Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Dog Cookies

4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup dry milk powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup water
2 eggs, slightly beaten

           Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir until well mixed. Then knead with hands until dough is no longer sticky (add a bit more flour or water until you it is easily handled but still pliable). On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters and place dough on ungreased baking sheet.

          Bake low and slow at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn cookies over and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets and allow them to air-dry for medium-hard biscuits. For hard biscuits, leave cookies in oven, turn off heat and with the door closed leave them overnight. Repeat oven-drying procedure if necessary.

           These keep very well in the freezer, if sealed in freezer bags.

Happy Howlidays

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pet Water Recycling Tip

          Do you have house plants, outside garden, and pets? If you said yes, then I have a great little water recycling tip that will also save you money. Instead of dumping your pet's used water from their buckets, bowls, water bottles, and fish tanks down the drain, collect it and use it to water your plants. This will conserve your water usage and make your plants very happy.

          Small little steps like this will help change the world without overwhelming you with radical lifestyle changes. Do you have any useful pet tips that you would like to share? I would love to hear them, please leave your tips in the comments below.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Improved Bearded Collie & Borzoi Designs

          As time progresses on and I look back at some of my very first dog breed patterns, I realize that some can do with some improving. My skills and eye for how I create my all breed dog items have matured over the years. I know that there are many more dog breeds and colors I have not yet gotten to but I just can not help but want to revisit some of the earlier designs. It is not that I think they are bad, it is just I have this nagging compulsion that says "I bet I can do that even better".

          In between filling orders (which recently has left me very little down time) I managed to rework the Bearded Collie and Borzoi. More times then I can count did I have to either stop in the middle of sketching or stitching both of these dogs, but I somehow found enough time to get them done.

          The Bearded Collie proved to be the easier of the two for me, although I did have to only rework the size of the head from my first attempt at redoing this design. Unlike drawing or painting, needlepoint on plastic canvas deals with squares and it can prove to be problematic at times.

         The Borzoi on the other hand was giving me quite the challenge, mainly becuase of the head. I think I tried six different head versions before I ended up with the one you see now. I am so very happy with the way it looks that now I may redo a few of the other sighthounds. But of course that is all for another time.

          Like one of these or any of my other dogs but you don't see your color, then please contact me. I am more then happy to add new breed colors.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stop Fighting the Dog to Trim Nails

          Hate trimming your dog's nails; I know I do. I am always worried I will clip their quick. Also, dogs don't like the feel of the nail clipper slicing through their toenail, makes them jerk their paw around. To eliminate this problem I no longer use a nail clipper, instead I use a nail grinder. My dogs don't put up a fight like they used to and don't seem to mind it to much. That is not to say they will not ever try to pull their feet away, but the dog "wrestling" to get their nails done is a thing of the past.

          With the nail grinder you no longer have to be afraid of your dog jerking his foot and cutting into the quick causing it to bleed everywhere. Just remember even with the grinder there still is the possibility of filing down the nail to the quick. However if you pay attention and follow the grinder's instructions you wont have any problems. So far the most serious thing that has happened to me is that I have ended up grinding down my own finger nails.

Happy Grooming!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Half Price on all One-Of-A-Kind Dog Ornaments

American Cocker Spaniel sale ornament
          I am running a sale on all my one-of-a-kind dog breed ornaments, they are now half off their original price. The sale runs until the end of November or until they sell out. Hurry limited supplies available, once they sell out they wont be back again.

          They can be used as a Christmas or an everyday ornament. You can easily hang them anywhere, and with them being stitched with the same image on both sides they can enjoyed from different angles.

          If you do not find your favorite breed I also carry a regular line of Everyday Ornaments.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Rant About ...... Socks?

This is an open letter to socks. That is right, everyday ordinary socks.

Dear socks,

When you go into the laundry where do some of you really go? Is is something like 'Toy Story', when I am not looking you move about with some of you getting lost or just plain runaway. Or, is it something more philosophical, like once you leave my line of sight you just cease to exist.

When you come out of the dryer what is up with the little balled up bits of sock lint in the toe? I know it is there after every time I dry them but yet, I still fall into the trap of putting those nice clean socks on only to have to pull them off again to empty out that lint.

With all this technology in the world with things like computers, iPhones, and cars that park them selves yet people are still making socks with the seam in the toe. Why?!

When I wear you inside my winter boots, why do you start sliding off my foot? Are you trying to escape because it is to hot in there for you or what?

Sock monkeys? Why never sock birds, sock shrimp, or a sock T-Rex?

What kind of bazaar hold do you have over old men who wear you with sandals and shorts? And why is it always a dark colored sock, do they stay up better then the light colored?

Don't even get me started on socks with toes!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Enter to Win One of 4 Pet Collar Charms

          Recently FamilyStitchery contacted me about hosting a giveaway for me. I hadn't planned on another giveaway not until sometime next year. But I thought why not, besides you are all worth it!

          To enter go to FamilyStitchery's blog, there you will find multiple ways to enter. Don't worry entering is simple. The giveaway runs from now until December 12th. Tell everyone you know to enter, the more the merrier.

          The winner will get to choose from one of four dog/pet collar charms. Why four choices? Because it is more fun that way! Besides that way whether you have a male or female pet the prize with fit either. Hey, after all who here doesn't love having options. Even if you don't own a pet these can be used as a decorative zipper pull on a jacket, purse, or anywhere. Or better yet the holidays are coming and this would be great to give as a gift.

          Don't forget that when you are done entering my giveaway Family Stitchery is host many other giveaways for you to enter. Someone is going to win, shouldn't it be you? So get in there and good luck!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seasonal Pet Collar Charms Now Available!

          Get these cute Seasonal Doggie Charms before someone else does! Only 2 available, the snowflake and candy striped charm, so once they are gone they are gone for good. These are perfect for dressing up your pet for all those holiday parties and get-togethers. They are not tied to any one specific holiday (such as Christmas) which makes them very versatile. Even if you don't observe any of the up coming holidays who can resist celebrating and enjoying the crisp winter season.

          I actually didn't set out to make Holiday Collar Charms, but sometimes with the mixed supplies I buy little fun surprises like these crop up. Because I buy my supplies in either mixed lots or limited quantities I am often unable to produce more than one piece. Any time you see a piece of jewelry you like of mine I suggest that you purchase it right away before you miss out.

          I do have a few more of the red striped bead if anyone needs more then one charm for their furry companions. However I don't have anymore of the smaller red beads but I should be able to find some other beads that should look similar.

          Have any questions about these pieces or anything else I make please feel free to leave a post on my blog or contact me directly. Want to see more jewelry for dogs/pets then please visit my store on ArtFire.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Simple Dog Grooming Tips That You May Not Know

Here are a few dog grooming tips you should find helpful and make job go easier.
õ When brushing your dog bush out the tips of the fur first and continue brushing your way up to the dog's skin. You will find it much easier to get your dog completely bushed out this way than staring from the top down.
õ Instead of buying a pin brush made for dogs get a human hairbrush. I like using my Suave cushioned paddle style pin brush. I am finding that is has lasted much longer than my dog pin brushes. I find that when a dog pin brush ages the rubber that holds the pins in place start to crack and break apart.
õ When dealing with a large mat sometimes it is just best to take a pair of scissors and cut the mat in half. It is much easier to rake out two smaller mats and one large one. Then with my mat raker I work it so that I keep dividing the mat into smaller and smaller pieces. I like to I like to call it my "Divide and Conquer" method.
õ Say you have a dirty dog with a few tiny mats here and there what is the first thing you want to do. Give him a bath right? Wrong! You should always thoroughly brush out your dog first. What this does is removes dead hairs and mats. Washing a mat helps to lock it in and you don't want that. Also if you were also going to give him a haircut after his bath do a little pre-trim before hand. It will give you less hair to wash and dry.
õ Remember if you are grooming a very matted dog it is going to take a long time to groom out so please let the dog have some break times. You don't need to have a stressed out dog any more stressed, besides you could probably use a break to.
Happy grooming!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Medicine for Dog's Infected with Heartworm no Longer Available?

          I had heard through the grapevine that the medication to treat dogs infected with heartworm was never going to be available again or having some sort of problem. So I started searching the internet for info on the situation. It sounds like that the company Merial that produces the only medication approved  for use in the USA is having technical problems in the plant that produces melarsomine. Not good news for dogs infected with adult heartworms.

          Here is a link you can follow to keep you updated on any developments:  http://www.heartwormsociety.org/  I just came across this article posted on October 7 that states that a limited supply of the medication is now available. Keep your fingers crossed for those unfortunate doggies that are in need of this treatment that the supply become easier to obtain.

          While wondering around trying to get the story on this problem I came across a very intresting blog that I wanted to share with you about heartworm. WARNING: Before you read this I want to state something first. Never take anyone's word without doing your own research, especialy when it come to the matter of health. I also don't endorse any outside link I post on my blog unless stated otherwise. Ok now with that said here is the link: Terrierman's Daily Dose

Sunday, October 23, 2011

NEW Matching Pet and Owner Jewelry Sets

          I am very pleased to announce my latest line in doggie jewelry...... matching sets, for you and your canine companion. I have made my pet jewelry with dogs particularly in mind but please don't let that stop you from using them for other animals. Any animal that wears a collar, harness, or similar tack can easily wear my pet charms.

          My new sets will include a collar charm for your pet and either matching earrings or pendant for you. I will have styles for men, women, and unisex just as I do for the collar charms. My sets are a lovely symbol of the special bond you both share.

          I was reluctant to get into making jewelry for people as there are so many great artisans out there already. I've had several people look at my collar charms and tell me that I should make matching sets for people. The thought had been kicking around in my brain so I took this as a sign to make a move on this new endeavor. I must say that I really am glad I did.

          Right now I only have three sets currently listed, but I have loads of ideas floating around in my head. Keep watching my ArtFire store, Twitter, and my blog for updates on newly listed jewelry and other items. Who knows, perhaps for a future giveaway I will offer a special set for the occasion.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Just Listed Some New Dog Collar Charms

          In between my down time from stitching I have been making some more Pet Collar Charms. Keep check back on my ArtFire store for more newly added Charms.

          Ever since I learned how to wire wrap I have been having such a great time making my Dog Jewelry. I have been refining my skills and scouring the internet for new techniques to learn. Some of the new techniques I have learned came from some super talented artists on ArtFire. And of course catinalife has helped me the most. She is just the kindest person and the most incredible craftswoman.

          In the beginning I had a limited amount of supplies but since then it has been slowly growing. Every time I am on the computer or at a bead supply store I have been keeping my eye out for special supplies. I don't really plan in advance what I want to make, although there are sometimes I do. I like to look at my beads and findings and let them "speak" to me. Often times I will sit down with all my beading supplies surrounding me and I will look for that one focal piece. I will then lay it out before me and contemplate for a little while while I envision what the piece "wants" to be.

          I still have a few more supply orders to place before I sit down and start making more Doggie Bling. Although I will have to admit I was getting itchy fingers the last two days so I made three new pieces. Unfortunately for you they wont be released until later. Don't be to sad, at least I am listing 10 NEW Dog Charms now. (Keep check back at my store to see when they all have been finished being posted.)

          Before I end this post I want to give you a little teaser of what I will be listing very soon. Well, I have been wanting to do something special with my Dog Collar Charms. I will leave you with one word.............Sets.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New design - introducing the Leonberger

          That is right, it has been a while since the last time I added a new breed. Most recently I have added new colors to breeds I already have and I have even redid a few older pattens. So I think it is about time for a new breed and here it is the Leonberger.

          One of my more recent repeat buyers asked me about making the Leonberger. Of course I am always very happy to accommodate requests but I was excited to be working on this particular breed. I keep a growing list of breeds and colors that I would like to make. I am hoping someday to have all the breeds and colors done but in the meantime I have my list. The Leonberger just happened to be one of the breeds at the top of my to-do list. I just love the rich colors of this breed's coat, so beautiful.

          The size of the Leonberger is 3 5/8" x 5" or 9.20 x 12.7 cm. I currently have the single side crate tag listed on ArtFire and very soon I will get the ornament listed as well. Any time you are looking for a breed, item, color, etc please contact me if you don't find what you are looking for. It could be I just don't have it listed as of yet.

          If there is a dog breed or color that I don't have that you would like to see me carry please leave me a comment below. I always enjoy hearing input from other dog lovers. Are you having a hard time finding a "hard to find" color for your favorite breed? I would love to be the one place to offer that color. So speak up and tell me about it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Starved Rock Trip

          Well yesterday I went on a much needed one day vacation to Starved Rock. Wow, the last time I believe I was there was back in grade school. A lot of things had changed since then (I am referring to the place and myself).

          It is not a place for those who can not get up and down many stairs, with many being steep and some with a rather long drop. There are not very many flat surfaces most of it is a lot of up and down with sandy path ways that are riddled with tree roots. Even though stairs are used they are not used throughout. The terrain and tree roots have made faux stairs that only people who are agile can negotiate.

         The injury I sustained to both my knees years ago gave me some issues with the obstacles but I was able to manage, although not gracefully I am sad to report.

          Surprisingly the problem I did have that proved to be the hardest and most scary for me was making it back up all the man-made steep stairs back to the top. I am very embarrassed to say I am not as fit as I was back in my twenties. My heart was beating very fast and hard, every few steps I would have to stop and rest a bit. If it wasn't for those dang stairs I could have kept on going. My dog Fussy she came with us and she to had a problem getting back up the stairs as well.

          Despite having problems getting back out of the trail we did have a very good time and the views were beautiful. Little squirrels and chipmunks where scurrying every where throughout the forest and acorns and leafs rained down from above. I don't have any idea how we made it out without being hit by any of the falling acorns. A few times they rained down so heavy and hard I knew that if we got hit by one of these tiny missiles it was going to leave a bruise. Some of the path was where made up of wood planks and when the acorns would hit they exploded with bits of acorn shrapnel.

          Fussy (she is that little speck in the picture above) she had a great time. She hadn't the faintest idea where we were or where we were going but she was determined to lead. She pulled the whole way with a huge smile on her muzzle. Even when she was getting tired she was determined to keep on truckin'. We had to keep her in check because she was just so delirious with excitement she would have just tumbled right off a drop offs. As it was she kept tripping an falling over when ever she wasn't paying attention or stealing a peek back at us. (Don't worry she never got hurt, if she had we would have stopped immediately and gotten her out.)

          At one point we stopped at one of the maps to see where we were and to figure out which fork in the road we should take. After we figured out which way to go we started up the stairs then we came to another fork and neither one of us could remember which path we needed so I waited with Fussy while my sister ran back to the map.

          As I am wait Fussy decides she is tired of waited for us and figures she need to make decision. So she picked the stairs and stared up before I could stop her. From down by the map my sister yells up that we need to head right. I look over at Fussy and tell her "Sorry sweetie you picked the wrong path, come on down." Fussy was insistent that the direction she picked was correct. After a bit of coxing I had her come back down and off we went on the right hand path.

            We reached a flight of stairs headed down. My sister and Fussy reach the bottom and my sister turns to me (I am still half way up the staircase) and she tells me that it is a dead end. Fussy was right, we took the wrong path. So I tell Fussy to come back up the stairs however she was really insistent that she needed to keep going down this wrong path. No matter what we did she wouldn't listen. So we gave up and followed her. She was right again! Poor thing, she needed to take a potty break. LOL! Dogs must get so frustrated trying to communicate with us humans.

          Where we ended up was the only place that had a muddy ground with a tiny stagnant stream. Up until this point Fussy with here long Springer coat had stayed fairly clean. She mostly had seeds, leafs, and bits of twigs in her coat. Just by her walking on the muddy ground her feet were black and then she started falling over. Plop! Right in the mud. We walked over to the stream and sure enough, PLOP! Fussy fell in, luckily it was only a few inches deep. After she collected her self you could see the little light bulb go off in her head. Water! Before we could stop her she took a swig out to the stream. We both screamed, "No!" Well needless to say we broke out the water bottles and dish for her to drink out of.

          I wish I could have taken more photos but between enjoying the scenery and keeping the deliriously happy Fussy in check I didn't have the time. Besides most of landscape wouldn't have translated very well into a photo.

         Today me and Fussy are still pooped, I know my mussels are very sore and from the looks of her she is to. I guess it is pain pills for the two of us for a while. All in all it was a good day and a great change of pace for the both of us.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

NEW colors for Wirehaired Dachshund & Bernese Mountain Dog

My new color for the Dachshund Wirehaired.

         I was wondering when I would finally get the time to post these new colors for you to see. Wow this whole month I have been so super busy filling orders. Not that I am complaining mind you, but it sure is nice to have a break every now and then. I did have a small bit of down time this week before my next big order showed up today. Well without further ado let the unveiling being!

          The photo above is my newly added color for the Dachshund Wirehaired. I have had this color on the back burner for longer then I had wanted. A long time back I had stitched this color but at the time it didn't come out the way I had wanted. One thing lead to another and I just couldn't find the time to get back to it to redo it. Last month I had an eBay customer ask about this color and so it was time for me to revisit this color.

          I have to admit I had to sketch and stitch this color at least 2 times before I was satisfied with it's current look. Some times what looks perfect in your minds eye doesn't necessarily translate well into a stitched piece. This color may have taken a long time to get here but as the saying goes "Good things comes to those who wait".

Bernese Mountain Dog's Improved color.

          When I first stitched the Bernese Mountain Dog many of the yarns I use today were not available. I had to use a yarn color that was darker then I had wanted to use. In August of this year I had some free time and I started stitching crate tags that I needed to have their photos redone. I thought now was a good time to switch out the darker yarn in my Bernese pattern for a lighter color, and that is just what I did.

          I will be retiring the old color but in the meantime it is still available for purchase. I realize that many dog breeds come in varying shades of any one color, so if I find that Bernese Mountain Dog lovers are interested in having the old color stay I will keep it. If you have an opinion about it please leave a comment below. Thanks!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Veggiebite Dog Treat Recipe

31 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup diced celery
7 cup diced red bell peppers (optional)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
13 cups water
1 clove minced garlic*
3 tablespoons corn oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix water and oil. Add flour, cornmeal, vegetables, garlic, and sunflower seeds. Knead dough for 2-3 minutes and roll to 3 thick. Cut dough into shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 21 dozen.

* 1 teaspoon garlic powder may be substituted for minced garlic.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cryptozoology, real life can be stranger then fiction

          I know what many of you are saying "What the heck is cryptozoology?" This definition will should help explain.

Cryptozoology: from Greek kruptos "hidden" and zoology; which literally means "study of hidden animals".

          Cryptids are basically any animal not yet accepted by the scientific world to currently exist. A cryptid can be anything from animals that were thought to have been extinct, animals known only to residents of the area (such as the okapi), mythology creatures, and of course your good old fashioned hoaxes.

          I think that cryptozoology some times gets a bad rap which I find to be a shame. Many of the animals we now know today were once unknown to science. If it wasn't for inhabitants telling scientists about the "strange" animals that they have seen, in many cases known to them for many generations, how many countless animals would still be unknown. Also, don't think for a moment that there are no more animals left in the world to find becuase new animals are being found all the time. If you don't believe me just do a google search or check out the newly discovered monkey and bird found in the Americas.

          I believe it is always a good idea not to ever be neither to open or closed minded. Don't just take other's word for things, do you own research come to your own conclusions. But on the same token don't just dismiss something completely because you haven't experienced it yourself. Science is for ever discovering new things that sometimes even changes long excepted ideas. Sometimes real life turns out to be much stranger then fiction.

          Here are some links that found that I would like to share with you.

          Do you have a "strange" animal story, photo, video, or favorite link that you would like to share please post it in the comments section below.

          Whether fake or real, new to science or once thought to be extincted cryptids are a fascinating subject that will continue to intrigue. Keep your camera with you at all times because who knows you may discover something unexpected.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Have YOU been to the Field Museum lately?

          Yup! I sure have been to see the Field Museum in Chicago Illinois yesterday and have a really great time. It is one of my favorite museums to visit and the view is spectacular.

          I had originally wanted to get there as soon as the place opened but fate sometimes likes to toy with you. Of all the times for the cars computer to go screwy, who's bright idea was it anyway to put a computer brain in a car. I would like to thank them with a big kick to the shin. Because of it our local mechanic can work on it it has to go to a dealership for that kind of repair, which you know isn't going to be cheap. So after a call to relative and AAA I was back on track to the museum. My mother went with the car and I headed to the Field. (Luckily mom was only going to be dropping me off at the museum anyway.)

          My next obstacle was road construction which funneled the traffic down to a stop and go crawl. Now I was getting closer and I could see the museum in the distance. Wait I think I hear something...sure enough sirens. It turns out to be police cars and one comes flying into our intersection whips around an drives onto the walk way. She jumps out and runs over to direct traffic. She drains all the incoming cars on the road we are waiting to turn onto. What is odd the cars just keep coming and coming. I thought if the cops were trying to block off a road and remove the cars at some point the street should run out of cars, but it didn't. An ambulance comes racing up from behind us on the wrong side of the road and turns down the street we are waiting to turn onto and parks not to far from the corner.

          Finally the cop she tells our lane to turn. The bus in front of us turns and we follow. We drive pasted the parked ambulance not doing anything with no injured person in sight. As we drive down the road we see the next street that we need to turn onto blocked with cops, ambulances, and firetrucks. Why on Earth the cop told our turn lane to turn onto this road is beyond me because the road we turned onto can only turn right (which will take us away from the museum) or left (which was blocked by an accident). From where we were you couldn't see what the accident was but I pray that if someone was injured that they were going to be alright. We did hit a bit of luck, before we got to the end of the road another cop stopped us and had us make a u-turn. We were now headed back into the correct direction and was smooth sailing to the Field.

          I was dropped off across the street from one of the museum's doors and off I went. Barely a line to wait in with a comfortable amount of people roaming about the museum. It was very pleasant as we strolled around the exhibits and taking pictures. (My digital photographic ablitys leave much to be desired.) Any time I go to the Field I make sure that I bring my back pack, camera, extra batteries, lunch, snacks, and water. A backpack is the best way to carry around anything and after all the walking you will definitely need to take a break for something to eat.

          I hope you enjoy peeking at some of the pics I took and I hope it inspires you to go to the Field. When you do go I encourage you not to just zoom by looking at everything becuase if you do you will really miss out on some very intresting information. So stop and take the time to read the plaques, learn, and have fun.

Ya gotta love this face!

          Some of the displays are just so massive you can't but help feel very small. I wish my pictures of the on that takes up a full wall turned out good for you to see, it truly is something to see.

I love this display, it a much bigger then my pic shows.

          What is great about the Field Museum is you can see many animals that you usually don't see on the TV documentaries. Which I think is a real shame and makes me wonder if there isn't someone some where studying these animals.

Dire wolf skulls
          From animals of the present and past to different human cultures, rocks and precious stones, and plants is what you will find at the Field.

You can really see why predators have a hard time picking an individual out.

The man eater of Mfuwe.

The famous man eaters of Tsavo These are the lions the movie The Ghost and the Darkness were based on.