Moving On Up – Notso Kitty Shop Relocation

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):cat hat list

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:

kitty west

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.

cat hat studio chaos

Chaos in the cat hat studio

Easter cat hats

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.

 

 

 

Workout Update

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……

workout kitty

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 ;)

Haterific Cat Toys Are Here!!!

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….

Haterific Cat Toys

 

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

haterade cat toy comic

Product Packaging

Product Packaging

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:

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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!

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Time to Make the Cat Hats : ie. Where have I been lately?

Dear Readers, It has been a long time since I have paid much attention to this blog. Why you ask? I’ve been too busy making CAT HATS lately!!! Orders have been coming in left and right as people prepare their kitties for Halloween— also I have been getting quite a few early Christmas orders as well. All good things— except they have been keeping me too busy to pay attention to things I would really like to also be paying attention to (like my blog, cleaning my house, paying bills… etc). So it goes sometimes! Alas, I don’t have any new designs to present today, but I thought I would post a brief entry to let you all know how things are going.

Planetary Cat Hat Parts

Planetary Cat Hat Parts— my most popular design

My other work (the one that actually pays my cat hat bills) has been quite busy lately too…. When it rains it pours they say! I found myself dragging myself out of bed some weekdays muttering “time to make the cat hats” a la Fred from the Dunkin Donuts commercials in the 80s (google it kids if you don’t get the reference) :) Going to work for over 8 hours a day and then coming home to make cat hats for 2-3 more hours just to catch up on orders definitely was exhausting….. But for some reason cat hat-related exhaustion does not seem to bother me in the same way as other work-related exhaustion does. So that’s a good thing….

Xmas Tree Cat Hats Parts

Xmas Tree Cat Hat Parts— Another popular design

Alas, the big Halloween rush seems to be over for now…. All in all, I received orders for 29 different hats/costumes within the last month. That might not seem like so many at first blush…. but when you consider some of the more popular designs like the Planetary Cat Fascinator take over 3 days to create (damn drying times), it was enough to turn my house into a CAT HAT SWEATSHOP :) Time to make the cat hats indeed!

cat nerd glasses

Creating some more nerd glasses for my Kitty Poindexter look

Today I finally started cleaning up the giant mess I had managed to make over the  past month: there were cat hat parts literally in every room of my house! Full disclosure: I scold my husband if he so much leaves a sock out of the hamper…. he wonders why my rules of “order” do not apply to cat hats (I wonder the same sometimes— but also realize that organizing cat hat supplies in the middle of the October ordering frenzy is futile and only winds up stressing me out more). Random useful fact: duct tape is the best thing I have found for getting glitter off of things—- just use a small piece and roll it around your fingers—- swipe this over glitter-ful surfaces until it can’t pick up any more glitter and repeat with new pieces of duct tape until you have cleaned up all the glitter you wish to. Other random (less-useful) fact: glitter is a permanent fixture in my life— I find embracing it is easier than fighting it’s presence :)

A new design in Notso Kitty's future? We'll see

A new design in Notso Kitty’s future? We’ll see

I haven’t given up on figuring out new cat hat designs or thinking of new products (like my long awaited “Revenge Fantasy cat toys”) for the Notso Kitty Shop. When ever I get an idea that springs into my head, I write it down or draw it on what ever piece of paper I happen to have in front of me (see above example: a doodle on a bill receipt). I haven’t had much time lately to act on these ideas, but I’m sure I’ll find the time someday….. Till next time readers– Happy Halloween!

The Sharknado Cat Hat & Other Adventures

Greetings people! The Sharknado Cat Hat is finally here! I know you have been waiting your whole life (or at least since the movie came out about a month ago) for a cat hat that would compliment THE BEST MOVIE OF OUR GENERATION! Alas, the Notso Kitty Shop has you covered!

Sharknado Cat Hat

I knew I had to make a cat hat inspired by Sharknado as soon as I first viewed the cinematographic masterpiece on the Syfy channel. Not only is Sharknado a fabulous movie worthy of cat hat homage, it is also a pop culture phenomenon! I tried to get to work on this cat hat right away, but found myself challenged with the design– how could I manage to capture the greatness of Sharknado on a little cat hat? Six weeks and three prototypes later, I think I finally had something that was suitable that my cat didn’t mind wearing (REALLY :) ).

Glitter Sharks

Glitter Sharks wait to be used on the Sharknado cat hat

Glitter sharks

Notso keeps an eye on the Glitter sharks

Notso finally approved of a prototype today— here is him modeling the results

Sharknado Cat Hat

Alas, I don’t think this cat hat quite captures all the fabulousness that is Sharknado— perhaps if it came with Ian Ziering then it might….. But it’s as good as it’s going to get for the time being. Notso can’t wait to wear this at his Sharknado 2 viewing party—- OF COURSE there is a sequel planned (but you probably already knew that :) )!

Aside from the Sharknado inspiration, I made a few new little monster cat hats for Halloween. I think they came out ADORABLY, but perhaps I am biased so I will let you judge for yourself in the pics below.

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Monster Cat Hat Halloween

Monster Cat Hat Halloween

Notso was pretty tuckered out after all that cat hat modeling! That’s all for now…. until next time!

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