Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life after Cable Television

Over the course of the past several months, my husband and I have discussed getting rid of our cable television. We had a 12 channel basic cable package, and even though it was only about 11 bucks a month, we figured it would be better for us to have a little extra cash each month and to stop spending so much time in front of the television. Any by us, I mean me, since I have a famously disgusting addiction to television and my husband hates it.

I thought it was going to be extremely difficult for me to give up television. In the morning I love watching The View and Martha Stewart. Anytime I'm home during the afternoon I watch court T.V. (Judy and Judge Hatchett are my favorites). I also love watching COPS in the evening. Let me just acknowledge that I don't consider any of these programs (with the possible exception of Martha) to be quality programming. I'm actually pretty embarrassed that these shows have become a regular part of my viewing schedule. Nevertheless, I tuned in faithfully each week, eagerly anticipating the little dose of drama they provided my life.

I predicted that giving up television would lead me to feel disconnected from the world and to regret that I could not tune in to my favorite shows. I couldn't have been more wrong. Since I'm not watching T.V., I'm not watching previews of upcoming shows or "coming up next" advertisements. I have absolutely no idea about what's going on in TV land, so I don't feel left out. I also feel more connected to the world around me than ever before. I've been listening to N.P.R. every time I'm feeling lonely at home, and I am cherishing the opportunity to listen to interesting interviews and hear up to date news.

So long, cable. We had a lot of good times, but I'm much healthier and happier without you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tanuki's First Bath

I was really apprehensive about bathing Tanuki for the first time. I was somewhat worried that she would be scared of the bath (like my foster rats in the past have been), so I approached the situation expecting the worst: that she may panic, scratch, or even bite.

I couldn't have been more wrong! Tanuki seems to actually enjoy the bath. When I put her in the tub she walked around (I already had the tub going at a low setting so there was a little water in the basin already). I used the handheld shower sprayer to wet her fur, and she seemed to enjoy the warmth of the water. She stood still while I lathered and rinsed her. So cute!

I set up a drying station ahead of time thinking I may need to quickly remove her from the bathroom to dry her off. I didn't realize that ferret fur dries very rapidly on its own, so I didn't even need to use the blow dryer. I layed some clean towels on the floor and tanuki dried herself by rolling around on them and dragging her, erm... "hindquarters" on the towels.

Right now she's cuddled in a dry towel in her cage. Here are a few pics of the aftermath. Next time I'll ask my husband to make a video of the bath itself to share.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New catnip toy: cracked tooth

This one is right out of my worst nightmares. Literally. I have dreams about tooth decay or my teeth falling out on a regular basis. Not sure where that phobia came from, but this little guy makes having a cracked tooth a slightly more cute prospect:
I've been staying busy preparing my new etsy shop, Buttons by Bernie. The profile, policies and banner are up. Now I just have to start listing items. Exciting! It's been a year since I started heartfeltwool, so it's fun to go through the process of setting up a new shop again.

Monday, June 21, 2010


My husband and I have been making 1" and 1.5" buttons for a few years under the name Planet X-Press. We recently decided to change the name to "Buttons by Bernie" in honor of our favorite lagomorph. We are also going to be setting up shop on etsy in addition to our selling buttons on our website. Stay tuned for more information!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shout Out: M. Patrizio

I'm like most etsy sellers. I have a favorites list a mile long and I follow many artisan's blogs. However, there are certain shops that stand apart. These are the shops that I find myself compelled to revisit, curious to see what the artist is up to. They inspire others to innovate by consistently creating exciting new items. I hope to occasionally share some of these shops with you so that you can check them out to! I hope some of them inspire you the way they have inspired me.

M. Patrizio
Mariyn Patrizio's shop caught my attention several months ago when she updated her storefront with a menagerie of accessories for her Timmie doll, a crocheted green amphibian who fits somewhere on the development spectrum between a tadpole and a frog. She also sells adorable notepads, stickers, t-shirts, cards, and a variety of other crocheted creations, but Timmie has always stood out to me as something special. I think it's his impressive wardrobe full of unique accessories. Who can resist?
What I love about her work is that her crocheted creations take on a personality of their own. With his simple face and blank expression, a number of ideas can be projected onto Timmie. He is the perfect canvas for accessories, but even alone his thin-lipped expression connotes emotion.

I hope that you find M. Patrizio and her work as interesting as I do. As a person who runs a small online business, I also find her blog and website to great examples of quality web publications.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Catnip Toy Giveaway

It's about time to give back to the lovely people that help support my shop. It's time for a giveaway! I'm hoping this will be the first of several giveaways this summer. The winner will receive a free catnip toy of their choice!

How you can enter:

1. Write a facebook fanpage review of my catnip toys. This will earn you one entry into the contest. Navigate to my facebook fanpage and click on the "Reviews" tab on the first page. Then, write a description of my catnip toys and publish it. Only new reviews will be eligible.

2. Upload fan photos of your kitties enjoying my catnip toys to my facebook fan page. This can be done by simply posting photos on the fanpage wall. They will automatically be included in my fan photos section. You can earn one entry into the contest for every photo you upload. You are limited to three photo entries for the contest, but please feel free to upload more if you have some great shots. :) If you uploaded photos in the past, upload up to three new photos this time to be eligible. Here are some samples from last year:

Entries must be submitted by July 15, 2010. If you have not purchased from me in the past, there is still plenty of time to place an order so that you can be eligible for the contest. I can't wait to see your photos and to read your reviews. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Busy Busy

Things have been hectic this week. In addition to my etsy shop, my husband and I have a button making business called Planet X-Press. We got a huge order this week (10,000 buttons!!!) so I've been working on those.

Here's some buttons from the last order we just finished up. They're for the band Frodus.
I've tried to enlist some help around here, but Tanuki doesn't seem to want to cooperate.
"What, I thought you said it was my turn to pick out a record!"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Catnip Toy: Koala Holding Bamboo Shoot

I just listed the newest heartfelt personality: an adorable koala holding his favorite snack. These guys are now available in the shop.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One Man Wrecking Machine - Guster

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Saturday morning! I'm mustering up the courage to attend graduation today. It's going to be heartbreaking to say goodbye to my students, especially since I won't be teaching at this school next fall.

This video from Guster cheered me up, though. It features some of the adorable plushies available from Monster Factory. My favorite part is when the main character is sewing. <3


One Man Wrecking Machine - Guster

kiko | MySpace Video

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Pleasant, Unexpected Surprise

Tonight was the evening of the awards ceremony for the school I taught at this last semester. Students are presented with awards, and at the end, everyone enjoys delicious dessert. Since going vegan a year ago, I've learned to expect to not partake in such delicious desserts. I just can't expect food to be free of dairy, especially since I live in Wisconsin (formally known as the dairy state, curse you California for stripping us of our title!!!).

Anyway, this evening was different. Upon arrival I was greeted in the parking lot by one of my students, who had made a special vegan dessert for me. It was a Swiss Cake Roll pie. Delicious! I couldn't believe it. First of all, how thoughtful is that?! Second of all, it was probably one of the most delicious desserts I have ever eaten, before or after making the decision to stop eating dairy.

What a pleasant surprise! Too bad I didn't get the recipe from him...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Foster Animals: Stanley and Gunther

I've had Stanley and Gunther for about three weeks now. I've been pretty quiet about them up until now because, well, I guess I just have been having a hard time getting a good read on them. This is complicated by the fact that they are outrageously under-socialized and the last pair of female rats that I fostered were very outgoing. These guys are happy to just lounge about in their cage all day. I'll open the door and they won't come out for exercise.

They are definitely coming along, though. They are much friendlier now than when I first got them. Stanley used to try to wedge himself under his exercise wheel when I would open the door to feed them He was terrified of my hands. They both still hate to be picked up, but they do run to the cage door to beg for treats now. They also perk up when they hear the front door opening because they know I'm coming home and will want to give them some attention.

As much relative progress as I've seen, I'm still concerned that they are too shy to attract an adopter. I really hope that someone who understands rats will come along. All they need is a little love and time.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm inspired again!

Just stumbled upon this new video on Etsy about a couple of upholsterers. The video itself is artfully shot - the beginning sequence times the sounds from the tools the women are using to the beat of a song.

The more interesting thing about the video is the message, however. They talk about how upholstery is a dying art. It's difficult to find places that will teach you how, and much of the knowledge is passed on between family members. Most upholsterers are old.

Why should so many art forms be lost to the next generation? I'm suddenly inspired to change this in whatever small way I can.

Folk artists and crafters unite!