Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Puppy Bowl X

Have you ever heard of the website House Party?  If not, do yourself a favor and give it a peep.  You sign up to host parties sponsored by various companies (yes.  I said party and sponsored.  As if I need an excuse!).  It's not an automatic guarantee that you host; companies are specific about the demographic they want to target.  Well, I guess we fit the target this time around because we got chosen to host the bestest of parties - the holy grail of doggie entertainment - THE PUPPY BOWL!  Holla!  So what happens when you get picked is you wait what seems like 98735023923508 days to get your party pack (actually, it came only like a week or two after I found out we were chosen, I just have no patience).

In the meantime, you send out your little e-vites, get your banging menu planned, and spend way too much money at places like Party City and Oriental Trading for your doggie bags.  Actually, I bought most of my stuff at the Dollar Tree.

I knew I wanted to make bandanas, so I just cut out squares for small, medium, and large sizes (small was 6", medium was 8", and large was 10" if I recall correctly).  Then I just folded them into triangles - right sides together, left a space from the top fold (an inch to about an inch and a half depending on the size) and stitched the edges together, sewing pretty close (probably about 1/8th to the edge).  After that I flipped them to the right side through the opening that I left.  Sewed a straight line from the bottom of the opening to the other side for the collar to fit through and around the bottom edges so they laid flat.  Last step was an inkjet iron-on transfer to make it official.

When our party pack came, Griwold must've known there was something in there for him.

He believed it was the Twizzlers.

I ended up making some doggie toys because, of course, I wanted to color coordinate with the Animal Planet colors.  I was able to buy a two yards of fleece fabric on sale for $5 a yard.  So I spent $10 on homemade toys, was able to get at least 16 toys out of it, and still had material left over (I ended up buying another green shade).  Instead of making a traditional rope-like chew, I wove the fleece strips.  You remember the gimp craze?! Yaaaas.  My third grade self was so impressed.  Here's what I did:

Lanyard Chew Toy and Pouf (below)

Your Hands
About 15 minutes or so

Fold your fleece in half across the top.  You should be left with about a 22 - 30 inch wide piece depending on the width of your fabric (mine was 60 inches).  Measure about 1.5 - 2 inches across the bottom.  Cut down to the edge.  You will be left with a strip that is 60 x 1.5 inches when it is open.

Cut one of one color and one of the other.  After you have your two long strips, fold them in thirds.  I folded each edge into the middle and fiddled with the fabric until it was even.  Then cut the edges.  You will have three strips (six total) of each color.  You will only need four for this project, two of each color.

Take the four strips and pull them gently so they kinda stretch out.  The edges will curl in.  It'll be fine , I promise.  Holding all four strips together evenly, tie a knot at the front, leaving about a two inch tail.

Now the fun part.  You're going to start weaving.  This is pretty easy, the worst part, as any seasoned gimp artist knows, is getting the weave started.  Choose one of the colors and arrange them so they are folded over your fingers like the picture below.

See how the loops are on opposite sides?  Take your contrasting color and start your under-over weave.  You want the "under" part to match up with the loop side of your first color, not where the long tail is.  It'll make sense when you do this because when you try to pull it tight, (like I did no less than 481 times and still couldn't understand) it will fall apart.

Gently tug on each strand until you have something like below.  I folded the raw edges in to help it look a little cleaner, but it's really not that big of a deal.

Repeat the weave until you have about three inches left, then you're going to make your other knot.  Trim the tassel edges so they are even. Easy.  And drool absorbent.

The other toy I made was inspired by a Martha Stewart Pets item I saw at PetSmart for way too much money.  $9?!  Oh hells to the naw.  Not only being broke, but stubborn to boot, I was confident I could make my own.

I measured the large piece of fleece to be 9x12.  Again, one piece of yellow, one of green.  Then I folded the piece in half (hot dog style) and cut down the edge.  So you'll have four pieces total.

Fold each piece in half again and cut about every inch or so, being SUPER careful NOT to cut the folded edge (I left about a half inch before the edge).  We're just sort of snipping here.

You'll have a total of four muppet-looking pieces.  Yours will most likely not have as much dog hair on them as mine.

Stack each piece on top of each other as evenly as possible.  You could alternate colors or put a different color on the outside.  Whatever you fancy.

Sew down the middle of your muppet stack with a small zigzag stitch.

Tightly roll one short edge of the fleece to the other.

Then take a double strand of yard or embroidery floss (which is what I used) and sew the edge to the middle.

After your edge is secured (you want to go through it quite a bit, this will be in a dog's mouth), start forming a puff ball.  If you've ever made a puff ball with yarn, you know you have to trim the edges even to make it full.  I did the same with these.  Keep on going until you're satisfied with the way it looks.  Maybe not Martha quality, but for something that will end up ripped in 4.3 seconds, an inexpensive alternative (I was able to make at least 10 for about the price of the toy).  You can see this finished pouf in our doggie-bag-wag-bag below.

And now, for the pictures.  This party was SO much fun to plan for.  The Puppy Bowl X graphics were provided on the House Party website.

Supplies for the photo booth

Accidents happen

Found this idea on Pinterest.  Just search for "dog rolls" and it should pop up.  Used a standard hamburger bun recipe.

Dirt pudding.  Yum!

Temporary tattoos that were in our party pack

Thank goodness for the dollar store.
Griswold, the official phodographer on duty and referee

And now for Griswold's photos

Getting his photo taken in the Photo Booth

Eating a cheese curl snatched from my dad

Trying to mack on some foodstuffs
Thank you so much to House Party and Animal Planet for the awesome excuse to pawty!  Did you have a celebration for the big game?  What kind of activities do you plan to keep the dogs engaged?

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