This is NOT an abandoned blog

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:

Photo Improvements

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.
Salem-fireworks



Above: An example of photos I recently took in Salem of the 4th of July fireworks

Settling In

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:

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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!

sharknado-cat-hats

sharknado-cats

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!