April Etsy Shop Update

For some reason sales have been slow since Christmas – I’ve had a few custom orders from people I know personally, but my Etsy shop has been pretty dry. Luckily the dry spell came to a close over the last week, which was good because I had been slowly working on a few new aprons to add in, so timing couldn’t have worked out better! These new patterns have been added in to the shop now:

Herd of Cats Aprons April 2015I’ve been doing lots of product experimenting lately as I’ve wanted to expand my shop for quite awhile with new and different products. So those will be coming in slowly over the next couple of months as they are perfected! Look forward to things like pillow covers (with Liberty of London and Nani Iro fabrics!), shoulder bags, and embroidered items – I’m so excited!

And remember that time about a month ago, when I wrote that I wasn’t planning on selling any weavings? Well, it turns out that I really, really love making them. And I have limited wall space. And I was getting lots of encouragement to sell them. So I decided to list a few of them in a new Etsy shop to see what happens. I’ll be posting more details on that, including a link to the new shop, within the next couple of weeks.

P.S. I’ll be back on Friday with a garden related post!

Feel free to visit my Etsy shop, Herd of Cats, even just to browse! 😉 Thank you for all of your support!

Yarn Swift, The Smartest Purchase This Year

Maybe the title of this post says it all, but trust me, if you are a knitter, crocheter, weaving, whatever, save yourself hours of frustration and swearing and just buy a yarn swift. I really don’t know how I got by until now and I have no idea why I resisted. I think it was because I just didn’t want to spend the money. Also, I’m not really into the gimmicky things. But I had a few Etsy sales in one week, so I decided to treat myself. Plus, this seemed to be a legit time saver, unlike my long gone Slap Chop. I’ve been doing a ton of weaving lately so I’m going through wool like crazy – and untangling that crap like nobody’s business. Sometimes I feel like I spend just as much time untangling my yarn as I do weaving (I’m being dramatic now).

Yarn Swift

Naturally, my next purchase should be a ball winder, but I actually don’t mind balling yarn by hand now – it is actually very relaxing (I know, I’m weird).

I bought my swift online from Knit Picks (it got good reviews, plus free shipping) and so far I have no complaints. It is sturdy and beautiful and I just want to ball yarn all day (not really).

On another note, I appear to be back from the dead and feeling somewhat normal again (I haven’t been that sick for at least a couple of years). So I’m hoping to be able to get a few things done in the yard this week, as well as get around to adding a few new items to my Etsy shop. Yay for feeling normal again!

Casual Fridays Part 6

I haven’t done a casual Fridays post for awhile – and since I’ve been under the weather this week, I just haven’t really had a chance to do much in the way of gardening, or cooking, or crafting. But I have had lots of time to sit around reading the internet! Here are a few things I found around this week that I really enjoyed:

1. You Grow Girl on Earth Day. I was driving to work on Wednesday morning and as I listened to the radio hosts talk about Earth Day, I definitely found myself rolling my eyes and groaning “Yes people, let’s give the earth its very own day along with National Cat Day or Secretary Appreciation Day”. But that’s not really what it’s all about – and this article really resonated with me.

2. 30 Surprising Stars Who Were on The X-files Before They Were Famous – I can’t say that I am at all excited for the upcoming X-files reboot, although I was a huge fan of Seasons 1-5. I’m not saying that I won’t watch the new episodes given the opportunity, but I’m not having kittens over here. I’m not usually a re-poster of these types of internet articles, but I did enjoy this one. My favorite not-so-famous-then-but-famous-now appearances were Giovanni Ribisi, Bryan Cranston, and Luke Wilson. Also, Michael Buble?! Who knew.

3. The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo last weekend had record breaking attendance! I’m definitely not a crowds person but I attended because I really, really wanted to meet the boys of Beverly Hills 90210. And I did! And I touched all of them! Haha. But seriously, Jason, Ian and Luke did a great panel (I wish it would have been longer!) and I was pleased to find out that they are all very nice and down-to-earth people, thankfully not crushing all of my teenage dreams.

4. I’ve been thinking about getting one of these mini patio greenhouses for a few years now but I’m still waffling. First of all, they are a bit pricey, and second, do I really need it? I already have a greenhouse in my back yard, but it is primarily for growing hot peppers. I think a mini greenhouse would be ideal for growing things like eggplant in a brighter/hotter part of my yard (I’m actually thinking right on my upper deck), but I haven’t had any success with eggplant in the past, so would it be worth it to try again? Feel free to chime in if you have any experience with these greenhouses, or if you think I shouldn’t even bother. I’ve also thought about building my own similar greenhouse, but I just don’t want to take on another project, especially since our growing season is so short already, I kind of just want to enjoy it and focus on ripping out the remaining sod in the front yard. I guess I have a problem committing to a large-ish purchase like this that may or may not yield results.

5. I’ve been reading along with Banjo’s Daughters and I’m really, really enjoying it. You need to start right at the beginning though – but luckily the archives do not go back very far yet!

I’ve been trying to post gardening photos on my instagram as much as I can. This week I am over the moon with my tiny dwarf tomato seedlings (pictured below) – they are the most adorable! These ones are called Red Robin. I grew them last year and while they aren’t exactly anything extraordinary taste-wise (better than a store bought baby tomato, but not as good as most of the other varieties I grow), I do love them because they are petite and grow a million tomatoes on one tiny plant. Plus, I am doing an experiment with them this year which I will explain in another post.

Red Robin Tomato Seedlings

Aren’t they just the most adorable?! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Early Spring in Alberta

Unfortunately I’ve come down with a spring cold, so while I’d prefer to be outside cleaning up my beds, planting my spinach and radishes, or just enjoying the lovely weather, I’ve been stuck inside feeling terrible and living in front of the television (it doesn’t sound that terrible, but trust me, it got old after the first day). Anyway, before this curse arrived, I was able to get outside and snap a few photos of things growing in the garden last week.


The first flowers to bloom in my garden are always these tiny crocuses. I remind myself every year to plant more in the fall but I always seem to forget when the time comes. I think once the remaining grass in our front yard is removed, I’ll make sure to plant a ton of different crocuses along the front of the beds.

Wild Rose

My prickly rose (also known as the Alberta Wild Rose) is the first of my roses to get leaves (I left the berries on for the birds but it seems they didn’t want them). I wrote about this rose in one of my very first blog posts last year here. I can’t wait until the intoxicating smell of the flowers arrives again!

Tulips & Alliums

This isn’t the prettiest sight from my front yard, but the tulips and alliums are coming up through last year’s corpses that I still need to clean up. The tulips will be blooming in a couple of short weeks.


The rhubarb is going to be way bigger than last year, I can already tell. 

I wish I had more energy for a longer post, but I am going to attempt to nurse this cold in hopes that it will go away.

Is anything coming up in your garden?

What I’m Making: More Wool Wall Weavings

So a few weeks back I wrote about making my first wee wall weaving. Since then, I have been weaving every chance I get. I made several more of the wee weavings (follow me on instagram if you want to see all my weavings), but I also started my first large weaving. I had considered purchasing another peg loom, but I instead decided to try out Loom & Spindle’s “small” loom (which I love! I just need to play with it a bit more). When I say small, it is actually very large compared to my mini peg loom. But of course, in comparison to some of the mega looms I’ve seen, this one is actually small-ish.

Making a larger weaving is much more time consuming, of course, but I also think it requires a lot more planning. With the wee weavings, I felt like I could just wing it and not have to do too much planning. With the larger weaving, you need to think about how much wool you’ll need, what sort of pattern you want to do, and so on. I’m really glad that I started out on the smaller weavings though because it allowed me to experiment and not feel bad if something didn’t turn out exactly the way I had hoped it would.

Wool Wall Weaving

Selecting colors is the most difficult part for me. Naturally, I lean towards neutrals. So I decided to embrace my neutral tenancies for this first large weaving, choosing cream and greyish/brown. One thing I love about weaving is that it gives me a chance to use wool that is maybe a bit too scratchy for apparel, so most of what I use is that type of wool. I also stumbled upon some beautiful brown roving while I was at an out of town yarn shop, so I included some of that in my weaving for a pop of texture.

Wool Wall Weaving

I am actually surprised at how much I am loving weaving. But, I do get obsessed with things that I instantly love (sewing, knitting, gardening), so I shouldn’t be surprised. Regardless, I’m finding myself thinking about weaving when I’m not doing it, and coming up with ways that I can sneak a little weaving in here and there between other projects.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about learning to weave and venturing in to other fiber arts that I wouldn’t have even dreamed about a year or so ago. I recently acquired an Inkle loom from my Mom who had an extra one on hand and I’m excited to give it a try. I would be grateful for any advice from those who have “inkled” – I discovered there is a fiber arts shop not too far from me (but out of town), so I’m going to venture there in the next few weeks and hope that they have a class. I’m also considering taking a yarn spinning class sometime in the next year thanks to a few instagram accounts that I follow – and it also turns out the agricultural college about an hour outside of town offers spinning courses. Who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll be spinning my own yarn. Now just imagine if I had my own sheep!