Archive for August, 2007

Learning curve

When I try a new craft for the first time, it’s not unusual for me to use the first one as practice. If I go into it with that mindset, I don’t feel so bad if (okay…when) it doesn’t turn out the way I want.

I used fusible web to alter a plain cardboard magazine holder. I’m not yet sure if I like how it turned out. I like the concept of it, but I don’t think I love the actual results.

I also learned that you can, in fact, hold the iron on the fabric for too long. I’m not going to tell you where, but if you want to play “Where’s Waldo” with the burn marks, go for it.

I’ll try this sort of thing again, but in the meantime, I have to let this project marinate for a few days to determine 1) if I like it or not and 2) what direction I want to take on future projects.


August 31, 2007 at 7:27 pm 1 comment

Red polka-dot coasters

Decided to try out a new masthead that I designed. Hope you like it! 

Tonight I made a set of coasters. I’m thrilled that I was able to use up the last scraps of my red polka-dot fabric (because I love that fabric) in a project that I’ll get tons of use out of.

I worked with fusible web for the first time. I’ve wanted to experiment with applique for quite some time and figured now was as good a time as any, especially since I wouldn’t be wasting too much time or fabric if I screwed the first one up too badly.

But it was relatively easy to use, and I like how these turned out. My head is swarming with ideas on how to incorporate applique into other projects.

Each coaster is 4″ x 4″ and has a layer of batting to protect the furniture from heat, cold and moisture. The leaf on the front matches the contrasting fabric on the back.

I’ve been itchin’ to create some autumn-inspired pieces. These coasters definitely lean in that direction.

I plan on making several sets as gifts, perhaps with matching bags to store them in. But I’m keeping these!

August 28, 2007 at 10:15 pm 2 comments

Taggedy Tag

I’ve been tagged, thanks to Jox over at The Knitted Blog. (If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do so!)

The rules of the game: list six weird/interesting things about yourself and then tag a further six bloggers (by going to their blogs and telling them to check out your blog post related to this) to keep the momentum going. List your six tagged bloggers at the bottom of your post.

I’m not sure that anyone other than me will find these six things interesting, but here goes.

1. I’m a grammar freak. I proofread billboards, emails (sent and received), magazines and, well, pretty much anything that has words on it. I always proofread and edit each blog post several times before publishing it and then often go back and make minor edits to it after it’s live. Grammatical errors and typos drive me insane.

2. I love to walk. It’s my exercise, my stress-reliever, my mind-clearer and the time when I do my best creative brainstorming and problem-solving. I’d rather walk seven miles than lift weights for five minutes.

3. I met my boyfriend on MySpace.

The reason that’s weird/interesting is because Alex and I lived three miles apart in a tiny community on a tiny island for four years, but we never met. He worked for my father for years, he knew my sister, and I knew his roommate, but we never met. We shopped at the same grocery store, hung out at the same pubs, and had the same group of acquaintances…BUT WE NEVER MET.

We finally met because one random summer day, I did a search on MySpace to see which local folks had pages, and I came across his picture. Something inside of me told me that I had to contact him. So I did. And he emailed me back. And after a few weeks of witty online banter, we decided to meet. We immediately dug each other, and we’ve been together ever since. That was over a year ago. We’ve since moved to Tampa together and created a cozy little life for ourselves here.

4. I love Jeopardy and have a crush on Alex Trebek, with or sans mustache. (I guess I have a thing for Alexes.)

5. I wish I could knit. I keep meaning to learn, but I’m scared I’ll never leave the house if I take on any more crafts.

6. I’ve been a semi-vegetarian since I was 11 years old. That means I don’t eat red meat or pork, but I do eat poultry and seafood. I haven’t intentionally eaten a mammal in 19 years. I don’t remember what it tastes like, and I don’t miss it.

I don’t know too many bloggers who haven’t already recently been tagged, but I want to keep the momentum going. So even though I know it’s sorta cheating, I am going to tag four fellow bloggers. I’m talkin’ to you, Gigi at California Girl at Heart, Jess at Oh My, Linda at Purple Tomatoes and Evie at Breaksville! Have fun!

August 27, 2007 at 8:19 pm 1 comment

Let the cat out of the bag

Finally enough sunshine to take a proper photograph of the lemon totebag.

Heavy storms passed through last night, much to the dismay of 7-year-old AJ. My cousin Craig, his wife Cindy, and their sons, AJ and James, visited from Valdosta, Ga., and all AJ wanted to do was jump into the pool. He was fidgety but patient all evening waiting for the raindrops to stop.  

Alex and I joined them last night for a delicious dinner at their friends’ house. Renee and Matt used to live near Craig and Cindy in Valdosta, but moved to the Tampa area. It was a fun, comfortable evening. It’s wonderful how many of my out-of-state friends and family I get to see because of trips they take to Tampa and the surrounding areas, like Sarasota and Fort Myers.

This totebag reminds me of summer. Muggy days at the beach with my mom. Sand stuck to the back of my legs. Seven-year-olds anxiously waiting for the rain to stop. The smell of chlorine. Drinking pink lemonade with my feet in the pool.

Back home in Pennsylvania, they’re soaking up the last few days of summer before autumn seeps in. I’d like to design some pieces that are inspired by the rusty oranges and deep reds that will soon appear on the trees up north, even though it will be 95 degrees and sunny for months here in Florida.

The totebag is 14″ wide by 13″ tall, lightly padded, and lined in pink. And, apparently, quite cozy.

August 25, 2007 at 2:28 pm 3 comments

Gaining momentum

I’m not quite at my 50th post yet. But I’m getting there. And I’d like to do something special for it.

Fat Orange Cat started off very slowly, with a couple of hits here, a couple of hits there.

But recently, I’ve been getting a lot of hits each day. And that has really surprised me. I broke my previous record of hits per day by a lot.

It’s due in part to the blog swap I participated in over at Swap-bot. It’s due in part to some people — like Jox over at The Knitted Blog and Linda at Purple Tomatoes — including a link to Fat Orange Cat from their blogs. So thank you to those of you who have done that! And thank you to those of you who keep coming back to read my blog.

I have some thoughts of what I would like to do in honor of my 50th post. I’m considering giving away a handmade gift to my 50th comment on my 50th post, but….wow, that’s a lot of comments to expect!

So I’d LOVE any suggestions or ideas that any of you may have. Please share!

And, because I don’t like to post anything sans photo, here is a picture of Quinn and Nola sharing a sunbeam.


This image cracks me up because, although they get along just fine, they never “cuddle” with each other. This is the closest I’ve ever seen them get while napping. They were both in such a dead sleep that I wonder if they even realized they were — GASP — touching!

August 24, 2007 at 11:37 am 3 comments

And the lemon flower is sweet

Oh happy day! I finished the Alexander Henry lemon totebag I started over a week ago. My plans have come to fruition. Pun intended.

The sun had set by the time I finished, so I’m not able to photograph the final product until tomorrow. Here’s a peek at a “during” shot.

I added the green and blue ribbon after realizing that I needed something to break up all the yellow. The Alexander Henry lemon fabric is fun and summery, but it’s also very bright, and the thin ribbon helps to keep it from overwhelming the entire bag.

Pictures of the finished totebag coming soon!

August 23, 2007 at 10:04 pm 1 comment

Cozy quilts and bedspreads

Even when I’ve spent countless hours making something by hand, I still get tired of the finished product eventually.

When I designed and created the red quilt for my bed, I figured I would use it forever. But now that I’m in a different apartment — with different wall colors and different decorations — than when I originally sewed it, it just doesn’t work anymore. Plus, it’s time for a change. Change is good. Especially when it comes to decorating.

The red quilt hasn’t been retired. It’s just been moved to a different part of our home where its bold, bright redness can be seen in moderation instead of spread across a queen-size bed.

To replace the quilt, we found a bedspread on sale at Urban Outfitters. Yes, that’s right. Urban Outfitters.

Typically, I don’t buy anything from Urban Outfitters. If I’m going to buy something that looks homemade, I want it to actually be homemade. And unique. I don’t want to pay $75 for a shirt that looks homemade only to walk out to the sidewalk and see six other girls wearing the same exact shirt.

Instead, I use Urban Outfitters as a source of inspiration. I usually spend a few minutes walking around the store, taking it all in. Then I get incredibly annoyed at how ridiculously expensive yet poor quality everything is and leave feeling very old.

But in this case, I absolutely loved the bedspread, and it was such a great price that I couldn’t pass it up. I couldn’t have purchased enough fabric to make my own queen-size bedspread for that amount of money. And the colors go so well with the Vera tablecloth that we stretched over a canvas frame and hung above the bed. It would have been stupid of me to leave without buying that bedspread.

The Asian-inspired pattern and chocolate brown branches also complement the carved wooden chest that sits at the end of our bed. I’ve had the carved chest since college, and I’ve filled it with all sorts of things over the years. Right now, we store our tools in there.

The new bedspread is subtler than the red quilt, which adds a certain softness to the room.

August 20, 2007 at 7:41 pm 3 comments

Older Posts

Visit my Etsy shop

Click here to visit my Etsy shop. The Boutique


Fat Orange Cat is a site about finding the beauty in all things homemade, appreciating the secret story of dusty vintage pieces, and realizing there is nothing cozier than curling up under an old quilt with a glass of wine. ::: If you feel inspired, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you! ::: Email me at karynjeanne12(at)gmail(dot)com.

Upcoming craft shows

Copyright information

All material on this site is sole property of Fat Orange Cat. Feel free to link to my site, but please give proper acknowledgment.


Support handmade!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!