Pet Crafts, Rescue Mama Art

Crafts for Pet Lovers

Pet themed coasters…a quick and simple to make gift idea.

MAIN6My husband and I recently finished up decorating some new vacation rental properties…one of which is a pet friendly unit.  I needed some coasters for the unit…when I attempted to shop for them I was surprised at what stores charge for coasters  these days…so I made some of my own.  After a little research on materials they were super easy and fast to make.

Your Supply list: Travetine tiles (Home Depot), Grout Sealer, Archival stamp pad, stamps, felt or cork backing

The best tiles for coasters are travertine…porous tiles.  Stamping on non-porous/glazed tiles is not going to work.  The only place I could find the TILEStravertine tiles (at a reasonable price) was Home Depot.  I purchased two different styles of these Premiere Decor tiles…both worked fine.   Be careful when you buy them…inspect the package as best you can to make sure none of the tiles are cracked, chipped or broken.    Your results will be best if you rinse the tiles well before you use them (let them dry over night).

STAMPSI used a variety of stamps I had in the house to decorate the tiles.  You will need to use an archival stamping ink.  I use the Ranger Archival Ink pads for most projects.  You can get these pads at Michaels or Hobby Lobby…they are usually about $12.00 and they last a really long time.    After you stamp your design on your coasters let the ink dry (I would let it set for at least a few hours).

I looked up all sorts of methods for waterproofing coasters before I did this project.  I saw ideas to use everything from Mod Podge to boat sealer.  I don’t know about boat sealer…didn’t try it.  But I am not a fan of using Mod Podge SEALERon coasters because it does not interact well with water.  I wanted a waterproof coaster…not smudged by or stained by a sweating glass.  Since my husband and I just finished remodeling several bathrooms we had a bottle of grout sealer on hand.  I gave it a try and it turned out to be a great solution for waterproofing these coasters.  I set my stamped (dry) coasters in a box..took them outside (grout sealer smells) and sprayed them (soaked them actually) with the grout sealer.  I let them dry and repeated the spray two more times.  The end result was washable, non-smudging coasters.

The last step was to back the coasters so they wouldn’t scratch my tables.  I used a metal die for my Big Shot to cut my backings…but you could easily just cut squares by hand.  I glued my backing (I used cork that I picked up at Michaels) with Beacon’s glue.  Beacons is my “go to”
20141015_22302920141015_222006glue for projects that need a really heavy duty glue.  Beacon’s has a wicked odor…so open a window and don’t get it on your fingers.   Once Beacons glue is completely dry the odor is gone.  I set my coasters upside down and let the glue dry overnight.

coastersI also tried this project with coasters that I hand painted with acrylic paint.  The grout sealer worked well to waterproof the hand painted coasters.

Have fun!

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Our sweet Luna!

Things here at Misfit Manor have been insanely busy…our vacation rentals have been busy and the dogs keep me endlessly (but joyously) occupied.   We are all happy to see spring…it is so lovely here in Kentucky.

If you love all things pet and pet rescue please follow my blog and/or my Facebook Page.  I also have a Pinterest Page full of great resources for pet lovers.  If you are looking for pet rescue art, pet sympathy items or pet adoption cards please check out The Rescue Mama ETSY shop!  Also, check out some of my other free pet craft tutorials on my website.

Rescue On!

Nancy

 

 

Family Posts, Pet Rescue, Rescue Mama Art

Pet Rescue Art: a hero in pictures

Who is your hero?

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Handsome Sparky

mainDo you know a lot of heroic people?  I believe I know a lot of them…I think they are all around us.  Everyone has their struggles…some people wear them on their sleeve…some people bury them deep inside….but we all fight battles and those battles makes living life on life’s terms heroic in its own right.  Still, we have the more obvious heroes…like our soldiers.  A hero comes in many forms…and sometimes its the sweet soul who wanders to the shelter and rescues a dog…and sometimes it’s the dog.

Sparky, my black lab, has been creeping in to my art more and more…he creeps in to my dreams more too.  He is very old now and sometimes I think his presence in my dreams is his way of beginning to say good-bye to me.  I love to draw and paint him.  He is a fascinating dog.  When I first adopted him he was near a feral dog.  I could not touch him or even get very close to him…he was never aggressive but he had no use for me…would not even take food from my hand.  He had no concept of how to live in a home with humans and destroyed miraculous amounts of things in my home and would jump up and down (several feet up) when I put a leash on him.  What kind of crazy woman adopts a dog like that might be a fair question…honestly…one that didn’t know any better.

This painting is sold.
This painting is sold.

While I was clueless then I know now that dogs come in to our lives when they are suppose to.  hot pink imprintSparky, who for years wanted nothing to do with me…turned in to a loyal companion.  He never leaves my side and has become a hero to other dogs.  Whenever I hear someone say a dog is not adoptable…I cringe.  Sparky was in that category.  The weekend I adopted him (he had been adopted out several times and returned to the Humane Society) was his last chance…he was on doggy death row for the following week.  Don’t get me wrong…the early years with Sparky were not easy….sometimes I could do nothing but cry at the things he destroyed …at the frustration of trying to manage little things like getting him in to the car.  But oddly enough…in the midst of a very dark time in my life he started to change and calm down…he became the dog I needed at that time.  Eventually, Sparky was the dog that went through dog training school with me…all of which were efforts to help my other dog (Hercules) who was terribly reactive.  Sparky rocked dog training school…my mentor couldn’t believe his ability to focus on me (neither could I really…I think now of all the years I was underestimating what he could do).   Now Sparky is the dog that I use to work with other dogs…those that are fearful and those that are reactive in the presence of other dogs. (Reactive is the politically correct way to say dog aggressive).  There is something about Sparky’s presence that calms and guides other dogs to better behavior.  I won’t pretend for one moment that I understand it nor do I feel the need to.bigbe the change imprint

Sparky has a way of communicating with other dogs…his body language, his eyes..in ways that say all sorts of things I suppose…its so hard not to anthropomorphize our dogs…I would imagine he says things like…”knock it off you obnoxious idiot” to dogs like Buster and “follow my lead I’ve got your back” to dogs like Turnip.

Pawffiti...important message from the pets we love.  This painting is sold.
Pawffiti…important message from the pets we love. This painting is sold.

But make no mistake…he is a near 100 pounds of a take no prisoners bad ass if he needs to defend his family.  Very few times in all the years that Sparky has lived with me have I seen him go in to a guard dog state…but each time it has happened I have been both startled by and also proud of his fierceness…I believe he would die defending our pack.  The first time my husband saw Sparky defend the pack he was shocked.

Pawffiti...inspired by Turnip
Pawffiti…inspired by Turnip

WTF imprint

Sparky and Buster
Sparky and Buster

Since we moved to Kentucky Sparky has worked his magic with our two foster dogs; Turnip and Buster.  Turnip is a fearful dog and Buster is a reactive dog.  Sparky is a dog that gives other dogs a second chance…it is really a magical thing.  Turnip was afraid of his own shadow…taking him for a walk in the neighborhood was nearly impossible…a blowing leaf, a passing car, a garbage can…all were potential threats in Turnip’s eyes.  We started walking him with Sparky and it changed Turnip’s world.  After his Sparky therapy…Turnip walks the hood like he owns it!  Buster was an obnoxious idiot that wanted to hump and bully every dog he encountered.  Sparky very quickly taught him some manners.  Turnip and Buster will be Sparky’s last miracles…we declare him officially retired and will focus on caring for him in his old age.peace imprint

We all owe Sparky a lot….the dogs and certainly Bret and I.  We enjoy every day we have with him…and relish in the grace with which he is dealing with his old age. He is totally deaf now, his kidneys don’t function well, his hips are weak and he farts all the time…still he hangs with pack, goes on his daily walk (slooooowly) and rarely leaves my side. While he isn’t going to live here on earth with us forever…he will be in my dreams and in my art until we reunite on the other side…and I find great comfort in that.  He is like magic to me…or maybe a better word is grace.  Sometimes I think that in certain moments with our dogs we get rare but clear glimpses in to the mystery of grace…the only other place I have felt it is in my marriage…dogs and husband…what more could a girl want.

I leave you with all these thoughts and images of my Sparky…my sweety, my magic and when he needs to be … a badass!

Rescue On!

Nancy

To follow my art and work subscribe to my blog by email sign up (I typically post weekly) and/or follow my Facebook Page where I post daily.  Many of my paintings and cards are available at my ETSY shop.

 

Pet Crafts

Pet Craft: Holiday Dog Candles

Free Craft Tutorial: Vintage Holiday Dog Candles

20141202_064731I don’t know about you but by the time we get this close to the holiday season I am all done with the shopping and craziness …its time to nest and craft!  Christmas crafts are my very favorite to make!

If you are looking for a quick holiday gift for your favorite dog lover these candles and jars are simple and inexpensive to make.  I made several different versions using only a few supplies (listed below).  Nothing about this project in itself takes very long, however, you do have to let layers of the project dry overnight for the best results.

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To light up the smaller finished candle holders I dropped in an inexpensive votive so the candle will be re-usable.

Supply List:

  • mod podge
  • candles and jars
  • color tissue paper
  • vintage pet photos
  • snow flake or clear glitter
  • sponge brush
  • ribbon/various embellishments
  • Distress Ink Pad to age your images

jarsI used three different items to make my projects.  I used a canning jar to make a candy dish, a plain glass candle holder (purchased at the dollar store) and a tall votive candle (also purchased at the dollar store).

paper For my vintage dog pictures I used the Christmas Cavallini Dog paper that I ordered from the PaperSource for $3.95/sheet.  You could use any pictures you want though and old greeting cards work great too.  I like the Cavallini papers because they are a heavy duty paper that won’t tear when you are working on projects.  The images also don’t run or fade.

20140920_110737To get my project started I cut my images out from my Cavallini papers….for some candles I tore the images I have a rough edge on all sides of the image.  I like to stain this images with Distress Ink to make them look older.  I selected the tissue I was going to use with each candle and candle holder and cut it to the appropriate size for each project.  It is better to make your tissue cut larger than smaller.

20140920_110917Coat your candle (or candle holder) with a fair amount of Mod Podge and literally roll your paper on to the candle.  Don’t worry about wrinkles, they won’t show once we add the glitter…but do worry about tears…if the paper tears you will have light showing through and your finished project will looks sloppy…so work really carefully with your tissue.  Once you are done let this dry overnight (you can let it dry for a shorter period of time…my general rule with mod podge though is to let layers dry overnight so I don’t end up with a tacky finished product).

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Put a layer (generous) of mod podge on the back of your chosen picture and place it on the candle or candle holder.  Smooth out any puckers or wrinkles.  Because you are placing it on a round surface you will get some wrinkling.  Put a light layer of mod podge over the front of your image and let it dry overnight.

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Cover the entire candle – EXCEPT the image – with a light layer of mod podge…sprinkle with glitter and let dry overnight.  If you want a finsihed project that does not shed glitter than go back over the dry project with another layer of Mod Podge (dab with a sponge brush).  You will lose some sparkle but have considerably less mess.  Let dry overnight.

I embellished each candle with items I had in craft stash…ribbon, greens, ornaments, bells, etc.

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20141202_054457For the candy jar:  I used a mason jar and red tissue paper.  The tissue paper can be wrinkled and when you apply it to the jar there is no need to smooth out any wrinkles as the glitter will hide the wrinkles.  You do want to be sure there are no tears though.  If you have a tear in the tissue paper light will show through and your finished project will look sloppy.  I tore out the image I wanted to use as the focal point of my jar.  I used vintage photo distress ink to age the paper.  I did not want light shining through the jar so I added some paint to the Mod Podge before I applied it to the vase.

The steps to get the paper on the jar are 1) cut your paper in a strip that will wrap all the way around your jar.  2) Coat your jar with mod podge (not too much or your going to have a mess, too little and your paper will tear).  3)  Wrap your paper around the wet jar and cut off any excess paper.  4) Let the project dry (I usually let this dry overnight).  5) Coat the back of your vintage image with mod podge (generously) and place smoothly on your jar- do not put paint in your mod podge for this step.  Once it is securely placed where you want it put a light coat of mod podge over image.   Let dry overnight.  6) Coat your jar (with the exception of your image) with a layer of mod podge (no paint) and then sprinkle with glitter, let dry overnight.  Optional step: If you don’t want any glitter flaking off your project re-coat the glitter with a light layer of mod podge (use a sponge brush and lightly dab).  You will lose a little of the sparkle but in return will not have glitter flaking off the jar … which would be problematic if you are using it for a candy jar.

candy jar 1

candy jar 2candy jar 3Here are some more photos of the finished jars….

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Here are some other ideas for quick holiday gifts….there are free tutorials for all of these on my Craft Page!

MAson Jar Hostess gifts 015

heart clipsDIY Dog Gatesbookmark imprint

Pet Crafts

DIY coasters made with images from a Golden Book – super cute for the pet lover!

Coasters made with images from a Golden Book!

It’s snowing and lovely here in Minnesota so these snowy pictures from my favorite children’s book seemed like a great project idea.

Pokey Little Puppy coasters2 011 coasters2 012 coasters2 013 coasters2 014These are coasters I made with some images from my favorite Golden Book as a child; The Pokey Little Puppy.   I love the images in Golden Books (and many other old time children’s books) and have used them for Mod Podge projects on lamps, tables, handbags and more.

For this project I used slate coasters that I found on sale at Michaels.  You could just as easily use some matching tiles but these were inexpensive and very cute.  I ripped each image out of the book and stained the paper with Distress Ink to give it a bit of a light blue hue. I added the Distress Ink to tie the coloring of the four images together.  I Mod Podged the images on to the coasters. (Distress Ink reacts with water so it gave the whole coaster a slight blue hue when I Mod Podged the first layer).  When I make a coaster with Mod Podge I use several layers of Outdoor Mod Podge (very thin layers with a day to dry in between layers).  I finish it off with boat sealer, which I get at Ace Hardware.  This is the only product I have found (short of using epoxy) that will make a project reasonably waterproof.

These coasters came with some small tabs of felt on the underside. I ripped them off and covered the whole bottom side of the coasters with cork board.  I sure don’t want to give a gift that will scratch someone’s table.

Below is another set of coasters that I made exactly the same way. I used stamped images that I colored with pencils and gamsol.  I used Frayed Burlap Distress Ink to age the paper.

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This was a quick but fun project that would make a great gift for a dog loving friend!  Enjoy!