January 1, 2014 § 2 Comments
Happy New Year everybody! I hope 2014 is off to a healthy and happy start for you. I thought I’d kick off the new year with some cute Hahn’s Macaw paraphernalia. The first one is actually the other half of my mom’s Christmas present. (I posted about the first half, an adorable parrot pillow, here.) I commissioned an awesome artist named Abril Martinez to create an image of Karat from one of my favorite photos of her, and she did an awesome job. I then had it turned into an iPhone case!
I love it and think it came out perfectly. More importantly my mom was totally thrilled with it. I ordered it from CaseApp and was very happy with the quality and service. Isn’t she cute?
When I was visiting my parents over the holidays, I also noticed that my mom had a really adorable new plate with two adorable Hahn’s Macaws on it. The coolest part is, she painted it herself freehand and from memory. I think it turned out great too 🙂 Unfortunately, I inherited no such artistic talent. Might have to ask her to do one with my girls on it!
November 27, 2013 § 2 Comments
As some of you know, my mother has a Hahn’s Macaw named Karat who is her pride and joy. She loves anything that shows off her love for Karat… so I knew I found her the perfect Christmas present when I found these amazing parrot pillows. How incredibly clever is this reversible little egg to Hahn’s pillow?
I purchased a mini one, but you can also get a bigger pillow as well, in all different sorts of birds (budgies, ekkies, macaws, greys, etc.). They are so cute! They are made by a wonderful woman named Nancy Richards in Canada, and she can be reached via email at narich at nbnet.nb.ca. You can also view more of her designs on Facebook. What’s more is that I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that shipping was a mere $2.99 even though I’m in the U.S.!
This is the first half of her awesome Karat Christmas presents. I’ll be sure to share the second when it comes!!
August 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
I always knew that I am blessed with such kind and generous friends, but this week I was truly taken aback by the extent of their thoughtfulness. Two friends of mine were so sweet that they, despite only knowing of Charles via this blog or other internet forums, sent me incredibly beautiful keepsakes to commemorate his life. I am so moved and so touched, not only by these precious gifts but also by their love for Charles, and for their true understanding of how wonderful a little soul he was. I am most happy knowing that Charles was loved and appreciated not just by me but also by his few “fans” around the country (and the world!), and that during his short lifetime, I was able to share with you all how precious he was to me. He really was an amazing bird. So a very sincere and heartfelt thank you for these lovely gifts.
The first gift is a really beautiful glass and crystal pendant made by Mango Gyrl Designs. It’s a really adorable photo of Charles looking particularly regal in one of his many swings… it makes me smile every time I see it. Thus, I think that the inscription “Joy” is so very appropriate for this photo. Aside from how nice the pendant itself it, I couldn’t believe the level of care and detail that went into the packaging. The pendant was in a blue satchel which was protected with cotton and decorated with a ribbon, also reading “Joy,” then placed in a box with the photo of Charles on it as well. The presentation was so lovely and as soon as I began unwrapping it and saw the box, I was so, so surprised and overjoyed (it was, obviously, a completely unexpected package). Thank you so much to both Mango Gyrl Designs and the gifter! I absolutely love it.
The second gift is an absolutely beautiful painting of Charles, recreated from perhaps my favorite photo of him alone (the ones of him and Theodore might not be a fair comparison since they have double the cuteness). But the background was turned into a rainbow, signifying his passing… which I thought such a lovely way to commemorate him. This painting, to me, really captures his true spirit. Even in passing over the “Rainbow Bridge,” his expression is brave, docile, and steadfast. Charles approached everything with maturity and equanimity no matter the task, be it nail clippings or vet visits or new, somewhat hyperactive cohabitants. And, he looks as spiffy as ever, with his polka dotted collar perfectly in place. I absolutely love this painting so very much– thank you!
Both of these gifts are so perfect and so thoughtful. Thank you to my dear, dear friends. My grief over Charles’s passing is lessened by my happiness that you two were able to “feel the love” as well.
February 28, 2012 § 3 Comments
We received a wonderful parcel all the way from our friends in Australia this week!! We were so pleased and grateful for the lovely surprise. The box contained two gorgeous, all natural toys from a fantastic Australian bird toy company called GePaSo. I’ve seen their products before and had always been extremely intrigued: not only do they focus on beautiful, un-dyed toys made with barky, native woods and other natural products, but they actually make a commitment to using 100% stainless steel metals on all of their toys! It’s so rare that a company will do this and it always immediately gains my respect and attention. Being in Australia, however, I had never ordered from them because of the high shipping fees and the time it would take to receive an order. Thus, this parcel was most appreciated, and I’m sure that Lola will agree.
The first toy, called the Sputnik toy, is such a cool and beak-tempting design. On a vertical wood toy base are four “arms,” at the ends of which are two very chunky and barky wood rounds with smaller wooden beads snugly fit inside. I just know that Lola is going to go crazy trying to extract these little beads from within.
The second toy is an adorable design that also combines wonderful, barky wood chews that will keep Lola’s big beak busy with smaller wooden beads. At the bottom is a stainless steel bell for some noisy fun as well.
We are so grateful for this wonderful surprise and I know Lola will have a splendid time destroying them promptly! These toys are excellent quality. I strongly recommend my Australian friends look into this company as I would definitely be a regular customer of theirs if I were in the country. They use a number of native plants and woods and have some of the coolest looking natural toys I’ve seen on the market. For anybody elsewhere in the world, they do ship internationally for those willing to cover the cost of shipping as well.
January 12, 2012 § 6 Comments
We feel super cool and privileged today!! As you know, we absolutely love our Fantastic Foraging Blocks by Kris Porter, and we’ve been using them daily as our new way of presenting fresh, whole vegetables. It seems that the adorable extra small foraging blocks that were made especially for my budgies, however, has sparked quite a bit of interest. (I sincerely thank our dear friend “Saemma” and of course, Kris Porter, for coming up with the budgie-sized blocks together!) In an effort to make even more budgie-friendly blocks, Kris decided to to cut even more ridges and nooks into the blocks to make them easier to chew for the smallest of birds. But she liked the idea so much that she decided to create a second line of foraging blocks all together, with extra nooks, crannies, and ridges!
In an act of great generosity, she sent us samples of every size to “test,” including an awesome foot toy-sized one that I know Lola is going to go insane for. My flock will be more than happy to test these out! I know that Lola in particular will love wood chipping even more with all of the added ridges, even the large sized block. There are so many added ridges and spaces to hide treats now! They look like really labor intensive blocks.
I’m going to switch out their current blocks with these tomorrow, and hopefully snap some shots of the flock in action. I’m really excited to try these! Thank you so much to Kris Porter for including us in this exciting process. Again, we so highly recommend the original Fantastic Foraging Blocks, but I have a feeling that my birds will love these even more!
January 10, 2012 § 5 Comments
My photography skills seem to be getting worse with time, somehow, but here are some recent photos of my big girl, Lola! Here she is enjoying the amazing toy our dear friend Merlie gifted her and a others from playtime fun.
January 5, 2012 § 8 Comments
We are really feeling the love here! Another very dear friend of ours, the writer of one of our favorite blogs, Mabel Serendipity, also sent us a very thoughtful gift this week and we are so touched by her generosity. She picked out a whole bunch of toys for the entire flock, and then some! She must also be a mind reader, because she knew we had been eying a really wonderful new line of parrot toys called the Fantastic Foraging Blocks, created by parrot enrichment expert Kris Porter. This brand new line of foraging toys combines the joys of wood chipping and foraging for food and treats into one! They are really brilliant, simple, no-fuss toys that are really made for parrots’ enjoyment. Not only are they completely un-dyed (which is a plus in our book), but they are made using only stainless steel eye screws, and they are made in a completely bird-free workshop. We love to see toy makers who take responsible and safe measures such as these.
Lola is already loving her Fantastic Foraging Block, this one in size small, although our friend was so generous that she sent both a small and a medium! I stuffed it this morning with some fresh, organic kale, broccoli, and carrots, and it only took her a few seconds to start digging in. She absolutely loves it! I love that the holes on these toys are actually a bit bigger than most foraging toys you see, because I can stick whole, fresh vegetables into them rather than simply dry treats like sunflower seeds or nuts. I think this is a really innovative and fun alternative to skewered veggies in particular and I am sure Lola will have a lot of fun with this veggie and toy tower combination.
Not only did our friend send two wonderful foraging blocks for Lola, but she even somehow finagled Kris into making two custom extra small foragers, one each for Charles and Sabrina! We really are so very blessed and lucky to have such thoughtful friends who truly go above and beyond. These adorable mini foragers are shorter versions of the small size, but they are perfect for the smaller or more timid birds. I prepared Charles and Sabrina’s foragers with some fresh, delicious carrot tops for them to devour. I had to shave the carrots down a bit to get them to fit in the holes, so I took the extra carrot slivers and stuffed them into the ridges in the blocks for the budgies to nibble on as well.
Charles can’t be stopped when it comes to fresh greens: he has no fear! He started nibbling as soon as he saw those irresistible carrot tops. It took Sabrina a few more minutes to muster up the courage, but she too began devouring her greens, and even actually pulled the carrot out of the hole, and all of the carrot slivers out of the notches too. I think I have a lot of foraging potential with her!
We want to thank our friend one more time for such a wonderful, generous, and thoughtful gift! Also not photographed is another medium Fantastic Foraging Block and several wood squares for my wood chipper, Lola. You have truly made the birds VERY happy little foragers. They are so enjoying their new way of eating their veggies. To everybody else, we highly recommend these wonderful toys and I am sure I will have to purchase many, many more in the future!