Whimsiclay Plush Cats- The End of An Era

December 7, 2015
cottoncandyface

I remember when I first saw the adorable, whimsical, plush cats by Whimsiclay. Their smiling eyes and pom-tipped whiskers captured my heart right away! After almost 10 years, I still adore them just as much!

Back then I was strolling through a trade show, looking for a new product to showcase on my upcoming website, when they caught my eye. The booth that sponsored them was really highlighting plush fairies, which were big at that time. On a side table were the plush cats.

lilsweetie

Sweetie Cat has always been a top seller in all sizes.

I was familiar with the Whimsiclay ceramic cats, designed by artist Amy Lacombe. Many of the plush were patterned after some of the more popular figurine pieces. They were soft and colorful with a face that made you smile.  I knew right then that I had to have them to sell, first in my retail gift store and then later on my cat themed web site.

Through the years these plush cats, available in 2 sizes, plus a folding pillow, then cat slippers, have been consistent sellers.

One of my favorites was the sweet “Marsha” cat pillow, so perfect for a young girl’s room. This style sold out years ago.marshapillow

 

Here is colorful and fun Peppermint Cat. Other holiday cats include Rudy, Poinsettia and Winter Parfait.Sierra Exif JPEG

 

There have also been cats just for fun! Like Shanice in sunglasses, shown here. She also sometimes sports a red cap in place of the glasses.Sierra Exif JPEG

 

The plush line evolved into cat handbags and cat face slippers, such as Chili Cat slippers shown here.

chilislippers

This does seem like the “end of an era” and I am saddened to see them go. I am happy to let you know that I was able to stock up on some of the styles so you will be able to get them for a while on our site. The plush kitties make special gifts for a cat lover, especially at the holiday season.

So if you own one of these cuties, hang on to it!

 

 

 

 

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Enchanting Cat’s Whiskers (the plant)

November 3, 2015
Cat's Whiskers plant

Cat’s Whiskers plant

We recently spent a wonderful week on the big island of Hawaii.  One warm and muggy day we visited the Hawaiian Botanical Tropical Gardens. Going down the walkway into the park, I had the illusion of entering Jurassic Park. There were green plants, bushes, trees in every direction –  up, down & all around. Adding to the fantasy were wild orchids in the trees, colorful tropical plants, and splashing waterfalls.

Cat's Whiskers Plant

Along one side of the path I noticed spiky looking white flowers on bright green foliage. Looking closer, I discovered an enchanting bloom with long, delicate protruding hairs.  My first thought was “that looks just like cat whiskers!”.  After searching for the name signage, you can easily guess what name I discovered.

Since this is my new favorite plant, I wanted to find out more about it and how to grow it.  From East Asia, its proper botanical name is Orthosiphon aristatus, but is better known as Java tea. Used in herbal medicine, this mint related plant is known to aid in treatment of kidney stones, gallstones, urinary tract infections and much more.

However useful, I like the plant for its ornamental beauty. The bright white, long stamens have a touch of whimsy and look striking against the deep green leaves. And as a bonus, the nectar attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Growing best in a tropical climate, with proper care Cat’s Whiskers can be grown in sunny climates.  I am determined to give it a try and start my own enchanted garden!

Are you a cat lover? I invite you to visit my website for unique and whimsical gifts & décor with a cat theme. And I welcome you to post any photos of your Cat’s Whiskers plant to this blog in the comments!


CatConLA – Purrfect Success!

June 24, 2015

The dust has finally settled after the big event and I think most attendees would agree it was a huge success. I might be a little slow with my wrap up but now I’m able to report some final tallies from the show.

First, though, I have to say how amazed I was at the turn out. I went on Sunday, waiting in a long line before the doors opened and heard it wasn’t as crowded as it was on Saturday! There was excitement & expectation in the air and general goodwill feelings towards fellow cat lovers.

The crowd just getting started on Sunday.

The crowd just getting started on Sunday.

Inside it took a few minutes to get my bearings and decide which way to go first!  After getting my free cat tattoo and green cat ears headband,  I felt “official” and ready to enjoy the activities. I took a quick tour of all the various vendors, bypassed the long, long line for cat adoptions (we already have a rescue kitty) and then got in line for my first of several seminars.

All day line for cat adoption.

A line all day for the cat adoptions.

The selection of cat product vendors offered almost anything you could think of!  Very easy to rack up the debit card charges. (I should consider having a booth myself next year). The Pusheen cat booth kept a line most of the time, a new “robotic” kitty, Zoomer, promises to be the next BIG thing, and of course, the booth for CatConLA memorabilia was popular. Who could leave without their official t-shirt or mug? (I know I couldn’t!)

"Zoomer" the new robotic cat with glowing eyes.

“Zoomer” the new robotic cat with glowing eyes.

Another huge bonus at the show was Lil Bub. His owner, Mike Bridavsky, brought him out to his product booth for a photo session and the “paparazzi” went wild! I tried to get close but wasn’t quite aggressive enough to fight my way in : )  Only one blurry shot to show for it.

The crowds at the Lil Bub appearance.

The crowds at the Lil Bub appearance.

I mentioned at the beginning that I had some final tallies from the show –

  • The attendance was unexpected, more than 10,000 over the weekend.
  • About 70 cats and kittens were adopted. Thank you Best Friends Animal Society.
  • $35,000 was raised and donated to FixNation and Lil Bub’s Big Fund.

I truly enjoyed the day at CatConLA. It was fun being immersed among cat lovers, all free to express their love of all things cat!  A big thank you to Susan Michals, creator of the event and Karn Myers, founder of FixNation. Also for all the wonderful speakers at the seminars and the Meet & Greets.

I look forward to next year. But I have a feeling it will have to be moved to a much larger venue!!

CatConLA poster,2


CatConLA is Coming! 8 Days & Counting!

May 29, 2015

catconla

It’s BIG! It’s NEW It’s going to be AMAZING!  I can’t believe the very first CatConLA is just a short drive away in downtown Los Angeles!

Being featured as “comic-con for cat people” the event promises a unique experience of art & design, merchandise, and seminars. Not to mention the guests speakers including Simon Tofield (Simon’s Cat), Ben Huh (ICANHASCHEEZBURGER) and Angie Bailey (CatLadyLand), plus, drum roll here, Mike Bridavsky and Lil Bub!

Lil BUB, from internet photo

Lil BUB, from internet photo

I want to inject here that I mentioned these seemingly well-known people to some of my co-workers  at my part-time job and was greeted with blank stares. How could they not know about Simon’s Cat videos or sweet Lil Bub? Or the hilarious CHEEZBURGER photos?

CatConLA also is partnered with a good cause- FixNation, whose mission is to reduce the number of homeless cats with TNR management. Part of the proceeds of the event will be donated to this non-profit organization. There will also be on-site cat adoptions available at a super low cost by Best Friends Animal Society.

Cat shows are not like your ordinary pet shows. Of course there are the judging shows for all animals. But dog events might feature sporting (Frisbees), training (police dogs), agility & obstacle courses and more. Equestrian events can include racing, dressage or exciting rodeos. Cat shows, on the other hand, are a little “edgier”.  Not so much emphasis on their physical abilities but on their ability to make us revere them!

catasona

What do I expect out of CatConLA?  Of course, I’ll be on the lookout for some new, unique product for my cat lover website, georgiasgifts.com as usual. And with the huge array of vendors with cat themed merchandise & clothes my personal budget will certainly be strained!  But I will also get to attend some great seminars with some popular cat experts, view creative art pieces of all types, and just enjoy a general happy atmosphere of cat people letting their true love of cats show in public. (I expect to see many dressed in their best cat gear & makeup).

I’ll follow-up after my trip to the event with my experience. Are you going to #CatConLA?  Would love to hear from you now & after also. Now, I just have to decide which cat shirt should I wear? Umm….


Say “Aloha” To New Tiki Cat Merchandise Coming Soon to Georgia’s Gifts!

February 5, 2015

January is a favorite time of my year because of the wholesale gift shows that give me a chance to discover some new cat lover goodies. And this time I found something brand new to bring to you!

Tiki Cat Art

Being a fan of cats and also Hawaii, I fell in love with the Tiki Cat art by Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker. His unique style is a result of a comic book illustration background combined with idealized Polynesian and Tiki culture art. Tiki art is referred to “low brow” art (as opposed to “fine” art) because it references pop culture. Low brow art has grown in popularity on the West Coast art scene in recent years.

Of course, my favorite of Parker’s artwork is this stylized cat playing the ukulele against a vividly colored sunset and with a tropical drink nearby.

 

To carry out the beach scene, you’ll soon be able to purchase beach towels along with “slippers”, the Hawaii term for flip-flops, on my website. Other fun items will include Tiki Cat mugs and magnets.

This is definitely a new look to add to my selection of cat lover gifts and décor for my customers. I am so excited to bring the artwork of Brad Parker to you and hope you love it as much as I do!  Mahalo and Aloha

 


Wacky, Whimsical and A Little Bit Wonderful Cat Ornaments

July 31, 2014

On my ongoing search for unique and fun cat themed items for my website, I recently discovered these delightful, eco-friendly cat ornaments.  And I love that they are designed and created by an artist following her dream.

Jeanne Stern is an artist living in north Georgia. She specializes in folk and decorative art, inspired by the plants and animals she observes in the woods, lakes, rivers and farmland near her residence. I, of course, immediately focused on her wonderful cat designs.

Each one is handcrafted from reclaimed wood and recycled components, helping to save our landfills.  They are a substantial size at 3 1/2″ x 4″ x 5/8″ with a cotton cord for hanging.  Although they are called “ornaments” they are perfect for any decorative idea. Hang on a hook in any room for a touch of whimsy, hang near your cat’s bed or feeding area or on a door knob into the cat’s area. Another idea is to add it to a gift basket or on a present for a cat lover. It will make a great keepsake!

Cat Ornament, Black

Black Cat Ornament

 

Orange Cat Ornament

Orange Cat Ornament

These ornaments will be available in 4 colors:  Black, Grey, Orange and Yellow.  Remember, being handcrafted, each one will be slightly different with its own personality.  What a unique gift to give to a cat lover! You’ll want to stock up for birthdays, holidays and “just because” days.

Arriving soon at Georgia’s Gifts!  If you are interested in another color, please let me know and a custom order can be done. Let me know what you love about these new cat ornaments.

 

 

 

 


Cat Ceramic Tiles – The Most Innovative, Fun & Functional Gift!

November 9, 2013

Haven’t you, now or some time in your life, owned a ceramic tile? Maybe not a cat tile, but a tile?

Furry Cat Ceramic Tile, 8x8

“Furry Cat” Tile, 8″x8″

Cat ceramic tiles can be one of the most versatile items you can own or give as a gift to a cat lover. They are not just for floors! We have accumulated a list of some of the many fun and innovative ways to put these decorative tiles to use.  Read on…

DISPLAY- Place your tile on a plate stand to set on a counter or table to showcase the tile design. We are partial to showing cat designs of course.

TRIVETS- Being heat-resistant, tiles make the perfect barrier to protect your linens or table top from hot dishes.

COASTERS- 4″ x 4″ tiles are perfect for drink coasters. Mix and match fun and colorful designs to delight your guests.

4x4 ceramic cat tiles

Set of 4″x4″ Cartoon Cat Tiles

KITCHEN- Use as a sink or stove backsplash to protect your wall. Tiles can be mounted or you can also just set a couple of tiles behind your faucet or stove for a quick decorative look for a party, holiday or any day!

BATHROOM- Cat lovers can frame a shower or bath with cat tiles for a fun look. Or set in as accents pieces with other background tiles.

GARDEN/PATIO- Border your garden or patio with cat tiles for a totally unique look.  Embellish a fence with select tiles. Or set your potted plant or flowers on color coordinated tiles.

Black & White Cat w/Flowers 8x8 Ceramic Tile

Black & White Cat w/Flowers on 8″ x 8″ Tile

FRAMED ART- Put your favorite cat tile in a special frame & hang for wall decor.

FIREPLACE- Be different! Surround your fireplace with tiles, using cat images as special accents.

CANDLE PLATE- Again, being heat-resistant make tiles a good base for a candle. Make a colorful grouping.

CRAFT PROJECTS- Last but not least, think of the multitude of uses for tiles in a creative craft project. Use them whole, or if you happen to have some broken ones, make a mosaic! They are also good to use as a base to work on with clay or paints as they are stain resistant.

THE PERFECT CAT LOVER GIFT- We couldn’t end without mentioning our wonderful selection of cat tiles we offer on our website in various sizes. We invite you to check it out!

Now that you have started thinking about it, I bet you can come up with even more great ideas for cat ceramic tiles! We’d love to have a comment about a project you have done with your tiles.

Ceramic Cat Tile, What Mattters Most

“What Matters Most” Cat Tile,8″x8″