I was able to get hooked up with the coolest angel ever. Chloe's mom, was very friendly, very happy, extra communicative, open-minded, and tons of fun. Just like a true partner would be in a true swap.
I did 3 portraits of her cat, Chloe, but I will not post them on here because I want them to be a surprise for my partner aka my angel. * but if you twist my arm I will.
So, without further adieu... Here's what Kittie, my landlords' cat, was finally able to get, thanks to the generosity of Chloe's mom, who by the way is from Australia (I am from USA)! -
An awesome Fancy Feast dispenser! The edge of the dispensing hole is covered with gold ribbon. Perfect for a "princess" cat like Kittie, and a couple snobby landlords. The paint job is done in acrylic and there appear to be a couple of little plastic flower-shaped beads glued on, for extra cuteness.
A hand-etched poly plastic treat dispenser with a hermetic sealing lid. The stencilling and etching is super cute in person. It is very well made and the post didn't smash it in transit.
That might not go to Kittie because she's so fat and lazy that she probably won't utilize it. This tunnel might go to a cat I rescued named Brownie instead. Brownie is a very playful, young, brown tabby. Hopefully some cat will really love this! I love the package too - metric units, so obviously not from boring old America. ** Note the Free Australian Pink String that was on one of the packs. I will use this string to wind the bases of more cat toys, paying it forward. .
Awesome set of 5 handsewn (by machine) catnip and polyester fiberfill catnip toy pillows. Kittie will LOVE these. I love the cat portraits on the fabric, brilliant! There's so much catnip in them that you can feel it if you even gently touch the poly. She's a catnip fiend, so, these are going to be a major hit with her.
Chloe's mom is so generous! Besides sending me some super souvenirs, look at how much it cost her just to send this care package to Kittie, her landlords, and me:
Thanks so much, Chloe's mom. Be on the lookout for your well-deserved Friend of Craftster status, and Chloe's paintings in the post!
Specs: Handwashed, hand-unwound, hand-braided, and then hand-knotted in to this dual-function climbing net. Dimensions: About 30" x 20". Three-ply. Each rope on the net is about 1/4" thick.
Made just for my budgie and my cockatiel. Depending on how the little birds feel right then, they can climb on the wider mesh side, or the narrower mesh side.
Safety: The jute is breakaway, so it will not "snag" on them and entangle them. The spaces on the plaiting are pretty tight, again for their safety. It is also made to be used outside of the cage, not inside, and under supervision only.
Time to complete: about 3 hours, not including the washing/soaking/rinse time which applied to all the twine in this batch.
A bird store wanted about $110 for one of these in this size. Cost: About $3 to make. I am sure they will love it!
These cuties are made out of 2-part epoxy putty, hand-tinted with acrylics. They are not made out of polymer clay! There is no board for "2 part epoxy sculptures" so... here they are in the most relevant category.
These both took under 10 minutes to make, including the time to tint and knead the putty. They are a quickie.
These are tiny. The skunk is about 2" and the ermine, about 1.5". They are less then an inch high (the ermine is about 1/4" high). They both have ears, eyes, legs, and the general head and body shapes are pretty much correct for their species. They are made to be placed on a shelf or held in the hand.
I am giving them as a gift on Monday. We'll see what the response is!
** This description is a how-to on genuine hair and specifically on the fur of tanned animal pelts or hides. It is pretty specifically geared towards stencilling or brush-on dyeing for fur pelts. If you are offended by such things, please close this page immediately. ** . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Okay, this pelt was truly ruined. This experiment is "me playing around" with a pelt I considered to be unuseable. I didn't know what to do with it.
I scissored it from the base of the tail to the tip of the nose along the back. (it had a huge chew on the fur / the fur was chewed off, so this was easy) Then I spread it out - I noticed it had a huge hot pink stain in the neck area.
I figured I'd dye it and then do a knit/woven scarf with it... so out with the acid dyes!
I used just 2 colors: brilliant blue, and mixing red.
One side is primarily red/burgundy, and the other side is primarily violet/blue. Large areas of color exist, and small areas are also present. That's deliberate. I wanted a lot of each color for my knit scarf.
This pelt had been tanned with a syntan that would make boiling the leather ok. or so I thought. Over-cooked! Great for dye setting, but bad for the leather. No knit scarf for me... oh well!
The color is absolutely fabulous. OMG it is luscious. Great for dubbing (fly tying) -- there are no fewer then 32 shades or nuances on the pelt. Every shade is brilliant and jewel-tone. Everything from hot pink, to brilliant red or brilliant blue, to cranberry, merlot, burgundy, grape juice, ruby, garnet, amethyst, crangrape, violet, indigo, navy - you name it, it's on here! Some of the guard hairs stayed almost white, so there is some ice tipping. Some of the underfur is also white or pale silver, close to the skin, so you get a 2-tone/color topped effect when the fur blows in the breeze or moves in the water.
It is MUCH prettier in person. Shown wet, it will be a little more subtle when dry.
Somebody wuvs you. EXPRESS MAIL for cat toys?! That's plum loco.
Ah ha! I checked the mail today and nothing was there. I guess the mail guy came back later while I was working, and dropped off a pack for the birds!
So, at long last... the birds got some swappage! How much of it will actually find it's way to them, due to issues with zinc/nickel, bells, and mirrors (all banned)... is debateable.
The pack, shown all-together (only $8.55 CDN to ship, lucky partner)--
This one actually is in the budgies' cage right now. My tiel kinda liked it and one of the budgies is going to love it for sure. Can you see how fancy the knitwork is on each strand? I can forsee their little beaks probing each knot, and beaking every bead. The acrylic items on the hanger strand are cute.
It has a ton of great preening strands on it! So fancy - a chew is actually embedded in a ring (the ring is crochet). All of the crochet / string on all these toys is organic cotton. Very nice! I can't decide whether to put it ON or IN the cage, so, it's not with the budgies yet. This is the fanciest toy, and the most likely to be a big hit with my tiel as well as both budgies.
... and something for the Destroyer, my Congo Grey, 550+ grams of sheer chewing terror (he gave me a welt on my shoulder today for moving his cage, installing a perch!)...
For some reason the birds express need for stainless steel only, was disregarded. There's enough zinc/nickel on these toys to kill small critters.
Luckily -- regarding the skewer: that's ok... 3 weeks ago I bought my Grey a genuine stainless steel kebab. It's the BIG one on the right.
He loves his stainless steel and acrylic kebab I bought him, plays with it daily, eats apple slices off it, and makes a big to-do over it. I call it the magic wand.
I might have to get a couple of gerbils, so I can use these little kebabs. They're great, just not bird-safe. I've been hankerin' to get a pair of gerbils for a while now... maybe it'll happen.
The other toys have some safety issues, so, they aren't going in the cages quite yet. I may rework one of them and give it to my Eclectus, so she's not left out . Everyone has like a jillion toys right now, so no rush...
Birds are timid creatures. Maybe in a few weeks, when they've warmed up to the toys... I'll be able to get some action shots of them playing with the toys . The craftsmanship on the handmade toys is excellent. The birds send their thanks's, and I send mine! For now, I'll leave it at this: the ones they get, they are going to enjoy, and that's the whole point.
Me too - I made a pair of them - inspired by this thread.
They are made from emu (dyed) and macaw (natural) feathers, on hand-carved & hand-painted cork bodies. The eyes are also hand-carved from cork and painted, then clear-coated. The antennae are 26ga. annealed wire and the bulbs on the tips are acrylic painted adhesive. Colors: yellow-orange, and orange, or red and pink. I worked from a screen capture/reference photo I found on Wikipedia, to make sure I got the colors and mouth shapes correct. (the mouths really are correct - they just don't look it in the pic ) I like how they have that velvet chenille look, but are not made of velvet or chenille. They took about 3 hrs. They are 3.75" high each and are meant to be a pair - like earrings or charms.
The back side, showing (kind of!) how the leather is barely visible through the woven cotton base:
These take *days* to complete. I haven't finished either one. They are far more labor intensive then I thought they would be. The results are nice, but I could be making full coats in the time it takes me to do one of these. LOL. Hopefully the pics show how it's done.
It is 640px wide, but Craftster only allows 500px, so... if it's hard to see, sorry in advance.
It has not been brushed out or tacked down yet. That's why it still looks ratty. The picture is showing how the fur is woven through the knitted base. The weaving-through took at least 12 hours. It was a major pain!
Once it's finished, one of these weeks, it's going to be superb. .