Hello Everyone! It’s been awhile (too long I know) and I have many new updates to share with you concerning my creative endeavors! I’ve made great progress over the last six months in getting settled into the new home of the Notso Kitty Shop in Salem, Massachusetts and I’m finally almost to the point where I’m picking up projects again as I did pre-move. I really didn’t realize how much “settling in” would wear me out this past year before I moved, but I’m almost finally back to what I would call normal (and other normal people would call crazy). Time to make some new cat hats for the shop!
New Party Cat Hats
After a brief hiatus from making hats, I got back into it full force last month. I started by making a few new party hats that could be worn for birthdays and other festive occasions. Notso was all too happy to model them
The Holidays Are Coming
Aside from some new kitty party hats for various occasions, I made some specifically for the upcoming winter holidays. I finally got around to making my Hanukkah Cat Hat and a Mistletoe fascinator. I think they came out quite splendidly, though I may be a little biased— hope you like them as much as I do!
In spite of what you may have come to believe through the lack of posts the last few months, this is not an abandoned blog. Lately I’ve been busy with projects- some of which will make some future blog post topics if I ever get around to writing about them What else have I been busy with? Well, it’s been a crazy summer…. Let’s start with a few of the smaller items:
I’ve rediscovered recently how much I love taking photos and playing in Photoshop. I’ve gotten plenty of practice taking candids at summer weddings and events in and around my new home in Salem, MA. A few times this summer I’ve rented camera lenses from www.borrowlenses.com which has let me try out some fancy new equipment without making much upfront investment. I highly recommend this service as well as the photo lessons on Lynda.com for improving my photo-taking skills.
Above: An example of photos I recently took in Salem of the 4th of July fireworks
It’s been about three months or so since we moved to Salem, MA and the house redecoration projects are well on their way. So far I’ve painted the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the foyer and the deck. The deck is what burnt me out on painting for the time being I still have a lot to go, but I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made as shown below:
Cat Studio Updates
It’s been a busy month in the studio with the release of Sharknado 2 driving the sale of the Sharknado cat hat up I’ve also been doing a little bit of side work- the results of which you may see in the Notso Kitty Shop soon!
It’s been quite hectic around cat hat studio lately! I have decided to keep the Notso Kitty Shop open in spite of currently being in the middle of packing up my house to move to Salem, MA. This has kicked my cat hat-making skills into overdrive! Between catching up on orders and trying to sneak in a few new designs, I feel like I’m back at the cat hat sweatshop lately Here is the list I posted the other day of things I wanted to accomplish before my move (in mid-May):
Yes, that’s a daunting list! Already I have had to improvise– I’ve received a few cat hat orders this past week that have necessitated I adjust the list quantities. It’s kind of crazy to operate this way I’ll admit, but I suspect it will be worth it in the end. The Notso Kitty Shop is still able to support customers like Laurie and her kitty Milo at Huggable Friends:
photo courtesy of www.huggablefriendsblog.com
Etsy does allow users to put their shops in “vacation mode”, however last time I did this for a two week period it took my traffic 6 months to recover! No thanks… So I’ll suffer through this busy season for a little while and remind myself how this sense of utter chaos is only temporary.
Chaos in the cat hat studio
Some recently completed Easter cat hats
Oh, and did I mention…. We’re MOVING! I’m very excited to settle into my new house in Salem, MA in a few short weeks! I can’t imagine a better home for the cat hat studio— located a hop skip and a jump away from Salem’s charming downtown and the waterfront. The cats are very excited as well! They are wondering what kind of costumes I will dream up for Halloween…. Salem being the capitol of Halloween and all I’m sure they will be EPIC whatever they end up being.
I’ve been a bit busy lately— between selling my house, buying a new one, catching up on cat hat orders, traveling for work and running around for various personal reasons I haven’t had much time to myself it seems like. In spite of this lack of time, I’ve managed to find a few spare minutes a day to devote to my fitness routine. Or lack of fitness routine would be more accurate in describing what I do Routine or not I have tried to commit myself to being active lately. So what have I been up to? Oh… A few things……
Tracy Anderson Method Continuity Continued….
As you might recall from previous blog posts (here, here, and here for example) I had been a devotee of the Tracy Anderson Method for some time. However lately I find my level of devotion to Ms Anderson is waning…. I finally DID cancel my subscription to her Continuity DVD program (my difficulty in quitting this service I once blogged about here) a few months too late. The DVDs with that program were so numerous— though I quit the program a few months ago I still have about 17 unopened DVDs with 30 days worth of workouts on each of them. I ended up repeating the entire Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis program a few months ago in an attempt to re-commit myself to the program. I’ve also discovered Tracy’s free videos on youtube which are helpful in discovering new moves or short workouts that I could do in my hotel room when I travel.
So I haven’t quit Tracy completely, but I’m no longer doing the TA Method 6 days-a-week. This has freed me up to try new workouts and other ways of improving my overall fitness levels. What else have I been up to lately?
Barre Method and Spin Classes
I’m a sucker for a good deal— especially when it involves something that could improve my fitness levels and expose me to something new that I might find I love. The Gilt Groupe has been a godsend for these deals lately! Gilt is a sample sale website that also features local deals and the occasional sale on fitness equipment A few months ago I found a “Barre Method Starter kit” on the site that included 2 super-sculpting DVDs, a ball, some weights, and a small mat to whip my butt into shape. After trying the workout once I had difficulty walking the rest of the day, but found this feeling strangely addicting. I’ve been doing it religiously once or twice-per-week ever since.
A few weeks after my Barre Method workout arrived, I discovered a coupon for some discounted fitness classes in my town on Gilt City- the part of Gilt that lists local deals. I signed up for the “RealRyder” spin classes– spin classes that use a bike that has a non-stationary back-wheel that allows for movement like that of a real bike on the road. I’ve taken 6 classes so far and can say I’m pretty hooked; it’s a challenging workout that leaves me exhausted….. The only problem has been making it to classes at times that are convenient. I’m hoping to find some convenient to me after I move.
Beginning to take spin classes has opened my eyes to all the other fitness classes that I’ve been neglecting out there. TRX, Yoga, Pilates, Piloxing, and other assorted classes that are offered in fitness centers in the area all seem to be things I would enjoy. I’m thinking of checking some out soon— updates to follow
Finally, after many months of building anticipation my Haterific Revenge Fantasy Cat Toys are available in the Notso Kitty Shop! This is a very exciting day
A few months ago I blogged about coming up with my Haterific cat toys , but I believe I was a little premature in saying I was almost finished with the product designs back then. Now, after three days of effort devoted specifically to the toys, I have FINALLY finished them up and listed them in my shop. How did they come out? Well, let’s see….
As you can see from the above picture, I came up with a few different versions of “haters” for the first edition of cat toys. Groups that are featured include hippies, hipsters, bridezillas, bosses, generic haters, and NJ reality stars. Each “hater” comes in a package with a descriptive card and “Haterific Revenge Fantasy” comic (below) on the back
I think the toys came out adorably— but I may be a little biased. So I asked Notso if he approved…… Let’s just say he seems to understand the comic inspiration behind the toys:
I have plans for some more customizable versions of these cat toys soon— but for now, here are some pics of the ones already in the Notso Kitty Shop!