Friday, April 28, 2017

On The Road Again?

On The Road Again?
Foot loose...

On The Road Again?
... and fancy free?

On The Road Again?
Zachary: "I'm blowing this popcorn stand."

Dog Blog Post #2408

Should I worry that Zachary is wearing his traveling hat and bandana, and has a polka dot bundle?

On The Road Again?
Henry... why are you listing?

Photography Assignment

Daily Dog Challenge 2005. "That's a Wrap!"

Our Daily Challenge - April 28, 2017 - "Polka Dots"

The bundle is made from a Fat Quarter.

That's 1/4 of a yard, but instead of a normal 9" x 44" slice they take a full yard and cut in half and then half again, resulting in a rectangle about 18x22".

The fabric store sells precut Fat Quarters of quilting fabrics in nearly as many patterns and colors as they sell quilting fabrics (i.e. a lot). I honestly don't know if they cut-n-fold their own Fat Quarters or get it pre-folded, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was the former.

Fat Quarters more rectangular dimensions are useful to Quilters and Crafters, and at $.99 on sale they are a great way to add some fun color/pattern with little expense.

I've probably used them more for prop "table cloths" than anything else, but they can be neckerchiefs in a pinch (a bit snug), napkins, ... etc.

Both the recent Dog Scout Sash and the Badges I added to it were from Fat Quarters.

More usefully, I sew up colorful bags that I fill with bird seed and then heat in the Microwave to keep my tootsies warm.

I typically sew up six bags every year around Christmas. When the fabric grows thin from use, I then have instant backups.

At the end of the year, I sew up six more bags and and pour the old seed into the new bags.


New bags for pennies.

New seed, when heated, smells like breakfast cereal. If you happen to over-heat at some point (and I always do) it takes on a hint of burnt popcorn. Thankfully, both fade fairly quickly.


White Hat
Zachary - the strong, silent type

Daily Dog Challenge 2004. "Tell A Story"

Once upon a time, there was a brave and loyal Golden Retriever who spent his every waking hour watching over his Lacrosse Ball?

Golden Retrievers are definitely typecast as one of the Good Guys - and rightly so.

Their breed standard practically reads like the Boy Scout Law.

"Temperament: Friendly, reliable, and trustworthy"

... with "... displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager, alert and self-confident." thrown in for good measure.

(The Boy Scout Law: "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.")

Our Daily Challenge - April 27, 2017 - "Creative Overexposure"

Star spangled tulle (netting) over white stretch velvet.

This was shot using two flashes, instead of my usual one, with the second one coming in from the left, on the floor, with a small softbox, pointed up the backdrop.

White Hat
Henry: "I'm not silent!"

White Hat
Zachary - still silent

White Hat
Henry: "That's because nobody is knocking on the door."

So very true.

Truth in Advertising: Henry is much less likely to bark than Zachary, as Henry stops to consider if the noise is worth barking at before putting forth much effort.

Typically, he usually just "Boofs" a few times, and then waits for the two-legged residents to do something about it.

(Meanwhile, Zachary's in the background putting forth his best rapid-fire bark.)

Now if Henry decides there really is something evil outside, he offers up a much more intimidating growl than anything Zachary can put together.

The best bark was from my first Golden, Beau. I called it a Heavy Howitzer (vs. Zachary's machine-gun). Zachary would bark-a-bark-bark to rouse Beau, who would let loose a few wall-shaking barks, and be done with it. (That seemed to satisfy Zachary, who would clam up as well.)

Having heard Beau from outside the house, I know I wouldn't want to find out what was on the other side of the door.

Beau also had a deep-belly growl that could curdle your toes, which thankfully only came out for strange bumps in the night.

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© 2017 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Twisty Path

Sorry - I've been engrossed reading about the history of fashion.

Never fear, though, the boys were modeling, pictures were taken, and then posted to Flickr.

It's just the blog that's been lagging a bit.

Twisty Path
Henry tuft

Henry's Coat

Henry's Coat
Amber waves?

Following a...

Daily Dog Challenge 2003. "Twisty"

... path through Henry's coat.

The especially rich color is due to the lighting, as in, Henry laid down with his curliest bits on his shadowed side.

Our Daily Challenge - April 26, 2017 - "Details"

FWIW: While it doesn't show in any of the pictures, Henry was sporting a wide-brimmed hat for all shots as he chilled with his head on his paws.

The hat shades his entire head (think "sleeping cowboy") and keeps the flash out of his eyes.

Other than his ruff and a few wayward tuffs on the nape of his neck, Zachary coat is completely flat, rending him rather useless for today's challenge.

He earned his Modeling cookies, tonight, running through his favorite tricks.

Dog Blog Post #2407

Henry's Coat
Henry swirl

Golden Fields

Golden Fields
... of Henry...

Golden Fields
... fluff

Photography Assignment


All that Glitters
Oh my


Daily Dog Challenge 2002. "Versus"

... future?

Good taste versus... um... yes. Maybe we'll just leave it at that.

I made the sequined collar back in February, but I believe this is its debut.

It is a simple V-Collar, with sequined fabric (a remnant strip) over heavy felt. Although it took a couple hours to make, being sewn entirely by hand, it was easy, mindless work. The regularity of the sequins made it pretty much impossible to screw up.

I love the sturdy weight of this piece, and so I'm keeping my eye out for additional colors to show up in the remnant bin.

Henry's neckwear is made of rows of little plastic pyramids joined together, sold by the yard on a spool with the ribbons. This is one yard, held together a center-neck by a strip of masking tape on the back. Took me about 30 seconds to figure out the crossing point and tape it together. Done.

Moments like that make me think I work way to hard on (most other) props.

Our Daily Challenge - April 25, 2017 - "All That Glitters Is Not Gold"

All that Glitters
Henry: "I'm from the future!"

All that Glitters
Henry: "We earn more Cookies."

The jabot speaks for itself, I suppose. I took a length of lace fabric (not ribbon) and cut an angular piece about 5" wide and the narrow end and... um... however long that looks :) on the wide end. I then ran a piece of thread across the long length, creating simple accordion folds about every inch. The neck band is extra-wide seam binding, top-stitched top and bottom with the lace inserted in the middle and stitched in place by hand. The collar is actually folded over to make the lace pop out, else it would hang straight down from the collar. I never got around to getting a clasp for it, so the ends are are granny knotted in the back.

(As much as I liked the look, I was afraid the lace would block the "glittering" and thus it had to go for the rest of the shoot.)


All in a Row
March of the Cookies

Four LEGOs... Four Cookies... One Happy Henry.

Daily Dog Challenge 2001. "Four"

Our Daily Challenge - April 24, 2017 - "Queue or Line-up"

Henry, showing off his Special Skill (aka "doing nothing")

The very thing that Zachary is most incapable of doing.


By a Nose
Henry's nose

Daily Dog Challenge 2000. "Less is More"

Our Daily Challenge - April 23, 2017 - "Minimal"


The less said about this next shot, the better.

Howdy Pilgram?
Zachary: "Howdy, Pilgrim!"

So when I reminded the boys today was...

Daily Dog Challenge 1999. "Earth Day"

... and suggested they abandoned their high-tech ways and go back to a simpler, more Earth friendly way of living - at least for a day - this is what I got.

Our Daily Challenge - April 22, 2017 - "April Showers Bring May Flowers..."

Blame the guy who posted the ODC challenge - he's the one that reminded me of the alternate ending, "... what do Mayflowers bring? Pilgrims!"

I promise, this looked MUCH better in my head.

In fact, I should have just photoshopped it and saved myself some time.

Yes, everything you see is real, and on the dog as advertised.

FWIW: The Flat Hat is taped to a pipe-cleaner halo, resting (precariously) on Zachary's head.



(ps. I have subsequently tossed this collar and come up with a much simpler, and definitely more attractive, alternative.)

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© 2017 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 21, 2017

Zebra Cuffs

Faux Fur

Zebra Cuffs
Wrong side : Right side

Zebra Cuffs
... a bit closer...

Zebra Cuffs
... and a bit further.

Dog Blog Post #2406

The boys are firm believers in faux fur.

Photography Assignment

Our Daily Challenge - April 20, 2017 - "Save The _______"

Daily Dog Challenge 1998. "Feet"

The Golden Retriever standard specifies: "Feet medium size, round, compact, and well knuckled, with thick pads."

... also known as "cat feet" (although we don't say that too loudly around the boys).

Of course, without regular grooming, those sleek Cat Feet quickly turn into Fuzzy Golden Slippers.

Zebra Cuff
Up close and personal

I didn't intend on this side showing.

I was just looking for an easy way to get the cuffs on their wrists, as sliding things over furry paws - against the grain - is... hard.

It's what it looks like - a pair of buttons with a bit of elastic looped between. I take the elastic off, wrap the cuff around the wrist, then put the elastic band back on to close.

Works great.

Zebra Outfit
The definitely not cave dog outfit

This is the top half. The collar is a standing collar that curves gently from about 3" high, just a bit back of the "shoulder" seam, to 1" at the end (front).

Yes, that's the shoulder seam - or at least the dog equivalent.

Yes, I know, it doesn't line up with the fold where you would think a shoulder seam should be, but that's because my boys have way more behind their front legs than they have before them.

To put it another way, dogs - when you lay a pattern - are hunchbacked. :)

Honestly, I need either a second seam or maybe a dart about 5" inches behind that one, to take in that "flip" that bears no resemblance to a dog's sleek non-shoulders.

Ah yes, something for the next project.

Sorry about the bad lighting - I didn't have the flash out tonight.

Will, once again, try to get a better shot in the future,

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© 2017 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dogs of the Night?

Dog of the Night?

Dog Blog Post #2405

Our Daily Challenge - April 20, 2017 - "After Dark"

Daily Dog Challenge 1997. "Spooky or Mysterious"

Wait... I can explain!

You see, I picked up this cute little zebra-stripe fleece remnant the other day. At 1/3 a yard, I figured I would just drape it around their shoulders for a "cave dog" look.

But you know, if I gave it a lining it would hang so much better (and I had a handy piece of black flannel that would just do the trick)... and since I was pretty happy with how the recently finished paw-print fleece fit over the shoulders...

So I decided to create a narrow shoulder/back piece and have the fabric come together in the front/middle and just hang down - in a cave dog way.

But you know, that stand collar of the paw-print cute was rather cute. I didn't have any zebra print left, and (for some unknown reason) I had zero black fleece, but black flannel? I have lots of that.

Of course, it needed something to stiffen it (a scrap of heavy sew-in interfacing inserted in the collar and top-stitched in place worked)... Hmm... it would look rather like a zebra mane, right?

So I stitched, and I sewed, and... wow. That front was seriously ugly.

Snip, snip... oops... that was a bad idea.

Hmm... But wait - after switching to that old standby v-front I had half a front "tail" that I could cut off. Just enough to sew to the bottom of the remaining front... plus a bit more black flannel (did I mention I have lots of black flannel?)

Hmm... we might be on to something... sew the bottom of the (now much longer) front piece into a loop, insert a bit of ribbon through it with a quick release clasp on the end.

Why, that pulls the front down nicely.

Hey, this isn't bad.

Oh, wait. I have a few tiny scraps left that I can use to create cuffs.

So I took a toilet paper roll center and cut it in half, the sliced each half down the side to open them up. Insert into a narrow pocket of zebra/flannel, add a few buttons and bit of narrow elastic to hold it closed.


Until I laid it out on the table.

Oh dear... it looked like... well, it looked like...

Oh dear.

Ok... so while that is NOT what I had intended to make, I must admit it was rather cute.

I will try to get a better picture in a few days, if/when the topics line up.

Photography Assignment

Dog of the Night?
Oh, Henry...

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© 2017 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Edge of Greatness

Tour de Fur-ance?
Henry the Great

Tour de Fur-ance?
Henry: "Aw shucks" 

Tour de Fur-ance?
Zachary: "Yup, I'm great."

And modest, too.

Tour de Fur-ance?
Henry, apparently finding Greatness to be exhausting

Dog Blog Post #2406

The boys, on The Edge of greatness?

Oh fine, then the helmet is on The Edge of their muzzle.

I haven't the heart to tell them it's Tour de France.

Photography Assignment

Daily Dog Challenge 1996. "The Edge"

117 Pictures in 2017 - #21. "Bicycle Day" (April 19)

Our Daily Challenge - April 19, 2017 - "Centered"



More Roar


Wait... where did THOSE come from

Back to roaring

Daily Dog Challenge 1995. "In Motion"

Our Daily Challenge - April 18, 2017 - "Busy Busy"

Sweet Henry
Henry the Sweet

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© 2017 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 17, 2017

Canine Models

My Models

Dog Blog Post #2405

It's A Mystery why the boys put up with my photography nonsense. Hats, glasses, vests and coats... the boys are game for just about anything.

For Cookies of course.

Top models can demand top wages.

Photography Assignment

Daily Dog Challenge 1994. "It's A Mystery"

Our Daily Challenge - April 17, 2017 - "Uncountable"

Our Daily Challenge - April 17, 2017 - "Uncountable"

A portion of my current pile of scraps and scrapped prototypes muslins.

The bits and pieces are scattered all over the table. They escape down to the floor. They've even been known to scamper off into other rooms.

Every night I toss the smallest and odd sized bits, but my pile of scraps keeps growing.

Zachary is sporting a manly fleece sweater vest. It doesn't fit nearly as well as it looks in this picture, but I was pleased with the v-neck and the fleece strips used for seam binding - although it was such a tedious process to apply that I would have to really want it to do it again. The other big success (not visible) is the side-seam button closure.

Henry is wearing the next-generation paw-print fleece coat, with a handsome standing-collar and graceful princess side-seams. The less said about the rather pedestrian (i.e. ugly) front, that's thankfully hidden by the scraps, the better. The hem is simply turned under (see afore mentioned pain-in-the-rump seam binding), which was fast to do but looks rather plain.

Can't have everything I suppose.

Included in the scrap pile is a piece from their current project (left as an exercise to the viewer to find). This will use what I like about past collars, shoulders, and necklines and try (again) to come up with a nice front (chest).

Alas, at the moment, that front is less than successful, but as it is still in pieces, I may yet find a way to redeem it.

I have a love-hate relationship with fleece.

On the plus side, it's dirt cheap - often $2/yard in the remnant bin. And it comes in many different colors and patterns. Since you can't have fiddly details with fleece, the patterns tend to be bold and therefore photograph well. It also feels good on the hands to work with, has some stretch (but not too much) and is heavy enough to overpower their fur, making the fit better.

On the down side, it's thick. Sewing simple seams isn't bad, but the machine complained bitterly adding the raised collar.

It also attracts dog hair and tends to show drool spots - at least until they've dried.

Due to thickness, neither of these pieces is lined.

My current project, also mainly fleece, is going try flannel as a lining plus for the collar, which is completed.

Flannel is a wonderful fabric to work with. It isn't nearly has heavy as fleece, but a double layer will generally bend the fur to its will.

The biggest down-side of flannel is that it shows wrinkles. It also rarely shows up in the remnant bin (despite the store have rows of the stuff) so when I want it, I have to stand in line to have it cut.

Waiting in the wings are brocade remnants, which will make truly handsome coats for the boys, assuming I can work out a pattern.

"Back to work, Mom!"

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© 2017 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Golden Bunnies

Golden Easter Bunnies
Zachary (thinking) : "Hate Bunny Ears."
Henry (thinking) : "                        "

Golden Easter Bunnies
Zachary (thinking) : "What's this?"
Henry (thinking): "Why is Zachary looking up?"

Undivided Attention
(sniff sniff sniff)

Tasty Treats

Dog Blog Post #2404

These really are Dog Cookies, available from a special case at the pet store, and the boys absolutely adore them.

They have a variety of shapes (the "donut" is adorable) and they stay good for weeks.

The "chocolate" one is actually carob, as chocolate is quite toxic to dogs.

Photography Assignment

Daily Dog Challenge 1993. "Easter"

Our Daily Challenge - April 16, 2017 - "These Taste Good..."

Tasty Treats

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© 2017 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Smart Dogs

Smart Dogs
Henry: "Pull up a book, Momma."

Dog Blog Post #2403

Just Like Me, the boys enjoy learning - albeit each at their own pace.

It's a Legacy I hope I passed down to my (soon to have his Masters in Engineering) son as well.

Photography Assignment

Daily Dog Challenge 1991. "Just Like Me"

Our Daily Challenge - April 15, 2017 - "Legacy"


Thirsty Cowdog
Zachary: "Oh waitress..."

Thirsty Cowdog
Henry: "... little help here."

Pardon My Reach
Me: "Here you go, sir."

Pardon my...

Daily Dog Challenge 1991. "Reach"

Yes, that's a mug shaped like a...

Our Daily Challenge - April 14, 2017 - "Boot"

... and a bottle of BZ Brewers Fetching Golden Pale Ale.

I'll leave it as an exercise for the viewer as to which is genuine.

Pardon My Reach
Henry: (sniff)

Pardon My Reach
Strong silent type?

Maybe I should have brought the bottle opener.


Our Daily Challenge - April 13, 2017 - "Animals"

Daily Dog Challenge 1990. "Happiness Is..."

Happiness Is...
Zachary: "Aaaaarroooooooooo"

Happiness Is...
Henry: "He he he..."

Happiness Is...
Henry: "... he he he."

Happiness Is...
Zachary: "Roar!"

Note Henry's semi-saved lower belly (right). After last year's hot-spot woes, we thought we would try a preemptive strike by reducing his surprisingly thick fur from that delicate area.

We had Zachary's belly shaved while we were at it, although he already has so little hair there that it's now as soft and smooth as a puppies!

Neither dog has shown the slightest indication of being bothered by the shearing.

Henry loves to sleep on his back, with this legs splayed apart, and we're hoping his new hair cut will keep him cooler and "well aired".

Happiness Is...
Henry: "Zzzzzz"

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© 2017 BZ Dogs - All Rights Reserved