Aby-a-Day – 31 Maj: “Expose yourself to as much randomness as possible” (Hipstamatic Monday)

Good news, everyone! Last Wednesday, I got my first Covid vaccination (#teampfizer)! However, it also kicked my butt for a few days; today is the first day my arm doesn’t feel like I was hit by a stick. So, here: have some random Hipstasnaps taken around the house. First we have Alfred and Izaak cuddled up next to Jacoby on my leg.

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It’s interesting to see the pair-ups that occur amongst the cats. Dashiell and Alfred hang out together quite a bit.

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So do Angel and Zak. Sometimes, it’s Angel’s choice…

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…other times, not so much.

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I wonder if I should be concerned about what Dash and Freddy are plotting…

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Not quite sure what’s going on here. Moving on…

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Lorelai looking at me hopefully. She always wants to go outside to run.

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This was taken today. Zak was looking particularly smexy this afternoon.

Abys Are Everywhere: Baked Potat

So I, uh…I found this gif today…

…It’s got an Aby face and Singa feet.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Maj: “Awesome. Wow.” (Photoshop Friday)

The other day in This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED, someone posted this picture of Froot Loop and asked if anyone could give him a throne to sit on.

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I could not resist. It’s silly, and it’s not really one of my best…but it made me laugh so I thought I would share it.

Aby-a-Day – 3 December 2020: Things we saw along the way (Travel Thursday)

Because of the pandemic and me being in a high-risk group, I haven’t travelled much at all this year. This trip to Stockholm was the first one I’ve taken anywhere since we took Lorelai to meet Io back in July. It was nice to see new and different things again!

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There had been some snowfall, and at a rest stop, I saw these lovely frosted leaves.

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On the road at dusk (around 15:00), there was this incredible moonrise.

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Considering I took these photos through the windows of a moving car, I think they turned out rather well.

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On Saturday, we went into Stockholm city to do some shopping. We passed by the Royal Palace, already decorated for Jul. I love the concrete lions guarding the entrance.

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As luck would have it, whilst I was taking that first photo, the Royal Guard happened to pass by!

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I took this one on the way back when we stopped at an ICA to get a snack. It was closed, but if we hadn’t stopped I wouldn’t have gotten to see the historic Åsgården.

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Still, out of all the things we saw last weekend…this was definitely the best!

Aby-a-Day – 1 December 2020: Stinky Tra$h (Cartoon Tuesday)

Whilst Lorelai was busy getting busy with Ritchie, we went shopping in downtown Stockholm. On my way to O’Learys in Hötorget (which translates to “Haymarket,” so it’s kind of appropriate to have a Boston sports bar there.

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But in Hötorget, I noticed this grafitti on the back of a solar trash compactor. I have no idea what it means (believe me, I googled it), but it really reminds me of the cat characters in Bittersweet Candy Bowl.

Aby-a-Day – 1 September 2020: Something I saw today when I was downtown (Cartoon Tuesday)

I was downtown today, and, on a whim, I thought I would check out the bookstore in the mall, and something caught my eye.

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There was a table where children could draw, and then a tree where they could hang their drawings. I almost didn’t take a photo of this drawing, but I remembered my motto: “The only photo you regret is the one you didn’t take.” So here is an adorable drawing of a kitty done by a random Swedish child.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juni 2020: Hall of fame (Cartoon Tuesday)

I was so proud of my portrait of the Maltese Dashiell, I wanted to get an art print made with it. So, I went to Japan Photo‘s website (they’re a Swedish photo printing company, like Shutterfly) website and ordered something. I had to do it in Swedish, but I managed all right. One nifty feature they have is allowing you to see your artwork on a wall in a virtual room. That really helped me figure out what size to get. I thought about getting it printed on canvas, but ended up getting it printed on a metal plate.

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Today, Björn and I hung it in our entryhall, above the mirror.

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It works really well there, I think. It’s next to the 1965 print of an Abyssinian that bears a striking resemblance to Alfred.

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Finally, my vintage Australian Cat From Outer Space movie poster (that…apparently I have never posted about. Oops) completes our entry hall. I think Lorelai approves of our arrangement.

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I almost forgot! On the opposite wall, above the keybox, we have this small Abyssinian print I picked up years ago; it was done by Braldt Bralds, a Dutch artist. I’ve also seen this print as a greeting card.

I guess now I need to find a Singapura print to really complete the ensemble.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Maj 2020: Glam-o-Rama (Hipstamatic Monday)

The fun thing about Hipstamatic is that they’re always releasing new films and lenses. This weekend, they released the Glam-o-Rama SnapPak with the Disco Stu lens and Funktown film. The samples they showed in the email looked pretty cool, and I wanted to try it out.

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The problem with this film/lens combination (and I have no idea why) is that when you look through the viewfinder…all you see is a blur. This hasn’t ever happened with any other Hipstamatic combo before. Not being able to see what you’re taking a photo of is a bit challenging, to say the least.

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This film/lens combo is glamourous, though. It even makes an ordinary yawn look sparkletastic.

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I love the glow it added to these ordinary photos of Alfred.

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Izaak gave me this pose…but that’s just because it was time for his chicken neck.

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So we repaired to the kitchen.

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I love these photos of Dashiell. He looks like he should be on the cover of an 80’s compilation of soft rock ballads.

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Not being able to see what you’re photographing lends itself to some interesting compositions.

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Although I have to say, I really like this action shot of Freddy trying to grab his neck.

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Meanwhile, Angel waits patiently for her crunchies.

Aby-a-Day – 3 April 2020: This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED (Photoshop Friday)

I have been having a lot of fun with the Facebook group This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED. Since we’re all staying inside these days, I have set myself a challenge to do one request a day, to practice my Photoshop skills and try things I might not normally do.

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One of the first was this one. It’s pretty basic, but the cat was a pregnant stray and the poster wanted to convince her husband to adopt her. One thing she mentioned was that they lived in Southern California and there were coyotes in their neighbourhood, so…(Spoiler alert: he said yes)

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This photo was just an average phone photo, but it was so sweet. The poster wanted it fixed up so she could frame it, so I did this.

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This is just a silly joke, really. That face! When I shared it, I commented, “Well…SOMEONE had to do it!”

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I did this Covid-19 illustration for a contest to be the header photo for the group. I saw the photo of Sylvy and had an idea…

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This was originally a cat lounging in a bathtub…and Jabba the Hut was the first thing I thought of. I was surprised nobody else had done t!

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Same with this one…I was surprised no one else made the connection between Salem and Toothless. I had a lot of fun working on this one! I even used my scale brushes to add some scales into Salem’s fur.

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This was today’s challenge: Mamanchi on the parquet floor. Someone said she should be herringbone, like the floor, and I knew what I wanted to do. I actually learned some tricks doing this blend, and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

But that’s not all. I also posted a few of the professional photos of Izaak and Lorelai from the Örebro show, including a couple I had already separated from their backgrounds. Yanna Spite made the top photo on this post using a phone app, and Helen Yang made all of these. Rory skydiving…

…Rory doing a little song and dance…

…Zak as a member of the cast of Cats (the stage production, thankfully, and not the movie)…

…Zak and Rory in the sky with sushi…

…Zak and Rory with Paula Deen and, of course, butter…

…and, um, this portrait. Still, it’s great fun and a great diversion from reading the news right now.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Februari 2020: iPhone 11 Pro Live Photos

One feature of the new iPhone 11 Pro is that when you take a regular photo, the camera also takes what Apple calls a “LivePhoto,” which is the photo you took time-lapsed for three or four seconds with a little motion. It’s kind of like those moving pictures in Harry Potter.

I thought it would be interesting to string a bunch of these LivePhotos together into a movie. So…here is what a string of iPhone LivePhotos looks like, put together into a movie.

Aby-a-Day – 20 November: Just a random little sketch (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today I needed to find the Wi-Fi password to our router, which, for some reason, lives only in a little cookie note pad from the Danish Flying Tiger store.

Yeah, we really need to record that in a more permanent place.

But I came across a little sketch I had done. Not sure when I did it, or why I did it in a little round cookie-shaped notepad in blue ink…but I think it’s Jacoby and Alfred.

Aby-a-Day – 13 November: Cat Mob (Cartoon Tuesday)

Okay, not exactly a cartoon, but I see this sticker grafitti stuck to a wall-ashtray everytime I go to Commerce downtown. It’s just so happy! I mean, I know it’s grafitti…but it’s adorable.

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They also hit a postbox with a Sharpie, and this time Cat Mob has a friend. I really love his tail. I have no idea what or who Cat Mob is, but I appreciate their mascots.

Aby-a-Day – 2 October: Strangers on a train (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is definitely not a cartoon, but a couple of weeks ago, I got this painting sent to me via Facebook Messenger, along with this note: “Hejsan. Träffade dej och din fina katt Jacoby på ett tåg här i Sverige för ca2 år sedan. Hittade visitkortet jag fick av dej häromdagen och målade ett porträtt efter fotot där, Bara för skojs skull, och ville dela med mej av resultatet. Målningen är i akvarell och A3 storlek. Hoppas ni har det bra!”

Maria quickly followed up with an English translation: “I met you and your cat (Jacoby) at a train here in Sweden 2 years ago and i found your card a couple of days ago and felt like making a painting from the photo. It’s aquarell and A3 size.”

This is the card I had given her. But isn’t that wonderful? It’s one of the sweetest, most random thing I think has ever happened because of Jake being Strollercat. I love it. Thank you, Maria!

Aby-a-Day – 25 June: This is us (Hipstamatic Monday)

I haven’t done a Hipstamatic Monday in over two years. I’ve gotten a load of new films and lenses since then…so I figured, hey, why not?

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So let’s go from oldest to youngest…as much as we can. Starting with Angel.

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Lately, she’s been a big fan of the canoe bed that currently sits on the Danish modern chair that needs recovering.

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It’s one of those cat bed fads, I know…but she is so cute when she’s in the canoe.

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Next up is Jacoby.

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Good old reliable Jake.

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He’s been a Hipstamatic cat since the very beginning,

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As always, I love the randomness with Hipstamatic.

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Here’s Alfred.

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He’s shaping up to be as big a poser as Jake is!

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Izaak has shown us that he loves IKEA mice along with any largish plush toy. He even likes the Han Solo mousie!

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He’s not even here a week and he’s already showing a distinct personality.

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He’s very protective of his mousies.

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He stood his ground to protect it against Freddy…so brave!

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Last but not least we have Lorelai.

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She’s so much larger than Zak, it’s hard to remember that he’s older than she is.

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But yes, it’s been only five days, and they are already best friends!

Aby-a-Day – 18 January: Södermalm (Hipstamatic Monday)

Hipstamatic comes out with what they call “Hipstapaks,” sets of retro “films,” “lenses” and “flashes.”

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They like to name these paks after cities, and not too long ago they released one called Södermalm.

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Södermalm is a neighbourhood in Stockholm known for being especially cool, hip and trendy.

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It also just so happens to be the the part of Stockholm Björn and I stayed in the first few days we were together in Sweden.

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So of course I had to play with the Gotland film and Bruno lens for this week’s post. How could I not? I mean…Södermalm!

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It was awesome, too. My first night, we had one of the best meals as what is now one of my favourite restaurants, Harvest Home.

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We wanted to go back there before we left, but that last night we stayed in an entirely different part of Stockholm and couldn’t get there easily. So we went to a marvelous German restaurant a few blocks from our hotel instead. Amusingly enough, as coincidence would have it, that first night before going to Harvest Home, we considered eating at their Södermalm location…I guess we were destined to eat their food eventually!

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We also went to a great meatball restaurant in Södermalm. I had reindeer and Björn had wild boar. Both were fabulous.

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Meatballs For the People is the kind of place that puts up funny signs on the sidewalk. It was as much fun on the inside, too.

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Of course, Södermalm, like most cool, hip, fun neighbourhoods, is an expensive one to live in, it’s still a lot of fun to visit. I know we’ll be going there again.

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And maybe we’ll even bring Jake with us!

Aby-a-Day – September 30: Wordless Wednesday (A Scanner Darkly)

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Aby-a-Day – April 10: A gift from The Great White North (Fashion Friday)

I am really late on this…but I wanted to thank my friend Kim for sending me Canadian Care Package a little while back.

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She sent me a ton of awesome Royal Canin swag! The promotional items Royal Canin has in Canada tend to be a lot better than the stuff we get in the States.

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One thing she sent was this awesome Kitten Kit.

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We can actually use this because Kylie is a super picky eater, but she likes Royal Canin. She can also eat kitten food because she can use the calories. And another lid for leftover canned food always comes in handy.

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Kim also sent me Volume 4 of the Royal Canin Cat Encyclopedia. This was especially wonderful, because I already have Volume 1, which features Abyssinians.

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Volume 4 features Somalis. So now I have both the Aby-related volumes!

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She also sent this cute little black cat face…

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…that expands into this adorable shopping bag! Look at the little fish bones!

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I was super excited to find this in the bag…Teddy Bear Peanut Butter!!! If you’ve never been to Canada, you may not understand. I can’t explain it, but it is the best peanut butter in the world. And this came with a recipe, a bear-shaped plastic cookie cutter and a jar to put the cookies in! This is also my first encounter with the new “Creepy Bear” label design

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Of course Kim also sent some goodies for Jacoby. She sent him two bandanas…

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…and a T-shirt!

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He’s already modelled a Royal Canin bandana, so I decked him out with the maple leaf one, along with his new T-shirt.

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He had possession of the Finnish cat bed (which is the most popular bed in the house right now), and he didn’t want to leave it for a photo shoot because he was afraid of losing it.

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So, here he is modelling his Canadian outfit from Kim in his Finnish bed from Sanna.

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Thank you so much, Kim!

Aby-a-Day – March 23: Snow Angel (Hipstamatic Monday)

When we went out on our snow adventure, I tried to take some Hipstamatic shots with my iPhone.

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However, my iPhone is getting old, and it’s been doing this thing lately where it gets to between 40% and 60% charged and then it just…dies…saying it needs to be charged! When two seconds earlier it was showing it had plenty of remaining battery life.

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Apparently, this phenomenon is exacerbated by cold weather.

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It’s really a pain. I need a new iPhone. But we’re waiting for the 6s to come out. That and I’m not crazy about the iPhones becoming bigger and bigger.

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Talk about reverse evolution! Cellphones started out as enormous bricks, and as they improved on them, phones gradually became smaller and smaller…until they became “smart.” Then they started getting huge again. Thin…but huge. Pretty soon we’re all going to be walking around talking into our iPads.

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I’m also kind of annoyed that Apple doesn’t make a yellow leather case for the 6 or the 6 plus. My 5 has a yellow leather case to match my iPad’s yellow leather case (which, apparently, they also no longer make.)

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I love the leather cases for iPhones and iPads, by the way. There’s something kind of awesome about puttting something so modern and high tech into a case made of something so primal and natrual. Leather is a truly amazing material. It can be made as soft as a piece of silk or as hard as armour. Humans may have invented the iPhone, but they haven’t invented anything quite like leather.

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If only humans could invent a damn iPhone battery that would hold a charge…

Aby-a-Day – December 25: Wordless Wednesday (Merry Christmas Mayhem)

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Aby-a-Day – September 15: Random funny moment

This was just something funny that happened today.

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Jacoby was hanging out with me, sitting on the bed watching me put laundry away.

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Then Tessie (who we call “Me Too” because she always has to be doing what everyone else is), came along and sat next to Jake. As if that wasn’t enough, she flopped over and started to very inelegantly groom herself.

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She finished, but look at the expression on Jake’s face: “We’re on a queen-sized bed, and this is where you have to sit and do that?”

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Tessie kept sitting right next to him, as closely as she possibly could. Finally, Jake just got fed up and left. It was just a simple little thing, but it was so funny to watch. Good thing I had my camera handy!