Thursday, September 30, 2010

A quick update

Just found out that the Bunspace 2011 calendars (featuring a certain spoiled rotten mini-lop, among others) are now on sale at . Proceeds from calendar sales benefit the House Rabbit Society.

In other news, Mickey's quarterly molar-grinding went well. It's a good thing we decided to change it to every 3 months rather than every 6 months; while his teeth hadn't gotten to a point where they were irritating his mouth, they were definitely bothering him to some extent. As his vet said, better to take care of it now when he's healthy than risk him possibly going into GI stasis, which would upset his immune system and make grinding his teeth more difficult. He's back up to a little over 6 lbs., which is a good weight for him, so all in all, everything's good.

"Hmph...easy for you to say, you weren't the one getting stuff stuck in your mouth and breathing funny gas..."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For once, a short post

Mickey has expressed great displeasure at not being showcased in the blog lately, so here he is:

He wishes to thank his Auntie Shell for sending him the lovely paper to play with, although he has no idea why she hid it in a package of stuff for me.  ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

How to Draw A Bunny (Square)

When I was a little girl, my grandpa Milo taught me how to draw a bunny.

I don't remember how the subject came about; perhaps I was talking about drawing or actually drawing while over at my grandparents, but one day Grandpa said, "I know how to draw a bunny, do you want to see?"

Of course, I did. He took a pen and a piece of paper and drew this:

"There's his belly."

He drew again.

"There's his head."

And again:
"There's his ears."

The last step:

"And there's his tail. Isn't that a good bunny?"

Needless to say, the child-me was not amused, but as I got older, asking Grandpa to "draw a bunny" for my younger siblings and cousins became a source of great amusement; a little family in-joke, as it turned out, since apparently he'd pulled the same trick on my mother and her siblings as well when they were little.

It is with this bunny in mind that I have been working on a bunny square to crochet. A very simple design, or so I thought; two circles and two thin ovals in single-crochet stitch and a bobble stitch tail for a little pop-out detail.

Unfortunately, the first square I attempted was a failure, not so much because of my drawing abilities but because switching colors between background and bunny did not give me the clean edges that I needed for the bunny shape. I didn't even get halfway through the square before realizing that this wasn't looking much like a circle as a misshapen blob. I tore it apart and sulked for a bit. How hard can it be to crochet a bunny so simple?

I'd planned to put the project aside for a few days, but today (Sunday) being International Rabbit Day, I thought it would be a good day to get this fershlugginer bunny square figured out. After a bit of thought, I decided to completely abandon the idea of using two colors, except for one small spot. This is the result:

Test Square 1

Much better, although as I looked at it, another idea was popping into my head. What if I went back to the two-color plan, but used the bobble outline to define the edges?

Test Square 1 was immediately unraveled, and back to the hook I went. The results:

Test Square 2

Test Square 2 is not a finished product (and has already been unraveled), but now that I've seen how it looks both ways, I can clean it up and it'll look better. In fact., I think I'll do both styles in the colors I have and put them together 50/50. Each square took maybe about an hour to make, so it'll be a quick project. I'm already thinking about getting some yarn in more natural rabbit colors such as black, brown, tan, cream, gray and white and making an adult-sized afghan out of the squares if the baby blanket comes out well.

I think I'm going to call the pattern, "Milo's Bunny".

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And now for something completely different... *almost* rabbit-free post.

Unless you're a friend of mine on Facebook or you've clicked on that link to the right that says "my crochet stuff on FB", you might not know that one of my hobbies is crocheting. I'm by no means an expert; I tend to stick to simple stitches and stitch combos and less complicated projects such as shawls/wraps/ponchos, afghans/throws/blankets, scarves and the occasional hat or bag. I usually go with other people's patterns from books or yarn labels, although I do occasionally come up with my own stuff. I'm very proud of my work, though, so I do like to show it off from time to time.

I recently finished three blankets for the next grandchild-to-be (my oldest stepdaughter is expecting a baby boy on or around Dec. 5th), although I had to wait until after her baby shower today to post this on the off chance that my stepdaughter reads this blog.

Blanket #1: My own design, "Yankees Pinstripes"--done in the NY Yankees colors of navy and white. Since my stepson-in-law is a Yankees fan like me, I had to encourage passing on the tradition. The yarn is TLC Cotton Plus, a cotton/acrylic blend (and let me say that trying to find navy cotton yarn suitable for a baby blanket at a reasonable price is a near impossibility--come on, yarn makers, what's the deal there?)

A closeup shot of the details: the bobble stitches are supposed to represent baseballs. If I'd had more time (and more skill), I would have tried to add the interlocking NY logo to the border, but just didn't feel up to the task this time. I'm definitely going to work on that when I get the chance.

Blanket #2: "Cauliflower"--this is a pattern from a book of baby blankets, and is one of the hardest patterns I've ever worked on. The pattern itself is relatively simple; figuring out what the heck the designer wants you to do is the hard part. I swear these patterns are written in Sanskrit sometimes.

Closeup of the details: the yarn is Bernat Cottontots in white. I love the softness of this particular yarn, so it's one of my favorite yarns for projects like this.

Blanket #3: "Striped Blanket" (that's the name of the pattern, not the description) --another pattern I purchased, although I used a different border than the original and chose to use one color instead of going with stripes. The funky stripe in the middle is what happens when you use variegated-color yarn and the pattern of the yarn colors is slightly off on one or two skeins. I had no idea that this had happened until I finished the blanket and was spreading it out to take a picture of it. Needless to say, I was not thrilled (and actually wish the funky stripe pattern was on the entire blanket), but what can you do?

A closeup of the funky stripe: The yarn is Bernat Cottontots in Sweet Dreams. This is a super-easy pattern, so it's great when I've got a last-minute gift to do. I want to do a full-sized version someday, it's a super-comfy blanket.

I'm currently working on creating a bunny square to use for a blanket, but it's not coming out as easy as I thought it would. I'll have more details in a future post.

I was planning on making this a completely rabbit-free post, btw, but Mr. Mick surprised me today while I was giving him his afternoon meal. Every day, I crumble up a couple of papaya tablets in his pellet mix. Many times when he's sticking his nose in my way and looking to get treats even after he's gotten his share, I'll offer him a whole tablet before it gets crumbled up. His usual response is to give it a sniff, then turn away, although he will eat the tablets once they've been crumbled into the mix.

Today, he's doing his usual poke-poke-nudge-nudge-c'mon, where's the treats? routine, so I hold out my hand with the two papaya tablets in it. To my surprise, he snags one and goes back into his cage, munching away. When he poked his nose out again, I offered him the other one, but that one was rejected. I guess any treat will do in a pinch if you're a desperate bun.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A few goodies

The mailman left this on my doorstep today:

One look at the sender and you'll know how excited I was to see it:

For those of you who do not know Michelle of The Raspberry Rabbits  (and if you don't, shame on you! you just click on that link there and go check her out, then you can come back and read the rest of this.), she is a marvelous textile artist who makes some very lovely bunny-themed items with the help of her assistants, Sugie, Sir Harrington and the recently-departed-but-still-very-missed Razzy. When I saw one of her more recent creations, I knew I had to have it--and somehow, I was lucky enough to see it still available once I got home from our trip.

I immediately got out my scissors and with great care and trepidation, I opened all the carefully-wrapped packaging. I should have taken more pics during the process, because Shell had wrapped it up so lovingly, just like a present with patterned tissue paper and a gorgeous ribbon (and even added a little extra bonus packet of tea and a Ghiradelli chocolate), but I was so excited to get my hands on it, I just tore into it without thinking.

And there it was:


Isn't it gorgeous?! It's going up in my bedroom just as soon as hubby can install the little brackets that came with it so I can hang it up. I LOVE it, Shell, it's beautiful--and I will be having that tea tonight (hubby snagged the chocolate as his "installation fee").

I wasn't the only one getting something today; I finally gave Mickey his present from our trip:

It's a magnet I found at an army/navy surplus store, so of course there was only one place for it:

His Majesty was suitably impressed with the offering. Don't let that sweet face fool you; he is an attack rabbit--he attacks his food, he attacks his toys, he attacks cardboard...oh yes, and he'll hump your leg if he likes you enough, but that's a story for another post. ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We're home!

Hi all! Just a very quick post to let you know we are home. Had an absolutely lovely trip, will be posting pics and stuff at a later date once I get everything uploaded and organized.

Mr. Mick was very happy to see me. Apparently his caregiver wasn't to his liking; His Majesty just didn't get enough of the spoiling and servitude he has come to expect. The boy was happy to see me as well, especially since he hadn't fed Mickey his morning meal yet, so I could do it for him.

While I was gone, I called and texted home to check on both. One night, this was the message (and accompanying pictures) I got:

The Boy: I set up the webcam so I can keep an eye on the rabbit!
Me: Where is he?
The Boy: In his cage.

A few moments later:
The Boy: He doesn't want to come out. I tried treats, too.
I finally had to take him out.

Me: That's because you're not out there to play with him.
Also, you've got him blocked so he can't leave the kitchen.
The Boy: Feh, he'll be fine. He was getting into too much stuff in the dining room.
Me: That's because you didn't block stuff off like I told you. :p
The Boy: Feh, this is better.

Needless to say, somebunny was not at all pleased and is in dire need of some extended exercise, so I'm off to get the dining room in proper shape and let him out for a good run.

Friday, September 3, 2010

We're still here...

...just haven't really had anything to write about.

A few pics to share, though:

A rare shot of Mr. Mick on his back. I love how his ears are positioned.

Note the "bun-stressed" hole in the T-shirt. The latest in rabbit-ventilated fashion. ;)

His Majesty in his throne, watching TV while I type at the computer.

It's good to be king...hey, can you turn up the volume there?

Watching Top Chef marathons make a bunny hungry, time for a snack.

Ohhhhh, yes...that hits the spot...I'll give you 24 hours to cut that out...

Happiest bunny on least, for the moment...

I haven't told him yet that hubby and I are going away next weekend for a second honeymoon--at least, assuming that Hurricane Earl leaves Cape Cod in one piece this weekend. Our first honeymoon was 15 years ago next week in Provincetown, and since we haven't been back to P-town since then, I thought it would be nice to celebrate there. This will be the first time we've taken a vacation without the boy since he was born in 1991 (actually, we even vacationed in P-town while I was pregnant with him, so it's even longer), so it's really going to be interesting--doubly so since the boy will be responsible for taking care of Mickey while we're gone. The boy, of course, is less than thrilled with the idea, since he's never had to do it before, but I told him it's only for a weekend, it's not like we're all that far away, and I'll be checking in regularly. He can handle it...I just hope Mickey takes it easy on him. ;)