Sunday, September 23, 2012

Purrzaar Huzzar!

I've done it!  I've managed to get a stall going at the very awesome Cats of the World Photo Exhibition Purrzaar and actually made some money!!  

I was rather pessimistic at the beginning... fearful of having a stall full of cat themed goodies and a cashbox empty of money...  Imagine my thrill then when I sold out of cupcakes by 2pm!  These guys did look really cute though on the cakestand:

I sold a lot of crochet cat collars too!  Here's a picture of Teddy looking super smart in his new collar. Thanks to Loowin for sending me his pic! 

The Exhibition and Purrzaar were held at the Arts House in Singapore, organised by the lovely Carla and Noelle (can you believe Carla got married in the middle of all this organising?!  Kudos and congrats to her!). Cat lovers came to enjoy gorgeous photographs of cats in all their glory, with a chance to take some cat paraphernalia home from the Purrzaar.  It's all for a very good cause since stall holders donate a percentage of their proceeds to the Cat Welfare Society.  

Noelle and Carla on the right.

My partner in crime for the two days is Jaime who makes the most adorable cat oven mitts.  She doesn't yet have a website for selling her gorgeous creations but I am trying to convince her to do so. 

I'm totally knackered now and suffering a bit from thumb-ache but it has been a fabulous 2 days.  I've met some lovely people who share my passion of crafting, which alone would have made the whole experience worth while.  Thank you too to my friends who came to help out and support me in my first vendor adventure... (ok this is beginning to read like an Oscar acceptance speech... "next I would like to thank my agent...") I'll stop now and leave you with some adorable pictures of the cute kids who came to visit.  

What d'ya mean I can't eat them?!

Cuddling her new sleepy kitten.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cats of the World Purrzaar - final countdown!

Why oh why oh why do I procrastinate?! I had months to prepare for the Purrzaar at the Cats of the World photo exhibition this Saturday yet I'm still frantically rushing.

If I had been properly organised I should have gotten most of my stuff prepared weeks ago.  Instead, I'm doing frantic last minute crochet, hectic last minute runs to the yarn shop and ridiculous amounts of sewing to put all the finishing touches together.

The final line-up will look something like this, with my Kitty Cupcakes making an appearance of course, as well as Micro Cats in tiny glass bottles and a few random cat pieces that I hope will go to good homes with loving owners:

I really hope the punters at the Purrzaar will like my newborn Goodnight Kitties:

Tired out by their morning milk feeding, the kittens take a quiet nap at the kitten nursery.

The Puss-in-Pouches have turned out really well and look awesome cute in the pink and teal trays:

And I hope some of the cat lovers will be needing a collar or two for their furry friends:

I've even drafted in our cat Tiggy to do some pro-bono modelling for me.

Let's hope his good looks will bring me some luck at the Purrzaar!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kitty Cupcake Magnets Pattern - for free download!

It's finished!  My first pattern!  It's available for free download so enjoy!

Kitty Cupcake Magnets Amigurumi Pattern (it's a pretty big file so might take a minute or so to download)
This pattern is perfect for beginners because it's both simple and quick to crochet.  Pros looking for a quick project would like this too.  It includes both diagram and written instructions to make the whole process even easier.  There are lots of pictures too with explanations on how to join rounds, thread eyes and make up etc. 

They were inspired by my kitchen drawer full of muffin cups and my desire to give my amigurumi projects a function - other than looking cute.  Thus the addition of a magnet to make the cupcakes useful around the house!  Of course if you don't have a magnet to hand and are happy for them just to be cute, I wouldn't mind in the slightest.  Feel free to send me pictures of your finished cupcakes too I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you Brooke, Stella, Carla and Jana for your help with the pattern, you ladies rock!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Stuff Susie Made for Babies!

I love making toys and clothes for babies!  They are always appreciative and look adorable in anything you put on them so my stuff always looks super cute ;) 

My first project was Katze for Faye:

Then it was Bunny for Juno:

Pink Giraffe was for the hungry Kleo: 

And these two lovelies were for baby girls born on the opposite sides of the world: 

So many newly arrived little girls inspired me to make more baby stuff.  Friends of mine have also complained that I don't post baby things on my blog so I decided to make some flower headbands.  I went through a phase of crocheting flowers just to try out the patterns so I had a few flowers to hand.  After rummaging in my local Spotlight, I found some gorgeously soft and stretchy bands that were perfect.  

I didn't have a model for these headbands... well, the only baby I had easy access to was my son... so I bribed him with TV to get a few shots. 

His daddy was not pleased.  I have a feeling I'll pay for these when he's old enough to complain. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Puss in Pouch

With my thumb out of service after a bout of tendinitis (and thus only limited crochet allowed), I took the sewing machine out for a spin to fill the void.  It’s shameful really how much I’ve neglected sewing – generations of dust bunnies have made their home on the thing, it was almost cruel to disturb them.   

Time to do something with my stash of gorgeous flowery fabric I thought.  Just needed a low effort, high reward project to get me started.  A friend suggested small pouches – I agreed…

though with one major amendment.  I wanted to put mini cats in the bags.

I’ve kept the pouches small so they’re dainty enough to be keyrings or bag ornaments.
They’re made from a template measuring 7cm², with the corners rounded off and a fold-down rim covering the ribbon fastening, so the mini cat can be popped in and out of the pouch quite easily.

Am working on a basic set of instructions for the pouch and cat.  Will post soonish I hope. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Experimenting With Really Small Cats (no animals were harmed during the creation process)

What?! No air holes?
Don't worry darling we'll get you out!
People say I look like Hello Kitty but I think I'm more like Grace Kelly. 

Tiny rocks.  So I tried my hand at thread embroidery last week.  This was the result: 

I used the thinnest thread I had on hand and she turned out measuring (H) 9.5cm, (W) 6.5cm.  Hardly mini... Ms Bikini Cat can lose a few stitches, especially from her giant oval head.  Some experimentation was in order.  

In my bottomless stash of yarns and threads, I found a bunch of crochet thread I bought more than 10 years ago down some backstreet in Paris.  They were on some dusty shelf presided by a scary French matron.  The only reason why I dared to even go in the shop was because the threads were 10 Francs each (that was like 1 British pound at the time).  Bargains are worth braving scary matrons over.  

Copying the structure but reducing the number of stitches, I tried to make as small a version of Ms Bikini Cat as possible.  I started the legs out with 5 stitches and the arms with 4, stitched the body together, gauged its size and made a suitably sized head to match.  

Dude! A giant thumb!
The problems were the ears and eyes, because the head is so small the ears were just 4 stitches, aka the size of a gnat's bum.  Imagine sewing that onto the head.  The eyes were also difficult because micro cat here is black.  A black thread knot wouldn't show and a blue or green knot made him look comically evil.  So I settled for a black-on-white felt alternative.  He ended up looking a bit bog eyed but that slightly surprised look's kinda cute.  

He wasn't entirely perfect though.  I crocheted his head separately from his body.  Which I realised was unnecessary.  I could just crochet the head directly from the neck opening.  His body lacked shape. I want his upper body to be slightly smaller than his bum.  He was also quite difficult to make because I used a 0.9mm hook, a tad too big which meant I had to yank the hook out after every stitch. I raided my local and found a 0.6mm hook (it has a pink handle too so cute) and some even thinner threads in beige and pink.  

This time, the crochet was easier.  Thinner threads meant the cat can be the same size with more stitches, so I needn't sacrifice so much detail.  I also crocheted the head directly from the body this time to save on faffing around sewing it on afterwards.  

The eyes were black thread knots so her nose and mouth can be the usual white felt and embroidery affair.  There was even room for me to crochet her a skirt, by beginning on the join between her body and legs.  

Hubby Oli suggested I put wings on her, then suspend her from the stopper to make her a flying angel. That might be a fun idea.  Having noted the pattern I tried a boy version.  This time with a tail and braces: 

I swear ladies I'm bigger in real life. 

They could almost be Hansel and Gretel.  I'll just need a witch.  That'll be my next project!