Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For those in the know: Jerk Wad

Made a doll for my niece's costume for Halloween. She wanted to be Coraline this year and when my sister said that she was outbid on a doll on eBay, I stepped up and said I would make it for Megan, no problem! This thing was more work than I expected, and didn't come out exactly how I had pictured, but I think I got pretty close.

The body of the doll is a pre-made blank muslin doll that I painted the shirt and stockings directly on. The face, bow and boots are made out of Wonderflex, a workable plastic that you mold with a heat gun that I seem to have this unhealthy relationship with. I make almost everything with this stuff. Perhaps the face should have been made wider, but I was feeling a bit rushed sometimes. Hair is out of yarn, skirt is from a sheer trim that I was able to make look like a layered skirt, and the jacket is out of a yellow duck cloth. No patterns, and it's a good thing I've made many shirts and jackets in my costuming days, otherwise I might not have had a clue. I just eyeballed it and sketched it out with pencil, though the hood ended up just a little small, even after doing it over. Everything was painted with acrylic paints and was made over the course of a total of maybe 2 days with many a Psych and Hell's Kitchen episodes.

And though I might not be 100% happy with it and it doesn't look exactly like the one from the movie, my 5 1/2 year old niece saw the picture I texted to my sister and had to call me up right away to say how excited she was to get it, and that made everything perfect.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


So, it's been about two and a half months since we brought our fuzzbutt home. He already had a solid "sit" when we got him and now has a fairly good "wait" that we can rely on him doing about 85% of the time (with a continual repeat of the command, he will wait at the door or away from his food.) Of course he's also a Shiba, so sometimes he knows what we want, I can see that ear of his acknowledging me, but he'd rather not. Frustrating at times, yes, but he's catching on he still has to do what I ask before he can get what he wants. Rarely he just figures he doesn't need whatever I will reward him with that badly and will forget the whole thing. Stubborn little cat-dog.

For about a month now, my husband and I have been trying to teach him "paw", where he'll touch one of our hands with his paw, almost like a shake. He doesn't mind us touching his paws terribly much, and I see his leg move back at the command, but it's like pulling teeth to get him to do it. I usually have to start poking on the back of his leg before he'll move it, then I say the command again and give him his treat. I'm thinking maybe his reward needs to be better, but there's only so many pieces of cheese or hot dog I'd be willing to give him. Been looking into other treats, but I want something he'd like, wouldn't be terrible in larger training quantities, and isn't chicken. Also been meaning to teach Koji other tricks like "down", "crawl", and "make dinner" though I feel the last one might be left to dreams and fantasy lands.

I've been thinking of picking up a book on clicker training and wondering if that might help in letting him know faster that he just did a behavior we want. I feel like I might be confusing him a little (on top of his stubborn nature) so perhaps a more clear cut clicker answer might be what we need, though I'd have to read up on how to use it, first.

On a different note, I think Koji is starting to shed. :(

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What have I been up to?

So I start this new blog and then don't post in it! I'm 50 kinds of lazy and only 25 kinds of forgetful. Here's hoping I can make this some sort of weekly thing to update. But here's what's been going on for the past, holy cow, two months:

We adopted a dog through the Texas Shiba Inu Rescue (sort of). I say sort of, since he didn't technically go through rescue, but we were contacted by rescue volunteers on this owner surrender. Koji is about a year and a half old, neutered, and unfortunately is already showing early signs for luxating patellas. He's been with us for about two months and is an absolute sweetheart and everything we expected him to be, if not just a little easy for a Shiba. No total horror stories as of yet, save my favorite sandals being killed by my own fault of leaving both him and them out together late at night.

Next, hubby and I celebrated our first year of marriage with old cake and leftover champagne.

The cake was alright, if not just a tiny bit dry, and the almond flavoring was becoming overpowering after a few days, but not bad. Champagne was still excellent. We gave each other old magazines from WWII (paper anniversary, afterall) and Jeff bought me new computer speakers while I promised I'd get his old Royal typewriter fixed in working condition.

Texas State Fair!

Went to the "Fried Food Capital of Texas" and had a great time. Tried Fried Butter, had my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Waffle Ball, sat in a few cars, tried a new beer, and witnessed history in the making when we had the fine people at Flecher's Corny Dogs deep fry a cheeseburger. It was damn tasty (and the people there rocked our socks off!). Truly a great day which ended with taco soup at the in-laws.

Made a Halloween exchange box for some friends on the Dogster Shiba Inu forum with homemade treats inside.

Also made a bed, a decorated treat jar, and a toy for the Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue's Halloween auction. Should go up on eBay on the 25th.

Tried going to Barktoberfest, but ended up getting rained out, so Koji and Dug had fun messing around at a nearby dog park (thanks to Nicole!). Ended up going to a last minute meetup that benefitted a local no-kill shelter here Carrollton/Addison way called Operation Kindess. Won an XXL shirt from a raffle, ate food at an English pub, got some awesome free water bottles and showed off Koji's costume:

The back actually has Zero's likeness from Nightmare Before Christmas ala original Ghostbusters logo. We didn't win, but had lots of positive comments about it. Yuki-san and Jiro (shiba buddies) were also there as Bolt and a fire dog, respectively. They looked pretty amazing, too.

Now that we're up to speed, it's time to get cracking on more things. Making an Other Mother Coraline doll for my oldest niece for Halloween, going to try and make something special (Tinkerbell?) for second oldest niece, clean, make an awesome Katamari for a contest, and wait for Koji's custom leash and collar to get finished. Been keeping busy, but it's nice to just slow down and enjoy a great clear day like today in Dallas, low 70s, cool breeze, warm sun. Mmm, just like California.