Category Archives: Art

My Latest Lovely Silhouettes

Sometimes there’s a lag between my acquisition of art and its proper display.

Two fine silhouettes are currently waiting to get their place on a wall at Wayward House.

miniature pinscher silhouette

This custom print is a dog silhouette on photo paper by Kari Machal Designs.

It was an awesome birthday gift from my dear friend Shawn.

doberman silhouette

This beautiful hand-painted doberman silhouette is an original work by Lezlie Ferguson. She traded it to me for some Beer Paws goodies during the I Love My Dog Expo in Lincoln, Nebraska.

In addition to being a painter, Lezlie is also co-owner of The Canine Scrub, a self-serve dog wash in Lincoln. I’m going to do a pop up shop there for Beer Paws on Sunday, and I am packing extra treats for her personal dogs. I love her painting so much, and I don’t think we are close to even on that trade yet!

Have you acquired any doggy art lately? Leave a comment about it – or better yet, a picture – below!

How My Dogs Look Through the Fido Fetch Photography Lens @fidofetchphoto

Do we look cute or what?

As promised, here’s a gallery of Luke, Scooby’s and my recent photo session with Fido Fetch Photography.

What’s your favorite picture from the collection? (Click on the image to enlarge.)

Have you ever had a portrait session with your pets? Tell me about it in the comments below!

If you are in the Kansas City area, I highly recommend booking a pet portrait session with Fido Fetch Photography!

Bidding on Dogs, Cats, Crabs and Cows

This is an action-packed weekend for animal lovers in Kansas City.

Art Unleashed 2013

Art Unleashed 2013

It’s event season! And various local rescue groups and shelters gathering this weekend to celebrate their successes, thank supporters and encourage people to continue contributing to the cause of helping homeless pets.

The weekend kicked off with Art Unleashed, an art auction benefiting the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City.

Local artists donated hundreds of original pieces, including pet-themed pottery, painting, photographs, sculptures and more to be sold to the highest bidders.

the sheepherder

“The Sheepherder”

Auction proceeds support one of Kansas City’s oldest and first no-kill shelters. The HSGKC was founded in 1912.

Art Unleashed is one of the organization’s signature events. This is the first year I was able to participate.

I attended Art Unleashed as a guest of Kennel Creek Pet Resort.

Kennel Creek Pet Resort table at Art Unleashed

Kennel Creek sponsored a table.


It was fun to see my Kennel Creek friends all dressed up.

Chris Diana and son Kathy and Haley

Kyle and Lana, who operate the GoodDog2Go food truck for dogs, also sat at our table.

Crystal and Lana Crystal and Kyle

As a group of animal and art lovers, most of us could not resist bidding on some of the lovely items being auctioned.

Kathy, who has been with Kennel Creek since it opened, won a lovely watercolor painting of a crab.

Diana, the Kennel Creek trainer, took home the most treasures, including a house for her teacup Chihuahua that is made from a giant gourd.

Diana winning


A high point for all of us was the moment when a portrait of Hercules, an HSGKC dog who spent some time at Kennel Creek, was auctioned off, live, bringing upwards of $300!

I won a couple silent auction items myself, which should be beneficial in my continuing battle against Bare Wall Syndrome.

My winnings

Throw in the T-shirt I picked up to commemorate the night, and I definitely spent more than I should have. But I’m happy that my dollars will help homeless pets in my community get the food, shelter and rehabilitation they deserve.

Through Beer Paws sales, I am also proud to support three other local animal welfare organizations at special events this weekend:

Come back tomorrow to learn why The Animal Rescue Alliance is an organization with a special place in our Wayward hearts!

To learn more about the other events and organizations I’m supporting this weekend, LIKE Beer Paws on Facebook and check out the Events section!

A Custom Pet Portrait: One of the Best Gifts Ever

I have really amazing friends.

Thanks to one of them, I am now the proud owner of this beautiful, hand-painted portrait of my beloved elderpin Scooby.

Miniature Pinscher painting by Yellow Brick Home

A couple months ago, I received an email from Kim and Scott at Yellow Brick Home. They informed me that an anonymous person wanted me to have Scooby’s portrait done.

That someone would offer me such a special gift totally floored me. It wasn’t my birthday and it wasn’t even Scooby’s gotcha day. It was just a random act of kindness, I guess.

Regardless of the cause, I was ridiculously excited about this gift mainly because I’d seen Kim and Scott’s work before.

The Pet Shop is a tiny division of Yellow Brick Home, offering custom and original animal portraits. If you read the same blogs I do, you will recognize a few of the fuzzy faces featured in The Pet Shop portrait gallery.

All of the portraits capture the essence of a pet’s personality – with a look, a distinguishing characteristic, or – in Scooby’s case – a smile.

Kim signs her initials on each portrait, which also bears Yellow Brick Home’s logo on the back and is instantly ready to hang.

miniature pinscher painting by yellow brick home

yellow brick home custom pet portrait

If you’re considering getting a custom pet portrait done for yourself or a friend, I would highly recommend Yellow Brick Home.

My experience was great, and Kim was so easy to work with.

Because I am a weirdo, I totally freaked out when it came to choosing a photo. I convinced myself that nothing I had on hand was good enough and that I should wait for my professional photo session with Fido Fetch Photography before sending Kim images to work from.

Thank goodness Emily from Our Waldo Bungie knocked some sense into me. With her encouragement, I gathered some of my favorite candid shots of Scooby and timidly sent them along. Kim was super cool about my needless nervousness and said I had exactly what she needed.

In fact, of the small photo gallery I provided, her favorite was the same as mine.

This photo, taken on New Year’s Eve, by former foster Minnie’s new mama, provided the most inspiration for Scooby’s Yellow Brick Home portrait:

miniature pinscher barrel chest

At the time of this writing, I confess to still not having hung the elderpin’s portrait on the wall.

I haven’t decided on the perfect spot, but I suspect the picture will land near my Scooby caricature.

miniature pinscher caricature

I can’t say thank you enough times to the awesome person who anonymously provided my portrait of Scooby from Yellow Brick Home. I am so humbled and so happy. This gift will be a keepsake that I will cherish always.

For those in need of something special to hang on your wall, don’t forget to enter my Printcopia photo canvas giveaway.

A Printcopia Review and Giveaway

The worst part about putting pictures on the wall is dealing with a frame.

local pig print

Whether you start with the picture or the frame, getting everything to match up can be a challenge. And if your framed object is big and heavy, you might need to get out a level and yardstick and pound two equidistant nails in the wall.

For people like me, that’s just too much work.

I think that’s why photos-on-canvas are all the rage right now.

Photo canvases come all in one lightweight, ready-to-hang piece. One nail is all you need.

And that kind of simplicity makes the battle against bare wall syndrome so much easier – and fun!

Of course, when Printcopia invited me to try their photo canvas service for free I jumped at the chance.

The hardest part of the process was deciding which photo to canvas-ize.

Like a lot of my fellow dog-loving friends, we have a somewhat doggy-centric decorating theme in our home. However, the bare living room wall I was targeting for my free 16×20 canvas called for something more general.

With Printcopia, you can pull images directly from your Instagram account. Because that’s how I get my most beautiful photos, that seemed great for me. I chose an Instagram pic of a bee and an echinacea flower from last summer.

bee and echinacea flower

Buzz buzz!

Unfortunately, a real human being from Printcopia followed up with me less than 24 hours later with bad news.

My Instagram pic was too low res and would create a highly pixellated photo canvas.

And so, I scoured my limited selection of higher resolution photos taken with my real camera. It took a while, but I finally settled on a rustic scene from the farm where my father tends elk and bison.

rustic cabin

A very rustic cabin.

A Printcopia associate followed up with me one more time to ensure that I was comfortable with the slight cropping necessary for the project to work.

I appreciated the attention to detail and was thrilled with my canvas when it arrived in the mail a few days later.

As expected, hanging my new photo canvas took about two seconds. I will definitely be ordering more photo canvases in the very near future!

rustic cabin photo canvas


What photo would you put on canvas?

Printcopia is giving one lucky Wayward Dogs reader a chance to win an 8×10 canvas. Just follow the link below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I accepted products from Printcopia in exchange for my honest review of their service.

The Battle Against BWS

For a long time, the Wayward House suffered from a serious case of BWS.

BWS, as described by the Russel Ray Photos blog, is “bare wall syndrome.” It’s a sad condition that prevents a dwelling from feeling very homey or permanent.

Although I can’t really explain why I waited so long, over the past year or so, I finally started attacking this problem – with hammers, nails and art.

Zach helped me hang a vintage mirror in the bathroom.

My mom helped me turn the dining room into an ocean scene.

I hung Frida Kahlo and her precious xolo dog by the front door.

Frida Kahlo with xolo dog

One of my grandfather’s super sad yet beautiful dogtique pictures is displayed in our living room.

The Lost Playmate

In the kitchen hangs an awesome, limited edition print for The Local Pig, a very cool butcher shop here in Kansas City.

By the kitchen door there is also an inexpensive but lovely piece of dog silhouette graphic art.

We protect who we love.

And there’s more to come.

My cousin Megan and her partner gave me a beautiful watercolor painting of a humpback whale that will soon be framed.

humpback whale watercolor

A custom portrait of Scooby by Yellow Brick Home (courtesy of an anonymous friend) is currently on its way.

Through a collaboration between Beer Paws and Kansas City artist Phil “Sike Style” Shafer, awesome wall-ready cutouts of my home state of Nebraska are in production.

Nebraskas by Sike Style and Beer Paws

And undoubtedly my recent photo session with Fido Fetch Photography will lead to some new wall displays.

miniature pinscher and golden retriever portrait by Fido Fetch Photography

Courtesy Fido Fetch Photography

In the meantime, I can perch on the living room couch and stare at the most recent piece of photographic art that came by mail.

It’s a special one that I promise to show you tomorrow – when you will also have the chance to enter to win something similar for yourself!

 Have you put anything new on your walls lately?

Dogtique: Rescue of a Lost Friend

Before there was Lassie, there was this dog:

Rescue of a Lost Friend print

Howling for help.

This faithful collie is part of my late grandfather’s collection of dogtiques.

According to my grandmother, this print belonged to my grandpa’s mom, which means it has been in the family for a very long time.

Unfortunately, the part of the print with the artist’s name and the picture title was trimmed to fit into the frame so many years ago. However, a little online research helped me learn a bit about this popular image.

What artist is responsible for this picture and what it is called are all up for debate.

The artists Walter Hunt, Edgar Hunt and Albert Schenck have all been attached to pictures that look like this but have been commonly called “Found,” “Shepherd’s Call” or “Rescue of a Lost Friend.”

My grandmother, who has dealt in antiques for most of her life, swears she has come across this picture many times over the years, with the title “Cry for Help.”

Whatever the truth may be, I enjoy this picture. What do you think of it?

To learn more about the controversy, click here.

For a fun collie blog, check out Collies of the Meadow.

Flurry Friday

This is Flurry.


She’s skinny and furry and friendly and full of energy. She’s also adoptable.

If you are in the Kansas City area, you can meet her this Friday in the Crossroads art district.

She’s going to be a featured canine model at the Beer Paws Pop Up Shop, sponsored by Kennel Creek Pet Resort.

lab husky mix

“Pop Up Shop” in our case is a fancy way of saying “table on the street corner.” But it will be fun.

Flurry and friends are going to help me shill Beer Paws bottle openers and delight passersby with their wiggles.

Turquoise Beer Paws bottle opener

Join the Facebook event to be the first to know where our shop pops up.

If you’re not in Kansas City or don’t want to deal with the crazy First Friday crowds, order a Beer Paws bottle opener from the comfort of where you are right now via Storenvy.

Remember, 10% of proceeds benefit adoptable dogs like Flurry (and specifically, Tessa).

Dogtique: Last of the Litter

Where could this little puppy be headed?

Last of the Litter print

This print is from my late grandfather’s collection of dogtiques.

I haven’t discovered much history about the print, entitled Last of the Litter. It is also represented online in a collection of prints commissioned by the Wilson Chemical Co. on a page managed by the Tyrone Area Historical Society.

My grandmother said that Fluffy, the dog she got in high school during the 1940s, once traveled across the country in a crate much like the one in the print.

Incidentally, a few days before snapping the photo of this print, I also encountered a similar old timey dog kennel. It was in the back room of a new antiques and curiosities shop in my neighborhood.

Check it out:

antique dog kennel

Can you make out the dog’s name?

antique dog kennel

Solid construction but not a posh accommodation.

antique dog kennel

For times of thirst…

My grandma said her Fluffy was pretty ragged by the end of her trip in this kind of crate. I’m not surprised.

I’m glad pet carriers have advanced since this model.

How do your pets travel?

The Saddest Picture in the World

When I was a little emo kid, I would stare at this picture every time I went to my grandparents’ house.

The Lost Playmate

“The Lost Playmate” by Gustave Henry Mosler

This framed 1902 print of Gustave Henry Mosler‘s painting “The Lost Playmate” originally belonged to my great aunt Vera, a kind and hunchbacked old woman I can barely remember.

Upon her passing, my grandfather acquired this piece of Victorian art and it became a central piece in his collection of old dog prints and figurines.

My grandfather has been gone about a dozen years now, but most of his collection still decorates the house he shared with my grandmother.

“The Lost Playmate” will always be my favorite, but come back tomorrow, and I’ll show you more of his beautiful collection of dogtiques.

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