Desert Bus 2017!

This year I donated one cat cube to Desert Bus For Hope, a shift banner cube that will be up for silent auction (between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST November 22nd).  Thanks to Stephen Schmidt Photography for once again taking such great photos.cube1.png

Unless you are familiar with Desert Bus lore, this cube might not make a lot of sense – a Desert Bus day is broken into 4 shifts, and there is a banner that is brought out at the start of each shift. You can see the banner art in the playmat at the top of this picture. From left to right the shifts are Dawn Guard, Alpha Flight, Night Watch, and Zeta.

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One thing that was nice about piecing this cube together was that there are no edges that have to line up exactly across each side of the cube, which has always been the most challenging part in the past. The Alpha Flight decal was obviously the most intricate, and I was really happy with how it turned out.

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This is the 4th year that I’ve had a cube at Desert Bus, and I haven’t gotten any less excited about getting to be a part of something so amazing.

Update: congrats to warkface with a winning bid of $987.65!

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Desert Bus 10!

This year I donated 2 cat cubes to Desert Bus For Hope, a blue D6 that will be a giveaway (between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. November 14th) and a Desert Bus 10 cube that will be auctioned live at 2 a.m eastern on November 13. Having a craft in a live auction is literally a dream come true, so I’m really excited for that. Thanks to Stephen Schmidt Photography for taking such great photos for these.

Edit 1: The Desert Bus cube went for $1250 at auction!

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The Desert Bus cube is unlike one I’ve ever done before as most of the design is on the inside rather than the outside. It’s also a lot more intricate – getting the lettering right was tricky. I won’t go through every single step, but here are a few of the making-of pictures.

Usually I’ll print out a pattern, cut it out, trace it to interfacing, and cut it out from fabric, but the letters have such a specific look to them that I didn’t want to lose the precision from tracing multiple times. To get the letters/logo correct, I printed them directly on to the paper side of the fusible interfacing from my printer. It worked really well, but on one try the webbing got caught around a roller in my printer and it hasn’t been quite the same since, so proceed with caution.

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Letter spacing was also kind of tricky, so I used a paper pattern to match those up.

Everything laid out before putting the sides of the cube together:

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The D6 was a little easier to put together just because I didn’t have to match up any horizontal lines between sides of the cube. For the numbers,  I ended up scanning a D6 to make a pattern as I couldn’t find a font to match the Chessex die. This was the only in-progress pic I took:

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As always, I’m so hyped for Desert Bus and glad that I’ve been able to contribute for the past 3 years. It only takes one $7 donation to Child’s Play Charity to help a kid, and if these cubes can raise ~$1500 this year I’ll be on track to help 1000 kids with something as silly as cat beds, which is pretty awesome.

Ikea Hack – Litter box

Our litter box used to live in the guest bathroom (the guest shower, actually) but that made it difficult for guests to actually use the shower – so we did what anyone looking to create space does and we went to Ikea.  A quick google search shows me that I’m not the first to use the Stuva this way, but here’s my take on it anyway.

Tools/materials:

STUVA Storage bench IKEA Low storage makes it easier for children to reach and organize their things.

Stuva Bench from Ikea

Cat door from Home Depot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1″ thick plywood
  • Jigsaw
  • Optional – plastic lining in case your cats sometimes miss the litter box -_-

It’s basically as easy as installing the cat door on the box and putting a litter box inside.

We were happy to discover that the materials of the Stuva are pretty sturdy – we cut the first hole out of the drawer front and while it wasn’t solid wood, it was pretty durable and cut well with the jigsaw.

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There were a couple of modifications we made so that the door could be installed – it’s meant to be installed on something as thick as a normal household door, and the front of the drawer is fairly thin.  To fix this, we cut a rectangle out of plywood and added that to the back of the drawer front.

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The last extra step that we took was to double line the whole thing with plastic sheeting. We have one cat that isn’t great at aiming, and we didn’t want to have to disassemble the whole box to clean it. Before installing the cat door, we lined the whole box with plastic sheeting, cut a hole in it just big enough for the door, and then put the door in. This way the sheeting is held in place by the outer rim of the door, and it makes a pretty good seal. Then for good measure we put another layer in and just taped it down.  It’s not the prettiest, but it’s also a toilet box, so.

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We got the cat door thinking that it would help contain litter and maybe some odor, but so far we’ve just left it propped open for the cats – they were very hesitant to use the flap, and we didn’t want to discourage them from going inside the new box, so for now it’s just a nicely trimmed entrance.

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The bench lives in our front hallway with a taller version of the Stuva where we keep all the stuff that doesn’t fit in our kitchen cabinets.

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Cubes for Desert Bus

It’s Desert Bus time again, and I was thrilled to send in two cat cubes this year.  For those of you that don’t know, Desert Bus is a live-streamed, week long fundraiser for Child’s Play charity, and it is pretty much my favorite thing on the internet.  It’s in it’s 9th year, and for the past few years they’ve sent out a call for crafters to donate crafts to auction and raffle to help raise money, and this year my contribution was these cubes!

There are better pictures on the website, but here are some in-progress pictures from this year’s batch.

The Question Mark Block cube will be up for giveaway sometime today between 1 pm and 9 pm EST , so obviously that means I’ll just have to watch DB all day.  This one came together really well, and I got to learn how to make little plushies!

Edit: The giveaway has finished, and we raised $1739.10! Thank you  to everyone who bid, and congrats to Kuroji Zero who won!

 

The Cat-panion Cube will be in the Cats, Cats, Cats! silent auction lot that runs from 5 am to 1 pm EST on Thursday. I’ve made some improvements to the cube from last year, and I’m hoping the early morning crowd will hype the cat lot and raise at least as much as last year.

Edit: This silent auction has also finished, and we raised $1100!

 

Final edit:

If you have an idea for a custom cube, hit me up on Etsy and we can come up with something awesome. And stay tuned for Desert Bus  next year, I’ve got a few ideas and hope to be able to contribute again. 🙂

Cat-panion Cube

Now that Desert Bus has posted the Cat-Panion cube, it’s time for me to get my act together and put up some content.  So! Here a few pictures from when I was putting the cube together.  Featured are my two cats – Fina on the top left and Kaylee on the bottom right.

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I can’t take credit for the idea – a friend sent me this link a few years ago: http://www.instructables.com/id/Catpanion-Cube/. I’ve updated the pattern to look a little more like the real companion cube, and made it out of nice fluffy fleece.  If, for some bizarre reason, you haven’t heard of Desert Bus, you can check out more pictures of the cube here: https://desertbus.org/blog/2014/10/23/prize-preview-cat-panion-cube-cat-bed/. Thanks for stopping by!

Edit: Bidding is now open! If you want this cube for your adorable cat, you can bid on it here until November 19th, 5 pm EST. All proceeds go to support the wonderful Child’s Play Charity.

Edit #2: Bidding is over, and the cube went for an incredible $2718.28 . Thanks so much to anyone who bid, and to Desert Bus and everyone who makes DB so amazing.  I suspect you’ll be seeing at least one cat bed next year 🙂