Last Minute Holiday Ideas >> Free Gift Tags + DIY Projects!

Last Minute Holiday Gift, Decor and Treat Ideas // Bubby & Bean

I had the best intentions to create a bunch of rad holiday DIYs for you guys this year.  I really did.  But between the madness that accompanies owning a small business this time of year and the fact that I’m in Mexico right now without much crafty material (unless I whip something up that requires a lot of sand), it just hasn’t happened.  Thankfully, the are a few past DIY projects that I’m going to share with you, and if you’re in the same position as me (still with shopping and wrapping to do!), they might just come in handy!

DIY Printable Gift Tags // Bubby & Bean

Last year, I designed two different holiday gift tags, along with a free printable and instructions on how to make them extra pretty.  These tags feature smaller versions of my ‘Santa Dog’ and ‘Joy to the World’ card designs, and the printable file contains 20 tags per sheet.  For details on how to print them out and turn them into beautiful accessories to your wrapped gifts, just click here.

DIY Photo Gift Vouchers // Bubby & Bean

This summer, as part of my partnership with Adobe Photoshop Elements, I showed you guys how to create personalized gift coupon sets using your favorite photos.  These vouchers are a creative (and budget-friendly!) way to give unique gifts to your significant other, parents, kids, co-workers or friends.  And the meaningful gesture behind them won’t fade as soon as the holidays are over.  Find out how to make your own right here.

DIY Leather Wrap Bracelets // Bubby & Bean

One of my personal favorite projects from Bubby & Bean is this super quick, easy, and affordable DIY on how to make braided leather (or faux leather) wrap bracelets.  It only takes a few supplies, and you can create several of them out in a half hour.  I plan to make a few of these when I get back home this weekend to give as gifts on Christmas morning.  To find out how to make them, click here.

Homemade Dog Treat Recipe // Bubby & Bean

Last year while I was in Mexico (for the same festival I’m at now, but in January), my sister shared her special recipe for homemade dog treats in honor of Bubby dog, who we’d lost a few weeks earlier.  Her dog Isis (aka the ‘Bean’ in Bubby and Bean) absolutely loves them, and we think they make the perfect gift for your doggies or friends who are dog owners.  Just drop some in a cello bag and tie closed with a piece of ribbon.  You can check out the recipe right here.

DIY Mason Jar Lanterns // Bubby & Bean

Before our wedding in 2010, I wanted to create some unique candle holders that fit in with our vintage theme.  We’d been collecting mason jars, so I decided to cut up an old catalog and try decoupaging them to make lanterns.  They turned out really well, and I’ve since made several for gifts for friends.  The great thing about these is that they have so many uses for the holidays – you can give them away as candle holders, fill them with candies or greens (they make great vases!), or use them as holiday decor inside or outside of your home.  Details on how to create them can be found here.

Homemade Peanut Brittle Recipe // Bubby & Bean

Every year, my sister makes a big batch of peanut brittle and puts the pieces into pretty tins as gifts for friends and family members.  She shared the recipe with you guys last year, and if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it.  In addition to being a sweet gift, it’s also a delicious treat to serve when hosting friends or family for the holidays.  To see how make your own, click here.

DIY Vinyl Record Dessert Stand // Bubby & Bean

If you’re having a holiday party or gathering at your place for Christmas and want to add a unique touch to the decor, check out our vinyl record dessert stand DIY.  This easy project also makes an amazing gift for music lovers.  You can find out to make your own right here.

I hope that these projects and recipes give you some fun last-minute inspiration for holiday gifts, decor, and treats.  If you’ve done any DIY projects that make for great last-minute holiday ideas, please share them in the comments!

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Argulus- sea louse

Check out these Lice images:

Argulus- sea louse

Image by Chris Blanar
Collected from Mummichog sampled near Shediac, New Brunswick in the early Fall.

A bee with lice

Image by Elly Kelly
If you ever wanted to stroke a bee….

Attack of the lice

Image by Jayt74
Hand held Macro, took at 1.5 m. Tried not to shake. Best viewed large.

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Some Christmas Fun

The fine folks at Pet365 have come up with another infographic. This one’s a little short on info, but very heavy on the graphic. The funny graphic.

Really, the only thing it needs is more Border Collie. Maybe next year….

(You may need to click on it to see the full width.)

12 Dogs of Christmas
The 12 dogs of Christmas graphic was created by Pet365 – a UK stockist of brands like Hamish McBeth who make leather dog collars.

Some Christmas Fun is a post from: Dog Spelled Forward

Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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This is Aston, an 8 year old golden retriever who lives in Monaco. Obviously thinking that if he closes his eyes I won’t take his photograph.

Aston lives with Bentley (got it? – posh cars!) – we’ll meet  Bentley next time …


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Nice Lice photos

Check out these Lice images:

fleas and lice

Image by tuppus

fleas and lice

Image by tuppus

fleas and lice

Image by tuppus

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Latest Teach Dog Tricks News

Seasick Steve finds calmer waters From the Later with Jools Holland appearance, he got asked to play music festivals around the world, and has released three more albums including last year's…

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Dog Training Blog | Tips and Dog Training Resources

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The Scruffy Little Hunter Dog: Border Terrier

The Border terrier got its name from the area called Cheviot Hills, which is actually near the border of England and Scotland. This is where these dogs were made to attack and terminate predatory foxes.

They have wiry coat that is why they normally appear as scruffy. However, this scruffiness is an attention-grabber that is why owners do not forget to hug their little ball of energy.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Borders:

Category: Terrier

Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: wiry and short; double coated

Colors: tan, red, grizzle and tan, and/or blue and tan

Height: between 11 and 16 inches

Weight: between 11 and 16 pounds



•    they are scruffy, hard and bold hunters
•    they are active as puppies but mellow down as they mature
•    they are not friendly with rabbits, rats, hamsters, and even birds
•    they are economical to feed
•    their activity die down when left alone all day as they really love to please people especially their owners

When properly trained,

•    they can get along with the household cats but not with cats in the neighborhood
•    they may even catch a burglar
•    they may lose timidity when accustomed to active environments

Breeders should note of the following health issues:

•       Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome or CES, also called as “Spike’s disease”, which is a hereditary, neurological, metabolic and muscle disorder that is sometimes confused with canine epilepsy
•       Cataract, or loss of transparency of one or both lenses of the eyes
•       Cryptorchidism, wherein testicles do not descend into the scrotum
•       Deafness
•       Skin problems and a few skin allergies

Care and Exercise:

•    Their coat needs weekly brushing.
•    They should be professionally groomed at least twice a year.
•    They should bathe only when necessary since they shed little to no hair. Their physique requires a regular exercise routine which includes a daily play time while on leash.
•    They should be on leash while walking in public places because of their hunting instincts.


The exact origins of Border terriers are obscure but many breeders accepted the story that the variety was developed in the Cheviot Hills area, which is near the border of Scotland and England. The Borders have been used as hunters of rabbits and hares. They can even keep up with running horses with their short yet sturdy legs. They were also used by farmers to lure predatory foxes into their dens before killing them.

They were also trained to hunt otters, marten, and even fierce badgers. Like most terriers that were once molded as hunters, they also evolved as pets and became lovely, friendly, and loyal companion dogs. They also take part in dog shows and they can easily grab their audience attention with their agility, appearance, and bright disposition.

The breed was registered by the British Kennel Club in 1920 and by the American Club ten years after.

At present, Borders are highly favored as companion dogs and pets due to their adaptability, friendliness, and winning personality. Nonetheless, they can be reliable when it comes to tracking down vermin. In fact, some of their esteemed talents include hunting, guarding the family, and performing tricks and sports that require competitive obedience.

Like most terriers, you can be rest assured to have a loyal and bright companion dogs if you give your attention and affection to a Border. You can be sure that they can definitely drive away your bore!

Welcome to The Top Dog Blog!

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Latest Dog News

Sun Dog Phenomenon

Image by John F Hark
Driving home this evening I noticed this strange rainbow type anomaly (Sun Dog) in the sky. I have never seen anything like this before. Has anyone else? I had polarized sunglasses on and it was much more visible with them on compared to the naked eye. I may not have even taken notice of it with my regular glasses on. It lasted a good long while too.

So I pulled over to the shoulder on the busy Hardy Toll Road and got some shots. Had the Nikkor 12-24 on the camera and I think it worked well for this shot. Any other Houstonians see this Sun Dog tonight?

Thanks mudpig for the identification. Apparently pretty rare occurrences.

View On Black

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Can I Train My Dog to Protect My House and Play with Dogs and People Outside?

He is a 2 year old male German shepherd, and he is very playful both inside and outside, but here's the problem – He doesn't really bark at strangers (unless they have dogs with them) and tends to pull the leash when I walk him near other dogs, so I'm afraid to let him loose in the dog park…

Anyway my question is can I train him to be friendly to other dogs and people but still protect my house from potential thieves by barking instead of licking them to death?


Its unusual for a male gsd not to be at least a bit territorial on his own property. But some lines of the gsd can be slow to mature and don`t start to bark at strangers until 2 and a half years old. Your gsd is obviously quite a confident natured dog if he is friendly to people and other dogs which is better than having a gsd who is afraid and nervous of people.
Even so, no dog however much it barks is going to 100% protect your house against intruders without specialised training which is quite costly. The mere presence of a gsd will in most cases be enough to deter most thieves.
You could try and contact a professional ppd trainer who can assess your dogs temperament and advise you if the dog has a suitable temperament to be trained to protect. This does not come cheap. Do not attempt this yourself as you could ruin your dog for life.
Firstly though, it would help if you enrolled in a good dog obedience club as basic training is the foundations to all other types of training and needs to be done first.
Hope this helps a bit.

Source: Can I Train My Dog to Protect My House and Play with Dogs and People Outside?

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Retired Policemen Has Service Dog Taken Away

The Stupid, It Burns!I generally try to avoid the constant drumbeat of doom and gloom on the Internet. If you take much of what you see on Facebook and blogs at face value you wouldn’t think that in the past 10 years or so dog training, rescue, and animal welfare had come as far as it had. Fact is, most activists aren’t up to the task of winning hearts and minds without truthiness and drama.

But I digress.

In BraindeathAurelia, Iowa a retired policeman and war veteran has had to surrender his service dog because he (the dog) is a pit bull.

Here are the money quotes:

Aurelia is “simply exercising its authority to protect and preserve the rights and property of its residents — whether or not that’s trumped by” federal law. said George Wittgraf, an attorney representing BraindeathAurelia.

Well, it is trumped by federal law. This genius of an attorney didn’t just watch his client open itself to incredibly expensive legal and civil consequences, he’s bragging about it to the press.

Second, breed specific legislation does not protect communities. It is the refuge of lazy cowards that lack the knowledge and/or willpower to do what it takes to actually protect people from dangerous dogs.

“They had several people come forward saying they were concerned about the pit bull because of the nature of the breed. They just feel it’s unsafe. They’re aggressive and could hurt somebody. If the service animal was anything but a pit bull, it would have been fine,” said City Clerk Barb Messerole.

Yes, that’s right. Based on the complaints of several of the “friendly citizens of Aurelia” these Mensa candidates have decided to defy federal law and take away a disabled veteran’s service animal.

What more can I say? Brent Toellner has written volumes on the stupidity and ineffectiveness of BSL, and on the beautifully coined term panic policy making.” This appears to be a result of this kind of policy making: Aurelia’s breed ban apparently dates back to, get this, a single bite.

A miserable Christmas to you too, Auerlia, Iowa. Here’s hoping for coal in your stocking.

And a very, very, very, costly loss in court. The kind that ends careers.

Retired Policemen Has Service Dog Taken Away is a post from: Dog Spelled Forward

Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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