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Did you know you can buy toy mice for cats that are almost as large as they are?  For example, check this out.  You can get one very similar at Freddy’s for $17.  But… really?  $17 for a toy?

Today I decided to make my own.  I spent a total of $5 on fabric and made two.  Granted, they don’t have eyes or funny noses, but I left off anything that I knew the cats would simply tear off (and then try to eat).  I even put a bell in the middle of each so that they would rattle a bit.  The bottoms and sides are corduroy, the top is red burlap, the ears are some fuzzy material, and the tail is rick rack.  I also lined the burlap with plain cotton material to give it stability.  I think they turned out pretty cute:

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Please don’t remind me that I probably should have used my time to look for jobs.

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[I wish wordpress would warn me when they change the format of the behind the scenes stuff. It always throws me for a loop. At least facebook provides a tour when they change everything.]

I’ve been busy crossing off items on my to-do list.  These last few days have been sewing.  On Saturday I sewed a retro bib-style apron, complete with homemade “bias” tape edging (wasn’t on the bias, but worked perfectly anyway).  Then yesterday I made two delightfully kick-ass regency aprons, with unbleached muslin, beautiful tucks and fantastic pleats.  Think Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility with Emma Thompson.  One is for me; one is for a friend who had requested said apron.  (I stole the idea for the bib style from this site.)

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The apron isn’t lopsided. I’m just wearing it crooked. I promise.

And a couple pictures of kittens. The first is my Sophie-kitten who loves hoarding things and managed to empty my entire box of Kleenex the other day.  She’s under my dresser, laying on top of part of her stash.  The second is all three kittens, Sophie, Percy (my sister’s cat), and Shelby, lying in typical nap positions.

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And finally, Atkins is going really well.  It’s been a week and a couple days and I actually really like it.  I feel so full, and I’ve kept easily within the carb limits.  I am looking forward to adding back in beans and legumes next week, though.  The first week I lost 6 lbs total.  We’ll see how I do this week and on.  After the first two weeks, you don’t lose as much so quickly, but that’s better for long term.

FABRIC: Tonight, I went to Fabric Depot.  I was in heaven.  I bought 8+ yards of fabric (various), thread, colored elastic, and D rings, all for $52.  Not bad, right?  I got two fat quarters that I loved together–not sure what I’m doing with them yet.  I got two sets of unbleached muslin for two regency style aprons (one for me, one for a friend).  I got a bit of accent fabric for another bit I have at home and intend to make into another apron for myself (addiction).  And I bought some cute sewing themed fabric to make into a travel-sewing-kit foldy, pocket thing.  Finally, I got a delightful fabric with wonderful accent fabric to make into an apron I’ve promised a friend for years that I would make.  I think it’s going to end up being a 50’s style apron, which I think will fit her and the fabric.  I’m pretty excited about all of my purchases.

LIFE: When I’m not working on my thesis, I’m daydreaming about Ecuador.  It’s getting ridiculous.  And I bet my friends are getting tired of hearing me talk about it.  If I’m not careful, I’m going to start idealizing it to an unhealthy degree, but you know, it’s been so long since I felt really excited about something that I don’t mind my ridiculousness.  Besides, did I mention that in February, when the weather is gross almost everywhere in North America, I’ll be on a beach, in a cabana, with a hammock on my porch??

My roommate and I go walking in the mornings (6:30am), and we walk through the neighborhoods and look at houses and gardens.  Seeing all those delightful things makes me want my own.  I think I want a brick house (not just so that I can sing this song every night, but also because I like how they look).  And of course the willow tree in the front yard and the vegetable garden in back.  I want a neat and tidy yard, with overflowing flower gardens.  It’d be nice if there were a puppy and a kitty around.

And sometimes, sometimes, I want the husband and kids.  But, you know, let’s not get crazy here.

I’m back at my other home, feeling strangely at a loss.

The second half of my week went well.  I saw friends most days.  I considered staying with my family until tomorrow (Friday), but it ended up that the weather was supposed to turn stormy, and I am not a fan of driving in bad weather.  Truthfully, I’m not a fan of driving in general.  But, I actually wanted to stay, which might be the first time since I went away for undergrad.  There were no fights.  None. That is nothing short of miraculous.  I truly enjoyed my time at home.

Mom and I made two more puzzles. I made a new piece for one of the puzzles. Can you find it?  (Sorry about the flash. I really should learn how to use a camera one of these days.)

Dad and I went to lunch on Wednesday at a Thai restaurant I like.  I saw my brother and his family another time.  I also sewed.  I made new cup cozies and new coasters.  I wanted to make an apron, but decided it will have to wait until another time.  I’ve added some pictures of my creations below.

The top set of coasters I made for my mom.  Two of them have green on one side and brown on the other, and the rest are the same colour on both sides.  On the bottom picture, I should have had better lighting because the ones on the left look really washed out, but they’re a pale yellow with blue flower details; the back is denim on that set.  When my dad saw all of my creations, it was as if he’d never seen me (or my mother) sew before.  He couldn’t believe I was making all these, and wondered why I don’t sell them.  It’s simple. I have no time and none of my sewing materials at school.  Someday I’d love to be able to do more.

That’s all for now.

I’ve been “home” with the family since Wednesday night.  It’s been a pretty good trip so far.  I think I’ll be driving back this Thursday, but I might stay until Friday.  I’ll see how I feel when the time comes.  (The upside of only having myself to worry about: I can make decisions like that at the last minute and on a whim.)

Mom and I have made two puzzles so far, with one attempted and abandoned (I decided it was too hard for this trip).  It’s actually pretty relaxing, as I’ve been realizing.  Dad and I have watched some Top Gear together, at least, their top 40 count down.  Not the whole thing, but boy they are hilarious.  I really like that show.

We had Christmas eve lunch with my brother and his family.  He loves cooking for us, so that was pretty fun.  Hanging out with my nieces is also wonderful.  They all came over for Christmas dinner, which was also great.  This was one of the very few Christmases where there was zero fighting.  Praise be.  Maybe this is a new trend?  I can hope, right?   Anyway, on Christmas, I spent the day mostly in the kitchen with Mom, helping prepare the meal and helping clean up.  It’s nice being in the kitchen with someone other than myself.  And it’s a role I can fit with confidence.

I’ve had several opportunities to have the sound of football in the background, which is mostly nostalgic for me.  It’s the background to my growing up years.  And Dad, Mom and I have watched quite a number of movies together.  Best one so far was Red.  I highly recommend it: good action, good plot, and most importantly, clean!

Last week I saw some friends for a birthday.  Today I had an all day date with one of my good friends from home.  She and I went to Half Price Books (so good), had lunch, then watched the new Sherlock Holmes movie, which I also recommend.  I also recently found out that the nemesis, Professor Moriarty, was at least partially based off a real guy, Adam Worth.

I’ve also picked out a bunch of fabric and buttons to make some cup cozies (as I call them).  Plus I dug out the material for the apron I’ve been meaning to make (which I might still put off).  Now I just need to make the time to actually cut out the pieces and sew them together.

And, on top of all that, I still have made time to do homework.  Amazing, yes?