Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Piggy Cupcakes

Every year for my friend Tracie's birthday, I bake a cake.
Usually I make German Chocolate (her favorite), but sometimes I try new things.
This year, I made Pig Cupcakes in Power Puff Girl cupcake liners.
You see, Tracie is a black belt, and she teaches
self-defense for women and children.
In fact, she just appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil, showing kids what to do in case someone tries to grab them.
I couldn't be more proud.

Anyway, I found the recipe for these on an episode of The Neely's on The Food Network.
Piggy Cupcakes
The cupcakes are red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

I used sour watermelon candies for the ears.
The recipe says to use licorice for the eyes, but I just used black decorating gel.
The snout is a half marshmallow topped with two brown M&Ms.
Pig Cupcake

Pig Cupcakes

Christmas 2009

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Salmon Cookies

I usually give my doggie clients something for Christmas.
My favorite doggies (the dogs I watch the most) get treats and toys.
Some just get treats, some just get a toy.
Sometimes I'll make up gift bags of treats and rawhide candy canes or something.

This year, to go along with my homemade rope toys, I made homemade treats--I made oatmeal cookies.
Well, kind-of.
Oat cookies with eggs and salmon.

Those of you who know me well are cocking your head right now and saying, "huh?"
You see, I loathe seafood.
I won't touch seafood.
If I go out to dinner with you, I hope and pray you don't order fish.
Seafood just grosses me out.

I once had a boyfriend cook fish sticks on my cookie sheet, and I would never use that cookie sheet again.
It was tainted.
I gave it to him.
Just sayin'.

But for the sake of my doggies, tonight I molded canned salmon into balls, flattened them with my very own hands, and baked them on my cookie sheets (okay, I used parchment paper. But still).
Pretty darned cool if you ask me.

I got the recipe from Get Some Hairapy!

This photo is about the cutest thing I've ever seen, so I had to share.

It's from White on Rice Couple.
They have a recipe for Flax Seed Dog Biscuits I plan to try (pictured).
And a Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit recipe with about the cutest doggie Christmas card ever, so go take a peek.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

First knitted dog toy completed

I switched from the yellow twine to a hemp cord, and...ta da!
My first dog toy!
knitted dog toy

Funny, it reminds me of that wood you find in the desert--the kind that's hollow with holes in it.

I think it will be fun to give clients gifts that I made myself this year.
If I have time, I'll bake some "gift cards" of bone-shaped biscuits with their names piped on in carob.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My new project

I have knitting club on Wednesday nights.
I'm still learning--I haven't even finished my first scarf yet.
But I started a new project tonight anyway.
knitting with twine

That's not yellow yarn--it's nylon twine that I bought at Harbor Freight.

I'm knitting tube-like lengths, then three lengths will be braided together.
Have you guessed what it will be?

A dog chew toy!

I found the idea/pattern in the book
Knitting for Dogs, by Kristi Porter.

I'm not sure if any toys will be completed in time for Christmas gifts, but they'll definitely be "just because" gifts later.
I also bought some glow-in-the-dark polypropylene rope, but now I'm wondering if maybe there could possibly be a chemical in what makes it glow, that might be hazardous to the dogs?
I need to investigate further before I use it.
I think I'll try making a toy with thick hemp cording also.

I still have so many sewing projects to finish too.
It's so nice that this semester of classes is over.
I only had two classes, but they were really taxing on me.
So much so, that I'm completely stumped on gift ideas for my three closest friends.
Usually I have ideas months in advance, and everything is super personalized.
This year...nothin'.
I think all that planning for debs' party, and then the classes...my brain was on overdrive, and now my batteries need to be recharged.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dog Park Design

Many of you already know that I'm studying Landscape Design, hoping to eventually specialize in dog-friendly properties.
Yes, there are things you can do to a yard that channel your dogs to leave parts of it alone, while giving the dogs (as well as their owners) a sanctuary.

I found this post on Beyond Landscape, showing a dog park from this summer's Barkitecture exhibit.
The site uses reclaimed fire hydrants, in a whimsical display.
Everything about this makes me smile.

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Frosted berries

Heidi Swanson's recipe for Sparkling Cranberries looks like a beautiful addition to any winter table.
Swanson serves these with cheese, but suggests they'd also go nicely atop creme brulee, or a pudding, or ice cream.
I actually didn't even know one could eat cranberries without cooking them--go figure.

I've seen recipes for other frosted fruits, but those usually involve an egg wash to adhere the sugar.
This recipe uses a sugar syrup, and two types of sugar for coating.
Looks like a keeper.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Two Boys

halloween boys
Stole this pic off their mom's Facebook, because
I love it (and them) so.
The Reesie and the Dylan.
(click image to enlarge...Flickr doesn't size them well)

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Garden Inspiration

You know sometimes when you see a photo, or a place, or a special something...and it just speaks to you?

That's how I feel about the garden featured in the July/August issue of Gardening How-to Magazine
(a publication of the National Home Gardening Club).
The home garden is the sanctuary for gardening designer Laura Crockett.

chartreuse plants
Chartreuse plants are my favorite, and these bold grass-like shrubs are like architectural elements, accented by handmade ceramic globe sculptures.

Crockett has several sculptural items and other garden art in her space, but it is artfully arranged.
She suggests you arrange your art into "points of composition", and group it together like you would a table centerpiece, versus randomly spread out everywhere.

This perimeter fence absolutely slays me.
It is a steel frame, with polycarbonate panels, and adjustable wooden baffles.
The panels provide a hint of view, but allow for opening (like louvers) if you want the outside in.
In my case, I have a stream below my garden adjacent to the street.
I want to block the street so I can have privacy, but sometimes I like the view and sound of the stream.
This could be the perfect solution for me.

I have an estimate for a wooden enclosure, but I want to find out how much more expensive this metal version might be.

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