Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Welcome to CatMinders

Friday, 2 January 2009

Paper Making


Paper Making : the perfect antidote to yesterday .
New Year has properly been celebrated and I have the front sheets ( still drying on the radiators ) transported from Liz's for several birthday cards ( upcoming in January ) . The photographs show various stages of the process . The books collected by Liz over the years . The original liquidiser I forgot I had donated to Liz for the purpose which was a birthday present to me from my mother some thirty six years ago . Liz and I first made paper together after she took a course before she went to live in Fiji and before she had her children . She has recently returned from a holiday there and today I am wearing a necklace made with tiny shells brought from Fiji presented to me by Liz on the occasion of my recent landmark birthday . One of the pictures shows Liz cutting out a tiny greyhound shape for the wire mesh stencil I used to make paper sheets . Being Art , we decided it was of no consequence if at the end the shape was only vaguely greyhound like , giving the echo or sense of a skinny dog . Currently there are about seven such skinnies drying in grey , a darker grey and pink . We shall see.
having spent much of our time finding such a dog on the internet , cutting out in paper then in wire mesh , I then stated , " a cat would have been simpler and easier to recognise "
"yes" said Liz , thoughtfully ..... but we moved on .

As we work , or play , Liz 's boys are in and out and I am envious of how home based they are . N is much less at home . Much less in evidence and apparently much less still interested in doing family things . J greets me when I arrive and helps me make coffee as Liz is involved in a phone call with a German friend . It transpires that prompting has forerun this greeting and coffee making but nonetheless I am impressed with his social skills and warmth . I would expect no less though from the child of this family , whose parents are so welcoming and enthusiastic for life and friendships .
Liz is delighted to have the opportunity to share her many creative talents and the afternoon passes with much reminiscing about past events , friends , situations and such like .

For anyone interested in papermaking the process is not complicated .
We use offcuts from a local picture framing shop , who gave Liz the border card / paper / mount . This is soaked overnight in water , then liquidised. Once pulped it is divided into smaller amounts , and coloured either by the addition of a paper napkin , or some herbs such as parsley to add texture and colour . The colours and textures can be liquidised in uniformly , or added in flecks to add more interest .
The pulp is then placed into a flat tray and scooped out on a flat piece of wire mesh or mesh cut into a shape eg the tiny greyhound . Liz made winter trees .
This is then laid onto newspaper and the water squeezed out using a sponge , then the mesh peeled off . The paper sheet then dries on a radiator or flat on a table . In my case they are all transported home in sheets of newspaper .
I can't wait to see the final result . ....Coloured threads are also great for making letters to spell names !

So , after all this , today is after all the new New Year , and a great one too .

Have a great one all of you !


































Today is the new New Year ....

Kitty Means Business
Today is the new New Year Ok ?


Yesterday was a bit of a disaster day on most fronts so I hatched a cunning plan at midnight to start again today . I have a tiny fear that starting the new year on a bad note might , just might be a bad omen . Mind you speaking to , or emailing or texting a few friends I see that others seem to have fared no better . Maybe we all need to start again .


It started with a very unsettled night . The cats were fine . They sleep anywhere and don't seem to mind who is in the house or what family occasions are happening . Kitty , to be fair has been taking issue with D , coming down to the kitchen for sparring matches and head butting sessions ( her head and his legs ) , pushing him and nipping and generally making herself unpleasant but then she is a tortie so thats kind of expected .

But Alice ( rescue greyhound ) has been something else these last days . Picking up on Tenstion Undercurrents or what ? She has paced and roamed , refused to settle and refused to anything .
So at 3 am , 4 am , and goodness knows what else am she was up and off the bed , back on , trailing about the upper floor , into the bathroom , troughing cat food , needing to void cat food ( trip to back yard , too scared to go out to void in dark , back to bed , out to front where there is light .... none of this facilitated by me I should add . I had had a Vodka . Say no more . )
And then finally , Jennie had to shower at six and leave soon after for her shift as a midwife some miles away . Alice sits bolt upright in our room . The bed lurches ( water beds are delightfully warm in winter , but when the greyhound moves , we are all at sea. And after a vodka ..) She sniffs the air. She looks at D . She looks at me . All present and correct . So who is in the shower ? I find this intensely annoying for some reason . Alice , for God's sake I mutter in my head . We have a room full of teenagers next door at any one time . It could be one of them in the shower ? Give it a rest why don' t you ? Alice can hear nothing from my lips but she is hurt none the less , and draws her head towards her chest to fix me with that face , that infinitely sad , anxious face . In seconds the nose is pointed again at the ceiling , and she is trailing foxes or whatever is haunting her .
J leaves and I fall asleep again .
At eight the phone rings .
Unknown to me J has fallen on the stairs and sprained her ankle badly and is now in Accident and Emergency at the hospital where she works , unable to work and unable to drive home . This notwithstanding the fact that the previous evening she fell on ice on her own steps and her other ankle had swollen outrageously . Now she has a matching pair .
D leaves to help her home . Alice finally falls asleep , comatose by this time . D brings me coffee before he leaves and I read for a while . Bliss . For me .
D returns at lunch time and we drive into Northumberland to Belsay Hall , imagining walking through the gardens in the sunshine . Alas they are closed . Of course . New Year's Day .
We pull onto the approach road and stop the car to let Alice have a run on the deserted road ...... back into the car five minutes later .
Dead .
The car is dead .
An hour later we are following the AA van in pursuit of a new battery .
Today is the new New Year .
I am going Paper Making with Liz.
Wish me luck .

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