Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: It Started With A Question And Ended With Cats.

If you haven't heard, Bane of GIY started a craft along and you know I was on this like darkness in a batcave.
I might even be jumping the gun a little here; seems early... but I can get quite zealous when it comes to crafts.

She started us off on a pet based theme.
I have two little darlings, and they usually have enough "toys" from a Momma that is always producing crinkly, stringy and other nonsense that falls from her table.

However, it's been a while since they had a real toy to play with since they chew and claw their way through just about anything that isn't a skitter, and those get lost all-the-time. I don't usually see a point in buying expensive toys, unless of course they're too darling to pass up like these little jack o'lantern skitter balls I bought at Target one Hallowe'en. They're gone. I don't know where, but they are.

Whatever toy they get bored with I plop into a fabric crinkly jack o'lantern treat bag which they'll mess around with from time to time-- the combination of the plethora of jingly and sparkly old toys and the nature of the ripstop that the treat bag is made from makes it kind of like a toy in itself.

I suppose it's prudent for me to mention that this did not initially begin as a quest to make toys for the kittles. It instead was a sort of answer to a question I didn't directly think of during a moment of weakness (?).
I recently finished knitting a bat hood, and I really wanted to incorporate pom poms.

I finished the hood (my own improvised pattern), and in my crafting reverie when making the pom poms the old fashioned way (cardboard and whatnot), I pondered if maybe I should buy the clover pom pom makers. Would it be easier to make a pom pom that wouldn't fall apart and need a lot of trimming?

Well these questions burrowed a hole in my head, and the inevitable happened when I had to go back to the craft store for an item.
I bought the damn things.
(brace yourself for a brief product review and trick intermission)

I can't help myself when it comes to crafty gadgetry...
Plus my husband was with me which meant I could take advantage of two 50% off coupons-- just a perfect storm.

Well they do indeed produce a fine and uniform pom pom that needs little trimming, but they still fell apart when tugged on. So I took to my lab and started tinkering.
I heard of gluing each layer, but that sounds messy and most of all temporary. The only thing then was needle and thread.

Curved needles work really well for this, since the area where you're sewing is kind of a cramped and deep. You'll also need a button craft weight thread, as it's the only thing strong enough to withstand all that tugging without snapping.

The stitches you'll make will be in that 'U' area of the maker. I start with a few vertical stitches and finish off with horizontal overcasts, making sure to alternate between the deeper parts and the surface. You'll have to make sure your stitches are also fairly narrow to ensure they cinch all the layers together.

Instead of using one type of thread to wrap it all together, I used both the button craft thread and then a length of the yarn for weaving into your project. I noticed the cinch was tighter when I did this.

I like the pom pom makers, but I really didn't know what else to use them for... until Bane came along.
I took some time to ponder what to make for my kittles, I thought about constructing a coffin shaped cat bed but they would never use it over the couch, or my lap, or the corner of the bed. I thought about making a coffin shaped food mat but I didn't feel like trekking to find a large enough mat to cut away from (I still may get back to this one). Then I thought about buying some ceramic pens to paint cute Hallowe'en things on their food bowls (again might come back to this one)... but again, the trek to buy the supplies interrupted that train of thought.

Well, it was during the making of more pom poms for fun with the cats "helping", that a light bulb went off in my head.
Why not? lol.

I stitched on some bat wings I cut from scraps of black felt and attached a little jingle bell, cut a long enough tail to tie onto a dowel and... VoilĂ !
I barely got it off the table before Khan went crazy trying to nab it; I caught some of the action.

I will likely get back to those other projects for them; the mat and the bowls. I am due for another craft store visit here! Heh!


  1. Really interesting reading about the Pom Pom makers. I've made them the paper way a long time ago. As a kid I had a large pink Pom Pom called Fizzgig. Or was that a dream?

  2. This is so cute! A bat fishing rod for cats! Love it!

  3. I love the pom pom bat for your cats! So cute and a great idea!

  4. Haha, what a great idea! I bought a pompom maker but it looks nothing like yours. Probably why it's still in its original packaging! lol

    I HATE having a good idea of something wonderful to make, then realizing it will take a drive into the city to get whatever it is I'm missing before I can start. HATE it. Probably why I've started hoarding craft supplies again after doing such a stellar job of downsizing before the move. ;)

  5. Black cat playing with a pompom bat toy! Spooky level 11! :D


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