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New Product: The Hooby Groovy Kitten Carrier

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Ee-Leng Chang | 0 Comments

After months of research, prototyping, tweaking and testing, I'm extremely excited to finally be ready to introduce Hooby Groovy's latest design: The Hooby Groovy Kitten Carrier! I'd like to give a little back story and context to the history of this design. It all started with rescuing 2 little kittens who eventually came to be known as Rongkus Sumcrust and Sergio Rasputin. We were sharing the foster care of both kittens across 2 households and we knew that eventually when they were old enough, they would be separated and we would keep one while the other would be with my brother-in-law and his fiancee. Rongkus now lives with us and visits his brother Sergio all the time. My brother-in-law lives close to my workshop so we've been able to have play-dates almost daily and the kittens love playing together. 

Rongkus and Sergio 3 days after rescue. They've really grown since then!

When they were wee little kittens, a big cardboard box was sufficient for car rides but they very quickly outgrew those and I was wary of driving by myself with kittens jumping around in the car. I started researching carriers and kitten behaviours when it came to car rides and carriers. One advice that was mentioned a lot was to leave the carrier out for a couple of days before a road trip so the kitten could familiarise itself with the carrier so it wouldn't be such a scary shock to be locked up in the carrier while dealing with a moving car. I looked around for carriers and could not find any that I would feel happy leaving out in our home every single day. They all looked, well like mean, evil cages! 

That became my main motivation for creating a kitten carrier for Rongkus and Sergio. I wanted to have it comfy and cosy so that a kitten would actually want to be in it and probably use it as their regular bed or house. Meaning that when it came to travel time, they would be essentially travelling in their comfy bed and feel safe, familiar and secure. Which meant that I wanted the carrier to look pretty enough to blend into the home decor and not be an eyesore. And of course it had to function well as a kitten carrier. 

I went through about 5 iterations of this design before finally getting all the details right. As it needed to house a kitten who might be upset, hyperactive or a damn good escape artist, there were many tweaks that had to be done. I saw that our kittens liked caves and boxes and cosy hidey holes. So the carrier had to be cosy and a little cave-like so they could feel like they would hide inside. At the same time, they were curious about everything and did not like to be fully shut up. So from the start, my design incorporated the small cat-shaped windows. As I began to learn just how good kittens are at getting through holes, the sizes of these windows got smaller until I realised that there might as well not be windows at all because they could get through ANYTHING! So the bigger windows made a comeback and I utilised fly screen to keep them in while still giving them a view of the outside world. 

Fly-screen windows to keep a curious kitty satisfied but secure. Personalised name tag so kitty can proudly lay claim to its comfy carrier. 

My first iteration had a cardboard reinforcement for the walls. Even with our tiny, tiny kittens at that time, as soon as they got the courage to try jumping on the carrier, it was all over for the carrier! So I upgraded to a proper wooden frame. And so it was with each new iteration, the carrier would be tested with Rongkus or Sergio and little refinements and improvements tweaked to make the design better for the kitten, the owner and also for me to construct. Construction methods had to be figured out as each little change was made and as it was new territory for me, it was all trial and error. I have learnt so much about carpentry and I learnt even more than ever about the felt that I already work extensively with. 

The door flap is held close with a magnet closure tab. Straps are made of felt and heavy duty belting. 
The carrier can be dismantled to be flat-packed to save on space during shipping and storage. When setting up, all it takes is to clip each the 3 pieces together with snap fasteners. 

 

I'm really happy to report that Rongkus and Sergio both love their Hooby Groovy Kitten Carriers. Car rides are a breeze, Rongkus feels comfy and safe and usually takes a peaceful nap in his carrier, even when I have the flap door open. And best of all, he even loves using it as one of his many beds while at home. 

 

The Hooby Groovy Kitten Carrier is now available online at www.hoobygroovy.com and Hooby Groovy's Etsy Shop, don't forget to let me know what your kitten's name is so I can embroider its name onto the personalised tag. 

Hope you like my Hooby Groovy Kitten Carrier design, let me know what you think in the comments below! And as always, have a lovely day! :)

Posted in Design, Products, Updates

A Few Things I've Been Working On

Posted on April 17, 2014 by Ee-Leng Chang | 0 Comments

Here's a few of my recent creations and various things I've been working on:

Pandas are always a part of my schedule and 3 years on, I still love creating Pandas. :) You can get my Panda (and other animals of Hooby Groovy Land) here

 

One of my favourite custom designs to work on: Totoro! This one was for an 11in MacBook Air. If you'd like me to create a Totoro (or any other custom designs) for you, shoot me an email at eeleng@hoobygroovy.com!

 

I love Game of Thrones and am so happy that the new season has started finally! Now if only I didn't have to wait 1 week between each episode! Anyway, I doodled away at this sketch over a few days during Rongkus' 4am feeding time. This was done with my 0.05mm and 0.1mm Kuretake Zip pens.

 

Speaking of Rongkus, I made him a house/carrier. This is still very much just in the prototyping/R&D phase so I won't share it just yet but here's a sneak peek of both house and Rongkus. :)

And speaking of R&D, here's an example of why R&D is really important. I made this little mouse for Rongkus to play with. Originally, it was hanging by its woolly tail from a stick. Rongkus loved it but as soon as he caught it, he would start gnawing on the tail. It only lasted about 3 days before the tail snapped teaching me an important lesson of how anything cat-related needs to be chew-resistant! All is not lost though, Rongkus still loves his green mouse, he bats it all across the floor. I shudder to imagine what it would be like if we ever get visited by a real mouse. 

I'm also in the middle of few other customs and more R&D and experiments so will share that in the near future!

In the meantime, Happy Easter and have a great long weekend everyone!

Posted in Creations, Updates

I'm A Kitty Mama!

Posted on March 21, 2014 by Ee-Leng Chang | 0 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, we rescued 2 kittens from under my mother-in-law's house. At first we thought that maybe their mum was still feeding them as their meows sounded quite strong. However, 5 days after discovering them, their meows were getting gradually weaker and when I checked in on them, it looked as if they had not moved at all since the night before. I got really worried and decided it was time to get them out. My brother-in-law and his fiancee came over to help with getting the kittens out. It was quite difficult as our only access was a tiny little air vent but luckily, they were lying close enough to the air vent that we could just reach them. 

We took them to the vet as soon as they were out. The vet told us that both kittens were male and about 2-3 weeks old. We also learnt that they would need to be bottle fed every couple of hours with kitten formula. So we set about learning all we could about hand rearing kittens and set up a schedule to share the fostering.

The first week was really scary! The smaller little black kitten was really weak and really stubborn about eating. A few days after rescuing them, he was just not responding to anything we did, he was really sluggish and his head would just flop around and when we set him on the ground, he just collapsed onto his side. We made a vet appointment right away, she gave him a dose of antibiotics and fluids under the skin as he was pretty dehydrated. She also kept stressing about how all newborn litters usually have 1 or 2 kittens that are very weak or sick and usually don't make it especially once their mom abandons them. I think she was trying to prepare us in case little kitty didn't pull through. :( That night, I spent hours on the couch with him on my chest and a blanket over him to keep him warm and comfy. 

Between the meds and fluids and warm cuddles, he did get stronger by the next day and slowly, bit by bit, he started being a little more energetic and tried to walk around a little. Through this whole episode, his brother, a slightly bigger grey kitten, would cuddle him up when it was sleep time and also would fuss and look after him. Aww kitty sibling love. :) By the second week, the vet no longer mentioned anything about kittens not surviving so I think they're both going really well! :)

I very quickly became a complete slave to the kittens, well I guess I feel like a kitten mama. We chose names for them by committee. My brother-in-law and his fiancee had given them each a name, and my husband and I also chose a name for each so we combined it all up and thus little grey became Rongkus Sumcrust and little black became Sergio Rasputin. Everyone has remarked on how big their names are for such little kitties!

We've been looking after the kittens for about 3 weeks now and it's amazing how much they've grown and developed such funny little personalities. We get them for 3-4 days every week and I drop in to see them almost every other day when they're not with my husband and I. But there's still so much changes that occur from day to day. From their eating habits to their interactions with each other, it's all changing very rapidly. But they are still so very cute and sweet and loving. And it just melts me to a puddle to see them cuddling up when they go to sleep. 

Anyway, here's some photos of Sergio and Rongkus, these were taken a couple of days after the scary day where we worried that Sergio might not pull through:

 

Aren't they just so extremely adorable? :) I love my sleep time but I haven't even gotten the slightest bit grumpy over having to wake up every couple of hours to feed them through the night. 

I'm so happy that they're now healthy, strong and energetic. Can't wait to see what kind of funny stuff they get up to!

Posted in Updates

Happy Lunar New Year and Hooby Groovy is on holiday

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Ee-Leng Chang | 0 Comments

Hooby Groovy would like to wish everyone a very Happy Lunar New Year!
I will be heading overseas to spend the New Year with my family in Malaysia. I can't wait to see my friends and family and it's especially exciting this year because I have a new niece to meet!
I'll be away until the end of February. I am still contactable via email at eeleng@hoobygroovy.com however my email access may be limited but I will try my best to reply to any queries as soon as possible. 
Bring on an awesome Year of the Horse! :) 

Posted in Events, Updates

Hooby Groovy 2013 Christmas Update

Posted on December 06, 2013 by Ee-Leng Chang | 0 Comments

Tis the season to be Hooby Groovy!

Here's what you need to know in order to have a Hoobylicious Christmas this year:

Shipping Deadlines

Be sure to get your Hooby Groovy orders in by these dates so that it will arrive by Christmas:

Within Australia:

December 16 - Regular Shipping via Australia Post (no tracking)

December 20 - Express Post via Australia Post (tracking available)

Rest of the World:

December 10 - Regular Shipping via Australia Post (no tracking)

December 20 - Express Post via Australia Post (tracking available)

* Please note that Post Offices around the world are insanely busy this time of the year, so I cannot guarantee that your order will reach you by Christmas, especially for regular mail and if there are any hold ups during custom checks. However, the earlier you get your order in, the more likely you will get it on time. 

Hooby Groovy now accepts Bitcoin

Orders via www.hoobygroovy.com can now be paid via Bitcoin. Just select Bitcoin as your payment method when checking out your order. 

Latest Range of Hooby Groovy Products

Have you met The Frenemies yet? They're the latest inhabitants in Hooby Groovy Land and have arrived just in time to celebrate Christmas with us all. Introducing Little Ninja, Little Robot, Little Pirate and Little Zombie, now available on handmade notebooks. The Frenemies Notebook Collection is also available as a set. 

All Hooby Groovy gadget case designs are now available for the new Apple iPad Air. Just select iPad Air from the list of devices in the drop down box when making your order. 

Hooby Groovy at the Etsy Australia Christmas Pop-Up Shop

If you're in Sydney, drop by 74 Castlereagh Street for Etsy Australia's Christmas Pop Up Shop from now until December 12th to check out the curated collection of Christmas gift ideas by Etsy sellers around the world, including yours truly. There are also fun workshops and events held throughout this time so don't miss out!

Hooby Groovy's Stockists

Hooby Groovy products are now available at new Aussie online shop, Shoploft. Do check them out!

Hooby Groovy products are also available at Etsy, Young Republic, Down That Little Lane, Case On and Cityblis.

And of course, www.hoobygroovy.com :)

Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holidays, everyone! :) May your holidays be filled with family, friends, food and fun!

 

Posted in Updates

New Products: The Frenemies Notebook Collection

Posted on November 22, 2013 by Ee-Leng Chang | 0 Comments

Hooby Groovy is pleased to announce the arrival of a new collection. Please give a warm welcome to The Frenemies, featuring Little Robot, Little Ninja, Little Zombie and Little Pirate. These four Frenemies are deceptively cute but they're extremely fierce in their rivalry against each other. 

The Frenemies Collection begins with a set of handmade and hand bound notebooks. 

The Frenemies Notebook Collection

 

Each features 32 blank white pages, perfect for daily journaling or sketches. I use mine for sketches and doodles!

Cover illustrations were designed by myself and are printed on 160gsm Fabriano Tiziano Pastel Paper and I hand-make and hand bind each notebook. 

 

The Frenemies Notebook Collection Set is now available for purchase at www.hoobygroovy.com so check it out!

Each notebook is also available on its own, here they are in detail:

 

The Little Ninja Notebook

The Little Ninja Notebook

 

The Little Robot Notebook

The Little Robot Notebook

 

The Little Pirate Notebook

The Little Pirate Notebook

 

The Little Zombie Notebook

The Little Zombie Notebook

 

Hope you like my little Frenemies! :)

Posted in Creations, Products, Updates

Hooby Groovy Designs: Now Available for the iPad Air

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Ee-Leng Chang | 0 Comments

Apple has just launched its new iPad Air, and I'm pleased to announce that all Hooby Groovy products are now available for the iPad Air too!

All you have to do to ensure that your handmade Hooby Groovy case will fit your iPad Air is to select your device in the Device drop down box when you place an order:

 

All Hooby Groovy iPad cases will be available in iPad Air sizes, and you can have a look at the full iPad range right here.

Besides the iPad Air, Apple has also just released a new iPad Mini with Retina Display, these are still the same size as the 1st generation iPad Minis so you can still purchase current Hooby Groovy iPad Mini cases for it!

 

 

Posted in Products, Updates

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