December 3, 2014 § 1 Comment
Sorry, but she’s not for sale! 🙂
In other news, I finally sat down and made a good four homemade toys for Lola! I haven’t done that in months so I was pretty proud. I even refilled the Avian Stainless Do the Twist toy base! Goodness, I don’t envy toymakers at all. My toys aren’t nearly as cute and they sure left my fingers sore!
I refilled the Avian Stainless toy base similarly to last time, with lots and lots of wood. I used hardwood beads, chunky monkey pine squares from Oliver’s Garden, pine chunks with embedded corks from Mother Pluckin’ Bird Toys, and lots of natural wood coins (great stuff like ocotillo, willow, and yucca) from Things for Wings.
I also made four other toys, the two above and two (really plain looking) rolling pin toy base toys which didn’t merit photos. I used the same types of woods as above. They’re plain but hey, they keep Lola busy!
April 23, 2011 § 3 Comments
I have some very exciting news! Donna, the owner of Exotic Wood Dreams, is a very good friend of mine. (You can visit her website to see her beautiful creations, BUT she does not have internet access and therefore cannot take email inquiries or web orders– you must call. Let me know if you plan to and I can probably get you a discount!) We talk on the phone frequently and as I sent her a modest gift a short while ago, she phoned me recently with a grand gesture of great generosity: she was building my budgies a tabletop stand– for FREE! I feel so incredibly blessed and humbled. She is so kind and I simply cannot believe this wonderful act of generosity!
What’s more is that Donna knows about my commitment to using 100% stainless steel and customized this stand for me to use only stainless steel hardware in its entirety. This made its creation rather difficult because one of her trademark touches is to use boings or bendable rope perches. She really went above and beyond by special ordering and using a Mother Pluckin’ Bird Toys boing instead, because they are one of the few companies (along with Grey Feather Toys and Oliver’s Garden, and a few others but I can’t speak for theirs) that make excellent quality boings with stainless steel wire interiors.
I am so impressed by this beautiful stand. She really went all out with it, including all of the premium accessories: a custom made ladder, a hanging grapevine swing, a decorated coconut bowl, and even a grapevine tunnel for the budgies, complete with a leather “rug” inside of it. Actually, it also came with leather “curtains,” but I knew those would freak Charles out so I removed them. There are plenty of colorful, fun, and unique budgie-appropriate toys as well that I know Sabrina (and hopefully Charles) will have a grand old time destroying!
By the way, in case any of you have noticed that some of the branches hang over the catcher box, that’s not their usual style — Donna is very cognizant of the fact that most bird owners want all of the branches to hang within the boundaries of the catcher box for the most convenience. I, however, have a limited space and specifically asked that she NOT limit the spread of the branches in order to fit within the space of the catcher box with my requested dimensions, should they hang over by a few inches on any given side. That said, it actually hardly hangs over at all– the only parts that do are the tunnel (which doesn’t really matter since it has its own floor), and part of the grapevine swing, which is removable.
I am so pleased and grateful for this beautiful stand!! What’s more important, though, is that the budgies LOVE it! Although they typically prefer being up high on their Crawler or Oddball or the other hanging gyms, they both adore being on the tabletop just as much. Grapevine wood is such a wonderful choice for the little guys– so much variation and so many little nooks and crannies to chew. The two of them are both very active and curious on this gym and it really gets them moving!
Thank you so much to Donna– she is such a wonderful person!! If any of you are considering ordering, please let me know. She can be a little bit difficult to understand and communicate with on the phone at first, but she is really fantastic and makes stands of unmatched beauty and quality. Charles and Sabrina love their new table top!
[This entry has been imported, with some edits, from my previous blog.]
April 21, 2011 § 4 Comments
The Wingdow Company is best known for its famous Wingdow Perch, which is a special perching unit with suction cups made to stick to any window, allowing parrots to look outside and observe the world around them. What many people do not know, however, is that this company also makes beautiful stands that are incredibly well-made– from 100% American-made stainless steel (two big selling points for me)– and very aesthetically pleasing. They have several different options– simple T-stands to more elaborate gyms. I chose a simple T-stand but wit a C-configuration toy hanger– something simple, streamlined, and easy to move from room to room. Its main function is so that Lola can hang out with me when we’re not in the bird room, but rather in the kitchen or living room, and can be engaged and entertained without having to be on my lap or arm. It is perfect for the job. Without further ado, here it is!
That’s the entire stand. It is highly customizable– you can pick the height, or pick an adjustable height unit; you can pick the color and pattern of the glass blocks that make up the stand; you can pick the configuration of the toy hanger (C, J, O, simple T), you can pick the type of wood for the perch, and you can even pick stainless or plastic for the tray. I love that they really thought of all the details and kept safety in mind. Not only is it 100% stainless steel and manufactured in the USA, but the toy hanger up top is also fully welded for safety.
That’s Lola on it when it first arrived! Mother Pluckin’ Bird Toys was nice enough to make us a shortened boing to fit the space perfectly. I usually keep the boing on there, but because Lola loves the stand so much, I also like to use it to warm her up to new toys. The reason is two-fold: first, I don’t want to startle or scare her by simple shoving foreign objects in the cage, so putting it on the stand is perfect because it is in her line of vision but not in a threatening location (inside or on the cage); second, it is on one of her favorite landing spots in the room, AND there are treat cups right by it, so when she is out of her cage she is often persuaded to fly over to the new toy by herself and explore– it happens completely of her own volition. Here’s a perfect example of how she was first acquainted with her PPBN Snuggly Swing:
I simply placed the swing on the stand, opened up her cage door, and let her do her usual routine (hanging out on the atom, the crawler, the top of the cage), then she finally mustered up the courage to fly over to her stand and check out the swing. It quickly became one of her favorite toys ever and went right in the cage with no problems!
In short… this is a wonderful, furniture-quality stand that I highly recommend. It is NOT a climbing gym– and should not be bought to replace or to act in the place of one (although the company DOES make gyms as well). But if you are looking for a simple T-stand that is portable, durable, aesthetically pleasing, stainless steel, and American-made, this is the stand for you! They are certainly pricey but I think that for the quality and construction, they are well worth it. Email the company for more information.
[This entry has been imported, with some edits, from my previous blog.]