Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday and Leap Day!

I just made these cute little grubs for my nephews.

They are fun and easy to make and use just a little bit of yarn and polyfil. I got the pattern from one of my favorite crocheters in Australia, Crochetroo. She also has a great Etsy Store where you can purchase all of her other wonderful patterns.
Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Aprons!

Dog Theme Apron - Front

I had more fun this afternoon going through my fabric stash and picking out new coordinating pairs for aprons. I had enough for two more aprons which I just finished.

I am happy to report that my instructions to myself that I wrote down on Sunday made sense. I have said this before, and it still proves to be true: Documentation...Good! :)

Dog Theme Apron - Back

Mod Theme Apron - Front

Mod Theme Apron - Back

I also really like that the belt just slips right through the top band and can be easily switched between all 4 aprons.

Emmitt was there the whole time circling and wagging his happy tail. I think he was hoping to eat thread. I know... it is just Emmitt, I cannot explain. :)

But he is a happy fellow and makes me laugh!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Story of how Pug Notes began...

1996 - Emmitt - 5 weeks old

I was thinking this morning about how truly lucky I am to able to create and share my art with others everyday as my full time job. I absolutely love what I do and it NEVER feels like work.

I have had other jobs and businesses over the years that eventually did not feel like they were what I was supposed to be doing, but since 1997, Pug Notes was what I did for joy, a hobby in the background.

It all began on a sunny morning on Oct. 8, 1996, when Fred and I were driving home from a little farm in Fort Lupton, CO with a tiny pug puppy that we named Emmitt.

Fred was driving and I was holding Emmitt in my hands. He had that funny bat dog pug expression that happens when their ears are tipped straight up, their eyes are all buggy and happy and they are smiling a wide grin with their pointy puppy teeth sticking out.

Emmitt is my first dog ever, and I was filled with joy, excitement and a bit of nervousness when I said to Fred, "Oh My! Emmitt is snorting! What kind of funny creature did we buy?" My heart just melted and that was it. I was totally in love with Pugs forever. I had no idea how my life would change.

I do not think Fred and I ever laughed so much before Emmitt. It seemed everything he did, even if he was getting into something he shouldn't, made me smile. Fred was definitely the disciplinarian. I just could not get mad at Emmitt to scold him. :)

Well, right around that time, I started sketching. I don't know why because I never could draw. I always loved making things, but never felt I could draw more than stick figures. Well, after meeting Emmitt and taking so many photos of him, I sat with my #2 pencil, a notebook and a photo every night and sketched a pug.

Here are a couple of my early drawings:

You can see my whole gallery of pug drawings I created over a two year period before I bought my first tubes of acrylic paints and 6x8 canvas panels. I love these drawings and still offer them as note cards and address labels. I call them my pencil pugs and have also made them into my Holiday Pugs card line.

In 2006, I honored these early drawings in a book, Pug Doodles, A Journal, for people to enjoy and follow their own hearts filling their books with my pugs as company.

In 1999, I created my first pug painting. I remember being afraid to add color to my pugs and feeling slightly guilty for spending $ on paints and canvases for myself. I am so glad I pushed through that fear and doubt and just kept painting until I had a break through on my 5th painting, that I named A5.

A1 & A2


Painting 5 - A5
The pug filling the canvas, capturing the large eyes and the puggy expressions was my "ah ha" moment. My style had begun.

In 2005, I left my day job and just started painting everyday. Over the next year, I would come to paint over 50 paintings! If I painted 5 in a year before that time, I was very happy with my accomplishment. To my surprise, most of my paintings that year were not pugs at all, but other dog breeds, I call Pug Pals.

In 2006, I realized all of these faces were actually characters in another children's book I had yet to write that became the story, Why Am I Special?

Over the last 11 years, I have just kept painting and following my heart, writing books, creating new products and learning HTML to be able to create and manage my own website.

I love my job!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meet Poley & Rukia and A Spring Fling!

My friend, Nevis recently won a contest I ran while I was on vacation in Jamaica. She won a signed print of her choice and she chose design A25 as her gift for playing.

Nevis has a fawn pug named Poley and a new black pug puppy named Rukia. You can read about them on her Blog and see all of the wonderful photographs she takes of them. I love to see what they are up to everyday. She was kind enough to take of picture of her puppies with her new print. I am so glad she likes it!

Etsy Spring Showcase for 2/26/2008

I am really excited!

Today, my Etsy shop is featured in the Spring Showcase. How fun!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday was Sew Fun Day!

I had so much fun yesterday. I do not know where the idea came from, but I decided that Melanie and I needed organizers in the form of Craft Show Aprons to make change and pass out lots of business cards at our upcoming 2008 shows.

So I pulled out all of my fabrics that Melanie and I bought last year and picked out two.

Then I spent time designing the overall size, pocket sizes and how I was going to atttach the ties.

I decided on 3 pockets and a sleeve at the top where I thread through 1" cotton webbing so that it could be easily removed or changed out.

2 aprons complete!

It felt great to use my sewing machine again. My seams are getting alot straighter. :)

So if that was not enough, ( I think I had one too many cups of coffee yesterday morning), I started a second blog on for Pug Notes. It is my Exciting News Announcement Board.

It started off as a curiosity about the Wordpress interface and turned into a great place to keep all of my Good News about Pug Notes. :)

This will still be my main blog, nothing has changed. :) I am getting used to the dashboard on Wordpress, but I think Blogger is much easier to edit the HTML and to add cool widgets.

When you have a chance, come and visit and tell me what you think...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A New Blog Banner is Born...

I liked my old blog banner, but I wanted a change.

So, I took my new pug grafitti and created this...

Good, but I wanted a different perspective and got out my scissors...

Oops... maybe too much

Ahhh... just right!

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pug Graffiti

How Fun!

Here is a fun pug I just digitally spray painted.

Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Meet Gilbert

Meet Gilbert, my funny Parrotlet.

In 2001, Fred and I went to California to the Parrotlet Ranch to bring him home. Parrotlets have a ton of personality in tiny little bodies. They are the smallest of the parrot family, and can live up to 20 years!

Inspired by my Gilbert, I have created several parrotlet paintings over the years.

Although Emmitt is my first dog ever, my sister, Melanie and I have had pet birds since we were 10 years old. This is our first birdy, Sweetie. He was a huge green parakeet that we loved with all of our hearts. He was only 5 when he passed away. He taught us many things, but most of all that love can come from all creatures, no matter how big or small.

Zippy was my lovebird who trekked with me from Michigan to Colorado in 1993. This sweet bird was funny and a momma's boy. He was not too sure about Fred when we first met, but grew to love him and later Emmitt too.

The standoff!

I think Emmitt is a bit nervous in this picture. LOL!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Emmitt Kisses...

Emmitt has been sending kisses all morning...

He loves to lick his nose when he is happy.
In other fun pug news, Emmitt and I like this heart warming story about a Mastiff and his little pug brothers...

Dog Honored for Donating Blood

APPosted: 2008-02-19 10:38:38

HOWELL, Mich. (Feb. 19) - He's donated blood 20 times and is being honored by the Livingston County chapter of the American Red Cross.

Lurch, a 200-pound English Mastiff, is being honored by his local American Red Cross chapter in Michigan. The 2-year-old has donated blood 20 times, helping dozens of dogs.
Not bad for a 200-pound, 2-year-old English mastiff who answers to the name Lurch. He'll receive the chapter's "Pet's Best Friend" award at an event here Thursday.
"We're doing something different this year," executive director Diane Serra said. "We're honoring Lurch because he's actually donated blood."
Lurch's owner, Joni Melvin-Thiede, said Lurch donates blood for other canines about once every four weeks. His blood has helped dozens, including saving one dog who got into some rat poison.
"You really don't end up knowing which dogs he helps, but his little picture goes on each bag so the person that gets it will actually know it."
Besides being cooperative with nurses, Lurch is also friendly with his housemates: four pugs, seven cats and the occasional litter of kittens. There's also an American mastiff named Lucas, who teams with Lurch to eat about 200 pounds of food per month.
"Mastiffs are just like 200-pound pugs," Melvin-Thiede said. "They're just as friendly and just as goofy except they have a couple more zeros at the end of the weight."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fun Day! Two Tags to share...

How Fun! I received 2 tags this week from two wonderful and creative friends. Thank you so much for thinking of me.

The first one is a Love and Peace Meme from my friend, Diana Evans.

If you choose to participate,

  1. Take some time to contemplate peace and feel appreciation for someone or something in your day today.
  2. Share the spirit of love and peace by tagging 3 other people and letting them know by commenting on their blogs.

Here are my 3 tags today...

Peng-Peng, Nevis and Paula

The second tag is a You Make my Day award from my friend Peng Peng.

"You Make My Day-Award" works like this:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that "Make my Day".
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the "You Make my Day Award" logo
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

Here's the list of just some of the bloggers that Make My Day:

Henri Hopper, Diana, Karine, Jamie and Nathalie.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Think Jot Draw Contest Results are In...

A few months ago, I entered the Think.Jot.Draw Cover Contest.
The winner gets the privilege of having their artwork on the cover of the book, printed in a limited edition, and will receive several copies and Sharpie pens.

The results were just announced, and I am happy to say that I received Honorable Dog Mention, and I will receive a copy of my favorite journal, Think Jot Draw. YAY!

The judge, Amanda Shepherd, children's book illustrator and artist, wrote a commentary on all of the entries...

Melissa Langer: Love, love, love the dog! This dog has so much personality and character. I have never seen anything like him. This is a great thing -- very close to a portfolio piece... read more...

I really enjoyed participating in this great contest. Think.Jot.Draw is a wonderful planning journal for all of your projects and keeps your patterns, ideas and doodles all in one place. I use it to record all of my favorite crochet patterns. It even came to Jamaica with me to make pug tape mesures and finger puppets. It is great for adult and kids. The creator, Leeza Hernadez has created a Kid's Gallery for children to send in their drawings that they create in their journals.

I just love this book!

Now that I have participated in a contest, I will not be so intimidated to join in on more in the future. It was FUN!