Kittyloaf Designs

The Unique Crafty Creations of Deb Wilson

I’ve Got the Bug – the Cross Stitch Bug!

A few weeks ago I was browsing Etsy and I found myself looking at cross stitch patterns. A few minutes later I was printing out my new purchases to put into a binder, and ordering embroidery floss online to pick up at Michael’s on my next trip into town.

The first pattern I stitched is going to be a gift for Tracy over at Art Resurrected so I can’t post the photos yet. But I can share some of the others I’ve stitched since.

First up is Live Laugh Lube. This one made me laugh and the seller has some even better ones I hope to be stitching soon!

Then I stitched up these little cuties. They, and others, will be going into 4″ x 4″ frames to be sold at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum on December 1st.

Avocato

Donut Worry Bee Happy

Lime Yours Forever

Tea Rex

A Woman’s Place

I’m currently stitching a really fun design (and ooooh all the colors!) but it’s also a Christmas and I’m not sure if she follows this blog, so I won’t be posting it until she’s received it.

I’m having a lot more fun doing this than I thought I would be and I can’t wait to get started on my next projects!


I’ve Been Painting!

For the record, I’m a terrible painter. Maybe not really terrible, but mediocre at best. I’m pretty sure my paintings could be the work of a small child. My good friend says they’re folky. Sounds better than what I’ve been saying… Lol.

Anyway, I started with a canvas and a randomly selected colored pencil. I spent about 2 minutes sketching out a roughly dog-shaped form, a few background details, and then set to work.

The first thing I did was paint in the large areas with solid colors.

It took two layers of paint to get even coverage but then I started adding details – in this case, bold outlines.

(sorry. That photo has awful lighting)

It still looks pretty flat and dull, but I slowly added more detail and depth, added bits of other colors, and I ended up with this.

And you know? I’m pretty freaking happy with how it turned out. Sure, it’s not perfect, and a kid could probably do better, but I like it.


Some Personal Stuff

I know you’ve all seen the meme that pops up around Thanksgiving about how when you buy from a small business, you’re helping someone pay for college, or their kid’s music lessons, or whatever. And its true. All of us little sellers are busting our humps to make that few extra dollars to pay off debt faster, or put necessities on the table every night, or help our kids succeed in school. I’m no different.

I’m a 37 year old, disabled woman living with her mom because right now, the amount of debt I have doesn’t allow me to live anywhere else. But every purchase you make from my shop lets me chip away at my debt a little faster, and puts me a little nearer to realizing my long-term goals.

What are those goals? There’s honestly pretty simple. I want to pay off my debt. Buy a 2 acre patch of dirt, fence it, have water and power brought in, and have some sort of inexpensive housing- a mobile home or a smallish (6-or-700 square foot) house. And then I can live there with my pups.

I’m also attempting to get back into the workforce. If I’m successful, I can pay off my debt faster and move my goals up even more. Right now I’m looking at paying off the smallest chunk of my debt this December. The next smallest will be the year after that, and the biggest the year after that. I owe a little in student loans, which is currently deferred (and the state pays my interest) and will be the last thing I pay off. Then I can start saving for a down payment on my piece of dirt. 🙂


I’m Still Around

I’m still around, I promise! I haven’t been doing much crafting though because quite simply, my craft room here since isn’t quite right. I can’t pinpoint what doesn’t feel right about it, just that I don’t find it super conductive to actually working. I did finish off a skein of yarn the other day in a project I previously thought was completed, and I did cast on a new knitting project the night before last with some of my more precious yarn. I also finally sorted out a ton of beads and selected more to be culled from my collection, which were donated yesterday to thrift along with a few stacks of other items. I have more I would like to let go, I just have to decide what. Some of it is yarns I likely won’t use- those will probably get returned to Micheal’s for store credit when I go into town again.

I’ve also been adding some books to my shop. I don’t have room for physical copies and I would rather read digital ones, so I’m slowly putting my remaining books up for sale. Right now that’s trade paperbacks of comics. The comics don’t have a shipping fee- the price includes media mail shipping to CONUS. Actually all of my books I have listed have no shipping fees and prices are low to help them move quickly. If they don’t sell in a reasonable amount of time, they’ll be donated to thrift.

I’m hoping to get some new handmade items up in the shop soon. I’ve made a few items but haven’t gotten around to listing them yet so that’s next on my list. I can think of at least 2 new necklaces that need to go up that are a lot of fun!

PS – There’s an extra coupon you can use at checkout- just enter LSG into the coupon code box!


Whew! What A Crazy Night!

I discovered last night that my shipping module was no longer functioning, and some quick research showed me it probably had not worked correctly through a couple major updates of my shop software. Of course it would be infinitely helpful to receive occasional feedback when things aren’t working like they should, but that’s neither here nor there. The important thing is I found a new, even easier to configure shipping module and things are working again like they should.

Sadly, I checked the current rates for international shipping and have decided to suspend shipping outside of the USA. It’s just way too expensive for the value of the items I make.

I have a busy day tomorrow outside of the house, but I’m hoping to get a few new items added to the shop when I get home. Nothing big, but they are really fun items that I hope you will enjoy.


Some More Little Changes (SEO)

One area I’ve really been slacking on with my shop is with SEO and interesting, attention-grabbing item descriptions. I hate doing both of those jobs and have been doing the bare minimum, or nothing at all. This is bad because good SEO = better search engine pick-up, and better, more interesting descriptions = people are more likely to buy or share my creations.

Tonight I’ve been adding to the SEO on some of my items, trying to bring them up to at least  “Okay” if not “Good” and working on little stories for some of my more interesting pieces. You can see some examples of this on the ones whose item titles have *w/story* appended to the end. One of my favorites though, is the one for the Pink Skully Toddler’s Hat:

“Oh, Amy! What have you done now?” I knew asking her was pointless; at a year and a half she really didn’t talk much, at least not in ways we could understand. I looked at the ravaged room, everything thrown into disarray, furniture ruined, occult symbols smeared onto the walls. A small fury spun in the middle of the room, screaming with the fires and passions of Hell itself. Amy sat a few feet from the center of the room, smiling and proud. She wore her misleadingly innocent-looking hat- the pink and white one with the skulls on it.

“You can’t keep the demon, Amy. You have to send it back,” I said with as much sternness as my shaking voice could muster. Amy giggled and blinked at me with the innocence only a tiny child can manage. “I mean it. It has to go back. Now!” Amy waved her hands, burbling some sort of command and the demon winked out of existence. I was regretting purchasing that hat from the old woman already.

I’ve also removed a lot of the categories I previously had, simplifying it down to 9 main categories, and only the Jewelry category is broken down further into subcategories. I’ve done away with most of the categories that serve as secondaries for items, but I did keep the Rainbow and Skull ones.

Of course the end goal is to have all of my items updated like this, and actually get the search engines to pick me up the old-fashioned way. I don’t have the resources to pay for advertising or professional SEO help, so slowly but surely, I’ll get things looking at good as they can, and hopefully make a few sales in the process.

 


Do You Like To Haggle?

I’ve found and installed a great new plug-in here on Kittyloaf Designs. Instead of having sales or coupons, you can make me an offer. If its within the range of values I’ve set, the offer will be accepted and it will be added to your cart. Most of my items have this feature turned on, but not all of them.

Why don’t you pop on by and see what a great deal you can get on my fabulous handcrafted items? Your possible discount varies from item to item.


Summer Clean-Up

Hi guys! I just spent some time in my craft room (yes, my mom was so gracious as to let me have a craft room here!) culling beads to be donated that I will likely never use (about 4 pounds of them) which cleaned out several containers. Now to now rush out to find more beads to fill them up…. LOL.

I also took the time to really look at my creations and take anything not quite perfect and pull it from my shop. A lot of this was stuff that I was still learning a new technique when I made them, or they were made with not quite the usual quality materials, or I just didn’t feel they were up to par.

These have either been put into bags to be donated, or added to the small pile of designs I want to reclaim the components of to make other lovely creations.

And when the weather cools off, I’ll be going through my knit and crochet creations the same way!


Moving Day

A week ago, my boyfriend of almost 8 years and I mutually decided to end our relationship. The most obvious result of this was that I had to move out, and having nowhere else to go, I went back to my mom’s.

The biggest downside to this is I have too much stuff. I’ve thrown away an entire barrel full, donated two carloads of stuff to thrift, returned some things to the places I bought them, and sold a few other items. I’ve also gifted a few things and done a few random acts of kindness just to clear some stuff out.

And you know what? I still have too much stuff!

So if you were on the fence about buying something from me, I would love if you did it now simply because I need to downsize dramatically. I probably won’t have any new makes for a while because I don’t have a work space yet, but hopefully that will change soon.


I Built A Thing Today! (DIY Multi-Uke Stand)

 

That’s my mountain dulcimer taking up seat number 5… 🙂

 

I saw several DIY PVC guitar racks being talked about online, and the one thing I noticed, besides that they’re ugly, is they really minimize the space they take up. We have 5 ukes, and a banjolele, though one uke is of the flying V body style so it won’t work in this, and while I have nice, pretty wooden stands, they take up quite a bit of space. And today I really wanted to build something, so here’s what I did.

Approximate Finished Dimensions

18″ high x 28″ wide x 16.5″ deep

Purchase List

  • 2 x 10′ 1/2″ PVC pipe ($4.16)
  • 14 1/2″ PVC pipe T fittings ($4.76)
  • 6 1/2″ PVC pipe caps ($1.38)
  • 11 1/2″ PVC pipe 90° elbows ($4.40)
  • pipe cutting tool ($7)
  • glue (optional and I only used to to glue the main sections together in case I want to disassemble it in the futureand store it flat) ($6)

How to Prepare

You will need to do a lot of cutting. Here’s the breakdown of how many, how long. I only used 15′ of the pipe total.

  • 5 x 1.75″
  • 7 x 3″
  • 10 x 4″
  • 6 x 1″
  • 2 x 11″
  • 3 x 25.5″

How to Assemble

Top

  • Make the top bar with the neck guides by connecting these pieces in the following order:
  • Elbow + 1″ piece + T + 3″ piece + + T + 3″ piece + + T + 3″ piece + + T + 3″ piece + + T + 3″ piece + + T + 1″ piece + elbow.
  • Connect one 4″ piece into the open end of the T’s across (6 times). Then connect an elbow, and a 1.75″ piece to the first 5 of them. Add the 6 caps to all of the open ends. This completes your top bar.
  • On the downward facing open ends of the elbows, connect a 4″ piece of pipe. Attach a T to these so you can add the crossbar between them.
  • Place a 25.5″ piece into the open ends of the T where they face each other.
  • Connect a 11″ piece to the remaining open ends of the T’s, going downward. These will connect into the base.

Bottom

  • Create a rectangle, using 4 T’s, 2 4″ pieces, and the two remaining 25.5″ pieces. This will form the part of the base that the ukes will rest on.
  • Choose a side to be the back of the stand. Attach a 1″ piece to each open T side, and add another T, this one facing upwards. Your top section will fit into this.
  • Connect the remaining 3″ pieces to the backs of these T’s, then add 2 of the elbows, pointing down.
  • Finish the front of the stand by connecting the last 2 1″ pieces, and then the elbows.

Finishing

  • Fit the top into the bottom. Make sure everything fits. Try it out. Tiny ukes, like a soprano, will barely reach the top bar, and if you have a sopranino, you’ll need to place the secondary bar lower. If everything looks good, you can glue things together now.

Let me know if this worked for you, or if I made any mistakes in the parts list! Happy making!