More reflections

28 Jul 2010




Worst nightmare

23 Jul 2010

Last week, my husband bought what turned out to be the most expensive of bouquet of flowers ever. £185 to be exact. And they could have potentially cost us the life of our precious Honey.

We learnt a BIG lesson:

Cats + Lilies = Potentially FATAL


Being a typical indoor cat, Honey is very curious (verging on mischievous) so when I put the bunch of mixed flowers on the dining table (which she never jumps up onto) she immediately investigated the new smells. I told her off, she promptly jumped down and scampered away, and I thought she'd lost interest. There was a single lily stem in amongst the other flowers, and at the back of my mind I knew that they weren't good for cats. I didn't realise they were FATAL, I just thought they were something she shouldn't go near. So I cut the pollen stems, thinking this would make them safer. I was wrong.

The following day, I was working on the PC and I could hear a rustling sound and I suddenly thought it must be Honey playing with the flowers. I dashed into the room and Honey bolted off the table. She knew she was in trouble. She jumped up onto the bed and started nuzzling me and purring, as if to say sorry, and I noticed a yellow stain of pollen around her chin and a little smudge on the corner of her mouth. (Even though I cut the pollen stems, some of the pollen had dropped onto the petals.) Without thinking, I cleaned it off with a wet cloth, then immediately searched online. Something didn't feel right. And everything I read confirmed my fears. Lilies are the most dangerous plants to cats. I cut out the remaining yellow stain in her fur to prevent her cleaning it off, I called the vet, and she was admitted within the hour.

Without medical treatment, a cat that eats ANY PART of a lily will definitely become ill. It may not happen straight away, but within a few days they will suffer renal failure as the toxin damages the kidneys. The most important thing to do it to take the cat to the vet as soon as possible for IV fluids. Some cats may vomit the lily up and appear well for a few days, then become gravely ill. It only takes a tiny amount of the plant to cause irreparable damage.

We didn't know if she had actually eaten any of the pollen, or bitten into the leaves or petals, but the vet treated her as if she had ingested some. Lily poisoning is so serious, that you just cannot take any risks with treatment. She spent three days on an intravenous drip administering fluids in an attempt to flush the toxin out of her system. When Honey is at the vets, she turns into a wild cat and bites, scratches and growls (she's a typical tortoiseshell, apparently). She had to be sedated each time she ripped the drip out of her arm and it needed to be reinserted, and also when they did blood tests. She refused to eat and didn't go to the toilet for two days. The vet didn't know if Honey was just upset about being in unfamiliar surroundings, or if she was ill. On the third day, they did a blood test which thankfully revealed full kidney function. We collected her and within five minutes of being at home, she ate some food, went to the toilet and drank some water. She was so pleased to be home, and we were relieved all her bodily functions were in working order. This morning, Honey had a follow-up blood test (involving another sedation...) which showed normal kidney function. The vet said that after 8 days it is highly unlikely that a cat will become ill, but it is not unheard of. We need to keep a close eye on her, but going by her huge appetite, it looks like she will be fine. Perhaps she never ate any of the lily. We will never know.


What strikes me, is that everyone I've spoken to since our ordeal seems clueless that lilies are poisonous to cats. People respond with, "I've had cats all my life, and we always have lilies in the house, and they've never been ill." Well, aren't they lucky, but that doesn't mean that lilies are safe. The veterinary nurse said that lots of cats are admitted with lily poisoning, especially indoor cats and kittens. Many cats that suddenly suffer from renal failure may actually be suffering from lily poisoning, but the cause is never found.

The question I have is why isn't this more widely known?! Why don't bouquets of lilies have a label pointing out the danger to cats? Is it because supermarkets and florists are worried they will lose sales? Cats are the most popular pets in the UK, and the majority of mixed bouquets contain lilies, so why don't people know about this?

When I have some time on my hands (in September), I plan to write a letter to all the chains of supermarkets and florists in the UK asking them to put a simple warning on lilies. A cat face with a red line through would be sufficient. Something that will make people think twice. From what I've read online, people in the USA are more aware of lily poisoning than in the UK. That really needs to change.

Anyway, after the events of the last week, I think I've gone off flowers for life!


22 Jul 2010







Reflections intrigue me. I like the layering of images and distortions created. I took these photos today, whilst taking a break from my work. It gave me something new to think about.


22 july 2010

The second pair of Terra Plana shoes that I bought... shh, don't tell.

22 july 2010

Spinning. My head feels so light after a haircut.

22 july 2010

Progress on my project, but still a long way to go... Making the final model this weekend.

22 july 2010

Evening glow that lasts only a few minutes.

22 july 2010

My grandmother's giant daisies.

* * *

I'm taking a big of a blog-break over the next week weeks, as I'm in the thick of it at uni. Six more weeks to go *sigh*. There's so much more work to do; it's scary. But sometimes a bit of pressure focuses the mind.

Throughout August, I'll be taking part in Susannah Conway's August Break. I'll be sharing daily photos that I take, without the pressure of words. It'll be a refreshing break from my work and won't be too distracting. Hopefully life will get back to some kind of normality in September, and I can pick up some of my sewing projects...


14 Jul 2010

glimpses 14-7-10

Four pretty eyes.

glimpses 14-7-10

A skirt that I plan to turn into a dress.

glimpses 14-7-10

Evening light reflected from the building opposite.

glimpses 14-7-10

Traces of old walls in plywood for the base of my final model.

glimpses 14-7-10

A beautiful moving shadow on the wall of the classroom at the end of a long day.

glimpses 14-7-10

The first pair of Terra Plana sandals that I ordered didn't work out (stupid high insteps!) but this second pair is just perfect. Coral heels! *love*

Tumblr faves

9 Jul 2010

tumblr faves 9 july 2010

This is a collection of some favourite images that I've collected on my tumblr. (Original sources are linked in tumblr).

I'm not sure what direction Cubic Dreams will take over the next few weeks/months as I finish my final project at uni. I feel that the content has become really boring, and it makes me sad. I'm desperate to use my sewing machine and make dresses with the pile of fabric that I've collected... but I honestly don't have the time at the moment. I find it hard to focus on more than one thing at once, and for the next few weeks I need to concentrate on my project...

Finally, some shoes!

8 Jul 2010

Terra Plana Vegan

Since I stopped wearing leather 8 years ago, my shoes have been such an embarrassment. It's just been impossible to find decent vegan shoes. I've worn a combination of Crocs (very comfortable but not that pretty) and cheap high street shoes (a bit prettier but terribly uncomfortable).

This misery is now over!!!

Terra Plana make eco-friendly shoes, but until recently, they used recycled leather. It's great the leather is environmentally friendly, but it's still not that friendly to the animals. Well, now they have a vegan range! I came across the shoes this morning and promptly ordered a pair of the black sandals above (from Amazon UK as they were £7 cheaper).

I'm so looking forward to receiving them as I desperately need a pair of tidy sandals. There are certain occasions where flip flops aren't appropriate. (My flip flops are pretty though!). These look so comfortable and the sole is lined with memory foam! These will be my first pair of proper shoes that I've bought myself as an adult. My mum will be so proud.

I have such high hopes for these sandals that I really want to buy the other two styles. I must control myself! Finding these shoes has been such a breakthrough in the vegan shoe situation, that I feel they will change my life... (perhaps that statement is slightly OTT). Now I have to wait until they arrive... *sigh*

Daily Wear: The 10 Minute Dress

5 Jul 2010

daily wear: 10 minute dress

Dress: DIY (Top: Gap, Skirt: H&M)
Necklace: Charity Shop
Belt: Charity Shop
Shoes: TKMaxx
(Feet: Seem to be tanning faster than legs!!)

I got up on Sunday morning and for some reason decided I wanted to make a dress! Or rather, I made a dress from a top and skirt (which incidently used to be a dress a few years ago, but I cut the top off, but never wore it as a skirt). There's something liberating about wearing just one piece: you can just slip it on and not have to fuss about things untucking or twisting around.

I basically pinned the skirt to the top at a comfortable height, then stitched the two pieces together with a zig zag stitch, whilst stretching the fabric (to ensure the waist band is stretchy enough to get over my shoulders). This took about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Ten min dress side

I think it looks really pretty with the red belt, but as previously explained, I have issues with belts, especially in hot weather. I'd like to make a red jersey sash, or perhaps attach a band of red jersey to the waist band. It definitely needs a splash of red to bring it to life.

The print is really fun with all those goggly eyes! My husband thinks it's creepy...

Ten Minute Dress


4 Jul 2010

4th july

I spotted this house that's being demolished along my granny's road this afternoon. My mum remembers it being built in the '60s and one of her friends from Primary School lived there. It's absurd to see the inside walls of a house from the street. The flash of yellow and pink looks so out of place on the street, yet intriguing.

When I was learning how to draw sectional elevations, I wish someone had shown me a house like this to get an idea of the volumes of space!

4th july

Photobucket seems to have reduced the resolution of my images from 180 to 96 ppi (no idea why as I paid for a pro account) so these are a bit fuzzy. I hate seeing things out of focus. Why would this happen?!

Daily Wear: Summer Turquoise

3 Jul 2010

Daily Wear

Cardigan: Gap
Camisole: Marks & Spencer
Skirt: American Apparel (hand dyed and shortened)
Sandals: Peacocks
Bag: Charity Shop
Necklace: Charity Shop

This is what I wore yesterday. When I had my crazy fabric dying session on Thursday I rediscovered some white tops and this one almost went into the dye bath, but I'm so glad I left it white as it feels so fresh and summery as it is. (White always makes me feel sun-tanned, even though I am not!) The skirt is from a few years ago when I'd just discovered how comfortable jersey skirts were! I remember how excited I was about wearing it, but haven't actually worn it much since, due the unusually cool summers that followed. I've been told by people that my outfits would benefit from belts, and I'm sure a belt would look nice with this, but comfort is my top priority and I just can't bear a stiff belt around my waist - it's too hot in this weather!

Daily Wear

Here I am demonstrating the twirl-ability of this skirt. Honey couldn't decide if she wanted to stay or leave.


2 Jul 2010

fabric dye

I was on my own yesterday evening as my husband had to go for a meal with work, so I used it as an opportunity to make a big mess in the kitchen with fabric dye! It was so much fun! I really want to add more colour into my wardrobe as I think I'm at my happiest when I'm wearing pretty colours.

It all started with the top on the left which I found in a Charity Shop. It's a lovely thick jersey, so it makes a great jacket, and I love the little collar. It was originally cream, and this determined which colour I chose to dye it. I've tried to dye cream things cool colours in the past (grey and blue) and it does not work as the cream adds a yellow tinge and it ends up a murky green. So I thought I'd go with the warm tone and add pink over it. The dye I used was called Camellia, and I also mixed in half a pack of Rosewood Red (although I'm not sure if it had much of an effect on the final colour...).

fabric dye

I mixed up the dye bath and added the cardigan in and stirred it for about 15 minutes. Then I suddenly remembered that I had a box full of old clothes under the bed that I no longer wear. I started rummaging around and found the blouse with the cut out detailing. This was actually a dye-disaster from a few years ago. It was almost a fluorescent pink and totally unwearable. So I added this to the dye bath.

Then I found the little camisole top. This was a nasty semi see-through white, and didn't have much going for it really. So I added this into the bucket of dye!

Finally I found the top with the tie straps. This was light yellow jersey with a cotton trim and patch pockets from about 4 years ago. It was also quite sheer and something that I just didn't like anymore. In the dye bath it went!


This was probably totally the wrong way of going about it, but I love how the later pieces ended up paler. In fact I wish the first cardigan had ended up this shade. I find Dylon dyes a bit of a mystery as they don't reveal any information about mixing colours or achieving lighter shades: it's all guess work! For this reason, I will try Rit Dyes next time, as the website has a whole page of dye recipes. Since I last looked into buying Rit, they have become available to Amazon UK.

I made a horrible mess and my hands are stained pink (I gave up with the rubber gloves in the end as the dye had seeped inside!) but I'm happy with my shades of pink. I've tried on the cardigan with a navy blue top and the colour actually looks really beautiful - like a shade of raspberry. They look a bit sickly all together but I think they will add just the right amount of colour to an outfit when worn in smaller quantities!

I'm desperate to do some more dying (this time Turquoise) but I've run out of spare clothes!

Blouse Refashion

1 Jul 2010

blouse before and after

Last week I found a blouse in the prettiest fabric. It was too big but I could see it had potential. At first I tried to turn it into a loose-fitting sleeveless blouse like the one I made a few weeks ago, but it didn't hang right and was too puffy in the front. So I left it for a few days and had a rethink, and I decided to make it into a strappy camisole. It was definitely the right decision for the type of fabric and I really needed another non-jersey summer top -- about 90% of my wardrobe is jersey - need to break the addiction!

turquoise blouse front and back

The fabric has the prettiest texture with raised polka dots and embroidery around the scalloped hem. This little girl thought I made it for her to sunbathe on...

close up of fabric