Today’s BEDN prompt is supposed to be “A day in the life”, but to be honest I’ve done so many similar posts on this blog over the past year I think you’d all gag if I gave you another. Instead, as any day in my life involves lots of Max and Jiao, please enjoy some recent kitty spam.
Hi guys! Last fall I posted about a special needs kitten named Little Bear who needed surgery on his front legs in order to be able to walk properly. Now that summer is here and he has had his surgeries, I thought you guys might like an update on him! Here is a new video giving a quick update on his progress.
Here is the original video that I posted last fall:
Here is the link to Little Bear’s Facebook page, so you can get updates on him and see even more adorable pictures! https://www.facebook.com/DeformedKitten
Hey lovelies! Today I have an interview for you with Maria-Lucia of LadyCrow23 Jewelry Designs! So let’s not dither around, let’s get right into the interview and I’ll let Maria-Lucia introduce herself and tell you about her neat line of handmade jewelry!
Be sure to visit her website (http://ladycrow23jewelrydesigns.com/) and visit her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Ladycrow23JewelryDesigns) as well!
Tell us a little about yourself and your company!
My name is Maria Lucia Raffinatore and I am Italo-Canadian. I came to Canada in 1998 with my husband, who is Canadian and hails from Hamilton, ON. I started making jewelry when I was in my teens, but then life took me somewhere else, and I didn’t start making jewelry again until 2004.
I am married, I am a cat lover, and I also write for an Italian spiritual newspaper called Shan-newspaper.com, covering Canada and Aboriginal issues. As a day job (or I should say night job) I clean offices with my husband for a building maintenance company.
Turquoise earrings, $19.95
What inspired you to start your company?
Since I was a kid I always liked rocks and stones…when I was a kid I used to go back home with my coat pockets full of stones, LOL, countless times I had to sew back the bottoms of my pockets because they would open up under the stones’ weight! For now it is a passion and a hobby, and my dream is to make a living with my jewelry.
Clear quartz and red coral bracelet, $7.95
How do you find inspiration for your designs?
What inspires me is the stones. I am a rock, fossils and stones collector, and one day, admiring a funny shaped piece of Malachite, I thought, “Hey, this would look great as a pendant!” Hence, I started buying beads, pendants and loose gemstone beads. And now I am making jewelry. :)
I am always looking for new patterns to learn. My inspiration comes from two distinct sources. One is the stones themselves; I just take a stone in my hand, look at it, and I see a vision of the piece of jewelry I will make. The other source is my southern Italian heritage and civilization. I like to make jewelry with a Mediterranean flare and sometimes I get inspired by forgotten civilizations’ amazing jewelry pieces, with the difference that I use only glass, gemstones and seed beads for my creations.
Honey Jade earrings, $7.99
What’s your favorite part of designing?
My favorite part is when I see what I want to make in my mind, and try and try until I get exactly what came in my mind.
What sets you apart from other designers?
First is the fact that I try to bring beautiful pieces to the public at affordable prices. Second, the fact that I do this more for passion and compassion toward animal causes than money! And third, the unusual pairing of gemstones, all real, to more modest material like seed beads and wooden beads.
Large seed beads, turquoise magnesite and raw carnelian chunks, $29.99
What causes do you support through your work?
Through my work I try to support causes like Wild Heart Ranch (they are wild life rehabbers in Oklahoma) and Parodi’s Cats (cat refuge in Italy). I also try to make donations to several other causes like the Oops-A-Dazy animal rescue in Alberta.
Any parting words for our readers?
I would ask your readers to help me support these causes by purchasing my jewelry, and also to please spread the love, and try to support animal and human causes, trying to do a good deed a week…all that is needed is love and goodwill!
Now head on over to her website (link here) to browse around! And be sure to check out the causes LadyCrow23 Jewelry Designs supports! Wild Heart Ranch (website here), Parodi’s Cats (website here), and Oops-A-Dazy animal rescue (website here). Thanks so much Maria-Lucia for the interview!
Peony jasper earrings, $7.99
I know that many of you have been following along with the story of Little Bear and his quest to get treatment for his radial aplasia. Well, this is another special needs kitten who desperately needs help!
Her name is Kanga and she suffers from both radial aplasia and Megaesophagus. Mega-E basically means that the esophagus does not properly function, so the animal cannot swallow their food. They regurgitate food and risk choking to death or dying of malnutrition, among other things. You can learn more about Mega-E and “squittens” on Kanga’s Facebook page; her human Mom has a full “notes” section with helpful health info on Kanga’s conditions!
Because Mega-E can be caused or worsened by internal blockage and damage, she needs a diagnostic test to determine if full surgery is necessary to prevent her from eventually choking to death. The initial diagnostic test costs upwards of $1,000 and Kanga’s mom has been advised that the actual surgery (if Kanga is eligible) could cost around $5,000.
Obviously that’s a lot of money to raise in a short period of time! On top of that, Kanga requires round-the-clock care and supervision for her conditions, along with special food, cat litter, and other necessities.
If you would like to help Kanga, there are a number of ways to do so! You can visit her on Facebook to say hi and learn more about her condition.
If you want to contribute to Kanga’s ChipIn, the link for that is here. Note: Kanga’s Mom has said that she will only leave the ChipIn open if the surgery is deemed necessary, The money raised will not be used for food or other expenses.
Christmas is coming, so why not buy Kanga something from her Amazon wish list? (Link here.)
Thanks for reading about Kanga! Be sure to visit her Facebook page for tons more cute pictures of her and her brother, Roo!And make sure to scroll down to see her YouTube video!
For those of you who have been tracking the progress of Little Bear the cat, here is a YouTube video about him! The YouTube page has all of the links to Little Bear’s Facebook, his ChipIn, and his entries in TWO (yes, two!) photo contests.
Little Bear was born without the radii in his front legs, which means they are permanently bent and he is unable to walk like a normal kitten. His owner Allie is trying to raise money to afford surgery or orthopedics to correct Little Bear’s legs so he can have a normal life.
Please watch and share this video with everyone you know! Little Bear (and I!) thank you!