Aby-a-Day – 1 Juni 2020: Happy Birthday to me! (Miniature Monday)

Today is my birthday! A fairly important one (I was born in 1965; you do the math)…and Björn gave me gifts that coordinate with my art in the past year. First…the one that was released today and hasn’t shipped yet: a Baby Yoda doll!

toothless_E3077

My next gift was a small plushie of Toothless, who I also drew as a versiom pf Izaak.

toothlessluckycat_E3075

Besides Baby Yoda and Toothless, Björn also got me a black Lucky Cat.

luckycat_E3076

Okay…so, angry black Lucky Cat may not connect to any cartoon I’ve done, but he’s still adorable. I love them all!

Aby-a-Day – 3 Februari 2020: Frustrating crystal puzzle (Miniature Monday)

At the mall today, I bought myself a 3D crystal cat and kitten puzzle.

crystalcat_0692

I’m not a huge puzzle person, but this looked like fun.

crystalcat_0693

I may have made a mistake…

crystalcat_0695

I thought the sheet with the eye stickers was cute…and not a little creepy.

instructionscrystalcat_0700

The instructions were…less than helpful. “Just follow the order of the puzzle pieces shape,the puzzle can be fixed easily.” Yeah, right.

crystalcat_0701

They say a great journey starts with a single step…so okay, here we go. It’s all downhill from here.

freddycrystalcat_0666

freddycrystalcat_0698

Alfred tried to help…

dashcrystalcat_0703

…and so did Dashiell.

crystalcat_0704

This puzzle was wicked hard! There are actually YouTube tutorials to help you build these things!

crystalcat_0705

After a while, I took a break from working on the big cat, and built the kitten instead. It was a LOT easier.

freddycrystalcat_0706

Freddy approves!

crystalcat_0709

Okay, back to work on this crazy big cat puzzle…

crystalcat_0710

It took me over TWO HOURS to get this thing built! I actually had it finished at one point…but whilst trying to screw it together, it all fell apart! I had to start over almost from scratch. Many swears were sworn.

zakcrystalcat_0712

Izaak came to check out what was so important that it delayed his evening chicken neck.

zakcrystalcat_0714

“This? This is what made me have to wait for my neck!?”

Aby-a-Day – 8 Juli: Phrenology Cat (Miniature Monday)

One of our stops in London was to visit Forbidden Planet, the world’s largest comic, science fiction and fantasy book and toy store.

phrenologycatFreddyC08665

Both Björn and I found some good things, but literally the last thing I saw as we were leaving was this porcelain Phrenology Cat.

phrenologycatBoxC08667

It wasn’t even that expensive…

phrenologycatBoxC08669

…and, even better, it was a pound off!

phrenologycatFreddy08670

Alfred was very interested it the little cat head.

phrenologycatBookFreddyC08680

phrenologycatBookC08683

Included in the box is a small, well-bound 32-page book about cat phrenology. Really a nice little package, and a lovely find.

phrenologycatBackFreddyC08673

There’s just one thing I didn’t notice until I unboxed it…all the writing on the back of the head is mirror-image.

phrenologycatBackC08676

I’m not really sure if it’s meant to be like this or not. Maybe Phrenology Cat is printed backwards on the other side on purpose, and it’s meant to be placed in front of a mirror? I don’t know…so I emailed the company just to be sure. Or, maybe that’s why it was discounted. I have no idea. But it’s still a cool little figure.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Januari: Lorelai vs the Thing (Movie Monday)

When Lorelai was a tiny kitten, she was fascinated with the television. These photos are from 22 May, when Rory had been with us for about two weeks.

rorythingC05177

She really got into trying to interact with the people on the screen! She’s since outgrown her interest in the TV, but it was awfully cute (and not a little bit annoying) while it lasted. Also, if you look closely at the second photo, you might notice some previous Miniature Monday post subjects.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Januari: My Christmas Present (Miniature Monday)

This year, we had a small Christmas, because I bought tickets to the Red Sox-Yankees games next summer in London, and Björn bought us a new television. But we did do some small gifts and stocking stuffers to each other, and Björn’s main gift to me was a 4D Vision Cat Anatomy Model

4Dcatmodel2

Well, of course I loved it! In fact, I sat down and assembled it on the spot.

4Dcatmodel3

Luckily, living in Sweden has given me a pretty good grasp on navigating pictorial assembly instructions.

4Dcatmodel4

But what was really cool was the information included on the instruction sheet. Like random cat factoids.

4Dcatmodel5

And cat anatomy illustrated (using pictures of the model’s pieces) along with a felid size comparison chart.

4Dcatmodel6

Then there’s a little guide to cat communication and body language, how cats land on their feet, and an illustration of how retractible claws work.

4Dcatmodel7

4Dcatmodel8

Finally, there’s an organ-by-organ breakdown of all the parts of a cat, again using the model pieces (except for the eye).

4DcatmodelC04439

Here is my model, completed.

4DcatmodelC04441

My favourite part is, the model cat is a female! And she has kittens inside! Aren’t they cute? #theylooklikeabys…

zak4DcatmodelC04452

Izaak wanted to meet the model.

zak4DcatmodelC04455

I don’t think it went well…

zak4DcatmodelC04460

…In fact, he seemed a little freaked out. Was it the kittens, Zak?

Aby-a-Day – 30 July: Mars Liv 1980’s bronze cat statues (Miniature Monday)

One day Björn and I were at one of our favourite second-hand stores, and we came across three very interesting bronze cat statues from the 1980’s. The detail was rather marvelous on them, and they were quite solid. Of course, I couldn’t leave them behind. All three are signed by Magnus G:son Liedholm, who, we discovered, is well-known Swedish metal artist.

catbronze85C08466

All of the cats have “MARS LIV” and a year on a separate bronze plate. The oldest is dated 1985 and is a rather plain standing cat.

catbronze86C08473

The next one, dated 1986, is a stretching cat.

catbronze86C08474

I love that the two front paws are not together.

catbronze88C08469

My favourite is the third statue, dated 1988, with a cat rolling playfully onto its back. I love the one paw in the air!

catbronze88C08470

No matter how hard we Googled, we could not find out what “Mars Liv” is or was. But we did discover that there is at least one other statue out there, a sitting cat with several kittens (?) inside. It also appears that they used the same cats for different years and also multiple cats for the same years; we found the standing cat also dated ’83 and ’84, the lying cat dated ’84, and the stretching cat dated ’85. I wish I could discover what they were made to commemorate, because they are just so wonderful.

catbronze88C08453

But you knew I couldn’t get through a post without a little help…

rorycatbronze88C08455

Oh, hello, Lorelai.

rorycatbronze86C08477

What would I ever do without you, Rory?

Aby-a-Day – 21 May: Playmobil Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding (Miniature Monday)

I know Playmobil has kind of “Poor man’s Lego reputation, but they have got a lot more choices in the cat department. Playmobil Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding set.

Not gonna lie; overall, I prefer Legos. But Playmobil has some interesting pieces, and I have been known to mix Legos and Playmobil pieces in the quest for the perfect Strollercat action figure.

It kind of started when Björn bought me the Playmobil Woman with Cat Family set as a surprise. After that, I dragged out all my other cat pieces and scoured eBay for more.

Then we saw this ad for a contest in Kattliv where the prize was this set. Well, I needed that shiny device! So we found one in a toy store.

freddyplaymobilcatsC04502

Alfred was eager to help me build it.

playmobilcatsC05021

It’s actually a pretty cool set.

playmobilcatsC05023

Hauspanther would be proud of all the catification going on up in here. And the detail is fun, too. There are stickers to put on little cans of cat food as labels and a sticker for the litter box that looks like (clean, unused) litter!

playmobilcatsC05025

Only one problem: not enough kitties! So I added all the random Playmobil cats I had collected and added them in.

playmobilcatsC05034

Like this small cat tree (with carpet stickers for the shelves).

playmobilcatsC05031

And these two iterations of Strollercats. The little grey one is, of course, Lorelai.

playmobilcatsC05029

This one is my absolute favourite, though. Somewhere along the line I picked up a veterinary set which included this patient, complete with Cone of Shame.

playmobilcatsC05028

But the best part is, she even has stitches! I’m not sure which set this goes with; I must have gotten it as a random cat piece on eBay. I can find the cat with stitches as a part of this set, but she hasn’t got the cone or the bed.

playmobilcatsC05038

Here’s the house again with the extra cats added in. Much better.

roryfreddyplaymobilcatsC05039

roryfreddyplaymobilcatsC05040

roryfreddyplaymobilcatsC05041

roryfreddyplaymobilcatsC05042

Oh, wait! Here, let’s add two more cats…

roryfreddyplaymobilcatsC05056

Suddenly, the poor cat boarding house was attacked by Roryzilla!

roryfreddyplaymobilcatsC05064

roryfreddyplaymobilcatsC05067

She’s already using her grabby Aby hands to pick things up, as you can see.

roryfreddyplaymobilcatsC05070

Oh well. At least Freddy didn’t sit on it…

Aby-a-Day – 26 March: Re Ment Pose Skeleton Cat (Miniature Monday)

Personally, I think cat skeletons are kind of cool. You may remember
my roughly life-sized skeleton cat, Os-car I found at CVS one Halloween. So when Björn showed me a picture of Re-Ment’s Pose Skeleton Cat, I had to get one.

poseskeletonC02263

It’s one of those typical cool Japanese toys with tons of special touches. The cat comes with a litter box (I think…it might be a bed), a typical Japanese wand cat toy, and a belled collar. I added a Schleich cat tower and some food and water bowls I had from another set, and it seems that the scale on all of them is roughly the same.

poseskeletonC02274

The amount of detail on this little thing is incredible. The collar has stitching marks and a leather look, and the bell has a seam and the hole at the bottom to let the sound out.

jakeposeskeletonC02268

Of course, when he heard the camera, Jacoby had to come see what I was taking photos of…and why I wasn’t taking photos of him.

jakeposeskeletonC02276

Jake was very curious about the little cat skeleton and tried to pick it up.

jakeposeskeletonC02277

He only succeeded in knocking over the cat tree. Then he wandered off.

poseskeletonC02273

Thanks a lot, Jake!

poseskeletonC02283

It’s really a tiny figure (as you can see compared to Jake’s paw), but it has eight points of articulation (tail, both hips, mid-spine, both shoulders, neck and jaw)! I really adore this little thing.

Aby-a-Day – 9 May: Nueve de Mayo (Hipstamatic Minature Monday)

When Björn was here, we had all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesday at Tavitas in South Station.

hipstaminijake1

hipstaminijake2

While we were there, the “Corona Girls” were going around handing out free bottles of beer, all dressed up in an adorable Corona serape.

hipstaminijake3

hipstaminijake4

Well…of course you know what we had to do with that, right?

hipstaminijake5

hipstaminijake6

The little serape was just about the right size for Mini-Jacoby!

hipstaminijake7

So, okay, maybe Cinco de Mayo was a few days ago, but apparently Mini-Jake is still celebrating.

Aby-a-Day – 11 April: Fie! (Miniature Monday)

I’ve lived in Boston for 16 years this coming May, but I only just yesterday finally went to the Boston Tea Party Museum. It’s really a lot of fun! I didn’t do the tour this time; my friends Ailsa and Stephanie were in town, and we just did the gift shop and the tea room.

ftpoint-teapartyIMG_3781

ftpoint-teapartyIMG_3785

You can see the building I live in from the museum, which is located in the middle of the Congress Street Bridge. I could see the Tea Party Museum from my building, too, if it were larger!

teapartyshopIMG_3791 1

The gift shop is pretty elaborate, and they actually sell really good quality items along with the usual tourist stuff.

teapartyshopIMG_3790 1

They sell the types of tea that were tossed off the boat 16 December 1773.

minijaketeapartyC05338

minijaketeapartyC05338

Mini-Jacoby was interested in checking out the replica ship.

minijaketeapartyIMG_3794 1

minijaketeapartyIMG_3793 1

“Man the boats! The Wrecking Ball is aboard!”

minijaketeapartyC05342

They also had these little colonial mice which he found quite interesting.

tepartygameIMG_3797 1

After the gift shop, we visited the Tea Room, where you can get scones and other baked goods, sandwiches and soups, hot apple cider (with or without rum)…and, of course, tea.

tepartygameIMG_3796 1

On the tables, there are period board games like Shut the Box and Nine Man Morris.

minijaketeapartyC05351

At our table, we had a Nine Man Morris board with the flag of New England embazoned on it. Mini-Jake wanted to play…but he couldn’t quite move the pieces. I didn’t do the actual tour this visit…I am saving it for next week, when we plan to do not only the tour, but also the Tavern Night dinner.

Aby-a-Day – 28 March: Zootopia (Miniature Monday)

I saw Zootopia a little while ago, and I LOVE it. I really can’t wait to see it again in the theatre. Yeah, it’s that good.

minijakezootopiaC05319

I mean, how often do you see a movie that addresses racial issues, stereotypes, discrimination with witty but insightful commentary and has cute talking animals? Not to mention a few awesome inside jokes.

minijakezootopiaC05320

The main protagonists, Judy Hopps the rabbit and Nick Wilde the fox are among some of the best fictional characters I’ve ever come across.

minijakezootopiaC05326

I think Mini Jacoby has a little man-crush going on with Nick, actually.

Aby-a-Day – 1 February: Findus och Pettson (Miniature Monday)

While I was in Sweden, I got a set of Pettson and Findus figures.

sverigexmas-goteborgfindusC04316

Pettson and Findus are the main characters in a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Sven Nordqvist. They are very popular – this photo is from a display in a book store in Göteborg. Pettson is an old farmer who live alone with his cat, Findus, some chickens and some little house creatures. Findus gets his name from a brand of frozen foods; when Pettson got Findus as a kitten, he was in a box labelled “Findus Green Peas.”

sverigexmas-findusIMG_2001 1

I’ve had this small plush Findus since I visted Björn in 2000. He went back to Sweden with me for Christmas.

jakepettsonC04513

Naturally, I adore Findus…

jakepettsonC04511

…I mean, what’s not to like? He’s a cat, he can talk, and he’s a sassy troublemaker. Someday, I want to get Jacoby a pair of green striped pants like Findus wears.

jakepettsonC04502

I think Jake would make a great Findus.

jakepettsonC04500

But what does Jake think of Pettson and Findus?

jakepettsonC04499

He likes them!

Aby-a-Day – 11 January: Venison for New Year’s (Miniature Monday)

On New Year’s Eve, Björn and I hosted a dinner party with our friends Karin, Roger and Martin.

minijake-NYEvenisonC04199

Mini-Jacoby, as you saw last week, was also there.

minijake-NYEvenisonC04198

He wasn’t exactly invited…he came for the venison and stayed for the booze.

minijake-NYEvenisonC04197

We had a glorious side of venison for dinner.

sverigexmas-NYEvenisonC04202

Our friend Martin hunts, and he brought the meat as his contribution to the collaborative meal.

sverigexmas-NYEvenisonC04216

Not only that…

sverigexmas-NYEmartinvenisonC04211

sverigexmas-NYEmartinvenisonC04219

…he cooked it for us, too! And it was wonderful.

minijake-NYEvenisonC04239

Mini-Jake was fascinated by all the food, as you can see.

sverigexmas-NYEbjorncocoC04247

It was a real, grown-up dinner party, too. Everyone dressed up and everything. It was one of the best New Years Eve parties I’ve ever been to.

sverigexmas-NYEbjorncocoIMG_2353

And, finally, after so many years of calling each other on New Year’s Eve – usually at the wrong time, because we’d messed up the time difference – Björn and I were finally in the same room at midnight! And we finally got our New Year’s kiss.

Aby-a-Day – December 21: Taking the train through Stockholm (Miniature Monday

After our stay in Stockholm, Björn, Kalle and I took the train home to Skövde.

sverigexmas-stockholmC03858

I know Jacoby would have loved the trip. He does love train rides.

minijake_stockholm1

So, since I couldn’t bring the real Jake with me (this time), I did the next best thing.

minijake_stockholm3

I brought Mini-Jake!

minijake_stockholm4

It wasn’t quite the same…

minijake_stockholm5

Actually, I hear that the real Jake is showing signs of missing me…in between causing all kinds of mayhem like picking fights with the girls and licking toast left in the toaster long enough for him to find it.

minijake_stockholm6

It’ll be interesting to see what he does when he gets here. I’ve already warned Björn about his floor rugs (aka “Aby tunnels” and “Aby sleds”) and plastic bags (aka “Jake – don’t eat that! Plastic bags are not food!)…and then there’s 16-year-old Pyret. I expect fun times ahead.

sverigexmas-stockholmC03867

Stockholm was a lot of fun…but now we’re home in Skövde.

Aby-a-Day – December 14: Getting Ready (Miniature Monday)

Mini-Jake loves to help me get ready in the morning!

minijakebjdbathroom1

He comes into the bathroom with me and helps me put on my make up.

minijakebjdbathroom4

The nicest thing about his help is…he doesn’t actually get in my way and knock things over the way the real Jacoby does!

Aby-a-Day – December 7: My little workmate (Miniature Monday)

It’s kind of nice to have a little friend in the office.

minijakebjdoffice2

Mini-Jake helps me type…

minijakebjdoffice3

And pick out music to listen to while I work.

minijakebjdoffice1

I have a lot of toys on my desk…

Aby-a-Day – November 30: Dive right in (Minature Monday)

My Thanksgiving pheasant turned out so well…and was so small…that I decided to cook an actual turkey on Thanksgiving Saturday.

minijaketurkey1

I mean, pheasants are tasty and all, but as it happens…I really missed the leftovers (Note to self re: living in Sweden).

minijaketurkey2

While I was able to keep the real Jacoby away from the turkey, I wasn’t so fortunate when it came to MiniJake.

minijaketurkey3

minijaketurkey4

He was all over my turkey! I’m pretty sure he drooled on it, too (ewwwww)!

minijaketurkey5

He was ready to eat any part of the turkey…

minijaketurkey6

…even the wings!

minijaketurkey7

But of course, his most favoured part was…

minijaketurkey8

…the great white expanse of the breast meat!

minijaketurkey9

Nom nom nom…

Aby-a-Day – November 2: Ready to hit the road (Miniature Monday)

It’s always fun to go to a cat show…but finally, on Sunday, it’s time to go home.

NEMOjakebjdIMG_0748 1

Jacoby and mini-Jake waited in the carrier while I packed up all the cage accoutrements.

NEMOjakebjdIMG_0743 1

I really wonder what Jake thinks of his Brazilian mini-me?

NEMOjakebjdIMG_0742 1

Yeah, come on guys. Let’s go home.

Aby-a-Day – October 26: Nipper Madness (Miniature Monday)

As I mentioned last week, my friend Donna was selling her jewelry, cat toys and other goodies at the NEMO show

NEMObjdIMG_0526 1

After seeing Jacoby with that amazing catnip log, the miniature Jake had to check it out.

NEMObjdIMG_0529 1

He got a bit distracted with the mylar and feather wand toys…

NEMObjdIMG_0531 1

Oooooooh, sparkly!

NEMObjdIMG_0521 1

Finally, mini Jake discovered…the mother lode!

NEMObjdIMG_0522 1

He took a moment to pose nicely with the sign…

NEMObjdIMG_0523 1

…and then he kind of lost it.

NEMObjdIMG_0524

Yep, that’s some mighty fine catnip right there. I guess mini Jake won’t need to worry about getting glaucoma.

Aby-a-Day – October 19: Just hanging out at the show (Miniature Monday)

I brought the Jake ball-jointed doll made by Ana Vonborowsky to the NEMO show. You saw him with judge Carla Bizzell last week.

NEMObjdIMG_0515 1

He also hung out in Jacoby’s benching cage when Jake was up in a ring so the spectators wouldn’t have to look at an empty cat bed.

NEMObjdfindusIMG_0489 1

The rest of the time, he was on top of the cage with Findus, a little kitty from Sweden.

NEMOjakestatefarm-bjdIMG_0478 1

But, best of all, he got to spend some quality time with the illustrious Jake from State Farm!