Monday, February 28, 2011

Here come the dogs!

All because it’s Carnival time!

And everyone gets in on it, including the pets!
Yesterday The Mystic Krewe of Barkus rolled through the French Quarter.  Just like in a human parade krewe, it consisted of members whose owners had filled out their registration forms and paid the proper fees for the chance to dress in costume and parade down the street.  There is also a King and Queen of Barkus chosen every year from the members of the krewe, and the Queen is always a dog that has been rescued and rehabilitated by the LA/SPCA.  Since The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is a nonprofit organization run by volunteers all of their proceeds go to various animal rescue and SPCA organizations around the state of Louisiana.

Now, I have a deep and abiding love for dogs of all shapes and sizes.  I think they are amazing, beautiful creatures who deserve our respect and adoration, and I usually don’t condone dressing them up in clothing of any kind.  But this is Mardi Gras! 

You can’t parade without a costume, no matter how many feet you have.  I saw some wonderfully creative doggy outfits on the parade route, and I’ve gathered a few of my favorites below:

That Elvis ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog!  Get it?!

I must end this post by introducing you to my little buddy, my favorite dog in the world, Luc.  He is a half beagle, half mutt, super smart, wonder dog, and I try to bring him with me to as many places as I can.  You will certainly be seeing more of him. 

I know other people love to share pictures of their pets, too.  C’mon, let me see them!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stretch it out. Your back, that is.

This is a new blog, and I plan on putting many things on it, including lots of handmade crafting projects.  Handmade items are wonderful.  They are unique and personal, and they are great sources of pride for those who make them.  But I must start with a warning.

Sometimes crafting hurts.

Whether you are knitting, sewing, sanding, welding… if you sit in one position for long enough your lower spine will start to compress and you will get back pain.  It takes all the joy out of the moment.

Just like with exercising, these pains can be reduced by stretching before crafting.

This series of videos will help you stretch out your back.

A quick YouTube search will locate any number of back stretch how-to videos, but I liked this series the best.  These are simple, common stretches that won’t take more than ten minutes of your time.  And trust me, it is worth those ten minutes.  I also recommend taking frequent short breaks and re-stretching, or taking a little walk about to keep yourself limber.  The effort will pay off dearly in the long run, and you can enjoy that wonderful handmade item of yours without resenting it for the muscle and joint pain it caused.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Apron – A most useful piece of clothing

There is something undeniably charming about an apron. 

Aprons have been around for centuries as coveralls meant to protect clothing from everyday spills and tears, but I’m talking about the modern stylized apron.  The apron as a functional accessory, not just a stain catcher.

Like this one that I made, for instance. 
                   blog apron 1
I found the pattern for this apron here.  It was part of a vast list of free patterns on that the author of said blog has taken the time to compile for the benefit of home crafters everywhere.  It took about three hours from start to finish to complete this apron, and the difficulty level was nil.

That, too, is the beauty of the apron!  They are so easy to make, and the variation possibilities are endless.  If you have ever wanted to learn how to sew but didn’t know where to start, make an apron.  If you’re a seasoned crafter and your stash of fabric and scraps is getting over large or out of control (as so often happens), make several aprons.  Each one will be unique and stylish because aprons always are.

And, please, let me know how they come out!
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