Friday, October 17, 2008


Here's the clamp or vise that Leah uses to construct the cat toys. On the table you can see the "bobbin" that holds the spool of thread and the wire cutters.
We've been using eye screws as the base for the toys--so Leah cuts off the sharp tip with the wire cutters.
Leah tried it both ways--with the clamp holding the tip end and the eye end of the screw. Eye end works best. Making cat toys is just different than making flies--hehe!
Then Leah wraps and adds feathers... by one...

...until she has it the way she wants it. :)
I guess I didn't remember to get pictures of how she seals the thread. Leah bought some black liquid plastic and she coats the threads with that and lets it dry. That's why we have them hanging after they are done--to let the liquid plastic dry thoroughly.
This didn't show the process very well--but those red balls you see in the package are the handles of the long threaders. You push the threader down into the end of the bobbin...
...then just pull the threader out and voila! What a handy contraption! Holds the spool for you and everything--cool! We love these new little tools.
Since we were just coating the thread with the liquid plastic, all Leah needed to do to finish the thread off was clamp the end of the thread with this cool little tweaser clamp thingie to hold the end so she could glue it down. You can see above that she weighted down the little clamp with the small dangling scissors--just to hold the thread down flat while the glue dried.
Another really great little invention we had never seen before. I am sure we will come up with alternate uses for these little tools, too! hehe!
Then Leah hung them up to wait for the plastic to dry.
We will probably be making cat toys for a couple more Craft Nights. :) Leah only made two of them this week since the class went longer than she expected and she had to help me with the camera for quite a while, too. Last week she made three of them and re-did two old toys. We are going to remake the other shorter pole toys I have so that we will be able to interchange the toys on the end of the strings with a clip in this same manner--and so that we can attach new strings more easily when the cats bite through them. One of the cats at Leah's already bit through the string while she was on the phone--hehe! Cats do love strings, eh? As long as they just bite through them and don't try to eat them--no problem. :)
It feels so good to have the keys turned in and the garages switched. So wonderful to be having Craft Nights again with Leah! Now, if I can just sleep well again...hehe! I haven't been getting much sleep since last Friday. Been up late (2-4am) and tossing and turning. Been setting the alarm so that I don't start sleeping around the clock again--every day thinking the lack of sleep would get me to bed earlier. Hasn't. Yet. I am suffering an apparent relapse of the notorious insomnia. It always came and went (since I hit menopause)--eventually. I assume it will pass once again, of course. I am fighting to keep on days--hehe!
The problem is that the lack of sleep sets off all the fibro issues, I am pretty much zombie-ish here for a while. I will feel better again. Nothing new--I'm okay. Good days and bad, right? And with these fibro "flares" you can have good and bad weeks--or months--or even years, I guess. I have had times where the fibro manifested itself (big time!) in certain spots or areas of the body--for months! Depends on your activities the doctor told me--or sometimes for no apparent reason whatsoever. And it can kind of move--or shift focus to another area. Such a strange disease, eh?
So sometimes I am more limited than others. Sometimes I am in sharper pain or more exhausted to the bone than other times--which can make it harder to concentrate or more difficult to type or even do things like wash clothes or cook. Just life. But--in case you may be wondering why I can be doing a lot more projects for a while and then I can go for a long period of time without posting any projects I have been doing--that's why. Not a big deal. :)
Anyways, I love being Leah's minor assistant with the cat toys! I do try to blog almost every day. Even if it takes me longer and I have to take breaks. Just don't want anybody worrying about me, okay? My happiness is not contingent on my health. They are very separate things. Netflix and the TV and I are best buds sometimes--hehe! Life is good up here in Fargo! :):)


Serena Lewis said...

Clever Leah! My Dad makes all his own flies as he's into the Flyfishing though rarely gets a chance to go as he has to travel down South for the freshwater fishing spots.

Rita said...

Ha! Then you have seen most of this equipment--hehe! I bet not too many people have ever used it to make cat toys, tho--chuckle! :)