Monday, September 28, 2009

Del-Mar-Va Va Va Voom

GC Shepherds Sweet Pea with her Best Reserve Trophy.
Well, the Delmarva show was nothing if not exciting. It seemed like everyone showing had a variety of breeds in both open shows along with a whole group of specialty shows. As an example, angora breeders could show rabbits 3 times in one day. I brought two breeds again and showed them in a total of 5 different shows. Crazy! Donna had 3 breeds and showed them in at least 7 different shows, I think, or there may have been more. I think I lost track of her speeding in many different directions. Thanks to all of the show secretaries that ran the specialty shows, especially Julie and Karen, for all of their hard work!
Rabbit people are the kindest and most helpful of people and many of them helped others to get their breeds up on the tables at the correct time. It was like a whirlwind getting buns where they were supposed to go. Thanks to Katie and Regan. We also had our friend Thevee there to help carry buns. She said something like "Everything goes so fast and is so confusing." We all forget sometimes what it must be like for a beginner.
Anyway, I wore my angora scarf. It is spun from wool plucked from my Delmarva BIS winning bunny from the previous year. It was spun for my by fellow angora breeder, Lori White, and knitted up by my mother. She also added some fringe made from chinchilla angora fiber from one of my first rabbits. You can see it around my neck in the photo above taken by Donna McGraw (official blog photographer). It obviously brought me tons of good luck because after Sweet Pea won Reserve in show "A", she went on to win Best in Show "B". With so many beautiful rabbits up for the top prizes, I was more than shocked when the English Angora was called out both times. I now have a matching pair of directors chairs in my bedroom. Do I hope to make this an annual event? I sure hope so.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mullica Hill Show

BOB and BOS Jersey Woolie.
Somebunny loves you!

What Aslin thinks of the whole day of showing.

Never get any photos of myself showing.
The Mullica Hill show was alot of fun and very hectic. We all spent alot of time running from one building to another trying to figure out where our breeds where showing and in which order. Since loosing my camera, Donna McGraw graciously offered to be the blog's official photographer. She has a beautiful camera and takes stunningly beautiful photos of bunnies. I never get any photos of me at shows and rarely get any photos of the show happening or of the bunnies. I really enjoyed looking at all that went on in photos during the crazy day. I don't know what I am thinking showing two breeds at a double show but I guess it is worth it as the bunnies did really well. The woolies took BOB and BOS in show "A"and BOB in show "B". This is still a shock to me considering there are so many experienced woolie breeders showing. I never really believe it is happening. CR Ice Maiden now has 8 GC legs, getting very close to "The King of All" with 9 GC legs to his name. I just love the photo that Donna took of Ice Maiden and White Excitement together.
The English Angoras are more what I am used to and can usually have a better idea of how they will do. Alex won BOB in show "A" with her beautiful tort doe and Donna won BOS with her handsome black buck. Alex also won BIS youth with her beautiful Giant Angora. I expected to do well with the whites as they looked pretty nice. Thinking that the same result would happen in show "B", I was surprised to see that my whites took BOB and BOS. You never really know what a judge is going to end up picking. We had a very nice judge from Missori that I had never showed under before and apparently she likes white bunnies.
Donna helped me at the BIS table by taking up the woolie doe while I wrangled the uncooperative Aslin, who was surprisingly mellow. Considering he comes from a long line of show winning rabbits, showing is not his thing. He is only truly happy just flopped in his cage. He even grips the grooming table with his claws like he will spin off into outer space if his grip is released just the tiniest bit. For a bunny so disliking shows, he has had a pretty good show career with 5 GC legs so far. But see how Donna caught his true personality in the photo above with his tongue sticking out.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Garden State Sheep and Wool Festival

Well, I attended the G.S.S.&W. Festival on Sept. 12th and 13th hoping to save some money so that I could go to Convention in San Diego this year. Sorry, no photos, the camera is still missing in action. I ran the booth myself for two days. It is amazing how really exhausting it is talking to people about bunnies and angora wool. Sadly, it was cold, cloudy with some drizzle on Saturday but Sunday was cool, sunny and just sometimes breezy. I had made chocolate and white chocolate bunny, sheep and duck lollipops that were a big hit. Angora wool was very popular and is nearly gone. My herbal moth repel sachets were a big hit. I did place 6 bunnies, 2 Jersey Woolies and 4 English Angoras which was pretty good considering the only other person with rabbits placed none.
I did not attend this show last year due to the change of date coinciding with the ARBA Convention in Louisville. The year before that we had much better attendance. The slowing economy really was noticeable with people considering every expenditure. I expect people to consider whether or not to take home bunnies but not a bunny lollipop. Usually, I would always buy something, but this year I was trying to save money also. I even brought my lunch from home on the first day. I was surprised to see some vendors had left when Sunday morning rolled around. The hardest thing for me to see was the kids begging for a bunny and the parents saying they couldn't afford it. I saw one single mom on the way out who's daughter had been begging for a bunny but said her mom couldn't afford it. I pulled the mom aside and offered her a bunny for free. She said thanks but she couldn't afford to pay for the food or the cage. I hope the economy gets better for everyone soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bucks Counry Show

Well this is going to be a boring post because I somehow lost my camera. Between taking pictures of Sweetpea sitting on a chair and packing up my car, I somehow misplaced it. This is sad as all my old and new bunny photos are on it. I have been tearing everything apart trying to find it. This might be the start of something heredity. My mother recently lost her reading glasses for about 3 weeks. She searched high and low and could not find them. I got a phone call from her recently letting me know she found them in the vegetable bin of her fridge. This is a scary proposition.
Anyway, I lived to tell the tale of 5 separate shows at Bucks County with 2 different breeds and 4 different judges. Shepherds Lydia, most uncontrolable of all rabbits, in a 14 month old coat and needing just one leg to reach Grand Championship finally got there. Yea! She would not stay in her coop and romped up and down every table that she was placed on like she was a Belgian Hare, leaping over other rabbits much to the surprise of the judges and competitors. Bad bunny, bad, bad, bunny. Shepherds Aslin, who is also uncontrolable in a stressed out, freaked out kind of way, gave up by the second show and let the judge do what she would with him, thank goodness.
But Shepherds Sweetpea was not sweet but was covered with pee. Be careful what you name your rabbits. You might just get what you name them. She proceeded to growl at the specialty show judge who was not happy about that and placed her second. Both Aslin and Sweetpea did grand so that is a relief. Tulamores Caprice won 1st in all 3 junior doe classes and I think she ended up with 2 legs at least.
Jersey woolies did pretty well with CR Blue Skies taking 1st in both shows and little Shepherds Flores taking second out of 8 in show A and 1st in show B for her first junior leg and going on to win BOSG. Shepherds Hydrangea took 3rd in A and 2nd in B out of 8 junior does. CR White Excitement also spent the morning covering his beautiful white coat in pee so he placed 2nd in the senior buck for both shows. I know there were some other placements but I can't remember them now. (Another heredity thing?)
Anyway, it was a really well run show considering how many specialties there were plus the regular shows. I really enjoyed seeing so many old friends, Whitney (new e-mail address please?), Pat, Adele, Lynn Miller and many more. Congrats to Whitney for her winning Belgian Hare! Not that I had too much time to talk and thanks to the jersey woolie breeders that helped to touch up a tatoo and put my bunnies on the table while I was over at the angora specialty. Oh yea, congrats to Alex Stepnoski for winning BIS and Best Reserve in the specialty show with her beautiful English Angora (BIS) and Giant Angora(BR). That is a first for her with 2 different breeds!

Friday, September 4, 2009

If Pigs Could Fly

Shepherds Aslin with his BOS ribbon.
This little piggy sprouted wings.

Can you see the painted hooves?

The reason for the wings.

Joining the other bunny bank.
Even though I have been trying to save for a year to go to Convention, one expense after another has come up. I thought this piggy bank that flys might help me be more focused on flying to San Diego. It is funny and at least it makes me laugh while I have to spend money on broken kitchen appliances and hot water heater parts.
I will have English Angoras and Jersey Woolies for sale at the Bucks County Show tomorrow and I hope to be able to finish a grooming table or two, $65 each. Having a booth at the Garden State Sheep and Wool show on Sept. 12th and 13th should help me to reach my goal. I was even considering taking a few bunnies to San Diego from other exibitors for a fee. If anyone would like me to take a rabbit to show and care for, contact me at my e-mail address and I will see if it is something that we could work out. I am a pretty good groomer so a long haired bun would be no problem and I would give excellent care.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting Organized

Don't forget to take the bunnies.
Everything in a plastic sleeve.

Show catalog, directions and entry form.
With a new show season starting, I have vowed to be more organized this year. Usually, I keep show catalogs, entry forms and directions in three different locations. That means the night before the show or the morning of, I am running around like a crazy person looking for the directions and who I needed to pack in the car. I would keep my directions on an index card because we all tend to go to the same shows every year. Never fail, the index card would be lost along with my hand written notes about mileage, exits, hotels, time it takes to drive, good restaurants and quicker back roads. I would usually find them somewhere under the seat when I cleaned out the car, which was not helpful at all.
This year, I took a bunny binder that I had out grown and filled it with plastic sleeves. In each sleeve, I put in the show catalog, map quest directions with any hand written notes and a copy of my entry form. The entry form has any notes I needed like who had to be registered, who was for sale and the person interested in them and any supplies that I needed to pick up at the show. After the show, I would list the placements of the rabbits if there were no comment cards given. Who purchased which bunny and any waiting list people were also added. When I am ready to leave for a show, I would remove the plastic sleeve and put it in my show bag and put that into the car the night before the show. After the show, I would take the plastic sleeve and put it to the front of the binder. When the show report comes, I would put it with the rest of that particular show information and move that sleeve to the back of the binder. This helps me to see what show reports may be missing and the contact person to call. By the end of show season, the sleeve for the first show of the season will have moved to the front of the binder.
Being able to just take this sleeve out of the binder , put it in the car and then put it back in the binder after the show has been so much help to me, I thought I might share this idea with everyone.

All nice and tidy, ready for the next show.