A little peek into Doodlecats Towers.

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

I like being nosey and I like cat stuff so if you’re anything like me you might like this post. We have a *lot* of cat stuff in our house. I say we, I admit it, it’s me. Daz loves cats but doesn’t find the same excitement in a new cat cushion or planter as I do.

I thought I would share with you some of the things around our house. This is only a fraction of it. I could probably do weekly posts and not run out of things to photograph till next year (by which time I would have acquired more).

I adore books so it’s only natural that we have quite a few cat books. There are more somewhere in a box that’s still not unpacked too.
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Cushion from The Catkin Boutique
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Photo Frame Clock
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Cat planters from eBay and charity shops
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Print by Beck Griffin
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Cat box from H&M
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Cushions from Next and Tesco
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Kitties by my amazingly wonderful friend Kitty Pinkstars
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Art by Kitty Pinkstars, Ankepanke, Heidi M, Rus Hudda and others I can’t find
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PurrBoxes

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The lovely folks at Purrboxes.com have sent Pixie and Arty one of their fab boxes of goodies to check out.

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When you sign up to Purrboxes you get a monthly box of toys and treats for your cat (you can also buy an individual box if you don’t want to sign up for a subscription)

Pixie and Arty were interested as soon as it arrived. I don’t know if it was the sound of a packet of Dreamies or the scent of the catnip but they wanted me to open it right away.

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In this month’s box there were two mice toys, a great ball on a string toy, lots of treats, catnip and cat grass (including the compost to grow it in).

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Arty has been batting the mice around the hallway, he throws them in the air and then chases them at high speed. Pixie’s favourite is the ball on a string. She leapt all over the place chasing it last night and every time I wanted to stop playing she’d drag it around until I played again. The tasselled bit makes a great noise as it goes through the air which is what I think Pixie is most attracted to. Catnip is always a winner in our house, both Arty and Pixie are addicts and happily roll about in it.

Pixie was also really interested in the box and tissue paper that it all came in.

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I’ve planted the grass, following the instructions, so we’ll have to see how that goes. Arty loves eating plants so I’m sure he’ll be happy to have something else to chew on.

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For more information on PurrBoxes, head over to their Website or Facebook page. Purrboxes monthly deadline is usually the 10th of the month but they’ve kindly extended the cut off date so if you order before the 14th of April you will get the April box. Orders after that date will be for the May box which will be different.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

New Chickens!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

We’ve only had our one chicken Dorothy for a while now, since her friends passed away. They were all battery hens which we adopted and not all of them live very long due to the stressful start in life.

Dorothy

We decided it was time to get her some friends!
Meet Audrey and Margo :D

Audrey and Dorothy

We got them from a local chicken farmer. Audrey is an Amber Star and Margo is a White Star. They’re hybrids.

Audrey
Audrey

Margo
Margo

They’re in a pen at the moment whilst they get used to their new home and so Dorothy can see them. We’ll introduce them properly in a few days and soon they’ll all be scratching around the garden together.

Margo and Dorothy

We’re often asked how the cats get along with the chickens. They mostly just ignore each other. When the cats first met chickens they got flapped at which soon made them realise that chickens weren’t easy prey. Now they all have a healthy respect of each other and neither cats or chickens bother each other.

Pixie and Dorothy

How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity – Book Review

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Everyone knows that internet would be nothing without cats and in the past few years there has been a rise in the numbers of celebrity cats. My all time favourite will always be Maru but there are so many other big profile cats out there that make the internet a better place. A day wouldn’t be complete without seeing a Grumpy Cat meme.

Well what happens if you want to get in on the action and make your cat the feline celebrity? Thankfully the answer is here in the form of this hilarious book.
Arty want to be a celeb

What ever type of cat you have, be it a clown, a devil or a lazy bum, there is advice on how to make the most of your cat’s abilities. It has hints and tips on how you can cash in on the awesomeness of your kitty and get his five minutes of fame.

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This book is hilarious, the photos made me laugh so much and it’s bound to be a hit with anyone who loves cats of the internet. The tongue-in-cheek humour and cute cats are the perfect combination.

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Daz and I thought we would use some of the hints and tips in the book to make Arty into the next big thing. Arty is a ‘do-nothing’ cat so a box and some food seemed like the only way to get him to do anything. I decided to take it up a notch and add some humour into the mix, an ordinary box isn’t good enough for our Arty. Five minutes with a box, a marker pen and my artist talents, our prop was done. Time to get Arty working to earn his keep.
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It turned out that making the prop was the easy part. Getting Arty to play the part of a lion was more tricky than anticipated, not helped by Pixie trying to get her own slice of celeb life.

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Finally we got a shot that we were happy with, time to upload it to the internet and wait for the paparazzi to turn up at our door.

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Daz, I told you not to feed the lion!

If you want to help Arty reach his true fame potential you can head over to Facebook and share his picture.

How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity is out on April 1st and you can pre-order it from Amazon – Amazon UK or Amazon USA

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Moving House With Cats

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Moving with cats - Doodlecats

Last weekend we moved house. As you can imagine, making sure the cats were ok was a priority. I thought I’d share some of the things we did to make sure they stayed as happy as possible whilst making a big change to their lives.

Feliway and Pixie
Feliway kindly sent us lots of goodies to help with the move.

We had Feliway plugged in at our old house whilst we prepared for the move. All the packing was unsettling for the cats and we wanted to make sure that they weren’t too stressed by it. Thankfully cats love boxes so the packing wasn’t all bad for them, they loved to help!

Arty is a very nervous cat and the thing that upsets him the most is having strange people in his house (I’m pretty sure he’d rather go to the vet!). He gets very upset, burrows into a tiny space under the bed and doesn’t come out for hours. Because of this, whilst everything was being moved from one house to the other, we had him looked after by the lovely ladies of City Central Cattery. Our cats go there regularly and they know the people. They are looked after really well and I knew they would be safe and less stressed. If we were moving to a bigger place, giving the cats a room to their selves may have been an option but it wasn’t something we could do. Knowing they were safe and looked after meant we didn’t have to worry so much, especially seeing as our move was very stressful for us.

As soon as we had access to our new house we plugged in several Feliway diffusers. This gave them time to fill the rooms with the special pheromones that make the cats feel calm.

We set up the bedroom as a safe space for the cats with their beds and blankets so that it would smell familiar. We also included several litter trays, food and water. It would be too overwhelming to introduce the cats to the whole house at once so setting up a base room for them is best.

For the car journey we sprayed Feliway into their carriers and in the car. I sat in the back seat between their carriers and talked to them the whole way. Thankfully it was only a half hour journey and they coped pretty well. Arty did meow a bit but he’s always been a very vocal cat.

On arrival, we let them out into the bedroom and left them to explore for a bit. We just sat on the bed so they knew we were there but left them too it. It’s important for cats to explore at their own pace. Arty hid for a while under the bed, Pixie was a little braver and had a look round before coming and sitting on me. We left them in the bedroom for the rest of the day. I took a nap with them :)

Pixie
Pixie was soon very relaxed.

When they seemed settled and confident in the bedroom we opened the door and let them explore the rest of the house. We’re only in a two bedroom bungalow so there isn’t a huge amount to explore. In a house you might want to let them explore one floor at a time. They would venture out for a bit and then go back to the safety of the bedroom. Pixie was adventurous straight away, sniffing everything, running about, climbing on things. Arty was a little more tentative and took a bit longer to venture out. Once he did, he made sure to mark everything he encountered by rubbing his cheek on it. He marked boxes, door frames, furniture and us.

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Arty was determined to mark *everything*.

Play is a great way to build confidence so we’ve made sure to play with them a lot. We’ve had them running and leaping about the living room after their mouse and Da Bird.

It’s been three days now and the cats are pretty much settled in. Arty still runs to the bedroom if the doorbell goes but that has always happened. The rest of the time they’re being their usual cute selves. We are going to keep the Feliway plugged in until they run out as I really believe that it has been a great help to them. I had heard so many stories about people not seeing their cats for a week or two after a move because they’d be hiding so I am so glad ours are doing ok. I think the combination of all the things we did really helped the transition.

You can find out more about Feliway here

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

My drawing process

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Making of pirate cat - Doodlecats

I get asked lots of questions about how I make my pictures so I thought I’d show you a glimpse of the process I go through.

All my drawings start out as a pencil sketch. This often takes the longest as I draw a few versions, work out how I want things and usually get a lot wrong before I get it right.

Next, I ink my work, for this one I used an Edding 1800 profipen 0.3. Once the ink is done I scan or photo the image and if necessary tidy up my ink work in Photoshop.

Next I import the drawing into Adobe Illustrator and get to work on the lines and shading. I like shading first as it brings the drawing to life. Finally the colours is added. There are lots of tutorials on using Illustrator out there if you want to learn.

Here’s the final image.
Pirate Cat - Doodlecats

New Shop!

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

I am really excited to start the new year with a new shop!!

www.doodlecatsshop.co.uk

For a long time now I have wanted my own shop website instead of using Etsy. For Doodlecats to expand as a brand it needs to stand on its own rather than getting lost in the massive amount of sellers on Etsy. It was scary though. Etsy has been really successful for me and I have many established customers. It felt a bit like jumping out of a plane and hoping that the parachute works! I am really lucky to have Daz, who is a web developer by day and a crazy cat man by night, to help me work on the site and make everything work how I want it to. I am really pleased with the results.

I hope you like it too and if you have any problems or questions please ask (there is a contact form on the shop site).

Happy New Year!

Christmas gift ideas

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I am sure lots of you are doing your Christmas shopping with Doodlecats (thank you) but if you’re looking for some more ideas I thought I would share some of the great things my friends make.

RCTees print lovely t-shirts (including a Doodlecats special!) Daz has had this tee for years and it’s still as good as new.
RCTees Etsy shopRCTees Facebook
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Kitty has the most wonderful imagination and creates wonderful art and plushes. So much cuteness and colour all in one place!
KittyPinkStars Etsy shopKitty’s Facebook
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Heidi is another talented cat lady who paints wonderful people and scenes. I love her cat lady artwork so much :D
Heidi M Illustration Etsy shopHeidi’s Facebook
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Christmas Markets

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

dates

I am not doing as many markets this year as I usually do due to ill health. My mum and Daz are helping out so I will definitely be at these markets on these dates (although I might be hiding under a blanket or napping under a table). I hope to see some of you there!

Farewell Oscar

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Oscar

I write this with tears streaming down my face. Our beloved Oscar lost his battle with kidney disease on Sunday. We our heartbroken. He was, and always will be, a huge part of our family and we will remember him forever.
Read more…