Aby-a-Day – 29 November 2020: Good morning, Abyssinians! (Selfie Sunday)

Dashiell loves to pat my face and purr when I am in bed in the morning.

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He pats my face with one paw, although I haven’t been able to capture it with my camera. Yet. (Please forgive my face…I just woke up, eh?)

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But there’s more to it than that…

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…here’s Angel on my pillow, leaning on my head. I have stereophonic purring between the pair of them! I just wish Dash wouldn’t drool when he purrs.

Aby-a-Day – 28 November 2020: No one else was in the room where it (hopefully) happened (Special Saturday)

Yesterday, we drove to Stockholm so Lorelai could have a “date” with her new beau, S*Cat’s Claw Rock Star Ritchie.

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Ritchie looked pretty keen to meet her when he was still in his carrier.

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Rory was pretty interested in him, too.

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So we opened Ritchie’s carrier’s door so they could meet face to face.

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It didn’t go great…Rory growled and hissed at him.

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So, not exactly love at first sight.

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Ritchie, ever the gentleman, withdrew to the shower.

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Where he proceeded to try to woo Rory with his cuteness.

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He really went all out, too.

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From her perch on the counter, Rory watched everything Ritchie did. But did it work? Was Rory impressed?

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Since we left them alone together in the bathroom to interact without human intervention, only time will tell.

Aby-a-Day – 27 November 2020: Jake’s fabulous turkey outfit (Fashion Friday Flashback)

I know I’ve posted Jacoby and his fabulous turkey outfit many times before, but the memory came up again on Facebook this week, and I couldn’t resist sharing it again.

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Preparing for the fashion show at the Westchester Cat Club show, Jake didn’t just wear that thing. He owned it. So much so that the creator gifted it to Jake after the show.

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He posed so perfectly on that green sofa.

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Jake was so confident, he didn’t mind sharing the sofa with another contestant.

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My favourite thing about that turkey outfit is that even Jake himself knew how good he looked wearing it.

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He looked at himself for the longest time, admiring himself. I know they say cats don’t recognise themselves in mirrors, but I think Jake definitely did.

Aby-a-Day – 26 November 2020: Sausage party (Thursday Things)

The other day, I went into the bedroom for something, and I discovered all the boys in a pile on the middle of the bed.

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I joked that there was a sausage party going on in our bedroom.

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Then Alfred started to…move.

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Freddy, I don’t need to see any sausages..!

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Completely non-plussed, Freddy carried on with his grooming. I love the expressions on the other two boys’ faces.

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Also, can we all just take a moment to admire Freddy’s grabby hands action?

Aby-a-Day – 25 November 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Catching the blue dot)

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Aby-a-Day – 24 November 2020: Izaak Bar Sinister (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is one of those ideas that seemed better in my head. I was going to work on my Dashiell as Hamilton piece, but the meme of Rudy Giuliani looking like villian Simon Bar Sinister from the old Underdog cartoons…and I had an idea.

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I thought I’d try to draw Izaak as Simon, adding the whatever it was that was dripping down the side of Giuliani’s head last week…but meh. Not sure I like how it turned out. I think I need to go back to the late 1700’s.

Aby-a-Day – 23 November 2020: Half-brothers from another mother (or something) (Hipstamatic Monday

Hipstamatic jusr released a new a new Hipstapak with a new film and lens. I thought I would try them out on the “NOT brothers from another mother,” Alfred and Izaak.

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It’s not a terribly exciting combination, to be honest.

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But seeing Freddy with Zak reminds me of Freddy and Logan. And I wonder: what would they be like together now?

Aby-a-Day – 22 November 2020: Remember when we travelled? (Cat Show Sunday)

Today Björn posted a memory from this day last year, with the comment, “It’s a year since the last cat show we attended, and when we could travel like so many times before. How things can change in a year…”

This was the train to the ferry to a Turku, Finland, where Izaak and Lorelai earned their International Champion titles. We haven’t been to a show since then. A whole year without a cat show…hard to believe. And I haven’t been anywhere at all since July! Because of my asthma I stay in as much as possible, especially since the health officials in Sweden are still saying masks don’t help against the coronavirus…especially on public transportation.

“We don’t see that we are at a point where we might recommend general use of face masks on public transport,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the Public Health Agency in Stockholm, told reporters on Thursday. “Face masks shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to keep a distance.” That’s a direct quote. Yeeeeaaahhhh…I’m not going anywhere by train for a while.

Aby-a-Day – 21 November 2020: An Egyptian virtual cat show (Cat Show Saturday)

This morning, I got an email reminding me to enter another virtual cat show. This one is kind of special: “Egypt’s newest cat club, the Pharaonic Cat Fanciers, had its first in-person show planned for November 2020. However, in the indomitable tradition of Egypt’s Pharoahs, the club refuses to give up and has gone virtual instead. In fact, we’re throwing a party. . . the Cairo Cat Party!”

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But apart from the Championship and Premiership classes, into which I entered Izaak, Lorelai and Dashiell, there were some fun classes, including this: Pose Like Bast! Show your cat in her best Egyptian Costume – 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Photo only.”

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Well…of course I had to enter Jacoby in his Egyptian crown and necklace! Jake’s entry is a spectators’ choice, with voting starting tomorrow at $1 USD per vote. You can vote for Jake here.

Aby-a-Day – 20 November 2020: Photoshop fun with the professional photos (Photoshop Friday)

I submitted some of the professional photos we had taken at DjurMagazinet to the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED. I thought they’d have a bit of fun with them, and I was right. I made the one at the top of this post…and here are the rest.

Miguel thought Dashiell belonged on a record album.

Another person said Dash looked “toasty,” and Laurel made him into a marshmallow.

Ashley thought Dash’s tail looked like a knife.

The photo of Lorelai standing up was rather a hit, too. Beatrice thought she looked like one of the mice from Coraline.

Renee turned Rory into a kangaroo.

Tom put Dash and Rory into a scene with Godzilla.

LaLa had Rory playing piano with Tom Jones.

Lita put everyone into a dinosaur scene, and turned Dash into a boss.

Lala turned Alfred, Izaak, Dash and Rory into emperors and an empress.

Beau thought Zak looked like a gargoyle.

And this one is my absolute favourite…but I can’t find who made it. Zak on Ron Swanson’s desk! I love it.

Aby-a-Day – 19 November 2020: Love in the time of Covid-19 (Thursday Things)

So, we have a little news: We have found another boy for Lorelai! He lives with our friend Susanna in Stockholm; you may recall we met two of her Abys, Rory’s half-brother and a girl born the same day as Rory at Rory’s very first cat show.

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His name is S*Cat Claw’s Rockstar Ritchie. He’s almost a year old, and he happens to have a brother named Rory! He’s ruddy, but his mother is fawn, so it’s possible he’ll carry cinnamon.

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This will be Ritchie’s second mating. We’re taking her to Stockholm next weekend…so keep your fingers crossed!

Aby-a-Day – 18 November 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Izaak chases his tail)

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Aby-a-Day – 17 November 2020: Bruno Liljefors’ cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Saturday, Björn went to the second-hand store and discovered this amazing replica painting by Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors. It’s called “A Cat and a Chaffinch” and was painted in 1885. I was surprised to discover how old it is…it looks a lot more modern!

From Wikipedia: “Liljefors was a pioneer at a time when wildlife art was still emerging from its association with scientific depiction and taxidermy. He also set a standard of identification with the landscape that substantially influenced the development of wildlife art in the twentieth century.” Liljefors mainly painted wildlife and hunting scenes, but he also did a few cats.

Liljefors was a life-long hunter, and many of his works explored the predator-prey relationship. Interestingly, he also did sequential story paintings, and is considered one of Sweden’s earliest comics creators! So this post may not have any Abyssinians or Singapuras…but it is kind of a cartoon!

Aby-a-Day – 16 November 2020: Awesome custom plushies! (Miniature Monday)

Back in July, I found this awesome Etsy seller in Ukraine called Granny Lu who makes custom plushies based on your art.

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Of course, I could NOT resist. I sent her these two drawings; Izaak as Baby Yoda and Toothless the dragon.

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Well, they arrived on Friday…and they. Are. AWESOME!

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Even Zak approves of them.

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The detail is amazing. Just based on my drawing…she captured every detail.

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I mean, look at the prosthetic tail attachment!

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Zak likes it, too.

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Zak’s name is also embroidered on one wing.

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The Baby Yoda Zak is just as perfect.

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He’s got his little bowl of bone broth.

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I love his tail.

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She assumed his robe has a hood, so she included one…that actually works!

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And underneath the hood, Zak’s name. In a colour matching his fur. I love it.

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Izaak and his alter-egos. The next great artwork I come up with…I am definitely going back to her! They were a bit expensive…but oh, so worth it.

Aby-a-Day – 14 & 15 November 2020: Learning curve (Serious Saturday and Sunday)

Okay, so the new laptop arrived on Friday. I spent the rest of the day and part of yesterday transferring data from the old MacBook Pro to the new one.

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Problem is, I had to upgrade the system. I don’t have a choice; there’s a Magic Keyboard that I don’t think will work with the older software. However, I must say, the thing is wicked cool. The functions you have change depending on which application you’re using. In Facebook, you get predictive text like on the iPhone. Listening to music on iTunes, you have the play, pause and skip functions. And in photo apps, you get controls for whatever you’re doing.

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Also, no need for passwords; there’s a Touch ID button so you can log into everything with your index finger.

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However…I am absolutely bereft without Photoshop. I did everything I could find to work around it…to no avail. I have been using Photoshop since…1997, I think. I can do everything so reflexively…Why, Adobe, why?!

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Well, I absolutely do NOT want to pay $20.99 a month for a subscription. So I’ve been investigating other apps that have very high ratings. I’ve downloaded a couple of trial apps. The first one I tried was Acorn. It is highly rated, especially for Macs, and it’s only $29.99. It’s pretty nice…but I couldn’t figure out how to do simple tone, colour and contrast corrections (the things that are so easy to do in Photoshop). I’ll go back later and play with it. The other one I am trying is Affinity Photo, which is a LOT easier to figure out. It’s much more similar to Photoshop, and it can open .psd files. I can also import all my special brushes into both Acorn and Affinity, which is awesome. It’s $49.99…but it seems worth it (and, okay, it’s a lot less expensive than Photoshop was).

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As a bonus, in learning about these two apps (and another one, Affinity Designer, which looks interesting), I discovered I can also import my brushes into Procreate. That means no more having to finish drawings in Photoshop…I may just be able to do everything on the iPad now.

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Still, I really want Photoshop back. I have a lot of work and research to do in the next ten days.

Aby-a-Day – 13 November 2020: Make America rake again (Photoshop Friday)

Okay, so the US election happened, Biden won, Trump won’t accept it. Even so, the goofiest, quirkiest, most surreal news story of the past week is the press conference that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, held in Philadelphia on Saturday at the Four Seasons…Total Landscaping. It’s the event that launched a thousand memes…

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…So, yeah. I had to do this.

Aby-a-Day – 12 November 2020: Angel’s peets (Thursday Things)

Well, my laptop is still limping along…the replacement is meant to arrive tomorrow.

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As a result, I have only been turning it on and using it when absolutely necessary…basically, when I need to use Photoshop and make a post. Yesterday’s post was set up a week ago, so I haven’t turned my laptop on since Tuesday.

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Anyway, this was how Angel was sleeping in her bed last night.

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I thought it was cute…and a little awkward.

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So please accempt this peet offering.

Aby-a-Day – 11 November 2020: Wordless Wednesday (More Pro Photos from DjurMagazinet)

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Aby-a-Day – 10 November 2020: Izaak and Major (Cartoon Tuesday)

Just an idea that popped into my head this morning…Izaak as Pixie, and Joe Biden’s Shepherd Major as Brutus. I used a Pixie and Brutus fan art by DiviantArt user Space Meme Stardust as my reference for the first rough sketch.

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Because my new MacBook Pro hasn’t arrived yet, and because I hated the hand-drawn speech bubbles, I turned on my laptop for a few minutes just to add them (and my signature) in Photoshop.

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I also saved the video of my drawing process, just for fun (ie, because Procreate lets me). Click on the image to watch it on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 9 November 2020: Bed thief (Hipstamatic Monday)

The brown dome bed is Angel’s. That’s a fairly well-respected fact in our house.

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Except for Izaak. Singapuras have zero boundaries.

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Well, what have you got to say for yourself, young man?

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Oh. All righty, then. As you were.