Thursday, December 25, 2008

help save handmade & vintage for "kids"

Please read the article, vote as appropriate and please pass along,
this is not just about toys but ALL items for and that might possibly appeal to
children under 12.

This is particularly harmful to small companies, and artists making clothing, toys and
other items for children, or might appeal to children. It's particularly harmful to the
small companies that make educational, scientific equipment for schools, as well as
the small companies that make specialized equipment and toys for disabled children.

It includes vintage and antique childrens' items collected by adults, it includes used things in resale shops, yarn sales, church bazaars... it includes items already on store shelves and in warehouses...

Dec 31 deadline for level 1 voting, please help.

and vote again in the first 2 weeks of January for level 2.

Thank you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Amigurumi Rocks for "stoning"

Amigurumi rock for throwing (safe to throw at tv, relatives, etc...)
When you've just had enough and need to throw something.

Declares "STFU" but can be thrown for any reason.
(yeah, I should have thought of these BEFORE the election.)

wool & soy, merino lettering, polyfill.
2.5-3 in wide.

larger may be coming soon, and I'm making plans for a BRICK!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finally finished

The zig zag pattern turned out beautifully,
and I love the dagged edge on the flap.
You don't want to know how many hours went into
knitting this felted bag.
I'm really happy with it.
I might make another in a different color way for myself.

But GHU! I can't believe it took me so long to get it done...
Hopefully, someone will fall in love & adopt this one soon!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Plugging away

Just posted a couple of really nice SOY lace scarves, and
what I'm calling a "bell bottom bag" on ETSY.

Still working away on the knitting of the felted laptop bag. I didn't expect it to take so many hours to knit this particular design...part of it though is that I didn't account for how big it would have to be BEFORE the felting part. So it's taking me longer and more patience than I thought it would.

I've started the 2nd laptop bag in a different colorway, but I'm knitting this one much more simply. I think I'll keep the zigzag design as a detail on the flap on the second one, as doing the whole thing in zigzag has been part of my +s that I have to make on my sanity roll for each new row. (everything has to line up just SO.)

At least I'm not feeling the frustration yet that I was having when I knit the Dr. Who scarf. (The next Dr. Who scarf, if there ever is one, is gonna be knitted in sections and joined...)

I'm still nursing a Techno-lust for one of these:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bills Bills bills....

Still a couple hundred away from paying off the vet...
just paid car insurance and the energy bill... got enough for food and gas for a couple weeks.

Hopefully sales on ETSY, Windycon, and Chambanacon go well too.
I'm having difficulty finding out about conventions in time to send art work to their art shows. Anyone got an Inside Track on how to get this information?

Wish me luck.

Friday, November 7, 2008

what is your blog worth?

My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?, is worth $1,129.08

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Megumi says Hi Everyone!

Megumi is feeling like herself again... and needs to go get weighed again soon. I think she's just about back up to her normal weight. She's eating well and picking on her little brother Seimei again.

Today I went to Target to pick up "feline hygiene product" and saw this cute little jacket in the $1-$2.50 section... I'm going to have to go back as they had other designs and cute holiday sweaters too.

J's computer broke down... she turned it off as we left for Tai Chi class, and when we got home it wouldn't turn back on. We figure it's either the Motherboard or the power source... Her friend Nick is coming by to look at it tomorrow evening. She's had it for about 3 years now, and we didn't get the extended warranty.
Prayers and happy thoughts for J and her computer will be appreciated.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

vote 08 update

Vote! Vote! Vote! like a baby stoat!

Voted at 9:45 at the Police Academy...
Took less than 5 minutes to check in and to wait in line for a booth.

It took longer to drive there and find out where to park!

Cute funny video from Obama, Japan: caution- potential earworm

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Sold several items in the Con*Stellation art show... got the unsold pieces back in yesterday's mail... and ANOTHER award.

Wow. Thank you!

Megumi is eating well, and I've been having to supervise the kitties when they eat, as she keeps wanting to nibble on Seimei's food, and he wants to eat hers.
She's putting on weight, and she gets weighed again in another week or so. Yay!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vote! Vote! like a baby stoat!

Pondering a new avatar... (just found out that people were confused by the original one... but I still love the original...)

so place your vote before Nov 4

1 Megumi wearing scarf 2 Megumi in her felted handmade cat nest 3 cat nest Megumi
4 Sleeping Seimei 5. Mothra & Candy 6 Mothra & Zine

This avatar will be changed on Flickr, Etsy, and facebook. (possibly elsewhere)
I've always used the same avatar everywhere, but y'know, maybe that's not necessary?

OH! Megumi is getting better all the time.
She has her personality back and is gradually putting the lost weight back on.
We're getting caught up on the vet bill too!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Today's project

I dreamed this one up for Char...
I'll have to get a few and gift one to her...
don't tell!

Convention Update

Archon: Sold 6 items!
Necromonicon: Sold 4 items! AND got a ribbon! (3rd place 3D) YAY!
Con*Stellation is going on this weekend.

And this weekend I'm packing up the box for Windycon.

Thank You ALL so much.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Megumi Mews

Got weighed at vet yesterday, she put on .25# it took 2 weeks.
She gets weighed again in 3 weeks... hopefully having put on .75#.

Getting close (couple hundred away) to paying off the vet.

Thank you everyone for the prayers and purrrs.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I haven't been posting much of my current work here or on ETSY, because I've been up to my elbows getting ready for art shows at Sci fi conventions. (Archon, Necromonicon, and Con*Stellation in October, and now hustling to be ready for Windycon in November.)

But I just had this great commission to make a Godzilla for a little girl, a GIRLzilla... She turned out great. Merino wool, safety eyes, and polyfill.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Orphan Works Bill...Not Dead Yet


Orphan Works: A Public Knowledge Postmortem


"Orphan works relief was vigorously opposed by visual artists... And while we have thought some of their concerns misguided, they did a fine job of organizing and getting their voices heard."

That was the rueful conclusion Monday from the President of Public Knowledge. She was conducting a postmortem on her blog to explain why their last minute efforts to pass the Orphan Works Act failed last week.

Public Knowledge is one of the key special interest groups driving orphan works legislation. And while interested parties around the country were being told all week that the bill was dead, she now confirms that there was a secret last minute push to pass it:

"[W]ith the country's financial crisis raging [she writes] and Congress in the middle of deliberations over a bill to rescue our financial institutions, there was still an opportunity to get a bill done. But how? The best option was to get either House Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Berman or House Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers to take the Senate bill that passed and put it on the 'suspension calendar,' which is the place largely non-controversial legislation gets put so that it will get passed quickly. There can be no amendments to bills placed on the suspension calendar, but it needs a 2/3 majority to pass (italics added).

"On Saturday, September 27," she continues, she and others "were on the phone imploring the members to move the bill...":

"The negotiations went on for hours and hours on Thursday into Friday, but in the end, PK, working with the user community (libraries, documentary filmmakers, educational institutions and the College Art Association) could not agree with [sic] on language with the House staff. Late Friday afternoon, the House voted in favor of a bailout bill and everybody went home. Time had run out."

Public Knowledge has a "Six Point Program" to undo existing copyright law. "Orphan Works Reform" is Number 5. And while they're "disappointed" they weren't able to pass the bill this session, she advises supporters to "focus on what positive things came out of the process, so [they] can move forward quickly next year."

PK says artists have learned their lesson

In her opinion, one of the "positive things" to "come out of the process" is that:

"[V]isual artists, graphic designers and textile manufacturers who opposed orphan works relief now understand that they must change their business models." (Italics added.)

Artists "must change their business models"? Is that a sound we hear from inside the Trojan Horse?

Whatever happened to the claim that this bill was only a minor tweak to copyright law - to let libraries and museums digitize their collections of old work - or let families duplicate photos of grandma?

That was the argument lawmakers heard last spring, when the bill was rolled out suddenly, scripted for quick and easy passage. But now that the anti-copyright lobby has had to fight for it, they've dropped their guard. Now it's time to openly lecture artists that the world is changing and we'd better get used to registering our work with privately owned "databases" -- at least if we want to ensure that our works won't become orphaned.

But of course that was the agenda all along.

PK says not all artists are misguided

PK's President wants Congress to know that not all artists are "misguided" - only those that oppose the bill. Currently, 80 professional groups do.

By contrast, she cites the Graphic Artists Guild as an example of artists who have learned their lesson. She praises GAG as "enlightened," because GAG supported the House version of the bill. She quotes a recent letter from GAG's President in which he admonished artists to "get real about this Orphan Works scare":

"I don't think Orphan Works is going to have a dramatic influence on how we do business [he wrote], but I hope it has awakened us all to the importance of tending to business issues. If we as a community invested a fraction of the energy we've expended on an apocalyptic vision of Orphan Works into protecting our own creations, protesting unfair contracting practices or writing letters to low-paying publishers, we'd be in a far better market position than we are today. The fact is that we give away more in the every day practice of our businesses than the government could ever take from us."

We replied to the GAG letter weeks ago, when it was first circulated to artists. We obviously disagree. Indeed, we'd point out that what the community of artists is doing by opposing this bill is "protecting our own creations":

* The Orphan works bill would have a dramatic affect on business, because it would let people infringe our work without our knowledge, consent or payment.

* Most people who succeed in our field do "treat art as a business."

* People who are bad at business can't be used as proof that successful people must change their business models.

* You can't justify exposing an artists' property to theft by telling him he didn't write enough "letters to low-paying publishers."

* What artists do or don't "give away" on their own doesn't justify government's taking anything from them.

* It's counter-intuitive to tell small business owners we should accept a bill that's bad for business to prove that we've "awakened to the importance of tending to business."

* If we don't fight to keep the work we create, that would be the ultimate failure to tend to business.

A full response to the entire GAG letter is here:

The Orphan Works Act was based on a premise and a conclusion:

* The premise is that the public is being harmed because it doesn't have enough contact information to locate copyright owners.

* The conclusion is that artists must change their business models.

* What's lacking is any evidence in between.

The Orphan Works Act was based on recommendations by the Copyright Office. But the Copyright Office studied the specific subject of orphaned work. They did not study the business models of artists who are alive, working and managing their copyrights. That means there can be no meaningful conclusions drawn from their study to dictate that such artists must change their business models.

From the beginning, artists have said we'd support a true orphan works bill. We've submitted precise amendments that would make one out of this bill. Our amendments have never been considered.

Instead, as PK's President noted in her postmortem, their last minute strategy for passing the bill would have "put it on the 'suspension calendar.'" And "[t]here can be no amendments to bills placed on the suspension calendar..."

The anti-copyright lobby is well funded. They have powerful backers. They've warned us they'll be back next year.

We should take them at their word.

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership

Over 80 organizations oppose this bill, representing over half a million creators.

U.S. Creators and the image-making public can email Congress through the Capwiz site: 2 minutes is all it takes to tell the U.S. Congress to uphold copyright protection for the world's artists.

INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS please fax these 4 U.S. State Agencies and appeal to your home representatives for intervention.

CALL CONGRESS: 1-800-828-0498. Tell the U.S. Capitol Switchboard Operator "I would like to leave a message for Congressperson __________ that I oppose the Orphan Works Act." The switchboard operator will patch you through to the lawmaker's office and often take a message which also gets passed on to the lawmaker. Once you're put through tell your Representative the message again.

If you received our mail as a forwarded message, and wish to be added to our mailing list, email us at: Place "Add Name" in the subject line, and provide your name and the email address you want used in the message area. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses.

Please post or forward this message to any interested party.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Zazzle stuff

Got some new things on Zazzle
and a commission to make a Godzilla for a little girl!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tenderizing the New Duvet

Tenderizing the New Duvet
Originally uploaded by trinlayk
New photos (including this video) on my flickr...

I bought a new duvet and duvet cover... the kitties really beat it up the first hour it was on the bed... apparently it makes a cool sound when you rub or pounce on it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Megumi's Missive Friday Afternoon

She's gradually eating better,but still thinner than she should be.
It's getting cool in Milwaukee with a threat of frost tonight. (I need to put mulch over my strawberry plants....)

Last night I had BOTH kitties under the quilt with me, and we were all quite toasty.

ALERT ALERT ALERT!!! during the VP debate the Orphan Works Act was pushed forward in the house.. PLEASE!!!! continue to write your Representatives and beg them to Kill this Bill. PLEASE! protect the rights of creative workers to get paid for the use of their works.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fight the orphan works act!

Protect the copyrights of creative workers everywhere:

This was already sneakily forced through the Senate when everyone was paying attention
to the financial hoopla. YOUR REPRESENTATIVE may not have actually had an opportunity to even have a say!

Please! Keep this bill from passing the house!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

some new items...

make custom gifts at Zazzle

added a T design this evening... the "I dress this way to annoy you" shirt.
Even more new items coming soon.

Thank you to everyone for the prayers, purrs, and help with funding for the vet bills.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Storm Rolling In

There's a storm rolling in, so I'm the one feeling crappy today. (Fibromyalgia sucks.)
Took some medication and going back to bed soon.

Megumi seems to be eating OK, but not up to the amount she'd normally eat.
At least she IS eating. The Lamb seems to be the favorite, the Duck is acceptable,
and the Venison has been declared "weird".

In an hour or two, when I'm feeling better, IF the rain isn't torrential, I'll take Megumi in to be weighed. If we can't manage it today, we'll take her in tomorrow.

Seimei keeps stealing the bag of polyfil (for stuffies) out of my work basket... I don't know why it's so appealing, except he feels like a big game hunter, marching around with it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Megumi likes Lamb

Megumi chowed down at 6pm and ate the whole 1.5 oz of the Lamb (Royal Canin diet) I gave her. Will give her another 1.5 oz around 9pm. Yay.

Started a journal to chart what she's eating, how much, and how often. And generally how she's feeling.

This blog helped get that going.

Should be able to make partial payment to the vet on Monday.

Possible Progress with Virgin / HO Mobile

Re: Account Balance (Tracking No:1227170) Size: 6 KB
Priority: Normal

Hi Silvia,

(I'm NOT SYLVIA! This is actually the 3rd CS agent to be calling me Slyvia!)

Thanks for your email -- and for giving us the opportunity to answer your
question. We're here to help.

I sincerely apologize for the difficulties you are currently experiencing.

I did take a look at your account and see that in past 60 days, you have used up
$34.25 of cash balance. You Topped Up your account for $20.00 on 7/21/2008 and
then again for $20.00 on 9/5/2008.

However, as there seems to be $10 in calls that seems to be unaccounted for we
have credited your account with $10 as on 9/27/2008. This amount will reflect in
your account by overnight.

I replied that since we had already changed companies, that we would prefer a REFUND, and gave them the corrected name and that they should send it to the address on the account. IF I even see the credit, at this point I'll be very surprised. It took OVER A WEEK and SEVEN Customer service agents, to come to the conclusion of what I'd been telling them since the beginning.

Should you ever have a question about any of the transactions on your account,
you can always check it yourself by logging into "My Account" via Once you have signed into your account, you can check
all actions for the past 60 days that involve your account, and even see the
latest news from Virgin Mobile.

If you have any other questions or would like more info, feel free to email us
again ? simply log on your Account via provide your
Account PIN so we can help without delay or feel free to call us at
1-888-322-1122 (or *VM on your Virgin Mobile phone). We'll be delighted to
assist you.

Virgin Mobile At Your Service.

Your satisfaction is our goal ? please take a minute and tell us how we are
doing! Simply click on this link to let us know!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fulla feisty! Cat Report

Megumi is enjoying the special food from the vet, it's DUCK so far. (also lamb and venison haven't been opened yet, but I started with the duck as it has the most calories.)

We started the new special food yesterday afternoon, (I told her that "Grandpa" likes Duck and it's so expensive as Human Food he gets it only about 2x/yr.)...

this morning she ate breakfast, and then went over to pick a play fight with her brother! YAY!

Keep up the purrs, prayers and happy thoughts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Megumi Missive, Evening

Ok, so the vet says it's possibly a dietary sensitivity causing IBS...
Today I picked up some special food. $11 for 6 cans at 6oz each. So it will pretty much take her a day to finish a can in 3-4 separate meals.

So far she's tried the Duck (Royal Canin), and it seems to be OK. (She'll get some more in a little bit and then I'm collapsing for the night.)

I've got about a page left to do for my MilwAPA zine, but I'm just too tired to do anything more.

OH and I got a nice email, but including surprising news, from the Duckon Treasurer... apparently no one realized I was having the trouble I was till 2 WEEKS ago. (I just got the check on the 15th after waiting 4 months, and making regular contact with the art show director.) This makes the handling of the art show look even worse, as there were several points along the way where I was told that the information had been given to the treasurer and I'd have a check in a few days... and here it is it's a complete surprise to him, and he's wondering why she went and wrote a personal check. Several times I was told that the delay was that she had given him the necessary information, but then "he's left for vacation and won't be back for 2 weeks..." sort of thing.

What REALLY has me concerned is the way information changed between 3 days after the con, when an email said that "at least one of your pieces went to the auction", to now, that there seems to be no record of this, or what my pieces DID sell for because as things progressed my paperwork went from "I have everything right here, and we'll get you a check as soon as we've gone over it again." to "I can't find your paperwork."

Yeah, Duckon, please, don't even send me the art show packet before next year's con.
I'm afraid to deal with you again... let me know when you have a new art show committee.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cat News Morning Update

Vet called, yep liver is fine, foliate level is low, which may indicate an intestinal problem. We may be looking at a biopsy.... and even then, a special diet.
It MAY be IBS... Will talk to the vet a bit this afternoon, and get hard copies of the test results.

Thank you Dr. Birkhead for providing help with asking the right questions, as well as providing a 2nd opinion.

Now THIS is an interesting finding... since DD & I both have fibromyalgia; What does "now the cat has it" mean?

Megumi seems to be continuing to do alright, still need her to put some weight back on, but the weight loss didn't happen over night either. She IS eating decently at least at 2 meals a day, sometimes decently for 3 meals.

Virgin Mobile is a RAKE! Pt III

continuing failure to communicate:

Re: Account Balance (Tracking No:1227170) Size: 5 KB
Priority: Normal

In response to my response suggesting that there is no way my DD's use of voicemail (rare) would have used up the missing $10. This is the reply, please note, that this is from YET another service rep at Virgin Mobile....

---- "" wrote:
> Hi Stiles,
> Thanks for your email -- and for giving us the opportunity to help.
> We apologize for the inconvenience caused.
> I have reviewed your account and I see that you have Topped-up with $20 on
> You have been charged for Voice Calls $17.82 from 09/05/2008 - 09/23/2008 and
your current cash balance is $4.43.
> We do not see any other charges on your account that has reduced your cash
balance. Unfortunately we will not be able to refund amount.
> If you still feel that the problem is not resolved, please do reply with the
specific details so that we can resolve the issue.
> If you have any other questions or would like more info, feel free to email us
again ? simply log on your Account via provide your
Account PIN so we can help without delay or feel free to call us at
1-888-322-1122 (or *VM on your Virgin Mobile phone). We'll be delighted to
assist you.
> John
> Virgin Mobile At Your Service
> Your satisfaction is our goal ? please take a minute and tell us how we are
doing! Simply click on this link to let us know!

My records, including the record for my account ONLINE, show around 42 minutes
used. maybe 50 if I count the not listed calls to get voice mail, and the
occasional text FROM VIRGIN. Not 100 minutes used.

Please account for the other 50 minutes of use.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The response from HO Mobile (see prior post)

Me here: Just want to bring up that my daughter may have had 2 or 3 very brief voice mails in the 2 weeks since she "topped up" her prepaid phone. so that's maybe $1.08 in cell time.

Here is the email response we got from Virgin Mobile:
"Re: Account Balance (Tracking No:1227170) Size: 4 KB
Priority: Normal

Hi there,

Thanks for your email -- and for giving us the opportunity to answer your
question. We're here to help.

Please accept my apologies on behalf of Virgin Mobile that this has occurred.
Virgin Mobile values each customer and would never approve of the way you have
stated your issue was handled.

I have reviewed your account and see that you are on 18 Cent TALK. You did
Top-Up with $20 on 9/5/2008. After this Top-Up was applied, you have used this
balance for making/receiving calls at 18 cents.

There are no specific charges on your account which has depleted your balance.
However, please note that you are charged standard airtime for checking
voicemail from your handset.
It's FREE to check your voicemail from another

Should you ever have a question about any of the transactions on your account,
you can always check it yourself by logging into My Account via Once you have signed into your account, you can check
all actions for the past 60 days that involve your account, and even see the
latest news from Virgin Mobile.

If you have any other questions or would like more info, feel free to email us
again ? simply log on your Account via and provide your
Account PIN so we can help without delay or feel free to call us at
1-888-322-1122 (or *VM on your Virgin Mobile phone). We'll be delighted to
assist you.

Virgin Mobile At Your Service

Your satisfaction is our goal ? please take a minute and tell us how we are
doing! Simply click on this link to let us know! "

Yeah, I'm NOT amused...

Virgin Mobile is a HO! and in the worst possible way.

We're having issues with Virgin Mobile
Maybe a whole news stand... I'm waiting for email from Customer Disservice.

My Daughter is getting a new phone because "Virgin Mobile is not a virgin when it bends you over and takes advantage of you."

My daughter has had a Virgin Prepaid mobile phone for nearly a year now.
She's on the 3rd battery for the darned thing and have to admit we were considering replacing the phone itself soon, thinking the particular model of phone may have been the problem. (It's the oyster, it's green and it looks cool...)

The past couple of month it seemed like she ran out of minutes particularly fast, but she puts on $20 at a time, and her D&D group was having some crisis and of course SHE's the rational,compassionate one EVERYONE calls to mediate. But even then it seemed like the minutes vanished faster than she could account for.

So on Sept 5th, just about 2 weeks ago, she puts another $20 on the phone, and now the gamers are getting along somewhat... so last night she got the text "reminder" that she was low on minutes. $4.35 is left. (We were croggled but were visiting friends for a Heroes party... so it got put off an hour or so.)

When we got home we called the 800# and got a run around. The customer disservice guy, (while with a mild accent, seemed to understand English JUST FINE, and was easily understandable. Foreign call center was NOT the issue.) ... after clearly understanding our stated problem kept just repeating the charge rate for the minutes. EVEN AFTER we pulled up her account on line, and found that the rate had gone up with out her being notified, AND that despite this she had USED only about $4.85 (out of the $20 deposit 2 weeks earlier) of her account. My daughter felt that not only was she pointlessly run around in circles, she felt humiliated.

We looked at (and posted) some reviews on line, and quickly realized this was a common problem. Thank heavens we NEVER set up the "automatic payment" option... where apparently it's IMPOSSIBLE to cancel the account, but that it's also impossible to stop the automatic payments! Thank heavens I never gave them a CC#.

We did some research, and considering that she normally uses the phone to make or receive 2 or 3 phone calls per week... that the prepaid is still the best-cheapest sort of service for her. We also looked at reviews for several companies providing similar service... and some problems seem to be fairly common, the Vanishing Minutes is only a common issue with Virgin. We looked at reviews for pricing, service and other issues with a range of companies, and will be getting her a new phone this afternoon.

It's a damn shame that even with "Legit Corporations" people need to scrutinize online reviews like they do Ebay feedback. (...and yes, I'll be looking at on-line reviews before investing in any significant goods or services in the future.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cat News Breakfast Edition

9am breakfast went well, no more stomach upset! Knock on wood...

put up a few new Megumi art works up on flickr...
waiting for a call from the vet for an answer about cat food. (I've got 1& 3/4th cans of the R/d food left, and wondering if we should start mixing it with her regular Innova.)

Fingers crossed, and Early AM Babbling

Megumi wolfed down her dinner with only moderate coaxing after being a picky girl all day. (back to the r/d food) So she ate well at 9 pm... at 2:30 am there was a Puke incident, and it was food coming up, but not a lot of it. She's already acting like she's feeling much better.

She seems to be ok now (5am) and cuddly...and wanting me to go back to sleep.

Seimei of course was, "Sissy's sick come quick!" so he's gotten some praise and extra loving too.

With Megumi's illness we ALMOST forgot Seimei's birthday on Saturday, so he did get treats and sung to, thanks to a reminder in email from Catster. (And a Happy Birthday to MY MOM! Many happy returns.)

Also from the 3Amigos group on Catster:

Thanks for the support everyone!

Oh, and sometime this morning someone added my blog to their RSS feed. THANK YOU!
Hope you realize what you are getting into... probably long periods of cat news, followed by long periods of nothing, and then spurts of news about art and interesting bits. I really SHOULD blog more consistently, but ya know me...

If you are enjoying my blog: take a look at this one, a fellow Milwaukean:
They REALLY love critters, and have lots of cute video and photos too!

I need to work on my 'zine for the Milwapa over the next few days, collation is Saturday.

Check out newish items:

I've gotten packets of plushies sent out to Archon and Necromonicon for the art shows and I should have the packet for Con*Stellation ready to go out Friday. (knock on wood, just a couple of items to finish, and the paper work to fill out.)
Then it's a tizzy of getting things ready for Windycon... though whether I actually get to GO to Windycon is still up in the air. If any of you are going, leave a comment, and maybe if I DO get there, we can plan a meet up.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lazy Saturday

Megumi is eating ok, we're all being lazy cats today...

Received a package from a friend that included this:
A SOLAR Maneki Neko!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Megumi is continuing to do well

woke me up with happy kitty chirpings. ate her food from the vet at breakfast with just a little coaxing, at lunch canned salmon was a BIG hit.
Dinner, I barely got Seimei served, so he wouldn't be underfoot as I prepared food for Megumi and she shoved her face in the can of her REGULAR food and ate a good sized portion. (about 2/3rds of what she normally eats at a meal.)With NO coaxing.

I'm happy she'll eat the "normal" food because it has a better protein and calorie count than the special food.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Has Someone Been NICE to you?

Here is a tag that is for all of you to use and give to people who have been nice and made your day.

Produced by:

and hopefully soon, selling her work on ETSY.
Leave her a comment and tell her Thank you too!

Continuing Cat Report w/Steampunk

Megumi continues to eat, and improve. Eating a bit more each time... hope to get her back to her normal food, since it seems to have more calories than the "special stuff"... (Higher protein % and higher fat %) but will keep with the special food if she snubs the regular.

Now back to more normal topics. awesome article here:

Why People Love Steampunk

a highlight:
"Whereas steampunks are — what? Weirdoes who take pocket-watches too seriously? What are they gonna do, vehemently tell you what time it is?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vet called

FIV & FLe & FIP all negative, urine fine,
waiting on gastro panel & the liver test.

Yay, Yay and Yay...
if everything else comes back good, we'll figure she
had something viral and got over it on her own.

She's eating, but only the special food from the vet
warmed up and served in private...and sometimes needing
a little coaxing to remind her it is yummy.

Sonogram Report

page 1

page 2

Probably gibberish to most readers...
any translations?

Sonogram Day

taking it easy (sedation is gooood) for the sonogram.

Who shaved my belly? When did that happen?

It was kind of a strange experience, but I wasn't scared.

Morning, exhausted human reporting.

Thanks everyone, keep up the prayers and happy thoughts.

She's eating on her own, special "recovery diet" from the vet , with a minimum
of coaxing. Yay!

I'm trying to keep up with the cat news but I think I'm falling a bit behind.
I intend to scan and post the sonography report and a couple of interesting photos.

(I was also planning a blog entry from Megumi's POV about the ultrasound but due to the sedation I expect her main comments will be "oooh tripppy" and "DAMN, who shaved my belly!")

The help from the fund raising efforts made it possible for me to pay a part of the bill yesterday, and the final total is still climbing at this point. (They took a little extra blood for if the tests they're doing show a need for further testing.)

Thank you everyone for your continuing help with so much. My morale would have bottomed out by now without all of you cheering Megumi on!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Early Evening Cat Report

Just a quickie post I have a meeting to go to and have to leave in about 40 min.

She handled the sedation and sonogram fine, and there are more blood tests taken and a liver aspiration, and a urine specimen & ...

The bill will climbing well past $1000 and thanks to everyone's help I was able to pay a part of it today... and even after the tests are back it may keep climbing. We don't really know anything yet.

I'll try to get the few sonogram shots and the sonogram report scanned for posting tonight sometime.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for your continuing prayers, purrs and support.

Running up the Vet Bill

Later today the Sonogram.... and some more blood tests.
Will update as soon as we know something.

There are some new items on zazzle:

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Night Catball

(I'm running out of interesting titles)

Alrighty so we've been back from the Cat specialist for a little bit.
It's clearly NOT her liver, and the xrays from the regular vet are fine:
"Oh you see that thing in her intestine"
"uh huh"
"it's poop."

Megumi was a VERY good girl and let the vet "feel her up" and check her heart and her teeth & ... heart fine, gut feels good (feels a few poohs and a full badder.) her teeth are a bit grungy so something to discuss with the regular vet tomorrow.

Cat specialist also offered her a different kind of "food for sickly cats" the R/D (recovery diet) rather than the a/d (anorexia diet), and it turns out Megumi likes it so much better she was actually CHOWING Down on it when we got home...straight out of the can!

Hopefully, between the sonogram, and the blood tests tomorrow we'll find out why she was so sick. Everyone keep those purrs and prayers and happy thoughts going.

Monday Mid-Day Cat Report....

Megumi nibbled at breakfast, so she got forced a bit of soup (veal baby food & chicken broth)

at lunch she wouldn't take tuna, or the tuna juice... but licked out the salad bowl after I made my sandwich.

I guess everything IS better with Miracle Whip.

At 3:45 I gotta stuff her in the cat carrier to take her to the Cat Specialist.

I picked up her xrays a little bit ago from her regular vet, and an Irish Setter was just in LOVE with me. Her human was a bit confused, "She's usually very obedient, and sits nicely to be petted..." Then I realized, I smell like cat, veal puree, and chicken soup... thank heavens she only wanted to LICK me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Morning Cat Report

Thank you so much for your caring and prayers. She's still putting up a good fight when I need to pill her, and I think her tummy is feeling MUCH better she's cuddling and purring.

I've got bruises on my hands and arms, from this morning's pilling and feeding, and that's with the cat wrapped in a towel!

Oh and yesterday afternoon I witnessed a poo! yay! I know it's a strange thing to be excited about, but with having to force food and water, (I've since replaced the water with pedialyte or chicken soup, per the vet... to up the calorie count) it's really exciting to see her pooing again.

This cat saved my life when she was just a speck over a year old... I had a bad reaction to a new medication while I was home alone, and ended up passed out. She washed my face and meowed desperately till I came to and could call for help. The ER took me right away, as my BP was really spiking, so I know now I can't take naproxen at ALL... (If I had ended up in worse condition, the person who would have found me would have been my daughter when she got home from school. She was only 15 at the time!)

Thank you to everyone helping with fund raising... At this point I think we have almost half of the ultrasound fee!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

OMG! YAY! Iz can has Poo!

Megumi can has POO! (yes actually witnessed it.)
So fortunately her illness is probably NOT a blockage.

I've been forcing food and fluids since Wednesday, and this is the first instance
of waste output.

She isn't eating on her own just yet, but at 2:00 sniffed at the food and inspected it without growling at it. (forced a few bites again at 2)

Got some work to do, but will be home again around 6:30 to try tempting food again...
(forcing if necessary) and will report.

Megumi improving?

yesterday afternoon was manical...
(Landlord stopped by, daughter needing a ride etc.)

Vet called in a appetite enhancer, and she's had it a couple times now,
She sniffed her brother's food last night, but still needed food and fluid forced. (Chicken soup seems to have perked her up.)

Sonagram date had been changed to TUESDAY September 16th. yay!

Last night up on the book case! and washing herself...yay. I gave her some hairball remedy, a smidge more than her usual, and will see if it helps. I also poured about 4ml of chicken soup into her before I went to Lytheria, and when I got back got another 4ml of chicken soup into her before bed.

I don't think I've ever been so happy to observe a cat peeing.

Someone as marvelous as a kitty should NEVER feel sick or even "funky"...
Last night she returned to her custom of cuddling me while I slept, (though switched off with her brother around 2 am) this morning I woke to her cuddling and purring quietly while I petted her.

Gave her pills around 8 am, and should try offering the special foods in a bit....

Monday afternoon she's going to a cat specialist for a second opinion, (they also do not think it's a blockage, but did recommend giving her some hairball remedy stuff.)
Usual vet also gave us a pill for her to stimulate her appetite. Hopefully, today she will eat on her own.

Regular vet managed to get us a sonagram appointment for Tuesday afternoon. (sept 16) which is significantly sooner than the 22nd.

Thank you to everyone contributing to prayers and fund raising efforts
zazzle etsy

product lines at both locations are expanding gradually, so things have changed a bit since yesterday morning.

Thank you to Dancing Dragon & Dr. Birkhead for their suggestions, & support.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pilling a cat

I have to give Megumi a pill, but she's hiding.She was cuddling when I woke up, but then ran to hide.

Hopefully, I can get her to eat on her own today.

Seimei tried on his costume: I'll get better photos soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Megumi illness update

got stuff from the vet, got a nausea reduction pill into her, and a liver support pill, AND some turkey baby food into her. Quite the wrestling match... she hasn't gotten weak.

she sniffed at my teriyaki jerky but wouldn't take a piece. (I usually have to shut myself in a room to not have to fight to get any for ME.) Sniffing at offered food is an improvement over last night.

I need a nap.

DUCKON update: Art show director said, on the phone yesterday, that she'd JUST sent out the check priority mail. Stay tuned for further updates.

Megumi's starter fund-raising for vet fees:

I think the zazzle stuff is nicer...

4:00 Ultrasound date is set for the 22nd (I'm waiting to hear back what time so I can be there with her)...

Has anyone's pet been through this?

(I've been ultrasounded but I'm human.)

How scary is it for them (scary noise, shaving)?

gotta go shove food into her again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Megumi is sick

Megumi kitty sick! vet visit $400,
xray = fine,
bloodtests= pending.

Prayers, purrs, and happy thoughts appreciated.
(This it the kitty that saved my life.)

UPDATE 9am Sept 11, 2008

Vet called, it's something with her liver, more tests coming soon, but they'll have some medicine for me to give her soon.
(something to squirt down her throat to help with the nausea and something to mix with the food to support her stressed liver.)

I'm going to have to make some kind of fundraiser products to sell to raise money for her medical fund.

Good thing for her she's the best damn cat in the universe.

If there are any images from here:
that you would like to have on a Megumi collectible tshirt, mug, sticker etc... let me know!

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My issue with Duckon

I've been sending my work to be shown as Sci Fi conventions for awhile now, and have never had problems until Duckon...

ALL the other conventions have gotten my unsold work back to me within a week, and I usually have check in hand AND if I want, copies of my bid sheets within 2-3 weeks.

Duckon was in Mid June... I was told, a few days after the convention by the art show director that she was busy but would be getting everyone's paperwork in order and would have checks out "by the end of the month".

Mid July I emailed and was told "I've been busy, everything will be in order and the checks mailed out by the end of the week." a week or two passed and I emailed again, adding that "I haven't gotten my unsold work back yet" and about a week later I got my package of unsold work. And the paperwork enclosed was USELESS, it wasn't really a check sheet or verification of packing or anything, Everything was listed in the paperwork as "returned to artist" but only 7 pieces came back to me. I emailed in a panic. She gave me her phone number and it turns out that there's some crazy story about the way the paperwork is produced... Um How about a frakking hand written list showing which pieces WERE sold on sunday, and WHICH pieces I should expect to find in the box? I asked for my bid sheets and any paperwork that would show which pieces were sold. They've somehow gone missing... (can you see the steam?) I had to copy MY checklist, and do the math for what the BASE price (my price less the commission for the art show) on my items were (I still have no proof if maybe they were auctioned off for MORE, and I was told a few days after the convention that "at least one of your plushies went to the auction." )

Two and a half weeks ago ( a full 2 months since the convention) I was told, while I was ON THE PHONE LONG DISTANCE with her, that she was writing a personal check right now, and had an envelope and stamps handy so it would go right out. Thursday this past week I called and was told "Oh it was probably just lost in the mail. I'll send another one right out by priority mail."

At this point just getting the money doesn't solve the issue of having to make long distance calls, send out multiple emails, and basically pester the art show director to get paid AT ALL... It doesn't clear up the problem that I was originally told that at least one of my items went to the auction, and now I can't even get the records of the auction OR my bid sheets... and I'm only going to get the "sunday sale" price (less the show's % of course) for my work.

I just emailed the convention chair, and board for the SECOND time. The first email to the chair and board was about 3 weeks - month ago has never gotten a reply.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Merlin's Meow

Merlin's Meow
Originally uploaded by trinlayk
Merlin sees an unopened can of tuna...
(It was given to him after the video.) Nice masculine voice of coaxing is Merlin's human, Dave.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New yarns coming!

I just ordered some new yarns and they're on the way from the UK.

I've also discovered a couple cool local yarn shops so if you are in the Milwaukee area
add LOOP and Ruhamas to your list of yarn sources.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Ping Panda
is 4.5 inches tall. crochet from a soy wool blend, with safety eyes, and full of polyfil and Love.

Ping likes eating bamboo, playing with kitties, eating bamboo, eating ice cream, watching sunsets and sunrises, gardening and eating bamboo.

More pandas coming soon!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Todd the Kappa

Todd is a creature from Japanese lore/cryptozoology called a Kappa.

I made him as a gift for a friend into boating,
who also is the center of a "kappa (greek letter k) phenomenon"
a sort of a Chaos field where perfectly functional machinery will get goofy,
apparently, due to the presence of my friend.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shirley the pink silk bunny amigurumi

Shirley is crochet from silk yarn and was a sweater in a past life.
Give her some time to chat or a book deal, and she'll tell you all about it!

3.25 inches tall

I really love working in silk, and finding it recycled and ready for upcycling,
helps prevent a finished item that breaks the budget.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


One of three commissioned stuffies... This lil' Godzilla is so charming and cute at 5 inches tall.

He's crochet from alpaca...

There are several other new items in my shop as well.
I've also been busy making critters to send to Duckon.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I've been tagged!

by Briannuh

"1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog"

Ok #1 done,

The rest is going to take awhile... I'll edit this post as I think of things. (and who am I going to tag?)

Seven facts:

7. I'm the crazy cat lady with 2 cats
6. Plush and photo artist...
with a tendency to photograph adventures shared with plushies
(or is that 2 items)
5. I live in Milwaukee Wisconsin
4. I live in a little green house. (not a greenhouse. :D)
3. I have one daughter
2. I'm fannish!
1. I have a yen for Japanese art and design. (Pun intentional)
(actually, I'm sort of a push over for any Asian art/design...)

tag 7 people and link to their blogs... let them know they are tagged...
Ok this may have to wait a bit.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Bowtie Party

This is actually from LAST Summer, the Tritt family had a small dinner party in their antique farmhouse, so Henry could offer a Tutorial on Bowties.

Hope it's useful!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Busy Day in the City

Woke up feeling kinda tired, at 5am... bleh.
Around mid day my friend Henry called, "Would you like to go to Buffet City?"
It's a Chinese Buffet place near my home, and one of my favorites.
So I was taken to a lovely Chinese buffet lunch. Lots of yummy food.

I took my daughter to the DMV to renew her learner's permit... yes she's 21 now, but maybe now she'll actually get her license soon.
Since my hands were stiff and sore I didn't bring my crochet along to work on, but we had a nice chat while waiting and of course Mothra-bun had to get involved. The wait was about 30 minutes so it wasn't TOO awful.

Came home pooped, remember I was tired when I got up, so I went to take a nap.
Door bell rings and my daughter goes to the door for me... UPS had put a box in my screen door. I was surprised and happy, since I didn't expect the package till today or tomorrow. It was the TENS unit to help with the fibromyalgia pain. I tried it out, and wow! I can turn my head and raise my arms today! It's amazing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

amigurumi adventures

I had a busy week, I'm still posting photos to my flickr as I nearly 200 photos on a day trip with a couple of my amigurumi along.

The grey kitty hawk is Monty who was made for a friend of mine, and Mothra-bun seems to be my adventurous avitar/alter ego on these field trips. So I met up with the friend who was to become Monty's Mum, and we took her and her little girl on a day trip to Racine to see the zoo there, and to eat at Kewpie burger.

AND THEN, we went a bit further to Kenosha to ride the trolley and see their new museum.

I found that Mothra having adventures makes for a fun photo collection.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Too much fun this weekend...

Had a meeting on saturday at a GAME shop:

here are some photos of my flitterbun "Bunny" (aka Mothra-bun) on the Warhammer tables.

(no model cities were damaged in the making of these photos.)

more photos here:

I went to see _Forbidden Kingdom_ (Jet Li and Jackie Chan) with a large group of friends last night. Sun Wu Kong (Monkey King) is one of my favorite characters from all of literature, he's such a smarty pants, and played by Jet Li I fell in love with him all over again.

(Buddha doesn't exactly tame Monkey in the epic _Journey to the West_ but rather turns his Attention Deficit Superpowers to Good .)

The other characters were fun, I thought "Silent Monk" was going to turn out to be Tripikata (a major monk character in _Journey_)... I was wrong.

The baddies are also based on folklore/legends and there's a classic villian inspired by a vintage martial arts film. (Oddly enough it's one I've never actually seen.)

I had a great time, and my adrenaline is still up!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Savannah the Stemcell

One of my on line friends is recovering from a few years of chemo and bone marrow transplant from her brother for leukemia...

I made this for her:

Savannah arrived at WallCandy's house today!
Here's her blog entry:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Aslan the Alliterative Amigurumi Avitar

On one of my non-craft fora, a fella with the screen name Aslan has an avitar of a white lion. He commissioned me to make a stuffie avitar for him.

So here is Aslan the alliterative amigurumi avitar:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crazy for Cashmere

I've gone a bit crazy for cashmere...

Meredith the bunny

Mizu the water sprite

both in my shop w/ many others.