Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A break from crafting

So, I didn't do any crafting last weekend because we were at my friend Jeff's wedding in Connecticut! It was a lovely wedding ceremony, and we had a really nice time with our friends Grace and JJ, who were generous enough to drive our butts around all weekend! 

I guess there is a little craftiness that went into this weekend. First, of course, I made the (sort of) crazy quilt as our wedding gift. I came back to work Monday morning to a lovely thank-you email from the couple saying how much they appreciate the gesture and that they are going to hang it in their (tiny Brooklyn) apartment because it's art. My heart just swells when my gifts are appreciated like that! 

Second is the work I did on my dress. It was a total splurge purchased by me during our "spring break '07" trip to Portland, Maine. It was $60, but Rob talked me into it (and actually, those red earrings were from that trip, too! $12, made from vintage beads). It was strapless, and a little too loose for my comfort. So, I added the grosgrain ribbon straps, and I took in the sides of the top at the seams, about an inch or so on each side. The dress is so amazing and fun, with a bunch of tulle in the skirt, so it looked (and felt) like a Miss Muffet dress. So fun! I got a lot of lovely compliments, which was so nice. And I wore my new red Payless Mary Janes, which were surprisingly comfy (no blisters on my first-time wearing them!) and looked so matchy-matchy. 

Okay, and I also forgot that I crafted my red handbag for the wedding, which is another post. I also stitched up a quick felt envelope for cash and ID, but that's another entry, too. The last bit of crafting in that photo above is my lovely work tying Rob's bow tie! We finally figured it out. He was the only man there rocking the bow tie, and he looked so nice in it!

This last photo is of us in front of the hotel on Friday night before we headed to a brew pub for dinner. I just think it's a sweet picture of us. There are lots more on my Flickr page

There probably won't be much crafting this weekend, either, because from Thursday until early Monday morning we will have three Vikings staying with us, including the little one. It's turning out to be a busy summer! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Finished (sort of) crazy quilt

As I mentioned in this post, I made this quilt as a wedding gift for a friend who is getting married this Saturday. The signature and binding didn't happen as I expected (read: a few days later than initially planned), but I finished hand-stitching the binding on Saturday morning and washed and dried the entire thing on Sunday. I think it turned out really well and hope it is used and loved. 

Here's a detail of the quilting on the focus panel. I am still so in love with how washing and drying creates that lovely texture. I also think it helps to hide some tension issues I have happening on the back! As I mentioned previously, the seam-y-ness of the focus panel made quilting it a bit tricky at times, but I don't really know a way around it. I suppose having the walking foot on, as opposed to the free-motion foot, would've made feeding it through a bit easier, but I would've hated rotating the quilt so much to get this pattern! 

For my signature I departed from my usual "KK 2008" chain stitch in favor of a backstitched (with two strands of embroidery floss, I believe) signature with the full wedding date. I figured I'd do that little extra to add to the specialness of the quilt. I think it turned out well, and I did like using the backstitch instead of the chain stitch. For one thing, I got a lot less puckering. For another, I think it went quicker this way. I did this entire thing in about 1.5 hours, and that's how long it usually takes me to do just the initials and the year. 

This quilt was an experiment in a lot of ways, and I think it was successful in that it turned out well and also taught me a lot about how to proceed with things in the future. I tend to forget, but each craft is a valuable learning experience for me, whether or not I decide to make the same thing again. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dear Jane

Sorry I have been slow with the Dear Jane updates, but I have four new blocks to post. This is block D13 and is the one I stitched on the train on my way to work a couple of weeks ago. I really like this fabric!

This is block D6 and was stitched in airports on my way home a few weeks ago.

Here's block F3, started in an airport, worked on an airplane or two, but not finished until after I was home. The fabric is kind of Bo Peep-y, with a lady in a cute dress and a little sheep. I had a hard time getting the block to sit really flat for the photo, but trust me when I say that the square in the bottom left isn't as wonky as it appears.

And here is block C3, with 25 pieces! This is one I pieced at home on June 8th in a couple of hours.

All of the blocks in this post finish at 5"! I was worried about this last one, with all of the seams, but it turned out okay. I am heading to Connecticut this weekend and will have a lot of time in the car (not driving), so hopefully I can make some more progress on this quilt. I'm up to 9 finished blocks and 106 pieces. Only 160 blocks to go... And then I get to start on the triangles!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Secret Family Project Revealed

Here it is, the "secret family project" I've mentioned a few times but haven't really discussed, just in case someone involved may have stumbled upon it before the final reveal. (There are more pictures up on my Flickr site in my quilting set.) 

As I mentioned before, I was home in Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago for my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary celebration. My gramma is very crafty and taught me much about sewing and crafting--she taught me how to crochet forever ago. And when we got married, she gave us a quilt she had made; this is something she does for all of her grandchildren, and it's a tradition that we all really treasure. Anyway, for their anniversary I thought it would be nice if we did something similar, giving back to them in a way that echoes all they do for us. I immediately thought of a quilt, but had no idea what shape it might take. Enter my aunt Sandy... Together we came up with the idea of doing a photo quilt. 

The plan was for every family in our large group (7 children, 15 grandchildren with 5 spouses, 6 great-grandchildren) to submit their own photo, then to fill the rest of the blocks with historical photos of my grandparents and the family as it grew. 

Here is their wedding photo from 1948! 

We kept the work localized to keep it simpler and to make sure it all was done on time! I pre-washed and pressed and cut the fabrics, while my aunt did all of the photo printing and setting. She then pieced the top, and the whole thing came back to me for borders, quilting, and binding. My aunt also spearheaded a movement to have everyone sign the label, which was then scanned, printed on the photo fabric, and stitched to the back by me. The result is what we all hope will be a family heirloom for years to come. 

Here's a (not-so-great) photo of me with my aunt in front of the finished quilt. I was lucky enough to present the finished gift to my grandparents. My gramma cried, only a little, and told me the next day that when she saw what it was I could've knocked her over with a feather. I suppose that's what we were going for. 

Friday, June 13, 2008

Crafty bookshelf, post 3

Let's Make Cute Stuff!: Cute Stuff. I've blogged about this one before. It was a birthday gift from my friends Jenn and Daniel, and we used it to make business card holders and tissue pouches at our last Lady Scouts meeting, the one at my place. The book lives up to its name and is full of cute stuff that is easy to make and just so so adorable!

Let's Make Cute Stuff!: Cute Dolls. Same deal as above. I used this book to make a stuffed bear for Daniel as a birthday gift to him. I had some issues sewing the stretchy jersey, but that was to be expected. In all, another cute and fairly easy book to follow to make big versions of the Cute Book "mascots," plus some new ones, too!

Simple Gifts to Stitch. This book is pretty nice and has some interesting projects in it, though they tend to require materials that aren't easily obtained by me (vinyl, swiss dot fabric, silk organza...). Maybe I just don't know where to look. Anyway, I like a lot of the projects in here, but I don't think I've made anything from it. If you're interested, Finny and Donk are using this book for their current sew-along.

Crafter's Companion. I read this book all the way through shortly after I bought it this spring. I really liked it--it's heavy on the hows and whys of other crafters and light-ish on the projects, but each of the crafters profiled contributed one, and I made the fabric box contributed by the Small Object creator Sarah Neuburger. I blogged on this before, too, but despite my frustrations with creating it, the fabric box has been very useful and is a nice addition to my sewing desk.

Last-Minute Fabric Gifts. In the same series as the other Last-Minute books. This one came before Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, and I think I was hoping for something more along those lines when I bought this one. I haven't made anything from here yet, but there's a tote/bag I like and also some nice scarf ideas. It's a useful book to have, but I don't "stock" most of the materials required by the projects (LOTS of linen, felted wool, dye-able silk) so none of them would be very last-minute for me.

Making Handbags. I bought this book a few years ago when I was taking a class in grad school on independent magazine publishing. For our final project we had to do a lengthy paper on a new magazine we were hoping to (theoretically) launch. I'm pretty proud of my project (still!), which was for a crafty feminist magazine called Ione (after my crafty grandmother's middle name) that would feature a variety of different crafts as well as profiles on women crafters and essays about feminism, particularly the (arguable) 3rd wave branch that's reclaiming "women's work". Anyway, I bought this book because I liked the bag on the cover and have since made it a couple of times, both lined and unlined. The felt I got (which was acetate, not wool) didn't hold up very well, which is a bummer. The other projects in the book are hit-or-miss, but it's a good basic instruction book.

Making Vintage Bags. This is another of my Crafter's Choice introductory books. The bags aren't as varied as you might expect--most of them are variations on 4 or 5 styles, but they're pretty interesting. A lot of them use interfacing and batting and other things I'm not used to using for handbags. I have big plans to whip one up in the next week or so, so will keep you posted on that progress.

Everyday Fashions of the Sixties as Pictured in the Sears Catalog. This was a post-birthday present to myself last year. It's inspiring to look at these old photos (A-line dresses and go-go boots!) and wonder what it would've been like to wear those things. I think I originally thought I would make clothes based on or modeled after those in here, but that hasn't happened yet. I really do need to get back to some garment sewing in between all these quilts!

Random issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting. A magazine I picked up for reference for my magazine project, mentioned above. This is how I learned to knit, though half-way through my first project (a wrap that was super simple) I realized I'd been doing it wrong, but I just kept chugging along.

Random issue of Threads magazine. Yet another magazine for my magazine class project. This has some interesting features on pleating and covered buttons. I feel like I should subscribe, but I also have the feeling it's expensive. I've just looked into it, and it's $32.95 for a one-year, six-issue subscription. Yeah, I can't really afford that.

Learning to Love You More. This book doesn't really fit here, but I didn't know where else it would fit. This was a Christmas gift from Rob this year, and it's full of inspiring assignments and projects from the website, which I used to check regularly. It's good stuff, though somehow oddly unsettling.

Quilts of Gee's Bend postcard book. When we went to see this exhibit at the MFA three years (?) ago, this was the only souvenir in the gift shop that I could afford. It's still intact, and a nice little portable catalog of some highlights from the exhibition.

In case you were wondering, the little shelf above these books is filled with back issues of Bitch magazine, which I really love. The bottom shelf has a fabric basket that contains all of my yarn and my meagre knitting supplies.

And that's it for my crafty books! It's turning into quite a library...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crafty bookshelf, post 2

Vogue Sewing Book. This vintage book (from the 1960s) was a total score! I got it for $8--slipcase and everything--at a lovely bookstore in Portland, Maine when Rob and I took our "spring break" trip in March 2007. It is full of information on how to flatter many different body types, plus examples of and information about all kinds of garment details, like knife pleats and peter pan collars and ruffled hems... Whenever I get back to garment sewing, I will be using it quite a bit.

The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing. I used money from a small quilted wall hanging I'd sold to buy this book. It sort of goes hand-in-hand with the book above. The Vogue book has more examples, while this Singer book has more tutorials.

S.E.W: Sew Everything Workshop. Sew Everything Workshop. I bought this book post-Christmas with some of my Christmas money. I've only made the cardigan in it, and it turned out a bit big and boxy. A lot of that may have to do with the heavy wool felt I used, though. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and I plan to whip up the Flouncy Tank from some linens in the near future.

Sew U. Another post-Christmas purchase by me, but from two Christmases ago. I've read different portions of this one and they're all very clear and informative, but not dry, either. Word on the web is that Wendy has the BEST patterns, especially for pants. I've been wanting to make some nice tailored pants for myself for a long time, but am always too intimidated to actually purchase some of the lovely men's suiting fabrics at my local fabric store. However, while typing this, I had a brainstorm about the skirt pattern in this book and that being useful for a cute eyelet-lace-edged A-line I've been dreaming up... That might be something happening in the near future! I need to assess my zipper situation first, though.

The Cute Book. Of course! Quite possibly the best unexpected birthday present ever! From my friend Kate for my 26th year. For her next birthday, I presented her with a little basket full of a dozen of these little guys! They are so cute (obviously) and so fun to make! Though I'm still struggling with the whole French knot bit... And I can no longer find the perfect color of felt to make the squirrel. I'm continually on the look-out for it, though.

Toys to Sew. This book is a wonderful little gem I found at the MFA bookstore on my lunch break one lovely Friday. It was an unexpected splurge, but it has served me very well and continues to inspire me. As a kid I loved my stuffed animals more than anything else, and I had a hard time weaning myself from them. This book brings them back to me! I've made all of the dinosaurs out of felt for Christmas gifts (see images here) as well as a miniature version of the elephant and a full, lovely version of the turtle. I actually cut the body for a second turtle for myself at the same time, but it took me a good 8+ hours to make the first one (a gift for my wonderful co-worker Lora) so I haven't been ready to tackle another one just yet.

Softies. Another of those you-can-be-a-"grown-up"-and-still-love-stuffed-animals! books. I think I've only ever made the elephant from here (I blogged about this before) but I still love this book and need to flip through it more.

Super Crafty. This is possibly my first crafting book and the one that started this little collection. It was a birthday gift from Rob way back in the day, possibly for my first birthday after we moved to Boston and were so poor! I had asked for it, and he went out of his way to get it for me. I did make one project inspired by this book. On the wall in our living room are 24 small (4" x 6"?) canvases painted in a variety of solid colors and hung in a random-ish diamond kind of shape. It is the focal point in the room, and even after nearly two years I haven't tired of looking at it. I also painted three solid canvases, these are a larger 8" x 10", and hung them on the wall above our bed. It's a good, easy, lovely solution.

antique needlework book. This was a gift from my office Secret Santa this past year. The binding is starting to fall apart, so I have to be very careful with it. It has line drawings, some colored photo tip-ins, and tons of instructions to make all manner of embroidery stitches as well as knitting and crochet. Such a cute little resource.

Things I Made - creative journal. Purchased from my Amazon wishlist by my brother this past Christmas, this little book is what I've been using to keep track of completion dates and notes on my projects. It's small and neat and interspersed with quotes about creativity.

Missing: Sew What! Skirts, which I've loaned to Jenn. I am not super impressed with this book. I bought this one along with the Built by Wendy one post-Christmas a year and a half ago. I think the book is helpful in it's sections on measuring and waistbands and the nitty gritty, but I am not very pleased with the skirts shown throughout. When I pulled the book out to loan it to Jenn and flipped through it again, I realized that it may be a better resource than I'd been giving it credit for, but I just haven't sewn any skirts in forever, so I haven't revisited it.

In case you were wondering, that bottom shelf is stacked full of back-issues of BUST magazine, which I love and am afraid to part with! Hence the storage.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Crafty bookshelf, post 1

I figured it might be interesting to devote a post or two to my crafty book shelf and the growing collection of craft books I am accumulating. These sweet little shelves reside just to the right of my sewing desk and hold all of my crafty books (and that black thing on top of the left one is the antique typewriter I got Rob for our 7 years of dating bliss anniversary). I haven't made projects from most of them, but I love surrounding myself with them. I love flipping through them and looking at the pictures; I find it immensely inspiring. So, left to right, here's the breakdown of what's on my book shelf: 

Quilts: A calendar. This calendar is awesome. It's hanging on the wall right now, but in the envelope are the patterns for all of the quilts on the calendar. It's like a book, but for the wall!

The Quilts of Gee's Bend. This book was a lovely Christmas gift from Rob in...2005? We were lucky enough to see the Gee's Bend show when it came to the MFA in Boston the summer before that. All of that happened years before I actually started quilting myself! But I do believe it all helped plant the seed... 

The Quilt
. This is another Christmas gift from Rob but from this past year, 2007. It is huge and full of so much information. I started to read it over my Christmas break but didn't get very far. I really do intend to read it someday, but it's a little unwieldy and must be read at home, probably in the winter time. 

Pieceful Patches half-square triangles book. This was a birthday gift from my grandmother, the one who quilts. Gramma Mary received these half-square triangle freezer paper templates as a gift from someone and loved them so much. They are really easy and make perfect double-triangle squares! The book was accompanied by some templates plus a nice note from her calling out the patterns she particularly likes. It is something I really treasure. 

Not Just Another Quilt
. This was a book purchased used at the Brookline Booksmith. I was fairly new to quilting at the time and snagged this one because it had some interesting arty quilts in it + patterns. At this point, I don't really like this book and don't think it will be all that helpful. It may be something to purge, if it comes to that. 

All About Quilting from A to Z
. Another used book from the Booksmith, from the same trip mentioned above. This book is a bit more helpful, though, and I've found myself going to it a couple of times for reference. 

Happy Hour Quilts by Atkinson Designs. I bought this at my local quilt shop in November. I have made two of the projects in the book--the one on the cover (in a similar colorway) for my retired boss Steve, and the cute tote bag, which I got a lot of compliments on. I'm sure I've said it before, but I really like Atkinson Designs and their patterns! 

Cut-Loose Quilts. I got this book from Overstock.com because I became obsessed with the butterflies quilts. There was a four- or six-block sampler up in my local quilt shop for a long time and I always admired it. Then, when I stumbled across the book with the techniques to make that and similar blocks, I had to get it. I haven't made anything yet, but I'm slowly accumulating fabrics for my own butterfly wall hanging. 

Tradition with a Twist. Another book I bought--I think from Overstock, too--because I was obsessed with a project in it. The Blooming Nine-Patch, if you haven't already seen it, is incredible. See some examples online here and here. I haven't made this one yet, but it's an idea that's been brewing in the back of my mind for a looooong time. 

Quilting in the Country. One of my introductory books from the Crafter's Choice book club. I know, I know... It's a little cheesy and a lot embarrassing, but I couldn't resist joining! This book promises themed quilting and patchwork projects plus recipes and party ideas. It's cute to look at, but I don't think I'll be making any of the projects, recipes, OR hosting any of the parties any time soon. Might be a purger in a year or so. 

Stash-Buster Quilts. Another of the Crafter's Choice picks. This one seems pretty good, though I really only leafed through it when I got it. At some point I will need to make some stash-buster projects, so I will come back to this. 

Bits and Pieces. Yet ANOTHER Crafter's Choice book. This is probably my favorite from my first round of books. It's a fat-quarter-or-smaller kind of book, and the quilts are doll size or smaller. They're also very lovely! There are sections on rectangles, triangles, diamonds, and applique. All of the projects just call out for hand-piecing and hand-quilting, too! My newest idea, which Rob seems fine with, is to do a series (like 5+) of small quilts and hang them in the hallway outside our apartment door (we live in the top floor of a little house, so only us and our visitors and the occasional visit from the landlord will see it, but still... we're running out of wall space!). 

Easy Bias-Covered Curves. I blogged about receiving this book here. Lots of ideas in it, and some really great projects, though, honestly, I don't mind piecing my curves... I suppose all it really takes is one Drunkard's Path quilt to change that, though! 

Quiltmaking by Hand. I thought I'd blogged about buying this book back in April or something, shortly after I started my Dear Jane, but now I can't find that entry and I don't think it exists! Oh well. I'd read a lot about this book online and it's well regarded as THE book on hand-piecing. I also haven't read this book, and I really should, since I've been doing so much hand work these days. I would like to do a mini sampler using the techniques in here. Perhaps this summer, if I ever finish those dresses.... 

Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. Ahh, this bit of wonderfulness. So far I've used this book to make two projects, but I can see myself making so many more. It's beautiful, and creative, and just one of the wonderful things I like to surround myself with. 

Denyse Schmidt Quilts. This book was recommended to me by my friend Jenn and was a Christmas gift from my mom in 2006. It's my FIRST quilting book, and I used it a lot when I was quilting and binding my first quilt. Denyse Schmidt's style is so cool yet simple. I've made this big project from the book, but also a bunch of other things. I think this is my most-used book as far as projects go. I've had a good, easy time making them all--what else can you ask for in a craft book? 

The Quilter's Catalog. Aaand, rounding out the "quilting" shelf, is this one, which I also blogged about receiving here. (Yes, it's another Crafter's Choice, but this one I paid for.) I've read snippets of the book here and there, and from what I can tell it's informative without being burdensome or breezy. The 12 projects aren't the greatest, but this is not a project kind of book. I definitely want to read this one over time, too. It's just a little hefty to be lugging to Boston and back 5 times a week. 

Missing is my Dear Jane book, which I have stashed away with my templates and rulers and fabrics for the Dear Jane quilt. Obviously, I'm using this book. I've also read it, though there's not a ton of text in it. I found it a little too "cutesy," but whatever; it's not bothersome. 

So, there you have it, my first of three entries on my crafty bookshelves. It's really a collection of beautiful things that inspire me to make more beautiful things. It's a wonderful resource

Monday, June 9, 2008

(sort of) crazy quilt

I figured I'd better get this in-progress post up now before I show you the finished project! This is the "(sort of) crazy quilt" from the book Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, which I know I've mentioned before. This center "focus" panel is roughly 27" square, so a bit bigger than the one featured in the book. It was fun to put together, but did take a bit of time. My main issue with it is that it's very "seam-y". Especially because I used Kona cottons, which are nice and thick. I had a tough time getting it all to lay flat for the quilt sandwich. 

I wanted to keep this project simple, but I also wanted it to be fairly big. So I framed it with a nice Kona white and bordered it with a lovely Kona gray to get it up to baby quilt size--around 45" x 60". It's for my friend Jeff and his wife-to-be as a wedding gift, so I'm hoping they'll use it as a lap quilt instead. That's big enough, right? 

At any rate, the wedding is 6/21 and I needed to quilt and bind and wash it before then, so had to get cranking on it yesterday as I was running out of time! I finally got it all quilted last night. I had a lot of trouble in the beginning and it was stop-and-go for a while, but I knocked it out and I think it looks pretty good! Tonight I get to the embroidered signature, and tomorrow night I hope to apply the binding so it can be stitched by this weekend, just in time for washing. It will be nice to have this finished so I don't have to worry about it. One less thing to think about is EXACTLY what I need right now. Also to not be working on really warm quilts in 90* heat. Ugh. 

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bee bag

At long last, an actual entry about something crafty! This is my bee bag, based on the Wasp Bag pattern from Machen/Machen, found here. I whipped it up on the Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend--it took probably 4-6 hours total to complete. This outer fabric came from an upholstery remnant, a gift from a friend who was cleaning out her stash, and ended up being perfect! The lining is a quilting cotton I bought at my local quilt shop to complement the bees. It kind of looks like honeycomb, but is actually a Fun Quilts design with lots of spirals and swirls. Cute.

The bag itself is VERY roomy, which I'm liking. I made some alterations to the pattern because I wanted to do things MY way (remember this post?). I used a heavy fusible interfacing for the bag body but ironed it onto the cotton lining instead of the outer bee fabric because the weave on the back of the bees is pretty big and I was afraid it would cause puckers or gaps. This seemed to work out fine.

The pattern also has you pressing under the seam allowance for the straps, pinning them together, and then top-stitching all the way around. I thought I could get a more precise connection if I sewed right sides together and then turned the straps inside-out, pressed, and THEN top-stitched. I think I was right, and turning them wasn't too tricky as they're wide enough to make it easy.

I modified the key strap and am really liking using one! I can't believe I never thought of that before. I also eliminated the interior pocket.

I used a heavy Timtex interfacing for the top panel on each of the sides. This wasn't a fusible interfacing, though, and I didn't want it to wiggle around, nor did I want to edge-stitch it to one of the pieces because I wanted to keep it out of the seam allowance. What's a girl to do? Use some Heat-n-Bond, of course! It worked fine and everything is holding up nicely--and it's been nearly two weeks of constant use already!

I also opted against using a magnetic snap, mainly because I didn't have one, but also because I didn't know how to attach one and wanted to finish! The photo above is a detail shot of the button on the strap. The pattern calls for attaching the button BEFORE top-stitching the strap (which is what attaches the teardrop end to the panel) but I didn't want the button to get in the way of my presser foot, so I saved that part for last. I stacked two buttons I got at my local quilt shop and sewed them on with one strand each of two different green embroidery flosses. I like the effect.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Sometimes the best laid plans get sidetracked. I was very busy during my "vacation" home with very little time for internetting, so the blog entries I'd carefully begun preparing never happened. And then, after a rough trip back to Salem, THIS happened on Monday night. We noticed Iris rubbing her eye around 6:30, and she was keeping it shut and it was turning pink and red, and also weeping a little. Rob called our vet, but they were already closed, so we were directed to an emergency vet a few towns over. Rob called them and they advised we bring her in because it was her eye and could've been major. We got there around 7:30 and were there until 11--didn't get home until 11:30. Ugh. So much for a quiet night at home after my "vacation"!

Iris has an ulcer in her eye. They did a corneal stain and found the corneal ulcer. They said this could be due to eye trauma (a scratch or something) or could be secondary to a viral infection. She had a fever of 103.8* when we brought her in, which is why they suspected a virus. They checked Iris's eyes for glaucoma but she was fine. They gave her an injection of fluids under her skin for the fever--it was a big ball of liquid in her scruff and was very weird. But it seems to be mostly gone today. She has to wear an Elizabethan collar (we call it her "princess crown"--though today it looked to me more like a "Little House on the Prairie bonnet") so she can't rub at her eye. We are giving her antibiotic ointment in her eye three times a day, for ten days. Ick.

Here's a close-up of her icky eye from yesterday. Poor little Beansie. Rob said she's sad because she can't play. But she is loving the pets and snuggles and is purring a lot. She has an appetite and is frisky (though frustrated) so seems to be fairly normal aside from the eye. She's having a hard time navigating the cone, though. It's going to be a LONG week and a half, so I hope she figures it out soon. There's no way we can take it off her--she just goes right to rubbing that eye :( She's pretty sneaky, though, and managed to escape from it four times yesterday! But she hasn't gotten out since I re-tied it last night. My mom suggested Super Glue, but I just don't think that's a good idea...

Bellow is very curious and is following her EVERYWHERE.

At any rate, they said she should be much improved by the end of this week and will need another corneal stain to make sure the ulcer is reducing or gone. Hopefully she gets better and it doesn't turn out to be a bacterial infection or anything. I'm just glad that (knock on wood) it's nothing more serious. She has a follow-up appt. on Friday with her regular vet and we will see then if the eye is improving. It seems to us that it is, but we've also been having a hard time getting the goop right in her eye.

So, I've been playing nursemaid at home to our poor, sweet little girl. She is loving all of the pets and snuggles she's getting from this, and the treats for putting up with the eye goop and the re-tying of the collar. We will all be happy to see her return to her kitteny, playful self soon.

I hope to fill in those promised blog entries soon, but it may be a while before they're posted. Sorry!