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!

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.

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

Smiling Cats – Part I

May 23, 2011

After some trial and error during the years, my website, georgiasgifts.com,  has developed into selling cat themed items.  This combines 2 of my favorite things, cats and retail (more about that another time).

While visiting the Los Angeles gift show I stumbled on that “unique” cat item I was searching for to feature on my site. The item was Whimsiclay Cats  – smiling cats with bendable whiskers – designed by artist Amy Lacombe.  Because of the ease of shipping I decided to start out with the plush cats only. (Whimsiclay also has ceramic cats).  As these plush kitties are not found everywhere in all kinds of shops,  they started selling very well.  I soon followed them up with the plush “cat pillows” and slippers which also were a big hit.

Whimsiclay Plush Cats

Whimsiclay Plush Cats & Slippers