Tag Archive: fearless


The Mystery Project


We all know I’m crazy, right?

Here’s just one example – NaNoWriMo started on November 1st. About a week before NaNoWriMo started I was cruising through the swaps over on Swap-Bot – just looking – when I noticed an unusual swap called “Geeky Crafts!”

So of course I clicked on it to read the description.

The swap was this – we had to send a handmade item to our partner that reflected one of their geeky passions. I wasn’t really planning on signing up for a swap, but as I was really intrigued by it, I signed up.

For a major project.

Six days before NaNoWriMo started.

Again, crazy.

After partners were assigned I scrolled through my partner’s profile looking for ideas, and discovered that my partner Shadowspun likes Batman.

Who doesn't?

Among the many crafts listed on her profile, my partner mentioned that while she does appliqué she has never understood patchwork. So I got to thinking about patchwork, and Batman, and crafting, and doing doodles, until I thought of something interesting.

I did a pixel drawing of the Batman logo and thought – Hey, I could make that out of fabric and turn it into a tote bag!

So I sat down and figured out how big I needed the squares to be, how much fabric I would need of each color, that sort of thing.

Bring forth the math!

I wanted it to look like a charm quilt, with a lot of different shades, so I bought four shades of black and three yellows.

Ooh, fancy.

I had settled on 1-inch squares, with added seam allowance each one was 1 1/2 inches. The piece was 17 X 19 so I had to cut out 323 tiny little squares.

That's a lot of tiny little squares.

And you just know anytime I try to do something like this, I end up with lots of “help”.

The very helpful Simon.

The extremely helpful Firefly.

And my ever-vigilant sewing buddy, Fearless.

Pretty much every other step was “Remove cat(s) from crafting surface.” This was especially fun when it came to laying out all the pieces – Fearless with her mile-long feathery tail was lots of fun.

Hence the reason for the spray bottle at the top right.

The basic idea is simple – sew together in pairs, then quartets, then groups of eight, etc … larger and larger until all the tiny little pieces are sewn together in the right order.

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Progress halfway through, it's already much smaller than when all the blocks were laid out individually.

One of the cut squares on top of the finished piece.

Voila! The finished logo.

Of course, once the logo was finished, I still had to make the tote bag. That part was pretty fast, since I’ve made dozens of tote bags, but it still took a while.

It looked much better once the border was on. You can't really tell because the colors are a bit washed out, but the yellow is made of patchwork pieces of the yellow.

I did a bit of quilting to the logo so it would be stable if it got washed – all the seam allowances made it pretty stiff so I just used a piece of plain white muslin instead of using any batting –  and sewed a bag and liner.

For the lining I used a sparkly bat Halloween print.

The finished bag, modeled by Mother Dearest.

SOme of the seams didn’t line up perfectly and if I had more time I would have torn the stitching out a couple of times and redone it, but I was on a tight schedule and didn’t really have time for do-overs. It galls me to send out something that is less than perfect, but my partner left me a wonderful note that she loves the bag, all the more so because she doesn’t do any patchwork so it isn’t something she would ever have done, so I guess it was okay. I can still see every wonky line though.

It was a hell of a lot of work, and if I had known how long it would take I might have chosen something else to make, but it turned out so good I didn’t want to send it. I have plans to make another for myself once NaNoWriMo is over.

Cupcakes By Mail


I’ve got my picture postcards all made and they are going out in the mail today.

Here’s how I made my own postcards.

First I ordered 4 X 6 prints of my desired photos from Walgreens. You can order them online and then pick them up at a nearby store, which saves postage if you don’t have the means to print them yourself. I placed my order Tuesday morning before leaving home for work and picked them up at lunchtime, which is a pretty quick turn-around.

Once I got them home, I glued them to stiff watercolor paper with ModgePodge. Plain cardstock or any stiff paper will do just as well.

After they dried for a day, I trimmed off the excess paper with my paper-rotary cutter.

Slice and dice.

I drew a line down the center of the back of each card and wrote the word “Postcard” at the top. On one of the cards in each lot I wrote a little note to my swap partner.

Like so.

That was it for the postcard portion of the evening.

Since I was sending more than one and did not want to pay postage on each one separately, I made a couple of envelopes.

A finished envelope, my template, and a freshly cut out envelope.

These envelopes are made of wrapping paper I found at Target in the dollar section, it’s really thin but so very adorable!

The whole process didn’t take too long – it did take longer than I had planned but that was due the “help” of a certain giant fluffy cat.

I'm the ... postal inspector. Yeah, that's it!

I think Fearless was convinced that I had invented a brand-new game just for her called “Sleep on Momma’s Postcards.” Every five minutes I had to pick her up off the table and put her on the floor or futon.

She tried her damnedest though.

Busy Busy Busy


Been busy traveling to Charlotte and going to IKEA and various thrift stores so I haven’t written anything today and I don’t have anything left in my queue. Instead, enjoy this picture of Fearless sitting on my duffel bag.

Take me with you!

 

Be back tomorrow with tons of photos from my trip!


As I mentioned last week, I’ve decided to spotlight each of my cats in a post today we have Fearless. (I thought about doing a post on both “kittens”, but they are so different it would be better to cover them separately.)

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Hey.

Fearless got her name because the very first night I had her home, she climbed the side of the hamster cage, got herself locked in the bathroom, and somehow ended up behind the oven, all within the space of a half-hour. She wanted to explore everything and every time I extracted her from one place she would hurry off to find another to get stuck in. I told her that she was just plain fearless and it seemed to stick.

She is, as close as I can figure, a Norwegian Forest Cat mix – she has all of the characteristics of the breed including an absurdly long fluffy tail.  Her coat is very thick; the hair is over three inches long in places, (I know, I’ve measured it.) and has a double undercoat. She is a big, broad lump of fur.

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With built-in "snowshoes" - long tufts of fur that grow between her toes to protect the pads.

But she wasn’t always like that. When I first got her, she was malnourished and suffering from parasites and  double eye infections. She was about four or five months old and was no bigger than a two- or three-month-old cat. At her very first vet visit she weighed just over two pounds, now she is ten times that.

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Awww...

She is now extremely healthy and the biggest cuddle bug you have ever seen. She will try to sit between me and whatever I’m doing in an attempt to get me to pay attention to her.

Fearless  has also perfected her own special method of conflict resolution; whenever she is startled or surprised, she flops over and rolls onto her back.

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Conflict resolved! Now it's naptime.

That beautiful long fur does have its drawbacks; Fearless hasn’t earned the nickname “Swiffer” for nothing. (She is also called Fluffybottom, Fluff-Butt, and Fuzzybuns)  I have to comb it to keep it from getting matted and to get out whatever debris she has managed to pick up.  There is also, to put it delicately, a problem with “absorption and adhesion” which requires regular butt-baths which you know she just loves. Which is odd – she will play with a dripping faucet until she is soaking wet, but try to wash one small part of her and she turns hydrophobic.

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If it's her idea, it's fun. (She's about a year old here, much less fluffy than now)

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How dare you bathe me! Now I gotta take a bath!

And then there’s cardboard. She loves the stuff. I don’t think there’s a box in the house that hasn’t been chewed on. She doesn’t eat the paper, she rips chunks out and then spits them on the floor. There is one of those disposable scratchers in the living room and she has managed to chew  a hole through it.

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This is MY box!

She just keeps getting bigger and bigger, I’ve read that Norwegian Forest Cats can keep growing for up to five years and she seems proving that correct.

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The standard serving size for a full-grown Norwegian Forest Cat.

She’s not as fat as she looks, there is a bit of pudge but most of it is fur. Lots and lots of fur. Everywhere. Every time I vacuum I could make another cat.