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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Cat Artist Claudia Sanchez Re-Mixed

July 15, 2012

I have featured ceramic tiles with the colorful cat art by Claudia Sanchez for several years on my website. She has a loyal following and some of the pieces are very popular, especially “Samantha”.  This design is a multi colored close-up of a cat’s face with eyes that mesmerize you.

Ceramic cat tile, Samantha, by Claudia Sanchez

“Samantha” Ceramic Cat Tile

Sadly I have sold out of the Samantha tile and can not reorder it at this time. This brings me to the good news! I’m excited to tell you that the artist has a new distributer and they are working together to redesign the older tiles and bring out new ones.  I love the new name of the line, “Claudia’s Cats”.  These are scheduled to be available in the fall, just in time for your holiday shopping!

Here is a preview of some of the styles that will be coming out. Keep in touch on my website or like my facebook page to learn when they are in stock.  Let me know if you are a collector of Claudia Sanchez and which tiles are your favorites, both old and new!

Coffee Cat by Claudia

New “Coffee Cat” by Claudia Sanchez

Ceramic cat tile Katana Cat

New “Katana Cat” by Claudia Sanchez

Coaster size cat face tiles by Claudia Sanchez

Coaster size cat tiles by Claudia Sanchez


Ceramic or Porcelain- Can You Tell The Difference?

June 3, 2012

I’ve always been a little confused about the difference in the terms “ceramic” and “porcelain”.  It seems to be an interchangeable (or sometimes combined) word for figurines although most people perceive porcelain as being higher quality. After much researching I’ve discovered various differences between them. Without getting into the technical and scientific facts of the types of clays, firing temperatures, etc., here are a few easy ways to determine the type of ceramic….

  • The category “ceramic” includes pottery, bone china, earthenware and porcelain.
  • Porcelain originated in China and derives its current name from porcellana, an old italian word for “cowrie shell” because of its resemblance to the translucent surface of the shell
  • Porcelain is made with light colors of clay minerals and fired at a high temperature giving it a glossy, glass like quality.
  • Tap a porcelain figure and you’ll hear a bell-like ring while the ceramic figure will make a dull sound.
  • The surface of porcelain is fine and smooth, not grainy like other types of ceramics.
  • Ceramic is very opaque, while porcelain is translucent. Hold your figurine up to a light and move your finger behind the item. You should be able to see a slight shadow of your finger if it is porcelain.

In reading this it sounds like porcelain figurines are much more desirable than ceramics.  But in fact, the important thing to remember is to purchase what YOU like and will enjoy viewing and collecting during the years.  That is the true value of a figurine.

Check out the pictures below. Tell me which one you think is porcelain and which is ceramic. (clicking on the pictures will take you to my website where you will find out the answer).

Miniature Orange Tabby Cat

Whimsiclay ‘Birthday Wishes” Cat


Retired Whimsiclay Ceramic Cats

October 16, 2011

To help my collectors of Whimsiclay ceramic cat figurines by Amy Lacombe, I have compiled a list of the recent retired pieces.  You can see the list on my website by clicking here.

I have also included the cats that are low in stock at the manufacturer and will be retired when they have sold out.  Some of the styles are on my site and some are not.  I have included them for your information.

You might have noticed several styles on my web site that are currently out of stock.  Many of these are due to production problems and unfortunately won’t be back in my inventory before the Christmas shopping season.  I’m hoping the company will work out their issues and next year will bring a batch of brand new cat styles plus a re-stocking of these out of stock styles.

Ceramic Punkin Cat Candy Dish

Retired Ceramic Cat, "Punkin Candy Dish". One of my favorites!


Whimsiclay Holiday Cats-Older Styles Are Hard To Beat!

October 4, 2011

To survive a manufacturing company must always have new styles coming out and also retire some pieces to keep the line in demand.  The Whimsiclay cats I sell on my website usually have new designs about twice a year ( although this year it’s been less).

The holiday cat figurines are always cute and sell well.  Several older styles and a few recent ones have been retired or in some cases, just out of stock for the rest of the year.  Luckily, a couple of my very favorites are still around and I think are hard to beat.  Check out Rudy and Sparkie, shown below. If you like them don’t put off purchasing from my website or anywhere else as this could their last season.

Rudy, ceramic Christmas cat

Rudy cat with reindeer cap and bells on his tail.

Sparkie, ceramic holiday cat

Sparkie, tangled up with Christmas lights.


Searching for Cat Gifts in LA

July 31, 2011

Last week was the LA Gift Show for wholesale buyers.  Although the show is really getting smaller and smaller each year (the Las Vegas show is gaining ground), I still like to go to search for something new for my website. Plus, since I have been going there or working there for about 10 years, I know a lot of people and welcome the chance to visit with them.

Back to my search- I’m always on the lookout for new or unusual cat items, or products that you can’t find everywhere.  That’s really hard these days with all the cat web sites and major store chains around, but I get lucky sometimes.  The last find I had was the “Squaredy Cats”-  Square shaped cats with a message.  (Check them out on my site).

One find- some adorable cat kitchen items such as guest tea towels, spoon rests and mugs.  The clincher for me for buying this line is because they donate a portion of their proceeds to the WSPA.  The line featured 4 styles of cats. I’m starting out with the ever popular tuxedo cat and a personal favorite, the orange tabby.

Another find- in the craft section of the show I met an artist creating cat and dog art on jewelry, greeting cards and night lights.  Since all the designs are her art, they will be a unique item to carry.  I really enjoyed talking with her and hearing her story of how she got started and about her life.  I’m happy to give my support to another small business woman!

These were my two main finds this time, although I’m looking into a line of pillows that can be personalized and also adding some Hello Kitty to my site (another personal favorite).

If you have any requests on certain products, feel free to comment or email me.  I’m open to new ideas!

Orange Tabby Spoon Rest

Orange Tabby Spoon Rest from "Rescue Me Now" Cat Products


Smiling Cats – Part II

May 29, 2011

Since the plush cats from Whimsiclay were selling so well, I decided to add the ceramic styles to my online inventory.  Soon they were outselling the plush! I was very glad I made that decision and I continued to increase the styles available including the cat ornaments and cat pins.

The cats designed by Amy Lacombe were better known in the early days as the cats from Annaco and then later from Willitts. The main draw was the smiling face along with the bendable whiskers. But these trademark whiskers also caused production problems and sometimes broke off during shipping.  This was one of the reasons Amy took back control of her creations and now the quality has greatly improved and there is little breakage.

Ceramic Cat "Kandy"

"Kandy" Ceramic Cat from Whimsiclay