Guinea Pigs-Two Weeks

(Edit. I was referring to Stoick as a female at this time but as some time passed it became evident that Stoick is male, which at least fits the name much better! I now believe he was only a few days old when we got him)


Two weeks of love, care, and proper food has worked a miracle on the Guinea Pigs. They’ve put on weight, they’re growing increasingly friendly, and their cuts and scabs have disappeared while their coats grow thicker. For me, the biggest relief has been with Stoick’s eye. A week ago it was filled with mucus, cloudy and half closed. Then it turned bright red beneath the mucus. I was really afraid it was infected and I was going to lose her. But not for nothing did I name her after Berk’s strongest warrior. I treated it several times a day with a saline solution and luckily she continued to eat and drink. Here’s the result.

A little cloudy, but healed!

A little cloudy, but healed!

Not only has it cleared up, I think she can even see a little out of it. Now she squeals for attention (you would not believe the sound that can come out of this little thing) and puts the rest of the pigs to shame with how much she eats.

Here’s Valka and Earless begging for treats. Valka’s made huge progress, she was too timid to touch at first but now she lets you stroke and pat her.


Astrid’s back wound has completely healed and her hair’s coming back. She’s still the skinniest (and the pickiest eater) but she’s filling out a little. Here’s she’s trying to taste my fingers, but you can see how her back has healed.

In pursuit of fingers.

In pursuit of fingers.

And Bjorn is about as content with his new life as he can be. His eye will never heal and I don’t think he can see very well out of the other eye but he lounges around and gobbles treats. He’s a sweetheart and very content to sit on your lap.


With them all doing so well, we indulged in a Thanksgiving photo shoot to show them off. They turned out not to be too keen on the idea and as soon as we put the four girls down they took off in opposite directions but we eventually got them to behave. A little.


Valka, Astrid, Stoick, and Earless trying to take off.

Valka, Astrid, Stoick, and Earless trying to hide from the camera.

 Bribes were offered for good behavior.

Look at that fluffy white butt. Look at it. Astrid's practising her espionage.

Look at that fluffy white butt. Look at it. Astrid’s practising her espionage.

Blind Bjorn.

Blind Bjorn.

 This is actually his good side, their eyes turn bright red in the camera.

Hiccup and Meatlug.

Hiccup and Meatlug.

 While getting four pigs to sit pretty for a picture was impossible, Hiccup and Meatlug were champs. Hiccup, of course, is a photo shoot veteran.  And Bjorn is  a born star, he took everything in stride and seemed happy to strut his stuff. But wasn’t there one other piggie, you ask? Well, the newly named Crow White went to her new home last Friday and I hear she’s being spoiled terribly.

Crow heading to her new home. And refusing to face the camera as I try to document the moment.

Crow heading to her new home. And refusing to face the camera as I try to document the moment.

 These guinea pigs have found happy homes but there are still dozens waiting for theirs. Again, if you live near Broward Florida please go and save as many as you can! At the very least please share this link:


Shakespeare never…

Need a quick present for the writer in your life? I found this little gem of a notebook at Target.


Just the right size to stick in a purse or bag. (Quill pen is from a quill and nib set my parents bought me in St. Augustine)

To The Rescue!

This Saturday we went on a guinea pig rescue mission. The owner had dozens (and dozens) of guinea pigs living together in a big cage in his back yard. You know the story, someone gives you a couple of guinea pigs, you stick them together … next thing you know you have more guinea pigs. Unfortunately none of them were ever separated and the problem grew bigger and bigger.  (Seriously, please sex your guinea pigs and seperate them, for their own sakes!)

Since we’re huge suckers we jumped into action. When we got there we were astounded by the amount of guinea pigs, but sadly, we were also shocked by the poor conditions they were all in. In the end we took home six while a friend took another. We only intended to take two but, well, yeah we’re suckers.

When we got them home we started taking inventory on their conditions. They are all skinny and malnourished with shredded ears and scabs from fighting. One has a blind eye, another is almost certainly going to have a blind eye, two had great cuts on their back (one of which also has a bad leg), one has no ears at all (ripped off) and the last one? Surprise! turns out she’s PREGNANT. (We’re seriously hoping she’s the only one since we picked up mostly females).

Here are some pictures from the second day:

Astrid, the cut on her back is clear here.

Astrid, the cut on her back is clear here.

Earless (We're trying not to formally name this one yet) checking out the food.

Earless (We’re trying not to formally name this one yet) checking out the food.

Earless discovered carrots and turned her lips orange.

Earless discovered carrots and turned her lips orange.

Astrid and Stoick the Little. Here you can see Stoick's bad eye. She's barely a few weeks old. Normally one this young should be with their mother but she wouldn't have survived if we hadn't taken her.

Astrid and Stoick the Little. Here you can see Stoick’s bad eye. She’s barely a few weeks old. Normally one this young should be with their mother but she wouldn’t have survived if we hadn’t taken her.

Crow White is going to my friend as soon as she's healthy enough.

Crow White is going to my friend as soon as she’s healthy enough.

Valka the expectant mother.  She's really timid, we hope to get her to trust us before the birth.

Valka the expectant mother. She’s really timid, we hope to get her to trust us before the birth.





Blind Bjorn, he's older and beat up but so sweet that I fell in love and couldn't leave him behind.

Blind Bjorn, he’s older and beat up but so sweet that I fell in love and couldn’t leave him behind.

 The good news is that everyone is eating heartily and beginning to trust us, in fact, they’re learning how to beg! These are pigs that have never really been handled or socialized but they’re making fast progress. Cuts are healing and already they’re looking a little fatter and the fear is gone from their eyes. My only health concern now is Stoick the Little’s eye.                  Well, there you have it, the newest members of my viking hoard. I can’t wait to post pictures in a week or two when they are fatter and healthier.                                              If you live near the Broward area and have room in your heart for a guinea pig or two then please check out the link and go adopt a new friend, I can’t stress enough how much these piggies need a good home!         

Mystery Costume part 2

Earlier I posted a sneak peek of a mystery costume that I was sewing for Halloween.

Here’s the full costume.

How about a deal, dearie?

How about a deal, dearie?

Made for and modeled by my friend with the help of Kendall, our ball python. (The snake is not part of the character, she just wanted to come out and proved very helpful with posing)


Anyone guessed who she is?

‘And if at the end of three days you can not tell my name, you must give up the child to me.’   -Grimm Brothers


If you watch Once Upon a Time you will probably recognize her as Rumpelstiltskin, AKA the Dark One. Trust me, whatever you do, don’t make a deal with him! Er, her!


Rumpel from OUAT

 Here’s the back of the coat.

Well, hello there!

Well, hello there!

I made the coat from a vinyl-ish gator skin (she found it on amazon) and brown suede. Due to Halloween in Florida not being particularly cold, I elected not to line the coat. She wore a pre-existing vest underneath it and added cuffs of the same gator skin to the top of her boots. I admit I was a little afraid of that rubbery gator skin but it wasn’t as awful to work with as I was afraid it would be. Once I figured out how to shape the collar and the ‘tails’ that hang down the front of the coat it went together perfectly. Due to the mad rush of sewing I didn’t get any full pictures of the coat on my sewing form, sorry!

Don't be afraid, dearie ...

Don’t be afraid, dearie …

Astrid Costume

If you’ve been on my blog for, oh, say, a few seconds then you probably know that How To Train Your Dragon is my favorite movie ever, only bested by its sequel. Well, How To Train Your Dragon 2 came out on DVD today and I’m sure no one is surprised that I ran out and bought it first thing.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is NOW AVAILABLE on Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack! Plus, don’t miss the exclusive short, Dawn of the Dragon Racers!

I can’t wait to watch it tonight, I’m so excited that it seems as though I’m watching it for the first time except this time I KNOW it’s fantastic and I’m not worried that it won’t live up to the first one.

 To celebrate, I’m posting my last minute Halloween costume.

Astrid Hofferson

Astrid Hofferson

This costume took two and a half days to make, two days to put together the skirt and pauldron/shoulder piece, and the last few hours before I had to leave to throw together the axe. Luckily I was able to save some time by using a tank top that was the perfect color and the furred gloves from my viking costume. Even with these time savers, this was a time intensive costume. Each bird-skull-thing had to be molded by hand from clay, baked, painted, then hand stitched to the skirt. The pauldrons were whipped together from craft foam, then painted to look aged and adorned with metal studs.                              Astrid 2 For the skirt, I made two pieces, the fur underskirt than an overskirt consisting of the leather straps (this is what the skulls are sewn to). Astrid has big spikes down each strap, I wanted a more realistic size since I am converting this from an animation to real life. I lucked out and found these absolutely perfect spike beads at Michaels (On sale!!!) they were the exact size I wanted and since they were beads they sewed right on.  Since I didn’t have the time or fur to make Astrid’s fur hood I had to make due with the rabbit skin shoulder wrap from my viking costume. Since she rarely wears her hood up I don’t think it made a huge difference in the costume’s appearance.After that, I threw on some leggings and added some fur to my boots and I was ready to go train dragons. Or take a child trick or treating. Whatever.

Ready to take on a legion of girls dressed as that damn Frozen lady. Come at me, I dare you.

Ready to take on a legion of girls dressed as that damn Frozen lady. Come at me, I dare you.

 I will try to take some close ups of the costume for those who are interested. I’m pretty proud of how this last minute costume pulled together and I can’t wait to wear it again. Maybe for Snoggletog? (Extra points if you know what that is!)

Viking Invasion

Who doesn’t love a good pirate fest? We’re lucky enough to have the Boynton Beach Haunted Pirate Fest right by us and this year we had a little something special planned.

 A viking invasion!



 For this year it was just the three of us, maybe next year we’ll be bigger! 


We found some monks, we tried to make them our slaves but they got away at the mead tent. Hey, we’re vikings, mead’s an occupational hazard.

Our costumes got great reviews, and I think everyone really enjoyed our idea. One lady asked me if my costume was inspired by How To Train Your Dragon and we had a small fan girl moment in the middle of the street. I really had a blast dressing as a viking, it was a great way to spend my 22nd birthday.

Photo credits to Travis Photography.

Photo credits to Travis Photography.

The fur was surprisingly comfortable, we were lucky to have a mild day.

The festival was fantastic, every year it grows bigger and better, I can’t wait for next year! More photos below.


P.S. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 COMES OUT ON DVD THIS WEEK! I’m so excited it’s like I’m seeing it for the first time!

A Little Inspiration

It was a wonderful, busy Halloween season and I have so many costumes to post. In fact, I don’t even know where to start. However, the beginning of November has something else on my mind. To writers November is National Novel writing month and many writers join the NaNoWriMo project.

(For more information here’s the official link,

 I won’t be one of them but I hope to use this month to focus on my writing, now that the sewing rush of Halloween is over. My current manuscript hasn’t exactly been getting the interest that I’d hoped. After ten months of querying and only a few partial requests that went nowhere, I’m prepared to admit that my novel clearly needs a change. I have lots of ideas on how to rework it a little, and make it better and more enticing. However, it’s a daunting task and in the meantime I find myself with no ready manuscript.

It feels like I’m right back at the beginning with only ideas and a mess of words. Well over a year of work and I’m suddenly nowhere. I have other writing projects of course but none that I’ve fallen in love with and nothing remotely ready to query. It’s disheartening at best.

Then I came across this:


Mistakes are proof you’re trying.  While this is intended towards crafters,  it hit me particularly hard regarding my writing.  I’m trying, and that’s the most important thing. Yes, I’ve made mistakes throughout this process but I can’t regret any of it because I’ve learned an extraordinary amount. And I will take what I’ve learned and grow as a writer.

So, while I’m not participating in the official NaNoWriMo, I am taking Nation Novel Writing Month very seriously. I’m going to pour my heart into writing something, anything, it doesn’t really matter, I’m just going to write.

(Maybe next year, though! Good luck to everyone who’s braving the challange!)