All About Me! Aka LinDaKat or Lincatz


Hello, and welcome to my web site. This is just a brief biography of me. As you likely can tell from a brief perusal of my pages I'm a Kat of eclectic tastes. I started this website when I began learning HTML and web design. Because a site needs content I used all the things that make me a unique individual as the source for the site's material.

My real name is Linda Leis-Soeder. I have a thing for cats, which inspired my internet names. Lincatz is the older name, I used that one back in the day when usenet was the only internet. LinDaKat come from several disparate elements. The basis is a play on all those stupid cartoon animal names, like Howard-the-duck and cerebus-the-aardvark. Bloom County often listed Bill the cat's full name as Bill D. Cat. The other element is my love for the classic comic strip, "Krazy Kat." I wanted to use that name, but there are thousands of Krazy Kats on-line, in both the literal meaning and the metaphorical sense of the words. So I thought and thought. A person's on-line name says so much about them and shouldn't be taken lightly. In one of those moments of insane free association I came up with a combination of my real name, animal name, and on-line name. I am Linda, the cat...or if you say it fast, LinDaKat. Get it?

Okay, so you don't get it. Too bad. Onwards...I'm over forty and I live in a small city in Southern Ontario, Canada. I'm married and I have two kids...both boys, one is all grown up and the other almost all grown up. I have a husband and I'm still waiting for him to grow up. He says the same thing about me. The youngest boy is the one I refer to as "The Tall Kid" as he is six feet seven inches tall. His purpose in life is to reach the top shelves in the kitchen.

I started sewing when I was quite young, somewhere around nine or ten years old. I was never a "follow the pattern" type person...even back then. I always wanted to do my own thing. I also loved to draw clothes. I tried to make what I drew...but I didn't know enough about pattern making to be consistently successful. I had sporadic successes and a few spectacular failures, the failures didn't deter me and the successes emboldened me. As time went on I became better and better, now I'm at the point where I can imagine it...draw it and then make it. I am willing to attempt anything, from a winter coat to a man's suit; an evening gown to a pair of pajamas...and everything in between! My ambition at this point is to set up a studio where I can make my designs and sell them through boutiques.

I also design and make beaded jewelery. I became hooked on bead stringing when I was about seven. An uncle gave me a bead stringing kit as a birthday present and I haven't looked back. My early work was mostly simple stringing and knotting. Now I'm into wire working and more complicated stringing. I'd like to take a metal smithing course so I can make some of the unique medallions, spacers, rings and findings ideas that I come up with. I make many things with FIMO and Sculpey...but polymer clay isn't as strong as metal. I like working with crystal beads, especially Swavorski(sp?) and vintage Austrian cut crystal. They have a sparkle and luminosity that you can't get from even the finest japanese fire polished glass.

In my exploration of sewing I discovered other types of needlework to help me embellish my pieces and give them uniqueness and make them stand out in the crowd. I've never been afraid to stand out in a crowd! I learned embroidery and I'm very good at hand embroidery. I can make my own designs and execute them well using a variety of different stitches appropriate to the design. I often use hand embroidery on what I make. While I like to stand out in a crowd, I don't go overboard on embellishing clothes. I'd rather have a few tasteful embellishments done to perfection. I prefer to see embellishments that enhance a piece rather than a thousand poorly done embellishments that make a garment look like something a clown might wear.

In my search for needlework techniques I went looking for old Victorian era needlework books. In one of them I found something called "bobbin lace" I was smitten. I had to try it! I got some bobbins from Lacis and a lace board and taught myself how to work simple torchon lace. I got more books and in one was something called "Honiton Lace" I found my lace-making calling. I got a bunch of the fine bobbins, the fine thread and a beginners book and began making Honiton flower lace. It's kind of funny...because it was just like finding true love. The first pieces weren't great, but I knew if I gave things time and patience they would just keep getting better and better. So I kept working at my little lace pillow, and my work is getting better and better. I've started on raised work now, using ribs to outline leaves and petals, and I'm attempting more complex fillings, like Jubilee and "Toad in the hole" I love that name...toad in the hole! Honiton lace is now my favourite type of bobbin lace to work.

Writing is a hobby. I've been writing stories since I was quite young...(seems to be a theme!) usually novels. I handed in a novel for my grade seven final english project. It wasn't finished, but the teacher gave me an A just for attempting a novel. When I was a teen I tried writing and drawing comic books, inspired by an acquaintance from "Books Now and Then" Downtown kitchener. More on Dave Sim later! I never finished anything because my writing was always way ahead of the drawing. Years later I now see that my writing was always light years ahead of my drawing and I should have focused on the writing. I put away my Smith Corona for several years while the boys were babies and brought it out in 1991, when Dan started school and Ben was old enough that he didn't need Mommy hovering over him twenty four-seven. I had an idea that I had been tossing around in my head and I began writing long hand. The idea didn't go very far until We took a family trip to Sauble Beach. On the beach were a group of Minor league baseball guys...playing catch. I talked to them. I had a strange dream that night. The next day I went looking for them. They told me more about their lives and I had my first novel. I got out my old Smith Corona and began typing out my story, working steady at it, two hours every afternoon. I'm quite proud of my first novel.

The newest one I'm working on was suggested by an on line friend. He helped for a while then became too busy at his job so I've taken over. What I like about this story is that everyone is out for themselves. Almost all the characters are out to screw each other over...The challenge has been to make a few of them likable and to come up with...if not a moral center to the least a character with a bit of heart and soul to ground the nastiness of the others. The other one I'm working on all by original only in the beginning phases. I'm still working out plot, characters, etc.

I also paint. I use gouache and tempera, not the tempera like children use in school but fine quality artist's tempera. I paint things like insects, flowers and shrooms. I'm not into painting nature as reality, but nature as my reality. In my world mushrooms should be brilliant pink, so I paint them that way. I love getting wrapped up in details, but I try to stay away from photo realism. If I wanted a photograph, I would use a camera! Painting allows me to focus in on details the way one can't in photography. And painting allows me to distort and warp reality the way I want. Such as inky caps the size of trees! The media I use, gouache; presents technical challenges that require a combination of spontaneity, experimentation and careful forethought and planning. It can be not only technically demanding but physically demanding because of the drying and mixing qualities, often large areas must be worked all at once without a break, resulting in a few marathon painting sessions. Recently I saw an exhibition of buddhist porcelains that helped me in the conception of a new series of works. I'm exploring the fungus as an object of art, from colours to gilding the edges of gills with gold and silver, giving them a radiance not found in nature, so they can be seen anew as the beautiful things that they are.

I have two kids, both boys. The oldest is 23 and the youngest is 20. They're all grown up! The oldest is a good kid, I'm proud of how he turned out. The youngest has Asperger's autism. He's also doing well. He'll never be voted most popular in school, but he does well. We're working on independent living skills, such as cooking and cleaning up after cooking. It's a bit of a struggle...but we're making progress. Little steps, rather than big...that seems to be the way it goes with a kid like Ben.

Since I was young I have kept a journal. I now keep one on-line. I call it "The Kat's Litter Box" I keep track of anything and everything that crosses my mind.

I knit. I like to knit things from fancy yarns, I'm lazy so the fancy yarn does much of the work for me! I also love the fad of big yarns on big needles. I can make things very fast that way, so It no longer takes me three years to knit a sweater. The last scarf I made it took me two evenings. That's what cool about thickfancy yarn on big fat needles. Two evenings and I have a cool new scarf for winter. Now if only someone could come up with a way to sew something that fast!