Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Save the Drama, For Your Llama

                            "Hey Mickey, You're So Fine, You're So Fine, You Blow My Mind!!"

 Meet Mickey the Llama!!  He is cute, intelligent and loves people and treats. I remember meeting Mickey this past Spring at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo in the Childrens Zoo Petting area
. They have these old candy machines set up where you put in a quarter and some animal food comes out.
The Two P's and I were pretty excited to get to feed this hairy guy.
The zoo keeper working the Petting Zoo area informed me of his name. How could anyone ever forget a Llama named Mickey??
Check out this cute pic of the Dupont kids in their Shirley the Elephant tees...Mickey is photo bombing their pic!!! hahah
(We love seeing your pics of your kiddos (and you!) in our tees!)

  I took a photo of Mickey back then and posted it on our Instagram bc he was just so darn cute. I never dreamed that I knew his former owner!! I got a PM from my ole high school buddy Kenda Ducote who filled me in on the history of Mickey. Here she is below with her daughter Addison.
Kenda and I had played soccer together many many moons ago. She is now a CPA in town and married to fellow La Tech grad Darren and they have a beautiful little girl named Addison. Mickey actually belonged to her Mother Johnnie and her husband Greg Phillips. Here is Mrs Johnnie below.
  The Phillips are the proud owners of Llama Creek Farm  located off Hwy 34 past the Paper Mill.
They have 50 fenced in acres for all kinds of animals to live at. Everything from cows, to donkeys, to goats and even a miniature horse. WOW! My kind of place!!!
   Back in Jan of 2013, they had 4 young Llamas come from Kentucky. Two boys and Two girls, all from different families and all of the right age to begin breeding.
Mickey was one of the boys. They have had 4 babies from this group and two more on the way!! This place is Llama heaven- These fun animals live free range on the land. They roll around in the creek, they bed down in the woods and live off the grass. They are supplemented hay in the winter and they get sweet feed for treats. What a Life!!
  Local Fav Vet, Clark Cooper, had warned them that one day, one of the males would be ousted from the group. Well, Mickey was it! I think he started getting the feeling that he was the secondary male on the totem pole. So, He started leaving the group and escaping from his 50 acreas. Not sure if he was climbing under the fence or going over the fence, but the Phillips were unable to keep him on their land. This was tough on Mrs Johnnie, bc Mickey was her Favorite! He was the friendliest of all the Llamas. Luckily, our local zoo was willing to take him in back in March. He became completely halter trained at the zoo and is now a favorite amongst visitors. Kenda said Mickey is probably around 4 years old.
  I had actually sat down to work on a Flamingo design, but it just wasn't working out. Artists Block! HA  For some reason, I kept thinking about that silly Llama and starting sketching him from the photo I had.

We had some pretty purple 100% Organic knit tees sitting in the t-shirt room,  just dying to have a fun design put on them. We ended up making our image of Mickey a little lighter in color so he would show up on this special purple tee. Wanted everyone to be able to see his very expressive eyes!!

What do you think?!?! So excited about this fun design.

Close up of his face on the shirt

A couple of years ago, My mother in law got the P's the funniest book called "Is your Mama a Llama". Have you read it? Two thumbs up!! The Children's Shoppe in Ruston, LA had a bunch of different llama books when I went in there the other day.
  The adult ones are on order too! We are printing Mickey on a gorgeous Heather Imperial Purple 50/50 blended tee. Made in America (as it should be!) and printed in North Louisiana.

I think sometimes the best ideas are ones that just happen, and aren't forced. Im so glad we have helped immortalize this very special Llama on his own tee. You can order one online at www.mrpstees.com or come get one in person this coming Saturday, Aug 1st at Zoobilation.
We will have two booths set up from 10am-5pm.


Mickey was being cared for at the zoo by a sweet lady named Natasha. Appreciated her help in trying to get some closer photos of him!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Zoobilation and the Lemur Tee!!

The Lemur has arrived!!! Im so excited about this new tee. Why?? Because it helps support our local zoo~ The Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo....and more specifically, it goes to help build a new Structure for the Lemurs to climb on and for "Enrichment" for the little guys. HAHA What is Primate Enrichment?? Well... these Lemurs are smart and can get bored easily. They need things to keep their little brains thinking. So, an example of enrichment for them may be a bag full of fruit that is hard to get into..so, the lemurs have to really work at it to get their prize out. 15% of every tee sold is going back to the non profit-The Louisiana Zoological Society (www.monroezoo.org) that helps make the zoo better. Big thank you to Heather Morris shown below. She is the La Purchase Zoological Society Manager and helped get me a meeting at the zoo to learn more about the lemurs.
   Our kids LOVE the Zoo and It has always had a special place in my heart. I remember when Shirley the Elephant was there, and I remember taking art lessons from Kathy Amman at the zoo when I was in Elementary School and being a Junior Zoo Keeper when I was in Middle School.
I'll be the first to admit that our little zoo has had its share of ups and downs, but it is now on its way UP, UP, UP!!
 The biggest positive that has happened at the Zoo most recently is the new Splash Park...
It is so much fun for Pearson and Phoebe.
I have seen children of all ages enjoying it and the new playground equipment that has been installed.

So, not only can you walk around and see all of the cool animals like Monreaux the Hippo
View of Monreaux and Penelope below. 

, but you get to get wet and slide too. The zoo also has a very nice grill to eat at too. You can sit outside at a picnic table and enjoy everything from hamburgers, to chicken strips, to slush puppies, to nachos. Yum!!
P with a big ole snow cone the other day.
 One complaint that I hear about the zoo is seeing an empty cage. Why is this?? Good question- Accredited Zoos (like ours), do a lot of trading and loaning. There are quite a few zoos up North who send their animals down to us to take care of during their harsh winters. Once spring/summer hits, these animals go back up North to their home base, thus, leaving an empty cage for a few months at our zoo.
 Now, back to the Lemurs----here is a little Lemur info for you.
I had the privilege of getting to visit with Lisa Taylor (general Curator) and Gary Miers (Public Relations Specialist) one afternoon about the lemurs. You can see their old climbing structure in the background of the above photo. Our lemurs are located near the boat ride.

They live on islands at the zoo which mimic their island home of Madagascar off the coast of Africa.

 Our climate is a sub tropical climate like Madagascar and the Lemurs seem to thrive here because the conditions are so similar..
This is something my friend and fellow zoo lover Kourtney Lewis shared with me and she was actually the first person to suggest that we do a Lemur design. Thanks Kourt!! Anyway- There are 3 groups of Lemurs at the zoo with a total of 8 in all. 7 ringtail and 1 brown. The Ringtail Lemur has 13 black rings on its tail. They love all kinds of fruit like bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, etc.
(bag of grapes)
They are excellent climbers, but they refuse to swim.  They have a gland on their front arm (kind of like a dew claw on a dog) that is a scent gland. They use this to mark their territories and have "Stink Fights" with each other. Basically, its an all out "Who stinks the worst!!" and the one that can't stand the stench looses the territory.

Gary and Lisa told me how the Lemurs like to sunbathe and warm their bellies. They are called "Praying Lemurs" when they do this. IT literally looks like they are doing YOGA!!

SO cool!! They normally do this in the morning and afternoon. Kelly Hill, (from Blue Sky Loga) told me this is called "easy pose" or "sukhasana" and that many yoga poses are derived from animal poses. After learning all of this, I knew this was the pose that our Lemur had to be in. We named it "Bam Bam the Lemur Tee" after one of the actual lemurs at the zoo. I was so pumped when they let me give BamBam some fruit from my hand. WOW!! Thanks y'all!!
Check out his neat little hands!! 

   When I first started to draw the Yoga Lemur design
, I had a full frontal view. It was cute, but I kept thinking that maybe a full frontal crotch shot wasn't appropriate
..hahahah Also, the scale bothered me at first. He was a little small and couldn't be any bigger because his tail was stretched out so long. So, I went back to the drawing board and ended up turning him to the side and closing his eyes like he is in deep meditation.
And, I curved his tail so we could make him larger on the shirts.  Voila~ Very Zen!! We also positioned him off center to be a little more interesting.  We printed it in a Tri Lemon (looks light green) colored loose fit tank and and gray tank.
As well as an adult brown short sleeve tee
and youth tee.
I picked this little outfit out for Phoebe to wear to school today. You can't beat lacy blue jean shorts and a lemur tee-right?!?! hahha

So... come on out to Zoobilation on Sat. Aug 1st from 10am-5pm.
There will be tons of food trucks like Iron Cactus, Slider Riders, Sage, Coney Island, Foys Fat Burger, etc and other vendors selling popcorn,Snow cones,  ice cream, etc. There will be bands playing all day like the Nightshift Kings, WaterBoys, and String Theory. Plus, Dirty South Running is putting on a 5k and 1 mile fun run that morning at 8am (www.eventbrite.com)
that will literally run through the zoo amongst the animals. Centric and Macaroni Kids will have a bunch of kid crafts going that the little ones will love to participate in. Arrow Art will be doing face painting, as well as a Burger Cook Off going on. PLUS, the kids can have fun at the new splash park and seeing all of the animals. We will be there with 2 booths set up near the Lemurs and the Boat ride. We will be selling our new tee and tank, plus a bunch of our other new youth and adult designs like the Monruex the Hippo Tee
and Shirley the Elephant Tee.
Come see us!!!

Thanks for reading and see ya Aug 1st!!