Thursday, August 8, 2013

Roses, Violets and Viruses

Hi, everyone!  I haven't posted lately (tsk, tsk!) because I've been really busy sewing garments for the gallery.  So far I've mailed twelve, the most recent mailing accomplished yesterday, and the owner of the gallery fell in love with them, telling me when she received the first batch, "They're so cute I can't stand it! (LOL)."  I haven't received word on whether any of them have sold, but I probably won't know until September 1, when she pays her artists via PayPal.

Here's a pic of a dress I mailed yesterday, one I've decided to make exclusive to the gallery (not for listing on Etsy):
I've dubbed this the "Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue" Dog Dress, and it's available in both the Small and XSmall sizes.

For about the past month, viruses were the story of my computing life.  Over that period of time I noticed worsening aggravation in the form of unexpected web pages and windows surfacing when I'd typed a URL into the address bar.  It became intensely aggravating yesterday evening, and I hardly had any peace with the machine until this afternoon, when I threw up my hands and called that wonderful techsupport company with which I've had a three-year contact since December of 2010.  The company,, is located in India, and their expertise is awesome; they've resolved every software issue I've had, ranging from unexpected change to my Internet Home Page from MSN to Google to computer viruses, which was the cause of my most recent headaches.  The technician found over 40 viruses!  I came out of this experience $79.95 poorer, since the technician sold me a wonderful virus protection program, which is much better than what I'd been using, a program known as Total Defense, which automatically performs weekly scans and virus eradication.

Other tasks beckon, so I must close for now.  Take care!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cowdogs and Pink Lemonade

Hi, everyone!  I'm glad to be back, and if it wasn't for my wonderful technical support company in India,, you'd still be waiting for this post.  iYogi, with which I've had a three-year contract, has been a lifesaver, bailing me out of miscellaneous software issues time after time.  My most recent experiences with iYogi have largely resulted from failure of the cursor to remain in this text box for a long enough time for me to post.  All I can say (aside from my high opinion of iYogi technicians' expertise) is: computers - aaagh!  I think most computer users have a love/hate relationship with them.

Now for my most recent Etsy listing, which I posted this morning.  The listing will do double-duty, since I'm also sending the item in the photo to the Fort Myers, Florida gallery I mentioned in a recent post.  So far I've sewn four items for the gallery; four down and two to go before I mail the garments to the owner.
Now you see what I mean by "Cowdogs."  As I said in the Etsy listing, how can anyone resist this print?  A brief  look at the photo on the fabric supplier's website, my first thought was, "Done deal!"  I've never seen anything this cool!  Months ago I first used it on the bodice of my Western Shirt, Stonewashed Jeans & Bandanna listing, one of which I've sold so far.

I expect to mail the completed items to the gallery by Friday,  I'll be back then with some pics of them.  I'm really excited about this opportunity, especially because the gallery's owner has informed me that if I send no fewer than six items, she'll arrange them in a display for really good exposure!  I can hardly wait!

Time for a really yummy recipe, Pink Lemonade Fudge: 24 servings

1 8-oz. can pink lemonade frosting
1 3-oz. packet pink lemonade powdered drink mix
small amount of vegetable oil
sprinkles (optional)

Line an 5" x 8" pan with foil extending over the edges of the pan.  Very lightly mist with cooking spray and set aside.  In a microwaveable bowl, melt the white chocolate chips for 1 minute on high.  Stir, then add a small splash of vegetable oil and heat (on high) in microwave for about 30 seconds, until completely melted and smooth (avoid burning the chocolate).  Stir in the drink mix and immediately stir in the frosting.  Combine thoroughly.  Spread the fudge mix evenly in the prepared pan and top with sprinkles if desired.  Refrigerate for about two hours to set.  Cut into swqures to serve.  Store airtight for about 4 says.

I promise to return around the end of the week to post the gallery item photos.  Take care!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Do You Think I Like Bright Colors?

A resounding "yes," as the photo shows:
I listed it this afternoon, and will have more dresses of this type as well as shorter harnesses for les girls and the "boys." 

I'll soon be expanding into another venue, which I'm really excited about: an upscale consignment gallery in Fort Myers, Florida.  Yesterday afternoon, the owner of the gallery sent me a Convo starting with, "I love your items!"  What's unusual about this arrangement is that she's asking me to add her 40% commission to my standard prices, which means I'll do as well as I do on Etsy - actually, even better, since nothing whatsoever will be deducted from my proceeds, whereas Etsy deducts a small amount.  I'll need to download a contract, sign and date it, and enclose it with the items, which I'll mail to her.  The name of the gallery is Savvy on First Gallery.

Last week I mailed another short harness to my regular buyer, who, as usual, waxed enthusiastic over it.  Here's a pic:

Once a buyer has ordered something from me, a proper fit is guaranteed, since a while back I started translating each dog's measurements onto patterns I make.  To make each pattern, I tape several 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper together and then draw a pattern on it, onto which I enter notes about the desired length of a D-ring holder and other measurements.  I'm posting a photo of one of my patterns so you can see what I mean.  As the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words:
On this pattern the word "Juicy" is the largest.  That's the name of one of my regular buyer's dogs.  As an aside, I name each garment I make for this dog, and list as a sample, after her, as you can see in the pertinent listings.  I've also listed some "Violet" garments, named after this buyer's other dog who wears some of my garments, and I've listed a "Penny" gown, named after another boyer's dog, as well.

Gotta go now.  Be back later with a mouth-watering recipe.  Take care!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I'm Back

If at first you don't succeed, try again.  Here's the photo I promised in my last post:
My friends flew to the Dominican Republic Saturday, and the last time I talked to her was when she called from the airport.  For some mysterious reason she hasn't been able to contact me since then, even though she'd promised to get an international calling card and call me the following day.  I've been receiving their mail in my care, and two important pieces of mail have arrived since they left, so I really need to speak with her.  A while ago I got the bright idea of emailing their congregation there in an attempt to get the communication wheels turning.  I know, from having lived overseas, how communications to and from third world countries can pose a challenge, but waiting for her to call is nonetheless frustrating, so I'm hoping my email will end up generating a call from my friend.

Time to close for now.  Take care, and I ptromise to be back soon with a recipe (no time to find any lately).

Been Too Busy to Post

Hi, everyone!  I just checked the date of my last post, and to my dismay I discovered I haven't posted here for 3 1/2 week (sorry about that).  I've been so busy, between processing what I took to calling my Big Kahuna order, helping a dear friend get ready for her and her husband's move to the Dominican Republic, etc.  I've finally been able to "come up for air."

Last Monday I mailed the Big Kahuna order, consisting of five items for the buyer's three dogs: the Executive Dress Shirt & Blue Tie and the pansy print harness for two of her dogs and, for her other pooch, a pink flannel butterfly print harness (doubling as a recent sample listing, pictured below), the dress with a baby blue bodice, three vertical rows of lace and yellow flowered skirt, and the flannel Poky Little Puppy Dress.  I was soooo excited when I checked my Shop Stats the day she ordered them, and saw what she'd ordered as well as what she paid for them!  She wanted a D-ring and closed neck front on each garment.

The dress with the lace-trimmed baby blue bodice and yellow flowered skirt took the longest to make - six hours for a tiny dog's dress! - because, being meticulous by nature, I wanted to make absolutely sure the rows of lace were centered just so and applied securely with Liquid Stitch fabric glue (which, by the way, I swear by for application of trims).

I know I'm admitting to a stereotype - especially because I'm not of pure Swiss ancestry - but some years ago a friend and I saw a diorama, displayed at a museum, of a finely detailed wooden farm, made by some Swiss people.  According to the legend, the Swiss are noted for excellence at precision work, which came as no surprise to my friend and me because of the precision timepieces for which the Swiss are renowned.  When it comes to exactitude in measuring and creating dog apparel, my middle name should be "meticulous," which makes me well suited for the handmade dog apparel business.

I usually have orders ready for mailing two days after receiving them, but preparation of the Big Kahuna order took just five days, since I didn't want to keep the buyer waiting too long.  The first day was devoted to measuring and making a pattern for each dog's garment, then sewing the following four days.

I'm having a problem posting text underneath the photo, so I'll have to close for now.  Be back shortly.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

And Another Style!

Hi, everyone!

More brand new stuff in my Shop!  Yesterday I listed a short version of the "Juicy" and "Violet" clothes, a harness with an almost 2" ruffle.  Doesn't Dominique look adorable in it?

When it comes to refinement of photos, the expression "live and learn" just came to mind.  To come up with a decent pic I had to suffer through five shooting sessions, as I kept ending up with an infuriating yellow shadow.  What was most maddening was that the more I tried tweaking on the photo editing site, the worse they came out.  But with what turned out to thankfully be the final attempt (what you see here with Dom modeling), all I needed to do was increase the contrast , do the invariable cropping, and sharpen.  My sigh of relief could almost be heard in Moscow!

This experience has taught me to avoid posing Dom in such a way that a shadow would result.  As I knew before, the time of day is also important; never when it's dark, even with artificial light, which can impart an overall yellow tint to photos.

To change the subject, it's getting to be really hot here in Florida, yet from what I see in Etsy Expat Team members' posts, it's still cold in France.  Their posts take me back years ago to the time my then-husband and I were in London in June.  It was so cold I had a terrible time using the camera's controls to take pics of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace!  We couldn't believe it!

Speaking of weather, my heart goes out to the people in Oklahoma.  Natural disasters have become much more frequent than they used to be.  Christ accurately (not surprisingly) foretold that in Matthew chapter 24.

Other responsibilities beckon, so I need to sign off for now.  Have a glorious day!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Exciting New Dog Apparel Line (Yes, Another One to choose from!)

Hi, everyone!  I hope all has been well with you and your pets if you have them.

My regular buyer has raved about the harness clothes I've made for two of her teacup Chihuahuas, and so far she's ordered eleven garments (more than that if I lost count) in the past 5-6 months.  Her enthusiasm about my designs and workmanship has increased to the point where she recently started twisting my arm to start listing garments of that style.  A few days ago I yielded to her persuasion, and so far I've listed three.  Here they are:

Dog clothes of this type are so versatile, since they double as a high fashion garment and a harness; a D-ring is attached by means of a length of cloth fastened vertically to the bodice.  They really don't take much longer to make than the styles I'd previously listed, which have no D-ring and are closed at the front of the neck (no Velcro there unless the buyer requests it, and I've offered optional D-rings).

I mailed her last order two days ago, and she's already talking about her next order.  I'm so happy to have her as a regular buyer!

To change the subject, I just had an aggravating experience with part of a social networking site, the name of which will be anonymous here.  I was recently emailed an invitation to join a group of crafters.  Accepting the invitation, little did I know that participation in it would be so heavily regimented, with the person in charge of the group giving orders as to where to post, how often to post, what each post should consist of, and by what means we must post.  On finding that out I beat a hasty retreat from the group and have decided to start one of my own with no rules aside from the common-sense one of showing friendliness in posts, period.

What's so sad about the extreme regimentation of that group is that it promises an increase in sales, which may be materializing for me despite my brief tenure.  This morning I received an inquiry regarding my shipping costs.

How anyone can stand to remain a member under those conditions is beyond me, and other members expressed similar feelings, saying that they're afraid to post anything.

Thanks for letting me vent.  Stay tuned for more info, which will appear here once I find out how to fill out the required form for starting a group without getting an error message telling me I need to enter invitees' names, which I'd tried doing.  When it comes to computers, never a dull moment!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Flower Garden Pics

As for the pot holder in the center pic, a friend of mine, knowing I'm a dog lover, couldn't resist giving it to me.  I'd never seen anything like it, and neither had she.  The bottom photo is of my potted herbs: in the left foreground, a miniature variety of basil known as 'Boxwood Basil,' plus rosemary; to its right, oregano; behind them, sweet basil.  How I like to snip pieces from the herbs and take them inside to lay on my kitchen counter, the most wonderful aroma filling the air!

That's all I have to report for now.  I'll be back soon with a mouth-watering recipe.  Take care!

Bright Flowers Aplenty in This Post

Hi, everyone!  I hope all has been well with you and your pets if you have any.  Between putting together my most recent listing, which I posted in my Etsy Shop a while ago (it's already garnered four Favorites!), and helping a dear friend get ready for her and her husband's move to the Dominican Republic, I've been pretty busy.  Better than being idle.

Here's the Mexican-style hat/bandanna combo I've been talking about.  I'd planned on using a bright striped fabric for the scarf, but couldn't find one bright enough, so after carefully perusing the bolts of fabric in the store, I decided on a cloth I used to make a dress for one f my regular buyer's Chihuahuas.

For a means of securement around a canine head I'd originally planned on using a loop of thin black elastic, but while rummaging through the contents of my trims bag I came across the yellow rick-rack.  I immediately realized how well it would go with the bandanna, so out of the bag it came and - presto! - with a few dabs of Liquid Stitch fabric glue, it became anchored firmly between the inside of the hat and the sweatband I'd fashioned from a length of the scarf material.

How I enjoy creative activities!  Over the years I've learned from several sources that anger is the fount of creativity.  Aah, who knows if that's true, but I do know one thing: \after having been evacuated from Iran in late 1978, my creativity blossomed, so personal experience tells me that it may well have something to do with survival of a traumatic experience.

Now for another floral subject: the pics I'd promised of my flower garden...I'll have to close this post briefly, since it looks like Blogger's photo uploading setup might well post the hat/bandanna combo again, if I understand the images on the upload page correctly.  Be back shortly.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cowboy Dog Accessories and Inspirational Books

Hi, everyone!  I had every good intention of posting here by now, but a busy, and exciting, schedule stood in the way (at least I haven't kept you folks waiting too long).  This post will be brief, since I have to leave for the post office in a while to mail a dog dress, and I have the inevitable trip to the grocery store as well.

One thing that's kept me busy is the beginning of collaboration with the author of a series of inspirational storybooks titled "The Thrilling Adventures of Roleafeo and Jazzie" as well as "Fluffy the Cat."  Publisher is, and the price is $11.95 plus shipping & handling.  My involvement in her project will consist of being her publicist and making clothes for her trademark stuffed dogs named, appropriately, Roleafeo and Jazzie.  The author is the twin sister of a close friend of mine.

The cowboy hat/bandanna combo are listed in my Etsy Shop!  Here are some pics:

As you see in the "upside down" photo, I made a loop of elastic and secured it and the bandanna print sweatband to the hat with non-toxic fabric glue.

Be back another day.  Take care!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sundress Pics

Here they are...oops, due to my computer's failure to save the back view pic, I have to change "they are" to "it is".
I wonder if there's a computer user who doesn't have a love/hate relationship with them.  At least my recent switch from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome has made that part of my life more enjoyable.  I love Chrome's lightning speed and it's overall reliability, which means I can count on the back button working with each and every click, etc.

I have two potential orders brewing, so I need to get back to Etsy.  Bye for now, and take care!

Back at the Sewing Machine and Listing

Hi, everyone!  No more of those long absences from posting for me!  I've resolved to keep you up to date on developments in my Shop, plus goings-on in general.

Yesterday I listed a sundress, and I'm so pleased at how it came out.  It's only the beginning...I plan on  making and listing, for the males, a pair of swim trunks in the same fabric.  The waist will be partly elasticized to keep them from falling off.

I've been having so much fun working on expansion of my Shop to include more beach party-style apparel (I already have the Mock Aloha Shirt & Surfer Shorts) and the little hats and bandannas I mentioned here recently.  Yesterday I bought an assortment of colorful thin satin ribbon for the Mexican hats, and the guinea hen feathers came in yesterday's mail (they're really nice).  For the Western bandannas I  plan on using a traditional red, black and white bandanna print, and I'll make the Mexican ones out of a colorful striped cloth I've had on hand.

To change the subject, planting season has started here in Florida, and you should see my little garden patch!  It's a blaze of color!  Today I filled in the bare areas between the bright orange marigolds, crimson and pink dianthus and white petunias I call them my "petunia shrubs" - they're huge!), with rusty-orange marigolds and more of the crimson dianthus.  I'll post pics here as soon as the new plants have grown some.  Gardening is such good therapy, and so is viewing beautiful plants.  There's nothing like God's creations to soothe one's soul, which we all need in view of the distressing stuff we hear on the news.

Here's a photo of the sundress, and then I close for now,..oh my goodness, I don't believe it - the pic seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth.  Those dinky thumbnails can be soooo frustrating!.  Tell you what - I'll find the original one, edit it, and then come back to post it.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hat Photos and Recipe

Hi, everyone!!  I've taken pics of the cute little cowboy hats, for which I've come up with Western and Mexican designs (stay tuned).  Here they are:

Aren't they just adorable!  I've ordered some small guinea hen (black and white spotted) feathers for the Western hats, and will buy thin satin ribbon of different colors, so within the next week I'll have some hat/bandanna combos ready for listing.  I'm so excited about the forthcoming line!


Now...are you ready for a mouth-watering recipe?  Weird-sounding name, but is it good!


1 pkg. Oreo cookies (not Double Stuff)
6 TBSP. melted butter
1 8-oz. pkg. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 TBSP. cold milk
2 3.9-oz. pkg. chocolate instant pudding
3 1/4 cups cold milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 large tub Cool Whip

Crush the Oreo cookies in a food processor or in a Ziploc bag (with a rolling pin) into fine crumbs.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Stir in 6 TBSP. melted butter, and incorporate into the cookie crumbs with a fork.  When the butter is distributed, transfer the mixture to a 9" x 13" baking dish.  Press the crumbs to the bottom of the pan.  Place the pan in the refrigerator.

Mix cream cheese with mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 2 TBSP. milk and 1/4 cup sugar.Mix well.  Stir in 1 1/4 cups Cool Whip.  Spread over the crust.  In a bowl, combine instant pudding with 3 1/4 cups cold milk.  Whisk for several minutes until the pudding starts to thicken.  Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the cream cheese layer.  Put back in the refrigerator for five minutes to allow the pudding to firm up.

Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top.  Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly over the top.  Place in the freezer for one hour or the refrigerator for four hours before serving.  Bon appetit!

Since the dessert is layered, you probably know why it's called Chocolate Lasagna.

I need to communicate with a buyer, so I've gotta go.  Take care!

Oh Happy Day!!

Hi, everyone!!  This time you didn't have to wait long for my return here.  You might call that turning over a new leaf, and I hope this trend continues.

Some wonderful things have happened since yesterday evening.  First of all, I was pretty fed up with the mediocre (understatement) performance of my computer.  While I'd be typing, the text would stop appearing on the screen, the back button didn't always cooperate on the first click, and the page changes were as sloooow as molasses at the North Pole in January.  In short, I had frequent aggravations with the dumb thing and was contemplating replacement of it with a different brand.  Well, yesterday evening I threw up my hands in disgust and decided to switch browsers from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome.  There's no comparison - performance has been flawless, like night and day!  As a result, I'm enjoying use of my computer soooo much more, plus the switch doesn't cost a penny!  Internet technology has come a long way since Explorer was introduced.

Here's the piece de resistance:  here I've shared bits and pieces about my participation in the Etsy Expats Team, participation that's included curation of bi-weekly theme Treasuries.  This morning I got up to read a Convo (Etsy's internal email) from the winner of the next-to-last competition.  The title of the Convo was, "Congratulations...You're the Winner."  Do you think I'll ever stop doing the Happy Dance???  The theme was Colors That Make Your Heart Sing," and was there competition - eight people each submitted at least one entry!  The last winner couldn't decide which of my seven should win, so she made ME the winner.  I'm unable to post the links here, so I'll give you the titles, which you can enter into Etsy's Treasury Search (or you can go to and click on "Sally" on the lefthand side of the screen and then click on the Treasury link): 1) Kaleidoscopic Kreations - Etsy Expats Team; 2) Brighter Than Bright - Etsy Expats Team; 3) The Most Colorful Time of the Year; 4) Gold Is the Way to a Woman's Heart - Etsy Expats Team; 5) Pastels of Spring Make One's Heart Sing - Etsy Expats Team; 6) Black & White and Red All Over - Etsy Expats Team; 7) Colors That Make Your Heart Sing - Rainbow Sherbet.

Other activities are beckoning, so I'll have to close.  Remember I promised a recipe?  I'll post it later today for sure.  I'll also have pics of the new mini cowboy hats.  Bye for now.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cowboy Hats and Buyer's Chats (Continued Again)

I got so wrapped up in  telling you about those mini cowboy hats and bandannas that I forgot to bring up the friendships that can develop between Etsy sellers and their satisfied buyers (the "Buyer's Chat" part of the title of this post.  I'm sure you were wondering who this buyer is and what the chats were about.  Here goes:

You might remember the posts I entered starting a few months ago about a lady and her three teacup Chihuahuas, two of whom love wearing dog clothes.  She has raved about everything I've sewn for her dogs, and a friendship has evolved.  We exchange pics of our dogs as well as chit-chat about what's going on in our lives.  She's such a pleasant lady, and she enjoys my sense of humor.  She's sent several pics of one of her dogs standing up in the driver's seat of her car, to which I've commented, "She must be your navigator" (or in one case, "driver.")  She got a kick out of that.  She's lonely, so she needs a lift. 

Actually, don't we all need a lift, with the dramatic increase in crime rate and other misfortunes in recent years.  What a relief it was to have found out that the Boston Marathon Bomber was captured!  My belated condolences go out to those affected by that tragedy.

Enough rambling for now.  As I said in my very last post, I'll have a scrumptious recipe next time.  Take care!

Cowboy Hats and Buyer's Chats (Continued)

Good to be back just a few hours after submitting my last post.  Not just making up for lost time, but also to continue where I had to leave off due to a technical gluitch which caused the margins of the last part of my last entry to be wonky.  After closing, I made a beeline from the blog to Blogger's Support Forum, where I posted an SOS for resolution of the issue.  Just before starting this post, I checked my last entrymm, and discovered to my delight that the support staff had corrected the matter. The margins are now as straight as a die.  Hooray!!

Back to the cowboy hats.  I don't plan on selling just decorated hats.  In an Etsy Convo, my friend Victoria also introduced the idea of selling hat and bandanna combos.  Brilliant! My Shop already has a few cowboy and cowgirl outfits, and I'll sell the hat/bandanna combos separately, with mention of how good they'll look with the outfits.  The little doggies will be all set for the hoedown in them!

   No way will a hat stay on a dog's head without a chin strap to hold it in place, so I had to put my thinking cap on to come up with a viable means of securement.  What I've decided to do is form two triangles of the same fabric as the bandanna, with an elastic chin strap sewn to them, and fasten the triangles to the inside of the hat with fabric glue, which, once dried, makes whatever you're gluing stay put.  I swear by Liquid Stitch fabric glue, which, by the way, is non-toxic, for fastening trims and the like to fabric, and I've never had a complaint from a buyer about the trim detaching.

Next time, which I vow will be soon, I'll havve a mouth-watering recipe.  Yummm!

Cowboy Hats and Buyer's Chats

Hi, everyone!  Remember my promise to be back soon?  Well, I just looked at my last post, and discovered to my dismay that I last posted on March 10!  How the time flies!  My experience with that has been similar to that of vowing to call a friend, but promptly forgetting to do so until it's about time to go to bed, at which point you think, "Well, another day."  It happends again and again, until you finally drum up the wherewithal to call the person, unless he or she beats you to it.  We Etsians are especially prone to that, with orders coming in and promoting on our agenda as well.  Ny apologies, dear friends!

The movie project didn't work out.  It's a long story, but I'll say this much - from now on I'll stick to conducting business with people who want garments for their little dogs, period.  It's so much easier, not having to worry about meeting production crew's deadline and mine, since sewing and mailing time has to be taken into account.

Last week I listed another party dress, a black and silver lace-patterned number with a black satin panel at the midsection, with a bow of the printed material.  Here's a pic of the dress, which has garnered many Favorites:
Another type of listing is on the drawing board, and I'm really excited about it.  An Etsy friend, Victoria Clark, has a wonderful blog,, and I had arranged to have her posts emailed to me.  I really enjoy reading them, and in a recent post of hers she included a photo of a stuffed rhino she'd made.  The upshot is that the rhino is wearing a mini cowboy hat, and in her postVictoria provided a link to the supplier's Etsy shop, Mad Hatter Supply (  My first thought on seeing the hat and the link was, "Order some, decorate them and put them in my shop!"  They came in yesterday's mail, and I just love them.  In fact, in the feedback I left for the seller I said, "they exceed my expectations."

I don't know what's happeneing with my text entry here; the margin is not even, and it's really frustrating me.  I need to close for now.  Be back later.  Take care! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Here are the pics of the four dresses the owner of the three Chihuahuas ordered most recently (no technical difficulties with posting this time, thank goodness!):

She's as pleased as punch with them, and plans on ordering more pretty soon.

The positive experiences I've had with this buyer as well as others who have ordered from me goes to show you how important good communication is with buyers.  I'm a firm believer, too, in sending buyers photos of the finished custom product for approval prior to shipping.

In my March 20 post I promised another recipe.  Here it is:


1/3 cup herb-flavored dipping oil
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 16-oz. pkgs. pre-made pizza dough (or equal amount homemade dough)
1 7-oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 8-oz. plg. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Separate pizza dough into small bite-sized pieces.  In a bowl, pour dipping oil.  Toss dough pieces in oil to lightly coat.  Layer dough pieces in bottom of bundt or fluted tube pan.  Next, layer sliced pepperoni and shredded cheese, and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Repeat layers, and end with final layer of dough pieces.  Serve by pulling the bread apart into individua;l servings with optional marinara sauce on the side.  Enjoy!

This time I promise to post again before the coming week ends.  As I indicated in my last post, which was interrupted by the difficulties posting the dog dress pics, it's great to be back!

I haven't posted in a while (tsk, tsk, my apologies).  Processing of orders, theocratic activities, and participation in the Etsy Expats, have kept me pretty busy, and I'm grateful for this breather.

The Etsy Expats Team provides many opportunities for participation, including its biweekly themed Treasury Challenge.  The current Challenge theme, Mellowed with Age, was introduced yesterday.  This one is especially challenging, since IMO, it's just plain hard to come up with a relevant Treasury theme AND satisfy the requirement of including at least eight Team members' items.  Buuut...I managed to come up with one, which is titled Wooden You Want Something Old?  You may have guessed that each featured item is a vintage piece made of wood.  Here's the link to it:

I haven't had time to list anything, but in Etsy's infancy one of its developers had the foresight to provide sellers with the opportunity to relist items.  Have I been relisting and relisting!  Items of mine have also been featured in Treasuries too numerous to mention.

It seems that some dogs, as they age, show a trait that's opposite to that of aging men: they become more hirsute.  In past winter seasons, Dominique's coat wasn't quite as bushy as it is now, and she never had a 1-inch length of fur projecting from her toes.  I'm astonished at this, and the other day I took a pic of her feet:

I'm really happy at the present frequency of sales in my Shop, partly due to the satisfied buyer I've mentioned in previous posts.  In a period of less than a week she ordered four dresses for two of her tiny Chihuahuas!

During my attempt just now to post photos of those dresses, I experienced technical difficulties, so I need to log off for now.  I'll be back shortly.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Treasuries and Tweaks

Hi, everyone!  I hope all has been well with you and your pets if you have any.  I haven't posted since February 28, since I've been busy (who isn't busy nowadays?), between engaging in some fun activities for an Etsy Team I joined last week and carrying out extensive revisions of each and every one of what was then my 112 listing descriptions.

I learned of the existence of the Etsy Expats Team via an email I received informing me that I had been added to its Circle.  What an amazing coincidence that was, since I'd lived in southern Iran from April 1974 to December 1978, when my then husband, who had been on loan from Gulf Oil to Oil Services Company of Iran, and I were evacuated due to the about-face of Irano-American relations and general turmoil there, with everybody and his brother on strike as well as the murder of an American executive employed with the Oil Company, which happened just down the street from our house!  I applied for Team membership, and a short time later was accepted.

Membership on this Team is a great opportubnity to get to know people from many countries, and its discussion board provides kazillion means of self- and cross-promotion, including different bi-weekly Treasury themes its members can use to create Treasuries within that theme.  I've been having a blast curating Treasuries to conform to the "Happy Song" theme, suggested by a member who needed to start thinking of happy songs instead of sad ones.  In the past two days I've curated three: the first one, "Shout!  Shout!  (Knock Yourself Out",) based on Ernie Maresca's hit of the early 60s, with two photos of jukeboxes and photos of miscellaneous items of colors as loud as the music blaring from a jukebox; the second one is titled, "Won't You Let Me Take You on a Sea Cruise?" (the title of  Frankie Ford's early 60s hit); and third, "Purple People Eater," which I had the most fun with.  That's all I'm going to say about that one - you must see it!  I wish I could enter the links to them here, but all you can do is enter the title into the Search box on Etsy's Treasury page.

As for my listing descriptions, I decided to make life easier for buyers and myself by by replacing hte measurements of each item listed with a request for buyers to measure their dogs prior to ordering and provide me with the dogs' measurements.  That way, there's no confusion, and with the measuremnts I can't go wrong with the fit of the garment, whereas with an order for, say, a Small size, there was concern on my part as to whether the garment would indeed fit the dog.  I've never gotten complaints, and I'd like to keep my Feedback 100% positive.
Now for the piece de resistance:  during what may have seemed like eons since I last posted, I sewed and listed the wedding veil I mentioned in my last post.  Here are the pics.

Isn't that the cutest facial expression in the first photo?  And how do you like the profusion of fur in the second?  She's never had as luxuriant a winter coat as she has this season.  I'm not looking forward to Shedding Season, but I love her so much, she's worth the extra effort involved in having a double-coated dog.

One thing that's unique among Pomeranians is their smile.  I can't resist showing you a pic of her with that Pom smile.
She looks happy partly because her Pommie Mommie takes good care of her, and also because she loves wearing doggie clothes and posing for the camera.  What a ham!

That's all for now.  Take care, and I promise to be back soon with a mouth-watering recipe.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wedding Veils and Chihuahua Tales

Hi, everyone!  I haven't posted for a while, since I've been busy with three custom orders (yay!), designing items which will be listed within the next few weeks, and finding more scrumptious recipes. 

The regular buyer I mentioned at the end of my last post ordered not just one dress for one of her three Chihuahuas, but two of them.  She's so happy with the fit of the clothes she buys from me, and she also likes the combinations of prints and stripes or checks I've used on some of my items.  Here are the pics of her most recent purchases, which I mailed day before yesterday:

So far the buyer has asked me to put D-rings for leash attachment and rosette-style bows topped with buttons on each dress.  I'm looking forward to finding out what she'll want in the future.  As I've said before, my favorite custom project involves sewing things for teacup-sized dogs.  They are soooo cute (not that I think Dom is ugly - far from it!)!

The third custom order I mailed two days ago was for a black and white fleece houndstooth coat of the same style as the one listed in my Shop.  Business is indeed picking up!

Onto a different but related subject.  Today I designed a predominantly lace veil to match the doggie wedding dress in my Shop.  I was so excited when I came across the perfect applique in Etsy's search.  I ordered two sets of four each, and they'll go on the headpiece part of the veil, which will be the same ivory color as the listed dress.  Stay tuned.

Recipe time.  I've found some simple ones which make good use of leftover ham.

Ham and Corn Sandwich Spread:

This recipe can be made with chopped cooked chicken.  Delicious eaten cold or grilled between two slices of French or whole wheat bread.

2 cups chopped cooked ham
1 1/2 cups shredded Havarti cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 3 days.  Bon appetit!

Be back later.  Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Transcending the Seemingly Impossible

Hi, everyone!  In my last post I shared my frustration with photo editing.  Since then I've put my trait of perseverance, which comes in handy when dealing with digital photography, to use again by returning to my favorite photo editing sites to do more tweaking, and reshooting a few as well.  With the exception of two or three pics, I'm feeling pretty satisfied with the final outcome of my recent major reshoot project.  The few that still have tan or gray backgrounds are that way for one of two reasons: as a result of the item being mostly white and therefore needing some contrast (otherwise the item would be pretty much invisible), or the photo just refused to yield to my TLC.

I've been getting more views of more items than was the case when I photographed Dom the Pom on grass, and I can see why Etsy prefers photos with a white background - they look more professional than those taken on things like grass or carpet.

Here are a few of my new, improved (largely) photos.

To change the subject, a while back Victoria, my fellow Etsian, blogger and Pom-owning friend, gave me eleven questions to answer in hopes of her acquiring more followers on her blog (, and suggested I formulate eleven questions to ask eleven other people so I can end up with more followers on my blog as well.  Last week I finally found the time to embark on that project, and so far I've gotten two respondents.  I'm going to go ahead and publish my questions here so that my followers might spread the word and recruit others to answer them and start following this blog (a domino effect):

1) What would your dream house look like?

2) What was your favorite subject in school?

3) If you could turn the clock back, choose one thing you would have done differently.

4) Describe a recurrent dream.

5) If you never had to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

6) If you had all the money in the world, what would you use it for?

7) What is your favorite beverage?

8) If you ever became a hoarder, what would you hoard?

9) What do you like least about computers, and do you like most about them?

10) What is your favorite childhood memory?

11) If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

A regular buyer has promised to place another order, so I need to check my Convos.  Bye for now.  Have a wonderful day!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Photo Phrustration

Hi, everyone!  A few days ago a fellow Etsian and friend, Victoria, emailed me with a suggestion to remove the grayish background that has stubbornly remained in a few of my Shop photos despite zealous attempts on my part to get rid of it by using photo editing programs.  My first thoughts were, "Well, I've done everything I could and can do no more." 

This morning I had a change of heart.  Something I can justifiably call divine inspiration came over me, a moment of truth, so I sat in front of my computer, pulled up a no-brainer photo editing site, and went to work.  Some of the pics turned out really well, but in the case of a few others, President Obama would have declared them a disaster area - manipulation of the Contrast lever with my mouse yielded the most ghastly hues of purple, red and yellow imaginable.  I took to using various exposure levers, with mixed results.  At least there was some improvement.  Feeling discouraged, I pulled up Picasa, which produced a better outcome, but not to the degree ofimprovement I'd hoped for.  Persistent gray remains in a few, white tinged with green or yellow in a few others.

I started to wrack my brain for a viable solution.  A memory of the old Pepsodent toothpaste commercial came to mind: "You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent."  I wished I could put a little of the toothpaste on my toothbrush and swipe the computer screen over the photos with the yellow-tinged background.  But what about bleach?  That won't work either.  That's sheer desperation for you!

Victoria had suggested use of FotoFuze.  A more practical idea than toothpaste or bleach, but for me that won't work, either.  I say that only because I tried going that route a while back, and it made no difference whatsoever (I followed the directions to the letter,).

I take comfort in knowing that quite a few Etsy Shops have pics with gray backgrounds, yet they're selling like hotcakes.  But since "Perfectionist" should be my middle name, I'm still determined to have white backgrounds in all my photos, so I may just sooner or later reshoot the offending ones and hope for the best.

Onto a more tantalizing subject than that rather disgusting gray color in photos: cuisine.  In the email Victoria sent a few days ago, she also asked me about my culinary background, since my recipes seem to reveal that I'm an accomplished chef.  I've never attended culinary school nor was either of my parents a chef (my mother worked, so dinner was, more often than not, out of a box), but I've always enjoyed cooking for guests, and years ago I subscribed to the now-defunct Gourmet magazine.  To me a gourmet dish is like a work of art, calling for the right brushstrokes and color, and the sense of accomplishment a gourmet cook feels when something comes out of the oven is similar to what I feel when I've put the final stitch in a pet garment.

Speaking of dog/cat apparel, business has picked up, and I put a doggie dress in yesterday's mail for a 2 1/2-pound Chihuahua.  What fun it was sewing that little dress!  This dog is my smallest client to date.  To me there's something especially appealing about teacup dogs and their clothes.  Here's a pic of the dress:

 This is the pic I sent to the buyer for approval prior to shipping, so I felt no need to perfect it to the point of readiness for use in an Etsy listing, but you get the idea.  It's the Poky Little Puppy print and stripe, with a D-ring for attachment of the dog's leash, and a bow topped with a pink and white polka dotted ribbon.  It was my first attempt ever to make a bow of this type, and the buyer and I think it came out really well.  For safety's sake I sewed them on with enough thread to sink a sub.

Now for the recipe I promised in my last post: Lemon Thyme Chicken:

1 3/4-lb. boneless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. canola oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
3/4 cup white wine
1 14-oz. can chicken broth
8-10 whole sprigs fresh thyme
4-6 whole sprigs fresh oregano
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP. water

Preheat large pan on medium-high heat 2-3 minutes.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place oil in pan and add chicken.  Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.  Stir in lemon juice, wine, broth, thyme and oregano.  Cover and cook 8-10 minutes or until 165 F is reached,, turning chicken occasionally.  Remove chicken, oregano and thyme from pan.  Do not wash pan. 

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until smooth; pour into pan and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until thickened.  Slice chicken,

Friday, February 8, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy (Sound Familiar???)

Hi, everyone!  What a busy day today has been.  A very fulfilling day, though.  We all know how a day might not be fulfilling, when you get a bill that's higher than anticipated, or whatever.  Makes me realize how grateful we Floridians are that it's wintertime, when our utility bills are at their lowest. 

Besides getting ready for a two-day spiritual assembly, planting the rest of my annuals - orange marigolds, red dianthus, white petunias, and pansies, which provide my patio area with a blaze of color - I cleaned off of my honey-coolored wall-to-wall carpet some dog hair that keeps accumulating despite frequent brushing of my dog plus her having her luxuriant winter coat - what a good feeling to have clean floors! - and I listed my 113th item on Etsy: a red, black and white pet bow tie with paw prints galore.

Yesterday evening was not so fulfilling.  The new Kindle Fire refused to cooperate, so I got in touch with Amazon Tech Support.  They were wonderful, trying so hard via Live Chat to help me to try to get the thing to do what it's supposed to.  It was an ercise in futility;  the dumb steadfastly remained on sit-down strike, so I'll need to return it, and Amazon is sending me a replacement device which is scheduled to arrive on Monday the 11th.  Modern technology can be such a pain in the neck, which made me even more grateful that today was fulfilling!  The replacement device is being shipped UPS Express to make up for the frustration I went through.  As I said, they are truly wonderful!

No recipe today, but I'll have one in my next post.

Here's the photo of the new bow tie:

Be back soon.  Take care!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Here's the pic I tried to upload earlier:

Long Time No Post, Glad to Be Back

Hi, everyone!  I apologize for making you wonder if I'd breathed my last, since I hadn't posted for almost two weeks.  I've been so busy reshooting all but one of the Shop pics with Dominique modeling the garments.  Not just one shot of each item, but two or three of each pose, just to make sure at least one of each would turn out well, so my digital camera - a Canon Powershot A-4000, which I absolutely love - got an honest-to-goodness workout!  The project took longer than anticipated, because I was not satisfied was the pose I'd put Dom in for some of the listings, so I ended up doing them over with the back view of her sitting.

I said "all  but one of the Shop pics" because there is one I like so much I can't bear the idea of replacing it.  It's the main pic of my Cotton Multicolored Daisies Dress: a closeup of her modeling the dress, with part of my flower garden in the background.  The delicate while alyssum and orange marigolds were a built-in prop.  They complement the print of the dress so well, and they aren't distracting, IMO (hopefully humble).

The ideal photo background in Etsy's eyes is white, but try as I did I could not get the tan out of some of the pics.  How that got there mystifies me, since I took them at the same time of day with the vertical blinds fronting my bedroom window wide open.  At least I have the satisfaction of having done my very best, using Picasa to crop and to adjust the color, contrast and brightness.  I really like Picasa because of its simplicity.  All you need to do is click on the "color" and "contrast" buttons, click on "crop" to use the cropping feature, and move the brightness "lever" with the mouse.  For adjustment of the background, since it sometimes comes out blue or yellow, I resort to Picmonkey's color balance feature.

Enough rambling about the new, improved (a term borrowed from the advertising trade) photos.  Now I'm practically counting the hours until the UPS truck makes its delivery here tomorrow.  I'm getting a Kindle Fire, which I ordered from Amazon.  It will put a happy end to my having to lug a heavy bag full of books to my spiritual meetings and will thus be a boon for my degenerated lumbar spin, which is about ready for the dumpster.

About a week ago I somehow managed to squeeze in the time to sew and list a fleece coat, the print/stripe of which is similar to the one with green on the sides and is also different in that it has a pocket on the back for keys, doo-doo bags, etc. 

I just tried uploading a pic of the coat - an exercise in futility, which means the server is probably busy.  I'll try again later.

Recipe time:  Tuscan Sweet Potato Salad.  This yummy concoction serves 4.

1 lb. sweet potatoes, cooked and drained
2 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced
1 cup bell pepper strips
2 ox. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 TBSP. fresh basil, cut into thin strips
2 1/2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP. balsamic vinegar
1/2 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and cheese; add basil.  In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together oil, vinegar and garlic.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over salad, and toss to blend.  Cover and let stand up to one hour to blend flavors.  Enjoy!

That's all for now.  Be back later.  Take=care!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dom the Pom Undressed

Here are the pics I promised earlier today, plus a yummy coleslaw recipe.

Her chair was in my living room until a few months ago, when I moved it into my bedroom so I could fondle her and talk to her while working on my computer or sewing machine.  She loves the companionship and so do I, of course.

Here's the recipe, which contains one of my favorite herbs, fennel.  If you've never tried this herb, it tastes like licorice and will add some pizazz to your slaw.

FENNEL-APPLE COLESLAW (16 half-cup servings)

4 cups shredded red cabbage
1/4 tsp. fennel
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP. cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Combine solid ingredients and set aside.  In a small bowl whisk the wet ingredients until smooth.  Pour over coleslaw and mix thoroughly.


I have to close for now.  As I said in my last post, it's great to be back!

My "Browse" Button Is No Longer MIA!!

Call me a happy camper due to my "Browse" button being back in my life as a blogger!  The shriek of delight I emitted when I tried it a minute ago might have been heard in California (I'm in Florida).  A week ago I upgraded my browser from Internet Explorer8 to IE9, which may have had something to do with the return of the button.  I never realized how much fun blogging is until I was unable to post pics and therefore unable to blog!

During the summer I may have posted a comment about Dominique's then-short (due to the hot summer here) coat.  You should see her now - her coat is in full bloom, and when a friend of mine saw some pics of her on my digital camera she said, "She looks like a bear."  I've known, and known of, several people who named their black Poms "Bear," with good reason.  Now that I can post photos again, I'll take some of her without clothes and of her lounging in HER chair - yes, the spoiled little patootie has her own chair! - and post them here.

I've listed another small dogs'/cats' fleece coat, a Mexican Serape print/stripe hybrid which is featured in an Etsy Treasury titled "Mexican Folk Art."  Here's a pic of the coat:
Now that I can post pics again, it's time for me to take more.  Be back later.  Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another Fun Bow Tie

Hi, everyone!  I've been having so much fun designing and creating my line of dogs' and cats' bow ties!  They're a step above the ones made just of cloth, as mine are adorned with buttons, beads and cloth floral trims.  This one is of a fabric the distributor dubbed the Fiesta print - it'ds so colorful, it's sure to brighten the day of the wearer's owner! - and it's trimmed at the center with a goldtone star-shaped button.  Here's a pic of my Dominique modeling it.

Oops, foiled again!  This site had had its (and its users) share of problems with photo uploads recently.  My only suggestion is to go to my Etsy Shop and find the listing titled Cats'/Little Dogs' Bow Tie w/Star Button - Red, Orange, Gray, Black & Pale Blue Fiesta Print, Shih Tzu  I sure hope Blogspot's technicaql staff can iron this wrinkle out soon.

That's all for now.  I'd post more, but am not in the mood due to persistence of the technical issue.  Be back later, and hopefully by then I'll be able to upload photos.  Especially since the next item on my creative agenda is construction and listing of a fleece coat in a colorful print.  Stay tuned, and have a great day!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bureau of Missing Web Page Buttons

Hi, everyone!  I'mm in dire need of help from someone who would know how I can upload a photo onto this blog without the old super-reliable "Browse" button, which always worked like a charm. 

When I tried uploading a pic a while ago, I ended up with a ginormous problem which I ended up reporting to the Bureau of Missing Web Page Buttons, or something to that effect.  Instead of encountering the "Browse" button, I encountered a page I'd never seen before, which had four or five choices including "URL."  Off I went to my Etsy Shop to copy the URL of the item whose photo I needed to upload, then returned to Blogspot and pasted the URL into the URL bar.  Lo and behold, to my great consternation the system rejected the URL!  When I saw the error message I couldn't believe my eyes, since I'd had no problem whatsoever copying & pasting URLs into Wanelo's URL box!

If any of you could advice me as to how I can upload photos with this new format, I would greatly appreciate it.  The expression, "If it works, don't fix it," could have applied here, and I would dearly love to know why Blogspot changed the upload format with no notice, much less instruction on how to use it, whatsoever.

Have a wonderful day, and I hope I'll be able to upload my pic tomorrow evening.