Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbye Kwagga - Update - Welcome back!

Kwagga came back today, extremely thin and very hungry but otherwise OK. She has not yet divulged where she has been but we are very happy. The few days where we thought she was dead was depressing for us and Donkie. Next time we will be more patient, but not necessarily less worried before we assume the worst.

By the way, we now have a total of 3 cats :)


We lost Kwagga and it is clear now that she is not coming back. This is incredibly sad and the impact that she had in our lives is much bigger than we ever expected. This small black slightly crazy animal with intelligent eyes that we will never see again. We miss her a lot.

It all stared mid 2014 when we decided to move into a house. One of the things that we were very eager to to do is have some pets. I remember talking to everyone about our plans to get cats. Everyone at work knew and several people kept an eye on the online advertisements. For several months we read about cats, watched videos about cats, spoke to people who had cats and made plans on what we would do when we had cats. I never had cats as pets while Carina did and both of us discussed the idea of cats quite thoroughly. Several times we were tempted to get one that was advertised but stuck to our plan to wait until we moved into the house.

During December 2014 we moved into our house and within the first week I found a nice looking pair of cats online. I contacted the seller and informed Carina when she got home that evening that we can get them over the following weekend. I think she was a bit surprised that it happened  so quickly. We were still in the process of unpacking and the day we arranged to collect them was on the same day we needed to clean the apartment that we just moved out of. The day was one of the most exhausting days we had. We left our house very early in the morning and drove to Uppsala in snowy weather, spent the whole day cleaning, drove another 40 minutes south to pick up the two small balls of fur and drove almost 2 hours back home. The kittens did not seem to like the driving that much and complained a bit on the way. But we got home finally and released them into their and our new home.
Kwagga on the left

From the start it was clear that Kwagga was more bold than Donkie. She was the first out of the travel cage and started to explore immediately. Donkie, her brother, was a bit smaller and followed her everywhere she went. This was how they lived for one year with Kwagga leading exploring, playing and Donkie following learning and joining in. Their galloping through the house like small horses chasing each other has stopped and the absence of this sound is very sad.
Kwagga yawning at the back.

When we got them it was mid winter and cold outside. We debated a lot about making them indoor cats and decided we would gradually let them out as it got warmer and see if this works. It was clear from talking to many other people but even more from their behavior that they would be much happier cats by venturing out. We installed a door to only let them out during the day to try and keep them a bit safer. This is of course the reason that Kwagga is gone but I am sure that she was her happiest when running outside chasing leaves and insects (and catching several mice).

In one year they permeated through everything in our lives. This can be seen in the hair all over the place but also in the way we live. We spend a lot of time at home and there, one of the best feelings were being home after a workday, sitting on the couch after dinner and relaxing a bit with everyone back from their day's adventures. We talked about this feeling a while ago, looking at Donkie laying at our feet and Kwagga next to the heater, and mentioned that this is what makes life feel good.

Kwagga did not need to do much to make me life seem better. She was very fond of one chair in my workshop and always slept there while I spent hours making things. Often something would not work or something would go wrong and I just needed to look at her contentment to feel better.

One of the things that I will miss is opening mail. Most of the mail we get is junk, but the sound of paper being crumpled into a ball, immediately got Kwagga's attention. She would play quite happily with any ball of paper.

Something that was a bit odd was Kwagga's like of the small boat we have. She often sat on the edge while it was moored and a few times came along when we rowed downstream to do a bit of fishing. She was also very fond of sitting in a Willow tree above the small river or on the rocks staring out over the water.

Something else that Kwagga was very fond of was when we were outside working in the garden. She and Donkie ran around and chased each other through the garden and into trees. Kwagga specifically liked to stalk and surprise everybody (including us and Donkie) by hiding around corners and jumping out. She also liked "helping" Carina with weeding by attacking the weeds vigorously (sometimes mistaking a useful plant for a weed...).

We think Kwagga enjoyed her last few days with us (during the start of our winter vacation). She did not leave the house until we got up. She galloped in and around the house until we came to walk with her and Donkie in the fields next to the house. They loved the walks and it became a holiday routine. They would chase each other through the wet and frozen grass and were very wet and muddy when we got back home.

Donkie was also very depressed when Kwagga did not show up after a day. He stalked thought the house and did not venture out for more than a few minutes. He slept much more than he usually do. They were together most of the time and he clearly misses her.

Kwagga was just over a year old and part of our new life in the house. It is with a heavy hearts that we say - goodbye Kwagga...


Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Induku website

In an attempt to separate the Induku shop from taking over this blog, I have created a website exclusively for blogging about the shop. This blog will continue as before but with fewer posts on what I am making and selling. You are of course more than welcome (and even encouraged) to head over to the new site and see the new and exciting projects I am working on - just click here.  Feel free to also follow the new blog ;)


Monday, December 14, 2015

A year at Fors

It has been a rough and tumble year - but we made it. A year ago we've moved into our new home (our first house), close to Tierp. It took a while to settle in and make the house our home, but it was fun to experience "house living" for the first time.

It has also been a year since our two cats Kwagga and Donkie joined us. Although there have been a few mini-dramas they also survived a year at Fors and we saw them grow up from two curious fur balls of disaster into lovable (quite obedient) house companions.

We are all settled into our house now and happily call Fors our home

Kitties exploring their new home

...and how we've grown - a year at Fors

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Electronic cat door and extensions.

A while ago  my dad I installed an electronic cat door in the basement (available from this company: Petsafe). The door is programmable and reads the chips implanted in our cats' necks. This means that only our cats can enter through the door. For a while we had another cat enter our house (when we kept a window open), who devoured all our cats' food and also had several fights with them. This problem is now solved.
Cat door installed into window (outside).
Exit trough the window.

A second big advantage of this door is that we can program it to keep our cats inside. We prefer to have them in when it is dark and the door lock at sunset (note: they can always enter but at night not exit). We have set the door to open only after we have left for work in the morning. The reason being: our cats like to walk with us when we are outside. We take the bus to Uppsala and the bus stop is 300 meters away, across a bridge and very busy road. The cats normally do not cross the bridge (not that we know off) and are separated from the busy road by a river - unless they are able to follow us.
Our active cats.
The one problem with the door is that it is made from a reasonably thin piece of plastic and when closed it is not airtight. In Sweden, the temperature can be quite low and openings like this tend to make the house cold. To insulate the door a bit I decided to build a box around the outside of the door on the platform from where the cats enter. This "entrance hall" will reduce the loss of temperature a lot since, it not only serves as a second insulating area but will disrupt the airflow that creates a draft into the house.
Parts used for building the entrance hall. Should provide these plans to IKEA to sell as an item :) 

Adding some decorative elements.
Small double pane window.

Construction of the box.
Note the graffiti on the inside.
Plastic flap on the outside. Similar one on the inside (quite flexible and easy for the cats to enter/exit)
Insulation material used during installation.

There is enough space inside to add another layer of insulating material if it is needed. The box is made to be removed in the summer.
Box installed on platform.

Although this is not something I can put in my ETSY shop I do mention that I make custom items. A cat door and entrance hall combination may be a bit strange as an item to sell but it is made from wood and did enjoy making and installing it - thus if you need one do not hesitate to contact me for a quote ;)

Hope everyone keeps warm this winter (or cool in summer if you are reading this in the southern hemisphere).


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Shop open

After several months messing about with bits of wood I have accumulated several things that I think could be of interest to other people. I thus created an online shop using the ETSY platform  (shop here) - opened on 15 September 2015. Here you are welcome to look at some of the products I have and I would very much appreciate critical feedback and suggestions. Of course if you fancy anything please feel free to do some shopping :)

The name of the shop is Induku. This is the Zulu word for stick. I started carving sticks into small chess figures while living in an apartment carving sticks. Some of the items (especially the maple pendants) are made from mere sticks that I pick up. I think the name is somewhat appropriate. 

There are several items in the shop and all were made using a scroll saw (more details on how some items are made and about the scroll saw in a future post). Two main groups are books and wooden pendants.

I needed a book a while ago (how to make a denim book), and enjoyed the process quite a lot. I thus made some of the scroll saw pictures into books covers and bound them in a few different ways.

Some of the items may look a bit grim - but that is part of the style...
I decided to make it possible to add a personal touch. 
If your name is on the cover please send me your postal address ;)
Any suggestions on what would be cool on a cover is appreciated

Since I had a load of sticks laying in the basement I decided to cut them into discs to be able to cut with the scroll saw. The simple pictures that are possible to cut makes nice pendants.
Most of the pendants currently in stock

A bit of a puzzle

Will someone buy both?

Infamous characters.

As inspiration strikes I will make other things also. Currently I am making a clock face and will have some extra to sell. But I also have a whole book full of ideas (a denim book), and will continue to make all sorts of items.
Some of the other items - these are from alder-wood.

I am not sure if there is any market for the things I made but it is fun to make and I will post more on the process of some of these items. 


Friday, September 4, 2015

Föräldrar i Sverige igen

During the long summer holidays, my parents came for a second visit to Sweden. Since their first visit in 2010 (see the full account here), many things has changed and this was reflected on the things we did during the vacations. Two major changes were that we moved into a house that are located out of the city and that we now have a car. We therefore spend more time away from the cities (we did much of the tourist things last time), and also traveled a bit more by car to see some of the things Sweden has to offer in the summer.

Below are a few pictures of their visit:

Room for our guests.

Very Local:

We had a few braais at our house.
Braaing some of the sausages that we made ourselves. 
A fire!
 We also spent some time on the river that we have access to.
Outing on the river.
Our house from the river.

When we have guests, we often use them for cheap labour (as we did when my sibling and her husband came to visit). This time I had a project to install a cat door in one of the basement windows. My dad and I thus removed a window, built a platform and a insulated wooden door to fit the window and installed the door into it.
Cat door from the inside.
Access to cat door from outside under the deck. 
(Side note: the cat door is an electronic door that locks during the night and they cannot go out. However they can always enter since it unlocks when the chip in their necks are scanned but this means only our cats can enter. We chose this place - under the deck - since it is a bit more protected from the wind, rain and snow. Also our doors are double and a single cat door becomes tricky to install. In the winter I will build a box onto the platform to keep the opening a bit more covered.)

We also had several long walks from the house enjoying the summer weather.


Moving a bit further we explored the town and the surrounding areas.

We went to a forest close by to pick mushrooms that we subsequently ate.
Finding the yellow gold.
Cooking the pickings.

Closest cities:

The closest cities to us is Gävle and Uppsala. We went to both for a few interesting activities.
Morning fika in Uppsala

Strolling past the castle

River and Cathedral. 

No visit to Sweden is complete without visiting IKEA. We spent some time strolling through the shop and also had an IKEA lunch. During our visit to IKEA we also visited several of the other shops in the surrounding area.
Lunch at IKEA

We also took a boat trip from Uppsala on Mälaren during one evening.
View on the lake.
In Gävle we walked through the streets and enjoyed a street festival.
River running into the sea through Gävle. 

Driving around:

Having a car meant we could drive around an we visited several of the small towns and villages.
Österbybruk during a Sunday drive. 

Sculpture at Östhammar - at the Baltic sea. 

An interesting outing was when we visited Gårdsjö Älgpark. The park is located about an hour's drive from us and got to meet several of the residents (both human and elk). This visit is recommended for anyone who want to have a close encounter with these awesome beasts.
Feeding the small beast.
Female elk up close.

Male elk strolling past. 

The 10 days flew past very quickly and sadly the visit was over.

Next year, Carina's parents plan to come for a second visit (they have also been here while we were still city dwellers) during the summer while at the end of next year my parents plan to brave the Swedish winter. We are looking forward to both these visits and hope that this will inspire more friends and family from abroad to make the trip to us.

We are however already back to the salt mines and hope to surface again a bit during winter...