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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Catnip Studio, Too!

My new Etsy shop, Catnip Studio, Too, is now open! All of my handmade home decor will be listed there, and Catnip Studio will return to its beginnings as a handmade broken china/beaded jewelry shop. I anticipate this will help me focus my creativity and individual shop organization, and keep things neat and tidy, whether virtual or actual. I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one! Photos show some of my new creations, clicking on them will take you to their shop listings.

Happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage

I won, I won, I won Mrs. Kwitty's blog giveaway! I never win stuff, nope, not even free french fries from a scratch-off card, and I WON!!! Mrs. Kwitty sent me a package of cottagey goodness filled with handmade treasures from her Etsy shop, Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage. Now, let's see, there is a travel set (drawstring bag, kleenex keeper, and keychain cardholder), and yummy birdy tags, and clothespin magnets, and a lavendar sachet, and, and, and...! Thank you, Mrs. Kwitty, for your generosity and thoughtfulness!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Blast Away!

I'm getting ready for a summer debut of my sandblasted artwork in my second Etsy online shop, Catnip Studio, Too, and it seems fitting to blog about my creative process.

I make pencil and paper sketches of my design, and then transfer the sketch to the sandblast stencil (a rubbery vinyl with a sticky back). I attach the stencil to the surface of a rock or tile. Sometimes I use stencil adhesive to ensure a firm bond for sandblasting. I cut out stencil parts with a sharp stencil knife. During sandblasting, the design is "carved" into the cutouts, and the blast is blocked everywhere else.
Sandblasting is dirty work, and sheer misery in the heat and humidity of summer in Northern California, but I just love the gradual appearance of my original line drawings in the tile or rock surface as the blasting progresses.
The look of the sandblasted lines is especially beautiful as daylight moves across the walls of a room and the sandblast depressions become shadowed and more distinct. Simple and striking at the same time.
I'm developing "paisley" seashells on paper right now for my next sandblasted set of tiles; here's a peek of abalone paisley, and I'll take this design through to the finished tile in future blog entries:

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Catnip Forest

Those of you familiar with my bio/profile in my Etsy online shop, Catnip Studio, already know that my husband planted a forest of catnip in our "kitty courtyard." The kitty courtyard is an enclosed area around the cat door exit that keeps our two dogs from annoying our two cats.
The catnip started out as 4 inch seedlings, and now it expands every summer into a kitty crack supply bonanza (I think my cats are pushing it through the neighborhood in exchange for canned cat food).
The princess of the kitty courtyard, Lily, rules with an iron paw from her very own wicker throne and propane-powered turret perch. She does not like paparrazi, so one must be very sneaky to capture her on film in her kingdom.
Lily is a very petite cat; when I adopted her from a shelter, I thought she was a teenager, but she was well into adulthood. She weighs only 7 pounds. She was spayed and aggressively declawed through a previous owner. Her tiny paws have one tiny knuckle on each toe, but when she is standing on your chest they feel like stilettoes. Not that anyone has ever stood on my chest in stilettoes, just so we are clear.
My husband, Mr. Catnip, insists that I spoil my fur baby! Yes, she has a heated and padded bed attached to the windowsill overlooking the kitty courtyard, and hangs out there with me when I am working online, but Mr. Catnip built her bed support. Yes, she has her own private courtyard and recreational drug supply, but Mr. Catnip built the courtyard to prevent our dogs from chasing her all over the yard! Yes, I set the stones and planted irish moss and donated my favorite old chair and new cushions, but, even better, Mr. Catnip came home one day with the catnip seedlings, and planted them in the kitty courtyard without any direction or supervision from Mrs. Catnip (that's me). I rest my case. Guilty as charged, but I have a co-defendant!
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