Monday, June 29, 2009

Gifts For Cat Lovers - Purr-fect Presents For Feline Fans

Devotion to cats is not a new phenomenon. The ancient Egyptians were so fond of their feline friends, some went as far as worshipping the cat-goddess Bast and mummifying their pet cats so that they could join their devoted owners in the afterlife.

Thousands of years later we're still worshipping cats, though perhaps not to the same degree as the ancient Egyptians did. Cats make excellent pets because they're fairly self-sufficient, intelligent and often very affectionate - it's no surprise that the cat is such a popular pet, and there are over seven million of them in the UK alone.

If there's a cat lover in your life and you're looking for a great gift idea with a cat theme, here are a few products that make purr-fect gifts for cat lovers, all of which are available to buy online.

Cat Lovers Kit

The Cat Lovers Kit is a gift for the cat itself, as much as it is a gift for the owner! The kit contains an assortment of items that both cat and owner can enjoy, including a laser pointer, catnip, mouse toy, collar and bell.

The Cat Lovers Kit is presented in a neat little plastic pod, so all its contents can be kept neatly together when not in use.

Hairy Cat Soap

The Hairy Cat Soap is cat-shaped and made from pure mild soap, and it works in much the same way as normal soap. However, if you take it out of its packaging and don't use it, after a few days it grows hair.

It's a bizarre little curiosity, and a gift that will make any cat lover smile. If you use the Hairy Cat Soap to wash your hands with, the hair won't grow back... but when the soap has all been used up, there's a cute little surprise in the middle: a tiny plastic mouse!

Control a Cat Remote

One of the most frustrating things about cats - but perhaps one of the reasons we love them so much - is that they do whatever they want, whenever they want. We like to think we're controlling our cats, but deep down I think we all know that really, the cats are controlling us!

The Control a Cat Remote looks like a TV remote control, but it's a little different. For a start, it doesn't require any batteries; it's powered by positive thinking (or is that wishful thinking?) and, instead of buttons that change the channel or adjust the volume, the Control a Cat Remote's buttons provide functions such as "arch back", "remain aloof", "stop moulting" and "eject fur ball".

Cat Crumb Pet

This smart little device is a desktop vacuum cleaner, designed to suck crumbs and other detritus from a tabletop - and it's shaped like a cute little kitty.

The Cat Crumb Pet is bag-less and very easy to use, and at 14cm x 8cm it's the perfect size to fit in the palm of your hand while it clears away crumbs from the table.

Cat Meow Keyring

This charming little black cat makes an adorable attachment to a bunch of keys, or a delightful decoration for a handbag or purse. Press a button and his eyes will light up, and he'll meow.

Cat of Glory Lapel Pin

The Cat of Glory is an Edward Monkton character, and this lovely little lapel pin is a reminder of just how marvellous the Cat of Glory is.

The card on which the pin is mounted proclaims: "And there shall come amongst them a Cat of such GREAT GLORY that all who see it will be sore amazed and marvel at its splendour".

Crazy Cat Lady

Every town has a Crazy Cat Lady who seems to collect stray cats like other people collect stamps.

Our Crazy Cat Lady is a 14cm tall action figure, with an armful of cats, a kitten hanging out of her dressing gown pocket, a wild look in her eyes and a mad mop of hair that any self-respecting Cat Lady would be proud of.

The Crazy Cat Lady also comes with six model cats, which you can arrange round her to really set the scene. And on the back of the packaging in which you'll receive your Crazy Cat Lady, there's a handy quiz so you can work out how close you are to becoming a Crazy Cat Lady yourself.

Anna Clare is Website Manager at ShinyShack.com, one of the UK's leading suppliers of unusual gifts and cool stuff.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Great Gift Wrapping Ideas

Try some of these interesting ideas when creating your perfect gift. Everyone likes something a little special and creative. And if you're the one who brought such a gift, even better!

=>Go Au Natural

Using recycled paper or newsprint can be very festive when using pinecones, cranberries or holly leaves instead of traditional decoration. Raffia can be used as the ribbon. The brown paper with natural accents will appeal to the most eco-conscious friends and family members.

=>Is It Mine?

To keep kids from picking up every box under the tree to see which one is theirs, have them dip a hand in paint and mark each of their own gifts with a hand-print once they're wrapped in plain brown paper.

=>Tissue Paper Solutions

Having trouble finding the right color for your wrapping paper? Using tissue paper allows you to get exactly the shade you want for the present. To make the color darker, add more layers of tissue. Create a mosaic affect by layering different colors at different angles to form geometric shapes.

=>Snowflakes and Sparkle

Light weight fleece or felt can be used to create snowflake-like designs on the outside of packages. It can also be used in gift bags with silver or white glitter for a little sparkle.

=>Oversized Gifts

For gifts in oversized packing boxes, don't wrap the whole box. Try these ideas instead:

**Decorate the outside of the box with strips of wrapping paper crossing each other around the edges. Then add bows and ribbons to make the box more festive.

**Use a red laundry bag with some white pillow stuffing at the top to simulate Santa's present sack.

**You can spray paint the box the gift comes in a festive color (remove the present first), and add a beautiful bow or ribbon.

=>ID Tags

Use pipe cleaners in holiday colors to create festive bows on top of presents. Shape them into reindeer antlers, stars or candy canes and attach to bows to mark gifts. Candy canes for Mom, stars for Grandma, etc.

=>Funnies

The comic pages from the daily paper can be used to wrap up gifts for the kids (or for the kids-at-heart!)

=>Two Presents at the Same Time

Use a pretty dishtowel (for a bottle of wine) and tie it up with great ribbon, or use a jump rope to tie up a child's toy. You are giving two presents at the same time.

Use the above ideas to jumpstart your creativity. There are so many unique ways to brand your wrapping style...go for it.

Copyright (c) 2009 Pat Brill

Pat Brill is co-owner of Women's Group Busy Bites - http://www.womensgroupbusybites.com - a blog all about women. You can reach her at pat@womens-group.net.