Author Archives: Devin O'Brien

The Snowy Days of October are Upon Us

Snow_in_Colarado_in_the_United_States_of_America

Winter is coming. Soon the snow will come to bury the remaining orange leaves lying on the ground, and I’ll have a hard time blending in. But that’s okay. The blinding white of the snow just makes my orange fur stand out that much more.

With that said, make sure you’re prepared for winter. So here’s a few tips for the oncoming, wet, cold, snowy months.

  1. Make sure to keep your pets inside, where its warm and dry. Us animals may have fur coats, but they only do so much.
  2. Make sure you have good winter clothes. Snow boots without holes, adequate coats, hats and gloves are a must.
  3. Ice scrapers for your car. Mornings can be stressful enough when you want to sleep in (which I can, not to rub it in), but they’re even more stressful when your windshield is coated in ice.  Additionally, here’s a guide on how to remove windshield wipers frozen to the windshield.
  4. Three things: snow tires, snow chains, black ice, and careful driving. Have at least one of the first two, watch out for the third, and practice the fourth as much as possible. This last one is important year round, but especially so when the roads are slick.
  5. If, for whatever reason, you have your windows cracked while driving, make sure you roll them all the way back up before exiting. If you don’t, you’ll come back to a car interior whose windows are frosted like a cold mug at a nice restaurant.
  6. Before you travel, make sure to check out a weather forecast. It’s no good setting out thinking you’ll be traveling down a dry road and then getting caught in the middle of a blizzard.
  7. If a blizzard is coming, make sure to stock up on food that you don’t need electrical appliances to cook. You may not get a hot meal on a cold night, but at least you’ll have something to eat.
  8. From AAA’s winter driving tips, keep your gas tank at least half filled to prevent freezing gas lines.
  9. Cat litter makes for good traction, whether you need to walk on an icy sidewalk or your car’s stuck in mud. And to think I do my business in the stuff!
  10. The Center for Disease Control has a page with good suggestions for winter health that I haven’t covered here. Be sure to check it out!

Meet Some Other Colorado Businesses

You know folks, one of the best ways to do business is to do business with other businesses so that you can exchange business. In this spirit, we’ve been working with two other Colorado establishments: a wonderful Aspen Creek Cellars in Bailey, and Luna’s Mandala in Conifer.

A homegrown winery set right next to the Platte River, Aspen Creek Cellars offers a large selection of wines, as well as winery tours and on-site wine tastings, a venue for private parties, and wine club membership.

We’ve known them a long time because they were one of our first customers. We engrave their wine glasses and bottles, and their on-site store carries some of our glassware products, with more on the way.

Luna’s Mandala offers “unique gifts and clothing inspired by nature,” according to their website. In addition to clothing, jewelry, and other unique items, they carry our Mountain Creek Naturals cleaning line, as well as our aromatherapy sprays. In fact, their inventory recently started offering the aromatherapy gift tote, which includes the Awaken, Blissful, Harmony, De-Stress, and Relax scents.

Make sure to stop each of these stores online and in person to check out the selection; buying locally means you’ll save on shipping!

Fun with Google Trends

Hey, everyone, JoJo the Orange Kat here. In doing this blog, I’ve been told about the importance of search terms and search engine optimization and have been doing my best ever since. In trying to be hip to this, I recently learned about a nifty program called Google Trends, which shows the popularity of a given search term through a five year basis. I decided to plug a few key words in, see what it came up with, and share the results with you.

Early on we were a little bit far from the search term, but over the years we’ve been closing the gap, as seen around June 2014.

According to this chart, at least, the name of our business has actually become more trend-worthy than custom plaques. We must be doing something right! It’s probably because I’m the mascot….

Like with the military gift category, Orange Kat has seemed to gain relevance with that of useless machine curiosity.

Squatch spook

October, the month when the Colorado hills and mountains are gold and red with changing aspen leaves and the autumn air is chilly. But that’s okay, because as a cat, that permits me to stay inside where it’s temperature controlled and lay in a bar of sunlight to warm my fuzzy kitty tummy.

But not so much in the evening. October is the month of Halloween, where witches and

ghosts go bump in the night. But those aren’t what my feline eyes see as the sun sets and darkness comes earlier and earlier as we go further into fall. I think there’s something out there, and it seems to have huge feet….

Hold on, I just got it. Big feet. Big Foot. The sasquatch! Why, what a perfect idea for a new product. Hold on, let me just bother the humans.

(An hour of unintelligible meowing and confusion ensues)

There we go. I present to you the Bigfoot Beer glass!

Bigfoot Beer glass

If somehow you have trouble wrapping your mind around the existence of this mythical creature, then drinking from this glass will help. Look for it in our store sometime soon!

 
Also, if you’re in the Bailey area and want to check out a local locale related to Big Foot, head on over to the Sasquatch Outpost. In addition to having tons of Sasquatch merchandise, they have a selection of outdoor supplies, good for if you’re planning a Bigfoot photo safari or just want to enjoy the outdoors.

Leaving Your Mark with Jewelry

Gaudy jewelry materials

Earrings are a must have accessory for any good outfit. However, with that being said, one has to be careful about the type of jewelry you choose. You don’t want to buy anything made from materials like in the above picture and end up looking like a gaudy Mr. T knock-off. Or like the mother of mother-in-laws.

With this in mind, it’s difficult to think of a good birthday gift idea or to find something to make a memorable Christmas present. And even if you can, there’s the visits to crowded shopping malls or fighting traffic to get to a nearby jewelry store, where in either case the salespeople make car dealers look subtle.  

But, that’s what they invented online shopping for. Our store hosts a unique pair of Paw Print Hardwood Earrings for the animal lover in your life, and for just $12.49. And they’re even made of comfortable lightweight wood! Click the link to see what woods you can choose from, including Maple and Cocobolo.

Remembering Veterans

Photo of the Vietnam Memorial Wall

It’s important we remember our military veterans, as their service has allowed us to enjoy numerous freedoms. For example, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to use my freedom of speech to express myself via my claw-marks-on-the-couch art abstract art.

This is why I want to share with you an article about Air Force Veteran David Hine. He is collecting photographs corresponding to the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to add them to the Virtual Vietnam Veterans Wall of Faces. With this website, the names of the fallen can be put to a face so that they may be better remembered.

 

Around the world with Orange Kat

World map

The nice thing about working in a business like this is the travel. We get to see so many countries… or at least our products do.

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North America, United States, Canada, States, Provinces

Orange Kat has shipped to North America, both in Canada and the United States.

United states, non-contiguous, Hawaii, islands

A few of our orders can go to the non-contiguous US as well.

Europe, Western Europe, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Sweden

We can also deliver to a wide range of countries in Europe. So far we’ve had orders from the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, and Sweden.

Middle East, Israel

Our products have made their way to the Middle East via orders from Israel.

Asia, Japan, islands

Some of our products have made their way to Asia via Japan.

Oceania, Australia, New Zealand

Oceania has seen a few of our products due to some products bought by customers in Australia.

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.