Breaking Mews!

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013

Yes, I am the first to admit that I like puns. I also like animals, and putting the two together resulted in our totally “pawsome” animal pun cards. Officially titled the “Terms of Endeerment Series”, I started out with 16 animal pun note cards. The cards were small and lovely, perfectly sized for small notes and gift giving. Each featured an original block print image of a punny animal. The only drawback…they were too small to go through the mail on their own.

Well friends, rejoice, as I have heard your cries. The new and improved series of animal pun cards are now sized to go through the mail with a first-class stamp, so you can spread the love across the world with ease! They still come with an envelope, and are still individually packaged in a cellophane bag, so you can keep some on hand for just the right moment. But wait…it gets even better!

Brand new in the shop are the Terms of Endeerment Box Sets! Six cards per box, six different pun cards! There are two sets to choose from. These are great gifts too, by the way. I really love the way these have turned out. Puns, animals ink and paper…some of my favorite things!

Must now resist the urge to rename the series “Terns of Endeerment”….double pun….can’t resist….

Happy New Year

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013

There is no better way to start off the new year than with a satisfied customer! This is Mr. C, a polydactyl kitty living in Maryland with his human Kit, who just happens to be an awesome craft show neighbor! You can check out her jewelry designs at her Lincoln Street Design Etsy shop. Now we all know that polydactyl cats love extra limbs even more than previously thought!

First Annual Christmas Craft Smackdown!

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012

The holidays are a super busy time for me here at LwTHQ, and sometimes I find myself wishing for just a bit of downtime in between fairs to do some not-for-sale crafting. A quick stroll through the interwebs revealed many awesome and fun Christmas projects, most of which were offered up as free tutorials by benevolent craft masters. I assembled a few of my favorite projects, and held my first ever “crafternoon” here at the studio.

What was planned to be a relaxing afternoon with friends armed with glue and glitter transformed into an awesome 12-hour Mimosa-fueled craft smackdown! One participant said it was better than therapy. I say it is the beginning of a regular occurrence here at the studio. The creativity flowed, the laughs were easy and the finished items were fantastic!

Here are some of the projects we tackled while eating sheep’s cheese and cookies:
Tiny Illuminated Felt House
Ruffly Felt Circle Wreath
Light Bulb Snowmen
Mason Jar Snow Globes

Note: I could not photograph all the finished items, as many of them were gifts. Don’t wanna spoil any surprises!

The workspace here at the Life with Tigers studio, before all heck broke loose. Some peppermint coffee got us all going.

The workspace here at the Life with Tigers studio, before all heck broke loose. Some peppermint coffee got us all going.

Brianna sculpted figurines in polymer clay, painted them and got them ready for their dunk into the salsa jar to become a customized snow globe.

Brianna sculpted figurines in polymer clay, painted them and got them ready for their dunk into the salsa jar to become a customized snow globe.

Jeanne made ornaments for her future Christmas tree out of old shirts, felt and glass. Jeanne claims to be craft-challenged, but I think she is being modest, as a fiber and glue artiste quickly emerged.

Jeanne made ornaments for her future Christmas tree out of old shirts, felt and glass. Jeanne claims to be craft-challenged, but I think she is being modest, as a fiber and glue artiste quickly emerged.

Kate created her masterpieces in two time segments, with a break for a seminar at 3rd Ward. Crafting is always more fun with an Information Architecture class sandwiched in the middle.

Kate created her masterpieces in two time segments, with a break for a seminar at 3rd Ward. Crafting is always more fun with an Information Architecture class sandwiched in the middle.

Jed sculpting an Empire Strikes Back themed snow globe figurine from polymer clay. What started out as something resembling a turd quickly morphed into a downed Tauntaun with it's belly sliced open to reveal an injured, snowsuit-clad Luke Skywalker. I swear, it took him 10 minutes.

Jed sculpting an Empire Strikes Back themed snow globe figurine from polymer clay. What started out as something resembling a turd quickly morphed into a downed Tauntaun with it’s belly sliced open to reveal an injured, snowsuit-clad Luke Skywalker. I swear, it took him 10 minutes.

I have always loved the Felt Circle Wreath. This project is so simple, but produces the most lovely wreath. Circles, pins, styrofoam and some time. Here is my wreath in progress.

I have always loved the Felt Circle Wreath. This project is so simple, but produces the most lovely wreath. Circles, pins, styrofoam and some time. Here is my wreath in progress.

Brianna's light bulb snowman army. Light bulb penguin army not shown. Brianna was a crafting machine!

Brianna’s light bulb snowman army. Light bulb penguin army not shown. Brianna was a crafting machine!

Kate showing off her masterpieces of felt and fabric. Not shown is her unfinished "man-brooch" in the colors of the Green Bay Packers for her man-friend.

Kate showing off her masterpieces of felt and fabric. Not shown is her unfinished “man-brooch” in the colors of the Green Bay Packers for her man-friend.

A little illuminated felt house made from a pattern downloaded from PoopScape! Hiding inside there is a battery operated tea light, which are everywhere during the holidays. I need to make a village of these next week after the Degenerate Craft Fair here in Brooklyn!

A little illuminated felt house made from a pattern downloaded from PoopScape! Hiding inside there is a battery operated tea light, which are everywhere during the holidays. I need to make a village of these next week after the Degenerate Craft Fair here in Brooklyn!

The moment of truth...the capping of the salsa jar snow globe! Brianna made a total of three snow globes that day, with customized sculptures inside each one. That girl was on fire!

The moment of truth…the capping of the salsa jar snow globe! Brianna made a total of three snow globes that day, with customized sculptures inside each one. That girl was on fire!

The workspace, about 3/4 of the way through the craft-a-thon. Coffee gave way to Mimosas. Up front is Jeanne's fluffy felt circle ornament in progress.

The workspace, about 3/4 of the way through the craft-a-thon. Coffee gave way to Mimosas. Up front is Jeanne’s fluffy felt circle ornament in progress.

Finished felt circle wreath...my new favorite decoration in the studio. This took me a while to do, as I kept stopping to be a good hostess and mix the drinks, but Brianna whisked through her own felt circle wreath in under an hour! Those little white balls were once attached to gloves, but fell off in the wash. We re-purpose everything around here!

Finished felt circle wreath…my new favorite decoration in the studio. This took me a while to do, as I kept stopping to be a good hostess and mix the drinks, but Brianna whisked through her own felt circle wreath in under an hour! Those little white balls were once attached to gloves, but fell off in the wash. We re-purpose everything around here!

It’s only the 12th, so plan a crafternoon of your own…you will be so glad you did. If you don’t have time to craft your own gift this year, hit up one of the many craft fairs out there right now and support a local craftsperson while surprising your loved one with a unique, handmade gift. One place to look is this weekend at the Degenerate Craft Fair in Brooklyn. I’ll be there!

Taking it to DUMBO

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012

DCF2012POSTER-300Brooklyn is fun. Brooklyn is cool. Brooklyn is where we live. It is also where the upcoming Degenerate Craft Fair is happening! DUMBO is the place to be if you are still looking for Christmas gifts next week. Then, when you are done, freeze your butt off with a lovely walk along the Brooklyn waterfront and admire the twinkling Manhattan skyline, now that all the lights are back on.

Here are the particulars:

The 2012 Degenerate Craft Fair
The Dumbo Loft
155 Water St.
Brooklyn, NY
(F to York St. ~ A/C to High St.)

December 15th: 12pm-9pm
Opening night reception from 6pm to 9pm
Featuring music and free beer.

December 16th: 11am-6pm
First 50 guests get a free tote of goodies!

Most importantly, Life with Tigers will be there with goodies for your cats and people friends too! Come by and pick up some greetings cards from Paper Sparrow, some “Entrippy Series” prints by D.S. Morrison Pictorial Oddities Roadshow, or some fancy panties by Impish Lee. Bring home some art prints for your science-loving friends by Ink & Sword, and come out of the whole experience smelling like honeysuckle with soap from Metropolis Soap Company. Local artists, handmade goods, lots of smiles!

We had a frakkin’ good time

Posted by on Dec 3, 2012

Thanks to everyone who came out to the BUST Magazine Craftacular and Food Fair this weekend! Lots of cats will be getting Severed Leg Catnip Toys in their stockings this holiday, and that is fantastic! Tons of nice people, excellent crafts and lots to see and do! I don’t mind telling you though, that the highlight of the fair, for me at least, was the appearance of an actor from one of my favorite television series.

People who know me well know I love science fiction. I don’t take sides in the Star Wars vs Star Trek debate, because in my cookbook, they are all ingredients in the same tasty cake. Sprinkle in a little Battlestar Galactica and a smidge of Firefly and I am all set for a holiday weekend in front of the boob tube. I even have a cool auction going on at Ebay right now for a super collectible Battlestar Galactica Last Supper print.

Aaaaand there is the tie-in….I saw amongst the shoppers this weekend the man who plays Lt. Felix Gaeta on the rebooted Battlestar Galactica. This now brings the total number of actors who have been at my craft fair table to two (the first being Ethan Hawke). Actually, make that three, as my craft fair table co-pilot Jed from Ink & Sword has been in movies and television shows too (like The Dark Knight Rises and Person of Interest). I think this is all pretty frakkin’ impressive.

San Francisco has some ‘shrooms!

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012

Lotus Bleu at 325 Hayes Street in San Francisco

It’s officially Cyber Monday, but it’s more fun to get out there and find the perfect gifts if you are thinking of buying handmade this year! There will be plenty of fairs coming up in the next few weeks including the Bust Magazine Craftacular & Food Fair and the Degenerate Craft Fair, both of which I will be vending at here in New York City. One of my favorite upcoming handmade events, the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco, is coming up soon too.

Sadly, I could not attend Renegade in San Francisco this holiday season due to a nagging injury, but that doesn’t mean that the city by the bay will be mushroom topiary-less! Hop on over to Lotus Bleu Home Decor Boutique on Hayes Street and see a lovely collection of handmade goods, including our own Fabric Mushroom Topiaries. Can’t make it over there to pick one up? Stop by my booth this weekend at the Bust Craftacular in Soho or buy one the “new fashioned way” and embrace Cyber Monday at my Etsy shop!

Stuff Buying Season is almost here!

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012

It’s getting colder! Christmas music fills the air and the television airwaves and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. It only means one thing….get out your wallets folks, because it’s Stuff Buying Season! And to kick off the season right, Life with Tigers will be setting up shop at a favorite and familiar venue:

More than 200 vendors will participate in this two-day holiday shopping extravaganza – the BUST Magazine Craftacular and Food Fair Holiday 2012 in NYC. There will be the best handmade gifts, food, craft beer, DJs, and raffle prizes! 300 FREE jam-packed goodie bags for early bird shoppers per day! Admission is just $3.

This is a wonderful event. Be sure to come by and pick up some Severed Leg Catnip Toys for the kitties on your naughty and nice lists. For real, doesn’t kitty deserve a severed leg in her stocking this year?

Superstorm Sandy shakes snow on the shorline

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012

So… we had a hurricane last week. High winds, exploding transformers, downed trees, the whole megillah. We stocked up on food, water, batteries and salty snacks and waited out the storm at LwT HQ. Parts of it were a bit scary. Here is how art director Ashes handled the situation:

We were so very lucky. We “suffered” a cable/internet outage, and lost the battle to keep the pilot light on, but were otherwise unaffected. But so many were not. And while I have no idea when my only subway line in the neighborhood will come back to life and hiking to another train in the cold (and today, snow!) is a total drag, it is nothing compared to what some of my friends and neighbors are dealing with. My thoughts are with them still. I did want to share this photo though:

Photo by Ana Andjelic

That is Jane’s Carousel, located in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is a favorite place of mine. Here is a photo that I took there during a happier time:

I am looking forward to hearing the organ on PTC #61 play again. That may seem trivial considering so many others are still waiting for their heat and lights to come back on, but we all have to start someplace. I choose to start with the prancing ponies.

Another satisfied customer – Joanie!

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012

It’s election season, and the lovely Joanie from San Jose, votes YES for Severed Legs!

Happy Birthday Severed Legs!

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012

The first severed leg toy sold online!

The story goes:
“One day while making dolls, a leg went missing. The trail led to a small grey kitty, walking around with the leg in her mouth, like a mountain lion who just overtook a jogger. The idea of the severed leg catnip toy was born.”

That small grey kitty was our art director, Ashes. That one day was four years ago, today! Happy Birthday Severed Leg Catnip Toy!

I was working on the a few dolls and did not notice that some legs fell off of the table until I heard this odd sound coming from behind me. A growling sound. A scary sound. The sound of a tiny tiger and her catch of the day! It was so charming the way she ran away from me with that leg in her mouth, that I made one with catnip in it for her that very afternoon. It was a hit with the Life with Tigers staff. That was Autumn, 2008.

I made a few prototypes, figuring out which fabrics and threads would withstand the terror and fury of kitties under the influence of catnip. Rabbit kicks, flings through the air, time spent under the couch, they had to stand up to it all! It took several rounds to get it right, with Shadow providing the most aggressive testing. Here he is with his earliest and most favored prototype…

Once the formula was settled and approved, Shadow refused to relinquish the original half destroyed leg. Years later, Shadow’s prototype leg toy is a still much loved item. Fortunately, today’s leg toys are made to last!

Our intern Moo enjoys occasional testing of the modern, super strong legs…

Modern severed leg catnip toys have wonderful fabric socks on them and have names such as “Paternity Test”, “Tasty Bugs” and “Leapin’ Lizards”. I offer several styles online in the shop, and offer many, many more styles with unique fabrics at craft shows, pop-up shops, pet stores and boutiques around the country.

And the best news of all, thousands of legs have been created and sold to kitties and their happy humans since 2008. All made by me, by hand, every last one of them. It’s a lot of work, but when I hear from people that their cats really cherish their toys and actually seem to develop emotional attachments to them, like Shadow did, all those late nights were worth every moment.