Shasta Claws

What? You don't have a Christmas Costume? I realize I might be the weirdest person on the internet right now so you're probably wondering what's this Christmas kitten all about? 

In years past I've taken part in Santa Con which is basically an elaborate pub crawl where everyone is dressed up as Santa. People often put their own spin on things such as becoming Disco Santa, Boom Box Santa, and Mrs. Claus. By default everyone is greeted as Santa and it's pretty wonderful to always know how to greet someone by name before you've met them. "Hi Santa!" "Hellloooo Santa!" "Ho, Ho, Ho, Santa!" Because I have an S name I've often been called Shasta Claus. This year it hit me. Shaaaaasta Claws! I'm already working away in my workshop to make all the good kitties their toys.

Instead of Santa Con I attended an ugly sweater party so it was the perfect opportunity to create a Shasta Claws branded sweater proclaiming my super powers. It was a costume that could do double duty. Triple duty actually because when I took a visible mending workshop last month I was inspired to mend a moth eaten cashmere sweater with needle felting. I'd finally be able to wear my soft sweater again.

Watch out for the claws!

Watch out for the claws!

Stretchy cat

Stretchy cat

I used needle felting to create the cat mask. You may remember I previously made one for my  Smokey Bear costume.

I used needle felting to create the cat mask. You may remember I previously made one for my Smokey Bear costume.

I used tape to mask off my nails to create the slivers of claw. My paws were created by needle felting little red felt patches to an existing pair of mittens.

I used tape to mask off my nails to create the slivers of claw. My paws were created by needle felting little red felt patches to an existing pair of mittens.

All the accoutrements. I used Needle felting to create the little red puffs on the sweater. When I realized it would take forever to finish all the letters I decided to also use sequins with the bonus of a little extra tackiness. Look carefully and you can see my mending below the second S and and near the A and W in Claws. Ears and hat were also needle felted.

All the accoutrements. I used Needle felting to create the little red puffs on the sweater. When I realized it would take forever to finish all the letters I decided to also use sequins with the bonus of a little extra tackiness. Look carefully and you can see my mending below the second S and and near the A and W in Claws. Ears and hat were also needle felted.

Turns out I won the ugly sweater contest by not winning. My outfit was deemed to cute.

Thanks Jen Roberts for the photos of Shasta Claws!

Jingle Balls

Yes, I am amazed I didn't think of this sooner. For your Christmas 2014 giggling while gifting I've made some Jingle Balls. These are a product extension of the other catnip balls I make and sell in my Kitty Confetti Etsy shop.

These toys don't have any catnip in them because believe it or not there are some cats who don't like the nip. I wanted to have a nip free option for those felines and adding some jingle is a puuurfect alternative.

These will only be available throughout the holidays so get 'em while they're in season.

Show and tell: Renegade SF 2013

A foggy day in San Francisco is the perfect day to go to the Renegade Craft Fair. Renegade was a couple weekends ago and in case you missed it I thought I'd share some of my show favorites and new discoveries. Luckily these days you can access these creative wares off the show floor.

Sofia Lacin

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These little triangle cards first drew me into Sofia Lacin's booth. The world is definitely missing more triangle cards but it turns out each one of these cards is paired with a piece of jewelry created from oil paintings. 

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I've been watching Amy from Stitch and Hammer grow her business over the last couple years. Her business started here in the bay and continues to blossom since her move a year ago back to Colorado. The words stitch and hammer explain so much. It's obvious that Amy continues to explore all the possibilities of her tools and craft. I've been following her on social media and she always seems to be up to something in her maker community.  

Unfortunately I neglected to get pics of Amy's booth mate Another Feather. This was the first I'd encountered of Hannah Ferrara's jewelry and I'm already a fan. 

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This is the piece I'm coveting. Perfect for business cards.

This is the piece I'm coveting. Perfect for business cards.

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This booth stopped me in my tracks. You can judge why. This booth also proved to be the most difficult for making purchase decisions. I'm not kidding when I say I spent a good 10-15 minutes trying to decide which cards to buy. Kate Funk is doing what every cat owner wishes for. Free cat labor. AC is a very tolerant cat.

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T-We is definitely one of my show favorites. Christopher the founder of T-We won me over at the Made in SF show last fall. Besides having the puniest and wittiest tea names his concoctions are designed with a lot of love and thought for the taste without adding oils, sugars, or flavorings. I took a tea blending class taught by Christopher at Workshop SF and came away with a new appreciation for tea.

Find out more about their teas at their pop-up shop in the Crocker Galleria in the Financial District. They're open weekdays only. It's worth it to shop during one of their KiKi tea parties where they sometimes come up with tea cocktails. I also hear they're offering the tea blending classes in the store now.

I walked away from Renegade with one of their new blends; Flailing Princess. My other favorite caffeinated T-We tea is Renegade. That's right created with the spirit of Renegade craft fair.

Christopher and Alix.

Christopher and Alix.

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These tiny packages from Leaf Cutter Designs were adorable. Each little box is really a three dimensional greeting card. Their booth was full of other paper and postal ephemera references. They also sell the tiniest post office in a box for writing very tiny letters.

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Everything in this pic and on the tiny desk is miniature except the pen and the magnifying glass.

Everything in this pic and on the tiny desk is miniature except the pen and the magnifying glass.

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A needle felting kit is a great way to try out this craft. It's the first way I tried out the craft but I didn't know about Wool Buddy at the time. Truthfully I'd had my kit for years and then finally decided to try it out one day. I think I would have been more motivated with one of these. If you're not familiar with needle felting it's essentially like using loose wool as a clay. You use barbed needles to bind the fibers together. It's very sculptural as you can see from that giant dinosaur.

 

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Everything wool. Even the signage.

Everything wool. Even the signage.

This square block of wool may not look cute but it's become one of my favorite tools for needle felting.

This square block of wool may not look cute but it's become one of my favorite tools for needle felting.

// A bit of some post script to this post. As a creative person I'm drawn to explore what others are doing. I frequent local craft fairs and pop-ups. I'm often exploring new tools and resources. If someone asks for my resources I always share what I can so it would seem obvious that I should share these things with you here on the blog. It's just now occurred to me to do so. So from now on I'll be showing and telling more often about the creative things I encounter. You'll be able to find an archive in the Show and tell tab on the site //