Scrappy Cat

Feb 162017

This poor Scrappy Cat is finally at 100%. He’s been watching over my work area for months now.

This Scrappy Cat has a split personality and he wants the other half GONE! He abuses Adderall as a sleep deprivation tactic in a battle to silence his invisible friend/second personality, accompanied by a euphoric state of joy and excitement, hence the bloodshot eyes and too-wide grin.

The inspiration (screenshot from the show)

See the resemblance?

It’s the spit of him.

Themed collar charms and his split personality heart. One side is silver glitter stars, the other is glow-in-the-dark stars on black flannel.

His open belly and AteMouse.

Soft stitched claws.

Stitched paw pads. This was some scraps of dyed fabric.


Backside with his Molle backpack on.

The contents of his backpack, a composition notebook, a badge that reads Hello Friend, another that reads I <3 Adderall.

Glad he finally had his internet debut.

Oct 182016

Another Scrappy Cat was not an intended project this year, but inspiration got its claws in me.
Hacker Scrappy Cat
It is in pieces still, but this will be Hacker Scrappy Cat. We were watching Mr. Robot (specifically S2 E3: This is your brain on drugs). The main character, Elliot Alderson, takes Adderall as a sleep deprivation tactic in an attempt to silence his alter ego/ schizophrenic second personality, accompanied by excessive joy and excitement. There was one scene, from which I will share a screenshot later when I’ve completed the Cat, with him wide eyed and delirious that I instantly pictured as a Scrappy Cat. Weeks later, I had an opening in my project schedule and have started it.

These Cats take so long to finish, but I enjoy making them at almost every step of the way. Turning them out is the one thing I hate. You may be thinking, don’t turn them out, stitch them seams out, but I can’t do that because I don’t like it. They don’t look right. So, I hate that one part and get it over with. The rest is good.

This Cat will have the ubiquitous black hoodie and multi-use backpack. And maybe a robot head pin, similar to the logo from the original shop in the show history. Or maybe not – that might be too close to something from the show. Inspired by is fine with me, taken from is not. I’ll sketch it up and see.

May 022016

The CAG (Cheyenne Artist Guild – pronounced SHAG [so say I]) show for May is “Anything Goes” which does away with many of their restrictions, such as only paintings, or only 2d work, etc. Donna suggested I put something in the show, so I got moving and did so.

First up, I had started a ticker tape quilt using rainbow scraps. Ticker tape quilts are sorta constructed as you go. Instead of making a patchwork top & back, you start with whole cloth. So the back is a whole cloth, batting, then the top is another whole cloth. Then you arrange the pieces (rainbow scraps in my case) on top of this and stitch them down. It looks a bit like a tile mosaic, or a stained glass window. This is an ideal quilt type for those who have a sporadic supply of scraps and want to do something with them as they are created, instead of piling scraps on the cutting board and overflowing the scrap box, like me. Since I had so many, I arranged them all before stitching many down. It was looking rather dull, and I needed a way to get my black scraps in, so I chose a center focus of a black cat. Yes, I had been thinking of Spooky. She was a beautiful cat and a good companion.
Black Cat in Rainbow
This picture was taken before the binding and before it was washed. In the end it turned out swell, but last Friday, when it was all done and I wanted to take a picture of it finished before handing it over for the show, it was utterly foggy in the morning. As in, murky at ten feet foggy. So I gambled and waited for a spot of sun, only to have it snow the entire day without a single break. Lost that bet. Maybe this week I can find time to swing by the CAG to take a picture of it hung up, in the crappy indoor lighting there. If not, I will get it back after the show and share the picture then. The binding is that same dark gray you see peeking around from the back and I think it framed the piece perfectly.

While the quilt, which I prosaically named “Black Cat in Rainbow”, was in the wash and dry cycle, I whipped up a hanging system for Purpura, the Scrappy Cat. The CAG doesn’t have many spots for art that sits and Donna suggested it would show better if it could hang from the wall. I got to thinking about ways and reasons a Scrappy Cat could/would hang and the most fun and acceptable ones were via backpack or parachute. I liked them so much, I did both.
Parachute and pack for Purpura.
First, a simple backpack with snap closure and elastic straps for ease of application. I think this is terribly cute, and I am fully aware that it is merely a simple backpack, that it is only cute to me because of its small size.

Parachute and pack for Purpura.
Inside the pack, the parachute. The strings are attached to the pack so it can be functional – in theory.

Parachute and pack for Purpura.
The parachute.

Parachute and pack for Purpura.
And all packed back up. The hook on the pack is the hanging hook for the Cat; it should be able to hang from a large tack or small nail, alongside all the standard framed paintings.

You are thinking in your head now, “does the parachute work?” and I have to say I don’t know. It was late at night and snowing, so I couldn’t do a good test. I think it will, but I can’t say for sure. When I get it back at the end of the show, I will test it.

There you are, that is what I was up to in the workshop last week. This week I’m working on the workshop itself, which is desperately needed. Some shelves, power strip installations, a couple cable runs, hooks, things like that. If I’m a crackerjack, I’ll get to putting up the track lights over the sewing area and the hanging lights over the map drawers. The lighting in there needs help, if only to improve my quick photographs.

Mar 112016

This is one of the things not going smoothly this week. On Tuesday, I thought it was done and took photos, but when I was about to blog them, I realized it needed a little more work. Last night I did some more finishing touches and NOW it is done.

Scrappy Cat Purpura
Purpura is the name of the shade of purple I thought represented this Scrappy Cat the most. Having a single word to define it against the others has been helpful for file naming purposes.

Scrappy Cat Purpura
A ball chain collar with star charms hangs above an oversized, electric-blue heart with beads and stitching.

Scrappy Cat Purpura
The fat AteMouse who lives in the pink belly of the Cat.

Scrappy Cat Purpura
Soft paw pads and claws made by stitches.

Scrappy Cat Purpura
The back. This Scrappy Cat’s tail is quite wide at the base, but it does allow for some extra decorative stitching and painting. I free-motioned my star using the machine this time. I think I like it better this way.

Scrappy Cat Purpura
Back detail. Had some fun with free stitching in different colors.

Scrappy Cat Purpura
Headshot. I like the two-colored nose done in stitches.

This cat was created with a few techniques different than the other Scrappy Cats. I like it, overall; but now that it is done I have more decisions to make on the methods. This is Cat number eight I’ve made, and I went through the photos to consider what things I liked better than others, what worked for construction and what didn’t. Now I have a list of notes to base the next Scrappy Cat on. This is the same thing I did with the Adventure Bunnies, modifying version after version until I got them just right for me.

However, I have many projects to work on, so the next Scrappy Cat refinement, as well as more Adventure Bunnies, will have to wait. My large worktable is quite literally so stacked up with in-progress projects that I cannot use it. I must remedy that – or at least ameliorate the situation somewhat before this fine weather comes on strong and I spend less time in the workshop and more time moving my ass around outdoors.

Feb 102016

After a good break from Scrappy Cats, I had reason to finish up one I’d mostly done last year. I’d culled a small stack of flowery, pastel scraps of fabric for disposal, but then decided they’d make a decent Scrappy Cat together and so it goes. One of my two acting solicitors (Ymabean arranged this one, and the second is AmyKatt) found a person looking for such a gift and so I had pressing motivation to finish this off instead of leaving it to sit around the workshop for a few more moons.

Pastel Flowery Scrappy Cat - front view.
So pastel. So flowery! This is Scrappy Cat number seven and I think I will make more yet.

Pastel Flowery Scrappy Cat - heart and collar.
I free embroidered the heart to give that scalloped edge. I like it. I also went back in by hand and added some light yellow threads as a glowy outbursts from the heart. The collar holds a flower, a heart, and a little star hiding behind the heart loop.

Pastel Flowery Scrappy Cat - zipper belly and AteMouse.
This slender cat has a small belly, only enough to squeeze in the AteMouse. I think I finally have the ears the way I like them now.

Pastel Flowery Scrappy Cat - soft claws.
Soft claws for a soft cat.

Pastel Flowery Scrappy Cat - paw pads.
Lightly padded cat paw. This fabric has clouds and glittery sparkle stars on it, but I think I’ve stitched over all glitter on this paw.

Pastel Flowery Scrappy Cat -back view.
Back detail, with free embroidered flower focus, machine detailed flowers, and my signature star, in a matching purple which is difficult to make out here.

Pastel Flowery Scrappy Cat - flower and magnet paw.
This cat has a small magnet in its left paw. It isn’t very strong, but enough to hold a little pipe cleaner and fabric flower, if you settle it well.

Pastel Flowery Scrappy Cat - head shot.
I especially like the shell eyes for this one. They have a sort of luminous depth to them.

These fabrics, which I wouldn’t have ever bought of my own volition, turned into an interesting Scrappy Cat. I like this one and am glad it has a home.

Oct 122015

Maker Talk: I don’t like showing projects still in progress. I don’t mind looking at them on other blogs, because I find it interesting to see how things developed from the beginning and came together to the finish. Only getting to see neat, tidy, staged pictures of the finished project doesn’t give me much thrill for the creation of the item, merely an appreciation for the end result. Seeing the construction is exciting, for me as a Maker. However, when I go back through my own blog, I don’t enjoy seeing many in progress pictures. They annoy me – probably because I’ve seen it because I made it. I’m going to share them anyway, because I NEED to, but I’m also going to keep them sparse, for my own preference.

While flipping through old sewing photos a couple weeks back, I saw my Gothic Log Cabin quilt. After having seen my Cutie Niece’s Scrappy Kitten pictures a moment before, I was stuck by the color palette similarities. I dashed off an email to Cali, asking her to show the quilt to Cutie Niece for her feedback. The response was positive, “the colors are good and it needs more kitties.” As I’ve said before, I appreciate this little girl who is so definitive about her style. Good colors, more cat – I can do that.

The design process was all in my head the next few days, and I decided that I’d need to do some combination of cat shapes and log cabin piecing. I considered piecing cats together like some currently popular patterns, but realized that was foolish. I already have a cat shape that I made; it works well for my style of creation, and I know for a fact that Cutie Niece likes it – the Scrappy Cat! So, a bit of mental rearranging, re-sizing, and some simple math later, I have a design plan. There will be small Scrappy Cats in large centers, with log cabin strips around the edges. Actually, they will be Courthouse Steps style, not log cabin, for the color arrangement benefits.

Test scrappy cat for quilt.
Needed to make the size of the Scrappy Cat smaller to fit in with my design. Shape and proportion look good. I’m still progressing on the construction. I think I’ll change it to have turned under edges while in the shaping and building phase, before block assembly. This cat might not make it to the final quilt, but this is the experimental, learning phase, too. If he doesn’t qualify for the quilt, he’ll make a great pillow.

I must keep an eye on this color palette. Easy to go too red, too black, difficult to keep the right amount of hot pink, without letting in too much light pink (which is “bad”). I remember, many, many moons ago, as a youngster when this was my favorite collection of colors, too. Hot pink and cats – that was the best. It was so long ago, decades, I barely remember. There was a hot pink, faux fur bathrobe from a junk store or yard sale (as most things were back then) and a cat – I don’t even recall which one – that I created a persona for. She wanted to be a movie star in Hollywood and the fur was perfect for her. I’m sure the cat was only playing along so she could sit on the warm and cozy faux fur.

Test block, not sewn, laid there.
What the test block might look like. I didn’t stitch all the fabric down, only placed strips there to get a fuzzy visual idea. Cat still needs tail, button eyes, etc..

Test block layout, not sewn, laid there.
Scraggly version of what the layout might look like. These would be straight lines, not all crazy-like. That is a lot of Scrappy Cat fronts. You know I don’t enjoy making things repeatedly, not more than a dozen or so, usually. These nine might burn me out of Scrappy Cats for a long time. Perhaps I can make them different enough so that it won’t be too repetitive.

[Many hours later]

Maybe I shouldn’t be piecing cats for the centers. Maybe I should paint or print cats in smaller, typical-sized centers and simply make log cabin blocks. Maybe this is TOO MUCH Scrappy Cat. Maybe there can be no such thing. This is why I make test blocks.

Test block layout, not sewn, laid there.
Log cabin blocks in color theme with cat center.

Test block layout, not sewn, laid there.
They wouldn’t be identical, like these are, of course. This is for a general, visual aid.

This version would be faster. I wouldn’t burn out on Scrappy Cats. I wouldn’t spend an entire month of evenings and weekends making something that is (let’s be frank, here, if no where else) probably going to be pushed off to the side in favor of the next novel treat by a small child. I would have to make the Scrappy Cat version because I’d love to make it, at the base.

I don’t know. I think I’d enjoy making the log cabin version better, sewing-wise. Log Cabin blocks are one of my favorite. But, they’re kinda boring, design-wise, with the preference limitations. Let me steer away from this version and back to the first.

The Scrappy Cats staying flat like that, never becoming full Scrappy Cats – I don’t know if I’d like that. Would that be okay? Maybe I should stitch this SootSprite down to the pink and see how I feel about his flat existence. Maybe it is fine. Let me try that.

Yeah, he is fine. Little SootSprite is okay flat. So, how to make it better? Maybe I can take all the exterior courthouse step stripes away. I could put the prints in some other way. Like stacked coin stripes.

Test block layout, all shoved together for thinking.
Oh. Yeah. I do like that better. Not there yet. Maybe some black betwixt.

Test block layout, all shoved together for thinking.
Black and some horizontal color coin stripes. Is this good? Hmm.
Wait. This is familiar.
Fuck me.
I’ve recreated the Brady Bunch opening credits.

I’m going to eat some chocolate and play Minecraft now.

[Many hours later]

Okay, I didn’t have chocolate or play Minecraft – I ate a Twinkie, cleaned, folded laundry, hung some paintings, a did a spot of yardwork. The falling leaves outside are enticing and the warm wind was refreshing. Good break.

I showed Slick the Brady Bunch Layout above. He didn’t see it. That is encouraging, but it was all I could see. I needed a different view. He suggested I change all the backgrounds to black. I was concerned it would be too much black, for a youth, but the Gothic Log Cabin quilt was more than half black and she liked that, so maybe not too much. I gave it a shot:

Test block layout, all shoved together for thinking.
Mmhmm. This is good. I don’t see Brady Bunch anymore. It is a lot of black, but I think it is okay – it allows all that bright color to breathe.

Yeah, I like this. A lot. This is where I’m heading, I think. I’ll wait a few days to make sure it doesn’t jump out and mug my creative spirits in the dark, then move forward. I need some time anyhow – I have some pretty extensive and complicated zipper plans to add in. Scrappy Cats must have zipper stomachs after all, but I also think there are some good zipper opportunities to be worked in to the edges and seams. I have some snazzy zippers solely for this.

Also, I am making a Halloween costume. I only have one, meager, little party to attend, but I’m doing it. The postman should deliver some materials for the costume project later this week and I’ll need to do a lot of stitching then. The rest of my year has filled up quickly, project-wise.

Aug 272015

Six AteMice.
Thought I’d make more than one at a go this time, and made seven. One was sent off to live with Scrappy Kitten and my niece. These are the remaining six. Why am I making a handful of AteMice? Well, one was needed for this Cat, below.

Flowery Scrappy Cat.
While sorting through surplus supplies to throw away, I ended up with a stack of flowery, pastel scraps of fabric. These aren’t at all my style or preference, but they were sitting there, coordinating together, and I figured someone else would like them well enough and put together this flowery Scrappy Cat. Its legs ended up quite skinny and it doesn’t like to recline. This photo doesn’t capture it, but the eyes are made of shell buttons and reflect light beautifully. The left button is original style, the right one is more modern with a black, plastic backing. This Cat has a magnet in its left paw and holds a flower.

Pieces of the flowery Scrappy Cat.
I’ll do a full photo shoot for it later. I was a bit afraid that if I showed pictures for it, someone would immediately want it and I’d be left with zero Scrappy Cats again. That is fine, but I’m trying to keep a few items on hand, for reasons.

Other secretive projects are ongoing, but on hold for the weekend. I’m having a four day, at home, art retreat starting tomorrow. Since I can’t reasonably afford thousands of dollars for an actual, away, art retreat (and really, the cats need daily care and playtime) I’m staying home and doing this by myself. Cheaper, no travel, and I don’t have to put up with people! All good! I’ve set up new creative projects for myself each day and will excuse myself from normal production progress and from housework. I have an artist documentary to watch and will be stuffing the cupboard with easy meals. There is an arts festival with shopping visit planned, as well as a micro-hike and sketching session so I won’t be inside the house for four days straight. I may or may not blog over the long weekend – I haven’t decided yet, but I know I’m limiting any computer use to a single hour a day so I can minimize distractions. We’ll see how this all goes.

Jul 042015

A summertime visit to see family.
Fire and firefly chases.
A nice backyard fire, with my mom and my cutie niece chasing fireflies in the copse of trees.

Cutie niece was also interested in having her own Scrappy Cat. We made a trip to the local shop where niece selected her desired fabrics. I like how specific she was – she took the whole thing very seriously, comparing each fabric side-by-side before deciding on it. All buttons had to be examined before the final selection of the sparkly ones you see here.

Scrappy Kitten, ready for assembly.
Ready for assembly. My mom’s sewing machine is a bare bones model, so I ended up doing some of the decorative stitches, and face and paws by hand. Sometime right before assembly, it was demanded by cutie niece that this was a Scrappy Kitten, not Cat. I took wider seam allowances and made a shorter tail to accommodate the Kitten-ness request.

Scrappy Kitten, done.
Custom Scrappy Kitten, completed and on a lap. The pillow behind its head was another demand-custom project. Cutie niece is totally going to be a designer of some sort one day.
I ran out of time while there and still need to complete the AteMouse and requested Kitten treats and get them in the mail.

Nice time, but glad to be home, as always. I like home.

Dec 182014

Another Scrappy Cat. This will be the last one for a while; I’m going to work on other things.

I got an idea in my head that this cat could have wings.
Scrappy Cat Five, the spotted cat with wings!
The wings are removable, not stitched on. This one is made entirely from my scrap box, which somehow is not at all less full than when I started. Suspicious.

Dotted heart and collar.
The dotted heart and chain collar. You can see bits of spots all over the stripes.

Zipper stomach and AteMouse.
This AteMouse has little blood red Xs for eyes.

Soft claws.
Soft claws on paw tops.

Soft paw pads.
Puffy flannel paw pads on the undersides of paws.

Back view, without wings.
Back view, without wings. I had a lot of fun layering up all the fabrics and spots.

Back view, with wings.
Back view, with wings. There are ribbon straps so the wings slide on like a backpack, similar to human costume wings.

Signature star on butt.
My signature star on the butt.

Headshot of Scrappy Cat Five, the spotted cat with wings!
Headshot of the spotted cat. The ears are velvet.

If you are in Cheyenne and interested in seeing this cat in person, it will be with AmyKatt at the Universal Space Love Church Winter Craft Sale. Here are those details:

WinterMart Arts & Crafts Sale 2014
Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne
UUCC Social Hall, 3005 Thomes Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82001
December 19, Friday 4:30 – 6:30 pm
December 20, Saturday 9 am – 4 pm

Frankly, even if you don’t give a fig about the Scrappy Cat, I highly recommend going to the sale anyway. The whole thing is packed full of ideal gift items and you’re supporting local artists. It doesn’t get better than that – so GO! While you’re there, visit AmyKatt and thank her for showing my Scrappy Cat to the public.

Maker talk: I was concerned that after making a few, the Scrappy Cats were becoming less scrappy, so I made special efforts to play loose with the fabric and to make parts less symmetrical. I succeeded and the look is just what I wanted. I tried a new wiring method for the tail so there would be more wire, but somehow it turned out less curly than previous tails. I might experiment with that again one day. I quite like the dark red eyes on this AteMouse – I like the contrast better. I am definitely on a Scrappy Cat break for a while. I have a lot of other projects to do for some time.

Dec 022014

The fourth Scrappy Cat was also a commission, requested to be a tuxedo marking cat in blacks, whites and touches of red. The tuxedo style changed a few of the typical Scrappy Cat details, but I think it is all the better for it. Just look at that red bow-tie collar, for example!

Scrappy Cat, Tuxedo-style
The tuxedo marking is obvious. Look closely as his left lapel (on your right) – see the slight gap? It is a hidden pocket. This tuxedo cat wouldn’t break his stylish lines with an exposed heart, so he needed somewhere to keep it. Somewhere out of sight, but very close to the surface and easily accessible, as appropriate for a lovable Scrappy Cat.

Scrappy Cat, Tuxedo-style - front view
Tuxedo Cat’s lightning heart, out for display. It is attached to a black satin ribbon that feeds into the hidden lapel pocket.

Scrappy Cat, Tuxedo-style AteMouse and zip belly
The AteMouse and the unzipped belly. I put an extra strip of black along the belly lining so that the tuxedo look would stay uniform. It won’t do to have the belly lining showing in a tux!

Scrappy Cat, Tuxedo-style - delicate, well-trimmed soft claws
This cat has neat, well-groomed, soft claws.

Scrappy Cat, Tuxedo-style - paw pads in pink flannel
Soft, puffy paw pads in a pink flannel. This one’s legs were skinnier than other cats, which I think I prefer.

Scrappy Cat, Tuxedo-style - back detail and signature star
I couldn’t resist putting my signature star right in the center of that phone pad print.
Somehow I didn’t take a single other picture of his back, but his back body and head have dark gray and black skull filigree print fabric in a chevron layout. Pretty cool.

Scrappy Cat, Tuxedo-style - head shot
That ear stitching turned out nicely. I like this tuxedo cat on par with the violet cat. This head shape is the one I prefer. This cat is off to its new person and I hope all goes well.

Will I make another Scrappy Cat? Probably yes, but not right now. I have to finish carving the Solstice invitations or I won’t get them out in time. Also, I’m on the last class project and have only two class times left to finish it in – yikes!

Dec 012014

After the second, violet, birthday Scrappy Cat I wanted to make one more Scrappy Cat to see how I’d like it without a deadline. Very conveniently, someone commissioned one as a holiday gift. This gave me plenty of time to work, even if there was technically a deadline, albeit months away. I was able to work on it when I felt like it and get a good idea of the time spent to completion.
Here is a blue, odd little Scrappy Cat:
Third Scrappy Cat
The head shape on this cat turned out different than the last and gave it a distinct personality. At first I found it unsettling, but this cat has grown on me and I think it is a bit sweet now. Especially with some of the fabric scraps that ended up here. Flowers and dolphins and stars!

Third Scrappy Cat, ribbon collar and heart
I tried two different metal collar necklaces on this cat, but they looked wrong. This ribbon was much better.

Third Scrappy Cat, whiskery mouse and unzipped belly
This AteMouse has whiskers, and sad wee eyes.

Third Scrappy Cat, soft claws
Soft claws, a bit too neat. This is a pampered Scrappy Cat.

Third Scrappy Cat, paw pads
Soft, puffy paw pads. I’m getting a feel for these and they’re looking a certain way. I like it.

Third Scrappy Cat, back view of body - note the curly tail!
I’ve been working to make the tails curly and I think I succeeded.

Third Scrappy Cat, a special little detail
Special detail of a bitty mouse, on the back.

Third Scrappy Cat, my signature star
My signature star blends right in with the dolphins.

Third Scrappy Cat, headshot
Goodbye, sweet third Scrappy Cat. I hope you and your new person are a good match.

Stay tuned for the fourth Scrappy Cat, another commission tomorrow. This one is even more different yet!

Sep 182014

Last night went somewhat awry. I voted to watch an extra episode of tv on the sofa, which pushed our evening constitutional out and thus, my workshop time. Bad me. But, I did get my patina tests done, at last, so I am ready to do work in class tonight. I’ll try to grab a photo of the patina samples. Until then, here is a shot of the diorama pendant pieces all cut out.
Diorama pendant in the making.
They still have the paper patterns on them. You can see the copper peeking out on that second piece with the tree. This shot is before filing and sanding the edges. Now that they’re mostly smooth, the pattern papers are in shreds clinging on to the metal for their very existence. They’ll be gone tonight when I work on texture and color. That is why I really wanted to get the patina samples done, so that I could make progress in class. I hate sitting there not being able to work on my project. Last week, I ordered my metal as soon as I got my project approved, but it didn’t arrive until Friday, so my whole class time on Thursday was for experimentation (which is cool, but I’d rather do at home) and for ring making (for the later chain for the pendant, which I’d also rather do at home). The class schedule (with project approval and work times) is laid out poorly and inefficiently. We have limited class time, which means limited access to special tools, which are needed to complete projects. Not good.

Patinas done, I went over to spend a couple minutes on the latest Scrappy Cat while the metal cooled and set. One ear didn’t want to turn out, so I had to fight with it a lot more than I intended and then we had a blowout:
Scrappy Cat in the making
Oops. Easy fix; sorry Cat. Also, don’t worry that the legs are uneven; they’re not attached yet, only laying there. I wanted to see how it looked mostly together. I am really liking the paw shape now that I’m boxing the edges out and the extra batting in the paw pads makes them puff up in a pleasing fashion, like cat paw pads do. It will be tomorrow before I have time to get this fixed up. This is what I get for pushing on and working while I’m tired and overdue for bed!

In case that wasn’t enough, I had one more mishap. As I turned out all the lights, shooed the cats from the workshop, I gathered up the patina chemical bottles to take upstairs for class the next day. In my tiredness, I failed to put the lid on the blue dye-oxide and didn’t notice until it was all over the floor, table, and my arm and hand. UGH! Put everything down (everything I hadn’t dropped already), turn on the lights, shoo away the curious cats who magically reappeared at my sounds of dismay, get washcloths and try to scrub blue out of everything. I was mostly successful, but events like this make me glad for every time during the workshop building that I’ve told myself it was “good enough for a workshop; it isn’t a tea parlor, after all”. Indeed.

I did finally get to sleep around midnight. Today is a day I will have some coffee.

That’s what I’m up to. I need to remember to take more pictures so I can document my progress. I really hope that diorama pendant turns out well. I am fond of my original sketches, so my hopes are high.

Jul 242014

After the first Scrappy Cat went home with AmyKatt from the charity auction, an insistent request was made for another and with a birthday on the horizon, I couldn’t refuse. Thus, Scrappy Cat II!

Scrappy Cat II
This Scrappy Cat was made from a selection of scraps that meet the requested favorite color range. The first Scrappy Cat was made from scraps that I had laying on the cutting pad or pull out from underneath my tabletop ironing board – so many bits end up under there! So, the second cat had to be made from bits from the scrap box. That scrap box is small and overflowing – all the pieces were crammed in there and required ironing. Perhaps it is time to consider another scrap quilt.

Scrappy Cat II, collar and heart.
This Scrappy Cat needed a different collar; he just looked better in a brassy color. He has two small purple beads for his sparkle. For his heart, I couldn’t find any scraps that were good enough, so I stamped/ painted a gold tree on some sweet red/hot pink. Perfect.

Scrappy Cat II, mouse in belly.
This mouse is a fatter mouse than the last one. Good cat!

Scrappy Cat II, front of paw claws.
I didn’t get a pic last time, so I made sure to focus on his front claws this time around.

Scrappy Cat II, paw pads.
I love how these paw pads turned out! They are dimensional and feel great, but you’ll have to take my word for it since we’re on the internet.

Scrappy Cat II, curly tail.
This Scrappy Cat also has a long, curly tail that gets in the way, just like a real cat.

Scrappy Cat II, zipper belly and patch addition.
His zipper belly could fit another thing, if he were still hungry. That patch of fabric looked at home there.

Scrappy Cat II, star butt.
My signature star, smack on the butt.

Scrappy Cat II, head shot.
Thus, Scrappy Cat II – the birthday cat! He was a few days late for the actual birthday, but we all know that cats work on their own timetables.

Maker talk:
I am amazed at how different this cat is compared to the last one, even beyond the color palette. His head and body are a little wider, which was a deliberate choice. The fabric of the eyes give an energetic and almost manic look to this cat – like he’s raring to play and run, while the first cat was almost calm in comparison. This take was easier and a bit faster – I’ve already thought about better methods of construction. I also might use a different wire for the tail, they don’t hold their shape as much as I’d like. For how disparate the two Scrappy Cats are, I have to say I like them equally. I will probably make at least one more, some day.

Jun 092014

The Scrappy Cat doll for the CAG Animal Shelter Benefit charity auction is done. Finally. It was supposed to be done almost two weeks ago, before June, but work came up and kicked my creative ass for the last two weeks instead. At last I’ve fought off the stress and gotten back to making things, which is much better. Yesterday was a good workshop day.
Scrappy Cat for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
Meet Scrappy Cat! He was made entirely from pieces I had laying on my sewing table leftover from other projects. I threw fabric scraps together on some muslin and free motion quilted all over to keep them together. This gives a fairly stable fabric, but still loose, feathery edges.

Collar and heart of Scrappy Cat for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
This dapper cat wears his heart for all to see (he’s a lover) and has a dashing collar with a touch of sparkle.

Zipper belly contents of Scrappy Cat, for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
Inside Scrappy Cat’s zipper belly we see he has eaten a mouse. Good cat!

AteMouse lives in the zipper belly of Scrappy Cat for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
I started thinking of it as AteMouse while I was stitching.

Empty Zipper belly Scrappy Cat for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
He can put other things in his belly, depending on his appetite.

Scrappy Cat for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
On the underside of his legs, his soft pink paws. On the topside there are embroidered claws, but they are quite soft and safe. Hmmm, I should have delinted before photography.

Scrappy Cat for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
His backside. All pink paws, signature star butt, and extra long tail. I did put some light wiring in his tail so it could be shaped a small amount. This way it can serve as a kickstand for him.

Scrappy Cat for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
The aforementioned signature star butt. I figured that since I did (over) 400 stars for the Centzon Totochtin quilt, I’d be pretty good at them. Now all my fabric items will have a star on them as a sort of signature.

Scrappy Cat for the charity auction to benefit the animal shelter.
I made a very snazzy tag with my stamp of a cat showing belly contents all colored in and lettered, but apparently didn’t upload a photo of it. Maybe I can grab one when I get home. Better yet – come out to the auction closing at 1430 on the 21st and see it in person! And enjoy all the other art there for the show, too. Don’t forget the refreshment table – they usually put on an agreeable spread of snacks and drinks.

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