Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekly Spotlight Shop: MyDwarfHamsters!

This week, the For The Love of Small Animals team has chosen a very special shop for the weekly spotlight. The shop is called MyDwarfHamsters and the artist and shop owner is Bryan. Bryan is 11 years old and loves animals. He also loves to build things, play on the computer, and go fishing at the pier. Bryan calls it Catch and Release, because he wants the fish to get back home safely. According to his mom, Sandi, Bryan was interested in following her footsteps and creating something to make extra money. After seeing Dolphin Tales, he also decided to donate some of his money to charity and help other animals in need. As Sandi sends her business cards out as magnets, they thought that taking pictures of Bryan's hamsters, Homer and Henry2, would be perfect to make magnets and Holiday greeting cards. Check out these adorable cards; you can tell that Bryan gives his pets a lot of love and care.

100% donated to PAWS Ch...

My Dwarf Hamster Cornuc...

My Dwarf Hamster Cornuc...

My Dwarf Hamster Cornuc...

Bryan has just opened his shop this month, and already has had 7 sales and 100% feedback. He has also already donated 11 dollars to PAWS of Chicago. Go Bryan! Currently he has Thanksgiving and Christmas cards and magnets, and plans to add more pictures very soon. You will also see that certain listings notate the amount of donation that will go to PAWS of Chicago. These will make great gifts and stocking stuffers, as well as those much needed cards to send to friends and family over the holidays. Our team is so glad to have Bryan among our members!

I would personally like to thank Bryan's mom, Sandi for telling me about all the hard work Bryan has put into helping others, and also learning to manage money and gaining an overall direction for the future at such a young age. I really wanted to share this story so that other moms out there could see what a great tool Etsy could be in teaching responsibility and a good work ethic to their own youngsters and Sandi agrees. She also donates to Cancer research via her shop JemsBySandi. She lost her mother to cancer, but her closest friend is a breast cancer survivor, so she is doing all she can to raise awareness. Anything pink in her shop goes to the American Cancer Society so please take a look at her shop as well, and her companion shop, Jems and More.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Weekly Spotlight Shop: KippysSoMature!

This week, we salute another long time member of our group, KippysSoMature.  In Jennifer's adorable shop you will find some amazingly cute amigurumi and needle felted animals, as well as jewelry, resin buttons, and sewing crafts. While she has lived and worked in Japan, she currently resides and continues to create  in  Los Angeles. Jennifer's journey on Etsy started when she was looking for a particular fabric and found it from an Etsy seller. She had some Japanese kimono fabric of her own to sell, which it did. After making a pearl and flower necklace for her daughter, she decided to focus on that and sell more.

One of the great things about KippysSoMature is there is a lot of respect and support for other Etsy artists. Jennifer learned about needle felting from Etsy, and decided to try it one day. She really enjoys poking the wool and the yarn itself, and loves how her little creations make other people smile.. Her inspiration is usually prompted by a purchase she has made from a fellow Etsy seller: alpaca yarn from a seller became the amigurumi alpaca in the shop. The bambi deer, teddy bear and furkin critter were all from lovely hand dyed wool roving from another seller, and the animal print felt cases were digital illustrations that she purchased from a seller and then printed on fabric to make the cases.  She really takes advantage of the natural color changes and textures of the yarns she purchases. She has even used other artists' creations in her photos, and she always proudly promotes and credits the artists. According to her, she enjoys helping other sellers whenever possible. 

 Jennifer agrees there are a lot of great benefits to owning an Etsy shop, whether you make a lot of sales or not. For her, she gained a lot of knowledge not only about selling, but about people and customers, and has made friends from all over the world. Helping other artists in the community and sharing ideas and faith has been a true blessing for her. 

You can also keep up with Jennifer's work and her other interests on her Twitter, Blog, and Facebook:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This week's spotlight shop: viciousencounters

This week's spotlight shop is another creative team member:  viciousencounters!  She is also a leader for an Etsy team that includes a lot of our team members as well:  Sugar Glider Groupies! Vicious is a young college student trying to discover her true passions.She is currently majoring in Biology, and is looking to change to Biochemistry with a minor in Genetics. She enjoys making her handmade items and aspires to continue to do so while using the extra cash to assist with her education.

She has had gliders for a few years now and has four females that range from one to four years of age. Her first glider was given to her as a gift, and while she didn't know much about them at the time, she fell in love and continues to learn all she can about them. She opened her shop in June of 2009, after she got her second glider. She really wanted pouches that could fit two gliders, and had trouble finding them, so she decided to sew her own. She is a sewer from a young age so coming up with a high quality product and design came easily.

She just recently adopted her fifth glider, a male. He is a rescued male who came from a mill breeding hoarder who fed them cat food, which made him orange when he supposed to be white. According to her, he has the sugar glider version of the luecism trait so besides being the only boy he will also be the "white" sheep in the family. She helped nurture him back to help using the diet recommended by the Lucky Glider Rescue and Sanctuary, and wanted me to share their Suggie Soup with you!

Vicious notes that she is continually surprised at how intelligent, amusing, and caring they [gliders] truly are.

For more information on her shop the link is here:
You can find tons more examples of her work on her website:

She can also be found on the GliderCentral forums:
or GliderGossip:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This week's spotlight shop: Jiggy Piggy Boutique!

If you're in the market for a handsome hut, a splendid snuggle sac, or a tasteful tunnel, then look no further!  JiggyPiggyBoutique has some of the most adorable supplies for your guinea pig or other pocket pet to explore, play, or relax with.
Allison herself is a mom to four  guinea pigs, Maggie Mae and Indra Lee, Lucy LuLu and Sunshine Rae. She was making lots of supplies for her first two piggies, which she adopted after graduating college. She would donate a lot of her items to shelters and eventually adopted a third pig for her boyfriend while she was doing that. The fourth piggie in their brood came from a rescue organization in Chicago.    Eventually Allison was hooked on making hammocks, cozy caves and tunnels, and so she decided to share them with others. Thus, her Etsy shop was formed in November of 2010.
Her sacks, hammocks and such are well constructed with a colorful fleece or cotton printed fabric on the outside, and a soft, warm coordinating fleece on the inside which is not only comfortable, but safe for your small pet. Everything including her sturdy hidey huts are able to be machine washed.There are even some double fleeced reversible items available for those discerning guinea pigs who love to change their decor. And if you already have a color scheme or theme for your environment, you can always ask for a custom item. On top of being featured here, she has also been seen on PetsJubilee, which is an amazing organization assistin sellers on Etsy as well.
JiggyPiggyBoutique is another one of our shops that has quality, integrity and has a great love for animals.  You will find that she while she's not creating art or teaching, she continues to help small animals and organizations in need. Don't forget to giver a few clicks and show your support!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This week's Spotlight Shop: Magic Happens Rescue

This week we salute one of our members from early on in the group. MagicHappensRescue was another of our first choices for spotlight shop when the blog was started, so this tribute is long overdue. I conducted an interview with Lisa Appelbaum , who is a vital part of this amazing program that helps bunnies in need:

We have a lot of crafty people who volunteer for our rescue. Some people sold items on our website and/or at pet events that the rescue attended that allowed fundraising. I already had my shop Beads for Bunnies on Etsy which was pretty successful so I tried to get some of the others to create shops as well. Well it ended up that they liked the idea of selling their items on Etsy, but they didn't have the time or computer skills to manage a shop on their own. Everyone has the password and can do as much as they want to help, but so far I've been running the shop mostly.


Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue was founded in 2004 by Wendy Lincoln. Although she had been helping to find homes for rabbits dumped at Petco where she worked before that, in November 2004 she got her first volunteer and the independent rescue was born. MHRR is named after the rescue's first bunny ambassador, Magic. He is also featured in our logo. Our bunny ambassadors or resident rabbits are rabbits that meet certain qualifications and are adopted by the rescue itself. MHRR is run entirely by volunteers and donations. We have no shelter building and no large corporate sponsors. We are non-profit, but have not yet received our 501(c)(3) designation. To date we have found new homes for over 500 animals, the vast majority being rabbits, but also including other small animals such as guinea pigs and rats.


Most of the time they find us. We get the word out about the rescue by posting flyers, passing out business cards, putting bumperstickers on our cars, wearing MHRR tshirts, having a large web presence, attending pet events, doing educational presentations, doing adoption days at Petco, and networking with other rescue groups and shelters. We have also been featured in local magazines, newspapers, and tv news programs. People contact us about stray rabbits they have found, personal rabbits they can no longer keep, and accidental litters that need homes. Other rescues and shelters that receive more rabbits than they can handle or can't handle rabbits at all also contact us for help. The only time that we actively go out and try to find them is in the case of a feral colony of rabbits living in Lafreniere Park in Metairie, LA. Most of the rabbits live in tunnels and are unapproachable. But people see the rabbits in the park and think "Hey I should dump my rabbit here too." These newbie rabbits often approach people looking for food and are easy to capture. Some of our volunteers live near the park and visit often to try to capture these rabbits.


I started volunteering for Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue after Hurricane Katrina, so September 2005. I've never worked with any other rescue organization.


There are good situations: owner really cares for and takes good care of their pet but unfortunately can't keep it due to circumstances out of their control, owner cares about the wellbeing of their pet and feels that their home situation is not the best for the rabbit anymore, misidentified gender leads to accidental litter and owners have learned their lesson so babies find new homes and parents get snipped. There are bad situations: owner didn't do enough research before buying their pet rabbit and it's not acting like they wanted it do so they just want to get rid of it often with preventable minor health problems such as extremely long toenails, earmites, urine scald, and sore hocks, kind citizen finds a stray rabbit that someone has let free to survive in the wild (which they usually don't). And then there are the really bad situations: rabbit found taped up in a box in a parking lot, two rabbits found in garbage bag by the curb, a rabbit found inside it's cage by the curb for the trash, stray white rabbit found dyed hot pink (like that's not a target for predators), very ill rabbit dumped on Wendy's doorstep, rabbits left behind in backyard hutches after owners moved away, cruelty cases received from animal control often very emaciated or ill (these don't always make it).


We have a hard time adopting out individuals that were not properly socialized when they were young and are fearful or aggressive with people. Wendy does not have enough time for the one of one attention they need. Luckily recently we have gained more rabbit savvy volunteers who are willing to take on the challenge and have adopted out some rabbits have have been with the rescue 2, 3, even 5 years. Sometimes by their foster parent.

Wendy houses the majority of the rabbits and when they have their free time out on the lawn, bonded pairs/groups and individuals are separated into different ex-pens but we interconnect the pens to make more spaces than the number of pens we have. This can sometimes be a problem as the rabbits can fit the snouts and feet between the bars. We have to keep an eye on them to prevent or break-up fights. Usually it's just some fur pulled and the occasional nose nip. But I remember not too long ago we had a Flemish Giant jump the pen and get into the adjoining pet with two Netherland Dwarfs and started beating them up. One got some nasty bites before we were able to break it up. After that the Flemish got his own 36" tall pen away from everybody else.


With rabbits, you have to get people to understand that the popular cultural ideals of what a rabbit is like and how it should be cared for are generally not true. Also you can't use things you've learned about cats and dogs and apply them to rabbits. Being a prey animal instead of predator, you have to treat them differently. Also most vets don't know enough about rabbits to properly care for them. Some medicines for dogs and cats will kill a rabbit. You have to get people to understand that they need a specialist vet and that rabbits are very good at hiding their illness. Also they can go from just fine to deathly ill very quickly so they need to understand that they need to monitor their pet's behavior closely everyday and be ready for emergencies.


Don't just go by looks. One of the best advantages of adopting from a rescue instead of buying is that the rescue can tell you all about an individual animals personality. Tell them what you are looking for in a pet and they will do their best to match you with the animal best suited to what you are expecting. If you just pick out the prettiest or cutest animal, you may not know what you're getting yourself into. Also if you already have a pet, the rescue should let you bring your pet and see if he or she approves of the one you choose. Or as we call "speed dating" at MHRR, the rescue can line up several candidates based on gender and/or personality and your pet can meet them all and you can let your pet choose which one he or she likes the best.

Also your pet is not a blank slate. Rescues have past lives that may have been cruel or scary. Or they may have not been introduced to certain items at all, in that case they are new and scary when you bring them out. Find out what things bother or scare your rescue animal. You may choose just remove them from their life. If they are unavoidable however, work with your pet to ease its fears. Don't become impatient if it is taking a long time, let your pet take its own pace.


A foster parents provides all the care and attention a pet needs. They are important in working with animals that have behavior problems that make them hard to adopt or medical problems that need constant attention (or to be separated from other animals because of contagion). Our organization is all foster homes, but most of the fostering is done by Wendy. Having other foster homes allows us to take in more animals at once and provide some animals the individual attention they need. At MHRR a foster parents may provide housing and food for their foster pet if they choose to or they can obtain these items from the rescue.


The best situation would be to get the rabbit to an exotic vet ASAP. Call ahead of time to let them know you are coming so they can prepare for your arrival. However, if it is after hours, get the rabbit to any emergency vet and call the exotic vet (they usually have a number for emergencies). Depending on what type of emergency it is, the emergency vet may be able to handle it or they can keep the rabbit stable while they wait for the rabbit expert to get in contact.


MHRR's website is
The House Rabbit Society' has a list of all their
They also have a list of independent rabbit rescue
You can also select Rabbit and type in your zip code to rescues near you that have rabbits using

Lisa, Thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with so much valuable information and talk about this wonderful group of artists and rescue personnel. I hope you all have learned as much as we have from Lisa and do our part to help animals in need. This can be done not only by shopping, but sharing our own crafts, art, handmade treats and toys etc. to a great cause.
Also, don't forget to check out Lisa's Shop  Beads For Bunnies as well as the Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue Facebook Page!

Friday, September 9, 2011

KingMtnTreasures: My Precious Pet Series

Before the week is over, I wanted to share Tisha's idea to feature YOUR pet on her blog. You can see an example of her articles here: You can also check out her Facebook and Twitter for details!

Monday, September 5, 2011

This week's spotlight:KingMtnTreasures!

This week's spotlight shop is one of our more active members on FTLOSA. Tisha's shop, KingMtnTreasures has been active on Etsy since 2008, and caters to animals great and small, and the people who love them as well. On top of that, she is dedicated to her blog, Facebook pages, twitter, being mom to her 2 sons and capacious animal family, along with her community activities and personal interests too. Feel free to ask her what the secret is. Though she's retired now, we're sure her years as a nurse has helped to keep her on her toes.

     One of the highlights of Tisha's repertoire are her adorable stuffed dogs and and other toys. With her mixed media approach, incorporation of different patterns and textures, and a combination of hand and machine sewing techniques, you'll know that you have found a one of a kind character to add to your collection. Her experience and inspiration comes from spending many days as a child with her grandmothers. They were seamstresses in a factory that created stuffed animals, and her fondness for the times she spent with them are definitely evident in her work today. While she learned basic sewing as a teenager, her friends and family encouraged her and inspired her just 10 years ago to really become passionate about sewing, and she hasn't looked back since. The dachshund shaped toys are inspired by her two weenies, Dinky and Toby. She likes to incorporate themes such as holidays and seasons and there will be even more great themes to come.
     Her cat Jazzy was naturally the inspiration for the smaller stuffed versions, the Jolly Jazzy cat toy line.  Filled with catnip, they're hard to resist. She even even smaller dachshund toys, maybe to deter Jazzy from tormenting Dinky and Toby in real life! Her cuddle sacs are a big favorite of of the pups as they love to hide away, and eventually the smaller versions became a fun spot for her hedgehogs. Her blankets toys and treats are so versatile, there is definitely potential to provide great quality items for a lot of her pets.Her entire animal family consists total of 5 dogs (Dinky, Toby, Goob, Lucky, Lady), 2 cat (Jazzy, Junior), 2 hedgehogs (Spike, Lucy), 2 horses (Poncho, Brightman), 2 mini Zebu (Chief, Miss Lily), 4 goats (Mickey Mouse, Sara, Toby, Hoby), 11 hive apiary, and numerous chickens.
      Tisha also decided to use her love of organization, purses, ad gift-giving in general to design her bags. Wether you are looking for a coin purse, cosmetic bag, tote or a hobo purse, there is a cute design or color combination waiting for you in the shop.  Her patchwork style and fabric matching make each piece fun and functional. No matter what you may find hat you enjoy, it's distinctively Tisha's style and can be seen in the cohesiveness of her shop items and design in general. 

Not only is she a talented crafter, she is a great writer as well. As much as we like to promote the shops at FTLOSA, this blog is worth a read as well. It's filled with cute stories, inspirational affirmations, great pictures, and perhaps a lesson or two. You can also find some great deals for the shop, and an excellent source of information and other excellent shops. You can also be sure to check out her Facebook pages and say hello on Twitter.

'Fungi' by DragoninKnots

For KingMtnTreasures ~*~

Edible Wild Sugar Mushr...

Crochet Mini Orange Mus...

Set of Earth Friendly W...

Cosmetic Purse-Mushroom...

Mushroom Dollhouse - or...

Flour Sack TOWEL Golden...

3 to 9 months Mouse and...

Mushroom Earrings Fungu...

vintage 1970s CERAMIC M...

Fleece Tunnel for Hedge...

Magic Mushroom Bi-Fold ...

Alice in Wonderland mus...

1980s Sears Roebuck and...

Custom Pet I.D. Tag, Gr...

Wee Folks MODA Fabric M...