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ATouchOfColorado

A Touch of Colorado

ATouchOfColorado

Orange Kat was recently introduced to A Touch of Colorado in Belmar. They’re located at 7170 Alaska Dr, Denver, are open 7 days a week and carry unique goods made in Colorado by hundreds of artists and small manufacturers. We were amazed by the wide variety of items that Holly and her staff have collected. We picked up a new cookbook full of Colorado inspired recipes and a couple varieties of Devil Dog Brew coffee which is delicious! Admittedly, our favorite characteristic about the store is that they just became the first location in Colorado to carry our military line of tribute plaques and ornaments.  Shopping A Touch of Colorado is a fantastic way to support local businesses and artists without having to visit dozens of stores.

Special People

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The two most frequent questions we’re asked is why “Orange Kat” and are we military veterans. Our name Orange Kat was chosen to memorialize our 16 year-old cat, Gizmo Joseph aka Jo Jo who left us in 2012 and to also honor our 2 orange kittens who adopted us later that year (King Aslan and Princess Jewel). We changed the spelling to “kat” to make the name fun which describes many of our products.

As for if we are veterans, no we are not. Both of Jo Jo’s grandpa’s are military veterans as are several of his cousins and uncles. We fell into making military themed products and our appreciation for what these wonderful individuals give deepens every day.

We have the opportunity to virtually meet online many great people who serve not only in the military, but for local police and fire departments along with other areas of the government. The vast majority of our interactions are online and the Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show we attended this past weekend is the only venue at which we get to meet veterans and their families in person. Seeing the pride of a person’s service in their and their family’s eyes is a truly beautiful and humbling experience. We met folks from both Denver and Arapahoe County’s Sheriffs Offices, firefighters from Loveland and service-people from nearly all of our country’s branches of military.

One family in particular really touched us. To give us the spelling of her nephew’s name, the aunt of Capt. Dustin Lukasiewicz, removed a memorial bracelet with his name from her wrist. She told us that Dustin’s helicopter went down in Nepal while rescuing others after an earthquake devastated the region earlier this year. After the show closed that evening, we found this article  detailing the exemplary life Dustin led.  Judy’s nephew is the very definition of a hero. His actions remind us of how fortunate we are to have such selfless, brave and willing people to serve our country and to know how this man affected  the lives of others so far from home is amazing and inspiring. We hope you’ll take a moment this Veteran’s Day to read more about Dustin and say thank you to the courageous people who choose to serve.

The Kat and the Fox

 

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It’s been an amazing year since we attended our first Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show last November! As we load the Kat Mobile to set-up at the Denver Merchandise Mart tomorrow we’ve been remembering the trepidation we felt not knowing what to expect at our first large gift show. We were at the very bottom of a sharp learning curve and feel much more relaxed this year. We decided to narrow our focus and bring just a couple of our product lines which includes our military, civic and fraternal gifts along with our glassware and the ridiculously popular “useless machine” (and the assemble yourself useless machine kit). Even more exciting is that we’re going to feature the Artic Fox Stained Glass product line made by a dear personal friend of ours. In recent months we began providing some laser work for Artic Fox and, as the new year approaches, we hope to deepen that relationship and collaborate to produce some truly unique designs combining mediums that are not traditionally paired. We’ll keep in touch over this busy weekend and hope to see you at the Mart!

Jo Jo’s Voice

Kittens

Jo Jo the Orange Kat mascot has lost his voice, so to speak. You may have noticed that for the last 6 months, our blog has been regularly updated by Devin who gave voice to our special orange guy. It’s with mixed emotions that we congratulate Devin on his new job in what has become a very difficult field to enter! Devin will be joining the Montrose Daily Press and will have the opportunity to put his hard-earned degree in journalism to use. To the Montrose Daily Press, our loss is your gain. To Devin, we can never thank you enough for your hard work these past 6 months. Happy writing and happy tails!

The Snowy Days of October are Upon Us

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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!

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.