Showing posts with label felting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label felting. Show all posts

June 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Are You Going to Our County Fair...

Okay, sing along with me, to the tune of Simon & Garfunkle's Scarborough Fair

Are you going to our County Fair? Bunnies, dogs, a hydrant of wool....
Yep, my sis and I are not only going to the fair, but we entered lovingly hand-crafted bunnies and dogs for the Home & Hobby competitive exhibits. Specifically, we entered "sets" in the needle-felting division. (Oh, no wait - technically it's the needle-felting class, which is within the overarching "Felting" division, which is within the "Needle & Textile Arts" category.) Whatever it is - we want to win.

I've been wanting to enter something for years, and this year we are finally doing it. They wouldn't let us enter together - except for quilts, only one person's name can be on an entry - so we decided to each enter an item (even though we made both of them together). My sis entered our tableau of bunnies: (click on any pics if you want to see them bigger)

August 3, 2012

Catching Up: Winnings, Hedgehogs & Mini Cover Models

So much to catch up on in this post! But it's mostly pictures...

More Goodies for Rita
Last time, I posted about the winner for my giveaway (Baba HooHoo!) but Rita's winnings also continue to come in! Remember all the stuff we won during K9 Kamp? Well, this week we got two more items. First, Rita got some stuffed squeaky bones from Flint & Lars
"I love mail!"
Not just one; not just two...
...but THREE squeaky bones. So spoiled!
Then she got her Dog Cookies book from Hubble and Hattie
The hub's reaction was "wow, some of these look really good!"

These we didn't win (I actually paid for something for Rita for once!) but to celebrate Abby's third birthday, Rita got a bag of hedgehogs:
"It says here these are wheat and gluten free. Interesting..."
"I'm goin' in!"

He's a little dirty - she ran outside with him, afraid I'd steal him!
Looks like she's checking out his (nonexistent) hedgehog naughty-bits in this photo.
In addition to her new toys and treats, Rita has a new friend. The hubs has (luckily) been getting home at a more reasonable time all week, so we've been going on a 20 minute walk most nights to a little park by the ocean where pups and their humans gather. The pups meet to play, the humans to watch the sunset. Rita's new little friend is named Bee. Rita loves Bee! 

Teeth, claws, and blurry-quick movements to the contrary, Rita does actually play really nicely with Bee:
Bee is a tiny thing & she often hides between anyone's legs.
And they both share their water nicely - even with other random pups:
"No, no, after you!"

A Mini Cover Model
In needle-felting news, my sis and I felted a Charley - the cover model from my book! I was worried we wouldn't do him justice since Charley is so handsome, but I think he came out cute. 

Real Charley & Mini Charley
Mini Charley & Mini Abby, Charley's Angel
Book-related News
I've had several reviews, interviews, posts, etc. lately. Here's a list if you want to check any of them out (most of you have already seen these since I posted them on Facebook/Twitter):
  1. A wonderful review on My Tail Hurts from Wagging So Much. (I made her stay up too late.) :)
  2. I was the featured "Writer of the Week" on
  3. I got to answer fun questions on Coffee with a Canine (have a look if you want to know the one thing I would ask Rita if she could answer a single question in English).
  4. I got my first blurb! A "blurb" is when a published author gives a lovely little sound-bite for your book. The wonderful Elsa Watson, author of Dog Days, called my book a "a cheer-me-up read, the story of a smart woman putting her life back together. Maggie is the character women have been waiting for - she's clever, funny, and REAL." So, that immediately went up on my Amazon page for the book! Hooray, and thanks again to Elsa!
You'd think with all this good book news, sales would be a little better, but - not gonna lie - they haven't been great. They've been just OK. Nothing you could live on... unless, maybe you were a pet hamster. A pet hamster could probably live pretty comfortably on the proceeds - could maybe even be like the Kardashians of hamsterdom - but that's about it. Anyway, hoping for some momentum to build, but in the meantime, it's nice to hear from folks that they've enjoyed the book. 

If you want to make an author's day - send them an email telling them how much you liked their book!

April 11, 2012

Hoppy Belated Easter

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter. We didn't do a whole lot, but we did take Rita down to Fiesta Island, which is nice at this time of year when all the daisies are blooming. We tried to recreate the famous Abby lifeguard photo, but Rita wasn't playing along. She was willing to sit next to the lifeguard stand for treats, but wouldn't strike that "lifeguard at the ready pose" that Abby had. (I included the old Abby picture at the bottom, just cuz it's a classic...)
One of the MANY dogs she played with Sunday
Rita loves Fiesta Island and tries to play with every single dog. A lot of people are shocked when their dogs play with her and will say, "My dog never plays with other dogs," which is causing her to start to be well known there. On Tuesday when we went back, I heard a woman yell, "There's Rita!" which was kind of fun as it reminded me of how people would recognize Abby and call out her name. (They never recognize me. It's funny how folks that loved Abby have no idea who I am. But I'm the same - I mostly just know the dogs and the dogs' names!)

We saw three tripawds on Easter Sunday, which was pretty special--and which really made it a hoppy Easter. Unfortunately I was not quick enough to get photos, and they were all heading opposite directions or were too far away so we didn't even get a chance to talk to any of them.

In other Eastery news, my sis and I took a break from felting little wooly pups to felt little wooly bunnies, complete with nests full of colored eggs. It was fun to use some bright colors for a change! We might try doing some birds at some point, just to have fun with some of our colored wool.

Happy Spring everyone!

April 4, 2012

What the Dog Ate - Nonfiction Version

With my book, What the Dog Ate, now available, I thought I'd do a post on dogs and their real life eating adventures. If you've been following, you know Rita recently ate a bird. (In fact, all our dogs wrapped their lips around birds at one point or another.) Well, then just the other day, I brought home a new bag of dog food and dumped it in the big plastic storage bin. I got distracted (oh, something shiny!) and walked off, not realizing I hadn't put the lid on. I'm sure you can see where this is going... but luckily I found Rita with her head in the bin before she had a chance to blow up like the Goodyear blimp. (Like our beagle, Bailey, did once when she let herself into the closet where her food bag was not-so-well-hidden when we didn't come home by her 5.30 dinner time!)

My friend sent Tastykakes! Luckily Rita did NOT eat them.
Rita is actually pretty good about not eating things she shouldn't (well, other than that bird, and there was also a dead gopher incident at the beach). We were a little worried about what she might eat/destroy since her foster mom told us Rita ate an arm chair at her house. (!) Luckily, we've never had a dog that would eat everything that isn't nailed down - but then we've never owned a Lab, like Kona, the dog in my book. Bailey did chew the corner of a coffee table once as a puppy, and Abby tried to work her way through our speaker wire, but other than that we haven't had too many losses to the pups.

A while back on the Tripawds' community site, someone started a topic about "things your dog has eaten with no ill effect." I had nuthin' even close to comparing with what some folks posted. For your enjoyment, here's a partial list. (Remember, these are all with "no ill effects" as the dog either threw up later or things went right on through, so no pups were harmed in the making of this post.)  
  • Raccoon paw
  • Road flair
  • A bunch of dog treats (no big deal, right?) along with the knit Christmas stocking they were in!
  • Typewriter keys
  • A zipper (What would even possess a pup to want to eat a zipper?)
  • Barbie doll legs
  • Tea lights
  • Diapers (Yes. Plural.)
Helpful tip: Did you know if your pup swallows something bad you can give him a teaspoon (or tablespoon if you have a large dog) of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting? I learned this handy trick from Charley's mom. Charley is my gorgeous cover model, and his mom used this trick to get him to "return" a sock he'd stolen. Read more about how to do it here. Remember, though, in an emergency, call the vet first!

In other What the Dog Ate news - things are going pretty well with book sales. I'm working on getting some book review sites to read it as reviews are a big deal for helping sell books! I've also been working on my web site and will let you know when it's 100% ready to reveal.While working on some marketing ideas for the book, I came across a blog of the same title! It's written by Donna (Hi Donna!), a wife, mother and fellow Californian/dog-pawrent and it features lots of yummy recipes (for humans, not dogs). Check it out, but I don't recommend looking at it while you're hungry as the pictures are drool-worthy. (Personally, I'm thinking of trying the eclairs recipe.... although I should probably be combing the vegetable ones for ideas....)

Finally in some non-eating related news, we felted another little woolen pup. This time it was Tri-pug, Maggie:

Maggie's mom, Karen, was the one that made me the hysterical "lung mints" video. She was very supportive during our journey with Abby's cancer and even though we never got to "meet" Maggie, we love her spirit, which Karen keeps alive on the Tripawds site.

Feel free to share any odd things your dog has eaten in the comments. Thanks for reading!

March 22, 2012

Canine-related Creative Endeavors

As you know from previous pics I've posted of our felted wool creations, we generally like to felt dogs, such as Casanova, pictured here in his "gladiator suit":

In fact, here is our latest project: spirit Gayle, a beautiful, inspirational Tripawd who was "sister" to my friend Charon. We miss you, Gayle! As Charon said, we know Gayle and Abby are together having a great time at the bridge, gossiping over margaritas.

In other endeavors, when I draw, I generally like to draw dogs, like Lou or Abby.

The other day, I even made a sculpture out of dogs. (My Facebook friend, who is a creativity muse, posted a challenge to quickly craft a "sculpture" from things around the house.)
"Plethora of Pups Pyramid"

And when I write, well, I don't always write about dogs, but I do include them in my stories quite often. Which brings me to my big news (which most of you already know), that I e-published my book, What the Dog Ate, this week! It's available via these links on Amazon and Smashwords.

I'm very excited about the book finally getting out to readers. That is my friend Ellen's tripawd Charley on the cover. Isn't he handsome??

Now, just so you don't think I am a crazy dog-obsessed lady, I also like margaritas and professional cycling, and neither of those things involve dogs. (Although those things aren't "creative endeavors"... well, unless you feel more creative after a couple of margs...)

Of course, having said that, I remember several times when dogs have been involved with the Tour de France, such as this instance below. It's usually not pretty when a dog gets involved--at least for the rider who goes down--but this time wasn't too bad:

That led me to wondering about dogs and margaritas and a little search turned up this:
Yep, it's the Bark-a-rita dog food bowl...
Rest assured that I am not ordering one of those for our own little 'Rita! But I hope you will consider ordering What the Dog Ate -- it costs less than a box of dog biscuits!

February 24, 2012

Three Little Birds

You might recognize the title of this post as a cheery Bob Marley song in which the titular (isn't that a funny word?) birds on his doorstep sing sweet songs and tell him not to worry, "cuz every little thing's gonna be all right."

Sadly, the three little birds I'm thinking of didn't do so well on my doorstep - or not in our backyard anyway. Every little thing was not all right. In fact, every little birdy thing was most definitely B*A*D.

First, a few years ago, there was the teenage-looking (all skinny and dorky) mourning dove that Bailey pounced on when it tried to leave the nest. (Mike had to put it in a bag and bop it one to put it out of it's misery, poor thing! And by that, I mean poor Mike, cuz he was very traumatized by the experience, what with being known as Mike of Assisi after all... Maybe not so much after me telling that story.) The mourning doves were aptly named that day.

Then, last year, there was the little birdie of some sort that Abby plucked out of a bush in our yard and promptly ate--feet, beak, feathers and all. (Amazingly, she suffered no ill side effects!) A bird in the bush may be worth half a bird in the hand (right? cuz a bird in the hand equals two in the bush...), but a bird in the mouth trumps all!

Finally, we come to this morning, when a sparrow made the mistake of flying in our slightly open sliding glass door. I was brushing my teeth when I heard a commotion in motion in our sunroom. The bird zoomed across the sunroom, with Rita in hot pursuit and smacked right into the far window. Stunned, it fell to the floor, and she pounced on it. I was trying to yell, "Leave it!", but that's not easy when your mouth is full of toothpaste! Rita tried to bring it to me. (Um, no thank you!) so I pointed outside and she took it out in the backyard where she tossed it around like a hackysack. Luckily it was an ex-bird by then! I was afraid she'd eat it, but she dug a hole and buried it. Nice of her to give it a proper burial. (Unfortunately, I had the fun task of beating her back out to the hole when we got home from Fiesta Island and digging up and disposing of the bird before she could toss it around some more!)

Today I also took Rita with me to PetSmart. She loves to go in there and look at all the colorful little song birds hopping around in their glass enclosures in the center of the store. She was sitting there, staring at them, fascinated, when she leapt straight up in the air about three feet - about to the same height as the little birdies on their perch. Luckily the glass kept the birdies safe, although they did look concerned. We got out of there after that because I didn't want to find out if PetSmart has a "you eat it, you buy it" policy.

It's a dog eat bird world out there.

Since no post is complete without a photo, here's a pic John took of Rita last week when she met up with Bernie bin Laden and Linda. She LOVES to ride with her head out the window. (We need to teach her to wear Abby's old doggles.)

And here's our latest felting endeavor - a little wooly Cass in his "gladiator suit":


February 7, 2012

It's Official! (& A Commercial)

She's Ours! 
On Saturday we had our "home inspection" to make sure we are suitable pawrents for Rita. It was fairly intense - full-on white glove inspection while we stood at attention (even Rita). Somehow we managed to pass and now Rita is ours, all ours!

To celebrate, she got a Frosty Paw.
Not sure if this is pure rapture, or just the sun in her eyes...
...Got her some sunglasses in case it was the latter.

She also got a few kale chips*, which (amazingly) were also a hit!

We are still getting to know our girl. She's so sweet! She really is amazingly good - we've had no destruction, no accidents (other than Day 1 when she was, I'm sure, still a little confused about what was going on), and she likes to sleep in with us on the weekends. This makes us very very very very very very happy. I'm pretty sure most puppies are not sleeper-inners, so we are happy to get one who is!

She is not much of a kisser, like Bailey and Abby both were, but she does enjoy her some tummy rubs!
Does this little slut puppy remind you of anyone?

Seeing Abby During Super Bowl
We heard from many people who mentioned seeing a dog that looked a lot like Abby in a Chevy commercial aired during the Super Bowl. We saw it too - and I was even working on my Abby scrapbook (my sis made me a gorgeous scrapbook with pics of Abby plus space to add extra photos) when we saw it. Maybe you saw it as well? It was the Mayan Apocalypse commercial. If not, you can view it here.

"Abby" appears at exactly 19 seconds in and then again briefly at 31 seconds. So cute! She's even riding in the same spot where she used to ride in my car. (Although I, alas, drive a Ford, so will not be surviving the apocalypse - but that's cool.) I think she put on a couple of pounds, eating Twinkies on set between takes. I've since seen "her" again in an Oscar Mayer turkey lunchmeat ad.

The Latest in Wooly Dogs
In "felting" news, the most recent pup that Terry and I attempted to recreate in wool is Chili Dawg. Chili Dawg is a Tripawd who, sadly, earned his wings several months ago. He was such a gorgeous boy, it was hard to do him justice, but the wooly version came out pretty cute in the end. 
Abby sneaks a kiss...


Isn't Chili Dawg one of the best names ever for a dog? Especially a red dog??

* Kale chips (don't turn your nose up! You know who you are...Kath) are easy to make and (in my opinion) one of the tastiest ways to eat kale. (I don't really like kale, but it's good for me. The other tasty way to eat it is blended up to where it is indistinguishable in a smoothy. I highly recommend chocolate-cherry-kale smoothies!) To make kale chips, all you do is: tear the kale up into bite size pieces, toss it in a bit of olive oil, lay it out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, and cook for ~10 min (maybe a little more) at 350 degrees. Yum. Salty, crunchy. Nutritious & delicious.

November 29, 2011

13 Months & Hoping for Good Luck

Today is Abby's hopefully LUCKY ampuversary #13! So far we haven't done too much to celebrate, as she is still having some lameness in her front leg.

In my last post I mentioned we went to see Dr. V. last week fearing the cancer had spread, but she was vastly improved by the time we got to the office and it seemed like it was just an overuse injury. Well, Tues and Wed last week we went on our little approved 10 minute walks and she seemed to be doing really well. But then Thanksgiving morning she was lame again (because these things ALWAYS happen on a holiday or weekend). At first I was afraid it was a bad reaction to the new pills we'd started (the Masitinib), but we went through the whole long weekend keeping her off the pills and she is still hobbling around - which isn't super easy on only 3 legs.

So, at this point it's either just a nagging injury, or the cancer has in fact spread. We are going for an X-ray tomorrow at 12.30 and then we'll know for sure. Please keep a good thought - or poke a cancer voodoo doll - for our girl. On the plus side: she still has a good appetite (in fact, when we went for the office visit last week she was the heaviest she's been since her amp - over 48lbs! Although their scale is a bit wonky, so not 100% sure that's right...); she gets up and goes outside to do her biz on her own; she still wants to play with me now and then and will go to her basket and pick out a toy; and she follows me into the kitchen after dinner at night to "help" with the clean up.

This weekend, to cheer her up, I got out the remaining Barney. You may recall that when we ordered Abby her very own Barney to kill, the nice folks threw in a spare "Beanie Barney" for free. I haven't really wanted to give him to her since he is full of beans (I mean that literally and not euphemistically), and I figured she'd destroy him, like she always does with her toys, and there'd be wee Barney beans everywhere. So far, though, she's been very gentle with him. When I first gave him to her, she got hold of his hand in her mouth and just hung out there with him like that for a while.

Yesterday I took her to the park to just get outside and enjoy some fresh air. She had a good time, but it was unfortunately short-lived as the Parks Dept. people showed up and started spraying pesticide. Nice.

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. Although I caught my bro's miserable cold, we had a nice Thanksgiving at his house eating way too much yummy food and playing with the "Santa Hat" app on my sister's iPhone:

In other news, we've been felting again. This time we made a Rio for one of my friends from
This was my first attempt at adding a mouth/tongue.
Such a good girl to not eat the mini-Rio!

I'll let you know what happens with the x-ray tomorrow. We are worried but trying not to freak out.

November 22, 2011

Abby Thanksgiving Everyone!

Boy, what an exhausting weekend. Abby gave us quite a scare starting Friday night when she tried to jump on our bed (like she does for a few minutes every night, before going off to her own bed) and almost didn't make it. I had to grab her and hoist her up. The next morning, she was having trouble walking. We had to carry her out to the living room and she kinda fell over into her bed. Then her back legs started shaking. I gave her a pain pill leftover from her surgery and she slept most of the day. We carried her when she needed to go out. Sunday she was still having trouble walking and her remaining front leg/paw looked a little swollen.

We considered taking her to the ER, but figured if the cancer had spread to her other leg, there wouldn't be much they could do for us anyway, so decided to just keep her quiet and resting as much as possible until we could get her in to see Dr. V. on Tuesday.

For the past three and a half days I've been chanting "overuse injury, overuse injury, overuse injury." It's weird when you HOPE that your dog has an injury - but when the alternative is the cancer has spread, you really do start to see things differently!

This morning she seemed a lot better and hopped in to her appointment like nothing was wrong. Dr. V. examined her and said it does indeed look like an overuse injury. We didn't do an x-ray, but he said the signs point to just an injury. He pushed on the bones around her wrist and she was fine – he said if it was the osteosarcoma spreading, even doing that would be painful for her. She only protested when he manipulated her wrist – so it looks like she tweaked it Friday night.

We have to keep an eye on her for a few more days and keep her a bit quiet and if she continues to improve, than it's all good. She is cleared for little 10 min walks in the neighborhood, but no beach and no vigorous play. We celebrated by meeting up with her daddy at the park across the street from his work and went for a little hop. She did great and seemed quite happy to be up and about again!!

We are also starting up the masitinib again. (I didn't give it to her over the weekend, just in case.) I gave her a 1/2 dose today and will continue that until Friday when we'll go to the full dose and see how she does.

We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday!!! Abby is thankful for turkey.
"This is for me, right?"

"Let me in there!"

We are going to my brother's house for Thanksgiving (and we can't wait because he is an awesome chef! I, on the other hand, am not. I've been assigned to bring things that we can't ruin: the booze and the relish plate. If there is a freak snow storm on the way there and we are stuck for days on the side of the road, we will have to survive on olives, pickles, Stone Brewery beer and wine. Luckily freak snow storms in San Diego are somewhat rare.) Anyway... whenever we don't host Thanksgiving, we like to have a small turkey of our own, because one of the best things about the holiday is the leftovers. So this year I ordered a smoked turkey. We've done this before and they are a wee bit salty eaten straight - but they make DELICIOUS leftovers. Mmmmm. I can't wait for smoked turkey chili! We already tore into it last night and had smoked turkey quesadillas for dinner.

In one other wee bit of news, my sis and I did some more felting - this time we attempted our first cat! We made a little Topi, my other sis's cat. Cats are hard! With their little pointy noses and their pointy ears and their superior attitude! We will probably stick to dogs from now on!
Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! May your turkeys be juicy, your pies plentiful, and your families functional!

August 25, 2011

I Love You, You Love Me...

Probably any of you out there with children of a certain age will recognize today's blog title as the first line of Barney's insipid number one hit (which is pretty lame for many reasons, but mainly because he ripped off the music from This Old Man. Come on, Barney! Write your own music, you loser!).

Having no children (at least of the non-furry variety) I never really knew the Barney song. But I know it intimately now. We got Abby her very own used Barney through Amazon and I would have ordered a different one if I'd realized they were sending us one that sings the whole of the I Love You song! Actually, I should say "sang" the I Love You song, because luckily Abby has already chewed on him enough that his music box is now just deadweight in his stomach.
Sadly, he's not as stinky.
"Mmmm. Barney tail."

She gave him the exact same tooth surgery as the last Barney. (Still not safe, Barney.)
"Could I have that back, please?" (Abby was impatient with my photo-shooting.)

He actually came with an extra "Beanie" Barney that they threw in for free. (Guess there's not a lot of demand for Barney, so they can give him away... Those people probably bought that Beanie Barney back in the heyday of both Barney and Beanies, which according to wikipedia was ~1993 for both, thinking "Man, this is going to be worth something someday!") Anyway, the extra Barney is good for when she totally mangles the first one!
Whoohoo! Two-for-one Barneys!
Ever since she got Spirit Jerry's Barney in the mail--which was actually addressed to her--she now thinks that any package that arrives is hers. Mike got some sunglasses in the mail the other day, and she was all over it while he was opening the box:
"Is that for me??"

"I thought so!"

"I don't know who sent this, but it's awesome!"
I guess since she likes to chew the boxes, all the packages really are for her.

Anyway, back to Barney. If you are dying to know the whole Barney song, it goes like this (remember, to the tune of This Old Man): "I love you; you love me. We're a happy family, with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won't you say you love me too?"

Here is what Barney looks after just a few days of living with Abby.
I can see into your brain, Barney. And there ain't much there.
He no longer asks her if she loves him too. I think he has his answer.

Thanks for reading.

Oh, P.S. My sis and I felted some corgis today. Thought I'd show off how cute they came out!
P.P.S. I can now say where we sent the original Barney on to... He went to Chili Dawg in Illinois. You can read about Chili's adventures with Barney here (in Chili's words; quite amusing) and here (in Chili's mom's words). The second blog has some good pics of what all comes along in the box with Barney!