Tag Archives: family

Lino Loveliness

3 Dec

I’ve been spending a few days in the bosom of the Monster family as we enjoy an early Christmas. My brother and his girlfriend will be in Oz over Christmas so we decided to bring it all forward by a few weeks, more on that another time…

Today my Dad and I had the day to ourselves as everyone else headed home last night, so I took the opportunity to pick his arty brain and learn a bit about lino-printing. He’s been print-making for many years but recently started getting serious and has been creating some fabulous images.

I love to learn new things, so over a mince-pie and a cup of tea he showed me the basics. One minor injury and some dramatic bleeding later, I had produced my first lino-printed image. Drawing has never been my strong point, but I managed to sketch a design I was reasonably happy with onto the lino as a starting point.

Lino printThe process of carving out the design was both totally confusing and thoroughly absorbing. I found it pretty tricky to work out what I should leave and what I should take away, but once I got going I started to get the hang of it.

Lino printThe time slipped by un-noticed and three hours later I was ready to get inky.

Lino printExciting! I find that so much in the world now is instant, that I enjoy the anticipation of waiting to see how something will turn out. Carefully placing the paper, giving it a good old rub with a wooden spoon, and then the reveal…

Lino printYay! For a first attempt I’m pretty happy with that. Any new skill is a learning curve and were I to do it again I would have left some fur detail in on the fox. All in all though, I enjoyed the process and am being packed off home with some basic supplies to do some more when I get home, so watch this space!

 

Kisses not Hisses…

31 Jul

…paws not claws became the mantra in the monster household this weekend as we welcomed a new kitten to the family.

As you may have seen in an earlier post, we lost our beloved cat Lori a few weeks ago. She was a special cat and totally irreplaceable, so we were adamant that we weren’t going to get another. Our other little girl Tilly has never been alone. We took her from her brothers at eight weeks old, she came home with us and bonded with Lori straight away becoming best friends and partners in crime. Seeing her lost and lonely without Lori was breaking my heart. She looked everywhere for her, and when she couldn’t find her would mew with such sadness. She would bring her favourite ball to us at 3am wanting the play and we would wake up with her curled up between us on the bed. I tried to be patient and I’m sure that eventually she would have adjusted to being on her own, but on Saturday morning I broke down.

Mr Monster, being the kind of chap that he is, made the decision that a new kitten was the only solution for all of us so we got online and found this little bundle.

Meet Barney. So far, we know that he is ten weeks old, has a beautiful little purr, is daft as a brush, and loves to be cuddled. He will eat anything and keeps trying to steal food from our plates and from Tilly’s bowl. His mews sound like he is on helium, and he can jump like no cat I’ve ever seen.

We did lots of research on introducing kittens to older cats and knew that it wouldn’t be a walk in the park but I have to say, it’s been a pretty smooth process. Tilly is a very sociable and playful cat and after the initial little bit of hissing and hiding, she is now accepting the new arrival and starting to join him in playtime. She’s done us proud and is back to her old self again. When we first bought Barney home, we did have a moment of ‘did we do he right thing’, but we now know that we absolutely did, and our family is starting to feel a little bit more complete.

Lori will never be forgotten, in fact Barney is already starting to show some Lori-isms, and is breathing new life into some of the toys she loved when she was a kitten which is reminding us of happy times.

I think I need to come to terms with the fact that I am, and always will be a cat lady!

A Fond Farewell

22 Jul

Yesterday, Andy (Mr Monster) and I had our first real tragedy to deal with as a couple. Our beloved cat Lori died very suddenly, and it broke our hearts.

I will spare you the dramatic details of her passing, but will just say that she suffered a stroke at home, the stress of being transported to the vets bought on a heart attack and she died in Andy’s arms. Of course in the last day and a half we have gone through every emotion imaginable, from shock, to guilt, to anger and ultimately to shattering sadness.

Until having pets of my own, I never really understood the depth of love which a person can feel for an animal, and had this happened to someone I knew before experiencing pet ownership I would have taken the stance of ‘yes, that’s very sad, but it’s just a cat’. I now know that it is never JUST an animal. Pets become so much part of your life and of who you are, that the grief of loosing them is very real indeed.

Lori could never be described as just a cat. She was the first pet that either Andy or I had owned as an adult, and was symbolic of our commitment to one another in the early stages of our relationship. She was our baby, and when we first bought her home we were like nervous and clueless first time parents, bonding through shared learning of how to care for this little life. We grew her from a tiny wee 8 week old energetic fur-ball, into an elegant and beautiful 15 month old cat.

Her name was Lorelei, named after my favourite Marilyn Monroe role, as in my eyes she was as stunning as the lady herself. We called her Lori for short and she was also known by many silly nick-names including Loricopter, and Lori-pops; the latter spawned her very own theme song which we used to sing to her, to the tune of the song ‘Lollipop’. She had a calm and loving temperament and was a true Daddy’s girl. She was like a little shadow to Andy and would follow him around the flat. If he went into the bathroom she would sit by the door patiently waiting for him to come back out, and her favourite place to sleep was on his chest, in our bed. She would sit with me when I was sad, and would even sometimes perch on the back of the sofa and groom my hair.

She left us too soon, but we are now trying to focus on giving as much love as we can to Tilly, our other cherished kitty who we got as a companion for Lori after we’d had her for four weeks. They were thick as thieves, played together, slept together, and had a good healthy line in rough-and-tumble together. Watching Tilly look lost without her is almost as painful as having lost Lori. She has looked everywhere for her and she keeps thinking she hears her claws on the wood floor and pricking her ears up and craning to see where she is. I have spent the day cuddling her and playing with her as much as I can and I’m sure she will get used to things being different in time.

Andy and I were overwhelmed yesterday by the support we received from our families and friends in light of the traumatic and sudden way everything happened. Everyone rallied round with messages of support and lots of people came forward to keep us busy and distracted for the day which was exactly what we needed. Thank you to everyone for that. I think it was clear for all to see just how much we loved her.

I wanted to do a gallery of some of my favourite photos of her, but having written this I am now finding searching through pictures to be too painful. I will instead just leave you with our favourite picture of Lori, taken on her first birthday. The pose was one which she could often be found in at random locations around the flat and which made me chuckle every time. Goodbye my little Lori-pops, and sleep well.

 

All Grown Up

18 Jul

Our recent enforced house-hunt is over. Mr Monster and I make a pretty good team which was demonstrated in the slick way in which we found our next home. I’m currently on two weeks annual leave so used my time to scope out promising places while the Mr was at work, and arranging for him to see them in the evenings.

We seem to have found ourselves a rather gorgeous three bedroom semi-detached house and it all feels terribly grown-up. I have to keep reminding myself that I am, in fact, thirty years old and getting married. I think I qualify as an adult but having only lived in flats since leaving home in 2002, I must admit that I found the idea of taking on a ‘family’ home quite daunting.

When I went to see the house with an impartial friend as a second pair of eyes, I knew it was perfect. Clean, newly decorated, spacious, everything we need in a new home. However, I found myself making every excuse under the sun as to why it was no good for us. Too big, needs too much furniture, a front garden to tend, you name it…but deep down it felt like home.

It took me quite a few hours of thrashing out the pros and cons over a couple of glasses of wine with my friend to eventually figure out that it was the one. Mr Monster managed to see it briefly that evening and rang me immediately to say that he felt it was perfect. Funnily enough, he’s much more comfortable than I am with the idea of moving into the house in which we will, in all likelihood be raising a family. We put down a holding deposit straight away and provided that everything goes well with the paperwork, we move in on the 8th September.

We’ve already worked out how to divide up the bedrooms for the time-being. I am very pleased to say that I’m lucky enough to be gifted with the master bedroom as a craftroom, whilst Mr Monster is taking the smallest room as his ‘Man-cave’, complete with Xbox and other manly type things. We have a beautiful garden, a sunny living room, and an off-road parking space so I don’t have to attempt to parallel park which has never been my strong point.

So, crisis averted. We may have been forced to move well before we felt ready, and at a very inconvenient time, but it looks as if it is all turning out for the best. We get a marital home in which we can settle, expand, and live happily ever after, which is lets face it, the only thing we really need.

Typical Women

21 Nov

Like most of us ladies, I would happily admit that I love bags and shoes, and if I’m honest it’s because there’s no chance of them making my bum look big. As it turns out, my two pretty little girl kittens Lori and Tilly are no exception to the accessories rule.

Lori and TillyEver since we got them at 8 weeks old they have been obsessed with shoes, climbing in them, climbing on them, chewing them and generally doing a lot of kitty type pouncing behaviour in the shoe cupboard.

Shoe kittens

The new thing seems to be bags, plastic ones, paper ones, rucksacks, laptop cases – all bags will be sought out and thoroughly sat on or in. Lori in particular has a penchant for Primark carrier bags and so I dutifully go clothes shopping on a regular basis to keep up with the demand. She also managed to narrowly avoid abduction by one of Mr Monster’s guitar teaching clients when she climbed inside his guitar case during a lesson.

Bag catBag catPrimark CatPrimark CatThe upshot being that all our shoes have tiny holes in them and all handbags etc. are covered in cat hair, but they get away with it cos they’re so damn cute.

Lori's first day

Lori's first day

Lori and Monkey

Lori and Monkey

Lori and her Daddy

Lori and her Daddy

Tilly Arrives

Tilly Arrives

Pretty Kitty

Pretty Kitty

BFF

BFF

Kittens in the Sun

Kittens in the Sun

Pair of Bookends

Pair of Bookends

Big and Little Spoon

Big and Little Spoon

My Fabric Addiction is Contagious

My Fabric Addiction is Contagious

Cat to the Future

Cat to the Future

I'm With the Band

I'm With the Band

My Family

My Family

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 542 other followers