Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Around the World in 80 days

Will Philip make it round the world ?

Inspired by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days which describes the extraordinary travels of Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout who, in order to win a bet with Fogg's fellow club members, attempt to circumnavigate the globe within 80 days. I have decided to try to recreate the adventure with a Furry Travel Buddy. The idea will be to have as many people as possible take part in this project. The rules are simple, the Furry Travel Buddy will have a passport and come with a short set of instructions. The aim is to get the FTB to as many countries as possible within eighty days. (I am resigning myself that those countries in conflict won't necessarily be holiday destinations but there are a lot of countries left!) I will send the FTB to London where it will start its journey (got to be authentic after all )and hopefully people will embrace the spirit of the project and send a picture of his whereabouts so that we can all track his progress.

I will start off with a yet to be decided friend in London but from that point on it will be people I don't necessarily know who aren't familiar with the FTB concept. Will Phillip make it back to Huntington Beach, we'll have to wait and see... but it'll be exciting to see what happens.

I'm secretly hoping someone knows a pilot, back packing gap year student, highly in demand global business partner, a UN official..... I can dream after all. The Furry Travel Buddy I am putting my faith in is Phillip . He kind of looks a bit like a balloon and is red (a lucky colour in many cultures) so I thought it quite appropriate.

Watch this space, cross your fingers and join me over the next few months for the ride.

Also I'll announce this months FTB draw winner on Jan 1st, happy new year if you're in a different time zone. Coming soon exciting news from two new FTB's Patch and Phoebe. And if that isn't enough I'll be revealing "The Buddies". What are they ? You'll have to wait and see.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Vote for your favourite FTB draw

So in the interests of they are all so good and I can't possibly decide by myself, I've decided to go for the public vote for the December FTB Draw competition and I've narrowed it down to three for you. These are the top three entries so far. I know it's not Dec 31st but should I receive any outstanding entries I'll add them to the list. The winner as always gets their own custom FTB to keep based on the winning design.
So my favourite three are in no particular order:

Sky by Emily
Blue boy by Ethan
Daisy by Ciara

On the right hand side of the blog you'll see a list so just place your vote. Just one per person, multiple people in your household can vote,( that doesn't include the cat/dog/budgerigar/ turtle etc! but mum, dad, brother, sister is fine)

If you think any of the other FTB draw entries deserve a special mention, leave a comment below. Thank you so much and good luck.

The Arrival of Theo

I have had word from Emily of the safe arrival of Theo which she has posted on her blog. Emily was the winner of last months competition and its going to be very difficult this month as the number and quality of entries is amazing. See them for yourselves on the website. There are only a few more days to get your entry in. Another five FTB's have been adopted which is very exciting. They should be with their hopefully excited owners as they were Christmas gifts.

Coming soon I have an exciting project to tell you about based on the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty days. I'm also working on more activities to keep you entertained on the website as well as links to other cool sites I've been visiting.

I hope everybody had a great christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Its that time of year so Happy Christmas (or Merry Christmas if you're stateside) everybody from the Furry travel buddies. I'm looking forward to a bumper year of FTB adventures and I hope you'll join me in the journey.

A small plea.....I'm conducting a survey to help me improve the Furry travel buddy website so if you have a minute (literally) to answer some questions I would really appreciate your feedback.Thank you to those who have already done so.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The FTB's visit LA

It's been a busy past few weeks but I'm back and ready to post. The FTB's had a great time at the UNIQUE show in LA, they had their own FTB village as you can see from the pictures. Some of the FTB's were adopted at the show so we will hopefully hear of their safe arrival over the next few weeks. Amongst the new owners we have a designer, a photographer and a dog trainer to name a few.Santa made an appearance and the FTB's helped him empty his sled.
The FTB's set sail in a beautifully crafted vessel in the blue lake.(Ok so there are a lot of holes, but its make believe and the lake is really neoprene but the logs are real.)
A group of FTB's wait their turn for the restroom which is situated next to the Saloon which explains the queue.
Troy and friends gather at the entrance to the Saloon which doubles as a ballroom dancing hall on Tuesday nights.
Fred gets to fly high above the crowds in his own airplane.
Thanks to all the lovely people who stopped by and smiled at the FTB's also big huge thank-you to Kerry for her inventive use of linkin' logs and Connex.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Resident Poet

There are some hot entries to the FTB draw contest, the standard has definitely been raised. Ethan who already owns Hairy Hank and Samson, you may recall Hairy Hank's Diary which has been featured on this blog. Not content with just submitting a drawing he has also decided to submit a poem about his new furry travel buddy which I couldn't resist posting. I will be featuring his poems on the website for as long as he keeps writing them. Also, a special thanks to Emily Bricker for her contest banner which will shortly be appearing on the site too. With only 3 days to go till the big show in LA its full steam ahead, I just hope the sewing machine can keep up with me. I will bring you pictures from the show next week as the Furry Travel Buddies will have a very special backdrop to showcase them, till then enjoy the poems and keep warm. (If you enjoyed the poem, click on the big smile at the end of the post, thanks.)

"Johnny is a big fan of red
all over the house, even his bed
it was all just the same
until the old painters came
they painted his house, no longer red
it now stood pink, even the bed!
this made Johnny very sad
because pink was really bad
it was a girl colour to him
he prefered a colour that was more dim
so once again he painted his house red
now he'd sleep once again in the bed!"

"blue boy is blue, blue, blue,
he has a sister named silly sue.
they always cause havoc in their house
and wouldn't let anything happen to their pet mouse.
they had chess games, they had clay,
and its always tag they like to play.
Blue boy, Silly sue,
you should have seen them fall down the loo!
they spied in november, they spied at noon,
they spied near Christmas, they liked to spy very soon!
but they didn't spy on Christmas day,
thats what they always liked to say.
but really it was all a lie,
they only splat them with mince pie!"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Arrival of Betty

Its a bit of a whirlwind week, not long before the Furry Travel Buddies make their appearance at Unique Los Angeles a huge art and craft fair, so I've been busy preparing stuff for the show. I am thrilled at the response to the FTB draw on the website. If you haven't taken a look yet please do. New pages have been updated and any suggestions, comments are always welcome. But, back to Betty, she belongs to a lady called Wendy who sells Italian pottery at a marketplace/flea market in San Diego she had this to say about Betty.

Betty attended the Farmer's Market today. She selected a red bowl to sit in and watch the shoppers go by. She behaved herself beautifully. She is a wonderful companion. I think she will enjoy Arkansas.

I would venture that Betty is extremely lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful objects and have an owner with such great taste. I look forward to hearing about Arkansas. Thanks to Wendy/Melody for taking the time to update me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And the Winner is.....

So its the 1st of December and I have to say I was really impressed with the entries to the first FTB draw. I know they always say it was so hard to pick a winner but it really was ! Thanks to everyone who took part. But without further ado, the winner is Emily Bricker's "Theo". Special mention to goes to Ethan for Biblo and Emily Burford for her entry Besse. The winner will get their design made into a custom FTB which I will be making in the next week and gets to keep it. So if you want one of your own get sketching and email your entries for the Jan 1st FTB draw. If you want to see all the entries click on the link.
Biblo by Ethan Hughes.
Besse by Emily Burford.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Burt and friends go to the Park

Burt makes his first appearance in the FTB blog and what a bright fellow he is. On his first outing he got to see a lot of different animals at the zoo and took a train ride on a very wee train. Thanks to Melody for the great pictures. Happy thanksgiving everyone.
Burt couldn't wait to board the train and sneak a peak at the engine whilst the conductor wasn't looking.
A bit of a daredevil he rides precariously balanced on the rail of the train basking in the sunshine.
He spies the donkeys. " I want to ride, he says."
There are a few formalities to go through first. He puts himself under the sign but is so small that it would be tricky to see him in the picture. He's definitely small enough.

He saddles up for the ride of his life. Trouble is the saddle isn't a custom fit and its more like riding a bucking bronco !
He can't wait to tell his friends all about his drama.
He bids farewell and goes off in search of more interesting animals.
He sees a big old bear who seems a bit lonely so he stops for a chat.

He wonders what it would be like to be a bear. He gets a bit of vertigo from being so high up.
Next he says hello to the goats who eye him suspiciously.
He asks one of the goats to pose for a photo and he obliges.
On his last stop of the day he visits the mountain lions, who sadly aren't roaming the mountain but they do have some private space from prying eyes. Although he's had a really fun day and learnt a lot about animals. Burt is glad he doesn't live in a zoo and gets to wonder about freely.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Troy in downtown LA

It seems awhile since the last blog, I have been so busy with the website and making more FTB's that time has just flown by. But back to business as usual Troy took a trip to downtown LA for a bit of sight seeing. Here's his story.

Troy is mesmerised by the large mirrored buildings, they make him feel rather small in the scheme of things.He particularly likes this curvy building by architect Frank O'Gehry, its made of titanium plates and is called the Disney Concert Hall.

Troy wonders why there aren't more curvy buildings as they are great for hide and seek.
In the outdoor garden Troy sees a Japanese orchid tree. He thinks it would look nice in a girl's hair.

Troy spots a fountain which is made of small mosaic tiles which resembles a large flower.
He can't resist dipping his toes, its rather hot after all.

Troy is fed up with walking so goes in search of other means of transportation and finds a Tram, not just any tram but the shortest tram in the world. Its called Angel's flight but unlucky for him its being refurbished and so he has to take the stairs instead.

He can barely walk now so he's in no mood for no loitering signs and loiters for a long time.

Alas for him Troy loiters too long, forgets his car is on a meter and gets towed away !!He stages a protest on top of the sign.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brenda goes Christmas Shopping

Brenda is back you may remember the frosty reception she received from Constance when she first arrived but after an afternoon of interior design they became the best of pals. Brenda having originally come from the US was used to the huge shopping malls so was quite in her element in Bristol Cabot. Thanks to Emily for her great pictures. Also the Furry Travel Buddy Calendars are finally here, check them out on Etsy. Thanks to everyone without whose contributions over the past year there would be no calendar.

Brenda loves to shop.
She takes her time eyeing the shops from her lofted vantage point before she spots a familiar sign.
If there's one word that Brenda likes to see when she's shopping it's SALE !
Brenda looks at a potential addition to her wardrobe but isn't sure about the puffy sleeves.
Brenda takes a break to look at the Christmas decorations.
She spots some rather large baubles and makes a mental note to spruce up the decor for something more festive.

Having gotten some fresh air she's back to shopping til she drops.
Brenda is sure the reindeer has been tracking her since she arrived.

One last stop at Harvey Nichols, Brenda is exhausted. So many people, so much choice she just couldn't decide. She will have to take Constance with her next time to help her decide.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Check out the website

So, its still early days but I'd like you take a peek at the fledgling site In the next few weeks there will be more content added but for the time being you'll still need to read the blog here. Its a technical thing. I'm excited about this phase of the Furry Travel Buddy revolution. I'd love to hear from you, like it ? let me know. Want to see specific content or have any ideas ? I'm open to suggestions.

Once again, thanks for all your support.

New blogs featuring Brenda, Burt, Troy, Fred and Cynthia coming soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Secret Diary of Hairy Hank Part 2

More adventures from the vivid imagination of Ethan Hughes aged 9. Don't worry there's more to come ! We will also be hearing from Brenda and Troy soon. Marlene has exciting news as she will be travelling to Indonesia and Malaysia at the end of this month. She recently went to Canada but was erroneously left behind in Toronto whilst her owner went to Montreal, luckily they were reunited but had no time for photo opportunities !