Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MOVING to Wordpress - and Pumpkin Fiesta 2014

Yes, it's Pumpkin Fiesta 2014, but it's also time to move the blog to Wordpress.


So, to keep from missing out on any of the Rittles and Bittles antics ----Especially PUMPKIN CARVING.

Please ... Please... Come check us out at

We have pumpkin ....
We have pumpkin seeds....
We have pumpkin guts...
And, a few rats and a big dog, who wishes she was a rat.
We have hammocks, too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wonderful Youtube Video - A Hamster Playground

This is way beyond my current crafting skills, but I'd love to make my boys a slide.  AprilsAnimals created this fabulous video.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Woot - I've a Ready Made Hammock Listed on Etsy

This lovely itsy bitsy hammock is now listed for sale on Etsy.  Of course, I've added grommets.  I have a lot of hammocks that are partially made, and I need to get around to actually finish their sewing.

And, thanks to my wonderful customer base, I struggle to keep ready made hammocks in stock and so most of my Etsy business has been custom work.  Let's see if I can get some more ready made hammocks listed before this one is sold.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Rat in a Tea Cup -- Sort Of

Stan may be my new model.  Apparently, I'm a real bad judge of size.  As he's not really fitting inside the big coffee cup.

The picture is a bit fuzzy, and, yes, that's my hand, but I wanted to end the photo shoot on a happy moment.  Stan did really well.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Shades of Mischief

From left to right, Carl, Butters, Sherlock (yes he's shoving Butters), and Dorian....  Enjoying morning oaties.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Custom Owl Hammock - Essentially Finished

 Yes, the hammock still needs grommets for hanging.  But, it's pretty much done.
 Here's the back side.  A tad wrinkly but still snazzy.
And, here you can see the front and the back.

This hammock really challenged me.  Retrospectively, it's a fairly simple hammock, but the calculations were intense to make sure that the fussy cat owl would fit, and then, the narrow striped side also had careful calculations that I tried to muck up.  I struggled with the materials, too.

But, in the end, I'm quite proud of the hammock.  And, making the simple bar side (fussy cut owl side) is so very easy for me now.

This darling hammock will become a little hamster's new bed.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sneak Peak - IN PROGRESS - Custom Hammock with fussy cut Owl Print

Here's another custom hammock in progress photo.

Not my best photographic technique.  Sigh.

This is the front and is fairly classic and easy to do.  The fun part was carefully cutting the owl , so that he would fit properly.  I had to resize everything when I realized that the owl was taller than my original size for the stripes, but a little bit of math, and tadaa.

The back side is going to be spectacular if all goes as expected.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Turquoise hammock

Well, I'm going to try to get back into blogging.

I've been making a lot of hammocks.  And, yet, I rarely post pictures.  Sigh.

Here's one of my current projects in progress.

This is a 10 inch crazy quilt hammock for a hamster.  I'm quite pleased with the unexpected Asian flavor.

The squares of this hammock are actually sewn onto fleece.  It was a bit of a challenge arranging the fabrics.  It would have been a lot easier if I had had one or two more fabrics.  As it was, I was trying to avoid abutting the two black fabrics.  And, of course, avoiding having the same fabric abutting was important and tough.  There are actually a few places where I allowed a doubling up of the fabrics, but those instances, I think, just add to the craziness.

So, I've already turned the hammock inside out, and you can see that the turning hole is still open on the right side.

Now, to close up the hammock and quilt.  I'm thinking of doing a squared off spiral for the quilting.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A White Featherweight - Isn't it just a paint job?

It is such a joy to have a Featherweight.  It's like joining an exclusive club.  Now, I have the sewing machine that so many quilters prize.

But, I've been finding out that the white of my machine is more than a paint job.  

Owning a Singer 66 and a Singer 15-91 has taught me how to search the web for information.  However, with the featherweight, there's information overload.  And, after sifting through that data, I'm realizing that my little machine is a bit different from other featherweights.

First, finding out its birth date is really challenging because apparently Singer did not keep good records during its production.  The one thing I know is that my machine is one of the youngest of the vintage featherweights and is from the 60s.

Of course, there's the obvious paint job that lacks most of the purty decals of the black featherweights.  But, there are other little differences.  The power cord doesn't detach which is convenient as I can't lose it.  But, this is a pain when stuffing everything into the carrying case.  I, also, found out that my "white" motor is actually the standard black motor painted white.  

I also have the original white belt that is irreplaceable.  My hubby asked if I wanted to get a black belt to use for everyday so that I could preserve the white belt.  But, I rather just be ginger with the white belt.  So, I've adjusted the motor so that my belt is as loose as possible to decrease wear and tear.

Another difference is that rather than gears and a rod, internally, my machine has another belt which is also difficult if not impossible to replace.  Note: the white belt can be replaced with a black belt.  But, I'm not sure if I would be able to replace the internal belt.  Eek.  Apparently, the internal belt doesn't usually break.

My manual is also specific to the White featherweight.  The photos in the manual depict the white machine's differences.  And, it states that my machine's motor does not need to lubricated which is an additional difference between the little white featherweight and a typical black featherweight.

Here's what my featherweight can do.   The stitching isn't perfect for a couple of reasons.  One, I'm still learning how to use the machine.  Two, the machine is still being adjusted.  Regardless, when I do everything right, this little machine is stitching beautifully.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Lots has been happening, but I haven't been blogging.


But, I had to share this....

I got a Featherweight.

Not the best picture.   But, here's my new power tool.

After cleaning, then oiling.  Then, realizing that this machine had to have the gunk removed from under the throat plate.  That done.  However, I then, put the bobbin assembly back together incorrectly.  Almost gave up for the evening, but, I figured it out, and the machine sews like a dream once all of that was done.   (You don't want to see my test fabric before I got the machine working properly.)

I spent a whopping $100 for this machine.  Prior to my cleaning and oiling this machine, it could have possibly been described as working condition as nothing was frozen, but it wasn't sewing a stitch.  It really just wanted some oil.  It was bone dry.  But, it also wasn't sewing right even with oil.  All of the lint/junk was mucking up the mechanism.

The color of the machine is officially Turquoise.  To me, it looks white, but it does have a green tinge.  It lacks the filigree of the black machines which is a bit of a bummer, but I'm not particularly a fan of the later filigrees.  And, this is clearly a youngun Featherweight.  It appears to have been born in 1969.

After I got it working, this machine is probably worth around $400-$500.  And, it may be more because I believe the "turquoise" machines are fairly rare.  IMHO, It's also a "purty" machine in very good to excellent condition.

Anyways, this is my new toy.

 P.S. For those who lack sewing knowledge, although the featherweight is small, it is not a toy machine.  This is a fully functional straight stitch vintage sewing machine that is highly prized by quilters because of its portability and excellent stitching.  Modern sewing machines can't make as nice of a stitch.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Stuff on My Rat 7 - Top hat

Philip would have nothing to do with the photo shoot as his tummy was full.  So, the pinch hitter, Peter was called in for his first "Stuff on My Rat" photo shoot.

 Most of the photos look like this.  "Are you stupid?  Rats don't wear hats!!!!"
 Finally got  a photo that looked ... okay.
And, although it ain't perfect, I like this one best.