Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I've gathered some of my most colorful plushies to play for a while amongst some seasonal autumn items.
Punkin is a guinea pig with bright orange fur, and an in-your-face personality to go with it! He refuses to tone it down, and instead relishes the fact that he stands out so much. He's a critter who loves being the center of attention, and will do whatever he can to get noticed. Punkin actually hates autumn, since there's so much blazing orange and red he feels like nature is trying to one-up him. As winter draws near, he feels that he's the best piggy up to the task of brightening up a dreary grey day.
I was out the day, walking through a carpet of leaves and breathing in the crisp autumn air. As I admired the vibrant colors swirling and rustling all around me, I was startled by a sudden squeak and burst of leaves. A plushie piggy had been hiding in the fallen foliage, his fur a rich auburn red that camouflaged him perfectly. I picked him up and brought him inside, as no piggy should be outdoors on a chilly day like that. We drank hot cocoa and watched the windbourne leaves from the warm indoors.
Ruby is a mouse with fiery red fur, but don't let that fool you, she's not hot-tempered! Despite her blazing demeanor, she's actually very mild-mannered and easy to get along with. She enjoys having deep conversations over hot tea, especially if there are cinnamon flavored treats to be had as well.
All of my autumn plushie friends are available in both my Etsy shop and my Artfire shop til the end of fall and beyond.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Pocky's dental exam showed that her teeth were in good condition, they were filed down a bit but there was nothing that would cause her to stop eating. She seemed bothered after her procedure and showed no interest in even nibbling anything. I had stopped giving her antibiotics thinking that the exam would bring to light a dental issue. After another visit to the vet we switched her to Baytril, a different type of antibiotic in the hopes that it would target different bacteria, but again, Pocky still didn't eat on her own.
Miso went through his surgery just fine. The abscess wasn't related to a tooth, which is a good thing, and was most likely due to an external puncture wound like a bite (I'm looking at you, Archie!) The doctor wasn't able to take out the abscess cleanly, however, it burst during the procedure. They had to suture the incision open as they couldn't close it up as a sterile wound, and I was given the responsibilty of flushing it out with an antiseptic and packing it with Neosporin twice a day. When I first saw him, I cried. It looked horrible! It's really not as bad as it looks, the vet told me it's mostly scar tissue with no nerve endings so it doesn't hurt. Miso acts like it's not even there, he eats and drinks and goes about his daily life as if nothing were different. When I brought him back for a follow up exam his wound was doing fine with no signs of infection, and on the next visit his sutures were removed. Now I only need to cover the incision area with Neosporin twice a day, and I'll continue to give him acidophilus and antibiotics until he's fully healed.
I've had Pocky on baytril for almost 2 weeks. She's been very affectionate and vocal, and gets excited when it's feeding time but still didn't eat more than a nibble or so. I could see that whatever was affecting her still wasn't being treated, so I brought her in again to the vet when Miso had his stitches taken out. Her front teeth were getting misaligned, the lower tooth was very skinny and long, and the top was very thick. She squealed like I never heard her squeal before when they trimmed her teeth. The doctor felt her facial muscles, especially around her jaw, and could see that they'd become rather emaciated in comparison to the rest of her body. I also didn't realize that Pocky wasn't opening her mouth very wide until I had to give Miso meds and saw how enunciated his chewing motions were in comparison to his sister's. Taking all this into consideration, and seeing how she didn't have any bad teeth and probably not an infection, the vet said that she probably has some pain in the main muscles of her jaws, and that would be the cause of her lack of desire/inability to eat. He prescribed her a form of cortizone for the pain, so now I'm giving her that and acidophilus til her poops regain their normal consistency, but no more reglan or antibiotics.
This photo was taken just this morning, as Pocky eats her first piece of hay in over a month.
When I syringe feed Pocky now, it seems like her chewing is a bit more animated. She'e really been trying to get at her hay, pulling at it but not eating it. This morning she ate a whole meal's worth of parsley and lettuce, and even ate a long piece of hay and a couple of pellets. I'm so relieved and happy! Seems like we finally found out what the issue is. As tiring as it is to force feed her and give her meds several times a day, it's not nearly as frustrating as knowing that your pet is suffering and you can't figure out what to do to help her.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I know someone in particular who is sad to see the summer end.
There's a certain little mouse who isn't timid like the others. He doesn't like to hide in the shadows, rather, he prefers to bask in the warm rays of the sun. His name is Sunny, and he has an ever cheerful disposition. This mouse loves bright, colorful things, especially if they're yellow. You may find him in your garden amongst your most brilliant flowers, and on rainy days he'd like to come inside for some tea and you may get him to stay for a chat if you have some fresh cut flowers on display.
Sunny is available in both my Etsy and Artfire shops.
Friday, September 11, 2009
It all began two weeks ago. My littlest guinea pig, the adorable agouti Pocky with her great big eyes, didn't eat much of her parsley. It was the last bit of an older bunch, and some of the other piggies didn't eat it all right away (Archie decided to decorate his cage with parsley leaf confetti). After all the others had eaten their breakfast remainders, she still didn't finish it, and didn't eat all of the lettuce that was offered for dinner. Pocky did snatch up the baby carrot presented to her and ate it all. I've had a piggy get into a mood where they don't eat as much as they normally do for a day, and seem to sit around in a ponderous mood, but they always go back to normal after a day or so, so I didn't think too much of it.
The next day Pocky still didn't eat much of her fresh greens, and apparently hadn't been eating much of her pellets or hay. I offered her carrot and bell pepper and lettuce throughout the day, which she'd only consume small amounts of. She had no interest in her hay or pellets at all. There is a good small animal vet nearby, but they're closed on Sundays so all I could do was keep a close eye on my piggy and wait. I was deeply vexed. She sat all puffed up in her pigloo all day, and didn't emerge for hay or drag her small pellet dish into the pigloo as she normally did. She was bright-eyed and alert and wasn't lethargic, so that was a good sign. I cuddled with her in bed watching tv til around 2 am. I was honestly afraid she wouldn't survive til morning.
At around 6 am I woke up, probably due to my obnoxious neighbors. I had to go check on my little girl. I quietly went up to her cage, sat on the floor cushion in front of it, and took a deep breath as I looked at her pigloo. I lifted it up, and to my relief I saw the pale morning light glimmer off her big bright eyes as her nose perked up at me. I scooped her up and held her close to my chest for a few minutes before going back to bed. (I go to bed late, so I get up late). When I got up again, I put Pocky on my lap and offered her some parsley. Her nose perked up at it, but she ate only the tiniest nibble. We offered a baby carrot, but she only ate about half of it, leaving little bits behind. I could see the situation was becoming dire. A call to the vet was made, they were closing within the hour but they would see her. I made the hastiest exit in my life and we took her there right away. The vet was in surgery, so he wasn't able to see her right away, so we had to leave here there. They checked her vitals, Pocky's temperature was good and she was still very alert and perky so that was positive. We just had to go home and wait til the vet was free to see her. After a few hours we got a call, they'd been syringe feeding Pocky to get her some food and fluids. They looked in her mouth and didn't see anything wrong with her teeth. There was a bit of gas in her tummy, so they gave her some treatment for her gut. The vet said that they'd call me again and I should be ble to take her home later in the afternoon. It may be just a gut upset, but if she didn't regain her appetite I'd have to take her back for bloodwork or a more thorough examination of her teeth.
We brought Pocky home with some Critical Care dry mix, some acidophilus tablets for her gut, and an appetite stimulant called reglan. For the next few days I fed her the Critical Care mush through a syringe and gave her the medications along with plenty of cuddles, but still she didn't want to eat on her own, so back to the vet we went. They did some bloodwork, and we waited a day for the results. Pocky didn't have any kidney or liver problems, but she did have a low white blood cell count which is indicative of an infection. Some antibiotics were added to the regimen of oral treatments.
"I said I'm not hungry!" says the grumpy Pocky-chan during one of her syringe feedings.
I have to mention that the Wednesday before all this occured, my boyfriend had surgery on his wrist. It was a minor procedure, but it left him with his right arm in a cast. That meant that the man who previously was happy to do dishes since I cooked dinner, and who helped me clean the guinea pig cages daily, was largely incapacitated. A little extra work on my part, but I shrugged it off, no big deal. Now I had two invalids to care for, cutting up steak for one and syringe feeding the other. I fed Pocky every four hours or so, which wasn't the easiest thing since she really wasn't too fond of it. It quickly became tiring.
Though all of this, Pocky remained chipper and in good spirits. Her eyes were bright, her nose twitched with interest at foods she then decided she didn't want to eat. The two vet trips showed her temperature was good and daily weighings made sure that her weight stayed stable. I cuddled her multiple times a day. After a few days of the antibiotics, little Pocky's appetite began to improve. She ate small amounts of parlsey in the morning, she emerged from her pigloo to lounge in her litter tray throughout the day. She began to squeak and cluck happily when I cuddled her. Overall, she seemed in a much better mood. As she still had no desire to eat hay or pellets and her front teeth came together at an angle, we brought Pocky to the vet for another visit. Her teeth were filed down a bit, and another examination with an otoscope showed that her molars were in good shape. The vet was inclined to believe that her issue wasn't with her teeth, her total lack of appetite pointed to nausea rather than a toothache, and since she'd shown progress after starting the antibiotics it supported the idea of a low-grade infection being the cause of her problems. She gave me an estimate on a dental exam, but said that it was a good idea to let her have the rest of the antibiotics before subjecting Pocky to another treatment.
So here I am, still syringe feeding and giving medicines to my cute little girl piggy. My boyfriend has had the stitches removed from his wrist, the cast came off and he's able to help me out. I started a new job, which will be a great help in paying off these vet bills. A lot of tears, time and effort have been put forth for my little Pocky-chan, and I can only hope that this treatment will work and that she'll be better soon.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
On another note, looks like I've got my rat plushie pattern worked out. I'll have some pics up of rattie plushies soon. :3
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This is the second custom plushie I've done of a guinea pig named Leo. He's a cute little calico piggy, and since making him I've been thinking of making some calico piggies to put in my shops.
I made this plushie for someone on the GuineaLynx Forums. This is Ozzy, a super fluffy piggy.
I'm always available for plushie commissions. :3
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
We tried putting all the boys together for floor time. Again, Kokiri was just too aggressive, but Archie and Miso seemed to get along well so we tried giving just the two of them floor time. Aside from a bit of rumble-strutting, there weren't any serious conflicts. After a few nights of floor time sessions, the boys really appeared to enjoy playing with each other, and we decided to go ahead with our plans for a combined piggy cage.
First we started with a buddy bath. It was Archie's first bath, and he didn't like being wet at all. Miso, having received several in his life, resigned himself to his watery fate
We're at the start of another heat wave. The warm weather is good for piggy baths, at least when you have damp piggies who keep bopping towels off of them.
Miso and Archie even cuddled together so cutely, and eventually fell asleep side by side as they waiting ever so patiently for their new home to be put together.
We (and by that I mean my boyfriend) took Miso's and Archie's 2x3 C&C cages and combined them into a spacious 2x5. We got them a new Bigloo and put in their chubes, two litter trays, and a cute plaid dog bed. The grids along the top are there so that we can put a fleece canopy over part of the cage to shield them from sun and wind.
They're taking a bit of time to adjust to their new pimpin' pad. You go in the bed, not under it, Miso!
Archie doesn't seem to realize that Miso isn't keen on sharing whatever pigloo he's in, but I'm sure as colder weather sets in they'll be all cuddly. I saw them eating hay from the same hay rack just a few minutes ago. I'm really glad that they're getting along well, and that we can give them a bigger cage as a consequence. Next we'll be trying to get the girls together!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I used a plain purple cotton fabric for an inner lining, some neat fake leather straps with gromits, and the same safety eyes that I use on my plushies. So yeah, that was my latest just-for-fun project. I intended to use this to hold my keys and cell while I was out on my bike. It may look a tad silly hanging off my bike, but maybe not so much with a matching water bottle cover made of the same fabric. :3
Friday, July 31, 2009
The past few days in the Pacific Northwest have been rather uncomfortable. The temps have risen well past 100°. Being in a third floor apartment with the only windows facing the morning sun and later the scorching afternoon sun, it was like being in a oven. Luckily we have a floor unit air conditioner. Unluckily, it only managed to cool down the living room and reached neither the bedroom nor my studio. The result was my boyfriend and I spending all of our time in the living room during the heat wave. I ventured into my studio momentarily to retrieve something to work on while sitting on the couch, positioned to recieve the direct airflow of the air conditioner.
What of the guinea pigs in this hot weather, you ask? OK, well you may not have asked, but it is an issue on days like this. Despite their homeland being in South America, cavies are not well suited for very hot weather. The three boys, Miso, Kokiri and Archie, were already in the living room, but the girls' cages were in my studio. With naught but a ceiling fan, the room had already reached uncomfortable levels on days when the temperature spiked up to 80°. My boyfriend, always the kind and considerate one, set about the task of taking the C&C cages apart and bringing Mochi and Pocky into the living room to rejoin their kin. Some shuffling of furniture was required, and my studio had to be completely rearranged. I spent a couple of days working on the redecorating a few minutes at a time, doing as much organizing as I could manage before the heat became too much and I had to retreat to the cooler clime of the air conditioned room.
The end result was gaining more floor space, a new table to work on, and a leather recliner in my studio (which no longer fit in the living room with the addition of the C&C cages). All of my guinea pigs were now in a (somewhat) temperature controlled area and could be easily monitored. The thermostats in the bedroom and studio actually read 100° at some points in the preceding days, enough to give any small animal (or human, for that matter) heat exhaustion. Even when the nights cooled to around 70° we opted to sleep out in the living room with the ac running overnight. One of the advantages of a floor unit air conditioner is that you can roll it into another room and set it up rather easily, but we didn't want to risk letting the living room heat up overnight, as warm air so easily becomes trapped in an upstairs apartment. Out came the air mattress, a sleeping bag and some comforters.
It's a brick pig! Kokiri's favorite hangout on a warm day is a cool brick. He doesn't normally have to mess with his eyebrows to cool off, though.
To reiterate, the erstwhile days of this past week were, to say the least, hot. The kind of hot days where you just don't feel like doing much of anything. The kind of days where you can't help falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon, yet have trouble getting comfortable in bed at night. The kind of days where a grilled cheese sandwich is more than enough for dinner. The kind of days where you don't want to so much as lean forward from your seat because of the sound and feeling of your skin peeling off the leather couch. Ever since I was a kid I was the kind of person who was always cold, and was so very relieved when I moved from New England to Southern California. Somehow in the past few years, perhaps due to a change of diet and other circumstances, I can't stand excessive warmth. I'm looking forward to next week's milder weather, hoping that it'll bring with it some rain and the creative enthusiam for my ongoing projects that I'd previously been robbed off.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Cuy is a handsome silver agouti. He's propped up on a tomato to show off his white tummy.
Daisi is a little black and orange cutie with one white foot.
Shnookums is another sweet black and orange piggy. I love that distinctive white stripe down her nose!
I've got more projects to work on, so I'll be updating again soon. :3
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
My poor wet puffball! She's sitting on my lap right now, wrapped in a bigger dryer towel.
Mochi is looking unamused after the bath she got yesterday.
The boys could use baths too, but we're trying to get them to all play nice together, at which point we'd give them all a bath collectively. I can just see Archie flying out of the tub....
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
So here I am, with several feet of black fur, half of which is smooth and flat and the other half is unusable.
Or is it?
I attempted to brush the fur out with a dog grooming slicker brush, but to no avail. Then I realized I'd seen fur like this before... on guinea pigs. Abyssinian guinea pigs! They're a breed of cavy known for having rosettes all over their bodies, making their fur stick out in all directions. I really hate being wasteful, so this was a great realization. I made a bunch of little abby plushies. Previously, I'd only made abbies as custom piggies, since I'd have to manually twist and pinch the fur into rosettes. Since the fur is already "abbied", I can make these with no additional effort so I sell them at the same price as my other regular plushies. I've listed each plushie individually in both my Artfire shop and my Etsy shop since each one has its own unique fur pattern.
So when life gave me lemons, or in this case messed up fur, I made abby guinea pig plushies!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
"If you keep eating all those berries, your fur is going to turn purple!" a concerned mother said to a young mouse.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
This weekend's theme is MICE! <:3 )~
This last piece is a wonderfully designed ceramic tile by GretchenKramp. I especially like the natural clay color's contrast with the blue.