Playing Katsup. Yes, It’s Messy.

I know I’ve been gone for a while thanks to some icky happenings over the summer and a rough start to the school year, but I’m back now, and hopefully better than ever.  I still miss my sweet Bugg, and I still tear up and cry when I unexpectedly come across a picture of her or remember something particularly sweet she used to do.  But the point is, I’m healing, and I’m finding ways to celebrate the joy she brought to my family with her life, rather than mourning her death.  In a (perhaps) misguided attempt to honor Bugg’s memory, I had decided to volunteer at the local Humane Society so I could better help other kitties who didn’t have the loving homes that my sweet girl did.  However, I went to orientation and training, and during the walk-through tour, met two beautiful babies and fell in love.

I ended up going back the next day and adopting them; a pair of sisters and littermates, just over 3-months old.  They are fluffy and fuzzy and cute and playful and so wonderfully different in every way from my Bugg, and yet, in their own way, are such a comfort to us at the same time.  Needless to say, I never did go back to finish my volunteer training.  I figured that if I was going to fall in love with a new baby every time I went to the Humane Society to volunteer, my husband would end up kicking me (and my brood of cats) out of the house.  In an attempt to save him from having to make that terrible choice, I’ve decided not to volunteer at this time, though it is certainly an option that I’m keeping open if there ever comes a time when I won’t be so susceptible to those beautiful, broken hearts.

Stormy and Tempest 9 1 13

This is Stormy and Tempest on the first day we brought them home, curled up together and crammed into the tiniest space they could findHere they are on their second day home, looking a little more relaxedHere they are on their second day home, looking a little more relaxedTempest 9 23 2013         Tempest, laying on my lap during her first week home. (Notice the shaved belly from her surgery?)Stormy 9 23 2013Stormy, making the cat condo her ownStormy and Tempst, hogging the blanket on my bed       Stormy and Tempest, hogging the blanket on my bed

Then, I went back to work in the middle of August, only to find that my dear friend and co-worker, Kathy, has had a relapse of cancer and has decided not to come back to work.  She’s planning on rolling her Long-Term Disability leave directly into her retirement; which, I mean, good for her, since she needs to rest and heal… but yuck for those of us who have been left behind at work.  We’ve had to deal with a whole slew of substitute teachers while she’s away, including a long-term sub who – for reasons unknown – doesn’t seem to like myself or the other lady in my classroom.  It has been an uphill battle since this long-term sub came to work with us, and while I won’t be so obnoxious to say that it’s all her fault, I will say that she definitely wasn’t open to compromise.  She wants everything her way, right now, and we aren’t allowed to explain how we’ve done things for the last 15 years, or to offer any suggestions or advice, because, according to her, ‘this is her classroom now and things change so we’d better get used to it.’

ANYWAY; sorry for the rant.

To add to the mess, somewhere in there my great-aunt passed away, my sister-in-law had spinal surgery, and my dad was in the hospital, 72 hours away from death, and had to have 8 inches of his colon removed.  Oh, and I turned 32, my son turned 14, my husband turned 43, and we had a couple of holidays in there, too.  If all of that isn’t a good enough excuse for my prolonged absence, well then…. pffft to you, I say!

And yet, somehow, I’ve managed to find a way to crochet.  A LOT.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get pictures of everything I made, as several things were Christmas gifts and I was rather rushed there toward the end, due to everything that was going on all at once.

First off, I finished the circle shawl for my mom:

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Then I experimented with a purse (that got relegated to the back of my closet) and a change purse (that I use on a daily basis):

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It’s certainly cute, but not really practical for day-to-day

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The coin purse is actually quite large, but it’s cute, and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it

And then I made a LOT of bookmarks:

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And then I made a black lace shrug:

I didn't use a pattern with this, aside from the motif patterns that I used from  Also, I later added a silver button in the shape of a sun to help hold the front closed

I didn’t use a pattern with this, aside from the motif patterns that I used from Also, I later added a silver button in the shape of a sun to help hold the front closed

After that I made a lot of things for Christmas gifts, including several orders that had been placed for my Cloche-Inspired Slouchy Beanie hat that I had to finish so other people could give them as gifts.  I also made several different types of doilies to give to some of my family members, but, alas, didn’t take pictures of them.

Recently, I’ve been making a lot of jewelery, and as I’ve recently discovered that I can crochet with jewelry wire, I’ve been doing a LOT of experimenting with wire-and-bead necklaces.

A 3-strand tiered, stone necklace

A 3-strand tiered, stone necklaceBlack Braided NecklaceBlack Braided Necklace3-strand tiered necklace                      3-strand tiered necklaceMy first attempt at a bead braided wire necklaceMy first attempt at a bead braided wire necklaceMy second attempt at a braided wire necklaceMy second attempt at a braided wire necklace


And somewhere along the way, I decided to chop off 11 inches of hair and donate it to Locks of Love:



And my daughter asked me to dress her up and do her hair for her first Junior High dance at school (insert proud mommy moment):

It absolutely kills me how grown up she is!

It absolutely kills me how grown up she is!

Aaaaand…. that’s about it from me.  I’m in the process of trying to open an Etsy shop, but I’ve no idea if it’ll ever actually happen or not.  Stay tuned to find out!  And to those of you who are still hanging in there with me, thank you SO much for being so patient with my long absence while I sorted things out in my personal life.  You’ll never know how much your support has meant to me these last few months.  As this is my last post of 2013, I would like to conclude by wishing you all the very best, brightest, and happiest of years in 2014.  You are all amazing and wonderful people, and even if I don’t know you personally, and I’m not fortunate enough to call you a ‘real life’ friend, please know that you are valued, and some crazy lady in a desert state thinks the world of your kindness.

Be well, my friends, and Happy New Year.



9 comments on “Playing Katsup. Yes, It’s Messy.

  1. Shell says:

    Welcome back to the blog world! Your new furbabies are adorable. It’s funny how our hearts attach to certain furbabies at rescue/humane shelters and just wont let go.

    • Gray says:

      Thank you! Oh, I could have easily taken home at least half of the cats at the shelter and not even thought twice about it. It absolutely breaks my heart to see the confusion and sadness in those animals who have been left behind by their families, and all I want to do is take them home, cuddle them, and reassure them that they are loved, safe, and protected. Since I can’t rescue ALL of the kitties, I guess I can be happy with saving two of them. ^_^

  2. *Wisher* says:

    welcome back to the blogging world.. and wow.. so many beautiful creations you’ve done.. and hope to read more of your posts soon.. Happy new year and cheers to more crafting posts ahead.. 😀

    • Gray says:

      Thank you very much, and a very Happy New Year to you as well! I’m looking forward to doing LOTS more crafting; actually just went and got a bunch of new beads today, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing several more creations from me soon. ^_^

  3. Happy New Year, Gray! Wow, you’ve been very creative this past year 🙂 Totally ❤ the wire crochet jewelry!

    • Gray says:

      Thank you! I’m hoping the wire crochet jewelry will do well in my new Etsy shop, but I haven’t finished setting it all up yet. I hope to finish that this weekend, and then I guess we’ll see if folks agree with you! ^_^

  4. Your daughter looks gorgeous, a real heart stealer. And the new fluffy additions to your household are so cute.

    • Gray says:

      Thank you! I’m pretty proud of my daughter, but that might just be a mother’s bias. ^_^ And YES! We love our fluffy new family members very much.

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