"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Use for the Peacock

This is how I've been storing my earrings. You see the problem.

They need to be hanging up so I can see the pairs and remember what I have without having to root through the jumble in the box. So I started looking around for an earring organizer, but the most important thing was it needed to be Squijum-proof. This is a whole different standard than ordinary cat-proof. Squijum is agile, inventive, and determined; all cats have these qualities, of course, but he has them in greater abundance than most. I have been owned by cats all my life, and I know what I'm talking about.

When he was not even fully grown yet, about 8 or 9 months old, Squijum broke a cat tower. Literally knocked a whole tier off of it. One time I woke up at 4:00 a.m. feeling something wet and cold on my face. It turned out he had gotten into the covered kitchen trash can, pulled out some potato peelings, carried them into the bedroom, and was dropping them on me. Another time I woke up to find eggshells strewn all over the bed; I don't know how I slept through that one. One summer there was a particular abundance of moths, and several of them would get in every time I opened the door; no problem-- Squijum caught every single one.

Here's a picture I posted once before. Both those balls of thread became his.

So it is clear that my earring organizer must be a cabinet type of thing, with a latching door. He can open unlatched cupboard doors quite easily, but the one thing he lacks is opposable thumbs; a simple latch is about the only thing that can defeat him. Most of the earring racks I found were just open, with no door at all. There were a few jewelry cabinets with doors, but most of them only held a few earrings, and the ones that held what I needed were hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Apparently I'm the only non-wealthy person on earth who both wears earrings and has a cat.

Nothing for it but to make my own. I started with the reasoning that a cabinet is nothing but a box turned on its side, so I went to Jo-Ann's and got a couple of these boxes, some paint, and a package of aida cloth. From Walgreen's, I got thumbtacks and adhesive picture hangers.

I sanded and painted the boxes (doing some tatting between coats of paint)...

... cut the aida cloth into strips and hemmed it (on aida cloth, even I can manage to sew a straight line!)...

... thumbtacked the strips in place...

... and applied the picture hangers.

This is more hangers than required for such a light box, but I like to be sure.

It works just like I intended.

Having the aida cloth in two strips rather than a solid sheet makes it easier to reach behind for the earring backs. I put those little silicone backs on all my earring hooks so I don't have to worry about losing them; tatted earrings are so lightweight I might not notice if one fell out.

And what does all this have to do with tatting, aside from the fact that many of the earrings are tatted? Oh yes, I left out the part about how I decorated the front of the box after painting it.

The end result is really just perfect for my needs. It doesn't hold all the earrings. There were two boxes, remember? I'm working on the tatting for the other one now.


  1. What a funny cat, makes me laugh! Great idea for the earring box and wonderful tatting too!

  2. Awesome idea!!! :) You did a great job too!!! :)

  3. Delightful post & very helpful, too ! Grinning away at the CAnTics :-D
    Waiting to see what the decoration for 2nd box cabinet will be

  4. It's a sweet cat, they are so, we are owned by them! I don't have one but used to. The peacock shows wonderful over there!

  5. Good job. It would work well even for an earring wearer who doesn't have cats.

  6. Your box is far better than my homemade earring holder - file folder with holes that lies in a drawer. Loved your comment about being the only lady who wears earrings and has a cat. Well, you're not. But I understand. And the tatted decorations on the outside are cool.

  7. Funny post! Really, what do they think about? Potato skins? Egg shells? Although those are less scary than depositing a live critter, which is one reason I don't have a cat; although I like cats a lot. I'm babysitting my neighbor's cat this week! Which means I watch a lot of TV (plus surf the web on my tablet) and hope she comes out of hiding upstairs and joins me, which she usually does after a few days! But my neighbor says the cat gets kind of 'mad' at her for leaving and pouts for a few days.

    Wonderful and inventive jewelry boxes! Great tutorial. Although I'm just a little worried about the safety of the peacock! Looks mighty attractive!

    1. Nope, never any live critters (other than the moths, which he somehow knew not to bring to me). That's one of the reasons why he's a strictly indoor kitty.

      The black jewelry cabinet underneath is too small for him to climb on, and actually serves as a barrier to reaching the peacock, so that's one thing I'm not worried about.