Thursday, March 12, 2015

Part 2 ~ Cat & Mouse

Today the tale of the EcoNip Cat toy.  It started with a box of string as any good kitty story should.  Well, it is not exactly string but nylon cord.  Many years ago I was a member of a craft coop on the coast of Maine.  It is where I tried to sell handwoven items and when they won't sell I started making puppets! (selling handwoven is tough if you want to get USA wages with so many items being made where the labor cost are unfairly low... Anyways, I digress.)  One day it was my turn to be cashier at the coop and one of our older members pulled up in her car as I was about to go inside.  She had 2 big trash bags with her.  One bag was full of wool scraps, she was a rug braider.  The other was full of nylon cord, her husband made wooden lobster traps and the cord was used to "knit the trap door into the kitchen".  Well, this lady told me she thought I was a very handy girl and was sure I would find a use for these scraps.  As the old saying goes "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or do without!"  

So up to that attic they went, out of sight but NOT out of mind.  The 2 big bags sort of haunted me.  I needed to come up with an idea.  One day while gardening my cat at the time...the amazing Wally...who lived to be 23 years old...was rolling all over a catnip plant.  Ah-ha! a light bulb moment!  This was before "upcycling" was a word but being eco has always been hip to me!  So the EcoNip was born!  I have made 100's since then and they have been enjoyed by cats from coast to coast!

I recently re-designed the EcoNip to rat size for longer cat huggable fun!  Here is my product description... EcoNips ---> HERE

Each Econip is handmade from upcycled wool. The nylon tails are scraps from the making of Maine lobster traps. The nylon would have just ended up in the waste stream if I hadn't nabbed them. This Rat size Econip is approximately 11 inches long with a 18+ inch tail. The long tail allows you to play with your cat at a safe distance from claws! Contrasting colored ears are fun for cats to chew.

Each toys contains 1 CUP of my own HOMEGROWN Catnip, carefully cultivated using organic practices in Freedom, Maine. I store the catnip in leaf form and only crush it a bit to stuff each Econip. This method seems to leave the catnip more potent. After the catnip is added I stuff the rest of the body with Maine Sheep's Wool. The wool is washed waste wool from my handspinning ... see my yarn works here:::

Vern LOVES EcoNipS  I have to store my shop stock on a sealed box on the highest shelf I can find!  Some of my EcoNip customers store them in the freezer so their cats won't find them!

~~~~~~~~~~~My Lively Life~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fiber Art, Weaving, Hand Spun

Hand Made Eco and Upcycled Cutie Buntings, Clothes, & Toys

Vintage Collectibles, Buttons, Clothing & MORE! 

Sea Glass & Copper Wire Ornaments with things I have gathered

My Blog~~Makings, Musings, &  Lifestyle on the Land:  

"Be Joyful because it is humanly possible"~~~Wendell Berry

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