A Major Change For Nathan

I took a two month leave of absence from my job under the Family Leave Act to help take care of my parents when my Dad fell and broke his hip. At that time I was working a commission only sales job of Fine & Fashion Jewelry at a major department store. When I went back to work, due to returns while I was gone, my sales were in the negative. Due to working commission only, this meant that I had to dig myself out of the negative before I could start earning money again. Needles to say I was not thrilled to be working for nothing, so I left. This gave me the opportunity to continue to help my parents.

During this time Lady Lacy Marie passed away, it was such a heart wrenching event for me. The house was so empty without the pitter patter of her paws and her silly antics that always kept me laughing. After two months, even though I was still grieving for Lacy, I just couldn’t stand the loneliness anymore. This was when Sir Nathan Asscher came into my life. Even though I still missed Lacy, the minute Nathan walked into the house it became a home again.

Nathan
Nathan

He loved the fact that I was home with him all day as I was just getting Gem Lady Treasures of the ground. He loves being right next to me all the time. He wants to be close enough so that some part of him is always touching me whether it be his paw or his back while he is napping. But times are changing.

After nine months of constantly being together, I start a new position working with Estate Jewelry as well as Loose Diamonds and Colored Gemstones next week. Due to this, Nathan is now going to be home alone several days a week. I know that he will eventually adjust, but being the doting Mother that I am, I want to make the adjustment period as easy as possible for him.

I plan on playing the radio while I am gone to give him some noise. I also thought I would leave some dirty clothes in his favorite napping spots so he will have my scent. Other than that I am not sure what to do for him. I have thought about getting him a brother or a sister, but I don’t know if he would like sharing me with another Fur Baby. If anyone has any other suggestions, please leave them in the comment section. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!

Gemstone Dog Collars Verses Dog Jewelry

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These adorable little fur babies all have the same doggy necklace on. For fun, like in the magazines, who is wearing it the best?

 

 

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I will be the first to admit that dogs wearing jewelry are adorable, but I will admit there is a strong practical side of me.

Whenever I see a picture of a dog wearing a piece of dog jewelry they are usually not wearing a collar. I do understand that some pet parents don’t keep collars on their fur babies all the time, but there are a lot who do. I do because if my fur baby Nathan ever got away from me, I want him to have his ID tag on so hopefully with the help of someone, he can find his way home to me. Another reason is that it is really easy to clip a leash onto a collar but not a doggy necklace. They are just not made strong enough to control a dog through the use of a leash. I have also seen warning tags on doggy jewelry to not leave the jewelry on the dog when the dog is alone, choking could be a dangerous issue.

I made doggy necklaces for my Dalmatian Mix Lady Lacy Marie, however hers were always worn with the collar that she had. The reason for this was that I could not locate a fun ‘Princess’ collar in her size. They were all made for XSmall or Small dogs of which she was not.

Gem Lady Treasures created our Unique, Handmade Leather and Natural Gemstone Dog Collars for many of these reasons. Our beautiful collars use real natural gemstones unlike most dog necklaces. The natural gemstones are securely attached to our collars by hand sewing and knotting. Nathan has been wearing his Natural Poppy Jasper collar for nine months now and not one gemstone has even come loose. Double dee rings provide room for attaching a leash and tags without crowding. In addition, there is no danger for choking!

Gem Lady Treasures Gemstone Dog Collars are also made in all sizes, XSmall to XLarge plus have the benefit of being Unisex. Boys as well as girls can wear them! Please click on the link above to see all of our fabulous collars.

 

 

Building Nathan’s New Bed

I know, I know, I have been talking about this fabulous bed that I am building for Nathan forever. My poor fur baby, it was supposed to be his Christmas present, then Valentines present. He has been such a good sport about it, napping in it when he can. The current status is that despite my best efforts and advice from the guy at Home Depot, it is not turning out as it should.

I painted the legs and attached them to the bottom of the bed, they turned out great! It was really pretty simple and so I had hopes that the rest of the bed would be as well. Silly Me! That was the last thing that went well. Originally I was going to miter the sides of the bed, but quickly eliminated that idea because my miter box was to small to make the proper cuts. Using L brackets I attached the backboard and then the side boards. Problem is that the side boards do not meet up cleanly with the backboard, there is a triangular gap (whine!). They are cut straight, but I am wondering if the wood is warped or something. I’m really unsure as to what I should do about it.  I could leave them that way and change the way I was going to decorate the bed. Instead do something to either hide the issues or make them part of the décor. Of course both sides have different issues!

I did get the pillows done and Nathan now has his own teddy bear. He doesn’t really play with his teddy bear, but each night he carries his teddy bear into the bedroom, and everyday he carries it outside. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to rescue that silly bear from the sprinklers!!!

Only time will tell how this project will end up!!!

Bed Leg
Bed Leg
Nathan Napping
Nathan Napping

 

How a Gem Lady Treasures Collar is Made

Probably the biggest misconception about our collars is that we purchase leather dog collars and then add on the gemstones. However convenient that would be, it simply would not give us the tight quality control that we like to have on our product. I order strips of a high quality belt leather in a natural color. Two different widths are used; a five-eights inch for the xsmall & small and a one inch width for the medium, large, & xlarge.

For the collar, I take the leather strips and first cut them to the length I need. I then bevel the edges, both top and bottom. The reason is that it is more comfortable for the dog plus it is a nice finishing edge detail. Holes are then punched into the leather for the buckle to use and for assembling the collar. There is also a wrap around piece of leather that needs to be cut, beveled, and holes punched. This wrap around piece is how the buckle is attached to the collar. At this point if the leather is to be dyed black, that is done all by hand. Even when wearing gloves my hands always have a significant amount of black dye on them afterwards! Some comes off with major scrubbing and polish remover, but it usually takes several days for my hands to be back to normal! After dying and drying for 24 hours, the leather is then buffed by hand and a sealant is put on. This is then allowed to dry for at least 12 hours.

Beveling Edges
Beveling Edges
Punching Holes
Punching Holes
Stamping
Stamping

 

 

 

 

When completely dry, I use a leather stamp to stamp the size of the collar onto the wrap around piece. I also stamp my makers mark “GLT” (Gem Lady Treasures) onto the tongue of the belt. Here again care is needed when using the stamps. I have a Wedium instead of a Medium as proof! Now the assembly begins with hardware that is all nickel plated solid steel. The roller buckle is placed into the middle of the wrap around piece, being careful that the side stamped with the size is to the back side. Once again I learned this the hard way! The end of the collar is placed in-between the wrap and a rivet is hammered into place. The first dee ring is placed in-between the top of the wrap and the collar piece and then another rivet is hammered into place through all three layers. The second dee ring is added and the final rivet is hammered home. At this point, what I refer to as a ‘blank’ is completed. A blank is a collar that is ready to be stoned. I try to keep a number of sizes in blanks in both the natural and black colors on hand. That way when an order comes in, and I don’t all ready have one made, all I have to do is add the customers desired stones. By doing this I can ship out the order as fast as possible so the customer does not have to wait long for their purchase.

Not that the process up to now is not fun, but it is at this point where I can see the final dog collar coming together. When I first added the gemstones to the collars, I did a ton of measuring, converting inches (collar width) to millimeters (bead size) and back. Making sure all of my math was correct I used a quilting ruler to mark where I needed to place my needle punches. The major lesson I learned here was that despite using calibrated stones, no matter how many times I measured, how accurately I measured, and how accurately I converted my numbers, the layout was always off in some manner. I finally learned to use the actual stones themselves when measuring. By laying them out in the pattern I desired, I was able to place my needle punches in accurately. This is such a crucial part because once a punch is made, it is there forever. A needle will not go through the leather without a hole made for it. The needle punch is much smaller than a hole punch, only large enough for a needle and thread to go through the leather. If a mistake is made at this point, it is a costly mistake. After all, you have the investment of the materials and labor into a piece that is no longer useable. I have a few of these ‘very exceptional’ collars – (NOT) hanging in a special location in my workroom. I keep thinking that at some point in the future I will be able to figure out a way to use them!

Needle Punches
Needle Punches
Stoning in Progress
Stoning in Progress

 

 

 

 

We currently have two Collections for our collars. The In The Ruff Collection uses Crazy Lace Agate, Dalmatian Jasper, Labradorite, Sodalite, and Unakite. The Haute Dog Collection uses Amethyst, Apatite, Aquamarine, Carnelian, Moonstone, Rose Quarts, and Ruby Zoisite. Each of the two collections has its own design. In The Ruff has the oval gemstones laying horizontal whereas the Haute Dog Collection has the oval gemstones laying vertical. I decided on this to help separate the two collections and give my customers options. Whichever design I am using, the process is basically the same. For the Haute Dog Collection, I do a backstitch on the back of the collar and add a drop of adhesive to secure the backstitch. Then I pull the needle and thread through the needle hole, place in a knot (much like you would see on a pearl necklace), add a natural gemstone bead, place another knot and then down the next needle hole. I do not tie off after each bead is placed in because then the back of the collar would look messy with starts and stops of the thread and dots of adhesive. For the In The Ruff Collection, after securing the thread on the back, I come up through the needle punch hole, add a natural gemstone bead and then go back down the next hole. I come up again in the next hole and then place a knot. The natural gemstone bead is then added and the process is continued. In this layout, the knots are placed in-between each bead. Another thing that I should mention is that when stitching on the natural gemstone beads, the tension in the thread is very important! The thread needs to be as tight as possible so that the gemstones are on the collar as tightly as possible. This ensures that the gemstones won’t get caught on anything and accidently pulled off. After a quality control check our unique, handmade leather and natural gemstone dog collar is complete.

As you can clearly see, our Gem Lady Treasures Dog Collars are labor intensive and created with lots of love, and yes, blood, sweat, laughes and tears. Depending on which gemstones are used, they all have their own personalities. I sincerely hope that there is one in either of the collections that will suit you and your Fur Baby. If not, let us know so we can find the perfect gemstone just for you!!!