Friday, October 16, 2009

My dear Sweet P has left us.

This morning I took her and Victoria out of their cage for play time. They ran around on our bed, exploring and hiding under blankets and sheets like they always do. Playing peekaboo with their little pink noses. Then Penelope laid down. She sat very still next to my pillow for several minutes, only looking up when I stroked her back. I thought maybe she was tired. It was pretty early and they usually sleep most of the day. So I took them back to their cage to let them rest. Ten minutes later I checked on them and Penelope wasn't breathing. Her body was still warm and her tiny black eyes were still open when she went limp in my hands.

I don't think that it had anything to do with the tumor or the surgery. She was just very old and very tired. Her death was quiet and peaceful, and I'm glad that she had a chance to play and tunnel through the sheets one last time before the end.

Penelope was a wonderful companion. She was sweet and shy and never said no to a scritch behind the ears. She loved carrots, applesauce and her pink fleece blankie. She liked to snuggle on my chest and eat treats out of my hand. She was so brave when she battled cancer and went through surgery, which she bounced back from beautifully. No matter how bad my day was, she could always cheer me up. Her fuzzy little face and her velvety ears always made me smile. I loved the way her whiskers tickled my face. I loved the little patches of white fur above her paws, how they made her look like she was wearing dainty little gloves.

She was a good rat, and I miss her so much it hurts.

Penelope Rosado

the plague comes to baltimore

On Wednesday night Adam and I headed to the Bourbon Street Ballroom in Baltimore to see Emilie Autumn on her very first North American tour. Not only was it a good excuse to dress like an escaped tightrope walker from a goth circus, but it was one hell of a show.

Emilie and her Bloody Crumpets put on a stunning, elaborate performance that combined her music with acrobatics, burlesque and beautifully choreographed dance. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Emilie's voice is just as lovely live as it is on her albums, and she can shred on that electric violin like nobody's business.

And would you get a load of those outfits? Amazing. I don't know how anyone manages to prance across a stage spinning hula hoops and walking on stilts in a corset, but they made it look easy. All of the costumes they wear are handmade, which makes me all the more inspired to add some of these looks to my own wardrobe. Seriously, who wouldn't want a pair of stripey bloomers? I went to bed that night with my head full of dreams of painted parasols, tea stained dresses and lace ruffles.

If you're not familiar with Emilie and her music, you need to be. Seriously, look her up on YouTube or something, and then get yourself to the nearest stop on her 2009 Asylum Tour. You can't see this woman live and not fall hopelessly, utterly in love.

Friday, October 9, 2009

ain't no party like a back yard faerie party

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of birthday parties. Whether it's an elaborate affair with pony rides and moon bounces or a cake-and-balloons night with a few friends, birthday parties always feel special. Sure, other holidays are nice, but only once a year can you invite your pals and loved ones over just to celebrate how awesome you are.

On Sunday we had a belated birthday party for a certain awesome six-year-old. The yard was decked out with handmade decorations, including ribbon and tulle garlands and the ubiquitous Martha Stewart pom poms.

The piece de resistance was this set of mushroom stools, handmade by Adam and yours truly. I'm not even going to tell you how much blood, sweat and tears went into making these bad boys, how many times I muttered profanities at my sewing machine or had to run to Home Depot for yet another can of spray paint. The idea was inspired by similar stools we saw at the Maryland Faerie Festival. There they had about a hundred of them, but eight was more than enough to make me want to swear off crafting for the rest of my life. They are pretty awesome, though. Who knew a few plastic buckets, some plywood and felt could look so dang cute?
The cake was a devil's food tree stump, topped with a tiny faerie and magic wand candles. I'm not winning any awards for cake decorating, but it was delicious. It disappeared faster than you can say "domestically challenged."

Our lilliputian guests pretty much kept themselves entertained, with a table full of craft supplies and dollar store faerie wings to decorate (an outdoor party is the perfect setting for messy, glittery crafts. do not attempt indoors), hula hoops, and giant bubbles. As the sun set there was a glow stick lit treasure hunt for bags of party favors, which sadly I didn't get any decent pictures of. Each friend was given a bit of homemade play dough (tinted blue and sprinkled with glitter), a hand sewn mushroom hair pin, and, of course, a few Pixy Stix, all in paper bags that the birthday girl decorated herself.

Good friends, good food, and good weather made for a perfect Sunday afternoon. It was worth all the hard work in the end, but maybe next year we'll throw a party that involves a little less carpentry.