Brush Those Teeth!


With Thanksgiving just around the corner and plenty to feast on, just remember to brush those teeth!

Disclaimer: Gracie really does get her teeth properly brushed. This was the first time we ever used the poultry flavored toothpaste from C.E.T. As you can tell, it was quite liked! And, helping her brush her teeth is always much easier without a camera in one hand…just saying…



Raining Cats and Dogs

All the Presidents’ Dogs


The trip last weekend to the Houston International Quilt Festival was a feast for the eyes.  This year the festival had a special “Raining Cats & Dogs” competition category.   I wanted to share these amazing quilts with you.  Enjoy your trip through this virtual art gallery!  And if you have a favorite, do comment and let me know.  They are all so wonderful!

This post is part of a Wednesday blog hop. Please click the “Blog Paws” button in the sidebar to follow all the other wonderful pet blogs. Happy Blogging!



Caught in the Act, by Barbara McKie
Lyme, Connecticut
Techniques:  Digital imagery, threadpainted, trapuntoed, free-motion quilted

I urged my cousin’s cat, Taz, to come to the kitchen sink to drink, and she obliged as I captured her in this funny pose.


Kool in Ketchikan, by Ingrid Cattaneo
Grass Valley, California
Techniques:  Fabric collaged

Kool in Ketchikan was inspired by a photograph I took of two dogs – both wearing upside down sunglasses, perched in an open window of the Bayside building in Ketchikan, Alaska.  It was drizzling, I looked up and there they were.  The pit bull mix dogs, mostly white with black spots, are iconic to Ketchikan, both to locals and tourists.  I wanted a playful reminder of our visit to Ketchikan, consequently one dog is pink and the other dog is blue.  It literally rains and pours at our local shelter with pit bull mix dogs.  Won’t you please consider offering a “forever” home to a dog from your local shelter?  We did.  His name is Yuba.  He, too, is part pit bull and a big love.


Cornered!, by Wendy Starn
Alexandria, Louisiana
Techniques:  Hand-stamped, threadpainted, collaged

In August of 2008, my son found a tiny kitten under the hood of the car, covered in grease and fleas.  He cleaned her up and she won his heart, as well as the scorn of our other two cats.  Boris, the black cat, is determined to be Alpha male, and is also proud of his prowess at catching (catnip) mice, while Moose, the orange cat, is the might hunter of lizards and bugs, who’s afraid of everything.  Oslo the kitten sleeps, dreaming, no doubt of how best to annoy her big brothers.


Charlie, by Melinda Sword
Port Charlotte, Florida
Technique:  Pictorial quilting with machine applique
Materials:  Cotton batting, thread, décor bond, cotton and batik fabrics

This quilt was made from a snapshot of my weimaraner, Charlie.  He is lying at the foot of my bed waiting for his daddy to get home from work to play with his ball.


Yogi Bear, by Kathy Zieben
Houston, Texas
Techniques:  Raw-edge appliqued, machine stitched and quilted, design from fisheye lens photo

The inspiration for creating this Yogi Bear quilt came from a special love I had for my pet, a shelter dog we rescued at 16 weeks old.  Yogi had the most adorable face that peeked out from his cage.  I felt it best highlighted his unique character.  Everyone who was him commented on his unique look.  Yogi Bear was only with us for a short five years.  Making this quilt has helped me to deal with the loss of Yogi.


Live Free, by Kathleen Everett
Batavia, New York
Techniques:  Improvisationally pieced, printed, free-motion quilted

After creating a collage on a playing card, manipulating it in Photoshop in a class by Red-Dog Enterprises, my pup was printed by a large format printer onto fabric.  I pieced varying sized improvisational star blocks using Marcia Derse fabrics, quilted my adorable lab and stitched him to his background.  He would be at home anywhere!


Unfortunately I do not have the details for this quilt.


Artie Facts, by Joyce Paterson
Ukiah, California
Techniques:  Hand and fused applique, machine quilting

I have long known that dogs have their own set of rules and facts about how the world works.  So, when faced with a Mendocino Quilt Artists challenge to create a quilt based on the theme “Artifact,” my mind went to dog facts.  Artie is the representative of the dog world, and these are some of the known dog facts.


Sherri, by Sue Bleiweiss
Uptown, Massachusetts
Technique:  Hand-dyed, raw-edge fusible appliqued, machine quilted

As soon as I found ou about the “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs” special exhibit, I sat down and sketched out this quilt.  The pup on the quilt is keeping a wakeful eye out for any bone thieves!


I’m Watching You, by Barbara McKie
Lyme, Connecticut
Techniques:  Free-motion threadpainted, trapuntoed, disperse dye printed, free-motion machine appliqued, free-motion machine quilted

A friend’s dog had the habit of lying on the back of the couch and watching me while I stayed with them.  Fortunately, I had my camera and transferred the photo to polyester using disperse dye digital transfer.


Shade, by Mary Davis
Sunnyvale, California
Techniques:  Fused applique, machine pieced and quilted

I began this quilt in a class taught by June Jaeger in Sisters, Oregon,  It’s from a photo of my dog, Shade, when he was a puppy.  I wanted a small dog.  He was 19 pounds at the time.  He grew up…now he’s 80 pounds.  While his name may be Shade, he brings a lot of sunshine into my life.


So Many Dogs


Beautiful Hard-Working Husky

I was at the Austin Pet Expo this past weekend with two goals in mind.  The first was to take a look at the exhibitors and booth setups, since I will be an exhibitor at this event next summer.  The second was to try and get some nice photos of the many dog breeds I knew would be represented at this event.  Well, I was at least successful with the first goal!



Loved this Great OutDogs mobile store – not your typical booth!

There were quite a few exhibitors at this event, and many of them were local adoption agencies.  The exhibitor spaces were set up very much like career fairs I’ve been to, with each space a 10’x10′ area.  I have to say that most retail booths here were not quite like those I’ve seen set at craft or antique fairs.  I think that my space next year should really stand out amongst the crowd.  My products are, by nature, very colorful, and I intend to promote them by showcasing my sewing abilities.  I want to make a nice banner and special table decoration from some of my stocked fabrics.  And perhaps even my own backdrop fabric panel.  Makes sense, right?  Just being able to see the show one full year in advance has been a very big help to me.



Gimme a big smooch!

Another great help was talking to several Etsy sellers that were at this event.  They all made pet products, but not the type of items I make.  They were great about taking time to talk to me and to give helpful suggestions.  I especially enjoyed vising with Leslie Cox from San Antonio, Texas.  She made the most adorable small dog outfits with beautiful fabric, and she had her teeny tiny little yorkie with her to show off her handmade goods.  Cute!  Cute!  Cute!  You can check out her shop at The Pooch House.



This dog had the most fabulous shiny coat.

My second goal, taking photos of different dog breeds, proved to be rather futile because there were so many dogs and so many people at this event, that taking a separate photo of any particular dog turned out to be almost impossible!   Most of the photos I took  had multiple pets and multiple people.  I am trying to get photos of different dog breeds for a new project I have in mind, but guess I will have to go about that task in a different way.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.  I think perhaps I need to attend some dog shows in the area!



This dog had an owner, but there were plenty of dogs (and a few kitties) in need of a good home!

If you were at the show in Austin last weekend, I’m certain you had a good time!!  Ann, sorry I missed seeing you and your daughter.



This pup was so tired she just sat down on her Mom’s feet!

This post is part of a Wednesday blog hop. Please click the “Blog Paws” button in the sidebar to follow all the other wonderful pet blogs. Happy Blogging!

Photographing Shelter Pets

Seattle 2008 00088

Tyler When Newly Adopted

Check out the amazing video from photographer Seth Casteel of Little Friends Photo for examples of “before” and “after” pet adoption photos.  Seth started after noticing that the photography of adoptable pets in his local shelter was not as good as it could be.

Second Chance Photos website states that, “Every homeless pet should be represented with a positive, professional photograph, offering a glimpse into their unique personality in hopes to make a connection with potential adopters. Our mission is to provide shelter staff and volunteers with the resources to successfully photograph shelter pets, aiding in giving them the second chance they deserve.”

What a wonderful goal!  I know first-hand what it is like to adopt a pet, as all four of my cats are adopted or rescued from the streets. I also know through my photography for my business that there are some easy steps you can take for better pet photos.  The four things that have helped me most are:
1) A good digital SLR camera; I use a Sony Nex C-3.  Pets move quickly, so I recommend that your camera take at least 3-6 frames per second.
2) Not using flash, but rather making sure you have good light.  If indoors use the natural light near windows!
3) Being patient and taking LOTS of photos. With digital photos you can easily discard the ones you don’t want to keep.
4) Using some computer software to enhance those great digital shots you just took.  I use Photoshop, and several apps on my i-Phone.

For some super suggestions on taking great pet photos, check out the “Photo Tips” page on the Second Chance Photos website.  And then start clicking that shutter button!  Also consider attending one of the pet photo workshops offered by Second Chance Photos, and offering your newly honed skills to a local shelter.  All workshops are free and open to the public, but do require an RSVP.  Workshops for 2013 are currently being organized, and will be updated on the Second Chance website when available.  I’m crossing my fingers that one will be held near Austin, Texas!