Aby-a-Day – 22 June: Sugar Oh Honey Honey (Fashion Friday)

When Gun-Hee died, I got a couple of different charms to put a bit of his ashes in, and I wanted to get something similar so I could carry a bit of Logan with me, too. Browsing different types of ash jewellry, I discovered Sugar Oh Honey Honey. They are a small workshop in Swindon, Oxfordshire, England, who make personalised photo and ashes jewellery. I am not sure how they make the ash jewellery (it seems like it might be resin casting, but it could be glass), but the results are stunning. Even better, there is a black Sphynx named Coco Beane supervising all the humans as they make everything!

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As “Boss Lady” Vicky Rose explains, she started her company in memory of her daughter Honey so she could help people through jewellery. And it really shows. The packaging was exquisite. I opened the little box to see a happy yellow card and sparkly tinsel.

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Jacoby was there to help me open it, of course.

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On the back of the card was a hand-written note from Vicky.

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This is what I found underneath the card. Of course, Lorelai was very interested in the shimmery, rustly tinsel.

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Nestled in the tinsel were two drawstring bags and a box.

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I opened this one first.

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It was a bracelet with a charm with Logan’s photo on it! This was such a lovely surprise because I didn’t order it! They just threw it in as a bonus. Isn’t that amazing?

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I opened this bag next. It contained Logan’s leftover ashes that weren’t used in the pendant. I mean, they could have just tossed them and said they used them all, but instead they sent them back in a pretty bag.

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Finally I opened the box. WOW! Isn’t it beautiful?

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And the best part is, it glows in the dark!

After I ordered it, the “Tech Girl,” Megan Chase, sent me an email explaining how to send in a bit of Logan’s ashes and added, “We would also love to know more about the pet/person you are sending to us along with a name and pictures (if you have any) and a favourite song, as we like to play music while making each individual piece.” So of course I directed her to this blog, because clearly it’s the best way to learn about who Logan was. In a follow-up email, Megan told me, “Your blog is so lovely to read, I’ve found myself spending some of my spare time reading it,” which is just so sweet! So, Megan, I hope you liked this post!

Angel added this whilst I was away from my laptop: äòp0y………………u. I think it may be a message to Coco.

Aby-a-Day – 2 June: Logan’s last cat bed (Swedish Saturday)

When pets are cremated in Sweden, it seems the pet crematoriums return the ashes to you in a simple, pine box. This is how Björn received the ashes of first Olivia and then Pyret, and that’s how we got Logan back from the vet as well.

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Lorelai came to see what was left of the brother and show companion she will never get to meet.

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Bittersweet photo, isn’t it? Hang one, more where that came from.

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To my surprise, when I opened the box Logan’s ashes came in, they were just loose inside! Back in the States, you would get the ashes in a box, sure, but the ashes inside the box were in a plastic bag of some sort.

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Alfred also came to investigate Logan’s loose ashes. Yeah, that’s the more bittersweet thing I mentioned earlier.

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Of course, for Harri and Patrick, I had lovely urns made by Alex in Welderland, and while I love them, another would be too heavy and too expensive to ship from the States to Europe. Gun-Hee didn’t have so much as an urn as a “memorial box” which included a flask of his ashes along with other souvenirs of his short life. I looked online for cat urn options in Europe and eventually discovered Etsy seller 1st4Signs.

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It’s really beautiful. The box is oak, with an engraved slate top and a photo of Logan. Of course, Freddy was on hand to help me put his brother from another mother into his final cat bed.

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I poured Logan’s ashes into the fancy new box. They fit perfectly.

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Then we put the lid back on.

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It fastens with two brass screws. Jacoby came to see what was going on while I was screwing the lid back on.

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Not sure how a screwdriver equals a possible meal, but all right…

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There we are. Logan is in his final resting place.

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Freddy and Jake say goodbye to Logan one last time.

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No Jake…this won’t be you for a very, very long time. I hope.

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For now, Logan is on the windowsill near Björn’s computer underneath which Pyret loved to sleep, next to Pyret and Olivia’s ash-boxes. Eventually we’ll have everyone’s ashes on one shelf somewhere. It just seems so sad that the older we get, the more little boxes of ashes we collect.

(Also…and I am sorry it’s such a depressing post…but, happy birthday, Sherry!)

Aby-a-Day – 15 April: Tag, you’re it! (Fashion Friday)

Last week, I posted about Angel’s new leash. I also got everyone new collars, and Jacoby and Angel also got new tags!

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I’m working on getting them silver tags, made by the same person who made them before, but she hasn’t been able to do it yet, so I had these made by Jen at K9 Stamp Art.

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These are brass, and the lettering is done in colour, which I think is a nice touch. They have crystals embedded instead of gemstones.

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I also got Pyret a collar, BlanketID tag, and a nametag. Pyret’s colour is yellow (Angel’s is purple and Jacoby’s is green), and she’s never worn a collar before, but I thought it would be nice for her to fit in with the Abys.

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All the tags have our new Swedish address on the backs, too…just in case someone sneaks out the door.

Aby-a-Day – 8 April: Angel’s new leash (Fashion Friday)

I finally got Angel her very own leash made by my friend Sally at HiTide Creations.

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She’d been using Jacoby’s old one, but I really wanted to get her a purple one to match her collar.

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Like Jake’s leashes, it has some gorgeous, hand-made beads in colours that match the leather.

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It also has the adjustable handle that I designed, based on a leash I found when I went to Seoul, Korea. As a hand loop, it can be fastened to something, like the stroller’s handlebars.

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And like Jake’s leashes, it can be fastened around my waist for a hands-free leash. This innovation I came up with when Jake was doing therapy work. The first rule of therapy visits is “Never drop your leash” but sometimes that’s harder than you’d think. Having the leash around my waist means I never let go of the connection.

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Angel’s new leash looks so great with her Finnish harness and her new collar.

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She knows she looks great with her new leash.

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I can’t wait to take her out and test it once the weather gets better!

Aby-a-Day – 29 January: When Irish Abys are Smiling (Fashion Friday)

My friend Leza posted this to an Aby group on Facebook with the comment “Of course the Aby is sitting like a tease. smh! lol. Never cease to amaze us do they?”

So of course I had to buy it.

It’s a vintage, circa 1970, Irish tea towel.

And yes, the Aby is the only cat on it that’s posing like a porn star.

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Jacoby has no comment.

Aby-a-Day – September 7: Wood you? (Miniature Monday)

Today’s miniature is a bit different from the ball-jointed dolls. I discovered a German woodcarver on Etsy, Eckart Henzler, who makes wonderful little hand-carved animals from different kinds of wood.

Among his creations, I found a beautiful cat carved from plum wood. The listing said that the cats were made to order, so I had to ask…“Could you carve one of these to possibly look a little like my Abyssinian, Jacoby? Here is a photo of him standing at a cat show…I love the colour of this wood!! It just matches Jake!”

Eckart wrote back, saying, “Yes, the color fits to your cat. Please tell me, what makes Jacoby so special, how does he differ from the cats I carve? Longer legs….?” and so I explained that Abyssinians, have longer legs and necks, a slightly longer tail, and bigger ears, adding that they’re often described as standing on tiptoe. I also sent a few photos of Jake and a link to my Flickr account. He said he’d give it a try, and the next thing I know…

He’s messaged me again with a photo of three wooden cats, along with this note: “I like your cat so much, I made three of them. Now you can choose, which one you prefer.”

I was so impressed! I chose the one in the middle – the tail looks so like Jake!

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And here he is! I keep him in my bathroom, on a hand-carved maple leaf dish I got at ArtBeat.

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The plumwood Jake is actually a decent size. It’s rather larger than you would think from looking at the photos on Etsy.

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It feels nice when you hold it in your hand.

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I have always loved wooden things. I think it comes from my dad taking me camping, and making me little “wood men” from sticks.

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Like this little “Ghost of the Woods” my dad made for me when I was about six.

Björn also likes wooden things, and both he and I like the plumwood Jake so much that we had Eckart make us a bear and a cat for our (eventual) wedding cake, since “Björn” means “Bear” and “Koshka” means “Cat.”

The bear is carved from oak, and the cat is carved from maple, because Björn likes oak trees while I’m partial to maples (it’s a Canadian thing). My engagement ring has oak leaves on it, and we’re thinking the cake should have fondant leaves on it as decoration. And perhaps some real ones as well.

Since we have no idea when my residency permit will be approved, it’s a nice diversion for us to work on the wedding plans to keep our minds off the uncertainty. But the most amazing thing is…Björn got the package just as I was working on this post. Talk about timing!

Aby-a-Day – May 25: Unboxing a treasure (Miniature Monday)

Today on a very special edition of The Daily Abyssinian…My custom, hand-made, cold porcelain ball-jointed Jacoby doll, which she has been working on since February 2014, arrived on Friday!

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It was funny, because I had just tracked the package and the website didn’t show any shipment progress since the 12th.

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The Jake doll was very well packaged for his trip from Brazil to Boston.

In fact, Ana even made a video about how she packaged him.

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In amongst the packing peanuts and bubble plastic, there was a little bag of candies and tea. Aww!

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The doll himself was in another box, well-wrapped in more bubble plastic.

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Which, of course, the real Jacoby was more than happy to assist me with.

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“Come on, Mom! Open it!

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Inside the bubble plastic cocoon, there was a little plastic box wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.

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Naturally, once I untied it, I had to put the string on Jake.

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Then it was time to open the box.

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Ana made him quite the little wardrobe, too.

She made a video showing them off and explaining how she designed and made his little outfits.

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Even the clothing was packaged with care. The little jackets were wrapped around little styrofoam balls.

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Jake really liked those little balls. There were two of them and they’re still rolling around the apartment.

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Although, the starch peanuts were fun, too.

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The wardrobe consists of jackets, shirts, collars, scarves and even a little hoodie.

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There was also this sweet little souvenir magnet. I was loving every second of this grand unveiling!

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With all of her dolls, Ana sends a satin storage bag for the dolls.

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Also included in the box were the patterns to make more little outfits…

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…instructions on how to care for the doll, and also restring it if need be…

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…And a certificate of authenticity.

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Finally, I got to the moment of truth – it was time to unwrap the actual doll! All the while I was chatting with Ana via Messenger.

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That was fun for both of us!

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It was kind of like he was being born.

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And at last he was out! Isn’t he adorable? I think his eyes look like the Geico gecko‘s eyes.

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Ana also made mini-Jake a little green braided collar and a set of miniature tags that just match his real ones.

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They really do look just like the real tags! She said she made them from plastic soda bottles with nail polish and foil tape.

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Jake was quite impressed with his little effigy.

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“See? He looks just like me!”

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After all the excitement was over, Jake and his mini-me went to go sit in the wrapping paper.

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Thank you so much, Ana! I love him! And I think Jake likes him, too. You can see more photos of mini-Jake in Ana’s DeviantArt page.

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“Iz mah cuzin from Brazil!”