Voodoo Valentines

You remind me of the cat. What cat?
The cat with the power. What power?
Power of voodoo. Who do?
Cat do. Do what?
Voodoo!*

I'm always trying to figure out how to make cats a little more useful. I'm convinced they should be trained to give back massages since they're so good at massaging a full bladder when you have to pee. What they do know how to use well are their fists full of needles. Perfect for doing a little voodoo perhaps? At least to the mice?

You may have seen some of my early experiments making these cat toys ages ago on Instagram. I ended up selling my first indigo colored batch during these past holiday craft fairs. I've always thought that they'd make a great Valentines Day gift so I've made them in pinks and purples and they're finally available NOW! in my Kitty Confetti shop.

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These little mice voodoo dolls are filled with cotton and catnip. I used Lumi's Inkodyes to print my design with sunlight. The fabric is treated with the light sensitive dye and a film positive casts a shadow on the fabric preventing that area from being dyed. This is what gives the image it's ghostly quality because of the sun's movement. The exposure was about 10 minutes.

These dolls all are dyed with the plum colored Inkodye. You can see color results can vary but I like how the overall effect adds to this particular product.

These dolls all are dyed with the plum colored Inkodye. You can see color results can vary but I like how the overall effect adds to this particular product.

I'll likely write a future blog post about working with the Inkodyes. But for now, go get your Valentine some voodoo!

*I took a little humorous liberty with David Bowie's lyrics to 'Magic Dance'. I still love me some Labyrinth. 

Kitty ConfetTea

Kitty ConfetTea is catnip tea for party animals who like a nap. Yup, that's right I said catnip. It's for humans to sip on. There's more to the tea than just catnip but it has a high enough catnip content that if you put some of the loose tea in a cat toy your kitty will go wild. I designed this to be a fun gift for cat lovers with both novelty and utility in mind.

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On it's own catnip really is kitty confetti. I'd had that thought about a year ago and wanted to find a way to package catnip to go along with some of my other party themed catnip items (here and here). While the idea was percolating (inaccurate pun intended) I encountered tea sommelier Christopher Coccagna a few times selling his T-We Tea at local craft fairs. When I received an email from Workshop SF that he was teaching tea blending classes everything clicked. Kitty confetti should be ConfetTea. 

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I showed up to class armed with my own extra ingredient for blending… catnip. Before class I drank some catnip tea on it's own and was surprised to find it had a very mellow taste in comparison to it's scent. It reminded me of chamomile which is one of my favorite herbal teas. In class I started pairing the catnip with chamomile and Christopher made some suggestions for other colorful herbs. I wanted this tea to be colorful just like the best celebrations.

Each tin of tea comes with a confetti printed bag. Filled it's a perfect cat toy.

Each tin of tea comes with a confetti printed bag. Filled it's a perfect cat toy.

After the class I felt more confident in making Kitty ConfetTea happen but as many things do it got put on the back burner until this holiday season came knocking. Together T-We and I refined the blend and I'm proud to have their logo on the box blessing it with many years of tea knowledge. It's important to note that chamomile did not make the final ingredient cut. In doing research I discovered that cats are allergic to it. And while this tea is designed for the human taste palate it still needed to be suitable for kitty play.

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Designing the tea label gave me the perfect opportunity to play with my calligraphy skills that I've been learning this year. Tea and calligraphy are a perfect pair. The cat illustrations are somewhat obvious. A hyper whacked-out kitty on catnip and the crash afterwards. Interestingly catnip has a mellowing affect on humans so the clock represents the different time zones that humans and cats live in. While they may snuggle up to us at night lets not forget they are nocturnal by nature. 

In order to have this tea in time for the holidays I passed off the printing to my friends at The Weekend Press. My letterpress is a little lo-tech for this project. 

I did take on the printing for the cat toy bags. I pulled out my Print Gocco and discovered I've been hoarding supplies. This was the perfect gocco worthy project. 

I did take on the printing for the cat toy bags. I pulled out my Print Gocco and discovered I've been hoarding supplies. This was the perfect gocco worthy project. 

Instead of Gocco inks I used oil based florescent Pantone printers inks. This was very successful and the flow of the oil based ink meant I didn't need to re-ink my screen much.

Instead of Gocco inks I used oil based florescent Pantone printers inks. This was very successful and the flow of the oil based ink meant I didn't need to re-ink my screen much.

One last thought. When I met Christopher he described the We in the T-We name as representing you, me, we. I love that. Tea is often about sharing and in creating this tea I shared the experience with many. With we.

Thank you Christopher, Keir, Peter, Jenny, and the creative ladies in my life who sipped and listened. You know who you are.

Get Kitty ConfetTea exclusively from me on Etsy!

Catnip sequel

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This grumpy card is a sequel to my catnip holiday card. I've had some success selling the holiday card and wanted to create a card for all seasons.

Why is the cat grumpy? I'm guessing that my cat would be grumpy if he had to wear a clown nose. Your cat won't be grumpy after you pull off the nose which is a catnip filled wool ball.

There's a printed nose under the wool.

There's a printed nose under the wool.

This was one of my smoothest printing projects. Usually when I print I've forgotten an important detail and need to jerry-rig something to accommodate my error. It made the process go quicker by choosing colors that didn't need to be mixed. I used them straight from the ink tube. I printed slightly over 100 cards using 3 colors, 4 plates plus creasing for the fold. This added up to over 500 impressions. Something so simple can add up to a lot of work but I'm very pleased.

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I'm selling this card on Etsy and will have it at an upcoming local pop-up.