April 19, 2013

How To Get Your Tail In a Twist (In A Good Way)

As the pledges continue to climb in my Kickstarter "Oh Rats!" campaign, we have already started working on production of the first large batch of Snazzy Rat catnip toys, plus other aspects of fulfilling rewards for my Beloved Backers.  Here are some project pre-production notes: 

As requested by Inka, each rat must have a squiggly, wiggly tail in snazzy colors.

To accomplish that, I start by wrapping the yarn around a board that is just the right width, then I cut the yarn at both ends.

  For each tail I use two strands of yarn in different colors.

 Then I tie two strands together and twist the whole length multiple times.

 When I bring the two loose ends together, the pieces "re-wind" around each other into a pretty twist, and I secure it with a knot.

Okay, one down, about 200 more to go. :-)
There, now that's better.  With help from the very patient man who lives here, we'll have our tails in a twist in no time!
 If you'd like to learn how to  make your own twisted cord for a project, just Google "twisted cord tutorial" and lots of great how-to's will pop up. 

I'm not a big fan of plastics, so I don't know what it is about sending a piece of paper through a lamination machine, and having it come out the other end perfectly preserved and impervious to the elements, but I confess-- I LOVE it! In an unselfish act of motherly love, I decided to let my son and studio assistant Christopher share in the joy.  He spent last weekend making up the first batch of generic I.D cards for the project.

As many of my long-time readers know, Buttonwillow has an intense fascination with scissors and continues to try to master the art of using them.  


When I ordered the fabric to make my Snazzy Rat prototypes, I made sure I had enough to make about 10 of each to give me a little head start on the project.

So Buttonwillow and I put our scissors to work and cranked out these puppies in no time at all.

Time to put my sewing machine to work.  I love listening to TED talks and to Jango radio on my computer when I sew.  Just look at this happy pile o' grinning rats!
Turning these babies inside-out and stuffing them are two more fun tasks that I am sharing with Chris, and he's doing a great job!
Funny story about the catnip. I've been making different catnip toys for several years now and I store these bags of 'nip in our garage where it is dark and coolWe moved into our new house about 18 months ago and soon had our first garage sale-- in the garage-- and met many of our new neighbors.  About halfway through the sale, I noticed that my four large polybags of dried green herbs were prominently lined up on a back shelf in full view.  I wonder just what might have been going through the minds of those neighbors, but no one had said a word.  Just to be safe, during the rest of the sale I hid the bags inside the house, lest there be any confusion about just what kind of herbs were in those bags....

Next pre-production task: Packaging. I'll show you what I've come up with in the next post.

Thanks again for all of your support and enthusiasm as this project progresses!  There is still time to procure your own Snazzy Rats by making a pledge at this link.  The campaign ends Tuesday, April 23.

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