It really *is* all about the packaging. Shortly after I started CBT, I wanted to stand out from the crowd a little bit. Create a little bit of excitement when our packages arrived.
What better way than in the packaging?
Normally we have our famous Owl tissue paper, but our supplier was out of it when I went to pick up my supplies this past Saturday. I brought a friend along who is creating goody bags for an event, so we decided on colourful tissue paper, of which I gave her a few set of to get her started - it was a BIG batch of tissue paper! But no worries, I'll be popping back to my suppliers'
I picked up my boxes though...and stamped all 80 of them this morning! They might last me a few months (more likely not at the rate we're going!). I find the stamps make us stand out, and get customers excited when our orders arrive. I also enjoy being able to provide a personal touch to every order (aside from the toys I create!)
I picked up this cute Feather Stamp from an Etsy seller - I'm all about supporting other Small Business owners, and this was the perfect stamp to add to my growing collection
I also found a cute set of mini Owl & little bird themed stamps while picking up some supplies from the UPS in Ogdensburg, New York.
It is a bit of a project, but after doing this for a few years, I just get into the stamping zone, and get them all done at once. It's much easier for me to do big batches vs only a few.
We won't go into how in the beginning I hand stamped Every. Single. Business Card/tag. Thankfully Husband was kind enough to buy me business cards the first Christmas after I started CBT. I could NOT keep up with stamping
That's all for today for a bit more insight into the workings of Crystal's Bird Toys.
Is your bird Tarzan? Does she love to gnaw away on soft hemp rope? Does he adore grapevine balls?
Braidy was made with these birds in mind.
Again, my testers are our birds.
Rosco started playing with his by thinking it would be a good idea to swing from it - he gets some pretty good speed and momentum going sometimes! Then he decided he could play with his other toys by hanging off Braidy. And then he did what he likes to do. From the bottom up, he started gnawing away at the hemp rope, taking the delightful Birdie Bagels off one by one, playing with the beads one by one...you get the picture.
I must stress the importance of having a good rotation of interesting toys for your birds in their cages at all times. For Mr. Party above - literally, you can hear him play "Wheeeeeee, wheeeeeeee, wheeeeee, or "Whoooo, whoooooo, whoooooo," which gets Merlin playing and mimicking Rosco's enthusiasm - he needs his toys rotated regularly to keep them intact, and to keep him playing hard.
Rosco's toys (aka furniture) are rotated a few times a week; Merlin is good with once a week, and Stryder (the calmest of the trio) prefers every few weeks.
This seriously helps keep your birds toys fun, interesting, and in one piece that much longer!
Here's a closer picture view of Braidy:
Our birds sure love wreaths - another reason I have a great variety of them!
Beads & Wood is our second wreath design.
Stryder loves to just sit in the middle & swing - the rocking motion makes him happy.
Rosco loves to dangle with one "foot" while swinging towards another toy. He gets especially excited by the bell ball at the bottom - bells drive him crazy, so I can always tell when he's playing with his Beads & Wood toy!
And Merlin, the subtle parrot he is, likes Beads & Wood to be near his top perch so he can grab it with one foot & swing it like a pendulum, slowly over time chewing away at the wood, and tonguing the beads - he sure loves his beads!
Here's a closer look at this diverse design.
This is one of the first creations I made and posted on our site.
It's great for birds of a variety of sizes - Rosco loves hanging from it, and tearing away at the soft wood sticks; and Merlin takes his time, batting the ball with his beak, and tweaking the hemp rope ends before he realizes the beads are there (again, another material he enjoys tweaking away at).
It's constructed from a 4" wiffle ball, hemp rope, beads, palm leaf strips, and bird-safe dyed wood sticks.
Take a look at this toy more in depth, along with photos of Rosco just "hanging around".
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This afternoon, the birds are ringing (the phone just rang), and the dogs are just finishing up their dinner, so I should have a few uninterrupted minutes to myself!
Bagel Delight is a great toy for a variety size of birds. Our cockatiel (Stryder) loves swinging in it, Rosco will hang from it or sit in the middle chewing away at the tidbits surrounding it, and Merlin loves hanging from the top of his cage while nibbling it. Each bird will have their own style of play - but in our household it doesn't matter if you're a cockatiel or African Grey - Bagel Delight really is a universal toy!
A 5" Birdie Bagel is adorned with opened paper string, plastic string, sisal, raffia, beads, material, and ribbon.
Without further adieu, please enjoy some close up photographs of the many aspects of this toy.
As I attempt to type with Merlin on my knee, head, the back of the chair, now looking out the window, I also attempt to keep the dogs at bay, as they're in full play mode. Welcome to the jungle.
And Merlin's back on the floor again, searching for my husband, who left for work an hour ago.
I came up with Tree on my long drive home from work, as I was passing the same old trees and a cardboard box. I remembered I hadn't used my new stock of corrugated cardboard strips my husband had just brought home for me (his excuse - it's part of his first anniversary paper gift to me) in any of our toys recently. I could make a "tree" out of these strips.
Merlin interruption: Merlin's now chirping like the birds outdoor - it is only 6:50am here.
I came home to my husband making dinner, and 45 minutes to bide before it was ready. So I took out my supplies, and created Tree before I forgot my moment of inspiration (I actually drew it out in highlighter as soon as I had the thought on the back of the map we used to get to Murphy's Point Provincial Park the previous weekend so I wouldn't forget).
So far Rosco is loving it - he's a big paper/material chewer, so I thought I'd test it out on him. Merlin's not a big chewer - he takes his time with everything - so he's nibbled at the paper rope and gnawed away at a few corners.
Fynn interruption: Fynn, our younger Ridgeback, just came in for a snuggle - he must be tuckered out from all that playing. And now Merlin is making the baby cockatiel chirp (back from years ago when I bred cockatiels) - I think Merlin's feeling neglected now. Fynn has left the room, and Merlin's back to ignoring me and back to preening himself.
Without any further interruptions, here's some close up pictures of this shredder's delight!
Alex the African Grey parrot was one of the reasons I brought Merlin home with me in May 1999.
Alex left his foot print on this Earth from 1976 to September 6, 2007.
He knew over 100 words for objects and shapes. He knew his colours, could count up to eight, was learning how to read, could do basic match calculations, and was the king of his roost.
The Alex Foundation continues Dr. Irene Pepperberg's research into the knowledge of establishing the cognitive & communicative abilities of parrots as intelligent beings.
His last words were, "You be good...I Love You...See You Tomorrow..."
As a parrot owner, those words are so touching. I could see our Merlin saying those words - they really ARE that intelligent.
More can be read about Alex & Dr. Pepperberg's research at: www.alexfoundation.org.
My favourite book to date by Dr. Pepperberg is, "Alex and Me"
Give your parrot a big hug today, as they're here with you today. Appreciate them while you can.