Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All Kind of Capers

Mars Hill, NC
Well, it's only Wednesday, and so far it's been a crazy busy week. We were able to head up to Asheville over the weekend and we had a great time. We traveled to Mars Hill to go snow tubing, a first for me. We had a blast, although I have a bruise the size of a grapefruit on my rear end just from bouncing around on the tube. Luckily, it didn't hurt at the time. I just have to be careful how I sit!

A gorgeous mountain road near Mars Hill

Something about putting my store on vacation mode seems to encourage business. While we were away I had one sale and got another commission for a Kitty Kapers replica cat. This cat is a vintage Barbie accessory from 1972. It came with an outfit called Kitty Kapers from the Put-ons & Pets line of outfits. The pets from these sets are extremely rare, so sometimes people ask me to make a copy for their Barbie display. You can see my first Kitty cat and find a link to the original Barbie outfit here: http://mandalineartfulliving.blogspot.com/2013/03/kitty-kapers.html.

My replica Kitty Kapers cat

My version resembles the original enough that I think you can tell what it was intended to be, but not so much you could mistake it for a real vintage version. The original vintage cat looks rather flat. Mine has string-jointed legs to allow for some poseability and to give it some volume. My cats are made of wool felt stuffed with bamboo-rayon fibers. Then I felt wool blend yarn "fur" over the body. The eyes and nose are handmade Czech glass beads, so each varies slightly, and the mouth is embroidery floss. They are just the right size for Barbie and other 11 1/2 inch fashion dolls, as well as tiny Betsy McCall, Alexanderkins, and other small dolls. My kids like them just by themselves; I have to keep them on a really high shelf because otherwise the kids are always playing with them!

The cat fits Barbie and other fashion dolls.

The eyes and nose are Czech glass beads.

The legs are string jointed so they move a bit.

We got home Sunday evening just in time to cook supper. My mother-in-law had been with the kids for two days so I figured she was probably tired of fixing meals for them. I dug out my Kitty pattern and materials and started on the cat Monday. I try to finish these in three hours or less, although right now I'm still right around three and a half hours. Once I take out the cost of materials, eBay fees, and shipping my profit puts me making less than minimum wage! That's pretty sad for a copy of a vintage cat that, with the original Barbie outfit included, sells for around $900! Since I was sore Monday night from my tubing bruises I skipped my run and got it all finished. Unfortunately, the client doesn't like that one. I looked at the original Barbie cat as a reference, but the customer prefers my version. That's flattering! So, I made another one today, only using my first one as reference. I will be listing Monday's version (shown here in this post) in my store, so please check: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.

Also on Monday, my sister's family stopped in for lunch and so my nephews and son could have a play date. Yesterday my son's class made up their Valentine's party, which they missed because of the snow. It's amazing to think there's still snow on the ground, since it's 70 degrees today. I'm sitting here in a short sleeve shirt feeling hot! Tomorrow I have my littlest one's parent teacher conference and then I really need to get started on listing a mountain of outgrown kids' clothes in my store. Keep watching for those!


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