Archive for June, 2008

Sun and Luna

The sun is finally out and the kitties are taking full advantage of it. They’re indoor cats, but occasionally we take them outside into the fenced-in courtyard for a little adventure. They love it. Nola runs around sniffing everything while Quinn gets all scared and crouches low to the ground like something is after him.

Nola

I posted a new Luna in The Boutique.

Luna

Black corduroy and lined in green and cream.

Luna liner

For sale here.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

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June 27, 2008 at 7:08 pm 5 comments

Rainy days

This time of year, it’s not unusual for it to rain every afternoon here in Florida.

View out our front door

I don’t mind the rain as long as I’m not driving in it. I think it’s kind of cozy to be stuck inside with nothing to do while it pours out there.

I’ve finally gotten my creative sewing juices flowing again after a much-needed three-week break. I finished one of two items for a special order for Jox over at The Knitted Blog.

squirrel pillow

I swear, the fact that it’s a squirrel is a total coincidence — Jox ordered this long before my squirrel escapade. The pillowcase is for a little girl who has a naughty imaginary squirrel friend. I love that!

squirrel pillow

Unfortunately, because of the dreary weather, these photos aren’t ideal. But who knows when the sun will come out again!

I tried something a little different on the back of this pillowcase, and I’m excited about how it turned out.

squirrel pillow binding

I included a strip of ricrac along the edge of the binding. Just for fun.

 squirrel pillow binding

 I hope the recipient and her naughty imaginary squirrel friend love it!

June 26, 2008 at 7:40 pm 4 comments

Our next project

I took a vacation day today so Alex and I could spend our second anniversary together. We slept in, had a late breakfast, and then took a leisurely walk around Old Hyde Park Village. His schedule is so crazy that we no longer take quiet, simple days like this for granted. 

While we were in Hyde Park, we decided to stop by one of my all-time favorite stores, Anthropologie, to get some new knobs for our hutch.

hutch

When I lived up in Fernandina, I searched every antique store for months to find the perfect (affordable) hutch. Then right before I moved to Tampa, my mom learned that her friend was getting rid of a bunch of furniture, including a hutch, and she wanted to know if I would like it. For free.

Um….YES!!!

So funny how things just fall into place sometimes.

hutch

The hutch is great. It’s huge and sturdy with three big glass doors and tons of storage space. But the dark wood and bronze hardware just isn’t our style.

hutch close up

We’ve had “redo the hutch” on our project list for ages, and we finally took the first step today by switching out the hardware. We replaced the top door knobs with these…

new hardware 

…and replaced the knobs on the bottom of the hutch with these…

knobs 

Because the old hardware was larger than the new, our next step will be to fill in all those extra holes with putty. Then we’ll sand, prime and paint the whole piece. The hutch is so large and heavy with so much glass that it’s going to be a huge project. One we’ll likely need a whole uninterrupted weekend to complete.

I’m leaning toward painting it white with a contrasting color for the back wall of the inside, but I’ll probably change my mind a million times before we actually get around to painting it.

June 23, 2008 at 6:51 pm 5 comments

Sappiness. Bear with me.

This is a slightly different type of post for me to write, but it’s important enough to me to get these thoughts out, so here goes.

Two very special anniversaries have crept up on me. Anniversaries of two events that completely altered my life for the better.

Today is the one-year anniversary of this blog. A year ago today, I sat at my computer and wrote my very first post. No pictures. No frills. No readers! 

I had no idea that anyone other than my mother would ever visit. I had no idea that starting a blog would bring crafts and sewing — and even photography — back into my life in such a huge way. And I had no idea that having those things back in my life would affect me so much.

It’s hard to put into words what starting this blog has done for me. I’ve “met” an amazing community of fellow crafty bloggers who encourage each other to improve and push our creativity to the next level. A community of folks who give advice and shell out compliments without expecting anything in return. It’s a comfortable and comforting and simply wonderful place to be.

Because of the encouragement of some of my blogger pals (and very strong encouragement from Alex), I opened up an Etsy shop. Before starting this blog, I hadn’t really considered selling my stuff. I used to sell patchy purses made out of corduroy pants that I found in thrift stores in college. But the quality of those pieces never really mattered. Hell, I don’t even think I measured anything. Measuring was such a waste of time. I would just cut and then hope for the best.

Here I am selling my wares at a Phish show about 10 years ago. The girl behind me in the blue dress is modeling one of my bags.

phish show

It was a completely different game back then. You think anyone at the Phish show was worried about quality and straight seams? You think they even remembered buying the bag three hours later? Hardly. But the Etsy shop has pushed me to create better, more professional pieces that I never would have attempted 10 years ago. Or even one year ago.

This has been a wonderful journey and the perfect creative outlet and has brought a fulfillment to my life that I don’t think I even realized was missing.

And in another fit of pure sappiness…two years ago this upcoming Monday, I met the man of my dreams on a very hot, sticky night in Fernandina Beach. Alex and I talked all night at the Green Turtle over beers long after our other friends had left. What completely bowled me over about him (other than his gorgeous eyes) was how often he turned the conversation back around to me.

He asked me questions about myself, my friends, my job, my family, my likes, my dislikes. He did a fair share of talking, too, but he never dominated the conversation. Not once did I subtly roll my eyes or wish I were elsewhere. That night, we agreed to see each other again, and the rest is history.

Karyn and Alex

There are about a million reasons why I love him dearly and why he’s the best thing to ever happen to me, but only one I’ll mention here: Alex has been my number one Fat Orange Cat supporter since day one. After working a 12-hour day on his feet, he comes home to find me sewing and immediately asks what I’ve been working on. He sees, touches, comments on everything I create. He offers suggestions. He tells me which fabric he likes better. He tells me to buy more fabric when I complain I’m running low. He moved his computer out of the bedroom so that I could set up a permanent cutting table. He takes pictures of me modeling my bags even though I’m completely obnoxious and controlling and usually tell him he’s doing it all wrong.

I know I’m lucky to have the most important person in my life wholly support me like that.

So, Alex, here’s to two amazing years and 100 more! I love you!

June 20, 2008 at 11:26 am 14 comments

Camels and squirrels

I’m still in the process of photographing and posting all of my craft show items to The Boutique. My latest shop addition is the terra cotta camel tote bag, found here.

camel tote

I’m still not exactly sure what to call that color, but I think terra cotta — with coral as a close second — works well.

Alex checked up on the squirrels yesterday, and they’re both doing well!! What a relief. We’ll probably call once more in a week or so to make sure they’re still doing okay, and then we’ll stop bothering Lisa with our pestering squirrel questions. But they’ll always be in our hearts…

Okay, that was a little dramatic.

Off to enjoy margaritas and talk about squirrels with some friends!

June 19, 2008 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

Squirrels

While walking to work this afternoon, Alex noticed three tiny baby squirrels — just a few days old — that had most likely fallen out of their nest onto the ground. He moved them off the sidewalk and onto the grass to keep them safe, and kept walking to work, assuming (and hoping) that the mom would find them and get them back into their nest.

When he walked home about five hours later, he saw that they were still there. One of them had died, but the other two were alive and appeared to be injured from the fall. I was walking to meet him, so we walked home together with him holding the two babies on a plastic bag in his palm. They were so tiny and hairless, and their little eyes weren’t even open yet.

I tried calling an animal rescue shelter and the Lowry Park Zoo on my cell phone as we walked home, but both organizations were closed. When we got home, we put a pillow case in a small box and placed them in there, and then started calling every animal rehabilitation place we could find online.

squirrels

After leaving messages at four places, we finally got in touch with a guy who wasn’t in our area but gave us another phone number for a lady who was. We called her, and she was about 30 minutes away but said she could leave immediately to meet us at a halfway point. So we hopped in the car with the babies nestled in their box. As long as they were twitching and squirming, I knew they were alive.

When we met Lisa, she took both babies in one hand and said that one of them seemed to be doing poorly. Mother squirrels feed their newborns every two hours or so, and these little guys hadn’t eaten in at least six. Luckily, she had all the necessary supplies in her truck so that she could start rehabilitating them immediately.

And that’s how we left them — in the capable hands of a kind woman who saves these sorts of animals every day.

I’ve been with Alex for almost two years, and he still manages to surprise me regularly. I know he loves animals, but I’m overwhelmed that he would spend his evening saving two baby squirrels, including walking a mile with them held gently in his palm.

I have no idea how to transition smoothly into this, so…um….I posted two sets of coasters in The Boutique!

coasters

Four 4″x4″ Red Apple coasters, for sale here.

leafy coaster

And a set of Leafy Coasters, for sale here.

Maybe I should have come up with an analogy about how a squirrel’s life is as fragile as a leaf in autumn or something to make for a slightly smoother transition. But I’m just not feeling that clever tonight.

Send good vibes to the baby squirrels!!

June 17, 2008 at 10:29 pm 7 comments

how much fat in oranges

Along with my blog stats, WordPress offers me a list of search engine terms that people have used to find my blog. Most of them are expected — orange cat, coaster tutorial, homemade aprons, etc.  Nothing surprising there.

The one that regularly pops up in my list of search engine terms and amuses me to no end is “how much fat in oranges.” I think it’s the fact that, while all the right words are there, the search has absolutely nothing to do with my blog, but the person clicks through anyway. I love that!

I decided to reshoot and relist my note cards in The Boutique.

i like turtles

These cards were among the first items I ever posted in The Boutique, and I was never 100 percent happy with how the original photos turned out.

who gives a hoot note cards

I’m happier with these shots. I hope they do the cards and envelopes (also handmade!) more justice than the old shots. And I wonder why I didn’t take care of this sooner!

(Edit: The below candle note cards have been sold.)

candle note cards

I hope to get some sewing projects started this week. I haven’t touched my sewing machine in about a week and a half, and while I needed a good solid break from it after the whirlwind that was the craft show, I’m starting to miss it again. Plus, I have some special orders I need to get moving on. Time to jump back in!

June 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm 2 comments

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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.

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