Monday, November 30, 2015

In Honor of LOVE

The one sure thing you can say about my father, that remained true throughout his entire life, was that he dearly loved cats.  Even when Alzheimers took away most of what made him - him, he was still a genuine ailurophile. The weekend after he passed in 2010 we adopted two little orphaned kittens and named them in honor of my father's service during World War II - Kadashan Bay -  named after the ship he served on - and Chester Nimitz - named after the fleet admiral for the United States Navy during WWII.

Over the years Kadashan grew into a "big buddha-bellied bumble bee-biting butter biscuit" of a cat with his brother, Chester, always remaining on the petite side. Tender, loving, inquisitive and absolutely adorable, our Chester was the most beautifully-marked cat we'd ever had.  He loved to tag team for moles with his brother when out back for their "supervised" excursions and liked nothing more than to jump up into his tree to sharpen his claws, check out the yard from a higher vantage point or delay the inevitable when his human brother, Jack, would announce it was time to go in! In January of this year we had to say Farewell to our beloved Chester "Wolfpaw" Nimitz.   
A young spirit with an old soul in a body that was never meant for longevity.  Gone too soon - he joined the others who have drifted in and out of our lives - bringing only LOVE and leaving sweet cherished memories.         Although the winter ground was frozen we laid him to rest next to the castle wall, beneath the branches of his tree where he loved to hunt for moles in the thick green ivy and roll in the soft black soil.

In the Spring we began construction on our FoamFriends Medieval Village.  We started with building three wattle and daub huts and a village well all made from extruded polystyrene and foam craft sheets with plans to eventually design and build a 1:12 scale medieval inn which we would name in honor of our dearly-departed little friend.

Presenting a work in progress:
                                                                                              For Jeffrey and I - working on this project together has been a wonderfully gratifying experience and as we near the time when the Inn will be placed upon the spot where Chester rests - we find ourselves reflecting on the dear memories of all of the many fur people who have graced our home by sharing their, all too brief, lives with us.  Once the Inn is moved outside, our Bombadil and Goldberry will have to find new napping locations or maybe a foam "cat house" is next on the project list?!  

See more photos of Chester's Rest in the Garden Village gallery tab.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter is a State of Mind

I must admit that a smile crept across my face earlier this week when I watched the people of the Deep South struggling with their little temporary taste of what winter really feels and looks like.  It's not a lack of compassion for my fellow human beings - it's JOY in finally getting to share with them the true burden and character-building aspects of that time of year when our hemisphere is tilted the winter way. Welcome fellow Earth inhabitants in the southern part of the U.S. to what has been our Northern reality and what is now becoming...yours.

When you can't roll around in the grass because it is covered with inches (and sometimes feet) of snow. When the sidewalks are unshoveled or icy.  When the roads are too treacherous for travel.  When just going out to get the mail or take out the recycling makes your eyeballs hurt - that is when you discover just how strong you truly are.  Winter is harsh from the salt stains on your boots to the dry skin on your face (the only body part you can reveal for several months) and if you are not in the right frame of will creep into your heart and make you sad.

So how do I avoid those cabin-fever cold-weather induced slumps in mood?  I opened an account with Pinterest ( and started experimenting with new (and exciting) ways to work with FOAM!!! is a warning.  
Pinterest must be used in moderation.  
Yes, it can be a time-stealer but more than can put the right side of your brain on overload!!  There are so many creative people out there with really madly-wild, and not always necessary, crafting skills and I find myself wanting, no - needing, to try my hand at making EVERYTHING!!

So...I reigned myself in and tried one new thing at a time.  
First up....creating Faux Leather from Craft Foam Sheets.
MASKS!!   I could make masks!!   It's too cold to be outside so why not spend a weekend (and a snow day) and make a bunch of masks? The Woodland Spirit mask was inspired by masks made by WingandTalon Leatherworks.  

                                                                                                                                                                  The cats are my own and they are The Venetian, the Celtic, and The Garden Cat. 
       They look cool as a wall display and yes, you can even wear them if you like (but be careful wearing them around your seems to mess with their sense of reality some how.)  

Winter is truly a State of Mind and  I hope you are finding ways to cope and create until the time comes when we can go back outside without putting on 5 pounds of additional clothing, scraping, shoveling, de-icing, and on and on.  But in the meantime....May I suggest bringing a little FOAMFRIENDS into your life?   

FoamFriends can help make your journey a FOAM-filled one!!