Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “introverts”

The Paperback is OUT!

At long last THE PAPERBACK OF THE SPIRIT OF FLYING IS HERE!!!  And what a long strange at times completely exhausting trip it’s been!
My labour of love – I hope you enjoy reading it.

Currently available in the UK on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1v0tQUL
And in the USA  http://amzn.to/1uHjSFr

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

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Life and friendships

It’s been a long break from here. We moved house, and the same week my phone, computer and modem broke and took months to fix/replace. But here I am, sorry ’bout that.

I’ve come to the conclusion I want new friends. I don’t hear from the old ones very often these days and when I do we don’t seem to have much in common any more.

The thing is, I’ve run out of ideas where to look, and to just wait for new ones to show up has been a fruitless exercise so far. Where do you find conscious introverts (or ambiverts) of like mind in a place as transient as this?

Maybe there could be some kind of online friendship brokers, like there are dating sites for those looking for love? That way you knew who were interested and didn’t waste your time and precious energy on those who are too busy or “have enough” friends. Where you could tick five requirements; five deal-breakers; interests, preferences and pet-peeves or whatever.

Sure there is a lot more to friendships (be they in cyberspace or in person) than ticks in boxes on digital paper, like in all relationships there is personal chemistry for example, but it’s a start.

If you are loud and extroverted, have small children or need alcohol or coke to get through the day, I’m not a friend-match for you.

But if you are conscious, spiritual, creative and generally open-minded, enjoy deep conversations, coffee, cats and looking for new mates to hang out with…

Painting by Catpaw, aka Liz Rosales.

Painting by Catpaw, (C) Liz Rosales.

Creative by nature, crafty by choice

I think it’s been established I am ridiculously (not to say compulsively) creative. There aren’t many crafts I haven’t at some point at least tried, picked up, learnt and got bored with.
I re-purpose and recycle everything that crosses my path,  just because I can. Some I simply put out on the wall by the roadside for anyone to pick up when I run out of space…

Resident muse and quality control

I can not enter a fabric shop without my minds eye starting a virtual avalanche of what I could do with any and all in front of me. I re-use and recycle. When it comes to fabric I am my own magic wand, and there’s very little I can’t do (though plenty of stuff I choose not to do again…)

I grew up on the mantra that if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. I do quality or not at all.

I plan buildings, houses, storage space in my head where others play with wet serviettes or tear apart their damp beer-mats in the pub.

I love the organic look of new sustainable building materials such as hemp-crete, solar panels, recycled materials. Earth ships and cob houses intrigue me. Nifty energy/resource saving devices thrill me like you have no idea

I’m a sucker for textures rather than patterns with everything.

As a former graphic designer and jeweller I have a very active inner vision. I volunteered to designed flyers, magazines in the days you used cardboard, scissors and glue – and later dtp.

Growing up I took every opportunity to watch and learn and together with my ex renovated a couple of places. A close friend who is passionate about soft furnishing and runs her own business, gave me a few pointers for interesting curtain designs. (Fabrication, http://www.lldesignclients.co.uk/clients/linksites/fabrication/index.asp)

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Poor photo of our old bed, taken with my phone

Something I love but do not get the chance to indulge in very often is furniture restoration. Apart from financial and spacial restraints (you really need a studio or at least a well lit garage) and once you’ve filled your own small living space with hand picked pieces that’s usually pretty much it. I adore the French shabby chic look, and there’s really nothing shabby about making real (as opposed to mfi and other mass-produced modern) furniture look rustic or antiquey unique.

I like to think of it as relaxed, functional, everyday antiques…

Just acquired, just scrubbed clean.

Just acquired, only scrubbed clean.

Oh the thrill of finding an inspiring piece of furniture in a junk-shop or at a car-boot sale, bringing it home and restoring it to a beautiful piece of art! I love pouring tlc into an old piece and see it come back to life under my hands. Second life and glory restored. I enjoy the whisperings of my soul saying hmmm, try this or what about doing it this way? 

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I love being hands on creative with fabric, furniture, walls, space, curtains, old chairs and sofas, even lamp-shades. Once they’ve been de-spidered that is. Being freaked out by anything with more than 6 legs is a bit of a drawback in this line. I even love the oh shize have I got in over my head or is this going to be the f-up moment and then pulling it all together in the end. 

Finished piece

Finished piece

Finding ”play-material” in England was relatively easy. In Mexico very little is thrown out or given a proper makeover (meaning sanding, filling in scratches and cracks where needed, base-coat, paint, top-coat or whatever is appropriate). There are no second hand or house clearance shops to spend rainy afternoons looking for treasures for your craft or perhaps inspiration. Things generally get handed down or passed on among family and friends.

Grill Bar

For the Grill Bar/ Steak house

For the waiter at Pirates Bar

For the waiter at Pirates Bar

Isla Mujeres where I now live is a bit like the Isle of Wight; full of creative and artistic types, and like the Wight needs tourists and Londoners with money to fall in love with our creations, the Islenos too depend on the tourists to buy what they -in common with the English city dwellers- do not have time or inclination to make for them selves. A little piece of handmade uniqueness to adorn their home or person or gift a loved one.

 

 

I would like to be able to live of my creativity. Few things would give me greater pleasure than for my creations to fly off their proverbial shelves into the hands of delighted buyers!

Next Sunday if at all possible I’m going to get hubby to take us to a rumored flea-market on the mainland if the weather is ok, bring a couple of bottles of water, flask of coffee and my camera and just browse until my heart’s content.

Below are a few of my bags project.

Black & white Karen bag with purple silk lining

Black & white Karen bag with purple silk lining

Recycling fun!  shoulderbag made from ripped jeans with nifty pockets.

Recycling fun! shoulderbag made from ripped jeans with nifty pockets.

Work in progress

Work in progress

Work in progress

Work in progress

Coming together, tapestry outer, lined with red silk, inner lining to make shower proof.

Coming together, tapestry outer, lined with red silk, inner lining to make shower proof.

Adding decorative stitches to map bag

Adding decorative stitches to map bag

Another bag ready to meet it's new owner

Another bag ready to meet it’s new owner

A perfectly timed demonstration of boundaries

 

I’d been writing and debating boundaries with myself most of the afternoon, and at the same time had a lovely day with Miao Cat.

On cue she climbed over quietly from the other chair where she had been snoozing just as I was beginning to flag and despair, laid down in my lap and purred away for well over 10 minutes!

She then proceeded to move onto the table so that I couldn’t write – not that I wanted to right then, being quite blissy just spending cuddle time with her.

This is how you do it (set boundaries) she said, and her whole emanation totally changed. She was still an inch away but everything about her told me just to be still and do not touch!

About 10 minutes passed before she said –ok, you can touch me again.  So I did and she purred.

-But KitKit, extroverts don’t seem to get subtleties like that, they seem to think the world is all about them.

-That’s not your problem. Snooze.

And then we just stayed like that, until my leg got numb about half’n’hour later. Companionable silence, very intimate. Me observing everything about her, counting her whiskers, adoring the pretty paws…..

 

21 September, 2012.

Autumn Sunday

The crunching noise of rustling leaves underfoot

the canopy above and around me alight with colours

reds, orange, yellow and still a little green here and there

proper hiking boots, jeans and cozy parka

out for a walk, just because I can.

All around me autumn in all it’s splendour.

Even in the high street

the late summer sale and back to school have made way for

comfortable knits and stylish pants.

Make your way to the coffee house when you’ve had your fill of being buffeted by the brazing winds

or shopping has brought on a craving for coffee or tea,

cake or scones or even a late pub lunch

animated chatter catching up with friends

laughter and comparing best finds.

 

Here too it is finally autumn

the thermometer shows 28c/82f and it’s a glorious, sleepy sunday

cool enough for my body to exhale

a contented sigh of relief from the oppressive heat of the spring and summer months.

Last night we had an absolutely spectacular sunset

nature generously showing off in the most breathtaking of fashion.

Got to watch this rather unexpectedly from the boat

that we’d spent hours scrubbing down

frying my back in the sun.

Before enlightenment
cook food and scrub boat
after enlightenment
cook food and scrub boat.

Today I’m wearing one of my softest t-shirts

saying Tour de France 1994 (yes I was there!)

and the contrast between where the shoulder straps were and the rest looks rather comical

Fortunate I have witch-vera…!

 

But I still miss the distinctive change of seasons and

talking about plans and ideas with my old friends

with whom even not speaking is comfortable.

All while I make me and my love coffees, cuddle the Miao-cat

and sit down and write this in easy companionable silence at the kitchen table.

 

Catpaw, 23 September 2012

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