If it moves, it dies.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
EVERY cat lover knows that a cat's purr is simply divine. But what if, for some reason, there's no cat around to give that therapeutic, melodious sound?
The app myNoise, a white noise and background noise generator, offers a fairly acceptable substitute of the real thing in its purr generator called Furry Friend.
Furry Friend, which can be downloaded on iOS and Android mobile phones, is like a purr machine that can be calibrated to sound like the way a user's real cat purrs. Furry Friend has a default setting, but there are 10 sliders to help users properly adjust the purring sound the way they want it. The personalized purr can be changed, saved and played anytime. However, try not to fall asleep with Furry Friend playing on the background because it will surely drain your phone's battery charge.
Furry Friend by myNoise is the perfect app for ailurophiles, particularly those who are allergic to cats but yearn to hear a cat's purr.
Furry Friend according to myNoise:
Cuddling up with a purring cat is certainly a relaxing experience. Scientific studies have shown that cat owners have lower blood pressure and can live longer than humans who don't own pets!
SKARF, the latest name in the local pet apparel business, recently made its market debut with a line of high-quality and beautiful printed scarves (bandanas) for dogs.
Tropical heat and dog fashion don't go together. If you must dress up your pooches the practical option is to use bandanas which, preferably, should be tasteful, fun and easy on the eyes.
With this in mind, a medical student who owns two heavy-coated and long haired big dogs ventured into the dog scarves business and launched Skarf PH only last February.
“I have two Chow Chows named Churro and Toffee, and it's so hard for me to find accessories for them since they're quite big dogs and they can't really wear any thick clothing because it's hot here in the Philippines. I even bought bandanas from the US just to fit the two nicely and to meet my expectations! That's why I decided to make my own bandanas. Also, the lack of selections and (good) quality was the ultimate driving factor,” Toni Camille T. Esguerra told MetroPets.
To get the ball rolling, Skarf unveiled its Embark 2017 line of scarves in basic color palettes suited for any occasion.
Most feature simple stripes, polka dots and dainty images such as birds or flowers, but there's also one bold design with red watermelons which is obviously made for summer.
With an eye for good fabric, Esguerra said they favor fabric in clean, fun, pastel based colors. Minimalist, post modern and Pantone inspirations also tick their boxes.
For those who like to nitpick, Skarf's bandanas might pose a bit of a challenge. Unlike cheap dog scarves made from one piece of triangular cloth held by a band with velcro, Skarf's bandanas use two pieces of fabrics sewn together seamlessly and throughly for durability. Their scarves are available in six sizes from Extra Small (11”-12”) to 2X-Large (23”-25”). Two snaps that are at least an inch apart further guarantee that a Skarf's bandana will snugly fit a dog's neck. For P199, Skarf delivers a pet bandana made from high-quality and good fabric that is meticulously constructed and carefully finished.
They also accept custom-made dog bandanas for an additional fee.
Right now, Skarf's pet bandanas are being sold through its Facebook page and Instagram account (@skarf.ph) and shipped via Fastrack which takes about three days to deliver.
Esguerra said their immediate plan is to produce more scarves featuring color schemes and prints for each fashion season that cater to what dog parents are looking for.
A bandana series for cats is also not a remote possibility, although Esguerra said that their smallest bandanas could possibly fit cats, too.
Creating other types of pet apparel is also in the pipeline, but not until Skarf becomes an established producer of the finest dog scarves, said Esguerra who is happy to see that aside from her dogs, Churro and Toffee, other dogs can also look dapper everyday by simply donning one of Skarf's no muss, no fuss scarf.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
WIDE-EYED cats with pointy tails were being sold at a bazaar last Christmas. They don't meow and they appear rigid. They also come in different colors and prints.
The cats are actually pieces of decoupage pins and pendants made by Ma. Rita A. de Leon of Handmade Lemonade as part of her crafts business. Some of the cats don't have facial features while others have luscious eyes and lips.
In her little corner at the bazaar, Marita spread across her table other gift-shop baubles meant to stop cat lovers in their tracks. There were decoupage coasters and bottle cap keychains with images of cats, pet portraits made from clay and pairs of gold-plated earrings in the shape of a cat.
“I started making the cat pendants about a year ago when a crafter friend of mine gave me a few pieces of blank cat bezels (bases or surfaces on which resin can be applied). I experimented and was successful in turning them into necklaces and pins,” said Marita, who began making resin crafts more than two years ago after attending a craft workshop.
She also likes to make decoupaged coasters, collages on wood, plastic or ceramic tiles and other décor items using cutouts from magazines, comic books, patterned paper and even fabrics.
Making a batch of eight to 10 decoupage cat pins and necklaces takes about three days to finish, said Marita.
“One day for cutting, another for decoupaging, applying resin and letting it to cure. The last day is for assembling. If I find images of animals I like, I can use them to make coasters or collages. I can also make pet portraits with polymer clay and I sometimes make bracelets with animal charms such as dogs, cats, dolphins and unicorns. I also make keychains using bottle caps with animal images in them,” she added.
A freelance art director and graphic designer, Marita occasionally conducts workshops to teach others the art of decoupage. The basic process, she said, could be summed up in seven steps as follows:
1. Cut the paper to fit the bezel or surface.
2. Brush the decoupaging liquid (acrylic emulsion) on the surface.
3. Stick the paper onto the surface, smooth out bumps and bubbles.
4. Apply acrylic emulsion again on top and let it dry.
5. Mix the resin and hardener in equal parts (the kit has detailed instructions for the time required and the process needed to prevent air bubbles from forming).
6. Apply the resin on the surface and cure for 24 hours or more. If the surface is still sticky, allow extra curing time.
7. Assemble the necklace or accessory by attaching the rings, chains or pins.
Marita said anyone interested in decoupage can also learn by watching online tutorials. She's willing to share her hands-on knowledge and experiences to private groups that want to have a workshop as part of their activities.
Aside from bazaars, Handmade Lemonade products are also sold online. Marita also consigns her one-of-a-kind pieces to The Wander Space and Empire Fashion Cafe, both at Maginhawa St. in Quezon City. She plans to also bring her arts and crafts at Artekat Boutique in Katipunan, Quezon City.
She prices her creations quite reasonably: P180 for a decoupaged cat necklace and P150 for a pin. Coasters sell for P150 to P200 a piece. Her small gold cat earrings cost P100 a pair. But if you are nuts about cats, chances are you'd buy more than just one of Marita's handmade cats. Your struggle will be real but, in the end, those wide-eyed whimsical cat pins and pendants will likely win.
*For more information on Handmade Lemonade, visit their Facebook page.
* Pet Emotion Machine calms sensitive dogs