Puds is for puds

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One of the things I asked for this Christmas was a thread stand for my embroidery machine.  The bane of most embroidering by machine is thread tension and I struggle with it pretty much every time I hoop something up.  It only gets worse from there when I try to use specialty thread like the metallic stuff that is so shiny, yet brittle, yet shiiiiiiiiiny.  I started embroidering some names today with not fancy thread and once again bobbin showing on the top!  So frustrating.  After playing with the thread tension on the machine without much success I set up the thread stand.

Thread holder

On the machine the thread spool sits horizontally which should be fine because the thread is still coming off the top of the spool.  But low and behold it seemed to even things out.

I’m hoping using this will continue to help with the tension issue!

Also adorable dog is adorable.

Belly up

And puds


Mobile Sweatshop

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On a whim I brought a sewing machine with me this time.  Partly because I ran out of time to make more collars before I left, partly because I knew I would be on my own some times when people were were at work during the day, and partly because this sewing machine is Lisa’s and I hadn’t had much chance to really try it out and see what it could do!  I decided to bring just stuff to make collars because it is pretty much exclusively black bobbin so I didn’t have to mess with bring a bazillion little plastic things to lose.  I could just bring a couple bobbins and refill them with black as necessary.  So I threw in most of my ribbons and my collar making supplies sort of last minute.

I’ve been in love with my Wonder Clips since they arrived and have made good use of them during the collar making.  They don’t replace pins for everything, but they are mega useful for a lot of what I do!
wonder Clips

Since getting here I think I’m up to 50 or so collars made, some familiar, including lots of glitter “Dottie” collars and some new.  I’ve just started making adjustable martingales, finished up this one this morning, and the sun was too good to pass up a picture on my sexy black dog.

Adjustable Martingale

Like many people who craft and then sell the items they make, I spend a lot of time thinking about how much I charge.  I want to be able to make a profit on each item, but I want to be reasonable.  I don’t want to over charge and I don’t want to put the cost out of the reach of people.  So I obsess about cost of materials and the time it takes me to make it each one and the myriad things that go into making a collar/bed/leash/tug toy/whatever.  I calculate over and over again before I put a price on something and often it feels too high.  There is usually someone who will price their items lower, either because they can get materials cheaper or don’t care so much about getting paid for their time.  My sister and I decided a long time ago to stick to our guns and charge what the item was worth, materials, time, and quality.  Sometimes I still feel uncomfortable with the prices, but then sometimes I see the quality of some other home collar makers are putting out there and I feel a whole lot better.  I’m looking at fixing a couple collars for a friend (they are martingales and too large) and I’m thinking I might just tell her I will make her new ones.  The whole collar is poorly mode and with materials I don’t care for.  Even if I fix them they simply aren’t going to last.   P.S. Don’t ask me who made them, I don’t know.  I’ve never seen collars like them before.

But I digress.

Given my adventure on Wednesday I’d say it was a good choice to bring all that stuff and I hope a LOT of people buy collars this weekend.  Julie and Sally both mentioned a rattling in my front passenger wheel well area so I got up early Wednesday morning and took it to the Honda dealership.  Turns out it was good that I went.  Some bushings broke which led to some brackets on the control arm breaking and it all sounded kind of terrible.  I’m afraid I don’t know what it really means (or even if I’m repeating what the nice dude at the repair place said correctly), but it sounded serious and serious means expensive.  Luckily they had all the parts and could finish it that day and even gave me a rental/loaner for the day.

My temporary ride
I tried out a brand new Nissan Rogue for the day.  I got in the car with less than 100 miles on it and off I went to a play date at Marni’s house.  Its unpossible to go to Marni’s house without her taking pictures and I’m so glad that’s true.  She just seems to be able to capture the moment…even in posed pictures.

My bitches
One look and she already had this one captioned: These are my Bitches

My favorite of the day was this one though.  Syndey has loved Wixer since day one and I think this picture is perfect.  She really does seem to be whispering sweet nothings in his ear.
It was a much needed distraction to my car issues and was followed by a wonderful lunch with Marni and Terri.  Asiago gnocchi FTW.

Julie and John felt the car repair bill deserved an adult beverage and pulled out this for me Wednesday evening.

Hells yeah.
We found this up north once and haven’t seen it since.  Its magical.  I highly recommend trying it if you see it…or just buy it for me.  Its aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels making it a little more substantial than most.  It is still crisp and refreshing, but less light and airy than a standard cider.

Meanwhile back in the frozen north, Dave got to visit his folks last weekend up in Michigan and sent me this picture of Bleys hoarding all the Horton Holes for themselves.  How rude!

I automatically lose

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Santa messed up and left a present for Harrison under Neil’s tree by mistake.  Don’t worry the error was rectified and a set of Star Wars Legos is now in it proper home.  It didn’t take more than 30 seconds after we got home that he wanted to put them together.  He got a set with this clone trooper speeder and two droidy-cars (best misinterpretation by a 4 year old ever).  Since it was sitting there and so was the Lego wine glass I thought maybe it was a party speeder.  Wait, they make Lego wine glasses?  Guess they do ’cause there it is.

Clone troopers gone wild

Today I went to flyball practice with Warped Speed and got to see Jackie and Daniella who I hadn’t seen yet and Shamy provided a suitably exciting dog to race against to try to work on some stuff.  Then we had an unanticipated rematch and now the score stands:  Titanium Teeth – 4, Susan – 0.


Then it was off to the lake to meet Amy and Riley who I hadn’t seen in what felt like forever!  What a nice visit.  Madison is sassy as ever and acting like a puppy, don’t y0u dare tell her she’s almost 12.  While we were there I saw the craziest display of dog park shenanigans I’ve ever seen.  This lady in a green sundress had two yellow labs.  One of them skirted the fence and took off swimming across the non-dog part of the lake.  Eagle Eye Neil finally saw a duck swimming about 50 feet in front of the dog which explains why he took off.  But as soon as he did the lady started freaking out, walking along the side walk as he swam screaming at him like a banshee.  Harsh, high pitched, and panicky.  The dog in the water didn’t even seem to hear hear and the dog on the sidewalk with her seemed to think that meant it must be super fun out there if the owner was acting like that so he swam out there to his brother.  She finally got them back to the shore for a while, but didn’t seem to have any leashes or collars on her person (must have left them in the park somewhere) so after getting them back about 10 feet toward the park they took off into the water again.  Neil finally drove all the way around the lake to try to go help her.  It was amazing.  Every last person in the park was staring in awe.

Meanwhile back up in the frozen north, Dave sent me this picture of Bleys with the caption Bi-State Hall Ball Champ.  Hall ball is a game we play with Bleys when its too yucky outside to go play outside.  We just sit on one end of a hallway and throw a ball down it, he chases the ball down and brings it back for treats.  He loves it.  Wixer usually gets to practice self control while he does this to earn his treats, but since its Bleys only up there I’m sure he’s eating up all the love and attention.

Bi-state hall ball champ

Who could resist that face?

My favorite

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Arrive in south Florida at 4pm, get to Little Japan to have sushi by 6:30pm = total and complete win.


I think I could eat there every day.  I had to go with the old standards of the Mexican Roll and the Birthday Roll, but I did snitch one of Julie’s JB Roll, and John’s Gary Roll and Sexy Mama Roll (which John ordered to honor Dave who couldn’t be there).  I swear Justin puts a smidgen of crack in that Mexican roll.  I just can’t resist it.

While getting ready to go out to dinner Harrison got delayed on his way to having Julie put on his socks…and Maverick paid the price.

Sorry Mav

Sorry dude, those ears are just too tempting.

Dave and Bleys are road tripping it this weekend too. He sent me this picture of Bleys all harnessed up in the car. I’m sure Bleys is loving it since he always rides in a crate in my car, and usually sharing with Wixer.


I just can’t get over how handsome he is.  I really wish I could find a breeder who was producing dogs with that much muzzle.  I think it really helps him participate in sports more easily and, well, its just adorable.  I like his look much better than the shorter snouted dogs that are “breed standard.”


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Among the things I’ve learned while visiting this time around is that I don’t think I have what it takes to be a doctor, more specifically med school.  Mad props to Jaimie for still being not only alive week after week after week, but coherent AND putting on flyball seminars.  Her schedule is pretty insane and yet she still finds time to help other people (myself included).

So I’m extra glad that when I made a DanDan3000 box cover for the tournament raffle next weekend I decided to make another for her!  Plus it gave me a chance to embroider a skull on something, who can resist that.

Flyball box cover - Dogs of Anarchy

Hopefully now that I’ve made two I’ve got most of the kinks worked out.  The one for the raffle is made with a fabric I randomly found at Walmart which worked pretty well.  Its crisp and a nice deep black, but isn’t terribly washable, you can’t really iron it (only a problem during construction), and being that its from Walmart I can’t be sure I can find it when I need it.  Jaimie’s is made of duck cloth which is always available at Joann in a number of colors and can be washed when necessary.  Now we’ll have to see if people want to spend as much as I need to charge to get one.

Wixer is having a good time being my only dog while on vacay.  Despite being in a pack of up to 8 other dogs at times he still doesn’t really have to share my attention since Bleys is at home with Dave.  Where, never fear, he is enjoying his only dog-ness as well with marathon kill-the-bottle sessions without any interfering black dogs.

Victor and vanquished

All the peanut butter kong toys.

Peanut butter love

And generally not have to share anything important like couches or laps.


Wixer got to go a walk with Kyra, Fiona, and Torment, while I got to chat with Lisa.  It was such a nice time that we walked for quite a long time.  Torment wasn’t impressed with the length of walk and totally seemed to be asking to be carried back.  Look at those adorable hammies!


He discovered that other houses sometimes have cave beds too…and a bone basket to empty onto the floor.


And he even attempted to snuggle with me while I was snuggling with Tor. I didn’t last long as I think Torment wasn’t very impressed with his snuggling style, which has been likened to cuddling with of a sack of elbows.  But I was just thrilled he tried!

Snuggle buddies

Another reason to like staying at Jaimie’s is getting to hang out with Bryan.  Then to add to his awesome leveles, last night he went and made dinner.  It was amazing. The peppers were a wonderfully sweet compliment to the steak, and the mushroom risotto was perfectly cooked with lots of hearty mushrooms and tender rice.  Super delicious and I’m hoping I can get Dave to try to recreate it at home. Drool!

Amazing dinner

I am hopefully tagging along with Bryan to disc dog class tonight and then off to South Florida tomorrow!


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Apparently I got out just in time!  I left for a visit to Florida and now there is a polar vortex directly over my house where the backyard currently looks like this.

Polar Vortex

We get a lot of wind at the house, but I haven’t seen it do this before.  Good thing there isn’t anything in the shed we need.  Dave won’t be able to empty the compost bin for a while (the pile is behind the shed), but at least it didn’t pile up in front of the door so he and Bleys can still get out easily.  I also took the crazy black dog with me so he’s only got Bleys who is content with a session of kill-the-bottle and a nap.

After a very busy weekend at a flyball seminar I’m now relaxing on Jaimie’s couch in Wesley Chapel.  I delivered a ton of stuff I made to peeps at the seminar which was fun.  Lots of agility leashes and collars.  But, I especially like the harness tags that Melanie ordered for a couple of peeps.  I found a new fabric to use for them and I think they turned out very well.  Hopefully they will let me know how they wear over time since they are new!

I am in love with the font on the ones for Reboot. I showed them to Melanie and she described it as: Classic old typewriter, with a gentle curving twist. Spot on! I love it and must find something else to embroider with it.

Harness labels

I’m becoming just as much of an embroidery font junkie as Julie is on fonts for the computer!  And the color of the one for Breeze look amazing on her pink harness.

The Tervigator
Photo by Diane Fuller

Plus, its for a puppy!  She is such a cool dog with a striking face that screams kiss me!  So I did…a lot.  She didn’t seem to mind

Wixer hasn’t had a whole lot of interaction playing with other doggiters, and it shows in his social skills.  Then when he had the thyroid issue it got a million times worse.  So when Jaimie and I were sharing a room for the seminar and Wixer, Fiona, and Torment had a marathon bitey face session that left no corner of the room untrampled I was reticent to stop them even after an hour when we wanted to go to sleep.  Fiona (a Dutch Shepherd/Staffordshire Bull Terrier) is one of the wiggliest dogs ever and quite forgiving of some over bearing body language from Wixer.  She’s also part Staffy so Wixer’s style of play is right up her ally.  Torment is by far one of the coolest whippet I have ever gotten to interact with.  He was all up in that business too and he and Wixer seemed to like to both go into the pop up crate together (even though it wasn’t really big enough for Torment alone) and roll around in it…  and roll the whole crate around the floor.  Fiona couldn’t fit in there too, so she play bowed at the door (when it was upright) and tried to get them to come out where she could play too.  I guess sexy black dogs have a bond.  I snuck a little video of Fi and Wixer today.

This was after the flinging themselves around the room portion, after the take ALL the bones out of the bone basket portion,

Bone basket 'splosion

but before the backyard zoomies portion.  I really think maybe it would be good for Wixer to have more dogs around.  He obviously enjoys playing, but can sometimes just be a big fat jerkface.

I have an appointment tomorrow to get Wixer’s hip films done again by the same vet who did them last time for a comparison.  Then I will hopefully get to sit in on a disc class Wednesday night with Bryan and then on to South Florida on Thursday.  I’m super excited to see people and will hopefully get to cross paths with as many as possible.