beadwork and leather

One of my teachers was able to make it to my graduation beach party that boy threw for me (hooray for all the monkeys, boo for lack of parking!).

grad_party

She makes Native American inspired crafts so she made me a beautiful pouch from teal suede leather, and created a beaded rosette for it. Its so soft! I havent decided what Im going to keep in it yet, but itll be something good:)

leather_beaded_bag

She also made a little ornament type thing for package decoration.

leather_beaded_doll

You can check out what else she makes at Past, Present, and Future. I also received a catalog from Crazy Crow! They sell all kinds of things for historic crafts – from leathers, stones, and metals to knives, books, and dvds.

beauties and beasts

I am cat-sitting for a friend who has two sphynxes. For whatever reason, people had assumed I was getting hairless cats when I told them about my girls. I dont know why – Javanese are certainly not hairless so I have no clue as to how that rumor got started (side note, if you wiki javanese cats, youll see my girlies;).

For true hairless cats, check these bad boys out!

hairless_cats1hairless_cats2

Jinx, on the left, and Cocoa on the right. They outweigh my girls already and are still under a year old (Maya is at 5lbs, Sasha is at 6 – the boys are around 12 each) and my girls hate them. Can you imagine two giants speaking some obscure language bounding right up to you in your own home who just so happen to also be skinless? Im sure thats what its like for my babies.

Maya tries to avoid them, and only hisses when necessary – when her personal space (which is shrinking quite rapidy) is threatened. I expected that for the most part – she grew up in a multi-cat household and was use to being around others. Sasha, on the other hand, was prolly too little to remember her big family of origins so she wants to know where they are and what they are doing and hiss and swat relentlessly. She likes to smack them, and mostly they do admit to her that she is Queen, but sometimes their kitten disposition takes over and they think a smack is an invite to a pounce, and the ugly chase begins, lol. Oh, and Sasha, in her wisdom, thought hiding atop the bedroom door would be a good perch. Until Jinx learned the secret and jumped up there too. So now I have my cats teaching her cats bad tricks:/

So what are Sphynxes like? Well, they make little chirpie sounds (boy thinks they sound like ewoks). They are very meaty – i barely need to tap my girls to push them away from something, and i have to practically shove the boys. After a while, youll notice that their skin is a bit oily, and they poop  a  l o t. They prefer my girls litter to their own, and they prefer the siamese food to their own (i cant leave it out or they will eat it all non stop). As Leslie noted after our “play date/ meet and greet” a week ago – they are like terrible friends who come over and use all your stuff and leave a mess, lol. They have a superpower to stay incredibly warm (practically hot, even), though they do like to snuggle in blankets. The water bottle squirt has limited effect on them, unlike my girls who scurry away at the sight of it. I do feel bad for them in one aspect (aside from being bullied by Sasha) – without whiskers, they cant sense when something is close to their face. I witnessed Jinx turn his head really fast, and wacked his little eye into the corner of a shelf. Poor guy:(

Also interesting to note: ive noticed that Cocoa and Maya are incredibly similar (laid back observers), as are Jinx and Sasha (curious trouble makers).

I doubt they will be friends by the end of the week, but at least they are no longer arch enemies. I got all 4 on the bed with me, and they are all napping peacefully. Much better than day one.

france itinerary

Today, I called the country of France.

I have to do this several other times, all for reserving the hotel rooms, but it was probably one of the most stressful things I have done. (Kudos to Vonage for giving us free Europe calls;)

I intended on speaking French and seeing how far I got, and always staying super polite. I made a list and everything, just in case I got nervous and forgot what I needed to say.

Instead, the first words out of my mouth after bonjour was “est-ce que vous parlez anglais?” She put me on hold and handed me off to another. She did speak English, but with a terribly thick accent, and then over the fuzzy phone and all, I just got really tense. BUT after several repetitions on both our parts, we did it! Yay! I would not have been so nervous in person – I managed in Peru with a language I never studied, having a pad of paper always at hand, so that people could write the words down. Continue reading