Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Learning curve - and a giveaway!

Guess what I've been working on???  Accessories!  I've been wanting to add bow ties, flowers and harnesses for a while, but have been having a hard time getting started.  Finding the right pattern, making it work for you, and then learning how to make the new product is a challenge that takes me out of my comfort zone. (Then, of course, you begin to start to master making the product, another fun challenge!)  I started working on a step in harness, but after spending the afternoon creating it - didn't like it at all! LOL   So back to the drawing board (or cutting board, rather) for that one.  Two more patterns have been ordered, so we'll see which one feels better!

Working in my first big craft show diverted my energy away from new products, but I have ventured out of the comfort zone again, this time with the bow ties.  Didn't exactly love the first one - but the more I stuck to it, the more comfortable it became.  I am determined to have bow ties and flowers at the next show, in addition to the collars!  Growth can feel a little stressful and uncomfortable, but I know it will be worth it!  Here's a sneak peek, my friends, of what will be available in the shop next week!  Only three patterns so far, but many more are coming. The more I make, the more I want to make - guess I should step out of the comfort zone more often, eh? 

What do you think, friends?  What kinds of patterns would you like to see for your pups?  More stripes? Solid colors? Dots? Fancy fabrics (like satins or silks) for weddings? Seersucker?  Comment with your suggestions, and you could win one for your pup!  Winner chosen May 10! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dog collars, chevron and Elvis

Friends!  Do you know how many blogs I have written in my mind over the last month?  A ton.  I think of you guys often - wanting to tell you how things are going, sharing the latest exploits of my crazy critters. 

Let me tell you where I've been - I've been hitting the craft fair circuit!!   Oh my goodness - it seriously is so much fun.  Granted, it is also a ton of work, and I have been rather stressed, but it's been a great time.   I am going to make sure to tell you all where I will be next, so you all can come and say hello!

This past weekend, I participated in a great venue called Sweet Tea and Shopping, held at Bottom View Farm in Portland, TN.  Sooooo amazing!  I truly felt like I stepped into the magazine "Where Women Create" (if you don't know about that magazine, RUN, don't walk to your local bookstore - it's truly inspiring).  I was surrounded by amazing, talented women, and got a ton of ideas about how to decorate my booth! I learn something new every time.....  Here are some pics from my booth:

Can you believe all this came from falling in love with my sewing machine again??
Loving life, my friends!  The next show will be May 11, at the Factory at Franklin - it's the Mother's and Daughters Cupcakes and Tea event.  Lots of shopping and fun to be had by all.  Can't wait to show you pics from that show!
(Oh, and by the way, YES, I have fallen in love with chevron - like everyone else - and the "Elvis" is the name of my new doggie pupcake!  Oat flour, bananas, carob chips and peanut butter!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Flash Sale on my etsy shop today only! (3/20)

Friends, I KNOW I haven't posted here in a little bit, but I have been thinking about you!!  New pics are coming soon to show what I've been working on!  I have been having a WONDERFUL time getting ready for, and participating in craft shows!!  Can't wait to show you some pics.  :)

In the meantime, here's a one day sale on my etsy shop to celebrate the first day of Spring!!  FINALLY!!

Today, enter coupon code SPRING20 at checkout to receive 20% off your total purchase.  Give your dogs a big hug, and maybe a new collar or all natural dog treats for Spring!  :)

And if you are in the Murfreesboro, TN area - come by and see me Saturday, 3/23 at the Canonsburgh Yard Sale!!  I'll have dog treats, collars and leashes for sale!  :)


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bake your (dog's) vegetables!

Do you bake for your doggies??  I do. When I first started my business, Little Black Dog Boutique, I started out baking all natural and organic dog treats for my dogs.  I'm relatively new to being a dog parent, and when I started finding out all of the stuff that dogs weren't supposed to eat, and/or were not the best for our dogs to eat, I decided to pay attention to what was in the food my dogs were consuming.

Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good dog treats out there, and there are even more healthy choices now - but if you are so inclined, you can make your own doggie treats in your own kitchen!  It'll save you some money AND you'll be able to control the ingredients. It's a win-win!

I bought two dog cookbooks to start, but I also alter recipes that I find to suit the dogs.  I try not to let them have salt, sugar or corn in ANY of the recipes. All natural works best for me. I've even made some treats gluten free, since some dogs have gluten sensitivities - mine do not, thankfully, but be aware of what works best for your pup! The two cookbooks that started me on my journey are:"the organic dog biscuit cookbook" from the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company and "Three Dog Bakery Cookbook" by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff. (Both are available on

My dogs love everything I have cooked them, but the recipe that almost made them fight each other was for the Carrot Cake, which I found in "the organic dog biscuit cookbook". I actually taste everything I make - if I wouldn't eat it, I don't serve it to my dogs! This cake was actually so good that I ate one fresh out of the oven.  Since it uses all organic, "human" ingredients - you could even make it for yourself! lol (Or perhaps a diabetic friend or relative.)  Copyright laws prohibit me from publishing the recipe, but if you email me I bet I could help you figure it out......  ;)

Try something fun! Find a recipe for yourself and get in the kitchen - I bet your fur babies would LOVE it - even if it doesn't look pretty, or you overcook it. You don't have to be an award winning chef to make treats your pups would love.  :)  Bone apetit!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Champagne wishes, Puppy Chow dreams...

If you haven't been a reader of any of my earlier blogs, then you probably don't know that I am a BIG supporter of rescuing/adopting dogs.  Don't misunderstand me - I love ALL dogs, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying your dog from a reputable breeder - I just have a soft spot for those that have been abandoned and/or need a second chance. Both of our dogs are rescue dogs and we hope to be adding to that number within a few months.  Which brings me to yesterday. 

Friday, actually, was when the seed was planted that started the thought process that had the most potential for trouble. My husband, B, was looking on (for those of you who also might want to adopt....), finding some buddies that were available at our local shelter.  That's when I saw the Great Pyrenees puppy. Ok - seriously - it was the cutest puppy, ever. Must. Have. Great Pyr Puppy. I figured the chance for me to get said puppy was a long shot, since we really only have enough room for a third dog if we could get one that fits in a cereal bowl, but I figured I would make it work, right?  Where there's a will, there's a way.  And I will have a Great Pyrenees one day...... but I digress.

All Saturday morning, I am thinking about this puppy.  My logical mind was telling me not to get my hopes up, because we don't have the room for a dog you can ride to the grocery store, but my heart is telling me that I am coming home with this dog!  (You see, we don't have the best luck at the animal shelter.  Both my husband and I love dogs. A lot. One day we were going to drop by very quickly on the way to a vineyard and visit the dogs. I had emphatically told my husband I was not ready for another dog and was really going over there to humor him.  Several hours later we came home - not with a bottle or two of wine, but with this:
 Most expensive wine substitute, ever.)
Long story short, we go to the shelter yesterday, I am very expectantly ready to fall in love with my new dog, and........ nothing. He was already gone. Adopted. I was crushed.  Of course, there were another 20 dogs that I would have gladly given a home - and would love to, one of these days. More and more I want a home with a TON  of land, so that I can give a home to a pack of awesome dogs that we were able to save from being destroyed, and shower them with love.
If anyone wants to donate several acres of land in middle Tennessee to the cause, let me know..... I guess until then, there's the lottery.
GO ADOPT A DOG!!! Or at least give yours a hug. :)
See ya next time.....

Friday, February 1, 2013

FEBRUARY GIVEAWAY!! Showin' some love! :)

What are you getting your pup for Valentine's Day? 

How would you like to WIN 1 pound of these yummy, handmade, all natural peanut butter cookies? YOU CAN!

All you need to do is tell us all why you love your dogs, and you will be entered into the contest!  I will choose a winner at random on February 14 and will announce it here.

Can't wait?  Would you like to purchase your own cookies for your beloved buddy?  You may do so at my etsy site, and I'll lovingly make these cookies for you & get 'em shipped off!  Here is the link to my shop:

So don't wait!  Tell us all how wonderful your pup is, and good luck! :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I've been gone for a while....

.... but now I'm back!

Ever had those times in your life where you felt life taking you in a different direction..... so you follow that path..... only to find yourself back where you started??  Welcome to my world!  :)

As some of you know, I have a business on etsy called Little Black Dog Boutique. I was baking all natural doggie treats, getting my poor babies fat as taste testers, then realized I was in love with my sewing machine again! I started making dog collars and leashes.  Then blogging. Then tweeting. Then facebooking. Somewhere along the line of "promoting" I became a tad burnt out. Been there? I started doing direct sales and the path started moving in a different direction......

Direct sales can be a ton of fun, don't get me wrong! (In fact, I am still involved in a company called Blessings Unlimited, which I love. Email me if you're curious... lol) The path, however, didn't feel true. Not a bad path or a wrong path, mind you,  but it felt like I was taking a long way to get where I wanted to go. Not exactly the most fulfilling path.

Still with me?

Enter a sweet woman with a charity and a love for my collars who out of the blue asks me if I would like to participate in a vendor/craft show. Sure, I say - but which would you rather have - the direct sales company or my dog collars? She allows me to pick. I pick the collars. Great choice. :)

The collars go over like gang busters. I sell quite a few more on my etsy site over the Christmas holiday. And I LOVED being involved in the craft show!  So much so, that I agree to take part in her show this year - and start looking for more to be involved in. My creative spark is re-ignited. I thought up a TON of new ideas to add to my shop (slowly......) and am back expressing myself, sharing stories and doggie love along the way.

I guess that brings me back to where I started, eh?  Well..... be talking to you again soon.  Please forgive my absence, it will not be near as long until you hear from me again.  In the meantime, jog on over to Facebook, if you will, and "like" my page.  I'll be operating  a lot of giveaways and exclusive discounts to my shop from there. I'll also be posting fun videos and pics to make you smile. My facebook page is  You can also catch me being a twit @lbdogboutique.

I'd love to hear from you!  Have a fun dog story or pic to share?  Let's hear it. :)  See you soon....