It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the States. It’s also the fifth anniversary of a tiny kitten named Tessa finding her way into the battery compartment of Mike’s Tesla.
Five years ago, freeing her from the car required a trip across town to the service center, 45 minutes, and three experts. You can read real the full story here.
We instantly fell in love with this striking little love and named her Tessa. Now the feline count is three.
Like many felines, Tessa can be aloof, but she also surprises us with sweet hugs. She climbs into your lap, then places each paw across your neck or chest, emitting a soft purr. It’s endearing and worth the wait.
This weekend also coincides with my 11th blogging anniversary. It’s been a journey of love and laughter, loss and support, and an unexpected wealth of deep friendships I could never have thought possible. If you’re a blogger, you need no explanation. If you’re reading and thinking about starting a blog, please do.
Blogging has enriched my life. But, I miss it like an old friend when life’s demands put out the call as they have of late. Thanks for joining me in this space. Your presence means more than you know.
I look forward to Kate’s monthly crafting challenge. Kate encourages the art of creating something beautiful or useful or both, made entirely out of scraps.
My volunteer work has kept me busy this month, so in addition to challenging myself to craft with scraps, I also challenged myself to find windows of time for creativity. I made a simple to-do list to go along with the lengthy one. The simple list says: Blog, garden, craft, repeat. It’s a reminder to take time for myself doing some of the things I love.
My favorite scrap-happy project this month is a thank-you card. I made the card for the recipient using the envelope from one of her cards. The colors are a calming blue and green, with a splash of orange.
Here’s the envelope with the flaps opened flat.
I cut a piece from the front that incorporated several of the colors, above.
I embossed the section with a flower pattern, then trimmed it to a clean rectangle.
Of course, having my name in the center of the card wouldn’t do. So, I took another piece of the envelope, embossed a scrap, and used it to hide my name.
I embossed a few more scraps to bring color and texture to other parts of the card.
I used a scrap of white card-stock to cut the word “thanks” and another scrap to make a white folding card.
Here is the finished card, above. I used the remaining scraps to create a label for the front of the mailing envelope and for a seal for the back. I wanted to include credit for the envelope art, so I put her name on the back of my card.
The scraps were too small to make a label, so I pieced them together, then cut with one of my dies.
Ironically, my next scrappy project is an envelope. Elizabeth loves horses, and spends her spare time on a ranch. She buys bags of carrots before she goes. I traced an envelope template onto carrot-patterned paper, leftover from an Easter pack. I cut a scrap of green card stock, used brown ink around the edges for a distressed look, then wrapped it with a scrap of leather from a pair of old bootlaces. I secured the edges of the leather with waxed thread that has been rolling around my sewing box since 1980!
My last and quirkiest entry this month is my nautical jewelry. I tied a piece of jute string around the neck of this tiny bottle. The bottle held a single-serving of hot sauce either at a restaurant or on a flight. I don’t remember. I rescued it from its likely destination (the trash) and used it once for a costume. It recently resurfaced, and I’ve pressed it into use as a necklace. I wrapped the bottle with nautical-themed Washi tape, and scrapped my way to an original piece of jewelry.
The necklace also doubles as a cat toy.
That’s a scrap (wrap)!
Do you have scraps laying around the place waiting for a new life? Come join us for future scrap-happy posts.
Thanks for hosting, Kate.
Be sure to check out the blogs listed below for other scrap-happy posts.
The female of the pair started a nest on our deck last month. You can catch up here. Mama finch had been building the nest for a while before we noticed. Once we noticed, she disappeared. I’ve since learned that house finches build several nests before deciding where to lay their eggs.
Friday morning, I looked out the kitchen window, and there she was. She had a mouthful of tree twig, which she deposited on the nest before immediately taking flight. Her red-breasted mate remained close. Together they flew to our Magnolia, then back to the neighbor’s tree for more twigs.
I captured a few photos from a safe distance, not wanting to disturb the process. Eventually, I had to head downtown.
They’re singing to each other in the afternoons, so I’m hopeful this is a good sign that they’ll stay. If not, it has still been a pleasure watching this simple act play out.
In other potential nesting news, I finally saw a bit of stuffing pulled from my squirrel offering cushion. I somewhat belatedly realized that a bird might also dip down for some fluff so I’ve moved the nesting material to the nearby orange tree instead.
I nervously watched a hummingbird either teasing Tessa or warning her off. Tessa likes lounging under the patio table A hummingbird flew from a nearby shrub, dipped toward her, and then flew away. I held my breath through that transaction.
Life in the back garden is a balancing act. Squirrels and birds visit by day. At night we see opossums and the occasional raccoon. The kitties come in at dusk and stay inside until 8 or 9 in the morning. At 18, Lindy spends most of her time at rest. Mouse, the cat, is overweight, despite our best efforts, so he’s not much of a threat. I worry about Tessa, though. I want to keep all the garden visitors safe.
Tessa came to live with us in the most round-about way. She stowed her wee self into the battery compartment of Mike’s Tessla. We’ll never know how she got there, and it was a production getting her out, but after that ordeal, she was here to stay. We were not in the market for a third cat and certainly not a kitten, but as John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
Tessa lounging in her kitty portal
Tessa turns three this May. She’s affectionate when it suits her in the most endearing way. Our sweet tortie climbs on your chest and looks into your eyes, before tucking in her chin and producing a raspy, satisfied purr. We adore her!
Tessa near the rock wall
Tessa spends her time prowling the compost bin for rats, chasing squirrels and play-fighting with Mouse the Cat, aka, Bubba. He’s more than twice her age and close to double her weight, but they go at it like a pair of kittens.
We call this “the look”
When Tessa first arrived, a steady stream of friends stopped by, intrigued by her unusual markings. Eventually, I created a Two-Faced Tessa The Cat Facebook Page and my son set up an account for her on Instagram as twofacedtessa. My son attends university several hundred miles away so the updates naturally dwindled, but the pics he posted in the early years are delightful.
Tessa in the fruit tree
I hope her sweet face cheers you as you go about your day.