My So Called Crafty Life

Category Archives: Beau & Roux

Bad Dog Wisdom and Video Kitty Mugs, an Uncommon Goods Review

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Recently I was very lucky to have the chance to review a product from Uncommon Goods. I was ecstatic since this is one of my favorite catalog/websites! They always have really unique items, most of which are handmade by artisans all over the world. I also love their commitment to green design! I have bought things and been given things in the past from the catalog and have always loved everything! They have gifts for everyone on your list, and do a great job with gift guides like this one Here. I decided to review the mugs that I have had my eye on for some time, the Bad Dog Wisdom Mugs, and the Video Kitty Mugs.

15-risk and reward 16-risk and reward 2 17-assert1 18-assert2What always draws me into these wonderful mugs is that they so humorously depict the essence of my own pets! I can clearly see each of our dogs in these cute situations! My favorite mug of the Bad Dog wisdom is the “assess risk and reward.” Beau is notorious for stealing food right off of your plate if you aren’t paying attention. The “assert yourself” is Sadie through and through. She barks at every big dog that walks by at the dog park. She’s all rough and tumble when there’s a fence up but if we’re out of the park she’ll bark at a big dog and then high tail it between our feet to hide.

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14-sophieThe Video Kitty mugs remind me so much of our kitties too, and Roux’s book especially! The “refuses to be typecast” reminds me of Sophie and how she would squeeze herself into every bucket or box she could fit herself in, including a few of my handbags. “Ready for my closeup”could have been Roux on any day! Of course not only from the book we self published of him but just of how photogenic he was! It makes me think of how he would go sit and wait to be photographed on my mom’s backdrops in her studio. So many times I would have to go and get him when she would be using it to photograph clients since Roux thought he was supposed to be part of the picture.

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10-DSC_2014Our pets are such a large part of our lives! They make us better, happier, sweeter! I have to say I knew I would just love these mugs before I even received them just for the art alone. However, I was really impressed with the quality! The Bad Dog Wisdom mugs are diner style mugs and have a really nice solid feel in your hand! We also really loved the size of the Video Kitty Mugs! They weren’t quite as heavy but the size was bigger and holds a perfect amount of tea for me! I love dishes in particular, but my favorite type of products are ones that make me smile or fill me with a little sense of love when I see them or use them, and these mugs fit that bill perfectly!

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11-DSC_2011I think they would be wonderful to give as a gift to yourself, or for those you love! They would be great for animal lovers and coffee aficionados alike. To get your own set of these wonderful mugs visit the Uncommon Goods website Here to see fabulous personalized wonders and so much more. We all know Mother’s Day is coming up and there are plenty of Gifts for Mom too like these. Overall, Uncommon Goods is one of my favorite companies on the web, and I feel very privileged to be able to share this little review with you all today! I am very particular about products I will review on the blog here, and I have nothing but the highest praise for everything I have from Uncommon Goods, both things I have purchased or been gifted. I highly recommend them as a place to get amazing gifts!

I’ll be seeing you, little Roux…

e1e0ab72ae5eacb75051b3d731aef287Sorry for the radio silence around here this week friends, we experienced an incredible loss in our little family last week! For the past month and a half our little Roux has been struggling with cardiomyopathy. He has been on meds to keep his chest from filling with fluid, but a little over a week ago the medications just couldn’t keep bailing him out enough and we ended up having to put him down. It was the hardest decision that we have ever had to make, but we know it was the right decision for him.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Roux, he was the most brilliant amazing cat I have ever known! He was a wonderful model and my mom and I had so much fun with photographing him that we created and self published a kid’s book about him. You can see more about that here. It always amazed us how such a small cat could be larger than life in so many ways!

We don’t have children yet, so our pets are like our babies, our fur children. We have loved and lost some amazing cats in our lifetime. You never really stop missing them completely, you just get used to them not being physically present. We’ve always said Roux and Beau are my heart. This loss feels all the more sad since we weren’t ready to say goodbye. Roux was not quite ten. We’ve lost two amazing cats way before we felt it was their time. Some cats are just so fantastic, so wonderful, that they are like Mary Poppins in a way. They come into your life and make things better, teach you how to love a little deeper, teach you how to love life even more than you already do, and then when they feel like their job is done, they move on to another family, to fill another heart. My heart and my home feel quite empty at the moment, but I am filled with so much gratitude to have been able to spend the last nine years with my little bear!

Some of my favorite things about Roux were the little things that made his personality so cute. He was the happiest purringest cat ever. You could look at him and say his name and he would instantly start purring. He loved going to work with me every day and loved having his photo taken by my mom so much he would go sit on the backdrop in our studio and wait to be photographed. He had the most veracious appetite and although his favorite thing was turkey, he’d eat anything including watermelon, peaches, olives. Whatever I was eating, he wanted some. He loved stuffed animals and would play fetch with his stuffed puppy. He was prissy and so talkative. He loved to perch on the skinniest part of my sisters leg. He purred all the time and he was like a velcro cat. Always wanted to be with you. If he couldn’t be on my lap when I was sewing, he’d be content to curl up next to my foot under the table. The thing I am going to miss the most is having him as my cuddle buddy at night! For the last nine years I have gone to sleep and woken up almost every night with a cat in my armpit and his little chin on my shoulder. In the end we were blessed. We were loved by an extraordinary cat. Roux was love, pure love in a tiny little cat suit.

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To my little Roux, I will always love you, always miss you, always keep you in my heart! You were my baby, my kitty love, and one of the best friends I’ve ever had. You’ve made me laugh, comforted me, made me happy, made every one of my days sweeter. You were better than the best!

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I am going to be taking a few more days off from blogging. I need to take a little break, but I promise I will be back very soon. Thank you all for your support and love!

 

Iggy Afternoon

If you follow my blog, or even if you have just glanced in the sidebar, you’ll know I adore my dog! And I adore my sister’s dog Sadie too. I am a total animal lover, and I have to say until recently, I have always been a crazy cat lady. But now thanks to our little iggies I am a crazy dog lady too! For those of you who don’t believe in love at first sight, you just haven’t met the right dog yet. This dog is my heart, and no matter what type of day I am having, just having him here with me makes me happy! The other day I was taking pictures of my jewelry magnets in my bedroom at my parent’s house. The dogs love this room because the bed is right up against the window and it is warm and sunny all day. It is their favorite spot! As I was snapping my product pics, totally caught up in the rush of everything that needed to be done that day, I happened to glance over and see Beaureguard and Sadie happily snoozing in the sun. It completely melted me! I thought for sure they would move the second they spotted me taking pics, but they were totally chill and did not even notice the intrusion. Lucky me! It’s these little moments that I love so much! They captivate you and remind you to slow down a bit, relish the sunshine, know you are blessed by those you love, and remember that life truly is above all else, absolutely beautiful!

Beau and Roux’s Corner- Bark Balls Dog Treats Recipe

It’s no secret that I love my pets! I love to spoil them! After all what’s the use of having pets if you can’t spoil em’ rotten? I have seen some home made recipes in a few magazines lately on how to cook for your dog. So, I decided to give it a try. I found this recipe for “Bark Balls” on LovingPetProducts.com Here. It was so easy to make, and only has a few ingredients so it is an inexpensive treat as well. Most of the ingredients I had on hand.

Here is the Recipe:

Ingredients:

 

1/2 lb ground meat (chicken, turkey, or beef)

1 carrot, finely grated

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1 egg (beaten)

1 tsp tomato paste

1 tsp. low fat grated cheese

Cooking directions:

 

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.

•  Mix all ingredients well.

•  Roll into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.

•  Sprinkle with low-fat grated cheese (optional).

•  Bake until brown and firm, about 15 minutes.

•  Cool and transfer to an airtight container.

•  Store in fridge or freezer.

Beaureguard and my mom’s dog Lily totally loved them as you can see. Beau’s sister Sadie even joined in and she’s pretty picky sometimes. These are a great treat! They are wholesome, natural and simple. Something I can feel good about indulging the pups with! I know I will be trying more recipes soon for my four legged babies. If you’d like to check out more recipes for home made dog food and treats check out LovingPetProducts.com Here for their recipes. If you have dogs, I urge you to try these treats for them, they are so easy to make, quick to whip up, and your dog with thank you for it! Trust me!

 

Merry & Bright

Every year Daryl and I send out Christmas cards to all of our family and friends. This year Beauregard is getting his first taste of family stardom and will be gracing the front of our holiday card as his kitty bros have in the past, much to their relief i’m sure. He was a great sport, and makes a fantastic model! I could only choose one for the card, but there were so many cute ones of him and his sister Sadie, I couldn’t help but share them with you all. I’ll share the cards with you all when I get them in the mail. Happy Friday everyone!

 

12 Days of Handmade Gifts- DIY Pet Toys

Hello there! Welcome to day ten of my 12 Days of Handmade Gifts. Today I am going to show you how to make fantastic gifts for your favorite furry friends. There is a dog toy made from a felted sweater, and kitty toys filled with fragrant catnip. Your pets are sure to love them!

We’ll start with the cat toys:

What You Need:

*Fabric scraps

*Feather boa

*Catnip

First cut your scraps to a size you like. I made mine around 3×4″. Next, with right sides together sew up one long side, long the top, and then back down the other side leaving the bottom open. Turn the piece right side out. Fold in the top into the inside about a half an inch. Fill the little sack with catnip until about an inch from the top. Now cut a length of your boa off and insert one end into the bottom of your catnip filled sack. Then sew the end closed about an eighth inch from the edge. And you are finished. Easy right, and your cat will flip for these. As you can see, our cat Titus couldn’t wait for Christmas for his.

Now for the doggie toy:

What You Need:

*Old 100% Wool Sweater

*Craft Felt

*squeaker

*Pattern(please excuse the quality, my scanner is broken, so I had to take a pic of the pattern, I’ll update it when I get my new printer next week)

The first thing you want to do is felt your sweater by washing it in hot water. It will shrink a lot and become thick and lose a lot of stretch. Now cut the body of the kitty monster out of the main sweater. Cut strips of the sleeves for arms and legs, and the eyes and nose from your craft felt. Stitch the eyes to the front body piece. You can stitch on the pupils of the eyes or use a permanent pen to mark them. Now stitch the nose down. Beginning at the nose with a small zigzag stitch and stitch a mouth. Now sandwich the squeaker, and the arms and legs in between the top and bottom body pieces and pin all around. Now stitch all the way around your kitty’s shape. Clip the excess threads and you are finished.

These toys are fun to make and a great and special alternative to store bought toys. They are a lot more economical too. I love how easy and fast these work up! I made a bunch in about an hour. And my pets love them! Beauregard couldn’t wait for his toy either. I’m a sucker for my fuzzy babies! I hope some of you try these out for your best pals. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another fun holiday diy gift idea! until then…

Happy Crafting!

Beau and Roux’s Corner- DIY Martingale Collar

Today Beaureguard and I have a special DIY for you. I am going to show you how to make a martingale collar. These collars are used a lot in dog training. There are two parts to the collar, the collar neck piece and the control loop. The collar fits nicely around your dog’s neck when they are sitting or walking easy with you, and if they pull, the control loop tightens the collar around the neck. The tightening is mild and doesn’t hurt the dog like a chain training collar can. Martingale collars are fantastic for sight hounds(like my italian greyhound Beau), as well as any dog that has problems with backing out of their collar. It’s the only type of collar we use for little Beau and his sister Sadie. It is a bit hard to find martingale collars at the pet stores, especially cute ones. So today I’m going to show you how to make your own. They are quick and easy to make, and all you need is a few supplies.

Here’s What You Need:

*Cotton or Nylon Webbing

*Ribbon(optional)

*Hardware set- two sliders and one D ring( I found mine Here)

*Measuring tape

*Scissors

*Sewing Machine

*Thread

Step 1: Measure and cut- Measure your dog’s neck. You want to take two measurements. The first measurement is around the widest part of the neck. The second is around the neck right behind the ears. You want to make your collar loose when worn freely, but able to tighten at the neck so the collar can’t slip over the ears and head, but not too tight to where it chokes the dog. Take your second measurement and add 1.5 to 2 inches to it and cut a strip of webbing that size (my 2nd measurement was 10.5, so I cut my collar to be 12.5 inches.) Then take your second measurement and subtract it from your first measurement. My first measurement was 12.5, so 12.5-10.5= 2″, then double the difference since this will be a loop, so that would be 4″, and then add another 2″ allowance for sewing to get your final measurement for your control loop, mine was 6″. So to repeat the formula again:

Measurement 1- around widest part of the neck

Measurement 2- around the neck right behind the ears

Measurement for collar= measurement 2 + 2″

Measurement for control loop= Measurement 1- Measurement 2, doubled, then add 2″ (or basically a little over half the length of the collar)

Once you have your correct measurements, cut your collar and control loop strips of webbing and ribbon

Step 2: Sew Ribbon to webbing if using ribbon- Tuck end of ribbon over the edge of one side of your webbing. Carefully topstitch all the way around the ribbon on the machine and snip loose threads.

Step 3: Sew Collar- Insert webbing onto one of the sliders fold over about an inch and stitch down webbing closing over the slider. Measure your collar again. You need to count in the webbing plus the sliders and enough allowance to fold over the other edge of webbing into the second slider bar.  You want your finished collar piece to be the exact measurement of measurement 2. If you need to trim some off, go ahead and do so. Then, insert your loose end of webbing into the second slider buckle, fold over and stitch closed.

Step 4: Sew Control Loop- Thread both of the sliders onto your control loop. Make a loop and overlap the ends by around 2″. Stich down the end underneath close to the end, making sure your top end of the webbing is loose and free. Slide the d-ring onto the top loose flap of the webbing and scooch it down to the seam you just made. Then, stitch down the top flap of webbing. You should end up with a loop of webbing that has a d-ring sandwiched in between the ends, and two sliders.

Poor Sadie was very upset Beau was outside and she was not!

Aren’t they cute! These collars are so easy to make, and with all the adorable ribbon out there you could make one for every day of the week. Beaureguard really likes his collars, and it makes me feel better to know that he can no longer escape his collar, so I don’t have to worry about catching him if he decides to make a break and go after a squirrel in the park! So go ahead and give one a try for your favorite pooch.

Happy Crafting!

Beau & Roux’s Corner- DIY Pet Bed

This month on Beau and Roux’s corner I have a fun DIY pet bed you can make from an old suitcase. I’ve seen a bunch of them on pinterest, and I just happened to find a bright red vintage samsonite suitcase at an antique mall for $5 a couple of months ago, so I just had to try one of my own. I would have loved to have bought some retro legs for the bottom of the bed, but did not want to spend a lot without knowing whether it would actually be used by the little fuzzies, so I used wooden ball feet I bought at the craft store and painted aqua. I love how easy it was to make, and if you are a savvy shopper, economical too!

Here’s what you need:

* A Suitcase

*A Pillow and Pillowcase

*Wooden Ball feet or furniture feet of your choice

*Wood Screws

*A ruler, pencil, and drill

Step 1: Take apart suitcase- My suitcase had a piano hinge which we were able to just pull out easily with pliers. If your has rivets, you can try to hammer them out.

Step 2: Mark bottom for feet- Measure from each corner where you want your feet. I measured in 2.5″ from each corner for mine

Step 3: Attach Feet- Drill screws through the bottom to make the pilot holes. Then, flip the suitcase over. Put a washer on your screw and screw into the bottom of the suitcase a bit. Take your foot and screw onto the screw a few turns, then hold the foot tightly with your hand while you tighten the screw down all the way until tight. Repeat with other feet.

Step 4: Finish- Finish off your pet bed with a fluffy pillow and a sweet pillowcase. My pet bed fit a standard pillow.

And there you have it. Easy peasy! I love how cute this turned out, and it only took about 20 minutes to make. Beauregard, our dog, really likes it so far! I used one of his favorite pillows from our bed and one of my favorite vintage pillowcases from my stash. Overall a cute, and fun craft for you top make for your favorite furry friend!

I Heart Etsy Fridays- The Fab Life of Roux

I have been meaning to feature this shop for a while now. This is an Etsy shop that my mom and I have together and have recently added art prints to. The Fabulous Life of Roux Toulouse is a children’s book that my mom and I created together a couple of years ago about a day in the life of my fantastic cat Roux Toulouse. Come along with Roux and explore his day. Find out what makes him and the life he leads truly fabulous. Everypage features a photo of Roux in his daily life, from waking up mom and dad to doing yoga, and pretending in the afternoon to dancing after dinner. Roux is a truly amazing cat. Even though all the pictures in the book feature backgrounds we manipulated in photoshop, Roux himself was never photoshoped or touched up. He is the best model we’ve ever had! This book makes a great gift for both kids and cat lovers alike. Here are some of my favorite art prints from the book:

And here is a little peek inside the book:

Isn’t he just adorable! I know, i’m biased. To buy the book and prints please visit the shop, The Fab Life of Roux on Etsy Here.

Happy Shopping!

Beau and Roux’s Corner- Freebie Cat Toy Pattern and DIY

Hey all you pet lovers out there! Today I have something special for you. My cat Roux loves wand toys, especially ones with feathers! So, we have a freebie pattern for a kitty bear stuffed wand toy with feather paws, just for all you cat lovers!

Here’s what you need:

*Pattern

*Fleece 1/4 yard or less

*Felt for paws

*Felt for face

*Embroidery thread

*Stuffing

*Feathers

*Ribbon or satin cording, or both

*Wooden dowel

*Glue (I used hot glue)

Please note- there are two sizes of paws on this pattern, you can use whichever you like

Step one: Cut out pieces- Cut out pattern and then either pin on fabric or trace with a marking pen and cut out your pieces of felt and fleece.

Step 2: Stitch together paws- place satin cording or ribbon sandwiched in between top of paw. Stitch down. Before you get to the tip of the paw, sandwich in feather, then stitch and backstitch over spot where feather is, and continue stitching around paw until you’ve got a stitch all around sandwiching in both the cording and feather on opposite sides.

Step 3: Stitch face- Stich face to the front of the front body piece. Draw your face on the felt with a tiny pen or a marking pen, then embroider face over your markings.

Step 4:Staystich limbs and ribbon- place your arms and legs facing in towards the belly of the body and staystich them down on the edge.

Step 5: Sew- Begin at the bottom and carefully stitch 1/4 inch seam allowance, making sure you don’t stitch down any pieces of the limbs, all the way around leaving a couple of inches at the bottom for turning. Clip threads and then turn right side out.

Step 6: Stuff- Stuff polyfill into the opening you have at the bottom of the toy, when filled to your liking hand stitch closed.

Step 7: Glue ribbon- Glue and wrap ribbon around the top of your wooden dowel. And now you are done!

Step 8: Find your kitty and play!

This toy has already gotten a lot of attention in my house from all the cats and my dog too! They love the feathers! I wish I had had some catnip to put in with the stuffing, then they’d really go nuts. This toy was fun and easy to make! Hope you enjoy making this little cutie for your favorite furry friend!

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