Monday, January 30, 2012

My Chosen Word for 2012 and My Right Kidney

Get Well Tag, © Pet Scribbles

I can't concentrate. That sums things up in a nutshell. I have so many things I need to do, but at the moment, all I can think about is my pre-op appointment today at the hospital.

I only started this blog a bit over a week ago, and already my mind is trying to figure out how to properly blog about this latest medical thing. Is there a proper way? Somehow I doubt it, so instead of wondering about how to do it, I'm just going to do it instead.

I have to have surgery for my right kidney. I found out last Thursday, but needed to digest the news. I knew the surgery was looming out there, having had a decrease in function, but - - -

OK, I'm shaking my head. This feels so bizarre. When I started my blog, I was excited to share my interests, my handmade biz, my hobbies, my cats, my addiction to earrings, and my occasional favorites from Etsy. Somehow this kidney thing doesn't quite fit into any one of those neat and tidy little categories.

Perhaps this is an example of my own "word of the year" for 2012, which was also my chosen word for 2011:  Messy. As in be more messy. As in everything is never quite perfect, so why keep waiting until it is?

You can tweak and tweak a design all you want, or edit a document over and over again, but in the end all you're doing is delaying the time it is released into the world. So why not be more messy about things and just see what happens? (And no I'm not suggesting a blog post with many typos, a handmade card with a bent edge. Those aren't examples of messy, those are examples of not caring, and another topic for another day.)

Maybe there is a new category, next to those neat and tidy ones mentioned earlier, called Messy.

And, of course if my blog's name is The Shed, I should be able to shed some inhibitions about sharing too. (Note to self, another thing on the list: create a banner for this blog with The Shed in title.)

The surgery is coming up in two weeks, and this week will be some exams and tests to make sure I'm "good to go" for the surgery. I've had surgery before, unfortunately quite a few times including two last year, but luckily all have been out-patient - even my surgeries for cervical cancer back in the early '90s - so there was always the known and calming factor that I'd be in my own bed by that evening, cared for by husband and cats.

Not this time. This time I'll be in the hospital for approx 4 days after surgery, with a minimum 3 to 4 week recovery. Yes, husband will be there thankfully, of course. No cats, though I did ask him to consider smuggling them in. I asked more than once, too.

So. That's what is on my mind today. I'll leave it there for now, this whole sharing thing is new to me. A bit like meeting a new friend, and not wanting to scare them away with too much information.

Thanks for letting me share, and letting me shed a bit too.

~Laura

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine Gifts for Cat Lovers

We are fast approaching Valentine's Day, but you still have time to get your special someone a unique gift. Think outside the box - and in this case I'm talking about boxes of chocolate - and surprise your beloved with a thoughtful alternative to the usual candy, flowers, and mass-produced jewelry.

Cat lovers - today is your day!  
(I shared my Valentine suggestions for dog lovers yesterday here.)

You can find a variety of handmade gifts for cat lovers on Etsy. Just by doing a few simple searches - such as "cat lover gifts" or "Valentine gifts for cat lovers" as just two examples - you will see there are many cat-themed gifts that you definitely won't find at the big-box stores. 

Here is just a sampling of the handmade gifts for cat lovers you can find on Etsy . . .



Custom Pet Portrait in suit | $110 | Amy's Creative Corner

Cat Lover's Charm Bracelet | $19.67 | Copper Token

Play With Me wood sign | $39 | Spunky Fluff

Lavender Pillow for Cat Lovers | $38 | C West Pillows

Cat Lover Genuine Leather Journal | $45 | Hawk Leather

Rice Straw Art Cats Portrait | $129 | Museum Shop

iPhone Case for Cat Lovers | $18 | Paula Mills

Cat Necklace | $22 | Pink Bijou

As someone who is "owned by" two cats, you can bet I'm going to "accidentally" leave this blog post open on my computer screen and maybe my husband will see it. Maybe. 

Oh - and one more thing - shameless plug time! - consider one of my handmade cat-centric cards to go along with your gift, such as this one here . . .



. . . or the cards you see in the sidebar (to the right of this post). And thanks for your consideration, too!)

~Laura

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine Gifts for Dog Lovers


Dog-themed Conversation Hearts Valentine | $4 | Pet Scribbles

We are fast approaching Valentine's Day, but you still have time to get your special someone a unique gift. Think outside the box - and in this case I'm talking about boxes of chocolate - and surprise your beloved with a thoughtful alternative to the usual candy, flowers, and mass-produced jewelry.

Is your Valentine a dog lover?

You can find a variety of handmade gifts for dog lovers on Etsy. Just by doing a few simple searches - such as "dog lover gifts" or "Valentine gifts for dog lovers" as just two examples - you will see there are many dog-themed gifts that you definitely won't find at the big-box stores.

Here is just a sampling of the handmade gifts for dog lovers you can find on Etsy . . .

Dachshund Dog Tiny Encaustic Art | $23 | Susan Najarian
Personalized Pillow w/ dog's name | $80 | West Egg Studio

Dog Walk Collection | $250 | Dolan Geiman

Valentine Charm Bracelet, Scottie, Westie | $62 | One Eye Cat Studio

Bad Choices Make Great Stories Wood Sign | $24 | Cool Dog Duke

Pug Mama, Dog Lover Keychain | $13 | The Copper Poppy

Valentine Dog Collage Original | $40 | Jennifer Allevato

Light Hearted Pet or Family Portrait | $120 | 3 Crows


Many of the dog lover gifts you come across, such as some of these examples, can be personalized in some way. Personalization is hot right now, trend wise, because it enables you to give a gift customized just for that special someone.

Oh - and if you are the dog lover, you can accidentally keep this page up on your screen to drop some hints!

And one more thing - shameless plug time! - consider one of my handmade dog-centric cards to go along with your gift, such as the one at the top of this page, or the cards you see to the right of this post in the sidebar. (And thanks for your consideration, too!)

Tomorrow I'll share Valentine gift ideas for cat lovers. Meow!

~Laura


Monday, January 23, 2012

Scanner not working? Top 7 things not to do first


Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, October 2011

Ahhh... Here we are, day 3 of my blog. Already there are problems. My lovely scanner won't scan right now. Yep, this is a crisis in the making, unfolding right here as I type these words to you. Can you feel the frustration?

Today was going to be a post sharing one of my "earliest" card designs made when I was a child. But the scanner won't cooperate, won't scan. Well, when given lemons make lemonade... So how can I make this scanner crisis work for me (and for you)? Write a post about it.

In the interest of providing valuable tips to you, I share this list:

Top 7 things not to do when your scanner stops working:

1.  Don't stare at the scanner. Despite the scanner "seeing" things to scan, if it stops working, it could be that its vision is impaired somehow. You won't get any satisfaction from giving it one of your angry stares. It can't see you.

2.  Don't talk to the scanner, such as "What now?" It won't answer. It might not know the answer. Actually, it is an inanimate object, despite all the noise it is making right now, so your scanner can't talk back to you other than using the whining, wheezing, and whirring noises that won't stop and have become the background soundtrack to my typing of these tips.

3.  Don't open the scanner lid and stare. See tip #1.

4.  Don't check the paper feed (if you have a lovely all-in-one like I do), because the paper feed is not the problem.

5.  Don't take the paper out of the paper tray and tap the stack into a neater stack then place said paper stack back into the paper tray. Not the issue.

6.  Don't open the scanner lid, stare, then close the lid, then open again, then close. See tip #1.

7.  Don't open the area of the printer/scanner/all-in-one where your ink cartridges are housed. Again, not the issue.

I hope this list has been helpful - or will be helpful - should your scanner temporarily go on strike.

What I will do now is focus for a few moments on the bit of serenity in the picture at the top of this post, breathe deeply, and then try and figure out what's wrong.

Full disclosure: I can't guarantee that I won't repeat some of the above steps.

~Laura

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Her pantaloons were white as snow

Little bit of snow, front garden bed, through window

What a glorious way to start the morning! My husband looked out of the blinds in our bedroom and said, "You are going to like this!" Instantly I knew it was snow, glorious snow! I bounded -- yes, literally I do think that is the best word to describe my moves -- out of bed, over to the windows, and there, in all its splendor, was fallen snow! A thin blanket, just enough to cover the ground, and make our yard look so pretty!

Are you feeling the peacefulness of the scene? The beauty of the moment?

Because that's not actually how my day started.

My day started with our cat Lulu stepping on my closed eye with one of her paws, as she was climbing over me. "Not the face!" were my first words uttered this morning, as they are on many mornings when Lulu does some variation of connecting my face with a part of her, whether fur, paw, tail, or cute (but cold!) nose.

Then the first paragraph above occurred . . .

But the "beauty of the moment" was quickly broken by Lulu walking by with a small dingleberry on her fluffy pantaloons. And the realization that she walked over my face like that.

Ick, right?

Lulu's tail and her fluffy (and clean!) pantaloons

Shortly after that it began to rain, and the snow is expected to wash away. But for a brief moment there, it was so pretty!

~Laura

Friday, January 20, 2012

My cats shed and so do I

Hi there. Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere!

My name is Laura, and although my handmade business is called Pet Scribbles, I want to call this blog – my blog (I like the way that sounds already, although I'm a bit freaked out about starting this up!) - ummm... where was I?

Oh yes, I want to call this blog “The Shed” because for some reason I find myself identifying with the various definitions of this word.

Whether shed is used as a noun, as in garden shed or tool shed (I love to garden, and no doubt I'll be blogging about various tools I use not only in my handmade creations but also tools in my small business...)
Hot Papaya Coneflower in our backyard, Summer 2011

Or shed is used as a verb such as when one sheds tears, inhibitions, negative thoughts, negative people...
Siskiyou Pink Gaura in our backyard, Summer 2011

...or sheds fur, as in my cats shed a ton of fur (I dote on my cats, almost crazy cat lady status)...
Aliza Loo Doolittle, age 17 or 18-ish years young

...or someone sheds light on something, makes things clearer...
Lulu, CFO (Chief Feline Officer) of Pet Scribbles, age 12

Well, you get the idea. I like playing around with this word, at least I've been playing around with it in my head (a scary place to be sometimes!). So I think having “The Shed” as the overall title of this blog will tie everything together, (she says, as she fully realizes that although she has written several posts mentally already, this post is the very first post published on her very first blog.)

As time goes on, I'll be chatting about my love of gardening, my obsession with gardening books, my cats, crafting, vintage finds, and of course about my handmade business (Pet Scribbles!) too. I hope you'll join me on this journey.

Welcome to The Shed, I'm so glad you're here!

(And I'm glad that I'm here now too!)

~Laura

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