Friday, September 28, 2012

Sun dial ring

A little while ago I posted about a little crochet/wire spiral I made - here is the finished product yay! I call it the sun dial ring. It has a kind of tribal-ish, I-could-be-seen-on-a-celebrity feeling doesn't it? Haha. I'm excited about the shop again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How I treated my cat's infected abscess and avoided a huge vet bill

My kitty, Hermes, is a little numbnut. He is chubby, cute, friendly to people but loves to hiss at the first sign of any other animal. He also loves to escape the house and get into fights. His first abscess was a few weeks ago and it cost us $200 at the vet YIKES. The vet had to put him under and also 'reversed' the general anesthesia which cost $100 alone - not going that vet again.

He gets abscesses on his back near his tail - this means he was attacked while running away. I'm sure running away from a fight he picked himself. Special. My friend who is a farmer suggested a well tried remedy he uses for his animals - plantain weed. My mom has actually pointed this plant out to me often saying it has healing properties and I decided to give it a try to avoid another whopper vet bill for something that just needs to drain.

This is the plant. I bet you've seen it growing in the cracks of sidewalks before and never paid it any heed - I certainly never did. I got a handful from my farmer friend's property and went home to make a nice poultice out of it. I took three or four leaves, rolled them up and mashed them with the butt of a knife (a pestel and mortar will work better if you have one). If you can get your animal to tolerate a wad of plant on their skin with a bandage on top, that's best but my cat immediately began licking the area. So instead I mashed the leaves, squeezed some juice out and dabbed a small brush in the juice and brushed it on the area. I did this two or three times a day and on the third day the abscess ruptured and a nice amount of pus drained out. Another good idea is to  gently clean the area daily with 50/50 hydrogen peroxide in water. This may hurt on an open cut so be gentle. This is Hermes on day 4 of treatment:

There are actually two scabbed areas - on in the middle of the bald area and one at the lower right. These are the spots that the abscess came to a head and ruptured, much like a pimple. While gross, this is what you want! An ancient greek medical phrase, 'ubi pus evacuo' or 'when there is pus, evacuate it' meaning that pus has to drain for things to heal. This area was a firm red lump and now it's a fuzzy healing patch. He doesn't even mind much when I touch it now.

Well, I wish you luck with your own pets and I hope you try this alternative to a big vet bill for a simple abscess. This remedy is only for simple abscesses that have not caused full body infections. If you animal is acting sick, not eating , sleeping or hiding more than usual - go to the vet!

Good luck :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

New direction - children's drawing

My husband insists I'm wasting my drawing talent and I watched a video about how hard it is to sell jewelry on etsy, I'm changing it up. The two characters will be Bunny and Bear, which is what my husband and I call each other

Sun discs - new crochet theme

I bought an absolutely lovely ball of super fine ecru thread and I've been making a few items with them. I started making these 'sun discs' which have wire inside to keep them stiff. I wonder if people will be off put by the idea of a crochet fibre ring? It's been washed and survived well, dries well. Hope it's popular :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thrift store scores

Somehow discovering I can unwind sweaters into veritable mountains of yarn has turned me into a thrift store sweater fiend. I've been to maybe a dozen thrift stores in the month or so to find sweaters with the glorious double arrow seams that mean I can rip them up into a long continuous skein (Great tutorial on how to do this here: I've tried to limit myself only to natural fibres, especially silk, cashmere and fine wools and cottons but I still managed to find plenty to fit this bill!

I am currently ripping up a great cyan blue wool/angora sweater with good progress. I've gotten three fat skeins out of it from just the arms!. Does this change my desire to buy expensive new yarn? Sadly, no but hopefully I'll be distracted enough not to do it for a while!
 Liz Claiborne sweater
Great color
Three skeins from just the arms! Wowza!

The hanging sweaters above are ones that were meant to be cut up for yarn but I actually like how some of them look on me. Oh the conundrum! Especially the one on top - it's a camel colored 100% cashmere sweater.. maybe I'll spare that one...

You can see a neon green Ralph Lauren cotton sweater peeking out - that one is definitely meant for a super mod afghan I think. Some of these sweaters have ultra fine yarn, finer than a typical lace weight and I'm not sure how ripping them up will go. I've chosen ones that have very little to no felting or pilling so hopefully the yarn doesn't fall apart. To be continued!


I've been saving plastic bags like a crazy hoarder and I've finally gotten around to making plarn (plastic yarn, recycled bag yarn). I want to make an organic looking, maybe tribal looking bowl. The plarn ended up being a much smaller gauge than I had anticipated (aka way more work...booo). I'm working next on bowl with a five-pointed base, we'll see how it goes!

Afghans color work

I started making this afghan a few months ago and veerry quickly ran out of yarn. I kind of made up a way to do the color work with the arrow design, twisting the threads together on each stitch to make sure they weren't just floating in the back. I just ordered a bunch more cream yarn hopefully it'll be finished soon

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bobbles and Baubles - Trial and Error in Crochet

More little crochet balls woohoo! I've been using a vintage ball of thread and other embroidery thread to make some colorblock earrings. I've been having issues trying to make a seamless transition from one color to another because the threads are often different in width. The two middle balls below were made with thread split in half and I think they look much smoother. I really don't like the outer two that have bumps in the transition. Well. Live and learn.

I used this lesson for my new earrings up on etsy :)

New earrings