Small cat Saturday

While I was sorting out our study-cum-craft room last month making space for my new crafting equipment from Fellowes I found some old photos. And when you find old photos, there's only one thing to do isn't there?

Yes, dive right in and look back on those memories. 

The photos I found were of my lovely puss cats. 

SMALL CAT #1: DYLAN, ROARING LIKE A LION

SMALL CAT #1: DYLAN, ROARING LIKE A LION

SMALL CAT #3: BOB LEARNING TO EAT FROM A BOWL

SMALL CAT #3: BOB LEARNING TO EAT FROM A BOWL

SMALL CAT #2: TESSA (SNUGGLING WITH HER DYLAN)

SMALL CAT #2: TESSA (SNUGGLING WITH HER DYLAN)

SMALL CAT #4: QUICKLY, THE SPOILT YOUNGEST

SMALL CAT #4: QUICKLY, THE SPOILT YOUNGEST

In an earlier life I had the potential to become a crazy cat lady, clocking up four fiercely independent moggies over a few years.  From top clockwise they were:

  • Dylan, a black long-haired softie named after the spaced out rabbit in Magic Roundabout, who was "lovingly" renamed the big black hairy one by MOH and also the one that made my heart melt from the day I picked him up.
  • Tessa, a white and tabby soppy thing who idolised Dylan as you can tell from the photo. She was named for Tessa Sanderson in an Olympic year, and years later proved her daftness by completely failing to master our open tread spiral staircase.
  • Next came Bob - or Bob Bob - as she quickly became known. And yes she was super tiny and I thought at the time the most challenging (but little did I know!) Bob was born at a local factory and rescued just before a cull, she was too tiny to be away from her mum and I was told off by the vet until I explained the circumstances. She was so tiny he couldn't be sure if she was a he or a her. She was a her and was named for Kate in Blackadder, so that dates her.
  • The finally there was Quickly who bewitched us all. Anyone who's been owned by a ginger tom will testify that they really are characters and he was just that. Cats are renowned for doing their own thing and even at meal times they'd often take persuading to come and eat. I'd regularly be calling for "Dylan, Tessa, Bob quickly" before he arrived and so rather than insert a new name, he became Quickly.  And it suited him.

Poor Dylan and Tessa - there was six months between them, but longer between the others and in some ways had an affinity with each other they never had with the others. Bob also adored Dylan, and he was alpha male. Quickly, when he arrived, thought that was his role and he pushed his luck until the occasional swipe reminded him he wasn't.

Dylan investigating another new addition - and not being quite so sure
Tessa keeping a watchful eye, from a distance

I should have known he was going to be the cheeky one from this photo alone shouldn't I?  

CUTE AND CHEEKY

CUTE AND CHEEKY

AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF BEING THE BABY

AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF BEING THE BABY

Quickly arrived most probably in 1991 or 1992, so a good few years ago.  They all moved to this house with us and I'm never sure who tolerated who most, and by that I mean MOH and the cats.  Bob was the last to go around ten years ago - she made it to the wedding reception, making a brief appearance for some of the photos, but by then being a grumpy old lady and not too keen on company was happy to head back to her basket.

I wouldn't have been without them, and couldn't imagine how life would be without them, but now it seems a lifetime ago (and one where I had long hair!)

A dolls house no more...

But the memories are still strong. 

In fact it's only relatively recently that I've dismantled my old dolls house, partly because of the space it took up and how it contravened my "clear under the bed policy" and also because, it's unlikely that I'll ever play with it again, although sorting it out for the final time I did quite enjoy myself. 

It was a handmade affair, crafted with love by my grandparents and parents and as we lived in Bungalow Road, it was a bungalow. The flat roof lifted off and doubled up as a garden, complete with a 'mirror' pond. Just don't ponder what happened to the water when the roof went back on!

My dolls house, hand made by my dad and grandad

Lifting the roof also unveiled the high-tech lighting system, a series of battery-powered coloured switches that lit up each room, and I think a standard lamp in the main room, clearly a sign of the times, which like many things fashion or interiors related come back again, and a number of decades later we have a standard lamp in our living room.  

Which now I look at it is red and white. Just like the exterior of my dolls house was. A spooky coincidence?

THE PORCH ROOF

THE PORCH ROOF

WITH WINDOWS

WITH WINDOWS

AND FRONT DOOR

AND FRONT DOOR

AND GARAGE DOORS THAT MATCH AS WELL.

AND GARAGE DOORS THAT MATCH AS WELL.

Inside was a bit of a mess. Most likely to having been moved around, although perhaps the garage less so as that seemed to be taking a more realistic role.

THE LIGHT SWITCHES WERE STILL IN ONE PIECE

THE LIGHT SWITCHES WERE STILL IN ONE PIECE

THE LIVING ROOM WAS A BIT TOPSY TURVY

THE LIVING ROOM WAS A BIT TOPSY TURVY

AND A SIMILAR SCENE IN THE BEDROOM

AND A SIMILAR SCENE IN THE BEDROOM

IN THE KITCHEN TOO

IN THE KITCHEN TOO

AND IN THE BATHROOM

AND IN THE BATHROOM

...AND AS EXPECTED THE GARAGE NEEDED A CLEAR OUT TOO

...AND AS EXPECTED THE GARAGE NEEDED A CLEAR OUT TOO

It seemed only right that I should put things in order, so some tidying up was undertaken. Much easier than a real-sized house!

ORDER IN THE BATHROOM

ORDER IN THE BATHROOM

SHIP SHAPE IN THE BEDROOM ONCE MORE

SHIP SHAPE IN THE BEDROOM ONCE MORE

AND THE TABLE'S SET FOR DINNER   

AND THE TABLE'S SET FOR DINNER

 

BUT NO PROGRESS IN THE GARAGE

BUT NO PROGRESS IN THE GARAGE

Note the yellow curtains and bedding set, yes the yellow thing is a long-held thing. And I had a smocked dress, in the same material as those curtains. It was always my windows dress, now I wonder if this is the reason why.

THE CAT REALLY DID SIT ON THE MAT

THE CAT REALLY DID SIT ON THE MAT

AND I REALLY DID TIDY THE GARAGE

AND I REALLY DID TIDY THE GARAGE

And can you tell by the decor that I'm a child of the Seventies?

ALL MY DOLLS HOUSE MEMORIES IN A BOX
MAKING ROOM FOR THE LIGHT PANEL

Once everything was sorted most of it was packed into a pretty storage box, and then quickly rearranged to make space for the lighting panel. So now I have a smaller box of parts of the inside and exterior of my dolls house, and of course I'll always have the memories.

A BOX OF DOLLS HOUSE MEMORIES

Do you still have any of your childhood toys?

Memories in my sewing box

Recently I gave my old sewing box a new lease of life with some chalk paint spray and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  Of course before I could get started I needed to empty it and I was amazed not only at how much stuff I'd managed to cram in it, but also at the memories it contained.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

To start with the contents were almost sewing related, although I've no idea why the book labels were in there. I do remember them being a Christmas present a good few years ago from my parents. I also suspect they're so old they've lost their stick!

SCISSORS, PLIERS, ONE PRESS STUD AND BOOK LABELS...

SCISSORS, PLIERS, ONE PRESS STUD AND BOOK LABELS...

There was a bag of ribbons and cord, that I've accumulated.  These have come from a number of places: boxes of chocolates, Easter eggs (yeap the posh sort wrapped in cellophane), shopping bags - yes I'm a one for removing the cord before recycling the paper bags, perfumes and gift sets from places like Jo Malone and Molton Brown. And other ones that I've no idea where they're from, but were too pretty to throw away.

A BAG OF RIBBONS AND CORD

A BAG OF RIBBONS AND CORD

There was a cross stitch project - complete with embroidery hoop - which I haven't made any progress on since I last found it.  Looking at it again it would be good to finish this as I'm sure I could find a use for it. It was still in the very old Ideal Home Show plastic bag - so old the show was still sponsored by the Daily Mail.

THAT CROSS STITCH AGAIN

THAT CROSS STITCH AGAIN

AN EMBROIDERY HOOP

AN EMBROIDERY HOOP

I found some knitting too.  It's very fine wool  - perhaps 2 ply - and was I think originally destined to prettify some guest towels.  I don't know if I'll finish this, I remember it being fiddly, which is why it probably got put aside. 

SOME UNFINISHED KNITTING

SOME UNFINISHED KNITTING

Then there were some tassels which my mum made for me. I had them hanging from the brass handles on my wardrobe in my previous house. The wardrobes are now long gone, but the tassels survived.  There used to be four and when I found them, I wondered what had happened to the other one. It's only now that remember it going to my youngest niece, who like me had a bit of thing for tassels.  That's something I'd completely forgotten and I was reminded how things can jog our memories.  I doubt she still has the tassel - it probably had a lot of love - but I hope that if she saw these she'd remember.

THREE HANDMADE TASSELS

THREE HANDMADE TASSELS

And towards the bottom a box of stuff.  More ribbons, some receipts (?!) and in the blue box a beaded ring, which I really should wear.  There was also my non-iPod music player thing, which I haven't used for a very long time, I have an arm strap somewhere and you never know if I were ever to run again this might come in useful. 

A CHOCOLATE BOX OF STUFF

A CHOCOLATE BOX OF STUFF

There was also some craft kits.  All seem to be blue-based. The kitten one below is so cute and reminds me of my cat Bob.  I still like it and maybe one day I'll take it out of the packet and start to sew it, but I don't think it'd find a place on my walls anymore. Mostly because I don't have enough walls for the pictures I have, so I'd need to be creative and find another use for it. I'm sure it's not beyond my means though.

AN EMBROIDERY KIT

AN EMBROIDERY KIT

RIBBON AND BEAD KITS

RIBBON AND BEAD KITS

The kits above I also want to try - but to the uninitiated they look complicated too. They're probably not - or not as complicated as I think anyway.

Only some of these items found themselves back in the revamped sewing box, not because I'm throwing them out, but because I've resolved to keep my current projects there instead.