allie Mae. She's okay now, and for the sake of delicacy I won't tell you all what was wrong with her just in case anyone is eating while they're reading this.

Suffice it to say he has earned a plenty big stockpile of brownie points this holiday season and thus will probably be coasting on those for months. That is, unless I keep stepping on the small parts of power tools that have been recently appearing just as I put all my weight on a bare foot...if they keep "I don't know how that got there, I swear, sorry honey"ing under my delicate little toesies for much longer then that stockpile of points might be gone in a week or two ;)

P.s.--after Ms. Mae got sick and then got treated my soulmate-in-cat-form, Zorro, also got sick and is still not fully recovered yet, so we appreciate all thoughts and purrayers anyone might care to send their way.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holiday week to everyone!

I'll be away from my blog and entrecard until after my sister leaves town on the 26th probably--I'm sure you all know how it is with house guests; you never get much anything done when you're having that much fun :)

I hope everyone has a happy, safe, and delightful holiday season.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Could frivolity be defined as "the refusal to follow directions"?

I ask this simply because I promised, in my last post, that the next post would be frivolous. Then I realized that I need to announce the giveaway winner in this post, and figured the best way to combine those two needs would be in a picture of my cats (frivolously) batting at the image of the winner on the laptop screen. Usually, of course, the cats are all too happy to attack the computer--especially, say, if I am working on some terribly important paper that is already late and I'm re-reading what I wrote and suddenly my paragraph is obscured by a big chunk 'o kitty fur as one of them slaps the screen, or sticks their head up close to the monitor for a better look, and so on.

Or perhaps I'm being unfair and they are trying to be as helpful as this kitty here?
Or perhaps, like all cats, they just love (love, love) being difficult. So that, of course, when I try to get one of them to do something cute (and frivolous) in front of the computer screen, this is as close as I get:
Anyway, as you (perhaps, if you have super-human eyesight) can see from the picture, comment #3 was selected by randomizer.org as the winner--thus congratulations, and a set of cat snow angel cards, go to QuirkyDolls.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my giveaway--I'll have another one again next month--and it's not too late to enter my December giveaway for my newsletter subscribers--just subscribe to my newsletter (see upper left corner of my site) to find out more.

Monday, December 15, 2008

All business today: 2 quick reminders

First, don't forget to enter my current free giveaway if you haven't already, since it's ending tomorrow.

Second, I wanted to give everyone a heads-up that my cafepress shop will be closing indefinitely. It's become too expensive to maintain. I may reopen a smaller one in the future, but I'm not sure when I'll have the time, so if you wanted anything from there you'll want to snag it before Weds. morning (12/17), because that's when I'll be shutting it down.

To balance out this post being so utterly practical I promise my next one will be utterly frivolous and silly :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wow--did I get hit by a luck fairy?

I opened up my etsy email today to discover 3 different messages about being featured--two blogs and one treasury. The treasury is an especially pretty one I think--check it out

The blog entries are also pretty cool--an unexpected selection by LazyTcrochet and an interview from storybeader.

Ooo--and I got awards from Of Cats for my blog, too. Thank you--I'm adding them to my awards page now.

Whoever sent this lucky attention fairy my way, thanks!

P.s.--my giveaway contest is still open--just scroll down one entry to check it out and enter if you haven't already.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cat Snow Angel postcard set giveaway (ends 12/16)

It's been a little while since I've had a giveaway here on my blog, so it's time to remedy that situation. So, without further hemming and hawing...

  • What you can win: a set of 5 Cat Snow Angel postcards (these aren't holiday specific, as you can see from the comic, so they can be sent out throughout the winter months).
  • How you can win them: leave a comment below with a link to your favorite item in the PurrPrints etsy shop, zazzle shop, or cafepress shop and a brief explanation of why it's your favorite OR a suggestion as to something else you'd like to see in one of my shops that isn't there (yet). You can get a second entry if you blog about this giveaway and post a link to that blog post here in a separate comment from your first one. Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you as well.
  • When the fun stops: Tuesday, December 16th at midnight EST
I will use randomizer.org to determine the winner and post that info here on my blog once I do.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A guest post from Zorro: Sitting pretty

Since my mom has been too busy to write about us lately, I figured I'd just take over the keyboard and do a post myself. (Sheesh--it's so hard to get good help these days.)

Anyway, since I am an absolute champion at the sport of Unusual Perching, I thought I would share a few pointers with those of you who wish to expand your seating repertoire.

black and white cat in dishwasherThis first photo is a good example of taking advantage of unusual spots that open up when your humans get distracted. Mommy was putting things into the big thing that makes weird liquid-y noises sometimes, then my obnoxious younger brother went tearing through the room and distracted her, and I took the opportunity to check out this new unusual perch.

black and white cat perching on stack of dvdsNow this one exemplifies my preferred approach to unusual perching: find the smallest surface area you can possibly fit on, preferably one that is precariously arranged, and then show off your unusual feline grace by perching perfectly atop it without knocking anything over. If possible, position yourself against a really ugly background while you're at it, so your human has to spend an hour or two going o.c.d. over removing the background and replacing it with something that doesn't hurt to look at. This way the human will keep a nice perfectly still warm lap open for a while due to sitting in front of the glow-y flat box for so long--and you can take advantage of it! This is an especially good choice during chilly winter months when it is such a bother to try to generate your own heat.

black and white cat being heldOf course, there are dangers with unusual sitting. The most risky one is the chance that your human will see you sitting there and for some reason feel the irresistible urge to scoop you up and give you kisses. Ugh!

Friday, December 5, 2008

For those who don't know about Freekibble yet...

My cats have agreed not to be the center of attention for one more post, since it's for a good cause. I just read an article at another cool blog about Freekibble and Freekibblekat, two related places that donate kibble to dogs and cats in need when you answer trivia questions. And the whole thing was started by a 12 year old--how cool is that!

Anyway, I'm off to answer some trivia--sounds like a great way to put off reading these student reports I should be reading right now ;)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yummy holiday brownies

My cats are deeply offended that I've now gone so many posts in a row without showing off their cuteness, but I had to tell them to at least pretend they had a modicum of patience so I could use this post to share a favorite holiday recipe with you all. It combines two of my favorite things: peppermint and chocolate. Chocolate isn't really a holiday thing for me--I'll eat it any time I get the chance--but combining peppermint and chocolate makes me feel all winter-y, so I associate this recipe with the winter holidays (even though there's really no reason not to eat it all the time -- well,except for not wanting to weigh 800 lbs., but I don't really count that, since these could very possibly be worth it).

Anyway, basically all you do is mix up your favorite brownie mix, pour it into the dish you'll be baking it in, and press a peppermint patty into the center of where you imagine you'll cut each brownie. When you bake them the patty melts a little, but not totally, and it gives an ever-so-yummy gooey minty center to your finished brownies. You can find a more detailed recipe here if you like.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

[WW] My next knitting project (hopefully--if I can figure out how to )