Crafts | Crafts Crafts en-us Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:00:00 -0800 Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:00:00 -0800 Orion <![CDATA[10 Fun (and Inexpensive) Etsy Gifts for Dog People]]> Items from Etsy make excellent gifts for dog lovers. Simply shopping at the online marketplace for things handmade and vintage conveys that care went into gift selection, as opposed to afterthought during a trip to the neighborhood drugstore for wrapping paper and other holiday supplies.

They also need not cost much. In fact, I found 10 fun and inexpensive gifts for dogs and their humans during a recent window-shopping trip to Etsy.

1. Felt Pug Ornament by 2 Pug Studio

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I actually ordered three of these hand-sewn ornaments as a Christmas gift for friends with Pugs, so I can attest to their adorableness. Cost: $8. The shop sells a reindeer version, as well as a Boston Terrier ornament.

2. Magnets by Pop Doggie

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Dogster writer Liz Acosta discovered these breed-specific magnets last month, and they are the perfect stocking stuffer for dog lovers in your life. The shop represents breeds from A to Z, with each magnet featuring a modern-art drawing of the breed and a witty tagline. Cost: $5.99. Pop Doggie also customizes its magnets and prints for an additional fee.

3. Nautical Dog Toy by Karen's Rope Work

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This rugged rope toy works as a tug and a throw, and Sasha -- the animal companion (shown above) to shop owner and sailor Karen Conabeare -- will vouch for its fun factor. Cost: $8.27.

4. Darth Terrier Print by Rubenacker

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I have favorited more than a few of artist Brian Rubenacker’s creations on Etsy, and this print will be my first purchase if someone doesn’t put it under the tree for me (hint, hint).

The owner of two Boston Terriers himself, Rubenacker puts them in a variety of whimsical settings. Cost: $28. More than a dozen other breeds appear in prints and on magnets, bags, and other items.

5. Sleeping Golden Retriever Tea Towel by FuzzyMug

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Any Goldie lover would appreciate this hand-printed, flour-sack tea towel. Plus, it’s eco-friendly thanks to the water-based, nontoxic ink used to create the image. Cost: $14. The shop also sells Boston Terrier and Pug versions.

6. Holiday Dog Biscuits by True Treats Bakery

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How cute are these bell-shaped biscuits? Treat a special pup on your holiday shopping list to a dozen of these tasty, all-natural pumpkin-and-cheddar creations. Cost: $9. The Seattle pet bakery has other flavors and shapes available.

7. Custom-Etched Dog Treat Jar by midnight blu studio

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Speaking of biscuits, this Etsy shop will custom etch a dog’s name onto this adorable glass jar for holding them at no additional charge. Cost: $10.

8. Vintage Greyhound Brooch by Squirrelnuts

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Made from a stamping more than 20 years old, this newly struck brooch captures the grace of the Greyhound breed. You can order it in blue-green patina, as shown here, or red brass. Cost: $14. The artist who owns this shop also makes other breed brooches, many from stampings dating back to the late '30s.

9. Don't Bug Me All-Natural Dog Soap by Whispering Willow

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While the recipient of this gift may not appreciate it during its application, he or she will love that the ingredients -- citronella, lemon, and rosemary -- repel biting bugs. Cost: $6.

10. 2013 Dog Calendar by Square Paisley Design

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This gift will keep on giving, displaying an adorable illustration of a different breed each month through next year. A white satin ribbon ties the pages together and serves as a lovely hanger. Cost: $16. The Etsy shop also puts its graphics on a variety of other items, including clothing, jewelry, cards (shown at the top), and bags.

These 10 items are just a tiny fraction of the many quirky and cool gifts for dog lovers available through Etsy. Also keep in mind that purchasing from an Etsy shop supports small business owners, many of whom, as noted above, are pet parents themselves.

If you see something you like, order ASAP to ensure delivery in time to give as a gift!

Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/10-fun-inexpensive-etsy-gifts-dog-lovers
<![CDATA[5 Ways to Make Eco-Friendly, Dog-Themed Holiday Cards]]> If you’d like to send a special holiday message to your loved ones, why not go green and make your dog the star of your seasonal greetings? Here are five ideas for eco-friendly holiday-cards that are fun to make and fun to share. 

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Your dog may not enjoy putting on a costume, so try just a hat or antlers. Viszla by fireside by Shutterstock

1. Care2 Greetings

Make a difference by sending a free Care2 e-card -- you’ll be generating donations for worthy causes. For every e-card you send as a Care2 member, you’ll earn Butterfly credits, which can be spent on great gifts like safe drinking water for those in need, as well as carbon offsets and help for shelter pets. Care2 has an assortment of holiday templates to choose from, and you can upload a photo of your dog to personalize your greeting.

2. Get digitally creative

If you’ve got some basic photo editing skills, you can dress your dog up digitally for the holidays. Take a photo of your pet, top him off with a Santa hat, and add a seasonal message.

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I made this card with some clip art.

If you can’t draw a hat, it’s a snap to search for “transparent santa hat png” to find enough Santa hats to dress up a fleet of reindeer. Spread some holiday cheer by emailing your digital artwork to friends and family.

3. Be a merry poet

If being crafty isn’t your thing, express your Christmas creativity by penning a custom carol or Christmas poem to email to your loved ones. Here are a few lines to get you started:

Twas the night before Christmas, it was calm and foggy,

Not a creature was stirring, not even the doggy;

[YOUR PET’S NAME] was nestled all snug in his bed,

While visions of [YOUR PET’S FAVORITE THING] danced in his head;

And I in my PJs, with one promise to keep

Am sending you a greeting before I go to sleep

I wanted to wish you some holiday cheer

Along with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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You and your pups can dress up for a fun holiday photo. Couple celebrates with Shar-Pei by Shutterstock

4. Get dressed up for the holidays

Another great idea for a festive e-card is to take a photo of you and your dog dressed up for the holidays. Recruit a friend or family member to act as your photographer. Then glam yourself up in festive colors.

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Golden Retriever in Santa hat by Shutterstock

If your dog isn’t into wearing hats or silly clothes, hold a holiday decoration such as an ornament or bow near him when the picture is taken. Just make sure the decoration is out of your dog’s sight so that he doesn’t mistake it for a toy. 

5. Make a handmade holiday card 

You can transform old Christmas cards, scraps of used wrapping paper, and holiday flyers into your own handmade holiday card. Use a blank greeting card made from recycled paper as your canvas. You can buy them at craft stores or make your own by cutting an old file folder into a card shape.

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I made this card from recycled wrapping paper, magazines, and card stock.

Then cut shapes out of the old cards, wrapping paper, and flyers to create your own festive scene. Here's detailed instructions on how to make this card of a dog eagerly awaiting the treats inside his stocking.

Are you making your own card this season? Do you have any tips for creative cards? Let us know in the comments! 

Wed, 28 Nov 2012 08:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/5-ways-eco-friendly-holiday-dog-cards
<![CDATA[5 Ideas for Your Dog-Centric Holiday Greeting Card This Year]]> Holiday photo greeting cards allow you to show off the loved ones in your life. But what if your humans shy away from the camera? Or perhaps only furry family members fill your home. Not to worry: Plenty of holiday photo cards feature a dog-centric theme.

Here are five favorites -- some funny, others simply punny -- and an excellent e-card for those who procrastinate like I do.

1. North Pole Form 1225B by Minted

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Minted offers other pet-centric holiday photo cards, as well, including the clever Come! They Told Me card included at the top of this story. 

2. Happy Howlidays! by Paperstyle

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Paperstyle also has additional pet-centric photo cards within its overall holiday category. 

3. Happy Everything by

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4. Santa's Little Helpers by Tiny Prints

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Tiny Prints has a handful of other pet-centric photo cards within its overall holiday category, as well as this card that combines Christmas and Hanukkah greetings.

5. Happy Holidays from Our Litter to Yours by

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All of the above retailers have human-centric photo cards specific to Hanukkah, too. Any could easily star your furry family members.

Tips for creating and ordering holiday photo cards online:

  • Gather a few favorite photos of your dog or dogs, then choose cards that complement the images. If you lack design skills, simply look at the card as shown on the company's website and follow the designer's lead. For example, the "Come! They Told Me" card shows the perfect match between photo and theme. Play around with different combinations until you find a favorite one.
  • Only use high-quality photos with the minimum resolution recommended by the card company. Also, reject photos with blur or red eye.
  • Get started ASAP. Factor in delivery time of the cards, as well as sending time to the recipients. Also pad the timeline for procrastination on your part.

Speaking of procrastination: I rarely get my greetings in the mail before the end of the holiday season. If you also wait until the very last minute, consider using an e-card company such as Petzooba. I found more than a few I would personalize, including this fun one that puts your pups in a music video and also on the cover of Modern Dog magazine:

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Do your dogs star in your holiday photo cards? If so, please share them in the comments! We'd all love to see them.

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 03:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/dogs-5-photo-holiday-greeting-cards