Sunday, December 9, 2018

Homemade Dog Boots - The Frugal Way!



Hello my friends! :)

I hope you're all doing well, keeping warm or cool depending on where you live! :)

Temperatures have reached the -20's C (-4 to -20F) here in the mountains some days. We have so much snow, I'm still loving it though! :) 

But it makes for painful "potty time" for the dogs. Their feet get really cold and there are times when they jump around and yelp when it gets too cold for them. So I always make sure I have some dog boots for them.

These are FUNCTIONAL...not fashionable lol...They usually only last a few winters, inevitably some get lost or torn...so I just sew the basics without worrying too much about appearance!

I start with dollar store polar fleece mittens. They are kids sizes.


Since I made some for Jack already, I only had to make a set for the huskies to share since they don't always need them. I used the largest mittens they had for kids, cut off the thumbs and sewed them up.


I used to buy the Muttluks dog boots for my pugs. Those are so expensive and honestly they didn't always stay on. My homemade dog boots cost less than $4 a set. 

These boots are primarily for Marlene (though Charlie can use them when she needs them), so I measured around her ankles to get the right size elastic. Then I sewed some velcro on each end, they will wrap around her leg to secure the boot. I made 6 of these. Back boots will have one strap, front boots will each have two. 


These are the back boots. I sewed the strap on just around the soft end of the velcro, so that the strap is loose and can pull tightly around the leg. Each boot also has a thinner piece of elastic sewn as a loop, this keeps the strap from pulling up and the boot from falling down. All dollar store supplies.


Front boot: One strap goes up around the ankle, and the other a little lower down. I put two straps on the front boots because they seem to get more action.

The key to placement of the straps is to make sure they are placed above the ankle bone and they are snug enough to stay in place, but not too tight to cut off circulation.  Most of this was done with my machine, but I had to do a little hand sewing (not a fan!). 


When I made Jack's boots last year, they were a little too short for him, didn't reach up to his ankle bones; so I had to sew some fabric to the top of the boot (the pale blue fabric was an old sweater) - that way the straps fit snugly above his ankle bones. If you don't get that strap in the right spot, the boots come off the minute they take a step.

This year,  I only had to replace the velcro on his boots. They've held up one big winter already, let's hope for a second!


Not a happy husky! Marlene is not a fan of the boots! But her feet get really cold, so she'll have to get used to them. I also made her a little vest out of an old pair of pj's I had - another frugal project. Re-use!!! :)


Charlie's coat is SO THICK in the winter, and her toes are very hairy, so she rarely needs extra help. But on those days when it's -40, we take the dogs out one at a time, and the girls can share the boots!


Jack is an old pro wearing his boots...he's giving Marlene some advice I think! :)


After about 20 minutes of encouragement, Marlene was finally walking around on her own! :) She pee'd but wouldn't poop until I took the boots off, lol...silly dog. She'll get used to them though! 


I have a little set up over the heater by the door to dry up the boots between trips outside. Works well!

Just a note: After reading a few initial comments, I wanted to say that with these dollar store mittens, made with polar fleece, the boots don't really need waterproofing. In really frigid weather, the dogs don't stay outside long enough to soak them through. They dry quickly because I hang them by the heater after each use.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A Walk By The River


Hello my Friends :)

My world is so beautiful lately that I just wanted to share it with you! Yup, winter has arrived and here it will remain until mid-May. Even though it's really cold out, I'm drawn to the charm of Nature! Alex and I went for a walk along the cold river yesterday.


Weekdays in this village are pretty quiet and we love that. We made several stops along the river bank to just sit and listen to the flowing water.


I made little snowmen all along the way too, that was fun! :)


Darkness falls quickly this time of year, making winter nights a beautiful haze of blue and white.


Time to head back home through the covered bridge. (Sorry it's a little out of focus!)


A nice comforting meal of Crepes Suzette warmed us up on a cold wintry night! The weekenders are already in town on their snowmobiles, making quite the racket...time to hibernate for a few days!! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Goodbye Autumn Hello Winter!


The theme for the Scribble Picnic this week is "Goodbye Autumn". When I saw this prompt a few weeks ago, we already had a lot of snow on the ground! We said a fond farewell to Autumn a long time ago! Here is my watercolour to celebrate the change of season!!


And of course, for fun, I had to draw Bugs saying goodbye to Autumn too! :)


I'm still fooling around with that digital painting program, slowly but surely I'm learning all of the gazillion functions it has! Though I think I will stick to landscapes until I can acquire a digital pen! My finger on the touch pad of my laptop is way too wobbly for detail!!


Once you start to receive Christmas cards...Autumn is definitely long gone! This lovely card was sent to me by Christine, our fellow Scribble Picnicker and Blog friend. She made it herself too, I love that! Thanks so much Christine!! :))


Charlie would LIVE outside all winter if we let her!


Alex and I did the monthly shopping last week...so glad that's over. On shopping days we don't even bother to cook, we always make sure we have a nice cheese platter to snack on as we put groceries away. :)


We've had some unpleasant surprises lately...lots of power outages due to the heavy snow on the Hydro lines; next, our water pump busted and we had no water for almost a day; not to mention a partially flooded basement. :( We have a great landlord though, and he came over to fix it. Having no water is kind of depressing...but I'm glad it wasn't a big repair, I had some Homemade Salsa and Marinara Sauce to can! 


Another crazy thing that happened was car-related. I would be braking then the car would jerk suddenly and scare the bleep out of me. 

The ABS brake sensor was malfunctioning and last month we had it replaced. But the car dashboard still lit up like a Christmas tree! Oh, and just for fun, the "check engine" light came on too; so yesterday we had to go back and it was some kind of ridiculously expensive bearing on the wheel that had to be fixed. In times of stress, a nice walk in the woods helps. Alex and I came upon this frozen river on one of the trails near the garage.

Despite that surprise expense, I am proud to say we are nearly halfway towards our savings goal for a down payment! :) And...since I challenged myself in early November to only use the car less than 10 times until spring...it's been three trips out so far...once for monthly shopping and TWICE to the garage!!! I hope that's all settled now so I can keep that promise to myself! Our next car will have NO GADGETS...these modern cars claim convenience...but the cost to fix them is anything but!!! What do you guys drive?


Time for comfort food!!! This dish was SO GOOD. It's a Vegetarian-ish Shepherd's Pie. I say "ish" because I use Worcestershire sauce in it, which I believe has anchovies.


Green Onion and Potato Soup with Potato Pancakes. Oh Mr. Potato how I love thee! :)


Chocolate Coffee Cake. First time I made this! It was really good, especially the streusel topping!


Cozying up in bed with Jack, my precious hound dog. :)


Farewell little fella...until next year!! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Digital Art - I Don't Know What I'm Doing!!!

Winter Mountains
Hi Friends :)

I've been playing around with a digital painting program the last few days. I really have no idea how to use all of the features and I don't think I have the right computer for the job! But I came up with a few pieces I wanted to share.

Snow Queen
Someone familiar with the software would likely breeze through these paintings, but they took me a long time to create! I'm starting to think that I'd like to someday invest in one of those pens I can use as a mouse so I can draw digitally.

Full Moon
Just for "fun" I looked into an IPad and a drawing pen to go along with it. EEEGAD...we're talking over a thousand dollars for that set up (minimum)!! And that's not including the appropriate software!!

Don't Look Out The Window
I guess for now I'll make do with what I have! I'm going to download a video that shows me all of the features of this program and how to best use them on my laptop. That should keep me busy this winter!!

Speaking of winter...


It's getting colder and colder, sigh. The dogs love being outside, but their tolerance is getting lower. I'm going to have to start sewing some homemade dog booties soon!!


Comfort food is needed during cold weather!! We made a Tomato Pizza Fondue last week and it was SOOOOO GOOD.


Alex wanted something sweet after so he decided to "roast" some marshmallows over the fondue burner. It actually worked!! :)


My little Jack rabbit...not meant for the cold!!! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Scribble Picnic: Forest...Food...Fun!


Hello Friends!! :)

Hope you're all doing well! :) The theme for Michael's Scribble Picnic this week is "Forest". I thought about a snowy relaxing forest painting...but, you can't take the "scary" out of the gal it seems....this is my ink/watercolour "Forest"! :) I've had nightmares like this, so likely this is a self-portrait of sorts!!!



We've been dumped on with a good three feet of snow in the last half week! It's beautiful, and although I'm not a fan of cold, I've been trying to make the best of it by snowshoeing in the forest. :) I followed a game trail for about 45 minutes yesterday - me thinks it was deer though I didn't see anything but tracks. When it's snowing in the woods, it's so peaceful!


Here's my cartoon drawing for the picnic. In the Looney Tunes short "The Windblown Hare", Bugs taunts the Big Bad Wolf in the forest as he's brushing up on his fairy tales. Bugs fans may remember him strolling along singing "The rabbit in red...la da da dee dee dee, the rabbit in red...."... I love this episode and I was lucky to find it on Daily Motion (there may be an annoying ad before the cartoon starts, sorry about that!), check out the video if you want to bring back some memories!! :)



I hope the link worked! :)


I've been trying to make some great comfort food dishes lately. Lots of breakfast for dinner ideas! First, it's Breakfast Tacos. Then Linguine Carbonara (though I used capellini pasta because it's thinner and we prefer that).


A few Mexican inspired dinners: Papas Fritas (without the chicken this time) and Baked Enchiladas.  All with my homemade Salsa and Sour Cream. So delicious!! I would like to say that this is the time of year where I focus on comfort food...but who am I kidding? That's my main menu all year long!! :)


My homemade wood pallet decorations are out! Crooked Christmas Tree and Mr. Snowy are happy to be showcasing themselves for the season! :)


I'll end this post with an odd sighting...the elusive "oven-hood-cougar" who rarely lets himself be seen...little brat!!!  ;)

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Painting and Pesto


Hello Friends! :)

Since Halloween, I've been really taking it easy - as in: planning my entire life around either being in bed sleeping, being in bed watching movies with Alex or eating! It's been a wonderfully slothy time lol! But now I must avoid atrophy, so I'm up and doing stuff again. :)

I haven't done any painting since October, so I thought I'd do a November inspired watercolour. :)


I'm back in the kitchen slowly but surely! I made some Ricotta the other day.


The latest obsession...Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto. Boy is this good stuff. I'm not a fan of pine nuts so I was trying to find a way to make a good pesto without them and I think I found it! I can only take a wee taste because I don't digest fruit and veggie skins/peels very well and it's impossible to peel a sun dried tomato! But Alex LOVES this with a little bit of sharp Cheddar on toast or Melba toast! 


I've also wrapped the Camemberts!! They'll be ready for Christmas!


Check this out: I use St-Ives body lotion. You know the type of lotion that you hand pump? When you get to the end of the container (or so it seems!!), the hand pump stops working and no more lotion comes out. I guess the companies assume people will just toss the container at that point and buy a new one. Look how much I managed to scrape out of 3 of those "empty" lotion containers!!! TWO CUPS.  Yeesh!!


Now that I have rested, recuperated and healed from the last year, I'm back into my fun menu planning. I send Alex a menu each Friday for the coming week. It's fun! And my friends will remember that each 14th of the month, we have a fondue night to celebrate our monthly "anniversary"! :) I think I have all of these recipes up on my Rain's Recipes Page, but if not, I'll be adding to it as I make them!


Another snow storm just started! We're supposed to get between 20 and 40 inches of snow throughout the weekend. It's so pretty this time of year!

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New feature! I'll be adding links to my other blogs/latest blog posts at the end of my blog posts now. No pressure! But if you're interested, mosey on over! :)

My other blogs:

Rainy Day Cheese Making 
Latest Post:  Wrapping The Cams!

Rain's Thoughts
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