dogs 2I wanted to share a holiday success story with you.  I have a great friend from work who is not only an Ortho Trauma P.A., but she is so talented at beading and crafting! She also has raised and trained champion Bouvier de Flanders dogs.  Now in case you can't immediately recall just what a Bouvier looks like, think BIG, BLACK, HAIRY and just awesome.

So Maureen says to me one day on the shuttle to work, "I'm coming over to your house and we are going to make pendants with transfers of Bouviers for the Bouvier Club holiday party."  Maureen is fairly new to polymer clay, but she has talent and most of all, determination! All I can think is, "OMG, how can we transfer an image of a big black hairy dog?  It will look like a black blob!"

So I got to work on a couple of images I found on the Bouvier breed website, cropping to a head shot and then using Photoshop to help highlight ANY detail I could in the face. (I did this by using the brush tool, using white as the paint color and then setting the Mode to Soft Light and about 12%.)  Once I felt I had enough detail in the image, I printed them in several different sizes on a laser printer. The rubbing alcohol transfer method requires a toner-based print like you get from a laser printer.

dogs1aI got a table ready for us, made a quick scratch chicken soup for lunch and Maureen arrives, with her 3 doggies and we got to work.  I showed her how to use regular rubbing alcohol to transfer the images and then she did some bezel work to create the pendants.  They came out beautifully!  She was so excited that she made about a half dozen for the party. Of course, they were the hits of the party too!  It's not easy to find jewelry with a particular breed dog on it and EVERYONE wants to show off their dog, right?

So here are some of the pendants. Didn't they come out great? When she got home, she backed the pendants with some soft, black leather to finish them.

If you like to sell your work, dog groups are a great audience for your custom pieces created with their breed. If you locate a group in your area, ask about their events and make some jewelry for them!

Of course, after we got done with the clay play, it was time to take all the 4-legged kids to the beach for a little play time of their own.  I even took my 3 stooges along!  All 6 dogs got along beautifully (I'm sure because the Bouviers were so well trained, it wasn't because of my wild crew!)

So here is Maureen with Tucker (that's him above also), Jewels and Kinder..  and me with Annie (the redheaded sparkle hound), Cadre, and Barky (the ancient Yorkie) in his colorful walking sling (otherwise known as a beach towel).













We even had a magnificent sunset to end our day...