Some of My Craftings

Friday, February 26, 2010

Enjoy the Weekend!

Time to sign off for the weekend. Stay safe and warm and enjoy a few hours of quality craft time!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feeding and Shedding

No, this really isn't a commercial ad! This is just something I want to pass along to you all if you are interested in seeing the amount of cat hair in your home decrease. This "discovery" of mine came about rather by accident.  Remember the cat food scare a few years ago?  Well, that is why we lost Jessie -- due to the tainted cat food.  As I result, I started feeding my brood a brand primarily formulated for show cats, I think.  It's called "Royal Canin" and comes in different varieties. I get it at a local seed and feed store.  It is amazing how much it decreases their shedding and has eliminated Oscar's need to constantly have his teeth cleaned.  This is the link if any of you are interested - Oh, and they have a hair ball formula that really works, too! I feed my horde several varieties in a sort of non-scheduled rotation.

Four or Five ... So Who is Counting

After we adopted Oscar, we thought, okay, "Cat Haven" is full. We just cannot take in any more cats. Until ... one summer day in 2005 my husband came home from farm chores with a little surprise. He says isn't she cute, but she's starving, her mother is no where to be found. So welcome Sachi! We didn't intend to keep her, just get her healthy and then adopt her out, but once a cat enters Cat Haven it is really, really hard for us to part with them.  Sachi was really tiny when she came to live with us and was clearly starving to death but has grown up to be a beautiful, if somewhat cross-eyed, kitty. You see, she is part tabby and part Siamese and no, I haven't a clue where a Siamese cat came from out in the middle of rural Iowa (just passing through, I guess). She is somewhat petite, with luxurious fur, beautiful markings, and blue eyes.  Sachi's only bane is being picked up. That is a no-no. Her favorite things in the world are sitting up high and sitting on your lap. This is Sachi sticking her tongue out a me because she is not supposed to be sitting where she is sitting because to get there she has to travel over the piano keys. Sachi also plays fetch ... yep, you throw her fuzzy ball and she brings it right back to you!  Who knew a cat could (or want to) play fetch ... without being trained.  So now we are up to 5 five cats or as we sometimes tell our friends, they are the equivalent of 1 1/2 large dogs!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crafters Who Share

Today I would like to highlight the patterns of two designers who allow finished items sewn from their patterns to be made for fun and profit: Cath's Pennies Designs and Bunny Hugs. Thanks for sharing. You can find their patterns at: and Here are photos of the patterns I just purchased.  While I occassionally design patterns myself, I am a bit busy and enjoy the fun of having ideas already on hand to cut out and sew!  I can't wait to get started on these spring designs.  I just know spring has to be around the corner (right?).


Oscar is a Very Large Boy

If you are counting, we are now up to 4 cats in the house - Jessie, Kezl, Fidget, and Lily. This is about 2005 and all cat baskets are full. Then we get an SOS! "Can you take my cat? I know you will love him and I just can't take him to an animal shelter." This is how Oscar arrived at our house (so what's one more cat????). Oscar was only six months old and we thought "cute, small, tabby kitten." What we got was "cute, jumbo, tabby kitten." Oscar was huge -- part cat and part puma, I think. Within minutes he and Kezl became fast friends, I've never seen anything quite like this immediate bonding before. Oscar was added to the household of cats with minimal hissing and fussing. But he is so huge --  he is not fat; just really large.  He is a very handsome cat and is one of our horde that has "outside" priviliges when I am in the yard with them.  Here is a picture of Oscar taken last summer in his "No, I am not eating the potato vine" pose.  One note about declawing: Oscar came to us with all paws declawed. It is very hard for him and he develops calluses on his back toes.  Please think twice before you ever declaw your cats back paws!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Old Lace and Shamrocks

Every so often I drive out to a local auction house in hopes that I will come home with one or two vintage treasures. Recently I had a fantastic find. A huge basket full of vintage lace that already had it own "aged" patina! I was just sure that I wouldn't be able to afford its final auction price but was happily amazed when I won it with a bid of less than $20!!! What a great stash I now have of vintage lace. I know I will be using it for crafting, but I may sell some on eBay (I just haven't decided yet).   I always  love going to this particular auction because there are always great deals. Unfortunately, I am tied up with taking a computer drafting class on Saturdays until the middle of April! I don't want to even think of what I missing!

The pictures below show a few little items I made and just sold on eBay that are my own designs. I used some of the vintage lace, a scrap of an old seed sack (I also obtained at the auction some time ago), some vintage buttons, and some wool from my stash.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Missing Harry

With the qualities of cleanliness, affection, patience, dignity, and courage that cats have, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats? - Fernand Mery

In a previous post, I mentioned that our best cat ever, Harry, had passed. It was a hard time for all the family, but I was deeply, deeply sad.  The house seemed empty without him even though we still had Jessie, Fidget, and Lily there. Jessie also seemed to miss him terribly.  Fidget spent hours just staring at random objects as if he lost something and couldn't remember how to find it.  I spent a lot of time going to animal shelters and playing with the tuxedo cats and kittens there.
It was then I noticed that black cats and kittens and even tuxedo cats seem to be the last adopted.  I would love to have a sanctuary someday just for such cats!  Eventually, I came across a little black kitty that we adopted.  He was almost entirely black but had a little white "bow tie" under his chin. He was a sweet kitty.  We named him Kezl, which is Yiddish for kitty.  And now we were back up to four cats under one roof and thought that would be the number of kitties we would probably never exceed.  But we were wrong .....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A SomeWhat "Green" Valentine

One thing you need to know about me is that I've been married for almost 28 years. I say that with pride and affection. Now, after a while it does get a little hard to make each Valentine's Day special. Sometimes life interfers with the card and gifting hunt. My hubby and I tend to be low key about such days but this year I know he went out of his way with a very busy schedule and brought me a lovely bouquet of flowers, an adorable card, and a large bag of jelly beans! This would only have been made better if we had been able to have dinner together that evening!  I on the other hand,  absolutely could not think of a cute gift for him or find a card that I thought worth spending money on.  So what I did was this ... I made him a huge batch of home-made chocolate chip cookies and a dozen deviled eggs! He was thrilled. I like to think it was a little environmentally friendly too!  P.S. the kitties got extra kitty pate that day too!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Saying Goodbye ...

I read once that time passes very quickly when we own cats and all too soon it will be time to say goodbye. Saying goodbye is the most difficult thing of all about being a cat owner. Well, in 2000 we had to say goodbye to our great cat Harry.  It was one of the saddest times of my life.  Harry got very ill with liver cancer. We kept him at home and spoon feed him for as long as we could until it was very clear that his time to pass was very near.  He was peacefully put to sleep while in my arms.  We buried him with some of his favorite toys on my husband's family farm under a cherry tree that we bought and planted in his memory.

Nine years later and tears still come to my eyes when I think of my good boy.  We have had many cats since then, but none like our Harry.  I hope when my time on earth is done there will be a few who will think of me as kindly as I think of Harry. I have always felt so fortunate that Harry was ours and that we adopted him.

There are some things I've learned about caring for aging cats since then and I will pass them along. Brush and massage your cat often. Elderly cats aren’t able to groom themselves as they once used to, and they will appreciate a tender, loving touch. Have a night-light or leave some lamps burning with 25 watt bulbs so your cat can find her litter box, food and water bowls, and you more easily at night. Put a warm, draft-free bed at floor level so she doesn’t have to climb or jump to take her nap. If your cat sleeps with you, get a stepping stool for her so that she doesn't have to jump and jar her arthritic bones.Gently massage, or simply hold, her frail body whenever you have the time. Cherish the time left with her and cherish all the times past.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Room for More ...

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats. ~Albert Schweitzer

We were quite content with our little moggie horde of three for many years. They were the three Musketeers until little Lily arrived in 1998.  She was a little brown/gray tabby with little tiny feet and sweet green eyes.  Lily is still with us and has turned into a very well-fed kitty (sometimes I call her my little meatloaf) but still has her dainty feet.  She tolerates all the other cats in the household but for the most part likes to maintain a distance of at least one foot.  She doesn't mind if another cat is on "her" couch or "her" bed as long as you obey the 1-foot rule.  Otherwise, trouble ensues.  However, she remains a lady at all times. She doesn't bite or scratch, she merely hisses and then she dramtically exits the scene. 

So now we were up to four cats and in a new home with a very large, closed-in back porch that was just perfect for the three... er... four musketeers!

Friday, February 05, 2010

About Cat Haven Crafting Images

Some of the items you see in the slide show are my own creations and under copyright while others were made from patterns from artists who allow their items to be sewn and sold by crafters. One of the things that I will make a point of letting you all know about from time to time is which artists allow their patterns to be made and sold by other crafters.  I make it a point to buy almost exclusively from individuals who like to share! One such artist is Cath's Pennies over at Not only is she creative, she encourages other crafters with her "how to" blogs and directions and also has "give aways" of her gorgeous creations.  Thanks, Cath!  Also, if you see any "craftees" from my slide show that interest you, be sure to contact me!  If you are ever interested in any of my finished products, please visit me at

Is Three a Crowd?

This is how we came to have cat #3.  When we moved from the university farm we brought along some kittens to adopt out.  They were all siblings and most were calicos.  These tend to be very fiesty little girls in general. We found homes here and there and one little gal who would be named Rudabegah went to live with a coworker of mine on her farm and lived to the ripe old age of 19!!!

Well over time all  the kittens were adopted out except the little runt. So (have you already guessed?), she became a part of our family. We called her Jessie (but her offical name was Jessie Jane because she would steal anything bright and shiney). She was a very petite little calico gal with huge green eyes who never weighed over 7 pounds her entire life.  She became the queen of the horde and loved to snuggle with Harry and Fidget. She instantly claimed as hers the prime sleeping spot - on the pillow above my head (which really worked out well on cold Iowa nights!).  She was a fantastic mouser and jumper and she made us smile for all of her 13 years.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

And Then Came Two ...

Well, we started out only really, really wanting one indoor cat and Harry was just the ticket. But then one day in walks my husband with a little white ball of fur in his pocket. "This little guy fell from the hay loft and I can't find his mother." So what are we to do? Now really, we can't let him starve or worse. So he becomes our second indoor cat to join Cat Haven in less than two years.  What to call him? Well, at first we thought "Velcro" because he had a habit of riding around stuck to one of our pant legs.  But I guess because he lost his mom so young he was a bit nervous all the time, so the name Fidget stuck. 

Now, Fidget was handsome in a poofy kind of way and had a spectacular tail ... he was a long-haired white cat with gray Turkish Van markings and like most Turkish Van cats loved water. Enough to climb into the bath tub. But how a Turkish Van cat might have ended up in rural Iowa, I have no clue. So now we have Harry and Fidget who became best of friends.  And all was well in Cat Haven and all accomodations full , at least for a while .....

How It All Started ....

It all started when we (my husband and daughter) found ourselves living on a university farm more than twenty years ago. It seems the farm came with its own horde of barn cats ... over 20 to be precise.  I was in cat heaven! The whole family came to really love those cats.  I always carried a huge bag of cat chow in the trunk of my Corolla to feed them when I came home from work.  Time went by and of course, kittens were born. We adopted an adorable tuxedo cat and named him Harry. My daughter, Molly, wanted to name him Buttons, but we convinced her he would rather be named Harry; although she thought we meant Hairy.  Harry was absolutely the best cat there ever was and we were blessed to have him as part of our family for 13 years.

An accident left him with only one good eye but he was still an extremely handsome cat. He traveled with us from the university farm to the city when my husband and I went to work for another midwest university. He was allowed outside when I did yard work and whenever he heard me yell "get in your yard" would dash back in the yard and look at me like "I'm so cute when I listen to you, aren't I."

Monday, February 01, 2010


Hi! I live in Iowa, love cats, books, and crafting with wool. In my spare time I enjoy hunting for vintage or primitive treasures! My decorating style tends towards primitives and cottage, but I occasionally see a Victorian pretty that I must have! I love surroundings that are soothing and comfortable. Gardens filled with perennials and hostas, and of course, cat nip are my favorites. All of these things inspire my creations. They are made with care and with a desire to bring a smile to your face. Most musings on my page will be about simple things and of course, my cats.  See my next post to find out about my moggies.