Monthly Archives: August 2015

Emblems of Heroes

Vietnam Veteran plaque

Making custom military plaques is a common activity here at the workshop. In the course of crafting these items, we see the laser printer cut the insignia of many of these units, all of them representing military units with vibrant histories going back far into United States history.

I was thinking about this, watching the laser cut the Baltic Birch plywood for another order. The printer moved over the wood and carved the letters spelling the word “veteran.” This made me think about the message our client requested us to include with the order, a message made out to an army dad, and then it hit me. All of these plaques are made for soldiers carrying on the proud American military tradition, made for those who have served, will serve, or are serving.
I looked at the plaque again when the printer had finished and realized this will enable the recipient to make a statement. This plaque will be placed in a home or a place where soldiers gather as a testament to that particular person’s experience in a unit, military branch, or war. A history, an epoch made of lifetimes, summarized by an engraved symbol mounted in a place of honor.

Cats ‘n Coffee

Cup of coffee

Humans like books. Humans like coffee. Humans like to paint and sip wine at the same time. They also like cats because we make all of these activities much more enjoyable with our presence.

All of these things could be found in places called cat cafés, but until last year, there weren’t any outside of Asia until one opened in California. And even with one open in the U.S., there weren’t any of these places in Colorado. Until last  year, that is!

The Denver Cat Company is a café and used bookstore which lets cats up for adoption from three Colorado-based animal welfare groups lounge about the store so any visitor can interact with them (so long as these visitors follow the store rules for cat interaction, of course). The Denver Cat Company also offers paint-and-stip-style art classes.

So there you have it. Someone finally figured out how to get some of the greatest things in life into one package!

Fuzzy Undulating Caterpillars

Living in the Colorado foothills, you see a lot of interesting little crawlies (bugs to you humans). One of the more interesting ones I’ve seen lately was this fuzzy little guy you can see in Tussock Moth Caterpillarthe photo. They’re the caterpillar form of Tussock Moths, and they’ve been all over some of the nearby mountain communities this summer, from Windy Point to Pine Grove, one of Bailey’s neighboring towns.

I don’t touch them, though, and encourage humans and my fellow animals to leave them alone due to the painful rash the caterpillars leave.

As neat-looking a bug as this is, it doesn’t seem to have the best interest of trees in mind, according to a 9 News article one of the humans had open on the shop computer. These particular crawlies damage trees by chewing on the needles of Spruces and Firs, causing defoliation; this short informative article from Colorado State University gives more information on these strange fuzzy caterpillars.

 

Bored games

Laser etched Settlers of Catan game pieces

When I think of board games, I’m tempted to spell it a different way. Your usual Monopoly, Clue, and Battleship are fun, but you can only have so much of a good thing. Really, you can only have so much of it until you start thinking of them as “bored” games. A lot can happen in them, but soon enough you get familiar with these traditional board games and want something different.

I was in this quandary, looking for something more. Luckily, a friend turned me on to Settlers of Catan. I got so into the game that I convinced the humans in the shop to design wooden board pieces for it! This way, I can be the center of attention on game night and not even have to lay in the middle of the board. If you yourself would like to be the center of attention next time you play a game of SoC, I made sure the pieces are available to order on our website and our Etsy page.

Animals, Wine, and Charity

So, they were telling me at the shop that I’ve talked a lot about myself and the shop, but I haven’t said anything about the organizations we work with. And I do help with the work. Us cats don’t sleep all day, you know.

Veterans and Animals

The first group we work with is Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado, based in Lakewood at the Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch. They use dogs, cats (a good choice, in my opinion), horses, goats and other animals for therapy for a scope of individuals.

The AATPC also offers services to veterans and their families in the form of readjustment counseling. This includes treatment options such as employment counseling, bereavement counseling for families of active duty soldiers, and treatment for ailments such as PTSD.

To raise money for this noble program, Orange Kat LLC has given one dollar to AATPC for every plaque sold through our Amazon and Etsy pages and website, resulting in a $155 donation. What we at the Orange Kat shop are especially excited about is that this amount will double (if

Sigmund relaxes and looks at the cameranot more than double) when the holiday season hits. I’m purring just thinking about it!

 

To help out with the function of the Barking C.A.A.T. ranch, we also donate some of our eco-

friendly household cleaners, as well as volunteering time each month.

Also, a new face recently came to the ranch. His name is Sir Sigmund Hook, and he does just fine with three legs. But that’s to be expected; us orange felines do well no matter what number of limbs we have.

 “Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.” – Ernest Hemingway

We’ve also been working to create glasses for United Healthcare Children’s Foundation events. We already made glasses for an event in Chicago a few months ago, and are currently making etched wine glasses for another event being held in Boston.

2015 UHCF charity glasses

We created these charms, coaster design, and blue ribbon as a look tailored specifically to this charity. The only way to get your paws on one of these Wine, Women, and Shoes glasses is to purchase a VIP ticket to the fundraising event. Be sure to get your ticket soon; this is the first collectible wineglass design that VIP attendees can collect over five years.

This means that, if you love wine, you can’t lose. You can raise money to help children with medical expenses, you get a nice wineglass, and you have a nice night in Boston. The event includes wine tasting, a fantastic fashion show, and a gourmet gullet-pleasing dinner.

New Arrival Sailing Into Amazon

Our Navy beer and rocks glasses are now available on our Amazon page. Make sure to check them out when you have time!