Category Archives: Crafts

Everything Tells a Story

I ordered some amazing vintage dog tags off Ebay last week and they arrived yesterday.  I ordered them to use for the leash holders for my new venture, “Bark Culture Boutique” (I’ll make further announcements once my Etsy shop is open but you can like us on Facebook in the meantime).

I love using up-cycled things like this and knew they would look really amazing on the leash holders giving them a unique flair with a little piece of history.  What I didn’t expect though was the questions I’d be left with after looking through them all.  Some of the tags dated back all the way to the 1930s.  As I started cleaning them up I wondered about the dogs they belonged to.  What type of dogs where they?  What was their name?  Who was the family that loved them?

These tags belonged to "Montana".

These tags belonged to “Montana”.

I had one question answered when I flipped over one of the tags and saw the name “Montana” printed in neat handwriting on the back.  As I ran my head over the tag and felt the groves and cold metal, I wondered further about “Montana” and the potential life he led.



Another tag really stuck out to me, not only because it was a bright red plastic tag among an entire lot of metal, but because of the imprint:  “City of Omaha Guide Dog”.

Who did this belong to?

Who did this belong to?


Again, I wondered about this dog who (likely) served someone in need faithfully and unconditionally.

Everything tells a story and these tags have a story behind them even if it’s only the ones we make up to fill the gaps.  If nothing else, they should serve as a reminder that dogs are our friends, our family and unconditional companions.  Make sure that the stories they leave are ones that live in your hearts.

Here are the tags I received.  I wish I knew the story for each one.

Lot 1 - Vintage Dog Tags

Lot 1 – Vintage Dog Tags

Lot 2 - Vintage Dog Tags

Lot 2 – Vintage Dog Tags


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So after reading the latest article on CNN about Etsy’s success (and thereby the success of those who post on Etsy) I was curious to see what Etsy had to offer in terms of pet crafts/gear/goods.  I also wanted to use the opportunity to check out potential online competition in the dog treat market.

What I discovered was that there was some amazing items, some okay items and some downright weird stuff!  If you ever have a lazy afternoon with nothing to do, browsing through Etsy is actually a fun experience.  If you like some of the fun sample stuff below then I just might very well make this a regular feature!  You tell me if you want to see more.  After all, not all of us have time to browse through over 17,000 pet related items on Etsy so why not let someone else do the work?  Etsy is a treasure drove and if you’re interested in weird Etsy items beyond pet related there’s a site for that: Regretsy!

Let’s start with some good!  These are products I would consider purchasing and have indeed bookmarked for possible purchase.

*Please note, all pictures are respectively owned by the original poster on Etsy.  Please click the picture to link to the original post.

Seriously… this is cool because while this is intended to be a “Jumping Dog” if you but the front half and place it strategically in your house you’re thinking with Portals!  (Note: You probably have to be a game geek to get the reference and since I am I find humor in this).

This stuffed animal is just adorable!  I would almost buy this for my youngest daughter.  I don’t know if it would stand up to my “destructo dog” who tears the stuffing out of things with zest, but I think he’s absolutely adorable.  Now if only I could get adorable and rugged together!

If you’re a responsible dog owner (and I’m sure you are) then you always carry poop bags with you.  Why not carry them with in something so cute?

I have a thing for owls and I think this collar is super cute!  I might even be able to get away with it on a male dog.

I LOVE dog tags that you can get outside of your standard pet store.  Old timey looking things are always a favorite of mine as well and this tag fits both requirements.

Now, the not so good…

I have always and I do mean always hated this expression on anything!  Please stop using it.  It’s not funny, it’s not cute and I wish it would go away.

O..m…g… a Mohawk hat for your dog.  I had a Frenchie who I would put sweaters and coats on because she was genuinely cold but a Mohawk hat?  Really?  There’s a market for this?

Again, dressing your dog because they are genuinely cold is one thing but really?  A purple dress?  I just can’t wrap my head around it…

This cat looks absolutely thrilled!  Wouldn’t you agree?  I don’t personally own a cat but for those cat owners out there, would your cat actually keep this dandy outfit on?

And now for a genuine…wtf?

Umm…eww?  Would you seriously want this lying around on the floor?  Oh don’t mind the bloody looking tampon, it’s just my cat’s toy.

Sure… a fetus cat toy… “Nuff said.

So, these of course all represent my own personal tastes and I don’t mean to offend anyone who might possible put cowboy hats on their cats while they run around playing with bloody tampon looking cat toys…

Like I said, there are a number of items on Etsy that I love, don’t get and downright hate.  So, if the dear audience wants to see more, I will gladly share!  (And I might anyways, especially with the good stuff!)

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Crafty Paws – Leash Holder

I had some great “wants” from readers and will cover those when I can!  Thanks for all the suggestions.

Today I wanted to share a “crafty paws” idea that I made last night.  Every time we go out we have to search for Blizzard’s leash so I decided a nice place to hang it was in order.  I could have certainly just drilled a wall hook and called it a day but the crafty paws bug bit me.

The best thing about this crafty paw is that the sky’s the limit in terms of look and embellishments.  If you imagine it you can make it!


  •   Wooden Tile
  •   Scrapbook paper or paint
  •   Hook
  •   Embellishment glue
  •   Mod podge or collage glue
  •   Foam brush
  •   Scissors
  •   Embellishments
  •   Ribbon or Wire
  • Optionally you can also include a picture of your pet.  In the supplies photo you’ll notice a picture of Blizzard but I ended up not using it.  These things morph as we go and the finished product looked better without it.
    Whatever hook you choose, make sure it will fit your leash.  I prefer a hook that I can loop the larger part of the leash to the top and the metal latch can loop through the lower hook.  (this particular one doesn’t quite accommodate that but this is how these things go with a first run)
    You want to make sure you use a quality collage type glue such as Mod Podge which is available in any craft store.  Not only does this hold but it also acts as a finish to protect your final work.  It dries clear and you can wipe it clean at any point (important with dogs!).
    You can glue scrap paper on or you can paint the tile.  That is entirely up to you.  I have done both in the past and it’s completely an aesthetics and personal choice.
    Step 1
    Cut your paper (if you’re using paper) to fit the tile.  You will want to cut it slightly smaller than the tile as leaving any hang over will eventually cause the paper to peel even with a good glue.  You can also paint the tile and then apply paper as well for another added dimension.
    Step 1a (optional)
    This is an optional step and just all depends on how you work.  I like to drill my hole and get the hook placement correct prior to putting glue to paper.  This way I have guide holes for when I’m finished and that part of the craft goes quick and easy.  I struggle with hooks likes these and find this works best for me.  You can certainly place the hook after you’re completely done but I find the layers of glue make it a bit challenging.
    Step 2  
    Glue your paper to the tile.  If you’re unfamiliar with using something like Mod Podge you want to coat ALL surfaces.   This means putting glue down on the tile AND the back of the paper.  I use a foam brush for this as it coats the glue evenly and foam brushes are cheap.  You will have to throw the brush out afterwards as the glue will ruin the foam brush.
    In addition to putting glue in the back you also want to cover the front surface with glue.  You’ll want to do a few layers of glue.  This dries fairly quickly and can be done in one sitting.  Make sure you put the glue on thinly and evenly because while it dries clear any glue clumps will show.
    Step 3  
    This is the fun step!  Add your embellishments!  I like to play with placing and format before any glue goes down.  This is how I figured out that the picture of Blizzard wasn’t going to work.  Try different embellishments with different layers and configurations until you like it.  Layering is a fantastic way to add personality and depth so don’t be afraid to put stuff on top of each other or even under the hook!  You can add personal items as well.  The tag that says “companion” in this picture was purchased blank and I filled it in with the world “companion”.  I tried a few different words but this one seemed to fit how I felt about Blizzard.
    Again, put glue where you’re going to paste an item down, the back of the embellishment as well as the front.  Add layers for protection.
    Note: You can see where I predrilled the holes for the hook as it makes a raised bump.  This gives me a great starting point for end placement.
    Step 4
    Add your hook!  If you’ve predrilled your holes as I suggest above in step 1a you can actually add the hook while your glue is still wet for added strength.  If you chose not to then you will want to wait until it’s dried completely.  Hook placement is up to you but I like to add it closer to the bottom so the leash can hang.  
    You’ll also notice I added some paw prints.
    Step 5
    Add your ribbon or wire.  Whatever you want to hang the holder with.  Alternately you can drill the holder directly into the wall for more stability.
    Step 6
    Now you’re ready to let your crafty paw dry.  Let it dry 24 hours before hanging and use.
    Step 7
    Now you’re ready to hang!  
    Viola!  Enjoy your new crafty paw!
    Note: If anyone is interested in acquiring one from me please comment or shoot me an email and we’ll work something out!


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