September 29, 2017


I feel like my heart has been ripped into pieces. Three of our four kittens died. If you missed the story about the two week old kittens that someone abandoned in front of our home on Easter, you can read about it HERE. We had planned to find new homes for all of them once they would be three months old. Very soon I knew though, that I wouldn't be able to part with Gracie or Cosmo. When the time came to let them go, there were too many kittens available and by far not enough people interested in adopting one. So we kept all four and they all had grown very close to our hearts.

The four were 5 1/2 months old and such a happy bunch. All of a sudden they lost their appetite, started vomiting and had diarrhea. Smokey and Pixie had recovered fast but Gracie was doing real bad and Cosmo only a bit better than her. Gracie spent 5 days at the vets getting infusions and injections. She fought hard and the vets thought she would make it but last Friday she lost the battle. Cosmo had not eaten for several days. Therefore, we had to force-feed him which was very stressful for him and for us. The amount we were able to feed him, was just a fraction of what he would have needed to eat. He was only fur and bones on Sunday and I had not much hope. Suddenly though, his appetite came back and he started to eat again.

At the same time Smokey and Pixie got a relapse. They had been perfectly fine for several days. They had been eating, they had been playing like crazy and we certainly hadn't expected that they would get sick again. The vets did their best but they couldn't save them. Smokey and Pixie died the next day. The vets told us that currently, there are a lot of cases of  indoor cats with the same symptoms and that several, especially younger cats didn't make it either. A problem of bottle-fed kittens is that the lack of mother's milk weaks their immune system. Our three adult indoor/outdoor cats did not get sick at all.

Gracie, you were such a sunshine with a very sweet personality. You had been pretty sick as a baby and we were so happy that you recovered. You stole our heart quickly and we knew soon that we wouldn't be able to give you away. For the last several weeks you came to me every morning while I sat on the couch with the laptop and my first cup of coffee. You coiled up on my lap for at least 30 minutes or until I had to get up. You purred the whole time and after a while you climbed up to my head and rubbed your face against mine. Then you bit my nose very gently. I always said: "I love you, too, sweetie." You had been the first to climb up the countertops, even before the boys tried to get up there. You loved playing with water. When I put a flat bowl with water and some toys on the floor, you didn't just try to angle for them with one paw. No, you just went into the bowl with all four legs and dabbled in the water. You had such a cute and funny way to jump when we played with the cat fishing rod toy. You made us smile and laugh often.

Smokey, you were a sweet and gentle boy. You were the only one with black pads. Your fur was extremely soft and smooth. Touching you felt like touching a piece of silk. You loved Izzie even though she was always very rough when she played with you. Whenever she came in, you followed her and snuggled up on her when she took a break. You were quite talkative. When I prepared food for the four of you, you were the only one telling me how hungry you were and that it was high time to serve you a meal. It was so cute. You loved lying on the stairs, looking down on the entrance way. Even though you were the boss of the kitten gang, you were the first who hid when there was a loud noise that scared you.

Pixie, you were such a lovable girl. You were the smallest of the litter. When we found you, we weren't sure you would make it but you were strong. I often called you Pixel because you were such a tiny thing. Your clumsiness made us laugh often. You were a fidgety cuddler. When you came to one of our laps, you never lay there quietly, but moved around, following our hands and rubbing your head against them. Whenever one of us openend the drawer where we store the cat treats, you always were the first up on the cupboard to receive a little snack. You surprised me a few times, when you jumped from the armrest of the sofa or from a table directly onto my back. That was a bit painful but very cute. When I stood in the kitchen, you liked to sit with your rear on my feet. While your siblings became a bit picky about their food, you ate everything I served.

We loved all three of you very much and we miss you. We are so sad that we're not able to experience you as adult cats. You enriched our lives and brought us a lot of joy. You made us laugh and smile every day. Farewell, my sweeties!

We are happy that we still have our sweet Cosmo. He has a serious expression but he's a very charming and lovable boy. Poor Cosmo misses his siblings. He searched for them and called for them several times. He eats a lot now and has gained back some weight. His gut flora has still to improve though. After Smokey's and Pixie's relapse we're of course worried it could happen to Cosmo as well. My stomach feels like it's filled with big stones. I lost 10 pounds within the last 10 days. Losing one furry family member is hard, losing three at the same time is horrible.I hope all your furry babies are doing well.

August 25, 2017

Upcycled Tea Bag Fall Leaves

This morning I could feel that fall is around the corner. The night had been cool and the morning air was crisp. My naked feet got cold after walking and standing on the tile floor for some minutes. Cold feet never felt so good. The summer had been extremely hot with temperatures up to 113°F/45°C, and sometimes humid. I had really tried to take pleasure in my two least favorite months July and August but I was just happy when another day was over. It will still get pretty warm for at least 2 weeks but the worst for this summer is over, yeah!!!

I'm going to celebrate fall with upcycled tea bag leaves which I had made some months ago. For most of my life I hadn't been much of a tea drinker but last fall I started to drink more tea. Mostly black tea but also green tea and fruit teas. The used tea bags were saved because I knew I could do something with them.

Upcycled Sewing Project: Tea Bag Fall Leaves by Vintage with Laces

I dried the tea bags in a bowl together with some rusty parts. The gray areas and spots you see on some of the leaves were caused by the rust reacting with the tannin contained in black and green tea.

Upcycled Sewing Project: Tea Bag Fall Leaves by Vintage with Laces

My bases for the leaves were crumbled pieces of brown paper bags from bakeries. I used double-sided fusible web to adhere tea bags to both sides. The leaf veins were free-motion embroidered.

Upcycled Sewing Project: Tea Bag Fall Leaves by Vintage with Laces

Upcycled Sewing Project: Tea Bag Fall Leaves by Vintage with Laces

Upcycled Sewing Project: Tea Bag Fall Leaves by Vintage with Laces

I like how the leaves look on that rusty piece of metal. They would as well look great hanging on a branch though.

Have you decorated for fall already?

The wind will blow these leaves over to the following great parties:
Sweet Inspiration at  A Crafty Mix
Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes
Sonntagsblatt at Raumseele
Talk of The Town at Knick of Time
Waste Not Wednesday at Raggedy Bits
A New Life at Rostrose
A Morning Cup of Joe at The Cottage Market

July 13, 2017

Our Dryer Caught Fire and a Driftwood Vignette

Our dryer had already been repaired several times over the last 5 years, when it had a malfunction again some weeks ago. I was still able to use it but the sensor didn't work anymore, hence the dryer wouldn't stop automatically when the clothes were dry. I had to set an alarm on my phone to remind me to turn it off manually. That worked well ... until I forgot to set the alarm last Thursday. The dryer overheated and started burning. It was a chain of lucky circumstances that we detected the fire in the bathroom just in time and my hubby was able to extinguish it with a garden hose. There was an awful lot of smoke and the bathroom was a black mess from floor to ceiling. Due to a lack of storing space in the house, there weren't only the typical bathroom items in that room but also shelves with books, seasonal decorations etc. Amazingly, neither my wicker laundry baskets nor the books caught fire. The fire was hot enough though to melt not only the dryer's door but also some plastic containers and bowls that weren't even close by. The smell in the bathroom and the hall was disgusting. In the meanwhile everything is cleaned and painted. It will probably take some weeks though until the smoke smell will be gone entirely. Some things couldn't be saved but we were very lucky. It could have ended so much worse.

When we take a walk on the beach, my eyes always scan the sand for driftwood, sea glass, rusty items, pretty sea shells and whatever else might catch my attention. I used some pieces of my driftwood collection for a little summer vignette.

Coastal Decor: Driftwood pieces embellished with stamped fabric scraps

I like the look of plain driftwood but this time I wanted to add a soft touch. I stamped some nautical motives onto cream colored fabric scraps and glued them to the wood. A simple and quick project.

Coastal Decor: Driftwood pieces embellished with stamped fabric scraps

Coastal Decor: Driftwood pieces embellished with stamped fabric scraps

We're not even half way through July and I'm already looking forward to fall. I'm just not enjoying temperatures above 82°F/28°C and we had up to 100°F/38°C over the last few weeks. The ventilators are running day and night. 7 weeks to go or more until cooler weather will bring back my energy. How is the summer in your neck of the woods?

My driftwood will be washed up at these great parties:
Sweet Inspiration at  A Crafty Mix
DIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk Interiors
Vintage Charm at Our Hopeful Home
A New Life at Rostrose
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Talk of The Town at Knick of Time