Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dog food update

The dogs love their food.  Their coats are soft and supple.  They are having less health problems.  I am amazed at the results.  My boys started to lose weight so I consulted our vet. the dogs needed more food, I needed to feed them by weight and not by volume.  I weigh out their food and it has been great.

With the vets guidance here is an updated version of the recipe that I created.  I need to make double the recipe for one day of food for the dogs.  Snoopy and Leo eat 2 pounds and Annabelle 12 ounces. My food scale is getting a workout.

Here is the new recipe

4 oz ground beef (not lean)
1 egg
3 C rice
3 T veggie puree
1 t calcium carbonate (crushed egg shells)

Brown the beef, do not drain add egg and break into small pieces.  Combine beef, egg and grease with rice, add veggie puree and calcium carbonate.  Stir until well combined.  Makes approximately 2 lbs 12 oz of food.

The vegetable puree is pretty much the same except I use what vegetables that we have on hand that the dogs can eat.  I have added fruit at times.  I make a big batch and freeze what I do not use for the next batch.

Friday, October 11, 2013

They Love It!

The homemade dog food was a success.  The dogs love it!  We are mixing it in with the old kibble to allow their bodies to adjust to the new food.

Dogs enjoying their meal

We have already seen some improvements like excitement at meal time and better breath.  I am pleased with them having better breath.  Their fur might be improving as well, but its hard to tell if its the food or the change in season.  Below is the recipe that I used.

Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients Ratio:

4 oz        Cooked Chicken
1 3/4 C   Cooked White Rice
1/4 C      Cooked Brown Rice
3 T          Cooked Vegetable Puree - see recipe below

Blend all ingredients in food processor until it makes a well blended paste.  Makes a little more than 2 cups of paste.

Homemade dog food paste
My two boys are currently getting 1/2 C and the little one is getting 1/4 C mixed with their kibble. Next week we will increase the ratio for the boys to get 3/4 C with kibble and keep the little one at the same ratio until the kibble is gone.  After the kibble is gone we will give them just the homemade food and adjust servings as need.  I estimate the boys (55-60 lbs) will eat about 2-2 1/4 C and the little one (20 lbs) will have 3/4-1 C a day.


We have a FoodSaver so we are storing the food in sealed canning jars.  If you have a FoodSaver I highly recommend purchasing the jar(s) attachment. We freeze 90% of our food with jars, quick easy and reusable, we use both the wide mouth and standard.

We have the dog food we are currently using in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer until we need it. The dog food should have a refrigerator shelf life of a week and in the freezer 3 months.

FoodSaver and Canning Jar with Dog Food
Lessons Learned:

  • I made a huge batch of this because I knew the dogs would go through the food.  I do not recommend making a huge batch (20 times the ratio) it was a long day and I did not get it all completed. Also the rice was tricky cooking at that scale, I had to put some in the Crock-pot and some on the stove, it was a mess. I am going to make it in smaller batches and use my Crock-pot.  
  • Crock-pots make awesome rice steamers
  • Blending several batches of this food in a Ninja processor puts a lot of strain on the motor.  Do not recommend using a Ninja for this, my motor got hot after 3 jars worth of food.  I stopped using it and went for my Kitchen Aid food processor.
  • Do not fill the jars completely full when freezing.  Fill it up to the bottom rung of the jar max, so the food has room to expand.  
  • Recommend using wide mouth jars for the food, scooping the food out is easier, no weird scrapping under the mouth to get the last morsels out.

Vegetable Puree:

2 C       Carrots
1 C       Sweet Potatoes
1 C       Spinach
1/2 C    Peas
1/2 C    Tomatoes - remove the seeds and stems

Put vegetables in a sauce pain, add water to cover, about 1 inch above vegetables.  Cook until tender. Pour cook vegetables (do not drain) in blender, blend until smooth.  Makes about 4 cups.

You can research what vegetables are good for your dogs and create your own puree.  My next batch will be vegetable and fruit puree, it will include beets, pumpkin, apples, and blueberries.  I will experiment with more foods after more research.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Quick Peek 10/8

It has been busy around here, been cooking up a storm.  Here is a quick peek on what will be posted this week.

  • Homemade dog food recipe and lessons learned
  • No sugar apple pie
  • Cards
  • DIY side table - this may fall into next week

Friday, October 4, 2013

Birthday Card - Simple Male

This male birthday card is really simple to make.  All you need is paper, a circle punch and letter stamps, handwritten or die cuts work as well.  The hardest part of this project was evenly spacing the rectangles.  I eyeballed it, put you can always use a pencil and ruler and erase any marks when done.
Birthday Card
Simple Male Birthday Card
Base - A2 Card - Brown
Rectangles - 1 1/4" x 1 1/2" - 3 different prints of dark brown paper (swirls, stars and dots)
Circles - 1" circle punch - Brown
Fiskars Alpha Basic Clear Stamps - Careful washing these stamps, I lost the "I" down the drain.
Brown wooden button

Hope you enjoyed today's card!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Intro to Our Pets

In our household we are outnumbered by the pets that share our living space, most days are normal, some are chaotic.  At least our lives are not dull.

Our three lovable dogs:
Snoopy - The Pleaser
Leonardo - The Psycho
Annabelle - The Diva
our two cats:
Opium - The Old-Timer
Persia - The Crazy One

3D Printing - Doodle3D

What is 3D printing you ask?  The quick version is taking a 3D printer (buy or build), hooking up a computer, and through software telling the 3D printer what, where, when, why to do with the plastic filament (or whatever material it uses) to create a 3D object, layer by layer.  It really is an interesting process, see photos below.

nozzle where filament comes out
building up layer by layer

almost done creating 3D object
final object

dolphin jumping out of water 
My husband is the one that is really into 3D printing he has three printers, I like it as well, the potential to create is whatever you imagine and design. My problem is I have a love hate relationship with Sketchupa software to design objects, I love to hate it because of its little quirks.  I tried a 3D sculpting program called Sculptris, it works greatmy dolphin turned out,Kickstarter, called Doodle3D.  It was exactly what I was looking for, you draw, it prints...perfect.  So I backed the project.
but it was a one hit wonder.  I want something easier, something I could draw and print, not sculpt from a ball.  One day I came across a project on

After several updates, I got the email I have been waiting for, I shall receive the final product at the end of the month.  I cannot wait for this little box to come, I have so many ideas brewing in my head, but no toy to play with. Once I receive my box of wonder I will post my creations, stay tuned and let me know your interest in 3D printing.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Changing How My Pets Eat

My household consists of me, my husband, our three dogs, two cats and fish.  Our oldest dog Snoopy has severe allergies, his allergies were so bad that for three plus years he was half bald.  He would get an ear infection every three weeks, his skin was raw and itchy.  He was taking so many pills, he refused to take them; it was sad, expensive and frustrating.  After a very long bout of ear and skin infections our vet suggested we change medicine, something more expensive, with a 50% chance that it would work.  We could not handle the expense, close to $210 in allergy medicine a month with no guarantee, not happening.

I took to the internet to figure out what the underline problem was, it had to be something environmental or food.  After ruling out controllable environmental, yes he has seasonal allergies...spring and fall are his worst time of year, I researched dog food.  I found that some dogs are allergic to wheat, corn, and soy.  Most of the information I came across,  people either bought a higher quality dog food or they cooked for their dogs.  I opted to look for higher quality dog food, I did not want to cook for the dogs, with work and life I was too busy.  I searched labels trying to find something that would work for Snoopy and the other two; the youngest one Annabelle was showing signs of the same allergies.  I started at the highest price and worked my way down.  There were some brands that claim on the front that they did not have corn, but when you look at the ingredients there was corn meal, it was infuriating.  

Then one day I noticed that Iams came out with their Naturals line, the first bag I checked still had corn meal and wheat, then I noticed the blue bag.  Iams Prime Naturals, the front of the bag showed a chicken, crossed out corn, wheat and soy.  I was excited, I flipped over the bag and read the ingredients, chicken was number one, good sign, read on and they had carrots, peas, and spinach.  I was delighted, I purchased a bag and brought it home.  They loved it, our middle dog Leo would only eat the new food and leave the old.  We donated all the unopened bags of the old dog food to the local shelter and bought more of the new food.  The first thing we noticed is Snoopy would get an ear infection only once a month, then every few months, now he has not had an infection for over a year. The second thing we noticed he actually has hair, its thin but it covers his chest, his skin is not raw and red from all the itching, big smiles.  

Then it happened, the local pet store stopped carrying the chicken, all they had was the fish.  Not a huge problem but two out of the three would rather eat the chicken (we accidentally bought the fish before and it was not well received, yes spoiled pets).  I searched the internet for dog food delivery, and could not find their preferred food at a good price point.  I decided to search for a different brand, again I came across the same ingredient problems as before.  Then it hit me, why not cook for my dogs?  Other people have done it with great success. Bonus, I do not have to worry about dog food recalls and by rough calculations, I might actually save money as well.  

My goal is to have fun creating nutritious meals and treats for my pets, I am sure my dogs will love the experiment and will feel like royalty.  Follow along and tell me about your experiences.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Note Card

Today's card is a note card set that I created.  The cards are A2 cards inside are blank so that the receiver can use them for whatever they want.  They will be great for thank you, thinking of you or just because.  This set has the letter N designed for the receiver but any message could be used in the circle or maybe even a small photo, the ideas are limit less.
Complete Set of Note Cards

Detail of the Note Cards
Base  - A2 White Cardstock - 5 1/2" x 4 1/4"
Background - design green gray color - 5 1/4" x 4"
Scallop Circle - White Cardstock - 2 1/4" - designed and cut with Silhouette CAMEO®
Circle - green gray - 2" - print and cut with Silhouette CAMEO®
Letter N - 1" letter - use font of choice
Ribbon - 6" white

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hopping in to Say Hello!

Today I created a photo card.  The card is for my husband's grandmother who is in rehab from a recent car accident.  She loves to receive cards and letters, so my husband wanted to send her something.  I created the card with a shot I took of a frog that was found in our yard yesterday morning.  Normally little critters are a favorite of our big black dog. Luckily he was not interested, allowing me to have fun capturing this little guy as he was hopping around.
Hopping in to say hello!
The photo was printed on 4x6 Kodak paper using a Canon MX870.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Polymer Stamp

Good evening everyone, today I'm posting about polymer stamps.  My husband got me a kit from Granthams, it was truly a thoughtful gift.  My first 2 attempts failed, but the third was a charm and I could not be happier.   I followed the instructions posted on instructables, they have them on the Granthams site, but I like the break down of the instructions on instructables.

The poor stamping in the picture below was my misdoing.  The only con of this polymer stamp is that it bled with Distress Ink by Tim Holtz, and did not create a crisp inking.  I am going to try to condition it more to see if that helps with the bleeding.  More cards will be posted soon.
Lights - I used two 24" black uv lights (props from Halloween)
Cleaning solution -  I used dish soap
Brush -  I used an old soft toothbrush, it came in handy getting the non-hardened gel out of the small spaces on the stamp.
Negative - created in Photoshop but any paint program should work.
Transparency - inkjet based printable sheets - printer settings high quality.

Notes on the negatives - after some research I found that companies that make the polymer stamps use a min of 4 pt for lines.  The font I used for the URL was at 12 pt.  I want to experiment to see if I will be able to get down to clear 4 pt lines.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

House-Warming Card

Today I created a card for my sister and brother-in-law.  I wanted to create a house-warming card that could be something to be framed as well.  I found a design at American Crafts Studio and tweaked the dimensions to fit my needs.  The card base is very simple and will work for many different type of cards.


SuppliesBase     - 4 1/2" x 11" - White
Front    - 2 5/8" x 3 5/8" - Burgundy
            - 2 5/8" x 3/2" - design paper - (2)
Center  - 5'' x 3 1/2" - White
            - 4 7/8" x 3 3/8" - Burgundy
            - 4 3/4" x 3 1/4" - Sentiment (from 2004 scrapbook a day calendar)
Inside   - 4 3/8" x 1" - design paper - (2)
            - 4 3/8" x 3 3/8" - Burgundy
            - 4 1/4" x 3 1/4" - White

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Anniversary Card - Black, White & Yellow

Today I created an anniversary card.  I got the idea from the Cardz TV Go-To Galz Challenge #34.  The challenge is to create a black and white card with a pop of yellow, and an anniversary card came to mind.


Background 1 - black and white floral - 4 1/8" x 4" - from Harper's Boutique  paper pack from Hobby Lobby.
 Background 2 -  black and white floral -2 3/16" x 2 3/16" (same paper)
Heart Boarder Square - Yellow - 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" - used Martha Stewart Loops Heart Punch Around the Page - 2 layers of foam tape
Heart Boarder - Yellow - 4 1/8" x 3/4" - Martha Stewart Lace Heart border punch
Couple Silhouette - Black - 2" x 2" - Sweethearts

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Birthday - Female

Have you ever put something somewhere so you won't lose it?  Well this card has fallen into this unfortunate fate.  At least I took a picture of it, the inspiration for it came from a Mojo Monday sketch challenge.  I wanted something fun and busy.  Once I find the card I will take the measurements and post an update.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

I would like to take the opportunity to remember those that have fought for our freedom, thank you!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Perfect Pear

Today is a beautiful day to lay outside and blog :)

Today's card I created for a dear friend's anniversary that I was late on.  I printed out the sentiments using a couple different fun fonts to create a cheery card for their anniversary.  


Background - 4 1/8" x 5 3/8"
Front Sentiment - 3" x 1" - 2 layers of foam tape
Pears:  Cricut Cartridge Preserves - Real Dial on 3" -
two shades of green swapping the leaves
(Peachy Keen Stamps PK-500 1 3/8" and PK-490 1 3/8" for the faces)

Background - 3 3/8" x 4 5/8"
buttons to match the pears

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mother's Day Card

Hello everyone!  

Today I created a mother's day card, using paper from KI Memories.  The image on the card was created in inkscape.  I wanted it to match the paper so I made flowers in a vase to tie in all the papers.


Golden Rod - A2 Card (5.5" x4.25")
Polka Dot Paper - 5.25" x 2"
Swirl Paper - 5.25" x 2"
Floral Paper - 3.5" x 1.75"
image printed at 2.5", oval cut at 3.5" - on two layer foam tape
sentiment oval cut at 1.5" - on one layer foam tape

Sketch Saturday week#251 challenge

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Surprise!

Good evening everyone!  

Today I tried my hand at a humorous Easter card for a friend. I wanted something a little different than the typical bunny or chick card.  I wanted to use my Crocs Rule cartridge and guess what I found, a croc in an egg shell.  I added the ears from Create a Critter 2 and we have a croc jumping out of an egg.

I used an Easter themed and green lattice paper for the background. I used the croc in egg as the main element.  I first cut out the egg too small, instead of tossing it, I decided to use it for the sentiment.  It sort of gives the croc a breaking out of the egg look.


light lavender - A2 Card (5 1/2" x 4 1/4")
green lattice paper - 4" x 3"
Easter themed paper- 4" x 3.5"
croc in egg - Crocs Rule - cut at 3 with real dial size off - on two layers of foam tape
bunny ears - Create a Critter 2 - cut at 1.3 with real dial size off 
egg sentiment - Crocs Rule - cut at 2 with real dial size off - on one layer of foam tape

Submitted to the following challenges

Monday, March 25, 2013

The air is buzzing...

Good evening everyone!

Tonight I made a card for the Paper Playtime Challenge #6 - Use a bee.

The Bee was created using Cricut Create a Critter 2 cartridge.


Pink Card - 4 1/2" x 6 1/4"
Floral Background - 4 1/4" x 6"
Green Strip - 1 1/4" x 5 3/4" - on one layer of foam tape
(embossed with Cricut Cuttlebug Baby's Breath border)
White Cloud - 5" x 5"
(cut freehand cloud shape)
Bee - cut at 3 1/2" with real dial size off - used glitter glue to highlight the pink and yellow - on two layers of foam tape

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Birthday Wishes - Female

Good evening everyone!  
Today I created a simple birthday card for my husbands grandmother.  
She loves flowers, I wanted to create something special for her.  

For the front cover I used a floral background, brown and pink striped ribbon with a quilled pink daisy to make the card pop.  

On the inside I stamped a simple flower that I colored in with color pencils and hand wrote a special message for her.  I used the same ribbon on the corners to tie everything together.   


Brown  - A2 Card (5 1/2" x 4 1/4")
Floral Background -  5 1/8" x 4"
 Yellow - 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" with 3/8" round corners
Pink - 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" 
(Edging done with Martha Stewart Deco Fan Punch Around the Page)
1 strip brown & pink striped ribbon
Pink quilled daisy

Floral Background -  5 1/8" x 4"
Yellow  - 4 1/2" x 2 3/4"
2 strips brown & pink striped ribbon