Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Contains One Serving of Rat

Serving Size - One rat
Servings per Container - About One

Walter, here, is enjoying the current favorite box for lounging.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Can a Hamster Drive a Truck?

Everyone, by now, has probably seen Van Damme and his epic splits between two Volvo trucks.

But, Volvo doesn't only do human tricks.  They do hamster tricks.

(I figured my hamster friends would love seeing this....)

And, here's the behind the scenes ....

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Introducing Stan

Here's Philip being a lovely spokesrat model, showing off the shelf liner that I just made.

Phil says, "Introducing..... Stan, my new buddy.  He may be small, but he's awfully sweet and gets along great with everyone.  Please give a round of applause for Stan."

 Here's my new rat, Stan, named after Stan from Southpark.  This is the best photo that I could get of him.  He needs to take remedial modelling lessons from Phil.

This photo is to demonstrate what all of the other photos of Stan look like.  My nickname for Stan is Dotty short for Dorothy.  And, I get a lot of criticism for the girly nickname.   So, I also call him, Staniel which is better received.  But, he has the cutest little dots on his back which you can sort of see in this photo.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy Tail Wagging

Rats typically do not wag their tails.

Carl has not received that memo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Quick Update for the Liners

I cut the fabric for the liners.

 I had to do a few adjustments, but the rats should be happy with this.
This was a great solution.  I'd obtained a pair of vintage Dritz electric scissors in one of my sewing thrifting finds.  The resale value is minimal, so it was just hanging around in my sewing room.  WOW.  This was perfect.  It made the cutting out of the fabric go so much faster and easier.

I don't know if I would use these electric scissors for cutting fashion fabric for clothing, but for straight and fast cuts.  PERFECT.

Time for New Liners

Our current supply of cage liners is way past expired.  My naughty boys have chewed them to lace.

Now, for the Sneak Preview.
 The nativity scene cotton fabric will be paired with white polkadots on green fleece.  Christmasy :)

Brown flannel will be paired with childish animals.

Blue green flannel will be paired with the cream fleece.

The orangish leaves cotton fabric be paired with black fleece.  Autumn and Thanksgiving.

Here's my patterns made of foam core boards.  I'm not thrilled with them, but they are serviceable.  They provide a 1/2" seam allowance, but I don't worry too much about that.  The biggest problem is that I don't have a cutting table, so I have to make do with using my bed.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This Week in the Critter Nation - Home made Cardboard Palace

Top story of the critter nation this week includes a handmade cardboard contraption... um ... palace.  I just cut slits in cardboard and slid the parts together.

 Here's a little surprise.  That's Stan peeking out.  He's our new rat, fastest intro ever.  Everyone loves Stan.
 The cardboard "palace" includes an upstairs and if Philip's whiskers weren't photobombing.....
Here's Peter hanging out in the second level of the palace without Philip's whiskers obscuring things.
The Critter Nation's downstairs are somewhat boring.  We still have the ark out, which they absolutely love.

I really need to do some new liners.  Our current liner collection is getting quite holey.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mouse versus Cookie

Stumbled across this video on YouTube.

Not a rat.  But, I've seen rats approach problems in exactly the same way.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to Make a Custom Box

Watch this video.  Amazing.  But, honestly, I think it's more because we have become accustomed to a one size fits all mentality.

I custom make book fold boxes all of the time.  After watching a couple of times, I'm pretty sure that I could do this.  Honestly, it looks magical on the first viewing.

Watching the video reminds me of cutting fabric with a rotary cutter.  Make sure you have your measurements right, and then, just cut the thing up.

Does anyone know specifically what he is using to put the creases in the box?

The video is from

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Hi there

Peter says, "Hi".  He's more than happy to accept any yogie donations.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Winner Of Petco's 2013 Halloween Scene Contest Is A......Rat

Oh, wow.  Isn't that an amazing photo?  The little rat won the grand prize.  Check out the other winners at the Petco's Facebook page.  As is to be expected there is a bit of nasty comments about the rat, but surprising not much of the typical.  Most of it is people who know nothing about rats presuming that the rat is stuffed or is a mouse, etc.  So, in the end, hopefully, people will learn about how awesome pet rats actually are.

This does get me thinking that I should do this next year, but I must say this photo puts a very high bar to compete against.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Stuff on my Rat 4 - Snickerdoodle

That's a Snickerdoodle on Philip, and I actually got the photo.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Bittle Uses a Package as a Pillow

Here's Bittle lying on the couch using a package as a pillow.

I'd wanted to have another cute rat photo for Wordless Wednesday but my photostream is not functioning properly which means the cute photo of Peter will have to be posted on a different day.

And, Bittle doesn't get as many photos on the blog as the rats anyways, so it's her turn.

Yes, she has blue eyes.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Penny's Luxurious Hammock

This is Penny, the Diva, stretching out on her new hammock that her mother hired me to make for her.

Boy, was this a challenging project.  Penny has an enormous personality and making her a hammock to match her personality was a challenge.  But, the challenge is why I sew.

I used a crazy quilt technique that greatly reduced the work on this hammock.
I modified the technique used in this bag for Penny's hammock.  I might have to make the bag someday.  heehee.

Anyways, to just add complexity.  Penny not only needs her hammock to match her personality, but she developed a nasty chewing habit while I was designing her new furniture.  Geez.  After lengthy discussions with her human mother, I endeavored to make a hammock that wouldn't entice Penny to nibble.  This meant encasing the fleece in woven cotton.  So, it has the beautiful pieced side made of cotton and the backing is zebra printed cotton.  Simple, eh.  

Well, it would have been simple if I hadn't mucked up a few times.  I wanted the binding to be purty, so I spent extra time on it.  Next time, I'm going to use my bleeping binding foot.  Grumble.  Anyways, I made a test hammock for the binding because I needed to practice the binding.  That hammock went together perfectly.
This is the test hammock in the midst of being bound.

So, when I was ready to bind the fancy rainbow version, I just jumped to it, thinking oh this will be a breeze because the test hammock went together so easily.  

Eeek.  I don't have a picture of my oops.  Anyways, I forgot to attach the backing before I quilted the hammock.  Did I mention that the zebra cotton fabric although pretty was absolutely essential because of Penny's chewing?  Fortunately, I caught it in the nick of time, if you call catching it as the binding was starting to be sewn on.  LOL.  At that point, the hammock got a day of rest as I scrambled to figure out what I was going to do.  Luckily, I just cut the backing to fit and then, quilted the hammock again.  Yes, that hammock has a lot of quilting.  I shall claim its a design feature.... Extra quilting to reduce its chewability.  Yip.  That's my story except that I told the truth here.  EEK.  

So, after I quickly affixed the backing, I just finished the binding that I'd already started and Tadaa!

Here, the troublesome rainbow hammock is almost done, and just needs the final bit of the binding finished.  LOL.  I think this picture was taken after unpicking some of the binding stitches, but it was only a couple of inches.  Nothing like realizing that I forgot to attach the backing.
And, here's the test hammock and rainbow hammock finished except for grommets.

Oh, and I'm just skipping all of the trials and tribulations behind the brocade fabric that I used in the test hammock.  Penny's mom had wanted the brocade in the hammock, but I couldn't honestly make up the hammock when I found that its durability wasn't up to my standard.  That's why the brocade ended up in the test hammock.  If the brocade wears out fast, that's okay because it's just the test hammock.

There was a lot of testing for this hammock which I've previously posted including detail step by step of the crazy quilt piecing.

Here's Daryl testing durability of the brocade in the first test hammock (this hammock stayed with my rats, Daryl loves it)  The test hammock that you see in the other pictures in this post is a different hammock from the hammock that Daryl is sprawled within.  Yes, I made 3 hammocks to make one hammock for the little diva of a Penny.  Grins.  I loved every minute.  And, I was thrilled to see how much Penny enjoys her hammocks.  It was worth it.

Oh, and, here's Penny's hammocks in her cage.  Please check out Hammy Happenings, the blog for Penny and her hamster and gerbil friends.

The photos of Penny on her hammock and Penny's cage, of course, are from Hammy Happenings.  The photo of the quilted bag is from Sewn Up by Teresa Down Under.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stuff on a Rat 3 - Lens Cap

Using my fancy camera for this photo shoot, yet Phillip's face remains a bit fuzzy.  But, I found a good place to store my lens cap.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Taste Testing the Dog's Homemade Cookies - Phillip


This is the first time I've hopped onto a blog hop.  It is so exciting.  We are joining Blog Paws for Wordless Wednesday.  Woohoo!

Look at all those dogs and cats in the blog hop.  Nestled in there stealing their cookies is PHILLIP.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Stuff on a Rat 2 - Bobbin

Here, Philip models a lovely Singer 66 vintage bobbin.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - A Blast from the Past - Pumpkin Carving in 2010

This is old school Pumpkin Festival.  Here's Gwyn from 2010, our very first pumpkin carving.

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 8 - Happy Halloween

Peter wishes you a Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 7 - Rat Inside the Pumpkin

Here's Smaug showing off the interior of his pumpkin.  Yes, they are just working on the final bits of removing the pumpkin guts.  And, all of my guys with white noses have pumpkin stains.  Then, again, Philip probably has pumpkin stains but his black fur keeps you from seeing the stains.

I have a pretty good video of Smaug working on the interior, but the video needs editing.  Hopefully, I will post the video later today.

By the way, they can now fit at least two rats inside the pumpkin simultaneously.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 6 - Getting to the Meat of Things

There's been slow progress, so today, we went ahead and gave them a starter hole.

Of course, the rats decide to focus on the skylight hole that they chose for themselves.  Now, the skylight hole reaches into pumpkin guts.

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 5 - Diving for Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds.... Pumpkin Seeds....  Pumpkin Seeds

And, the mess begins....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 4 - Big Pumpkin is Being Carved

 It took them awhile to pick a spot for excavation, but it looks like they will be entering the pumpkin through the top.  This is Walter nibbling and Carl trying to photobomb.
These photos are from less than 24 hours of carving of the Big Pumpkin.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 3 - The Big Pumpkin


 Peter is grabbing some pumpkin vine, and Butters is intently observing.
Butters successfully scooped up the vine and tugged it into his hammock.  Peter is nibbling on the pumpkin stalk.  

Stay tuned for additional Pumpkin Fiesta 2013 Updates.

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 2 - Practice Pumpkin's Carving Completed

 In less than 24 hours, my sweet little rats completely carved their wee pumpkin.  There is no evidence of pumpkin seeds or guts.
 Here's Walternate showing off his hard work.
And, a few hours later, we removed the pumpkin and I tried to get a pretty picture outside.  The pumpkin walls are mostly paper thin in this photo.

Our full size pumpkin is going to be cleaned up, and it looks like we are going to try it without a starter hole as our little ratties seem to know what to do with a pumpkin.  So, don't worry Pumpkin Festival 2013 is not over.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin 2013 First Update

Here's a video of the practice pumpkin.

It's Pumpkin Festival 2013 Time

Welcome to our annual Pumpkin Festival.  Over the years we have learned that pumpkins bought at pumpkin farms last longer than store bought.  So, here are two pumpkins on their way home from Harris Hill Farm.

This is our first year picking pumpkins at Harris Hill Farm.  I was thrilled.  Lots of farm animals, and the pumpkins were actually in a pumpkin patch not hauled to a decorative "pumpkin patch".  The scenery was amazing.
 This year we decided to start with a little bit of pumpkin training.
I'm thrilled to see such enthusiasm for pumpkin carving.

Don't worry, Pumpkin fiesta isn't just about little pumpkins.  They will get their full sized pumpkin.  And, I hope that we will have another year in which the rats carve a pumpkin to the point that they can actually hang out inside the pumpkin.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Stuff on My Rat 2 - Monopoly House

Today, Philip is pretending to be a snail and carrying around his house (hotel) on his back.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stuff on My Rat 1

Here's Philip with a Monopoly house on his head. 

Goosemoose currently has a thread with photos of stuff on my rat's head, so I decided to have Philip join the fun.