Posts tagged ‘dogs’
I took a moment to check on Penny this morning because the house seemed too quiet. Dangerously quiet, apparently. When I peered into her crate, this is what I saw.
She had snatched a knife from the sink and was chewing on the handle cluelessly until I intervened. Or, perhaps she is smarter than I thought, and was planning to take me on a trip to Petco at knifepoint?
Disclaimer: No dogs (or humans) were harmed in the production of this post.
The weather has gotten chilly, but my puppy has found a way to warm up. She goes into her crate in the kitchen, grabs her fuzzy blanket in her mouth, drags it into the living room and drops it in front of the fire. Then she cuddles up in the blanket and watches the fire!
Hope you’re keeping comfy and cozy too!
Remember Shrinky Dinks? I remember coloring those plastic sheets as a kid, cutting out the characters and baking them until they’d turned into little plastic toys. I can’t remember exactly which ones I had, but they were probably Smurfs or Strawberry Shortcake or something along those lines. By today’s standards these toys might seem a bit dull. But to me, they were thrilling.
These days, you can buy blank sheets of the plastic and design your Shrinky Dinks yourself. I’d been thinking of playing around with Shrinky Dinks for a while now, and our puppy needed a new ID tag, so it seemed like the perfect chance to try them out. I started with shrink film by Grafix, which I bought at the craft store. (Next time I’m going to see if the flat portion of a plastic takeout container will work just as well, which would be a great way to upcycle it.) Using sharpies, I drew a penny (three inches in diameter) and added Penny’s name and our phone number.
Then I cut out the circle and used a hole punch near the top edge. I put it on a cookie sheet between two pieces of parchment paper and baked at 350 degrees for three minutes. While baking, the plastic curls up and then flattens down again. It should be mostly flat by the time you take it out of the oven. If it’s slightly curved when you take it out of the oven, you can flatten it with a spatula. After the tag cooled, I coated it with Modge Podge to seal in the color.
Ta-dah! Now Penny is stylin’ with her own custom dog tag.
This was just as much fun as I remember. I’m looking forward to experimenting with other projects using shrinky film. It’s so quick and easy! I’m thinking about making magnets, wine charms, quilting pins, and custom eyes and noses for softies. More shrinky projects to come!
Last weekend I made a quilted picnic blanket. My last project, this baby quilt, reminded me how much I enjoy the process of designing a quilt. Its tiny size, however, made me forget how much more time-consuming making larger quilts can be. Even this project, which is relatively small at about 62 inches by 62 inches and is relatively simple in design, was a lot of work! Of course, as is usually the case, I started out with a somewhat simpler plan and decided to get a little more elaborate as I went along. I worked most of the kinks out this time though, and I’m sure it will go much faster next time I make one of these.
You know you have a substantial fabric stash when you’re able to put together a quilt like this one with coordinating fabrics without going to the store! Most of these fabrics were left over from old projects, and a couple were fabrics I bought without knowing what I’d do with them (which I’m trying to stop doing, now that the cabinet I keep my stash in is full, but that’s another story.)
Here’s the plan I drew up:
I made the center out of small squares, about 8 inches, in a 4 by 4 pattern. Then I did a border of the larger squares, which were 16 inches.
If you want to attempt this pattern, I recommend cutting the small squares a bit larger, say 8.5 or 9 inches, sewing four of them together to form a larger square, and then cutting the large square to 16 inches. Then everything will line up better. I learned this (as usual) the hard way. The problem arises because four 8-inch squares sewn together are not exactly 16 by 16… they are somewhat smaller because of the seam allowance! I tried to fix the problem by using double the seam allowance when I sewed the larger squares together. What I would do next time is make a 16 inch cardboard square and cut a circular hole directly in the center of it. Then I would use that hole to center my large square (made from four small squares) and then cut it to exactly 16 inches. Then the large squares and the small squares would line up perfectly.
For the back, I trimmed the selvedges off of a piece of fabric that was 45 inches wide. I needed to add about 20 inches of width so I cut 8 squares using a legal-size FedEx envelope, which was 10 inches by 16 inches, as a template. (Shhh, don’t tell FedEx I misappropriated one of their envelopes, they get rather upset about this kind of thing.)
I added triangular corner pockets to the back side of the quilt, to put rocks into for holding the blanket down. I got the idea from this tutorial, which was my starting point in designing this quilt. (Of course, I had to make things more complicated.) I recommend checking out that tutorial for much more detailed instructions than I have written here, and very helpful photos.
I thought about adding ribbon ties to the center of one side so that the blanket could be folded into thirds, rolled up, and tied together neatly for travel. I would probably make the ties from double-fold bias strips from a coordinating fabric, or possibly from twill tape. I didn’t add them though, because I thought they might be bothersome when the blanket was being used for other things, like cuddling up on the couch on a chilly night. (Did you ever use a sleeping bag as a comforter and wake up with those darn ties stuck to your face, or is it just me?) I’d love some input on this idea, and maybe I’ll try it next time.
At the last minute, I decided to quilt the layers together, rather than hand-tie them. I really love that quilted look, although even when quilting by machine it is time-consuming to make sure all the layers are laying flat as you sew them. I think I need to buy a walking foot. Maybe that will make this part of the process easier. Or maybe I will just hand-tie next time. Does anyone have an opinion on whether either method is preferable for a picnic blanket?
Forgive the blanket for looking a bit rumpled in the photos. That’s what happens when you roll around on a pretty picnic blanket with your puppy.
I haven’t written much here lately because I’ve been busy chasing a puppy around. We adopted our new puppy, Penny, three weeks ago today from the Northeast Animal Shelter, and at this stage she’s more into chewing monitor cords than blogging. Even though I didn’t post much this month, I had more hits than ever thanks to this post at Tipnut.com, which included one of my aprons in a round-up of internet tutorials. Check out Tipnut if you haven’t, it’s full of handy information.
Penny is something of a mystery mutt, but we think she’s part beagle and maybe some other type of hound, maybe with some pointer mixed in for good measure. Whatever she is, she’s darling. Three weeks in and at about four months of age, she’s well on her way to being house-trained, she’s sleeping the night in her crate without barking or crying (for the most part), and she has learned to sit, stay, and lie down (and she’ll perform each of them on command if she’s not distracted by something exciting or delicious.)
I wanted a picture of her to add to this post, so I attempted Penny’s first photo shoot. The best photo is cute, but the outtakes tell the real story.
Here’s the money shot:
And here are the outtakes, accompanied by my anthropomorphic commentary:
You think I’m just gonna sit here while you’re holding that tasty Milk Bone in the air?
Not a chance, chump.
This is so lame.
None of my friends even read your stupid blog anyway.
Okay, okay, I’m ready for my close-up.
Enough already! I don’t know about you, but this puppy is pooped.