Tag Archives: crafts

Pawprints on my heart

Many of you will be familiar with the phrase “Dogs leave pawprints on your heart.”  I don’t think there is a dog parent or former dog parent that would argue with it.

One of the ways I have kept my dogs in my heart is to preserve their paw prints for display in my home.  As a young child, I remember going to a local family day at our school.  At that event, each of us had our hand prints taken in plaster and they were painted in gold afterwards.  For many years, these handprints remained on the wall in our family room.

I decided to do something similar for my dogs (the first dogs I could claim were mine as a pet parent).

At the time I was taking Izzy’s print last year, I had to take everything off our walls in preparation for new wallpaper and painting.  It was an ideal time to decide about alternative ways of displaying my paw prints.  I really wanted them grouped together without having to place individual holes/hooks for each.

Here’s how it came together from the day I started on Izzy’s print:



After taking Izzy’s paw print in the modelling clay and letting it dry thoroughly, I painted it with gold craft paint


I then bought an ornament hanger that is actually designed for things like small plates. The adhesive fixes to the back of the paw print and then in permanent marking pen, I wrote her name, age 9 and 2018 (Ebony’s was taken at age 8 in 2002; Daisy at age 4 in 2004)

So here’s the crafty bit.  I bought a belt at a secondhand store for $3 and some ribbon also at a secondhand store for $2.50.   Here’s what the belt looked like at the beginning, with its pin removed:


I then cut down the belt to a suitable length (removing the rivets at the top and length at the bottom) and wove black satin ribbon through the cutouts on the belt – affixing the ends of the ribbon to the back of the belt with glue using a hot glue gun.

I then attached each paw print to the new display using macrame cord. (If I have other dogs in the future, there is room to cut the cords, and re-position the prints to add at least two more on this hanger)

Voilà – my unique wall hanging with the pawprints on my heart.

wall hanging

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Origami dogs

It’s been a terrible week of weather in Canterbury – we’re experiencing deep winter with lots of rain and cold.  It’s also school holidays and one of my clients was telling me that she uses the winter school holidays for rest with the kids.  They do outdoor activities but also lots of puzzles and crafts.

I’ve been wanting to post for a while about origami – the Japanese art of paper folding – and the large range of dogs that can be depicted using this craft.  Let’s start with the rather easy dog face:

Origami dogs

Here are the instructions for creating one:

Origami dog face instructions

Fairly easy.  But have a look at the more complicated origami designs all featuring dogs:

The above dogs were folded by Steven Casey, who has a Flickr account.

Greyhound origami by John Montroll

Greyhound origami by John Montroll

Papillon by Hideo Komatsu

Papillon by Hideo Komatsu

The variety is endless!

Just don’t let these dogs go outside in the rain or snow….

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Designer dog miniatures

Artist Lucy Maloney has a unique business – Designer Dog Miniatures.  Lucy produces one-of-a-kind miniatures by commission using quality materials including alpaca, cashmere, silk and leather.

Scale reproductions of your precious pooch are created from photographs that you submit.  Some examples of Lucy’s work include:

Bichon Frise miniature

Bichon Frise miniature

Sealyham Terrier miniature

Sealyham Terrier miniature

What really impresses me is how lifelike and realistic these miniatures are.   Lucy is obviously very skilled at what she does, using natural materials to sculpt her miniatures.

Lucy also makes play-sized miniatures for dollhouses.  For example, here’s a Barbie with a doll-sized Papillon:

Barbie with Papillon

Lucy’s commissions start from about US$200 – but remember that you are buying an individual, handmade replica and not a mass-produced or amateur reproduction.

Miniatures don’t take up a lot of space in your home and are a wonderful option as a memorial to your dogs that have passed.

Good work, Lucy!

Dog hair on my sweater…no wait a minute

I often have dog hair on my sweaters.  But dog hair sweaters?

Yes – it’s true.  You can have a sweater (jumper) made of dog hair.  Dog hair is a natural fibre and, after washing and spinning, it can be made into yarn for knitting of garments.  Once washed, it doesn’t retain a dog odor.

For some dog lovers, having garments made from their dog’s fur is a novel way of re-using the hair.  Many find it a consolation when their dog passes to have a garment made from their dog’s hair.White dog hair sweater Beige dog hair sweater Akita dog hair sweaterThese photos of people wearing dog hair sweaters were taken by photographer Erwan Fichou in his series entitled Dogwool.

If you’re interested in finding out how you can collect and use your dog’s hair, the woman to speak to is Kendall Crolius.  She’s the author of Knitting With Dog Hair.

Knitting with Dog Hair

This YouTube video takes you through the sweater-making process.

Like the book says…if you’re interested, stop vacuuming and starting knitting! (I’m not really sure I want to get into this particular hobby)