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Author Archives: Lorelai

We interrupt this sabbatical to bring you something too amazing not to post

Hey Kraftsy Kitties!

We apologize for the recent lack of posts. We’ve had a lot of things to be busy kitties with, and unfortunately they wren’t all kraftsy related. But we’ve all made a triple-pact to come back with cool things, soon!

Also, I wanted to share this awesome cat tree that I would LOVE to make one day for my two cats. Have you ever disassembled a cat tree? In reality, all it is is sisal rope, carpet, and carboard tubes. Well, very, very thick cardboard tubes. Still, no reason for a kraftsy person not to make a custom one!

funny-Star-Trek-cat-tree

Source: TheMetaPicture.com

http://themetapicture.com/star-trek-cat-tree/

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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Informational

 

Kitties need fresh water too

Hello Kitty Krafters!

Do you provide your kitty with a fresh supply of water? Then you probably know that sometimes cleaning a kitty’s water bowl can be kind of nasty! Due to my laziness I invested in a “kitty water fountain” for my cats, so that I only had to change and wash their water source once every three weeks. It’s a really great deal! I especially like the Drinkwell series, which is only about $30ish on Amazon.com. You can get the original Drinkwell, or the Drinkwell Platinum if you have multiple cats and have a little extra space.

Unless you are amazingly diligent, any water bowl will gradually get dirty/grimy from dust, bits of cat food, etc. The city I live in has especially hard water, so the calcium in the water gradually combines with the daily grime, resulting in rings of tough, stubborn stains! I used to scrub and scrub the plastic Drinkwell, with only minimal success – and it made me worry that I was damaging the plastic, too.

But then I found a great solution: Vinegar and baking powder! Here’s how I do it:

01-dirty

Here’s how the fountain looked after 3 weeks of neglect. You can see the lines along the filter switch, the waterfall base, and the ring around the water level.

02-ingreds

Here are my magical ingredients – plain old distilled white vinegar and baking powder. The vinegar does the majority of the work. for a bit of extra “scrubbing,” wet the dirty spots with vinegar and sprinkle the baking powder on top.

03-soak

Stubborn stains can be taken off by soaking a paper towel in vinegar, and applying it directly to the stain. Leave it on overnight.

04-powder

Vinegar + baking powder = instant bubbles! Great for an extra “scrubbing.”

05-brush

A soft bristled brush (i.e. a toothbrush) can also be used for those hard-to-reach-crevices.

06-rinse

When you’re done, give everything a nice warm water rinse.

07-happycat

Ta-da!! Clean fountain! Looks like Elton-kitty approves!

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in DIY, Informational, Tips & Tricks

 

The key to keeping everything clean = keeping the litterbox clean

Hey Kitty Krafters!

Recently, I was searching around on Amazon for new kitty bathroom accessories. I was very unhappy with our current litterbox and our Fresh Step brand clay-based litter, which gradually had left a fine gray dust over EVERYTHING in our bathroom. The clumping and the odor fighting powers of Fresh Step are phenomenal, but I couldn’t help but feel like we were inhaling the dust each time we scooped, as well.

After some shopping, we ended up changing almost everything about our kitty litter setup, and I love it all!

BoodaDome

First off, I exchanged our old litterbox for the Booda Dome, which helps control some of the litter tracking. One little trick that helps lessen the tracking even more is to turn the entrance of the Booda Dome to the wall! Leave only a little space, about six inches or so. Kitty will have to make a few low-speed turns to get out of the bathroom, giving the tracked litter plenty of time to fall off their paws, either in the Booda Dome’s steps or right outside, where we keep our litter-tracking mat.

showOverlay('21645340168265P')Which brings me to our second change: a new litter mat! We just use a very basic foam mat. It’s soft and comfy on a kitty’s paws, and has little grooves that trap litter when they walk across. There are fancier ones out there that you can try too – I just find that the key to an effective litter mat is simply cleaning/vacuuming it very often. If it gets too full of litter, they will just track it farther and farther out of the bathroom!

pPETS-11566816t300x300

Finally: Are you aware of something amazing called the Litter Genie? I certainly wasn’t until Amazon recommended it to me. It’s basically a diaper genie, but for cats! Before we had one, we had to sacrifice one plastic bag every time we scooped the litter box. Sure, it was usually an old Safeway or Target bag, but we felt really bad just the same!

The Litter Genie has this genius ring containing a plastic lining that is fourteen feet long. When the litter genie fills up, you simply open it, cut off the existing bag of kitty waste, tie it up and throw it away. You then knot the bottom of the plastic and you’re ready to go!

The only problem: refills are expensive. But that’s when AJ sent over a bunch of pictures of her husband demonstrating how they quickly got around the refill problem, using ordinary 13 gallon garbage bags with drawstrings. Genius!

litter01

This is what the Litter Genie (or Litter Locker II – they basically are the same product) refill ring looks like.

litter02

Pull the garbage bag through the center of the refill ring.

litter03

Wrap the outsides of the garbage bag over and around the ring, much like when you line a garbage can with a new bag. Try to tuck it in under the ring so that when you put the ring back in the Litter Locker, the ring is placed on top its own bag refill, keeping it in place.

litter04

If your garbage bag has drawstrings this is very easy, as you can gently tighten the drawstrings and close the top a little bit, so that the bag is securely wrapped around the litter ring.

litter05

This part can be a bit tricky but will come with practice – with one hand, open the litter locker divider (the one that seals away all the litter smells) and let the bag drop through the hole, just like the normal refill would.

litter06

If you did it right, the ring should be snugly tucked back into its position, with a new bag ready to go!

litter07

Recognize AJ’s tupperware litterbox and hand-cut litter mat? 🙂

And the final piece of my kitty bathroom renovation – the litter itself! Unfortunately this is where most people have to go through a bit of trial and error. Everyone has different preferences and are willing to make different kinds of sacrifices. As far as I know, there is no perfect litter. But I particularly like Blue Buffalo (also known as Blue Naturally Fresh). A bit of research online tells me that this brand might’ve gone through some rebranding in the past, but it looks like this in my local pet store:

306107702_lg

I use the multi-cat clumping formula – frankly, I don’t think I could deal with non-clumping litter because I live in a tiny condo and don’t have an outdoor backyard (or hose) where I could clean a litterbox or dispose of broken-down litter! Blue Naturally fresh is walnut based, has a very nice, natural smell, does a impressive job at odor control, a passable job at clumping, and is super easy to cleanup and does not track very much at all! Best of all, it’s almost dust-free!

I hope one (or two, or all) parts of this kitty bathroom renovation helps you generate some ideas on how to make one of the ickier parts of of having a cat a lot more manageable!  (Which really isn’t very bad at all, is it? Scooping litter with a shovel as opposed to picking up dog poop with a plastic bag, which would you choose?)

😀

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Informational

 

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Kraftsy Kitty’s First Raffle!

Hey folks!!

Thanks for reading and as always we hope you’ve found at least one or two tricks to keep both you and your fuzzy monsters sharing your house peacefully while you craft. We were thinking… we’d love to hear from you guys and get to know our readers a little more! So, we briefly interrupt our Kraftsy Kitty routine and bring you…. *drumrolllll* OUR FIRST RAFFLE GIVEAWAY!

You can win one of these adorable Kitty Donuts! They are squishy toys about the size of your palm, filled with liquid and glitter.

Here’s a comparison photo of the kitty donuts when compared to the size of an actual sized kitty. Please note, these are not meant to be cat toys.

Here’s how you can win a kitty donut! You can win multiple entries into the raffle:

  • Follow us on WordPress or via RSS Reader, and let us know about it in a comment on this post! (1 entry)
  • Share Kraftsy Kitties blog on your Facebook or Twitter feed, and let us know about it in a comment on this post! (1 entry)
  • Share a kitty tip with us in your comment! Any tip is welcome, craftsy or not! (1 entry)

We’ll run this promotion until December 1, 2012. Then we’ll pick two winners randomly! Good luck 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Informational

 

Keeping your books and workstation hair free

Hey folks, Happy Kraftsy Kitty Monday!

How can you say no to that face?

I’m really excited about today’s post, which is two related tips about keeping stuff cat hair free!

Do you have a desk dedicated to your computer workstation? Most people do these days. The fiance and I both have dedicated office space with our computers – a desktop computer, and an LCD monitor. We both spend a large amount of time at our computers, which mean our cats love to spend it with us. As soon as we got the cats, we noticed that our computer desks got increasingly dusty and hairy – and no wonder, considering where our cats like to hang out with us!

We tried to just clean up and wipe down our desks more often, but with all the peripherals and the LCD monitors sitting on our desks, this was tedious and annoying. Additionally, my primary monitor is a Wacom Cintiq tablet (an artist tool) – which is extremely heavy and has a ton of large wires coming out from the back of it. Moving it is no trivial task, so cleaning around it is very annoying!

I figured if I could at least keep all the LCD monitors off the desk, it would be a lot easier to wipe down the desk in one go, since we wouldn’t have to maneuver between all the monitors. At first I thought about mounting the LCD monitors to the wall, but that wouldn’t work for my Wacom Cintiq, since I have to maneuver it around and work on it with a stylus.

Enter the Ergotron – an LCD stand that has a flexible arm. I bought three of them and mounted all three of our LCD monitors to our desk. The absolute best thing about this is the flexibility – we can change the height, pitch, and direction its facing at any time! That means easier dualscreening as well: I mounted an LCD in the middle of the table, and I move the Wacom Cintiq to the side when I want to just play some computer games.

So, not only can we configure the three monitors between us however we please – we can wipe the table in only a few seconds, keeping it cat hair and dust free easily!

Three LCD’s mounted with Ergotron arms. The center LCD is hooked up to my computer (on the right).

Another view of the normal rig.

Gaming mode: I move the Wacom Cintiq to the side and use the LCD as my primary monitor.

We applied a similar concept downstairs: We used to have an open IKEA shelf that was very sturdy, but unfortunately it was placed against the wall just against the stairs. Our kitties LOVE racing up and down the stairs, and as time went on a layer of kitty dust and hair would accumulate on the shelves (and everything on the shelves!)

Open shelf: 100% messy looking, 100% kitty-hair coated.

Solution? Well, you can’t prevent the hair – but again, you can make it easier to clean! We went to IKEA and bought various types of their BILLY line bookshelves. This modular shelving line is so easy to assemble and so simply stylish!

The key is to get the accompanying doors – we decided to go with the doors that were half opaque, half glass. That way, we can show off some shelf items on the top, but hide messier things behind solid doors on the bottom.

So much neater, and much more space available as well! As our collection of books/movies/board games grow, we can also add to our BILLY shelves with their modular additions!

Moral of this post: You can’t avoid cat hair. We shave one of our cats yearly, and he still can’t help but shed all over the house. What you CAN do, however, is make the cleanup a lot easier on yourself – and I hope you’ll find the tips today helpful for doing so!

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Informational

 

Random kitty tips, featuring Monty as your host

Hello.

Did that just make your Monday better? Poor Monty is such a good sport about these things 🙂 I recently became aware of breadedcats.com, and since Monty is already a repeat star on stuffonmycat.com, I figured he might be interested in expanding his repertoire!

We had such a scare with him recently! We had to take him to the pet hospital due to what’s just referred to generally as a urinary tract blockage. Causes are still uncertain, but there seem to be many links to environmental stress and kitties getting U/T blockages.

Monty was part of that majority in which had no idea why he suddenly was unable to “go” – but after a few days at the hospital on a special diet (and a catheter, poor boy), he was able to come home. Elton missed him soooo much!

Monty and his new haircut last April

There’s actually a lot of things you can do to keep your cat healthy that fall in line with things to keep YOU healthy as well (and sane). For example, every summer we give Monty his summer hair cut. That involves going to his local groomer and paying for a “lion” cut – they shave off everything except his feet, his face, and the tip of his tail.

It takes about 6-8 months for the fur to grow back, but during that time, EVERYONE is happier:

We are happier because he’s not shedding long hairs everywhere, or trailing litter and dust everywhere in his wake. Some long hair cats give up on grooming themselves because it’s just too hard to do – this means unfortunately that their fur coat gets pretty icky, and subsequently anything they touch with their icky fur coat gets icky as well. It was especially gross when he came bounding out of the litter box after doing his business.

Monty is also happier when he’s a shorthair cat because he can groom himself, and he’s less hot during the summer! When the temperatures rose, Monty would become a puddle on the floor, unwilling to play or do anything because of the heat. With his kitty haircut, he’s actively playing with Elton throughout the day.

So I definitely recommend a summer haircut for all long hair kitties who need a little assistance keeping themselves clean! A clean kitty is a healthy kitty (and happy kitty parents).

To end this generally random post, Monty would like me to recommend a fantastic tool for web designers and developers that I found via a coworker this past week: Placekitten.com!

If you ever find yourself designing your own website or blog, and want to use something as placeholder images while you’re coding, try a placekitten!

Elton says “Please use Placekittens.com for your web design needs, so Lorelai stops trying to put our faces in bread slices…”

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Informational, Tips & Tricks

 

Fabric Organizers, Part II

The three of us are totally enablers for each other. We will often link things to each other during the day and end up putting in an order x3 by that night 🙂 One thing we’re all eagerly waiting for are these completely adorable iPhone headphone jack dust protectors: THEY’RE KITTIES!? HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO THESE?? 🙂

A-hem…getting back on track…

Today’s post is just a quick continuation of AJ’s post last time about fabric organizers. She had originally discovered them and linked them to D and I – of course, we thought they were the most genius thing ever, and each of us picked up no less than 20 each. And by that, I mean more than 20. Perhaps a lot more.

AJ’s the master of large rubbermaid bins. Me? I’m kind of an IKEA girl! As if the Billy bookcase mod didn’t give that away…

IKEA’s Expedit System is my favorite thing in the world. Their 2×4 shelf is the most versatile, in my opinion – it’s not the easiest thing to assemble, but I will mention that I have been able to do it by myself 🙂

As open shelves are, of course, a magnet for cat hair (and general dust, I won’t blame it all on the cats here!), I also supplement my shelving system with the lidded Kassett Boxes. Think of them as those boxes that reams of paper come in from Staples, except prettier. They are incredibly easy to assemble, and they are basically just made of cardboard – you unfold them and screw a few tabs into place, and you’re done! They’re cleverly reinforced at the points of most potential damage, so they end up being both light AND sturdy.

Obviously, an organizational re-haul has yet to be performed on the LOWER half of the shelf 🙂 But that’s an entirely different blog…

The top row are the Kassett boxes; the bottom row are clear plastic drawers that are sized to fit the Expedit exactly, but I don’t remember their name at the moment. Sorry! They are usually sold right next to the Expedit shelves at IKEA. 🙂

Before, my boxes looked like this:

Total free-for-all and a shot in the dark to find anything 😛 And, of course, I would always end up taking forever because I would tear through the box, throw everything around, and then spend time neatly folding everything back – just to tear it apart the next time.

After the Fabric Organizers were put to good use, my boxes looked like this!

Bolts of cloth! I approximate sizes by their fatness 🙂

Patterns Stash!

Each of the four boxes has a purpose – two hold my larger/longer bolts of fabric; one holds the smaller bolts; one holds patterns. I still keep my scraps (i.e. anything 1 sq. ft or smaller, used for arts and crafts) in small rubbermaid bins in the closet, it’s just not worth the effort of organizing those to this level.

This current system isn’t really scalable at all, I know; but that actually works for me – it makes me extremely honest about using up the fabric I have, before I buy any more. So I force myself to only own as much material as fits into my shelf. The method works! 😀

For now….

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Tips & Tricks, Tools & Accessories