April 7, 2011

New fun project: Cat Toys

During my spring cleaning a few weeks ago, I decided that "skinning my sewing machine" would be a fun thing to do. It was bought refurbished. It was out of warranty, and had been broken for 6 years. I took the plastic covering off the entire machine, and it made for a very 'Machivellian' desk ornament! Unfortunately, it was a big item of "clutter". So, I threw it away after I took all of the "potentially useful" items from it. That was a machine I paid $399 for (in 2005), in the trash! *sigh*

Once I junked the old machine, I decided that for the price of fixing up the old one - I was quoted about $80-120 - I could buy a brand new, basic machine *with a warranty*. That's what I ended up doing. I got a Brother (I forget the model #). It arrived promptly on the day it was supposed to, undamaged. It took me a day to get up the nerve to wind a bobbin and get it threaded, and another 2 days to get up the nerve to start sewing.

When I fired 'er up, it was like lighting that sewing fire under my butt again. I'm so happy to have a nice, working machine again.

The first project? Let's make cat toys! So in my usual "it isn't worth it unless I can make a hundred of it" way, this is what I did... I got a pattern from a random toy floating around the house. (My landlords have cats. I don't.) I sat down and for 5 hours over 2 days, I made over a hundred toys. I'll offer them up on Etsy once I've finished the embellishment. Watch for them because they're really cool!

What's nice about cat toys is that they don't consume a ton of material, and cats love to hide the toys, so you always need new ones... If you have a new kitten, or older cats, a little time (about 10 seconds of sewing per toy), and even a fat eighth of fabric... you can make a few toys. It's FUN! Even if you don't have felines, or ferrets - who also love these toys - you can still use up clothes you can't donate (or would be ashamed to!), and you can make some critter's life better: you don't even need to sell them. You can give them to your local animal shelter. So go for it. Cat toys are a fun and good way to play with your sewing machine!

(grown-ups do love their toys!) :)

Last Big Project...

In February, the big project I was working on before I became ill, was "hair extension feathers". I'd bought myself 2 really nice rooster saddles for my birthday in 2009. I already had all of the feathers cleaned and sorted, and it had been my dream since 2009 to dye them up to make a giant set of colorful super-long feathers. So this is what I was doing. In a couple of weeks, the project will finally be ready. I have to do "the blues": blue, indigo, violet... and then it is done. They look terrific so far. I also bought a wholesaler's lot of micro link extension crimps or beads that I'm throwing in with the feathers. There are a LOT of these feathers, so this will be one of my most expensive offerings to my audience. I'm undecided as to how to sell these actually, and have saved some aside to sell "by the feather" for the people who don't want to drop a ton of cash on one item / one seller. Watch for these. :)


I finally felt better and "healthy again" around the middle of March. Unfortunately, around that time, my PayPal account got locked up *again*. Frustrated, I closed it and re-routed all payments to my personal PayPal account instead. It took like all the wind out of my sails... being ill with that nasty GI virus for 3 weeks, and also not being able to sell anything during that time, due to the "dead" computer and the screwy PayPal account, put me back in to 'lurk mode'. I'm trying to regain my momentum from before, *sigh*