Home & Garden Featured Member: CatwithSevenToes

Lettuce Craft is highly familiar with @CatwithSevenToes’s woodworking, knitting, and culinary experiments, but I wanted to learn a bit more about this adventurous crafter and what inspires him!

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Your woodworking projects are so impressive. When did you first start building this skill?

I’d have to say since I was real young, the rare times I played with Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, twigs, and Legos really left an impression on me. However, it wasn’t until 7th grade when our school introduced us to Home Ec and Woodworking, I really dove in. My first four things I can remember making, from 7th grade; A Wright Flier that I never finished, a paper towel holder that my mom still uses, from 8th grade; a pendulum clock, and a coffee table.

Some time around then, my grandfather let me use his woodworking tools, and I constructed a toy machine gun. I had that for several years before it finally fell apart. (I just realized, just like him, I turned a room in the house into a woodworking room, too…Huh! How about that?).

Anyway, after he passed I purchased some of his tools, a lathe, a band saw, and I believe his table saw, too. However, I really couldn’t use them as I lived in an apartment and they were just sitting in my parents garage. So I wound up having to sell them. One of my biggest regrets, but an unfortunate necessity.

However, regardless that I hadn’t done any woodworking or constructing between 14 and my late 20’s I still did a lot with precision. In programming, I used the x, y coordinates of the screen, and with paper and a CAD program I purchased, I would design things for fun. One of my most common designs on paper was an atrium for growing ferns. I had one design that would have been underground, and another design that was in the middle of a home. Also, along with the atrium, I had always designed what would have been my dream kitchen. “Why would a teenager, young adult dream of having an atrium?” You might ask. Well, the school I went to in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades had one and to this day I can still see the large fiddle leaf fig growing in it.

What advice do you have for someone who would love to try their hand at a woodworking project?

Be patient, and don’t be afraid of mistakes. Actually, mistakes should be viewed as tools. A lot of times you will realize that a task that seems unique to one project, to which a jig would make the work easier, that same jig could be useful for multiple projects. Which, with that said, don’t be surprised when you notice you have way too many jigs.

What tools do you find essential?

At least two different hand saws, a drill, a hammer, a set of screwdrivers, and a variety of sandpapers, knives, chisels, clamps, and files. Power tools and specialty tools do makes things a lot easier and can yield a wider range of projects to work on, but there will always be a need for those basic tools.

With my variations of pain, on the other hand, a table saw, a precision saw, a table top sander, and a rotary tool should be added to that list. Without those, I just wouldn’t be able to do much.

You clearly love to experiment with different materials and techniques. Where do you find inspiration for trying new things?

Lots of places. As a father and an uncle, I get ideas from what the kids like to play with, do, say. “Ooh! That’s pretty”, “Welp, I’m making you one, :smiley:”.

Also, pain. Pain is a good way to gain some inspiration. “That hurts to accomplish that task. Is there a way I can make it easier”? Not only does this aid for my aches and pains, it works for simplifying any task. Jigs for repeated works, tables for working on, storage, etc.

Most times, however, are my own personal likes and curiosities. As a boy, many things that go “vroom vroom,” a few things that shoot lasers or fly in space, sea chomp-chomps (sharks), ancient chomp-chomps (Theropod dinosaurs, Radiodonta, and more), archaeology, and more.

Is there a particular material or technique you’d love to try one day?

If I could ever afford the tools, or gain enough will power to really focus on it, flute making. I just really love flutes. Fipple or side blown, everything about them, from manufacturing, the math, to the playing just fascinates me.

Also, clay based crafting would be my second favorite I’d love to dive into. Not only could I still make wind instruments, I could make baking dishes, and so many other things (that I don’t know currently what they are, and are not those two things, heh).

Wood is not the only medium you like to experiment with. You also know your way around the kitchen! What are some of your most memorable kitchen experiments?

For those of you who have seen the film Oliver and remember the song “Food, Glorious Food”, that is my theme song, heh. I love food. I love making food. I love eating food. I just love food. :rofl:.

My most memorable items, mashed potatoes formed into a cake with a brown gravy frosting for my youngest son’s birthday. Cheesecakes, bread puddings, many different kinds of bread. Oh how I love bread, let me count the ways, rye, sourdough, whole wheat, butter, milk, Italian, pretzel, damper, biscuits, pancakes, flapjacks, corn cakes, cornbread, etc. (And wipe the drool from my chin, :rofl:).

Also, I have made quite a few which are very memorable, but not that tasty. Some which were just down right awful. An example, I had heard of cooking beans with fruit, but I missed the BBQ or Baked beans part of that. To this day, after 25+ years have passed, and I can still taste that monstrosity, HAH!

AND you are a knitting explorer, too, often drafting your own patterns. What is your process for your creations?

I have several processes. One, is if I know the stitches, then “can I used those stitches to make something?”, Two, If I don’t know those stitches, “can I invent or find them?”. Three, if I have difficulties with an aspect of my project, “can I find a way around those difficulties?” . That last one is how I created what I call the “basket stitch” which makes it where I don’t have to sew the seams together for bags and other projects with a rectangular base.

Is there a person that inspires you the most, on Lettuce Craft or beyond?

I wouldn’t say a single person, but multiple things. From nature itself, to several people, both at Lettuce Craft and beyond. I may not have implemented all ideas, nor remember the majority, but there are bits and pieces that dwell within the neural network of my mind, to which there are quite a few I still have on the burner, and I really look forward to completing (fingers crossed).

Do you have a favorite project you’ve created?

Hmm! I’d have to say that I’ve equally enjoyed everything I’ve made. Even the projects I’ve never finished. Yeah, I may get a little frustrated, but even in my frustration I still have fun.

Stray feeding house

The only aspects I truly do not enjoy, are my limited resources and my pains, and these are basically intertwined. Acquiring specialized resources and maintaining owned resources would be easier and less costly with a lower amount of physical strain. It is to be expected.

I may not be able to complete all the projects I want, but the thinking of those uncompleted projects, those I can complete and those I can use for current and future projects.

Where do you think your woodworking adventures will take you next?

I am curious. Excessively curious, and the one thing that has remained constant throughout my life. Since I was just a wee lad wandering about my parents farm, rummaging through the underbrush of a lake, river. Musing over the shape of a leaf, the wonderment of a branch. The fascination of a shark, a fern, a mountain, a gulper eel, a toad’s wart, and etc. My curiosity has never stopped, and has only grown the older I have become. So whenever I design something, “What will happen”, “Why is it this”, “Why did it do that”, and so many more questions, and regardless that my memory is just not up for the many tasks I attempt, I still am forever curious, and I love that.

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Thank you, @CatwithSevenToes for sharing with us! You are a true Renaissance Man!


I have also admired @CatwithSevenToes for some time! I don’t know any men who knit, so that fascinated me. Seeing all of the experiments and different stitches and techniques made me more adventurous as well.

I do have to say that the cooking was also unique…as a non-cook, I admired Charles for just “winging it” with things he had on hand. The progress notes and ideas for what to do nor not to do were so informative!

I have a cat tree and a mini painting that I just love! The cat tree was supposed to be for my brother, but I kept it instead.

Congrats, Charles! I enjoyed learning a bit more about you! Thanks for sharing!


Congrats on this feature, @CatwithSevenToes! I love seeing the projects you post, and enjoyed learning more about how you got into crafting.


WOW! It wa very interesting and cool to get a peek behind the curtain with @CatwithSevenToes who always ahress such nifty, beautiful, and useful projects with us.


Great article for a wonderfully gifted person! You are a man of many talents and thank you for sharing them with us!


What a great feature! I have enjoyed seeing the many projects created by @CatwithSevenToes, but I hadn’t realized the full scope of them until seeing the photos in this post.
Wow, Charles, you’ve created so many delightful items, which is made especially impressive considering the chronic pain that you are always dealing with. You are quite talented and I really enjoy seeing and reading about all the different projects you share with us!

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I am a big fan of your work and your life attitude (especially your continuing curiosity and your creative problem solving) @CatwithSevenToes !
(I too suffer from chronic pain and cannot always do what I want to. But like you, I won’t let it stop me from making the world a little prettier, one project at a time.)
I loved reading this interview.
I wish you less pain, more funds, and continued love of crafting and cooking!


Renaissance man is the right description! I’m always in awe at your creative solutions for just about anything. From bread experiments with the most unusual ingredients (to try and find a way to cope with your health issues) to tiny toys and little knitted things to huge works of art made from literal trees. Very few people have so many different skills as you do. And to do it all of these things when you’re so severely limited by factors outside of your control. But those unfortunate circumstances could very well be the reason why you’re so good at out-of-the-box thinking and creating. On top of that, you are a clearly a clever guy with a lot of knowledge about many different topics.


What a wonderful creative life you’ve lived. I’m so jealous. Thanks for being here and inspiring all of us in so many different mediums.

Until the next project invades you until it’s done…

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@CatwithSevenToes … Charles it’s interesting to read your posts and follow your progress. I’ve always been impressed with how many crafts you do, as well as your cooking adventures, although I’ll admit that some of your dishes look and sound strange :wink: and you do it all while dealing with pain and other issues.

Keep up your great work and I look forward to going with you on your next adventure.


Wow, what a cool interview! It’s wonderful to learn a bit more about your creative process @CatwithSevenToes - your willingness to experiment and try new things is inspiring!