Saturday, March 31, 2012


   While Kalinka was alive she lived in So. Africa with her very devoted family. I am always so touched by the photos of the dog I receive to work from. Kalinka obviously was a large dog being a Borzoi..this did not stop her from living the full indoor life with her family. Sleeping in the bed on the furniture for a little cuddle time.. just the perfect life.The way it should always be in my opinion but that is me! So missed after many years her mom came to me to have a recreation of her made. A great pleasure working with her to get Kalinka just right. Her teenage son saw photos I emailed her and thought they were old photos of Kalinka.. Guess she is ready to go to Africa then.  A gift of a friend is what I get after making a piece like Kalinka..I always get so much back from the people.. we are still in touch after a number of years.

St. Bernard & Bob

Always interested in my work it seems.... I have Bob again sniffing the dogs being photographed.  There is not much more to say about Bob! His approach is always loving. He may wound you with this scratching paws... his intention is love. He in fact can love you just a little tooooo much with those paws.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bearded Collie

   Made my fair share of Bearded Collie's. I love the way my Cairn Bob interacts with this dog. Gentle Bob! In contrast I will post some death holds on my work by Ted... but for today here is a wonderful custom piece. Solo was her name and clearly she was a loved dog. By the grooming alone these dogs take a lot of attention and care. Enjoy today's pictures. Have many new pieces for the International show in April that is why I am only showing past pieces. After the show I will put pictures of the dogs I am taking to sell at the show.  Oldies but goodies anyway!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Society Hound

The  first dogs I ever made were for my Barbie dolls. My Barbie had dogs, horses and a few cats... that is not hard to imagine, if you know me now. Barbie was never limited in the number of animals she could have. No problem with time, no problem with vetting or feeding. Barbie never seemed to have a lot of dog hair around her dream home as I recall. Funny since she had a number of Collies and GSD.  The picture today is a Barbie that I purchases as a adult... yes I am still playing Barbie. In fact one of my sons commented on my business with this statement.. " So you really just play with dogs and dolls all day ". She was Society Hound Barbie.. never occurred to me I would be buying and playing Barbie when I was this old... and how old  I am not telling. I replaced the plastic Greyhound for Barbie with one of my custom pieces... naturally. He is wearing the plastic dogs coat. I was looking for a picture of Ted! I wanted to enter him in a contest... in his file was this picture... no idea why, other then I am not very organized! So here is Society Hound Barbie with her custom made Greyhound. Hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Emma & Mini Emma

I was so happy to see these pictures come to me today.. another example of a wonderful friend made through the dogs. Darling girl contacted me to make a miniature of her Emma... Emma is a service dog helping this girl deal with her Post  Traumatic Stress. Dogs fill our life in so many ways... what would we be without them? Some in official ways like Emma... some in simply Love ways. Fills me with  joy to hear how much she loves the mini... how much it resembles the real Emma.  Truly this is what Designer Dogs was meant to be! Emma what a face you have!

Monday, March 19, 2012

And a Rabbit


Not the first rabbit I have made. You can see the rabbit that it was copied from.  My son has rabbits so becoming familiar with them was not a problem ... however there are as many types of rabbits with as many types of fur, markings and body type actually as dogs..  this little bunny was for a project a woman was making.  Not that much work in a little body like this one. I was very pleased the way it turned out.. the face was just darling.

Shetland Sheepdogs

Three darling little girls. Shelby, Princess and Bambi.... custom pieces made so many years ago! A really wonderful doll collector friend of mine from Long Island NY commissioned these three darlings to pose with her little dolls.  She is a passionate dog lover as is the case with almost all my friends.  The old saying " Love me love my dog " holds so true for me. Nothing like holding a few Shelties in your hand! Again notice the paws making contact with the surface... I like my animals to look like they are really sitting or lying on the surface they are on. I don't think there is realism when half the animal is stiff and sticking out all over... Hope you're enjoying some of my older pieces.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

And a Horse!

Here is Secretariat wearing a saddle accompanied by a GSD that I made when I first started making dogs in 1997. The dog was made to stay in the barn setting with Seabiscuit another of my favorite horses. I have sold horses before but the race horses are in my own collection. This horse is special to me.. I think his hoofs are very realistic looking. I made  shoes out of metal... I love the dog because he always reminds me of the beginning of making dogs. I made a Toto and Lassie, Rin Tin Tin the RCA Victor dog and Pilot from the Jane Eyre story.  One day I will get the barn I have refinished and both horses can have a place with of course a few dogs. The barn is quite large with many possibilities.  That will be a future project.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Half Inch Borzoi

If it is 1/2 inch as this dog is or 1/6 or 1/4 or 1/12.. I have made a Borzoi! I love the Borzoi in any scale. Challenge myself with this scale because I want my dogs to have realism.  The smaller the scale the harder that is to accomplish. This dog has realism... German glass eyes as all the other dogs have..  Tibetan Lamb for fur. Half inch scale accessories are less easy to fine then the  more common 1/12 pieces. Not sure that there are many furred dogs in this scale.   Here is one!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Here is little Murphy in his new home. I love a Terrier! Borders are no exception. I remember my husband and I saw a little female Border Terrier at the Land O Lakes Kennel club show.... what a doll! She was very petite standing atop her very fancy wooden carrier. She came over to give us a little visit and fortunately for me she was eye level while standing on her very fancy wood crate. Typical of a Terrier the amount of attention for us was minimal. But after all there was a lot of show things going on that were much more interesting. However I don't know how many dogs I have seen since..... that were cuter then she was. Here is a wonderful little example of a Border Terrier in 1:12 scale. The picture Valerie sent me of the real Murphy had him very interested in a large toad! If Murphy is like my Cairn Bob then I imagine there was plenty of crying and carrying on about that toad being in his yard! Mini Murphy looks darling in his new home.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I was going over some dog photos for a slideshow when this dog came up. I had to stop and write about him here. A couple things I really love about him is his eyes with that expression. The paws are also one of my favorites. I love real dogs paws and I love to work for a great looking paw on my sculptures  as well. When they appear to be actually standing particularly on a uneven surface I am really pleased. 

Friday, March 9, 2012


                 Scupper! A darling Shetland Sheepdog. Not a miniature Collie as with Miniature Pinschers also not a miniature Doberman. Scupper's owners husband came to me in Chicago with photos to have me recreate Scupper for his wife. I so love it when the husbands or children come to me to recreate a loved ones pet. The following year Scupper's owner came to me in Chicago to tell me how much she loved her miniature Scupper. It brings me great joy to hear the dog stories and see the appreciation and love from the dog owners. This has turned what I do into something very personal and important to me... much more then sculpting a piece.. it becomes giving a small representation of a loved dog a small way to " Have Your Dog Forever " with as much realism as I can possibly put into it. Each dog has their essence, their spark!  When I see that come though in the glass eyes I know I have completed my miniature spark of love.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bouvier des Flanders

Talking a little about a dog I made many years ago now still a favorite. The Bouvier des Flanders a old breed from Belgium. Nelly and Rex were two dogs shown in 1910 at the International Dog Show in Brussels however the standard was not adopted until 1912 accomplished by a Frenchman. Recognized by the AKC in 1929. Americans imported dogs regularly from Europe until World War II not losing their appeal in 1963 the Bouvier des Flanders club was established in America. Today in Belgium the dogs must prove to be working dogs before they can be champions ... something I believe is a good thing. Working dogs need to work it is in their nature to love having a job. Myself being the over indulgent owner have a hard time putting my dogs to work. Now let's see what exactly is Ted's job? Enjoy this representation of the Bouvier or " Dog of Flanders " I tried to make him as exact to the standard as possible. Seeing muscle form on furry dogs is impossible doesn't stop me from putting it all there.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Onni the Labradoodle ..... one thing about a Labradoodle you always have some variation on marking, type of fur and overall look. Onni is a bit of a mischief maker.... he loves to get into the waste basket even if it is only to spill paper all over. Myself I believe that mischief and playfulness are signs of intelligence. Takes some thinking to come up with games and to find what you can do on your own when you're bored. After all what is mischief to us.... is just being a dog to a dog!

John Prine

The honor to give the great singer song writer John Prine a miniature of his Red Bone Coonhound backstage in Iowa in 2007 is captured for me in this photo of him receiving the dog. The caption under the photo is "This looks just like my dog.. the boys are going to love this!" My husband and I have seen John in concert a number of times over the years.
Here is the great singer song writer John Prine with the miniature Red Bone Coonhound I made for him. This is back stage in Iowa after one of his concerts in 2007. We have traveled to see John in concert a number of times so it was a great honor for me to give him his dog in miniature. My husband and I had the great pleasure of meeting John and giving him his dog. The caption below the picture is "This looks just like my dog! The boys are going to love this."

German Shepherd Dog

GSD are one of my favorite breeds. I have owned a number of them over the years. Friends in the German Shepherd Kennel club have helped me in understanding the breed well... including the movements so important to this working dog and in creating one to standard. This dog pictured here is 100% alpaca fiber with NO pastels for markings. Pastels fade and rub off on whatever they come into contact with. I prefer my dogs to appear as realistic and natural as possible. I hope you can appreciate that in this fine dog.
Rin Tin Tin was a TV favorite when I was a child. Honored with the title as Official Rin Tin Tin artist I have made quite a few miniature replicas of Rin Tin Tin over the years for Daphne Hereford the owner and breeder of the Rinty line.

Let's Be Friends

This is one of my favorite groupings. A fabulous Joanna Thomson doll... posed with the unfriendly looking kitten! The lovey dog has the expression that clearly exclaims as the groupings name suggests. There are a few pieces that I have always regretted selling and this is one. I make each dog from start to finish having a clear vision of how I would like it to turn out. Facial expression is key to all my sculptures. My passion for dogs my entire life has fueled this desire to create the most realistic looking dogs possible. As in life looking into the eyes is the window into the very essence of the dog... I have always tried to capture that realism. If I don't see that come through then the piece is not complete. Enjoy "Let's Be Friends"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

More Then Art

This quote really hit home for me ... if the connection in the spirit is not there I simply can not create the work.

I think Leonardo sums that up.. I create the sculptures because I must... they are special representations of the great love for the Dog!

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand
there is no art."
(Leonardo da Vinci)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dogs New Home

Here is a picture of 3 of 4 dogs waiting for the home to be finished... in the mean time they have furniture to live on. Seems like the Great Dane "Lord Wilson" is comfortable being a house dog. I think he will be guarding the Manor when it's done. A home is not a home without a dog! Or 4 as in this case and my own case in real life.