Sunday, September 28, 2008

More dog pins!

Yes! I've put even more dog pins online in our Tapir and Friends Wildlife World web store. We have so many dog breeds available, there are still a lot more to come. If you don't see the breed you want in our outstanding dog jewelry section, please call us toll free at 888-325-3179 or send e-mail. We'll let you know what's in stock. You can also read over the list posted here. This probably covers most of them, but it may not be complete. Shown above is one of our Great Dane styles and of course a yellow Labrador.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fantasy dragon jewelry

This dragon jewelry is a bit out of our ordinary realm - not that we don't like dragons, but so far we've specialized in real animal themes and recently we've branched out into ethnic art of South America. With the inclusion of ethnic art and imagination, we could easily get into dragons in the near future. For now, this is only our second fantasy dragon, and it came to us with the collection of wildlife pins on consignment from the artist. The pin seen in this photo can be found in our Tapir's World Gift Shop via this link. Our other dragon is a Peeper Keeper eyeglass holder. See it here!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Boykin Spaniel dog jewelry

This morning I finished putting up the dog pins that are already scanned. I thought this red boykin spaniel was a beautiful example of the portrait pin style. I have a couple more dogs on my desk that need scanning, then I need to look through the un-scanned inventory below and find the rest of the dogs. Hey, look! There's a Labrador! This is going to be fun . . . more beautiful dogs to come soon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dog jewelry pin page coming along

Today I've been working on the dog pin page. I transferred the 8 dogs I already had on the multi-species pin page to the new dog pin page, and then added a bunch more. There are 20 dogs on the site now, and 9 more to go that are already scanned. I like this Australian cattle dog! Actually, they're all very nice, but this guy caught my fancy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Werregue palm baskets - the amazing water jars of the Colombian coast

The first of these delightful and finely-crafted works of Colombian ethnic art are now online in our gift shop and more are due to arrive soon. I've given the baskets a page of their own. You can scroll from top to bottom and easily see what's in stock. The construction is especially unusual, and they take a very long time to make. Known worldwide for their fine detail, tight weave, and beautiful designs, the werregue palm baskets are truly special. You can read more about them on our site. We will continue to import these collectible items from Colombia and we'll keep you posted. Sergio sent some more photos today, and I can't wait for them to arrive! You'll note that although the example above depicts several animals (a toucan on this side and other animals on other parts of the basket), some are pure design and color. We've taken a step away from our animals-only theme in order to be able to put even more money back into the field to protect the animals. By branching out, we'll have greater choices in the crafts we can buy from local artisans. Plus, it's a dream come true for me to be able to work with such wonderful art. Let's see what the future holds in store!

Crunchy the Aardvark has a happy new home

Our wonderfully lifelike stuffed aardvark became the talk of the town. I hope you enjoy this comment as much as we did:

Just wanted you to know that I received the Aardvark in good condition. I gave it to the 2 1/2 year old son of two very close friends, and we went to the LA County Fair today. The Aardvark elicited many double takes, as people thought the stuffed toy was alive! Drew is very happy with his Aardvark, and has named him "Crunchy." Good work! I would recommend your products to anyone.

And thanks so much for letting us know! We loved hearing
your delightful story!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spiders, anyone? Nice tarantula pin for sale!

The latest offering in our gift shop is this colorful and creepy (to some), or "agreeable" as Jane Austen would say, hand-cast and hand-painted tarantula pin. Whatever your take is on spiders, this is a very nice work of wearable art! Don't forget to scroll on up to the top of the page and check out the butterflies! I've added a few more since last night.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Talk about colorful, realistic reptile jewelry. . . !

I've just put these two guys online on our new reptile jewelry page. I love them! Look at that iguana (top) - it looks like a watercolor! You'd hardly know it's made of cast pewter, paint, and an incredibly durable clear finish. The gecko (bottom pic) definitely has a Southwest color scheme. If I'm not careful, I'll take them all home with me and have nothing left to sell. These are dramatic, and there are so many more pieces still to put online! I'm liking the new arrangement, though, where we have the menu pages for this style of jewelry broken down into animal types. It's going to be necessary to do that in order to get them all on the site, as they would never have fit on the original page, which is now painfully in transition. I'll get more of the clutter out of the top as it turns into a more complete menu page :) Meanwhile, it keeps me off the streets, which may not be all that good. I've got to get out and enjoy the day at some point! Tomorrow is Sunday Market. I look forward to moseying around, taking photos and buying fresh fruit and veggies.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Painted butterfly and dragonfly jewelry, presented by Yours Truly, certified geek

I love messing with web pages, although sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming trying to get a large number of gift shop items organized and figuring out how the pages will make some kind of sense. I've been doing that today, starting with the butterfly and insect painted animal pins. We have SO many styles of painted animal pins. They are gorgeous and fun, and I want to get all of them online in the next few weeks. Our older site optimizes better than the new one (longevity does make a difference online!) so even though I can put them up and organize them faster on the new site, they're just not being found. I thought I'd try to bring some of that organization back to the original site and get them up where people are at least visiting the pages in larger numbers. I really, really want to get this done, it just takes forever. I wish I had more time to devote to this one project. To be honest, I can say that about all my projects, but this one is on the front burner today.

Another purpose for the revamped page is that I finally got a BlackBerry and surfed the web with it the other day for the very first time. It's VERY cool! I love the way phone calls and e-mail links tend to merge. Either or. The PDA doesn't care. You want to call? OK. You want to e-mail? No problem! I also see some of the issues with reading web pages on a hand-held device, and I'm attempting to build in some assistance for phone surfers. I'm making links that take you easily back to the top of the page, and I'm beginning to eliminate the endless sidebar menus that you have to scroll through to get to the meat of the content. These can be overlooked on a computer, but not on a hand-held. I'm starting to discover some of the web-surfing shortcuts when using the BlackBerry, but there's no point in making a web page harder than it needs to be. (I know, I know - one should be using CSS, but I don't find it that easy or that much fun, so I'm still working around it for the most part. I did try it. I just don't care for it. My old-code pages actually work much better and faster on a BlackBerry than I feared they would - better than this blog, for instance.) And. Cleaning up the pages is nice for the design, too. It's funny. It seems the form follows function thing works here, too. "Necessity," or at least preference for making the pages easier to use is helping me see the logical way to clean up some of the junk I've been wanting to streamline. What could be better?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Running zebra hand-painted animal jewelry!

This engaging running zebra pin is only one of hundreds of pieces of our hand-painted animal jewelry that gallop, fly, swim, scuttle, slither, and wriggle. Come check them out in and Friends online gift shop! We have dog jewelry, bird jewelry, reptiles, frogs, cats and kittens, sea animals, sharks, fish, horses and ponies, farm animals, insects, butterflies, dinosaurs and a unicorn! All are made and painted in the USA!

Animal jewelry from Corinna

Animal jewelry . . . what a nice gift these pieces make! How about a nifty tricolor toucan pin, pendant, or pair of earrings? Or a swinging siamang? Choose your colors, and this custom-made aluminum jewelry (lightweight, shiny, and durable) is yours for a very affordable price. Check out Corinna's other designs in our online gift shop! You can also call us toll free at (888) 325-3179. Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How and why

To learn more about our new web site, check out the post on Sheryl's Personal Blog.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tapir t-shirts and things . . .

Anita (a long-time tapir fan with interesting stories) sent e-mail on September 5:

Thank you so much. My tapirs & T-Shirts just arrived & they are
mighty cute---Anita

Just a note on our tapir t-shirts and totes. We had considered having our shirt and tote bag designs transferred over to our CafePress tapir store because it would be easier to manage the inventory. However, as of now, we've opted to keep the old designs on the original system, which is to have them screen printed and keep them in stock at our shop. Our printer does beautiful work, and the quality of the shirt material is very good. We're very happy with them. It sometimes means we're out of an item you order and we have to backorder it, and it means we bear the cost of carrying inventory that hasn't sold yet (think lots of sizes for each design). It seems worthwhile to us at this point. With CafePress, we can deliver more designs, which are printed as-needed and delivered from CP directly to you. Cafe-Press can also offer a much wider selection of products because they don't need to store printed inventory. We get a percentage of the profit, which helps support tapir conservation and research. CafePress uses an optical printing method, which is quite good, but it's different than screen printing with ink. We'll continue to grow the CafePress option as well. So, with multiple sources there are more and more choices for tapir gear! And we believe this is a good thing :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Small hand-carved pirarucu fish from the Colombian Amazon

I'v just put this very cool pirarucu fish online - it's carved of palo de sangre wood in the region of Leticia, Colombia - in the Amazon. This carved wood fish is easier on the pocketbook than some of our larger items. I still have two more pirarucu to put on the site. They'll be bigger and will come with pricier tags. Each fish is unique. This one has an especially nice face, I think.

If you want to see what an interesting fish they really are, check out the two stuffed real pirarucus that were in the lobby of our hotel in Manaus (Brazil). The big one is probably 3 to 3 1/2 feet long - I don't actually remember the size. I know they seemed large. You can read more about the fish themselves via the link to the carved fish above.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two plastic piranhas back in the store!

We loved our plastic piranhas, and so did our customers. Awhile back they were discontinued by the manufacturer, and NOW THEY ARE BACK! Come take a look. We have these interesting lifelike piranhas in two color choices - and they are stretchable! What's more, the plastic is soft and . . . uh . . . fishlike. They almost feel real!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Two cuties

Trisha sent us this picture of her totally adorable granddaughter. The photo was taken last Christmas with a stuffed emperor penguin chick that came from Tapir and Friends. If this were a cuteness contest, I'd have to vote for the little girl, but the penguin isn't bad! :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Carved wood animals from Colombia

Hi All,

I've been posting some carved wood animals on our new web site. They arrived from Colombia a couple of weeks ago. The animals are carved of the native palo de sangre wood (meaning bloodwood), and come in varying shades of gorgeous red. The wood is so hard that when it's polished it looks like it has a varnish or finish on it, but actually, the shine is simply the natural wood surface finished and polished to a sheen by the artisans. They are just beautiful, and their purchase not only helps tapir conservation, but it helps the artisans who make the carvings.

The two critters shown here are jaguars. The top photo is a fairly typical carving, although each one is a little different. The one on the bottom is totally unique and actually a little freaky. Sergio thought it looked like a jaguar-mouse. I was thinking more like a were-jaguar or a were-rat. Let us know what you think. In any case, it is striking, primitive-looking, visceral, and the only one we've seen that looks like this. It has "content," as my art teacher would have said. You can read about the palo de sangre wood on the site and see the jaguars and other carved wood animals. I still have some fish and armadillos to put online.

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