We Like: Watercolors By Rachelle Smith


I found these wonderful prints on Etsy. Rachelle’s watercolor pet portraits aren’t like a lot of the portraits I’ve seen. For one, they’re not acrylics or oil, so she captures some different nuances than I’ve usually seen. Like those puddles of lips on the Pointer above.




She captures the softness of a Lab’s gaze, the focused stare of an orange tomcat—you just know there’s a bird he’s caught sight of, and that otherworldliness of Weimeraners.

We Like: “A Cheerful Pet” Felt Toys

felttoys1.jpgSaffron loves the felt tomato and sunflower made by A Cheerful Pet that we got her. In fact she couldn’t wait while we were taking photos of the new toys.

These are different from any dog toys I’ve seen before. They’re made of boiled wool dyed with natural dyes. The result is lots of durable, fun, pretty toys. (Note: Saffron “pruned” the stem & leaf off the tomato pretty quickly, so the tendrils and fringes on some of the toys may not last, but the remaining felt ball isn’t going anywhere. These toys are surprisingly strong. They’re washable even, just hand wash and air dry)

felttoys2.jpgThe sunflower is a favorite for shaking and biting. I think the wool smell also makes the toys attractive. The tomato rolls and bounces like, well…a ball. And those are fun! The humans here think the toys look really nice, in fact, they look like art. Which I like to see lying around the house a lot better than frighteningly colored rubber hamburgers.

A Cheerful Pet toys are designed by 19 year old Rebekah Steubing and her mom Cheryl and are made in Nepal, where the Steubings first learned about the craft of boiling wool.

A Cheerful Pet has so many fun toys—colorful fish, jack-o-lanterns, Frizees (frisbees), Tugzeez (the green one looks just like a big piece of bull kelp!), balls, and the tomato & sunflower we got. They also have pet throws and coats in all sorts of wonderful colors. Proceeds from the sale of the PUMA collection benefit the PUMA orphanage in Nepal.

I’m waiting to hear back on who manufactures these fun toys. It’s my understanding this is also part of the company’s outreach to Nepal. I’ll let you know what I find out.  (Update:  Unfortunately, I haven’t heard back from them, so I can’t tell you who makes the toys.)

We Like: IKEA Kid’s Tent

ikeadogtent.jpg I love being able to repurpose something and save money. And the IKEA kid’s tent, Korall Anemon makes a great collapsible dog tent. We took Saffron camping for the first time this year. She loves it, but does show some stress about how we’re living outside. For instance, we really have to work to get her to go potty, I think because she’s not as clear about where it’s okay to do that if we’re living outside. She is also alert and on watch most of the time when we’re hanging around the campsite and has a hard time relaxing.

ikeadogtentcollapsed.jpgSo, I wanted to try a collapsible crate or tent to see if having a sheltered space to lounge would help Saffron chill out, but they aren’t cheap. And who knows if it will work. Then I see this dog tent disguised as a kid’s tent at IKEA. Problem solved for $14.99.

By the way, this isn’t for Saffron to spend the night in. She sleeps with us in our tent where we can make sure she’s safe & sound and where she can keep us warm.