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.