I *heart* Craft Cult

Sometimes it's difficult to keep up with Etsy features. For example...how do you know if you've been featured in Etsy's Storque or a gift guide, or if you even made it to the front page. If you're not on Etsy 24/7, it is easy to miss.

That's why I'm loving Craft Cult...it's truly brilliant and such a helpful tool for us sellers on Etsy. Simply plug in your shop name and it tracks your hearts, and any time you are featured, amongst other things.

For instance, my scarlet deer suede "Shakespeare in Love" journal was recently featured in the Storque. I missed it, of course. But upon searching Craft Cult, there it was!

Use it...you'll LOVE it!

"What greater gift than the love of a cat." -Charles Dickens.

Those of you who know me well, know all too well that I'm always eager to discuss the colourful antics and personalities of my three indoor cats: Libby, Bebe, and Pookey. And when I read the recent post over at the rik rak studio, all about our feline friends, I was more than happy to contribute a blog post about my girls.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to my "little helpers"...

I’m Libby, a spayed female tortoise-shell/tabby mix (what they call "torbie"). I’m smarter than you. And your brother. I kill plants, and my paws smell like popcorn. I’m a street-wise world traveler extraordinaire. I’m small for my age, but I’ve been told that good things come in small packages, and I am of the same opinion. I’ve lived in Calgary, Alberta (where Mom adopted me at the SPCA in March 2001 when I was a year old) and The Netherlands (that crazy little country in Europe), and now I’m in Nova Scotia…fickle humans! I understand Dutch, especially the food-related words. I make my humans call me for supper via a very quaint Dutch nursery rhyme for cats. I can carry a conversation if I have to, but I prefer to chirp like a deranged pigeon to amuse my humans. Besides plotting to take over the world, and grooming myself meticulously, I like slapping Baby around, curling up into my “kitty lotus” position for a good nap, and hunting bugs. I love sleeping under the covers with my humans at night, and can even weather “Dutch ovens” with grace. I need to be in the middle of everything, because I am the center of your universe. I can get just about anything I want by lying on my back with my paws folded like a stupid canine (I’ve learned it makes my humans go “awww” and hand over the goods). I am very neat, precise, and elegant — yet I can adjust to just about any situation I find myself in. I have an innate need to sleep in odd places, and the top of the closet is “my zone”, meaning it is off bounds to everyone, including my annoying little sister Baby (excluding for myself, of course, hahah). I can tell if you don’t like cats. Also, I am your worst nightmare. PHOBIAS: That horrid stuff called H20. The sound of plastic bags. Being replaced. NICKNAMES: Lib. Wibby. Libbo. Libster.

Hi, my name’s Bebe…but you can call me Bebe. (I also answer to “Mooo!” for reasons you’ll find out later.) I’m a one-year-old spayed Calico female. My IQ is, in all probability, equivalent to a turnip, but I make up for it in being awfully cute and genteel-like. I have a lot of junk in my trunk, and yet I eat the least of us three, and am always wandering (my folks call me "the wanderer"). I’m a klutz. When we were fed dry food, I liked to push and chase my dry food around the dining room, before I ate it. I have a pink jiggly belly which could pass for an udder — I’m rather shameless about it, and will show it to just about anyone. My humans make fun of it, jiggle it with their hands, and call me a cow. Hobbies include: making grunting noises, running into door frames and table legs, falling off windowsills, hanging out around the bathtub trying to look cool, carrying assorted items around in my mouth while trying to meow (especially facecloths and towels) and laying them artistically throughout the house, picking futile fights with Libby when I’m bored, and stretching against walls. My humans say my purr resembles the trademark rumble of a Harley Davidson. I don’t fancy being picked up, but I like to cozy up in the bathroom with my humans, especially when they can’t chase me and are incapacitated on the toilet. When I sleep - which is rare - I look like I’m in "hog heaven". I have an affinity for H20; if you sprinkle it on me gently, it makes me happy. Just don’t dunk me - I will scratch. I'm *obsessed* with the bathroom and sleep there most days. I spent most of my early months in a cage at the shelter, so that at least gives me a good excuse for my ‘spare tire’ and lack of co-ordination. My humans brought me home from the SHAID Tree on Jan. 26, 2006 (I was so scared on the way home, I peed myself in their cat carry-on. Oh my cow, how embarrassing.) I can't help it - I'm jealous of Mommy's favorite, Pookey... so I slap her around a lot.PHOBIAS: Losing favor with alpha cat Libby. The vacuum. The sound of feet walking towards me, and any other sound. NICKNAMES: Babes. Bibi. BayBay.

Oh hai! I'm Pookey Kiwi - "Pookey" is what my humans call me, and it seems to suit me well for some odd reason. I'm a sweet, gentle, and spunky little seal-point Siamese girl, brought home from my Tatamagouche breeder on Nov. 25, 2006 (they say I was born Sept. 1st but I have no recollection to confirm that date). I'm not a big girl...no doubt the runt of the litter, and am used to being pushed around by my two big sisters; although Libby treats me like a mommy cat most days and lets me snuggle up to her when I sleep. Baby is jealous of me! I'm timid and shy, but very loving. I'm as gentle as can be, and have never used my claws or teeth against my humans. Oddly enough my nose is always cold and wet, and I love to shock my folks by sniffing them with it. Although my first two days at my new home were spent avoiding all contact while hiding under bed linen, I now can't seem to get enough of being around my humans and sister cats. I'm still nervous of other people besides Mom and Dad, and have been dubbed the "phantom cat", as others seem to doubt my existence (I'm always hiding under the couch when visitors drop in). Baby and I like to play a lot - but she gets jealous of me easily! Libby will take care of me when I'm sleepy, and we often nap together. Pasttimes include eating like a pig, impromptu belly rubs, hunting socks, rubbing against feet, cuddling and "nose-kissing" my humans, sleeping on laps, and dropping my favorite toys in the water bowl. I am skilled at playing fetch with paper balls and twist ties, and I love sleeping on Mom's lap. I'm also quite the avid conversationalist.PHOBIAS: Phobias? Everyone and anything other than Mommy! Dad's big feet. Sudden movements of any kind. NICKNAMES: De Pook. Pooko. Little Thing. Pook-Pook. Pook. Pookster. KreukPook.

We like to help mom, as much as we can....

 We wake up at the crack of dawn to help her get an early start

We help fold the paper...

Work on the website...

And organize the books when they're all finished...

We've put our heads together often enough, to brainstorm business stratagem...

We even help her with her knitting, now and then...

Tea or coffee, Mom?

See? We do quite a bit. What would you do without us, Mommy?

Happy World Book Day!

Somehow it's March. March! It just crept up on me, instead of marching in. Spring is supposed to be just around the corner; but just as our snow had melted, we have a new fresh fall today.

And today also happens to be World Book Day (in the UK, that is) and I thought why not celebrate it today, and again when Canada celebrates it in April? A celebration of books and the beautiful gift of reading deserves more than one day, after all!

Do you have a favorite treasured book? One that you keep going back to, like comfort food? I'd have to say that mine would be this old worn copy of Anne of Green Gables. It is from the early 1930's; I remember purchasing it at a quaint used bookstore as a teenager. It's in pretty rough shape, I still love reading from it. I can almost imagine Anne herself with a book like this one. It has always reminded me of my love of cuddling up in bed as a little girl and reading of the Anne-girl's adventures. :)

It seems appropriate that I should now find myself making books of my own. I wouldn't want it any other way! It’s been busy inside the house, though, despite the blustery weather. I have been busy binding and I thought I’d share some books that I've recently finished...

Cheshire Cat Journal To celebrate the release of the new adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, I thought I would create a Cheshire Cat-themed journal. This special edition journal is made with velvety dark brown sheepskin suede with smooth leather grain inside. The suede cover is embellished with hand-drawn black stripes in permanent ink – I think the Cheshire Cat would give his wide smile of approval! The above quote captions a colourful illustration by Sir John Tenniel, 19th century English illustrator and one of the original illustrators for Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice In Wonderland.

Candy Apple Red with Mother-of-Pearl shell shard
A la paperie & cozy original! I wanted to incorporate the delicacy of the organic shell with the rugged beauty of leather, and this unique design I've come up with is the result. The leather is a delicious "candy apple" red cowhide - truly mouth-watering - with a semi-glossy finish. It has a wrap around flap. The book is kept securely closed with a lovely natural coloured mother-of-pearl shell peg (securely sewn through holes in the peg), tucked into a leather loop on the cover flap — a truly beautiful, yet sturdy, closure that is really eye-catching!

Wordsworth in olive I can almost imagine Wordsworth himself writing in a journal much like this one. The first page of the journal has a portrait of the William Wordsworth himself, captioned with the above quote. The leather cover is made with a dark olive cowhide (the colour calls to mind roasted artichoke), with the raw edge of the hide on the cover. The cover of the journal is kept closed with a handy elastic and button closure, with a black elastic that catches on to a funky olive button in the front.