Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Yeah, you heard me, f.l.e.a.s. Eeeew!

Long story short, we found out the hard way that the renter who had been living in Jan's house had left behind an unwanted gift. She had a cat that had free roam of the outdoors and who we figure must be the culprit who infested Jan's sweet little place. The renter left about two weeks ago so Jan's been doing some cleaning, painting and repair work over there intermittently. On Friday, she took Zuri with her for a relatively quick stop but it wasn't quick enough because late Monday morning Jan made the horrid discovery that Zurine had fleas on her otherwise queenly and pristine belly. Luckily, Ella had not been affected and we saw no signs elsewhere in this house but by the time she had seen these on Z., the man who was doing some work on her tub that day confessed that he was being attacked while in her place.

She moved into quick action bathing the dog; getting special household flea spray from the vet; moving all the dog beds into the garage at this house; starting what would end up being countless loads of wash in hot water followed by rounds in a hot dryer; and treating the empty rental house with a vacuum (vacuum bag went straight into plastic trash bag) and spray. Once I was home from work, we vacuumed this house (same drill), did more laundry, and sprayed the first and second floors. People and animals are not supposed to not be in the sprayed area for two hours and it was getting late so we slept on the futon in the basement which is at least a decent and, on that very warm, humid evening, cool place. 
By Tuesday Jan had decided to hire professionals to treat her house which was infested and, after talking to various people including my mother about their past experience with fleas, we decided to do the same thing with our house on the same day - strife bombing. In our book, there is no overkill when it comes to something like this.  We even got oral pills for the girls.
This meant we had to be out of the house for FOUR hours so we made an afternoon of it. 
Ella caught up on her reading and loved on her mom.

Jan returned an overdue phone call while Ms. Z lounged in the yard having had two baths in as many days - NOT her cup of tea.

We generally lounged then had our grilled dinner on the blanket and never did get to the Scrabble game that we had brought out. All in all, it was a fun afternoon despite the little terrorizing monsters that initiated the camp out. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A dear friend's birthday

So sue me. I've been a bad blogger. There's been a lot of non-blogworthy, real life mundanity happening so, as they say, when you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Not that there haven't been nice things...

One nice thing that got done was that I finished Marv's birthday present. I have been working on this for m-o-n-t-h-s. The concept for a project involving feathers started after a sweet story that Marv told me at the end of her visit here last August. We were in Portland in search of the perfect lobster roll before heading to the airport and saw a seagull feather on the ground. This reminded Marv of a woman she met on a cruise a few years ago who said, in essence, that if one really looked that one could find a feather almost every day. It didn't have to be a 'real' feather but you might find one in a painting, printed on fabric on someone's clothing, hear the word 'feather', or encounter a feather in any number of ways and that this was some kind of talisman. 

Nice story, nice thoughts then, just like that, I started seeing feathers. Almost every day. I collected some I found along the way and couldn't get the whole feather talisman thing out of my head so decided to do something with a feather theme for Marv, one of my oldest friends (in terms of time we've known each other, not necessarily age), who is having a special birthday today. 

This is the second iteration. The first altar book form had a different cover paper which just didn't work for a number of reasons. The button is a vintage goodie from my button collection. Buttons, like ribbons, find their way home with me without a thought to their ultimate use. Okay, so maybe paper and fabric do the same thing, but I digress...
The feather paper also went through two trials. I carved the feather stamp and stamped it onto some Rives BFK but that luscious paper is too toothy and the image bled a bit too much. This is a Japanese paper that had more of a coating so the ink stood up more on the paper and gave more detail.
The inner box has Maine birch bark at the base. The feather print on the bottom flap is a color copy of treasured Holly Bard fabric that was then mounted on top of faux gold leaf and the other feathers are ones that I picked up since hearing that story. Happy Birthday my dear friend!