Monday, October 14, 2013

Gift Basket Reveal for A New Leash on Life

I get a lot of requests from animal rescue and advocacy groups for donations from my shop and while I don't have time to make things for them all, I do my best to be able to help as many groups' requests as I possibly can. So, when I was contacted by the fabulous people at A New Leash On Life rescue, I got to work. There are actually several groups with that same name, but this is the one in northeast Ohio. Click here to give their webpage a look.

Here's a look at some of the cards included in the basket. I wanted to include something that would help spread the rescue message and I think these came out really cute. Moonlight Journey is the producer of the collage sheet featuring the kitty cone images that got my creativity jump started, and the cats you see are actual shelter kitties.Then I added all sorts of papers, ribbons, fussy cut bits, chipboard, itty bitty sticky letters, veneers, punches, and more. Check out that beautiful coral lace on the top right card. It's even prettier in person.

Here's the other set of cards. Super sparkly with lots of bright details. I love that argyle one and the little bird with the word bubble in the upper left corner. Cuteness!

Cards are fun, but I felt the basket needed something more to mix things up, so here's the bookmark I made. It's a little hard to see all the details, like the itty bitty kitten punches, below. Those kinds of things are what make it all so much fun. The kitty veneers are pretty darn cool additions, too!
So, how can you make this basket yours and have all of the proceeds go to A New Leash on Life? The auction will be on their Facebook page, plus you can have fun reading more about the animals they're helping. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October's Charity of the Month: Alley Cat Allies

Am I cheating today? Meh, a little. I was going to do a posting here about this month's Etsy for Animals Charity of the Month, the charity that will be receiving at minimum of 10% of my proceeds from the sales in my shop in the month of October. That's just the bare minimum donation, though, since there are plenty of items in my shop that are designated as 100% donation items. All of the proceeds from those items will go to help out the Charity of the Month, so the donations add up quickly when these items sell.

So I was going to post that a few months ago I nominated Alley Cat Allies because of the outstanding work they do for stray and feral cats. I was also going to mention that I'm super psyched that they have been selected this month because October 16 is Feral Cat Day. Stay tuned regarding that part. I'm mulling over a few ideas that I'm hoping might get my teammates interested in helping out with our own little event that day for our team.

I had planned to write all kinds of things about how Alley Cat Allies works and so on, but here's the cheating part: I already wrote all those things in a blog post for the Etsy for Animals' site. Instead of repeating the whole thing, here's think link to the post I wrote. Happy reading!

Please come give my shop a look and do some shopping to help out the needs of feral kitties. And check out the other shops on my team. They will be hosting their own donation programs, benefitting Alley Cat Allies, too, so don't hesitate to visit their shops, too. Now's the time to get your holiday shopping going!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ferrets and Greyhounds and Cute Halloween Cards

Hand Watercolored Halloween Kitten, Bunny, and Ferret Cards, Set Currently Available at Scrappy Rat Designs!

Ferrets are great little critters, but like any pet sold in our country, a whole lot of them are ending up in shelters and rescues. The rescue I foster for is always replete with these little fuzzies, or just about to be inundated. If you are considering adding a ferret to your family, please choose rescue, and if you're in the NC triangle area, check out Carolina Pet Rescue's ferrets:
and don't forget your own local shelter. Ferrets are left behind there all the time. 

Anyway, it's one of my teammates over at the All Pets All the Time Etsy team that got me going on the subject of ferrets today. She has started a petition to ask the state of California to reverse the ban on ferrets.
The ban is based on bad science, and rescues need all the adopters they can get. What rescued ferrets don't need is for people moving to California to leave their ferrets behind due to a ban that just doesn't make sense. Please visit the petition. I hope you'll choose to sign, too!

 Ferret Fantasy, Made-to-Order, Set of 5 Cards and Envelopes. Request yours today!

Need a bit more information on the issue before you sign? Read more about the science and studies that support an end to the ban here:

One more important note today! Only one day left to shop to benefit the Etsy for Animals Charity of the Month, Grey2K! I love this organization for the hard work and devotion they put into ending the horrors of the greyhound racing industry. Greyhounds are loving companions who want nothing more than what other dogs are given--a loving human, daily playtime, a comfy couch to cuddle on, and to be a true member of the family. Racing greyhounds aren't so lucky. They spend most of their time in little cages, alone, treated like little more than a money-making tool to be thrown away as soon as their ability to bring in cash wanes. Not all of these animals make it into rescue, and even when they do, they're entering an already strained rescue system that can't handle the number of animals coming into shelters alone, let alone these dogs used and disposed of as a byproduct of the racing industry. Grey2K is working to stem the flow of homeless greyhounds by cutting off the source--closing down the industry that treats these dogs like disposable objects.
Greyhound Halloween, Request your Made-to-Order Set NOW to get them in time! 10% goes to Grey2K if you order now.

Grey2K is a group I support regularly. All of the proceeds from the sale of my handmade greyhound rescue advocacy pins goes to Grey2K, no matter what the month. They're an organization that gives back so much for just a little support. I'm so glad EFA chose to have them as our Charity of the Month, and that my teammates stood up to the racing industry bullies who targeted our little group of artists. Sometimes, when you stand up for animals, you aren't popular with the people who make money off of the suffering of these magnificent dogs. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Keeping You Posted on Scrappy Rat Designs

Greetings to my new viewers (er...readers) who are visiting via my Etsy shop, Scrappy Rat Designs. I've started giving out my blog address to my shoppers and clients so they can keep up with what's going on behind the scenes. It's also a way for those of you who have placed special orders to keep up with progress, as well as seeing what I'm working on for rescue. So, tune in. I think we'll have some fun.

So, I was out of town for about a week, which yes, is why I'm still behind on updating my shop listings. Anyway, while I was gone, apparently someone decided to do a bit of redecorating to make our guestroom a little brighter, and our curb appeal, oh so much classier:

So, who was it who thought they'd surprise us Trading Spaces-style? May I introduce you to my foster rats, Mongo (in the front) and Jerry, peeking from behind. If it weren't for those sweet curly whiskers, I might actually be able to stay mad at them. (Note that Mongo is *standing* on a hunk of my curtains in the photo. Rats have no shame. Though I suppose you'd better not have any shame when you're a naked hairless rat, come to think of it.)

Well, it is my own fault, after all. I did *abandon* them with nothing but a fantastic pet sitter and a slew of new treats so they could have a little yummy each day. Maybe I can blame my husband, Scott, since he picked up the wrong kind of rat food that's rather icky, too late to get more before we had to leave. As an added bonus, Scott's a lot more likely to replace the curtains for me than these little guys are.

So, be a little patient with me as I recover, physically, from my trip. I'm doing my best to shake the spine pain that's doing its best to keep me from getting my work done. The last 3 days have been particularly rough. I'm trying to get your orders completed, and completed in a way I hope you'll really be excited about when you get them. Progress reports will be upcoming.

One last note, though I imagine showing the damage they've done to my home probably isn't the best way to generate interest in my foster ratties, they are some pretty darn wonderful boys. They're neutered, they're less than 6 months old, they're hairless with those curly rex whiskers, plus they're patient, playful, and sweet. Want to learn more? Visit the rescue I foster for: 
These boys would love a forever home!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Check out those calves!

How about this little baby calf for a dose of total sweetness? There's simply nothing about this little guy that isn't squeal worthy. He's my entry in the "monochrome challenge" at A Day for Daisies, the digi stamp company that created him. I think the pink upon pink upon pink upon pink (that last one's for the bit of pink twinkling twine tied around the card's spine) made a really cool effect, and the green base makes that eensie weensie bit of clover pop.

If you still drink animal's milk, think about this little guy before you purchase your next quart. The mothers cry all night long when the farmers take their calves away while still in infancy. They can't have milk "wasted" on the babies when they can sell it to humans. The calves are either designated for the same fate as their mothers, destined for the "rape rack" as soon as they are old enough to become pregnant, or they are crated for veal, fed a nutrient-deficient diet to induce anemia for a light-colored flesh that fetches a higher price. They're denied hay and grass without which they suffer terrible digestive pain and diarrhea. It's not pretty. Soy milk, rice milk and almond milk don't suffer.

Well, enough PSA today. :) I've got work to do to fill an order for some pet sympathy cards and a collage display or two. Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nursery Rhyme Challenge

I'm in love with this stamp I just recently picked up at Little Miss Muffet Stamps. The challenge these last few weeks has been nursery rhyme themed. Since this is the first of her stamps I've picked up, I had to do some thinking to come up with one that fit, but suddenly looking at all that green goop, it came to me:

Pease Porridge hot
Pease Porridge cold
Pease Porridge in the pot
Nine days old.
Some like it hot
Some like it cold
Some like it in the pot
Nine days old.

And look at that nasty porridge:

I bet it wasn't bubbling and oozing like that nine days ago!

So, I'm entering this card I made into the Little Miss Muffet Challenge. Click the link and come check it out! I want all the kitty/puppy stamps. They're adorable!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kitties in Need in Raleigh, NC

I've got the flu or something similarly icky, so this will be a quick post for today, though it's an important one. 
A very kind neighbor is trying very hard to find safe, knowledgeable, and permanent homes for some sweet strays who have been lurking on their back deck for several weeks. I believe they are down to just two candidates, a mother and a baby, though I am not sure a) which of these pictures is of which kitty or b) if these two are actually the ones who have already been adopted, but either way, the two photographed here are very close relatives at the very least, to the cats who are in need, just to give you a vague idea of the size and cuteness level we are discussing here. I believe that the scientific term for their level of cuteness is known as, "very". :) 

They'll need fixing and care, and love and all those good things we expect to give a kitty when we adopt one. If you or someone you know might be interested in the two remaining cats (a young mother and her kitten...they need not go together, if that's a concern.) please let me know and I'll get you in touch with the right people. These are really beautiful kitties, aren't they? If I wasn't up to my own ears in dogs, cats, degus, turtles, chinchilla, and foster pets, I'd be tempted to scoop them up! Thanks for spreading the word!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pink Kitten Card

I picked up this digi stamp from Bugaboo Stamps around the time that Violet kitty came to live with us...a year ago. I'm only now finally getting around to using it. Better late than never, though, right? :)

the image had some faux stitching, to give the illusion that the top of the safety pin was sewn into the paper behind it, so I decided to switch those stitches to real ones and weave some ribbon through holes I punched at the top and bottom of the faux stitches. I think it came out quite nicely.

So, I'm entering this cute kitten card (can you see the embossing on the white card? Neat, huh?) into three challenges:
In the Pink: Anything Goes as Long as It's Pink
Hobby House Challenge: Anything goes
Avenue 613: Anything goes

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bunnies, Kittens, and Purple Blossoms

This will be a quick post, since I seem to be coming down with a cold or allergies or something. My throat and left ear hurt and my nose is yucky. At least my back feels a lot better today, so that's a very good thing! Three cheers for less pain! Hip hip...oh, you know the drill. 

So, first we have a card I made this week that I'm entering into the Pinspired challenge. Here is their inspiration picture of the week:

 I've put one set of these in my Etsy shop and I'm in the middle of making a second set. I can't decide, though. Do I list it on Etsy, too? Do I keep it? Or do I set it aside for a friend I think would love a set for Xmas? Geez, maybe two sets aren't enough!

Violet's been hogging the spotlight here lately and, well, she's going to do it again. Here's my sweet baby kitty eating the project I had just made at Teresa's new catalog open house for Stampin' Up! What a little jerk! She just couldn't resist that tiny flag, taunting her. So, the gift box I made for storing my itty bitty crafting doohickies is now flagless. Sigh.
Naughty kitty!

Speaking of kitties, check out this free digital stamp over at Angi's Antics. It's a sleepy kitty. Love the whiskers! Don't forget to thank her!

Monday, June 10, 2013

My cat, Violet, sneezing.

 Uh oh.




Dignity only minorly bruised. Whew.

Foster Pet Surprise (not a recipe!) :)

Greetings! It's a rather busy Sunday here at The Rat's Nest. Scott went on a rescue run, picking up a baby guinea pig from the Wake County animal shelter to be fostered in the Carolina Pet Rescue program. Thank you CPR! My friend, Julie, posted this adorable picture, and I knew I had to at least try to do something to help.

Oddly, upon his return, Scott reported that the shelter said they had no guinea pigs, which is very strange since the info sent about the little piggie was from their website. Then I looked closer at the message Julie wasn't from the Wake County Animal Shelter, it was from the Friends of Wake County Animal Shelter, a group that, in part, puts these animals into foster homes themselves. So these guys were already in foster care. Ooops! I totally appreciate what Julie did, though. If we have the space and resources to help, we want to be there to lend a hand to try to save as many as we possibly can from being killed.  I should have known to check with them first.

It's still an exciting day for us when it comes to rescuing. We got a new pair of rats from Carolina Pet Rescue to foster. They're *naked*!!! Tiny hairless little boys. Don't worry, you'll see them very soon. I'll be taking, like, a million pictures tomorrow.

While we're talking pets, Clear Dollar Stamps has a new freebie today...a Shih Tzu!
Have fun digi stamping!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kitty Kupcakes and Koladas

Clear Dollar Stamps has a really cute freebie digistamp of an otter, both in outline (my favorite, since I like to color things my way) and in color, complete with matching printable paper. They have some others geared toward Christians, so if you're into that, you have even more reason to check it out. They have a whole store full of neat stamps, too. I've got my eye on the set with the hamster popping out of a coffee cup. A-freakin-dorable!

And today I want to share this card, which totally makes me wish my cats would bring me cupcakes and pina coladas, instead of poopy litterboxes and hairballs, but they also bring me purrs and head butts, so I guess they're pretty cool. :)

I'm entering this one in the Summer Holiday themed challenge at Paper Players. I even used the very last scrap of that citrus fruity looking paper I adore. I picked it up a few years ago on a whim and can't recall the manufacturer, so even if it's still in production, there's not really a way for me to find it again. C'est la vie.
 The icing embellishment is also from a beloved line of Jolees that has been discontinued, so I snatch up all I can find anytime I happen to find some. Any tips on locating either of these items again (at a descent price...holy frijoles some ebayers with price gouge you!) would be super cool. I just get hooked on certain papers and embellishments and then the companies *dare* discontinue them without consulting me first! Honestly!

By the way, the kitty stamp I used is by Whimsy and Stars. I was super excited when I ran into her site on Etsy because I adored her designs when they used to be available through the now defunct "The Angel Company". Check out her shop. She's got great digis.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fiskateers Birthday Club Crop Weekend

Surprise! It's me! I'm blogging again, believe it or not. I know it's been a long time, but I've missed doing the crafty-sharey thing, and have some other things to yap about, too. So if you'll forgive the lapse in posts, I'll try to make your visits worth your while. :)

Like today, for example, I wanted to share a link to some free supercute digi stamps available at the Creative Cuties website. There's a doe-eyed deer (how appropriate), and a beautiful fox that I'm absolutely in love with. Just click the link and you should be able to download it there. Don't forget to leave a note of thanks in the comments. It's very generous of them to offer these for free!

Now, let's see what I can share that I've been working on. This weekend was the Fiskateer Birthday Club Crop, hostessed by my fabulous friend Donna (check out her blog, here). She's the organizer of the Birthday Club, and sends out monthly emails listing the birthdates and addresses of participating Fiskateers so members can send handmade cards to each other. I've been participating for a couple of years now, and it's both fun to make and send the cards, as well as receiving a freaking ton of amazing hand-created cards on your own birthday. Whoo hoo! They totally decorate my living room and make by birthday feel like a holiday.

So, here's one the cards I made this weekend. For this one I also had the stamp designer's challenge in mind, too. Doodle Pantry gets credit for the super cute rat stamp and you can see their challenge page here. The sentiment is from one of my absolute favorite Stampin' Up sets of all time, "Hip Hip Hooray", one of the first stamp sets I ever bought from them years ago.

 Also, Doodle Pantry is sponsoring the challenge at Incy Wincey Designs, with a spring theme, and I think the soft yet bright colors and cute juicy fruitilicious design fit nicely. Whew! Three challenges...that's one challenged card!

Um no. That''s not what I meant.

More tomorrow!`