Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What makes a Fuzzy Lop fuzzy?

The title to this post isn't one of those philosophical questions like "if a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to hear it......". The answer is pretty straightforward; its the wool that makes a Fuzzy Lop fuzzy of course!

At the 86th ARBA Convention in Del Mar, several exhibitors entered their animals in the breed wool contest. The lovely boy pictured at the top of this page is Schmitt's Mat, 1st place wool in open. Nicole is so thrilled with her win and she should be! Competition was tough even though it is hard to get a perfect coat on our Fuzzies in early November. Susie Cederlof won 1st place wool in youth with SB1.

Congratulations Nicole and Susie!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Convention results

Convention is flying by! We have had so much fun....we have done so much work....we have had such a great time with friends.

Youth results Judges: Ruby Rezac & George Germaine

Solid Sr Buck Jennifer Henderson
Solid Sr Doe Shelby Branum
Solid Jr Buck Julia Armanino
Solid Jr Doe Jisella and Celia Williams
Broken Sr Buck Susie Cederlof
Broken Sr Doe Jennifer Henderson
Broken Jr Buck McKenna Frantz
Broken Jr Doe Hauley Colwes

BOV Solid Sr Doe
BOSV Solid Sr Buck
BOV Broken Sr Doe
BOSV Broken Sr Buck

Best of Breed Broken Sr Doe Owned by Jennifer Henderson
Best Opposite of Breed Solid Sr Buck Owned by Jennifer Henderson

Open Results

Solid Sr Buck Christina Gillett
Solid Sr Doe Carol & Kendall Green
Splid Jr Buck Carol & Kendall Green
Solid Jr Doe Dawn Guth
Broken Sr Buck Sherry Hartzell
Broken Sr Doe Dawn Guth
Broken Jr Buck Christina Gillett
Broken Jr Doe Dawn Guth

BOV Solid Sr Doe
BOSV Solid Sr Buck
BOV Broken Sr Buck
BOSV Broken Sr Doe

Best of Breed Broken Sr Buck Owned by Sherry Hartzell
Best Opposite of Breed Solid Sr Doe Owned by Carol & Kendall Green

More later.......

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blast from the Past

ARBA Convention 2001 was also held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. And the AFLRC awards banquet was at Chevy's (see you there again next week for the awards banquet!) Look carefully and you will see some familiar, though younger faces below.

At this Convention, Rob and Paula brought blue tort Fuzzy Lops for their final presentation.

The ARBA Standards committee is discussing the presentation and eventually announced that they passed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Remember when...

...the ARBA Convention was in San Diego in 2001?

Keyes Pat was the Best of Breed American Fuzzy Lop...

...Joey Schultz judged open Fuzzies...

...Tom Keyes judged youth Fuzzies while Adam Green took comments....

...Mollie Dorrance won Best of Breed youth Fuzzy with Dreamcatcher...

...Muriel Keyes (owner/breeder of BOB) and Brian Hartzell (owner/breeder of BOSB)posed with the gorgeous awards made by Jan Savage.

To be continued.......

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brian's Rabbitry

A website has been made to help disperse most of Brian Hartzell's AFL and JW rabbits. Please see for available stock.

There is a page on the website showing Fuzzies that will be at Convention. All will be for sale so if interested in some on Brian's beautiful stock, check it out.

Sherry Hartzell is also donating one of those rabbits to the AFLRC trio. The other two animals are donated by Jennifer Burns and Lindsay Brinson. This will be the trio to win! Tickets will be available at Convention for the trio, but are also in your latest issue of Fuzzy Tales. You can also buy tickets if you are not attending Convention. Send tickets and money to Paula Grady. Be sure you have identified someone to pick up the trio and transport for you in case you win.

Good luck to all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We have a winner!

Have you heard the news? The ARBA Convention in Del Mar, CA entry numbers are a record for a Convention on the west coast--13,035 animals! The numbers for each breed/class are now posted and I can make the big announcement--the winner of guess the entry number contest!

It was interesting to see how many Fuzzies you all thought would be at the show. The total numbers (open and youth combined) for the guesses ranged from 119 to 971. The actual Fuzzy Lop entry numbers for the 2009 Convention are 247 in open and 56 in youth for a total of 303 rabbits. Most people made individual guesses for open and youth and Tausha Tucker gets an honorable mention for guessing 250 in open but she was off by almost 50 rabbits in her youth guess. (Close Tausha but "no cigar").

Drumroll please......and the winner is Ginger Mendat who guessed 314 total rabbits. Ginger can't make it to California for convention this year (we will miss you so much!) so I will mail her the prize. You have to wait until after Convention though because I am going to pick up a nice Convention item while I am there.

Hope you all had fun with the contest. Now go out and groom your Fuzzies.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Make a guess

Convention entries are still open for additions. So you have time to put more charges on your credit card and enter just one or two or.....more Fuzzy Lops. How many Fuzzies do you predict will be entered in the ARBA Convention in Del Mar? Leave a comment or send an email to me at hoploppitryatyahoodotcom (you know how to convert that email don't you? Read it and you will figure it out.). Leave your guess for the total number of open and youth American Fuzzy Lops by midnight tonight, October 12, for a chance to win a wonderful something at Convention. (Actually if you send the email to me before I wake up tomorrow morning that is soon enough! I won't be up at midnight making sure your email gets in under the wire.) This is not a joke--there will be a prize!


Friday, October 9, 2009

What's in a name?

How do you name your rabbits? Some exhibitors have a theme, e.g. all Shakespeare characters or only the names of cars. Some use names that start with a certain letter, and then some of us run out of names and get tired of the effort so just call their show rabbits by their tatoo.

I give my rabbits names and I have a very exacting system -- "WOD" (whim of the day). Some Fuzzies just look like a "Tate" or "Lassen" or "Mollie" to me, so that's the name on the pedigree.

For example, below is AK's Vane. When I was trying to name her, I had just seen the movie "Stardust" (2007; watch it, if you haven't seen it. Fantastic! It is right up on my favorite movie list under "Princess Bride"). The female protagonist of Stardust is a star that has fallen to earth. She is beautiful, and has a certain attitude (well she is a star after all). She's found by a simple, handsome farm boy and the story (love story of course) continues from there in ways you can't predict. So what is her name? Yvaine. When I saw the little tort doe, I saw a star and a whole lot o'attitude, so her name became "Vane".

Last weekend, Vane lived up to the promise I had seen when she was little. She won Best in Show at Santa Rosa, CA! RBIS was Betty C's English Angora doe, Susie, and the judge was Manual H.
We are all looking foward to the ARBA Convention in a few weeks!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another Best in Show

I knew it was true and now the whole country must know it--there are some fabulous Fuzzy Lops in this country! Above is Burb's Jubilee, winner of Best in Show at the Utah State Fair, owned and bred by Nate Burbidge and Lou Towne. Congratulations!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Beautiful Fuzzy Lops

Dawn Guth shared these photos of her Fuzzies from the recent show in Ionia. Included are the winners and one future hopeful. Thank you Dawn!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

By Dawn Guth

The weekend up in Ionia, MI 9/5 – 9/6 was a rollercoaster of emotions. Other than Fair, this was my first weekend out showing since Brian’s passing. The five hour ride up had my mind just racing. I got there and Molly English and Kay Pettengill were sights for sore eyes. I also met our new AFLRC District Five Director Kim Weems for the first time. I was supposed to meet Sarah Simakso on Friday night but didn’t bump into her until Sat. am in the ladies room. This weekend was her first time showing in Open. Welcome Sarah!

The Sat show went very well. Showing besides myself, there was Molly English, Kay Pettengill, Sherry Callen, Sarah Simakso and a nice German lady I haven’t seen in a few years named Gudron. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out! There were 40 some shown. Kim Weems judged Show A and she picked my BJD Bastet’s Fiona for BOB and my SJB Bastet’s Vinicio for BOS.

In the second show on Sat., Carla Wilson picked Jellico for BOB and my SSB for BOS. She went on to win Four Class and then Best in Show at 9:00 pm! Late … but go Jellico!

On Sunday, Gundron had gone home but we gained Margaret Wronski and Cathy Cordner. I went over to say hi and Cathy had gotten out this pretty Broken and was messing with it. I told her that sure looked like a nice rabbit, was it a Buck or a Doe? She replied saying it was Brian’s Diola, the 2008 ARBA Best of Breed Convention Winner. I am SO happy he’s with her. He’s VERY loved and VERY spoiled … as he should be.

So we head up to the first show under Brenda Dumas. There were over 50 shown. Cathy Cordner won BOV Solid with her home grown SSB and I won BOSV Solid with my SSD Bastet’s Farley. Diola and Jellico were up against the Jrs. for BOV/BOSV Broken. Talk about fighting back tears. Diola had won BOB and Jellico had won BOS at Convention last fall. Cathy and I both leaked at little even thought we were trying really hard not to. Seeing them sitting side by side like that eleven months later … whew … talk about a difficult moment. Jellico won BOV Broken and Diola won BOSV Broken. The Solids won it over the Brokens in the end.

The second show on Sunday was judged by Terry Fender. Jellico won BOB and Cathy Cordner won BOS with Brian’s Tonto. Jellico went on to win BIS in the Lop-A-Rama and then she won Top Lop. Go Jellico … again!

There weren’t many Youth exhibitors but Jamie Fry was out and showing and swept the weekend wins. Congrats Jamie!

It was good seeing everyone and the ride back seemed quicker than the ride there. The bunnies were all happy to be home and get settled back into their own cages, and me in my own bed. This coming weekend is a Triple in Painesville, OH and a Double Memorial Show for Brian in Washington, PA. I know both of these shows will be hard not having Brian there but us Fuzzy Folks have each other and I’m sure we’ll all shed some tears and then get down to business showing this fabulous breed, the American Fuzzy Lop.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A boy named Sue and a buck named Ellen

Sometimes an error is made.  Sometimes it turns out just fine despite the mistake.  Nicole S owns Ellen, who is not a doe as you might assume, but a buck.
Fortunately this type of naming mistake, doesn't effect the self confidence of a rabbit.  Ellen and Nicole S won BIS at the Between The Lakes show in Sheboygan, WI, back on July 12th.  Meet Nicole S's beautiful buck, a new Best in Show winner!  Congratulations to Nicole and her very masculine buck, Ellen.  

Monday, July 27, 2009

First Best in Show is the Sweetest

The judges are standing behind the show table a bit away so no one can hear what they are saying.  You try to make out the words and wish you had studied "lip reading".  They seem to glance repeated at your pride and joy, your Fuzzy Lop doe.  In fact, they even smile when they look at her.  Could it be? Are they going to pick your rabbit Best in Show?  

And then the annoucement comes.  Best in Show is the American Fuzzy Lop.  Congratulations to Hayley Colwes, BIS winner at the Yuba Sutter Fair, July 25, 2009, with her doe, AK's Juicy.

Juicy is looking very unimpressed and Hayley has trophies as big as she is.  Congratulations to both of you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You know its a good day when....

Its a good day when the temperature is mild and you are at a rabbit show with friends.  Its a good day when your daughter wants to show rabbits with you again, like the "old days".  Its a good day when you get to judge Angoras, Dutch, Havanas and a bunch of other "favorites".  But is a really really good day, when your rabbit wins Reserve Best in Show.

Carol G and her Fuzzy Buck, AK's Riley with the BIS winner Melissa M with a mini satin.  

Then when you think it can't get better, your Fuzzy Lop doe wins Best in Show in the second show of the day!  Carol G with AK's Vane.  

Top it off with a report from a youth exhibitor that she won Best in Show at a northern Calfornia fair with AK's Juicy, and that is about as good as it can get for a rabbit exhibitor/breeder.  

Well get a good night's sleep and get up tomorrow to groom, clean, and smile at those pretty bunnies!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fun in the Sun

The sun is shining and the pool is warm must be time for rabbit shows in the backyard! Sunday, July 5 was the 7th annual show in the Green's yard. The show started out Fuzzy Lops only, but over the years has grown to include Angoras and Jersey Woolys also.

This year our judges were Kimberly W from IL and Kevin S from AZ. There were ~60 open AFL and ~12 youth AFL entered. In Show A open, BOB winner was Marian S with her broken senior buck and BOS was Christina G with a solid senior buck. In Show B open, Adam & Carol G won BOB with a solid senior buck and BOS with a solid senior doe. In youth, Jenny H took BOB and BOS in both shows. Congratulations on the lovely rabbits and good wins!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy News!

Who doesn't like a good love story? On June 13, 2009, Kelsey Huffman maried Tim Stover. Congratulations to Kelsey and Tim and Fuzzy Lop friends!

ps Does anyone think it is odd that we have a photo of Kelsey and her Fuzzy Lop rather than Kelsey and Tim? No? Neither do I!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bubba Gump is the Best

Is there anything more fun, more gratifying to a rabbit breeder than to win Best in Show with a rabbit that is home bred?  Sure there is--winning Best in Show twice  and Breeders Best all in one day!  Congratulations are due to Jenny Henderson and her gorgeous Fuzzy Lop Buck, Bubba Gump, who took all the honors in Napa, CA last weekend.
Bubba, Jenny and judge, Leslie Tucker.
Bubba, Jenny and judge, Keelyn Hanlon.

Bubba was also the Best of Breed youth Fuzzy Lop at the 2008 ARBA Convention in Louisville, KY.  In fact for those of you who attended, you may remember his "performance" on the Convention Best is Show table.  Bubba really enjoyed the process and spent his time out of the coop trying to hop around the show table and visit the other rabbits!  Great rabbit and great job Jenny!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Good Bye Our Friend

Brian Hartzell (July 7, 1977-June 8, 2009) will be greatly missed. At the next show we attend, we will expect to see him judging or grooming his rabbits or just joking with other members at the next show we attend. He always strove for excellence.

Many of us had a wonderful time with him at the National show in Utah in April. Here are Brian and his mother, Sherry, posing with other club members.

His approach to life was to put all he could into everything he did.
Please consider donating to the AFLRC scholarship fund in Brian's memory. I am sure he would be pleased to support the education and future success of others. Send donations to Paula Grady, with checks made to AFLRC. Add a memo for the Lois Trump Youth Scholarship Fund, in memory of Brian Hartzell.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

National Show News

The National show was the first weekend of April in Farmington, UT. The show room was perfect. Look how bright and clear it was as Joey S evaluates the class winners in the open show.

Jan Savage, ID, made these wonderful awards.
Nate B, left, organized the show. Brian H, right, flew in from Ohio to attend. He won BOB and BOS in open. Stuart B won BOB and BOS in youth.

Two exhibitors from California, Marian S and Christina G are putting away their rabbits.

Muriel and I drove back to California and made a stop at Donner Pass. Its much easier to make it over the pass in an SUV than in a covered wagon!

The AFLRC National show was held the first weekend of April in Farmington, UT.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

First day of Spring

On Saturday, March 20, Fuzzy Lops and their friends came to Hanford, CA for a nice show.

In show A, Rachelle T won with her gorgeous juniors. BOB was a broken junior buck and BOSB was his sister, a broken junior doe.

In show B, Mary and Jenny H won BOB and BOSB. Its a good time when friends can split the wins!

Congratulations to both of you.
Adorable drawing provided by Mary and Jenny. Courtesy of

Monday, March 2, 2009

A little sunshine

In case you are snowed in or drenched in rain or just about fed up with winter, here's a bit of sunshine for you!
Also a reminder: submissions for Fuzzy Tales, the AFLRC newsletter are due now. Get those articles, photos and advertisements in to the editor. Contact me if you have questions.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Its just my job, ma'am

So its time to go to a rabbit show. Does rain stop us? No way! Does traffic stop us? Of course not! Does getting lost stop us? Just slows us down. And its a good thing too. The rabbit show held Sunday in Santa Maria, CA was very fun. Santa Maria is known for its tri-tip barbeque. If you haven't had tri-tip then you need to "tri" it.

But the show wasn't about food, it was rabbits and friends. Our favorite Fuzzy Lop judge, Allen M is picking Best of Breed in Show A.

Our new friend, Cole, is showing off his fuzzy friend who licks him like a puppy. Aren't Fuzzies (and little kids) just the cutest.
Carol G and her Fuzzy Lop, AK's Graham are beaming because Graham was picked Reserve in Show. See that cool plaque? Its has the logo picture for the upcoming ARBA Convention in San Diego. I can hardly wait to see the Convention awards.
Aw shucks, says Graham. I know I'm gorgeous. Its just my job.
Be sure to send more pictures and show reports to me (or you will just have to see my pictures over and over again!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Barn Blind or Just Plain Can't See?

The phrase "barn blind" is used when an exhibitor just can't really see their own animals. Usually it means you can't see the faults, but it seems to me that it could also mean the opposite--that you don't appreciate the strengths in your herd either.
Last weekend I was going to a show and had entered eight rabbits. I had also been asked to bring a class of four rabbits for a youth judging contest. So Friday night after work I was going through my rabbits to find four who would behave themselves (no nipping or grunting at the kids please). I also wanted to find a class that required minimal grooming on my part; afterall it was late and I wanted to focus on the rabbits that were entered in the show. Well guess what I found in the bottom row of cages? See the picture at the top of this post. That's AK's Parker, a broken sable point doe who hadn't been to a show in months. She looked great! Who knew? I realized she was in better condition that the other three broken senior does I had entered in the show, so I switched her with one of the does I had planned to show. At the show the judges agreed with me, because Parker won Best of Breed!
Remember bend over and look at those bottom cages. There might be something good in there.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In need of mittens

Last post, I told you how to make yarn from your Fuzzy Lop wool. Well this post should provide patterns for making mittens, hats, scarfs, and more to keep warm. Much of the country is unbelievable cold and snowy. Muriel K says a tree is down in her front yard and its COLD (she lives in Oregon where bad weather is generally held off by the Pacific Ocean.) Sherry C sends the photos in this post from Michigan. At least we expect winter weather in January in Michigan.

Below is a lovely coconut cake on a platter. No? Maybe you are right. That must be something else. Read on to see what Sherry has to say:

"The coconut cake on a stand is actually my taller birdbath about 15-18" standing on the ground. And the windchill is so low it could freeze a dog to a hydrant...-26 windchill yesterday! Needless to say the pet goose in in the garage and is so used to the trip through the kitchen she will walk it by escape cat dove out the open door today to chase a sparrow and when he hit the snow he literally flew back inside. Well, I should go down to the mailbox, but I'm having trouble motivating myself...those of you who have been here understand...those who have not my trip to the mailbox is a long walk! Keep warm and pray for us in MI to get some warmer air!"

All of us who live in the heat wave part of the country (its 70 deg in California today) are thinking of those of you who are in the new ice age. Stay inside (except when you have to feed and water animals), snuggle under the blankets and think warm thoughts.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Its Good to be Green

Are you thinking more about recycling and reusing then ever before? With concerns about the economy and the environment, we see how important it is to live "green". So how about our rabbit hobby; can we be more efficient and recycle there too? One obvious way is to compost the rabbit manure. It is a great natural fertilizer and can be used "straight" on plants. But what can we do with all that wool? Can it find a new purpose other than lining bird nests?

Without making a significant effort, I have collected about 2-3 lb of mixed colors of wool from my Fuzzies in the past 6 months. So yesterday, I decided to make yarn. Below is my spinning wheel set up all ready to go. My fiber is on the floor in a bag and I have a trash bag on the chair for little bits of hay and other undesirables found in the fiber while spinning. The wheel is a Schacht Matchless double drive. I also have an electric Babe spinning wheel and a small portable wheel (Louet Victoria), but I like this one for most work at home. Its fast, quiet and comfortable to use. Cat draped over the back of the chair is optional.
Here is part of my Fuzzy Lop fiber stash. I keep a basket or trash bag in the barn and add clean wool to it as I groom. I don't separate colors because I really wouldn't have enough of each, so this is a mix of white, tort, black, and sable point.

Fuzzy Lop wool has more guard hairs than angora wool, especially English Angora which is very soft. I started spinning wool directly from the basket, but it seemed that the guard hairs were very prominent and I had more knots than I liked. My goal was to spin a rustic yarn, with thick and thin spots (good thing that was my goal because I'm not great at spinning and can't spin smooth yarn anyway!). So I used hand carders to break apart some of the mats and mix in the guard hairs. Below is a spindle of "singles", the first step of producing a two ply yarn.

Aren't the colors pretty? In the middle, you see some black and at the ends there is tort mixed with white and sable point. Once I had two spindles full of singles, I plied them, which means I put them back through the spinning wheel to twist the two plies togehter. Below is the finished yarn, soaking in cold water with a gentle soap.

To finish the yarn, I squeezed out the water, whacked it on the counter top a few times to set the twist, and let it dry.

And here is the finished product! Its about 2.75 oz and 100 yd of yarn ready to be knit into a nice warm hat or pair of mittens. This is much better than just putting the wool in the land fill!