Laughing Dog Arts

Monday, November 29, 2010


For years I was more focused on creating wearable items than I was on creating wall art.  I sold hundreds of garments, mostly vests and jackets but also coats.  Once I learned how to create these faux chenille items I really had fun.  Okay, maybe fun isn't quite the right word.  It was fun when they sold, that's for sure.  In fact, the woman who worked at the boutique where I sold these, (The Real Mother Goose) was one of my best customers.  She bought 3 of them!  They are really gorgeous garments, they feel like a fur coat, only better because no animals were killed to make them! 

 They are constructed of up to 6 layers of fabric, mainly rayons and cottons.
I stitch rows (and rows and rows and rows) of half inch wide channels.
Then I slash the fabric between the stitching, leaving only the base fabric uncut.   I then construct the garment and put it through the washer and drier, that fluffs up the cut edges and creates the furry look.

I haven't made any of these in a couple of years but I still have these left overs that I am showing you today.  Mostly they are too big for me to wear.  I have considered putting them into my Etsy shop but hesitate because people really should try them on and feel them to get a good idea of the luxurious texture and fine construction.  So here they sit, hanging around the studio. 

I will show some other garments I have hanging around another time.  Until then, 
Be well.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nasturtiums in the snow

We haven't even had a hard frost here in NW Oregon but now we have snow. I still have nasturtiums growing and so went out and picked some this morning. By afternoon it began to snow, as the forecasters have been predicting for several days now.
It's barely cold enough for the snow to stick, so it is melting pretty quickly, but everything is covered, including my bamboo. It is always so pretty, to see the branches bend down with the weight of the snow. They always bounce back.
Hope you all are snug in your homes.  I just came in from feeding the llamas and playing with the dogs in the snow.  Sadie definitely loves the snow!  She played and played, biting the snow, chasing snowballs, making snowdogangels, and generally having a good time.  Rocky just dug in a spot, I think he could hear a mouse under the snow.  The llamas watched us, wondering what the big deal was. I think I shall throw another log on the fire.  I'm sticking close to the stove today, doing hand stitching on some fabric hearts as I listen to the radio.
The sheer heart above I created from a vintage napkin I picked up at a garage sale.  I will embellish it next.  The one below is the first one I have made.  These could be fun Christmas gifts.  Maybe not this orange one, but it's a start.

 Be well.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quilting the monster

I have finally bitten the bullet and begun to quilt the queen size quilt.  I'm not a talented quilter, I'm just getting 'er done as best I can.  This is a quilt that is destined to be used, not hung on a wall and viewed, so I decided to quilt it myself rather than taking it to a professional.
The above photo shows the gold flowered backing material that I used.  I used it because I had it and it was big enough.   There is also a solid dark green that is part of the backing.  The green is part linen so is rather heavy.  Notice the blue gloves next to the sewing machine?  Those are gardening gloves that I cut the fingertips off of the first finger and the thumb.  They really help me to move the quilt around under the needle.  I'm doing a free motion squared off meander stitch.  My shoulders are feeling fatigued this evening after getting though maybe a third of the stitching.  I decided not to push it, there really is no hurry.

Instead I moved on to some more gentle hand stitching on my latest dooleybobber. It is inspired by a picture from the November issue of National Geographic showing a wetlands.  It is rather larger than previous dooleybobbers so is taking longer.
Mary over at Fox On The Run Meanderings gave me this Scotty Froggy blog award. It is for Creativity and Fun.  Lets see, who can I nominate for it?  I think I shall nominate Olivia over at 4 Rooms and the Moon.  She has a nice blog, creates some fun art so it seems appropriate. Go take a peek at her work if you have a moment, tell her Jan sent you.  Thanks Mary, for the award!

Another thing I have neglected to post about is my inclusion into the Beautiful Bald Babies club!  
Ces over at Ces and Her Dishes started the club to honor breast cancer awareness month and any friends who have battled cancer.  If you click on the link it will take you to her post where she talks about the club and why she started it.  There is also a great picture that she drew with all the founding members included.  She is quite a talent.  Can you find me in her picture?

Hope you are all ready for the weekend and that you have a good one.
Be well.
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Friday, November 12, 2010


Thank you to all who entered my giveaway.  I with I could gift each and every one of you with a beaded heart.   Your reasons for wanting this heart were varied and sometimes amusing but always gratifying.  I couldn't decide so I resorted to asking Chainsaw Man to pick a number and he chose 17 which means Susan of  Art of Mine is the winner.  Then, to make up for my changing of the rules, I decided to give a second heart away and again, had Chainsaw Man pick another number, which was 13 and so the second heart goes to Gabie of  I didn't count the comments from people who have already received hearts from me.  I will gift these hearts and then I will begin making some for sale since I have had a few requests.  I'll let you know when that happens.  I shall let Susan choose to have a special heart made just for her in her choice of colors and charms.

I am quite honored that you all were so eager to receive one of my pieces of art.  Thanks for playing along.

On a different subject, and in order to have a couple photos, here is where the situation with Charlie and my new dog Sadie stands.  Charlie is adjusting.  He didn't flee growling when Sadie laid down this close.  Progress!!

Cute Charlie paws.

Be well. 
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beaded Heart Giveaway

 Hello my lovely followers!  I feel so fortunate to have met all of you!  It has been such a pleasure.  Many of you have expressed much appreciation of the beaded hearts I have made so I have decided to give one away. 

What must you do to win one?  You must leave me a comment, telling me why you should win this heart. Oh, and you don't have to settle for this heart although you may.  The winner can choose to have me create a heart especially for them, with their choice of colors and maybe a charm or a button.

Anyone care to comment?

 Be well.
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Recently I have been....

 I first want to thank you all for kind comments on my last post, especially regarding the self portrait of me and the scarf I was gifted.  Maybe I should become a fashion photographer, ha ha. Amazing how using a prop like the hat can add to the glamour of a photo.

I have been working on a beaded heart.  This is what I stitch on, a piece of felt.  I will cut all the background out and then use beads and picot stitch to attach the back piece of felt. 

I also made this little needle felted brooch.   I have given it away.

And I finally made a back for my sister's queen size quilt and sandwiched it all up to baste.  I laid it out on my deck to do the pin basting, the day before the rain came back.  I wore knee pads so I wouldn't wear out my knees.  It is quite tiring to do this!  
In my last post I forgot to show this picture of the framed post card that Audrey sent to me.  Cute, isn't it!

When I bought chicken scratch for the birds recently it came in a woven fiber bag instead of the usual paper bag.  So I made this strong tote out of it.  I cut off pieces of the bag to make the handles.  It sewed up quite quickly and easily, I want to make more of these.
Here is another picture of the bag, and my new dog, Sadie.
 My neighbor Gwen saw this old dog wandering down our road a few weeks ago.  She stopped to look at it since she didn't recognize it.  The dog began to approach her with a hopeful expression but when she saw it was not her person she ran off.  Gwen saw the dog a week later, still on our road.  The rain had come by then and she determined that the dog was homeless.  She said it took about 20 minutes to entice it to her car, and she brought the dog home.  The next day when I went to Gwen's she showed me the dog and I took her home with me.  Gwen's 3 dogs were not so happy with a 4th. 

She is an old Golden Retreiver, I am guessing she is about 11 or 12.  She seems in perfect health and as though she had been well cared for all her life.  She and Rocky get along like old friends.  Not a problem at all.  I named her Sadie.

You can see she is still rather tense, she hasn't quite settled in here.

Charlie cat doesn't much like her yet so he has taken refuge on Rocky.  Good boy, Rock!   It is nice to have two dogs on the walk again.  Sadie is sweet and I'm glad to have her a part of my family.  No owners have responded to my "Found dog" ads so she must have been abandoned.  She has a forever home here.

Be well. 
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cigar box and gifts

A couple of weeks ago my friend Mary gave all of us in our creativity group (we call our group Stitch 'n Bitch, or S&B in polite company) a cigar box and issued a challenge to alter it any way we wanted. We all revealed our creations at our weekly meeting on Tuesday.  You can see the other boxes on our group blog  Fox on the Run Arts

I'm going to show you my box here.  I forgot to take pictures of my process, dumb me.  First I collaged colored tissue papers and some music sheets on the box, and painted a glaze over all.  I glued some colored cheesecloth around the sides and brushed a little gold paint on it.  I made all the mosaic pieces out of polymer clay by stamping into it with rubber stamps, then painting the pieces after they were baked.  

I glued the mosaic pieces down with regular gel medium. 

I used painted wooden beads for the feet. I am quite happy with the results and want to do more of this type of construction.  I have more boxes and some cans that would be fun to alter.  Maybe they would be good Christmas gifts.  Hummmm, that is an idea.

This week I received in the mail an ATC from my friend Audrey at  Isn't it beautiful?  She painted it and added little seed beads around and stitched faceted bugle beads for the eyes.  They glimmer rather like real dragonfly eyes might.  Sorry the photo doesn't do justice to this piece, too many shadows.  It is lovely, thanks Audrey!  She also gifted me with a cute framed vintage postcard that shows little sunbonnet type children raking in a hay field.  She said it reminded her of me after she read my Making Hay blog post last summer.  It is very nice, sorry I forgot to take a picture, maybe I will show it later. I feel very special that Audrey thought enough of me to gift me spontaneously with these gifts.  Thank you, Audrey!  I'm so glad we have gotten to know each other.  I believe Audrey was my first follower.

I was very fortunate to win a fabulous giveaway from Cameron at
She gifted me with this stunning nuno felted scarf!  It is large enough to be a shawl on me.  I am in awe of it!  It is a very beautiful and generous gift.  She asked for a picture of me wearing it.  I was so shy to honor that request that I put off blogging about this gift.  I finally realized that was why I wasn't blogging so I bit the bullet and snapped this photo in front of my studio.

Below is a better photo of the scarf.  You can see the reverse side a bit there at the top of the photo.  Look at those gorgeous colors!  Looking at this photo now, I think they are a bit too bright, the actual scarf is more subtly colored.

Here is a close up showing how she added bits of lace and machine stitching.  It is a very special scarf, and warm too.  I am using it more as a shawl, really.  Thank you Cameron!  She lives in Oregon too, perhaps we will meet IRL someday.  Be sure and check out her blog, she makes wonderful unique felted garments.

After receiving these generous and lovely gifts, and several other wonderful gifts I have previously blogged about, I am feeling a desire to have another giveaway myself.  Stay tuned for that, it will be for one of my beaded hearts.  Until then, be well.
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