Sunday, December 30, 2012

Knit Wrap

Just had to share this fun wrapping paper that I used on a lot of my gifts this year.
I found it at Michaels, last year, I think.  It's printed with cabled knitting.  

But, that's not all that's great about it.  Look what it does on the sides...

I centered them carefully so the ends would wrap up the same and it created a look of Celtic knots.

The knit pattern is perfect for any occasion during the winter.
They were only $1 per roll and I bought every color.  I can't believe how much is on each roll!
I love those little bargain bins they have in the front of their stores!


I love how this one came out!  It was the last one of my bowls to come out of the kiln this last semester. I wasn't able to get it until several days after my class ended but it was worth the wait.

It's just a simple bowl.  Nothing fancy.  In fact, I wasn't very happy with the bottom of the outside before I glazed it.  But, the glaze changed everything!  I LOVE the colors!

The golden color on the outside with the black speckles is so pretty.  The inside is glazed with the same color (carbon trap shino) but turned out orange.  What a fun surprise.  And, the all over silvery shine is awesome!

I would have loved to have kept this one.  However, it was the only one that came out in colors I thought my mother-in-law would like.  So, I gave it to her for Christmas.  Lucky girl!  :-)

I'm planning to take ceramics again next semester and I'll definitely be using this glaze again!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Must Post

This will be hard to write but I feel I must share something that could potentially save another kitty and the heartache of it's family...

This past week has been difficult after losing our dear Duchess.  I have shed a lot of tears and I'm still feeling quite sad.  The house seems so empty without her.  I've done a lot of re-playing in my head of the last months and especially the last week of her life and have come to a conclusion.  I'll back up a bit to fill you in before I share that conclusion.

Duchess was only 11 years old.  That's still young for a kitty.  They often live much longer.  She was very healthy.  The only problem she was having was an occasional minute or so that she had a little asthma type of attack.  It sounded like a quiet cough and a little wheezing.  It always cleared up very quickly...a minute or so.  And, it rarely happened....maybe once every several months.  However, it became more frequent this past month.  I thought it might have been an allergic reaction to the scent in her kitty litter.  We changed to unscented litter and took her to the vet for a check up.  She seemed to be the picture of health aside from the asthma. The vet thought her weight was perfect.  Her teeth, eyes, ears, and fur looked great.  Her heart was beating perfectly.  He felt it would be best to give her a corticosteroid injection.  He said it could eliminate or help with her asthma attacks and last up to three months.  And, if she still had asthma attacks, we could get an inhaler for her.  I questioned the safety of the injection several times and after talking it over with my husband and daughter we decided to let them give it to her.

Over the course of the next week she became less and less herself with each passing day.  One week after the injection, she lost her appetite and the next morning she was having difficulty breathing....but in a very different way.  It was short and fast.  We rushed her to the vet.  He gave her asthma meds and we waited.  Nothing seemed to help.  He strongly suggested that we take her to a specialist/the local emergency vet.  We all thought that the asthma meds just needed more time and that letting her rest in an oxygen chamber would help.  It didn't.  They decided later in the day that she was experiencing heart failure and treated her for that using Lasix.  It did nothing.  When we saw her that evening she was gasping for breath.  It was SO HARD to see.  There was really nothing more that could be done and she was declining fast.  We just couldn't let our poor baby suffer any longer.  We had to let her matter how hard it was.  And, it was and is HARD!

Since then, I've done some research on her condition and what was used to treat her and found out that the corticosteroid injection is extremely risky and has a high danger of causing heart failure.  Finding that out was devastating!  I wish SO MUCH that I could go back to that original vet visit not allow her to have that injection.  I wish we could go back and just get her an inhaler.  I feel so strongly that it was that injection that killed her and that is SO HARD to take.  I should have done what I do with an human member of our family...research before allowing any treatments.  What a tragic lesson!

I had to share this just in case anyone who reads this ever has a kitty who develops asthma.  Be very careful about the corticosteroids or even avoid them.  And, to be careful in general with treatments of any kind.  We trust our vets and I know they are doing the best they can and using meds that they believe will help.  But, it can't hurt to do a little research and wait a bit to think on the options.  Of course, I don't know for sure, but I STRONGLY believe that our dear Duchess would still be here if we had done that.  That is such a horrible feeling that I wouldn't want anyone else to ever go through.

I think the loss of Duchess has been harder than the loss of any of my previous pets.  She was so awesome!  She loved to be with us and snuggle up next to us or lay on our laps.  She snuggled under the covers when it was cold...and sometimes when it wasn't.  She loved to travel and go camping with us.  She always knew when we were loading the RV and would hang out in the living room with her eye on the door to be sure we didn't forget her.  She was my knitting buddy.  She even watched TV sometimes.  I could go on and on.  She was a wonderful companion and I miss terribly.  I know it will get easier with time.  I think I actually made it through yesterday without crying.   But, I think it'll be a while before we're ready for to open our broken hearts to a new kitty.

I promise to get back to happier posts.  But, thanks for stopping by and for all the caring comments that so many of you have left.  It means a LOT.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dearest Duchess

Our dear duchess didn't make it last night.  We're all so heartbroken.  It hurts so bad.  And, we miss her so much.  I just can't believe she is gone!  It's not fair.  It was too soon.  Only forever would have been long enough.  :'-(

Friday, December 21, 2012

Waiting..... so hard!  We got up this morning to find that our dear kitty, Duchess, was having difficulty breathing.  We immediately called the vet and took her in.  We figured it was feline asthma...which she was treated for last week at the vet.  But, this time, she didn't respond to meds and the vet felt it was best for us to take her to a specialist.  We were hoping that the specialist would give her an oxygen treatment and some more meds and she'd be feeling great and ready to come home by later today.  However, we received a call a couple of hours ago that she's not improving and they are concerned now that it may be much more than might be heart disease or heart failure.  We've moved on to a new treatment in hopes of improvement and knowing more what the problem is.  It's so hard to wait and we're so worried about our lil' kitty...our baby.  We love her so much and we're trying so hard to keep hoping but it's not sounding good.  Please keep your fingers crossed!  She needs every bit of luck and prayers she can get right now.  She's such a huge part of our family and holds such big places in our hearts.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pottery Post

My Fall ceramics class ends tomorrow.  I just finished photographing some of my latest projects for my portfolio and thought I'd post a few on here.

I had a lot of fun playing around with the top edges of many of my bowls.  I love this looks like a flower...

I just couldn't resist creating a few more lizards this semester.  This was the first one of the semester. I didn't use a photo for reference and he ended up with back legs that aren't quite right.  I like him anyway.  I also like how the glaze became blotchy during firing.

I threw a lot of bowls this semester.  Here are three that are similar in size and in a couple of different colors...

When bowls went off center or tried to collapse I tried to rescue them.  This one was saved by adding a spout on the collapsing side and a handle on the other.  Voila...a batter bowl!

Later in the semester,  I thought I'd memorized how lizard legs many sections there are, etc.  And, I thought I got this one right.  But, now that I look at it....I think his back legs are a little funky too.  I guess I'd better take some lizard photos with me to the studio next time so I can really get it right.

I played with glazes a little on this bowl.  It has a thick coat of stoneware blue on the inside and apple green on the outside.  It's one of my favorites.

I'd better get back to work.  I need to write up info on all of my pieces...sizes, glazes, used, etc., get the photos printed, work on my portfolio, and get all my pieces wrapped up and packed to take back to school tomorrow for class critiques and showing.  Have a wonderful week!