Kitty Krakatoa Bed

Our kittens that we adopted last October are now 9 months old and growing fast.  Whilst Scooby prefers to sleep on a sofa, Dill (or Dilly as he’s become known) likes a bed… or beds!  Since he was small, he’s loved his igloo bed but he’s now outgrown it.

I’d seen these ‘volcano’ pet beds on a website and wanted to try to make one.

The construction took a while to figure out.  There was lots of geometry and head scratching and I resorted to building scale models out of paper!

After I’d figured out the dimensions, I scaled them up and made a template for the base and side piece out of corrugated cardboard.  I had no idea how dangerous this part of the process would be! I somehow managed to poke myself in the eye with a corner of the cardboard and had to go to A&E with a scratched cornea.  That was not a pleasant experience, I can tell you!

After cutting out the pattern pieces, I attached Pellon Thermolam Fusible Fleece to the reverse sides to give the bed more structure.  I also decided to quilt the side panel.  Dill loves getting in the way  helping when I’m crafting: he particularly enjoys checking that gravity is still working… aka knocking stuff on the floor!

I keep all sorts of bits and bobs, ‘just in case’, and recycled some old padding from an ironing board; layered between the fabric and interfacing, it made a sturdy, padded base for the bed.

At this stage, a feeling I’d had earlier that I’d messed up but couldn’t quite figure out how, became a reality.  Attaching the side to the base, the top opened outwards rather than forming the volcano shape and the ends didn’t meet and I realised that I’d made the side upside down.  Doh!

After some remedial work, involving making the top edge into the bottom and binding the new top edge, I clipped the side to the base with right sides together and then stitched them together.  There was a LOT of layers and I had to switch to a jeans-strength needle.

Once the base was attached, the bed was then turned right side out.  It’s not quite the right shape but Dilly doesn’t seem to mind.

If you have cats, you’ll know how contrary the little beasts are and that, if you buy or make a bed especially for a cat, they invariably totally ignore it.  So, I was very surprised that Dilly got straight in it and went to sleep.  Result!

Next time, I’ll try resizing the side piece to make the shape better. I also won’t use a directional print!

Baby Blue Bunnies

Do you remember the bunny stencil I made for my Easter cards?  I wanted to challenge myself to use it again so when the need for a baby boy card arose, I thought that was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

My initial plan was for a landscape card so I cut my top layer and blended blue ink onto the stencil with my blending brushes before adding heat embossed tails.

Next, after changing my mind to make the card a portrait orientation, I trimmed down the panel and layered the bunnies onto a blue mat and then a white panel, onto which I stamped the sentiment.

I blended a single bunny onto the inner mat layer and onto the envelope, as I like these to match the card front.

For the background, I used some gingham check DSP and added three rhinestones over the dots on the sentiment. 

Gorgeous Gift Wallet

Giving money is thought, by some, to be lacking in thought.  However, I like it since it gives the recipient free reign to spend it wherever they want rather than being tied to a particular store with a gift card.  One of my colleagues managed to get married last year so the watch had a collection for him and his new wife.  Quite a substantial sum was collected and we didn’t want to present it in a tatty white envelope, so I was asked to make a presentation wallet.

Making a presentation wallet (of any size) is fairly straight forward but needs a bit of planning out.  To begin, the finished size and depth is required to draw up a plan view.  This will help determine if your box can be cut from one sheet of card or not.  This is my plan for the box I made which was 3¾” x 5⅝” x ¼”.  Once the front, back and pocket sections are added, together with the top, base and sides (for the depth), the next thing is to work out where the tabs need to go in order to glue the box together.

I don’t usually go to the trouble of drawing my plan out to scale, it usually looks like the sketch in the top of the next photo!  After scoring all the lines, I then used these as guides for cutting away the excess card, which left me with this.

I cut pieces of DSP to decorate the panels and also added a thin magnet underneath the pocket panel.  A magnetic closure always makes a gift wallet feel that bit more special!

Once all the decorative panels were in place, I dropped the other magnet onto the front of the wallet.  It was naturally drawn into the correct place, where I added a spot of glue under it.

To cover the magnet, I then made a focal panel from layered ovals, the bride and groom’s initials and some hearts.  I gave the metallic paper some added interest by dry embossing it. I added a polka dot tulle bow as the magnet was just visible.

It’s not shown here but I added a white panel on the back of the front cover (the part at the top of this photo) on which I wrote the message from the watch.

I was really pleased to get a message from the couple saying that they loved the personalised gift wallet.  Feedback like that makes creating bespoke gifts all the more rewarding!