PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for General

in memory of Maui

We had to say our final goodbye to our beautiful cat Maui this week.

Maui catnapping

Although we knew it was coming, we’re still completely devastated to have lost our boy, and I know that many of you have got to know and love him over the years too. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know that Maui has been a huge part of PlanetJune – he’s been my assistant, supervising my work, since the very beginning. And, of course, there would be no AmiCats designs without Maui as my muse!

Maui - PlanetJune assistant

But let’s try not be too sad – Maui has lived a long, happy and adventurous life, and we’re so grateful to have been with him for so long and to have so many beautiful memories. I’ll share a few moments with you today.

We adopted Maui from a shelter when he was a year old. When we adopted him, he was a very sweet but independent boy – he didn’t get along with other cats, which was perfect for us. He was always reserved with new people, but he adopted us right back immediately, rubbing around our ankles and purring as soon as we got him home.

He loved watching our birdfeeders out of the window, and the local squirrels loved to tease him through the window!

Maui and a squirrel

Whenever we left the house, he’d sit in the front window and watch us go – it was so cute to see his little face in the window.

Maui looking out of the front window

Once he realised we’d be together forever, he mellowed and relaxed, and his favourite pastimes were sunbathing and snuggling with us.

Maui and a squirrel

And also eating… He really loved his food, and he was so smart that he figured out how to get his paw up into his feeder and sneak extra food. We had to change his feeder for a Maui-proof one eventually, so he didn’t get too fat!

Maui sneaking extra food

Maui was our constant companion through 6 house moves and two moves halfway around the world and back. He was so strong and brave, and adapted quickly to every change – all he needed to be happy was to be with us.

Maui and his favourite toys
checking out the snow in Ontario

Maui looking out over Cape Town
checking out the view of Cape Town

Maui always loved the toys I made for him – you may remember seeing some of them here over the years (fuzzball and mouse, crinkle ball, cardboard scratcher, fishing toy). The lovely mouse I sewed for his third birthday in 2007 was his favourite and longest-lasting toy – it lost the felt ears after a year, but apart from that it’s still in one piece todayπŸ™‚

Maui and his favourite toys

And he somehow knew the difference between his toys and my yarn and amigurumi and never, ever tried to mess with my yarn!

Maui with yarn

When we added Maggie to our family in 2020, Maui took it in stride, as always. We bought him a cat tree so he could have a safe place to relax, and he loved curling up in there to survey the world or snooze the day away.

Maui in his cat tree

Maggie loved her brother and often slept at the foot of the cat tree to be close to him. They definitely treated each other like family, and they had lots of contented times sunbathing together on the rug by the window.

Maui and Maggie

Maui has been a huge part of our lives for so long, and although the last few months of his decline have been heartbreaking, we had 16 amazing years of love together that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Maui and June

His loss leaves a huge hole in our lives, but we’ll try to follow his example: to be strong and brave, adaptable, and always make the best of any situation.

Maui cat

Rest well, dearest Maui. You’ll always be with us.

Comments (20)

Settling in

We’ve moved into our new house! After a stressful and incredibly exhausting couple of weeks getting everything done, we’re all starting to settle in, and it’s wonderful to see design decisions we made months (and years!) ago for our home finally come to life.

Our new house is truly lovely, and I’ve been working hard getting it set up in a way that’ll make sense for the way we live, so we can hopefully stay more organised and really enjoy living here πŸ™‚

There’s been the odd unexpected flaw in my endless plans, such as discovering that almost all my pots and pans didn’t work with my new induction stove (oops…)

all these saucepans and frying pans don't work with my induction stove

I’ve had to give away all the pans in this photo and buy new ones, but I’m looking on the bright side – this is an opportunity to re-buy just the pans I need for the way I cook, instead of having a cluttered cupboard full of pans that are rarely used.

It’s a challenge to play food tetris every day (trying to fit things into the mini fridges!) and figuring out which groceries I have fridge/freezer space to buy, but it’s all part of the new house fun, and at least this is only temporary.

My PlanetJune work is still on the back burner, for the time being. Although I’ve set up most of my office and studio, there’s a layer of random clutter everywhere that’s waiting to find a new home, and pretty much all my creative energy is going into sewing curtains…

sheer curtain hanging in the kitchen window

…and organising my pantry…

organised pantry

…and baking bread…

yummy raisin bread

…and walking for an hour or two every day with Maggie (usually with her best friend Echo)…

Maggie (right) with Echo

…and enjoying the springtime, like this very Canadian sight of a goose family stopping the traffic while they cross the road πŸ™‚

Canada goose family crossing the road

We have ponds and a forest close to our home, so I’m enjoying watching the birds and turtles (and this loopy garter snake I managed to catch with Dave’s phone camera, below).

coiled garter snake

I’m starting to learn a little about our native flora too, and I’ve even picked up my long-neglected camera once or twice – there’s wildlife everywhere at this time of year, so lots of opportunity for nature photos. (Hmmm, maybe I should resume my occasional nature blog posts?)

This ‘homey’ phase I’m in won’t last forever, and once all the curtains are sewn and the house is mostly organised, I should be ready to jump back into some of the pattern ideas I have for PlanetJune.

But, for now, please bear with me as I allow myself to enjoy this time. It feels amazing to have found a real home and to be putting down roots. I finally feel like I’m part of a community, and knowing I have no plans to ever leave here makes it all seem so real, unlike anywhere else I’ve ever lived before.

This is where I belong. πŸ™‚

Comments (5)

exciting news!

You may have noticed that I didn’t have a new pattern for you in January. I actually have four different crochet patterns in progress at the moment, but everything feels a bit scattered, because I have some very exciting news: we just bought a house!

We’ve been waiting for a long time to get to this point. Almost two years ago, when we first signed the contract, our little plot of land sat somewhere in here…

location of new house

This time last year, we got to make hundreds of design decisions for the interior and exterior of our house – colours, flooring, lighting, bathroom suites, kitchen cabinets – it was endless.

colour chips for new house

And then, nothing, for a very long time. I was expecting this – multiple people had warned me that new house builds always run late, and the builders had emailed me last year to let me know there would be additional delays due to the pandemic, so I was expecting at least several months of delays.

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered that we wouldn’t be able to attend our own home inspection because of the lockdown, and then suddenly the original closing date was approaching and, although we hadn’t seen it for ourselves, everything was apparently going to be finished on time! That caught me by surprise, so I had a mad scramble talking to banks and lawyers and trying to get the money in place in time to close…

And then it was done, and we held the keys to our new home!

the new house!


But this isn’t the end of the story. There’s a lot more that goes into buying a brand new house than I’d anticipated: lots of unfinished and imperfect things that need to be identified and reported so they can be fixed, a full house-worth of appliances and window coverings to choose and buy and get delivered and installed, and all of this while we’re under a stay-at-home order in Ontario, which means a fun trip to IKEA to pick up all the other essentials we need is not an option at the moment.

So please bear with me – there definitely will be new PlanetJune patterns coming soon, but I need time and energy so I can focus on completing them, and both of those are in short supply right now. My ideas are tripping over each other to get out of my head (hence 4 patterns on the go at once…) but I need some calm and concentration to turn my notes into patterns you’ll enjoy.

Right now, things are both exciting and anticlimactic at the same time. It’ll be a long time before we can actually move into our new house, and there’s so much that I need to do for it in the meantime. So many decisions to make! It’s all quite overwhelming.

But I know it’ll all be worth it in the end – one day, all the pieces will have been slotted into place and everything will be ready for us to start enjoying it. And I can’t wait for Dave and Maui and Maggie and I to be settled in our lovely new home!

Comments (21)

update: back from sick leave

Thank you all so much for your kind comments and well-wishes about my accident.

Because of the concussion, my head has been hurting too much until now to spend more than a few minutes at a time on my computer or phone, so I haven’t replied to anyone individually (either here or on social) to say thanks, but please know that it meant a lot to me to get your messages when I was feeling very sorry for myself!

A little health update

Most of my injuries are healing nicely. I have a dentist’s appointment this weekend for my broken tooth, and hopefully by then the concussion will have completely faded and it’ll be safe for me to drive myself there and back. I’m still feeling a little confused, but the killer headaches have faded and I’m coming back to myself.

It was a pretty scary experience, but reading some of the comments people have left me about their similar falls onto concrete that resulted in a broken arm or pelvis, or still having occasional head problems years later, I’m counting myself lucky that I have no lasting damage beyond a ruined pair of expensive glasses and a broken front tooth (and I’m hopeful that my dentist can restore my smile so you’d never know the difference – I know that’s just vanity, but please keep your fingers crossed for me on that front!)

And a little work update

As you’ll already know if you get my newsletter (and if you don’t, sign up now!), my next crochet pattern was due to be a Tortoise with a very detailed crocheted shell. Finishing the shell assembly instructions is still a little beyond my slightly-concussed brain, so I’m putting the pattern on hold for a couple more weeks, or until I’m completely recovered.

But I do have a different design I’ve been working on that needs none of that pesky careful thinking to find exactly the right phrase that most clearly describes an innovative process, so I should have a new pattern for you soon – it just won’t be the one I’d planned to release this month!

I’m still taking things slowly and needing plenty of naps and rest sessions, so please be patient with me as I try to catch up with everything I let slide last week without overdoing things and making my head hurt again…

Comments (7)

« Previous entries
  • Quick Links: Crochet

    navigation: arrow

    buy crochet patterns and accessories from my online store

    Idiot's Guides: Crochet and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi by June Gilbank

    Crochet video tutorials and step-by-step photo tutorials

    Free PlanetJune crochet patterns

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Quick Links: Crafts

    navigation: arrow

    Punchneedle Embroidery information, ebook & patterns

    Papercraft ebook & tutorials

    Free PlanetJune craft projects & tutorials

  • Blog Post Categories

  • Blog Archives

  • Welcome to PlanetJune!

    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

    If you'd like to get in touch, you can contact me here.
    crocheted Canadian flag by PlanetJune
  • Support PlanetJune!

    Want to say thanks? You can send me money in seconds at or send me a donation through my shop.

    Or simply click one of these links before you shop at Amazon or Etsy, and I'll make a small commission on your purchase, at no cost to you: Thank you for your support!
Back to top