Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Little Bit of Baking...

This week I came across a recipe for pumpkin puppy treats and since I had all the ingredients in my kitchen I decided I'd bake some healthy, all natural 'cookies' for Yoshi and Wafer. I can't believe the price of dog treats, especially the healthier 'natural' varieties, so discovering how easy these were to make was a great bonus and the puppies just love them!



I found the recipe on Facebook. It had been shared from John Hammer's page by a friend. Here it is if you're interested in trying it.

DOG TREATS

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin...not the sweetened pie filling!)
2 tbsp dry milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour*
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF
In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin until smooth. Stir in dry milk, salt and parsley. Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with your hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (use brown rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.

Roll dough between 1/4 - 1/2" thick, depending on your preference and use cookie cutter to cut out bone shapes, gathering and re-rolling scraps as you go.

Place cookies on a cookie sheet (no greasing or paper is necessary). If desired, press a fork pattern on biscuits before baking.

The puppies happily sit pretty
to earn a cookie reward!
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and carefully turn them over. Bake an additional 20 minutes on this side. Allow to cook completely before storing in an airtight container or letting your dog sample them.

*Brown rice flour gives the cookies a nice crunch and promotes better digestion, especially for dogs who do not tolerate wheat well.

Makes about 75 small biscuits or 50 medium biscuits. I ended up with about 120 using the little bone cookie cutter I have and these are a perfect size for training treats (broken in half for Wafer). 







Saturday, February 21, 2015

DLP Week 7: Going Under Cover...

I love how the weekly prompts in DLP 2015 get me thinking outside of the box and trying new things while incorporating some old favourites that I haven't used for a while.

This weeks challenge was to 'cover up the good stuff' so I started by using Sakura Gelly Rollers to journal some thoughts in overlapping 'patches' of script on black gesso.










I then used some hand-marbled paper and a piece of scrapbook paper to tear strips to cover some of the journalling.












I cut some hearts out of the lining of an envelope that had the word love repeated in a variety of fonts. I drew in the lines suspending the 'love' hearts using a Liquitex paint marker and with a black water-soluble stabilo pencil, I added some shadows to give more of an illusion of depth and layers. A red Neocolour II crayon accented some of the circles on the marbled paper and the doily heart.



Finally I added a bit of doodling in black and white and called it done!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Meet Wafer-Foster Puppy #3

As most of you know, I foster future Dog Guide puppies for the Lion's Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. On February 10th we welcomed home our third foster puppy, Wafer. She is another yellow labrador retriever and she came home on her 7 week 'birthday'. We still have Yoshi, now 9 1/2 months old, and she will likely not be returning to Dog Guide 'University' for her formal training for another month or two. If you'd like to know more about Dog Guides or fostering a future Dog Guide, please click on the above link. Yoshi and Wafer are 2nd cousins.

Getting ready for Wafer's first car ride...she curled up and slept with Yoshi the whole way home!
Yoshi's never far from her new 'little sister'.
Being my first winter baby, I made some sweaters to keep Wafer warm when
I had to take her outside for 'bathroom' chores. This sweater was made using
a free pattern from http://www.mimiandtara.com
Hey Wafer, are you sure you want all of that?
The shirt pictured here is a little 'onesie' that I cut off and hemmed.

Sleeping in her crate with Lampchop.
Wafer's first shopping mall excursion.
Escalators are one of the many things to which future Dog Guides must be exposed.
"Mom, is this the cookie machine Yoshi told me about?" asks Wafer
Sitting pretty!
Napping together.
Yoshi seems to always be close to her new baby 'sister'.
Blowing raspberries on Wafer's belly! Haha

Baby it's cold out here!

More snuggles...Yoshi's sharing her bed with Wafer.
Another shopping mall outing with my Mom, Yoshi and Wafer.
Yoshi tried on her hockey buddies jersey.

Just hanging out...

Thanks Auntie Marilyn for my pretty name tag!
If I try really hard I can jump like a kangaroo!
Getting sleepy...
Yoshi likes to be close, even when Wafer is learning to nap in her crate!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

DLP Week 6: Don't Stop...

A walk in the backyard inspired the triangles in this week's spread. Don't you love the design on these boots? Sadly all of the paint has come off during subsequent walks in the snow.



I started this spread with gelli prints using my boots. I highlighted some of the triangles by doodling over them with a black pen. 
I also carved my own stamp to echo the triangles and I also used that stamp to create the 'stickers' for the numbered days in the calendar area of the spread.

Some circles were added, in which I did some journalling using my white pen. Then, because of a Group of Eight challenge, in which I was to use numbers in my piece, I pulled out a number stencil and added some numbers to the area on the left.

You'll also notice a few cupcakes. They were on a birthday card that was sent to me by one of my sisters-in-law last month, and I thought it was a good way to keep a bit of the card and the 'cupcake queen' comment which made me smile.





Saturday, February 7, 2015

DLP Week 5: Shades of Grey


















This week's DLP 2015 challenge was to use 'under paper', that wonderful paper you end up with while working on something else because you've splattered spray on it, cleaned you brushes and roller on it, etc.

I don't have any process pictures this week, partly because the process was much shorter. I loved the piece of under paper so I wanted to let it shine! The petals of the flowers were cut from another piece of under paper that complemented the colour scheme (or lack there of). A very simple collage, highlighted with a bit of white pen doodle and some lettering and I called it done!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Sneak Peek at a Challenge Quilt...

In case you thought I had given up totally on my sewing machine, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at a piece I'm working on for our Group of Eight quarterly challenge. 



I'm using fabric that I had marbled about two years ago. You can see the posts about that here and here.

All going well, I'll have it done for our meeting Wednesday when we have our challenge reveal, and of course I'll post the finished images here too.

Wish me luck. There are still many hours of quilting left to be done!



Saturday, January 31, 2015

DLP Week 4: How a Page Can Take Over...

This week on Art to the 5th's Documented Life Project, the Art Challenge was 'Writing' and the journal Prompt was 'Words with Friends'. I always start my spread by setting up the journalling boxes along the right side of the spread so that I can 'document' my life for the week even as I work through the process of creating the art on the rest of the page. That way there is no pressure to hurry the art along and theoretically even if I don't finish it during the week I can always come back to it without falling behind on the actually recording of my dailies.
Because of the challenges, I pulled out washi tape that was postage related or 'writing like' and then put some actual postage stamps to use.

I have several stamps that contain various kinds of scripts so I were used to get me started filling the blank white pages.
Using two different blues and a purple pen-all I wrote 'letters' to friends, family and even myself in the spaces left by the stamps. I quickly began to overlap the script areas and stamped script in all different directions.
 I then adhered some bits of collected paper: part of an envelope in which a letter was sent to me by a friend, a little gift card envelope and a beautiful little tree. The diamond shapes were cut from a paper napkin (I take the layers apart and only use the top, printed layer).
A bit of black was added in the form of some bold black circles. These were inspired by some art I saw in a display window of a clothing store in a mall.

At this stage I started adding layers of paint, doodles and collaged elements and words. It's during this process that the page kind of took over and went from being all about letters to being more about books and words.

Because of one of my dailies, in which I wrote about the 'puppy pants'* I made using a pattern I found on this wonderful site called Mimi & Tara: Dog Clothes Patterns, I made a tag that includes a couple of pictures of Yoshi modelling her fancy pants. The tag is tucked into the little gift card envelope.
*(Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides breeds their own puppies, and since the females in Yoshi's litter are being considered for the breeding program, they are all being kept in tact until after they are brought back to the training school. As such, she may go into heat while she is still with me.) 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

DLP Week 3: My Favourite So Far!


The Documented Life Project challenge for this week is to use the colour wheel and a particular quote of Georgia O'Keeffe.

I decided to use some acrylic ink since I only had the three primary colours and I wanted to restrict myself to those and let them mix to create other colours. I liberally painted them onto the spread with a brush.



Then I covered the page with plastic kitchen wrap and allowed it to dry for a while.

Ironically, while I was waiting for it to dry I decided to watch the the most recent episode of DMTV with Laura and Linda Kemshall. Linda was working on a journal page and I couldn't believe it, but she was using this kitchen wrap technique! Great minds!!! Having said that, she was doing some really incredible work with leaves from her garden...something I'll certainly play with at some point!
Anyway, back to my piece. Once the plastic wrap is removed you're left with a really wonderful random texture of wrinkle lines!

I added additional layers using various sizes of bubble wrap and white gesso. I seem to go back to this a lot...it's so easy and gives you those wonderful circles...definitely one of my 'go to' techniques for adding layers and texture.
I pulled out some of my Gelli print papers and made the flowers. The stems were drawn in using my white Signo pen and a permanent black pen.

Using a Terri Stegmiller stencil I added the grid lines for the quote. To soften the lines, I doodled little circles using the white pen, rather than drawing solid lines.
The text was added with a black pen, following the shapes of the grid lines and then highlighted with the white pen.

And here's the finished page: