Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Meet me on the other side

Almost eight years ago we adopted this oddball cat CeCe from some dear friends who had to give her up. If you looked up "standoffish" in the dictionary, her picture would likely have been there. She did not want to be touched and appeared to need zero human interaction. This is Cece in November 2000, just after we brought her home.

Part of her disdain for us might have had someting to do with the fact that I immediately began to wean her off of canned food and put her on a diet. She was so heavy that carrying her (yowling)through two airport literally had me in pain for two days. She'd often go to sleep in DH's recliner, especially while it was still warm, wedging her big self in tightly between the arms.

Eventually CeCe grew to tolerate us all and in the past 3-4 years she has become especially loving with me, probably because I'm not only chief feeder and litterbox cleaner but also because I've nursed her through several health crises. So I was mostly just stressed when she had what I thought was just a flare of her chronic illness about a week ago. I've done little but take care of her between classes and assignments and we've been to the vet so many times I've lost track.

This morning I thought she was finally turning the corner and was once again on the road to recovery but shortly after that she suddenly collapsed and was obviously in trouble. I rushed her to the vet but it was soon clear that she could not recover enough to have any quality of life. We couldn't tell how much of her crying was from the normal anxiety of respiratory distress and how much was due to pain but I knew she was beyond miserable when she no longer purred. As difficult as it was, I knew there was only one viable choice. She has been such a trouper these past few days that even the vet cried while administering her final injection. I was fortunate to be able to say my goodbyes and cuddle her to the very end. DH and DD were not so lucky and I dread delivering this news. We will miss you sorely, Cece Louisa!

This is my favorite photo, taken when we lived in rural California and let her outside occasionally (she was declawed when we got her). She was nonetheless a masterful hunter, regularly presenting us with gifts of assorted lizards, large bugs, birds and various furry creatures. Usually they were dead but occasionally we'd get a bonus surprise! Watching her skill and patience was astounding. This picture was on the first really warm day of spring, when I haul out the flowerpots and uncover the deck furniture. She was obviously happy to get outside and soak up some sun and I just love her smug look, no doubt anticipating many happy adventures in the coming months.

Ceece, I hope it's always warm and sunny for you now and you're able to stalk lizards and birds to your heart's content while we anticipate a possible reunion on the other side of the bridge. xoxox

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Latest Fundraiser News

I mailed off checks to our two beneficiaries for $302.11 EACH...well beyond my goal! I got a very tearful phone call last night from one of the recipients. To say that she was touched and appreciative is an understatement. And the best part is, it was a complete surprise! She had no clue so that made it doubly fun.

My SINCEREST thanks go out to everyone who's made a purchase, donated cash, gift cards, or stuff for me to sell, and for all the encouraging messages and anxious inquiries. Because I know several people didn't have time to get something in, and because I still have a bunch of stuff in the Etsy shop, I'm going to continue the effort until further notice. PLEASE continue to send out links to my blog or shop and help me get the word out. I'll have a couple new things in the store soon, too...including a collaborative project!

I hope your Valentine's Day is a special one and that your heart is just aglow because you've helped brighten the day for two very special women.


And the heart goes to...

...Debby H from Ontario, Canada. Congrats, Debby and a very happy Valentine's Day, too.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Un-Shelved: An Altered Book Project

After school Saturday I met three of my artful girlfriends to tour the exhibits. We started out at Cranbrook where the most avant-garde items were on display, including books by two fellow members of Michigan Altered Book Artists, affectionately known as MIABA. ( somehow lost several images from my mem card so I can't show you everything but here are a few to give you a flavor.

This is the entrance to the exhibit at the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center where the bulk of the displays are set up.

My submission is on the back wall, far left. She's listed for sale in my Etsy shop if you'd like to see a closeup shot...see link on your right.

There's a link to the exhibit if you'd like more information. Show runs through February 24th. See next post for more pictures.

More UnShelved

Here are shots of some of the entries. Click images to enlarge. First two from the Forum Gallery at the Cranbrook Art Museum. Bottom two from the BBAC.

Many of the pages in this book had intricate cutting in the center of many of the pages. Because it was freely turning due to air currents I wasn't able to get a picture that does it justice. In the picture below I love how the shadow adds another dimension. Wish I could remember what this piece was called.

This guy is just downright amusing! Such clever use of so many different books. The head appears blurry because it's very 3-D. All the pages were cut into the profile of a face and the book is opened so they are completely fanned out.

Yes, this is a real live cactus.

Whoot whoot!

I'm so happy to tell you that the "Starving Artists" fundraiser has just surpassed the $600 point!!! Thanks, everyone and please continue to spread the word. I still have plenty of goodies up for sale (including some fairly recent additions) and will be adding more soon. So I'll send checks out in time for Valentine's Day but also plan to send another set in March.

I felt really tentative when this idea was rolling around in my head but now I'm so glad I took the chance. This success led me to have the courage to enter my assemblage doll in the UnShelved exhibit and it was accepted. I'm gettin' BOLD now so watch out! So what idea do YOU have that you're nervous to try? Please post a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Glad I took that call:-)

Caller ID, one of the small and underappreciated pleasures of life. I was sitting here slogging through a dull assignment for class when the phone rang and the display read "Caller Unknown". I normally don't answer those since they tend to be telemarketers or folks solicitating donations for various organizations but I picked up today because my sister's in the area on business and I thought it might be her.

I was delighted to hear a curator for the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center on the other end, telling me my assemblage doll called "Rooted in Literature" had been accepted for the Un-Shelved altered book exhibit! I'd stepped WAY outside my comfort zone to even submit anything and was totally prepared for a rejection, so this was actually a big surprise. The event runs Feb. 8-24 and you can go to for more information.

Now what in the world am I going to wear to the opening reception?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Have a heart

This is such a cool thing going on in Blog-land! I've joined this event along with a ton of other bloggers and will be giving away the little assemblage below on February 14th.... Click on "Have a Heart" to learn more about the project and see how YOU can join.

Here's my little offering.

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on this post by midnight Feb. 13th. Be sure to include a blog or email address so I can contact you to arrange mailing. Spread the love!