If you haven’t read about our dear sweet half-cat Dennis (Top Cat and I shared him with our neighbors) you can catch up with the him in the post that follows today’s usual blather about terribly important things such as weather, other cats, champagne, books, and stuff you can make out of books. We love Dennis to infinity and beyond.
Let’s start today’s drivel with Taffy on Wednesday morning, when that little brain of his, which is attuned to all the vibrations of this wondrous cosmos, detected an exciting snow storm barreling towards us here on the north shore of Long Island and celebrated with a roll in his favorite patch of dirt:
That’s Taffy’s mortal enemy, Bibs, watching him, thinking, How is it possible that this idiot is the boss of me?
A few hours later, here’s Taffy surveying the same spot:
And then his little brain sparks joy and he dances upon the flakes. It’s SNOWING!!
Meanwhile, on the front stoop, here’s Steve emerging from his super-cozy heated cubby to let me know that he’d like something along the lines of a nice turkey pâté, please:
And now, Dear Readers, due to a severe lack of snow here on the north shore of Long Island in the months of December and January, here is your very first Winter of 2019 Champagne-O-Meter!!
A little after 2:30 PM:
Just before 5:30 PM:
It was an underwhelming blizzard, but the next morning, the Champagne-O-Meter was perfection:
There is nothing better than a bottle of bubbly that has been cooling deep in Nature’s ice bucket for ten hours. I wish I drank champagne for breakfast but I’m not that much of a degenerate, yet, so the Champagne-O-Meter been moved to the fridge, counting the hours until 5 o’clock.
So let us move on, from cats and champagne, to cats and books and stuff that you can make out of books.
I know you know what’s happening here:
And I know you know that I’m going to be making this tree and this cat out of paper and the books that I slaughter in the name of art.
To begin, I chopped a derder that I got when I used up the last of my paper towels:
Yes!! Did you know that that cardboard tube inside a roll or TP or paper towels is called a derder?
Now you know.
Then I inserted a taller, slimmer roll of bond paper inside:
This tree is going to be tall and top-heavy, so I need the double-stegnth of the two rolls, one inside the other, to make the tapered trunk. But I had to figure out how to make the inside roll stay in place and I have to confess, this is the part of making stuff out of paper that I LOVE.
I LOVE McGuyvering solutions to really stupid problems. So I came up with this:
BTW, that’s my diamond-grading tweezers. You need the needle-like tips to grasp a loose diamond and, it turns out, it’s also really good for grasping tiny bits of paper.
You see how the O-Ring slips over the inside roll, down to meet the top of the derder?
Now I have to stabilize the two rolls:
This is how I make the tree trunk into a taper:
(With the taper. We have a long, long ways to go until we done with the tree.)
While you wait for the taper to dry (it’s loaded with Elmer’s glue), you can make some various size rolls and flat sticks that you will use for tree branches:
When the taper is dry, you take your scalpel and hack a hole into the side of the tree trunk:
Insert one of your small paper rolls:
This is OK if you want your tree branch to shoot straight out of the tree trunk. But if you want to make a bendy tree branch, you have to cut a little nick into the side of the paper roll like this:
Now you can fold the roll to make a bendy tree branch. You have to slather it with Elmer’s glue and sit holding it while it dries. and this is boring, but you can pass the time rehearsing in your head the scathing comments or bitchslaps you would give to any of the bullshit Kardashians if you would meet them in a dark alley or on a talk show:
Or you can use the time to compose sonnets. It’s up to you:
I don’t have any use for this page that I ripped out of little book that I cut up, except for the green bits in this illustration:
I am cutting out leaves (what a diamond grader would call a “Marquise cut”: ):
The Marquise Cut is a low-class cut in that it is shallow (a bad thing for a diamond to be) and is for people who want a lot of bling for the buck. It’s a showy cut, and is reserved for getting the most out of an inferior stone. I see a Marquise Cut (you pronounce the “S”) and I think, Tacky. It’s the diamond equivalent of riding a motorized scooter around a Walmart parking lot drinking wine out of a Pringle’s can, except that I definitely want to be best friends with that lady.
A good round cut is a very fine cut, but an Emerald Cut is divine.
I glue these leaves on one at a time, using my diamond-grading tweezers to place them onto the branches:
It is a very delicate and thoughtful and time-consuming operation that might drive some people crazy, but I find it extremely calming and mentally absorbing. I LOVE doing this.
This is what the tree looks like from behind:
Then I had to leave town and go . . .
. . . to FLORIDA! I had to visit my favorite Florida kitties, Sammy. . .
. . . and Mabel, wo had never seen a Winter coat before so she had to test drive it for kitty compatibility:
I left sunny warm FLORIDA on a Delta flight that for some reason tracked us as if we were flying out of West Africa to JFK:
Sorry for the red herring. But if I ever go back to Africa, which I probably never will, it would not be back to my old stomping grounds of the west; it would be to South or East Africa to see gorillas and to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
My theory is that the same computer glitch that had us flying out of the Gulf of Guinea also booked the plane with only 18 passengers:
There were 106 empty seats on this plane! It was the single greatest plane ride I have ever taken! No fights for the overhead luggage racks, no shoving for arm rests, and everybody got double free bevvies and snacks, and de-planing was a joy. A joy, I tell you.
And then I came home and finished the tree. . .
. . . except for the cat:
I did, I did vandalize a hard copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to get this cat, and then I put him in the tree whence he grins, and I saw that I ad made the tree too damn big. Bummer. Buuuuuuuummer.
P.S., I don’t mind that the tree looks very lumpy and home-made — that’s my esthetic — but in future I do want to concentrate on making more tree-like trees.
Well wouldn’t you know it — the used book store comes to the rescue!!
We got a donation that included this catalogue of all the best art and object sales in Christie’s showrooms for the year 1987 (and this is a shot of my work space because making book art is very messy). . .
. . . and I’m sure that we don’t have buyers for this book so perchance I opened it to check out the end papers to see if I should salvage them and OH MY GOD:
The universe must love me. I must be, like, one of its darlings. Don’t you always feel that way, when you take the time to count your blessings (and then use them as proof that you are indeed one way above-average and anointed being, or is that just me?).
Thank you, Great Spirit, for this 1987 record-breaking sale of original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel:
This Cheshire Cat is the right size, and it’s printed on nice heavy-card stock:
Here’s my new cat in the tree:
And that brings us to the end of this week’s installment of VivianWorld.
Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. Count your blessings, Dear Readers, however small, because we are all beloved equally by a benevolent and beguiling universe.