Hello. My name is LV & I’m an addict

Today I want to discuss something a little on the serious side that affects more people than you know. Addiction is a reality for life in America. No matter your  income. No matter your age. This is part of life in some way or another for almost everyone. Whether it’s your mom, your friend, your co-worker, or your significant other – it’s a reality and it needs to be talked about. I’m here to talk about my addiction and open up to you beautiful strangers in the hope that you guys will accept me for me and understand the struggles I am going through.

Like so many Americans, I am addicted to Amazon. My home is never without an odd cardboard box or padded mailer. The mailman knows our porch so intimately I am half expecting him to start renting it out to save on commute time to work.

My feelings on this addiction change week to week. Should I try to curb my addiction? Should I embrace it? Ah fuck it. I talk a big game but let’s be real, I’m going to keep buying everything under the sun off Amazon.

Here are a few of my favorite doggie things to buy (besides the obvious dog food & more dog food – which, btw, I buy at Costco because I go through 8 cups a day and I’m not made of money):

SUNSCREEN! Yup, for the dogs. I steal it too though. I have a pittie with a big ol’ white/pink face and I am constantly applying sunscreen to him. What I love about this sunscreen? It smells AMAZING, it doesn’t stay oily and it’s much cheaper on Amazon than at Target or Walgreens. My favorite is Sun Bum 70 SPF

 

 

 

 

KONGS! Holy savings batman! These are SO much cheaper on Amazon and I literally have like 7 of these. Pro tip: Add peanut butter and freeze. It takes soooo much longer for pups to finish them and it’s great to store a few extra in the freezer for emergencies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puppy pads! Ok so in truth… my dogs don’t actually use these. I used them for my ducklings when they were tiny and lived inside. But I know there are people out there who use them and let’s talk about the savings. They are huge. Ok, end of discussion. But seriously, get them on Amazon!

 

 

 

Last but not least (and I really shouldn’t be advertising this cause I make pet beds that are far superior. *Bragging, I know but seriously your dog will love my beds – MAYBE even more than your bed) the Midwest Ombre Swirl Bed! I love these beds. Machine washable, won’t break the bank and they are perfect to have as a backup bed when someone has an accident or when you are washing your other beds. Oh and super soft. Not the most perfectly plush bed that your pup will sink into but guaranteed your pups will be comfy and snuggly in this soft bed.

By the way… I am in no way endorsed by these products. Or by anyone actually. Except my dogs. They definitely endorse me. Although I’m pretty sure they would endorse anyone who feeds them so I wouldn’t trust the little fickle beasts. Their loyalty is clearly for sale.

Just sharing cause let’s face it, we aren’t all made of money and when it comes to our pups we would rather save our money to splurge on the fun things – like new collars & leashes from the love, Violet shop *wink wink*

But seriously, thanks for reading all the way to this point. I want to hear what YOUR favorite amazon products are. I can always use more excuses to fill my house with Amazon boxes and worry about paying my most basic of bills. Show me what you got!

Cheerio,

LV

The first ever #collarsforacause month is complete!

How did we do you ask? PRETTY DAMN WELL. Excuse my French. Actually, I don’t think damn is French. Is it? Hold on…

*Checking google*

Oh shit, it does have French origins. Ok, so I was right. Feels so good to be right, doesn’t it? It happens so rarely that I should really savor this moment. *Ahhh, sweet bliss of being right.*

Ok back to the point of this post. #COLLARSFORACAUSE DID REALLY WELL! Nothing Oakland Animal Services can retire on but for a very tiny company trying something new for the first time I am super thrilled with the results.

We gave $57 to Oakland Animal Services this month!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who purchased #collarsforacause items. I am so grateful for the success and for the ability to give to a very worthwhile cause.

If anyone is interested in donating to OAS themselves, go here => http://www.oaklandanimalservices.org/how-to-help/donate/

OAS is especially in need this month due to this horrific incident that occurred in Oakland over Memorial Day weekend.

Information on next month’s #collarsforacause charity is coming soon! Apologies for being a little delayed in getting everything going – I promise it will be worth the wait 😉

Let’s Travel Back in Time

Throwback to my very first customer at my first show 💛

Let’s go back to a long time ago in a galaxy far far *ahem* – yeah ok even I know that was a cheesy lead in but it’s late and I’m tired. But seriously, I do want to reflect back on last October when love, Violet had its very first, real-life booth at the Horse Park at Woodside in Redwood City, California. Why am I reflecting now you ask? It’s not the year anniversary. I missed the 6-month anniversary by quite a bit too :/ Now is the time to reflect because we are about to return to one of our favorite places to chat with cute dogs, pet cute dogs, take cute pics of dogs, oh and yes, to provide some dogs with sweet new apparel.

In just a weeks time the love, Violet crew (aka my three dogs and I) will be setting up our booth and greeting the masses of horse crazy peeps with our ear bonnets, collars, leashes, and poop bag holders – to name a few.

Here is what you need to know:

WHERE: The Horse Park at Woodside 3674 Sand Hill Rd, Redwood City, CA 94062

WHEN: Friday, May 25 – Sunday May 27  8 am to ~4 pm

*It is possible the shop will close a little earlier on Sunday. if you want to make sure we are open, feel free to check our instagram @lovevioletcreations or shoot us a message on Instagram or Facebook.

PARKING: It is usually $10/day – totally worth it because you can see an amazing horse event up close and personal in addition to getting that (really really early) Christmas shopping done at the love, Violet shop.

FAQ (I promise I’ll keep this short)

What do you sell?

We sell completely handmade items for pets and people. Here’s a quick list of some items we will be selling at our Woodside event:

  • Collars
  • Leashes
  • Poop Bag Holders
  • Dog Beds
  • Dog bandanas
  • Knitted hats & scarves for people
  • Ear Bonnets for horses
  • Lead ropes

Long story short, we have a little bit of something for everyone.

What payment sources do you accept?

Credit/debit cards as well as cash.

What if you don’t have my size?

Every pup and person comes in different sizes and, to be perfectly frank, I can’t fit my entire inventory into my car. Have no fear though, if we don’t have your size we will ship it to you for free.

Did I forget anything? Probably. Is this post going to go on for forever? Sweet baby porcupine, I hope not.

P.S. Did you guys know there isn’t a porcupine emoji? Hard to believe we have two different skull emojis and no porcupine. 😐 What kind of messed up world do we live in? 😞

Sharing is Caring

Sharing is caring – or so my mom tells me. I’m actually a terrible sharer. I am an awesome giver (if I do say so myself) but I would like to note that giving is not the same as sharing. Sharing means giving your last three sour gummy worms to your friend. Giving is buying a second bag of sour gummy worms to give to your friend. Having reread those last two sentences I realize that I sound like a big meanie poop face and I should probably delete this post so no one knows what a grumpasarous I am. But eh – what the hell, I’m lazy and let’s face it, you guys are looking at the pictures on this post anyway. Right?

Anywho, I am very passionate about giving back to animal charities. They do SO much for our communities! Between helping educate the public, taking care of strays and providing support for owners in need – let’s face it, they deserve all the TLC we can give to them. 

That being said, I am launching #collarsforacause! Each month I will choose a new charity (this could be a rescue group, animal shelter, or any other group working towards helping animals) and a new fabric print. All profits from anything made from this print (collars, leashes, poop bag holders, etc.) will go towards the chosen charity.

I can’t wait to send a big ol’ check to the very deserving Oakland Animal Services this month. They are the most underfunded standalone shelter in the Bay Area so I’m happy to have them be the first recipient of #collarsforacause.

Product Photography: My Personal Everest

The number one rule of selling items online: Your product pics must be perfect!

My face as I read yet ANOTHER how-to article about taking perfect product pictures =>  -_-

It turns out that while Cupcake *technically* fits inside my light box… this wouldn’t really work. Make sure to buy (or build) you light box bigger than your actual products. You need a fair amount of space to stage your items and keep the background looking tidy!

About six months ago when I started concentrating on improving my product photography I was convinced that once I tweaked my set up, snapping pics would be a breeze. Oh to be so young and innocent again. To live in such a land of optimism. What a sweet life that would be.

Fast forward to me today… My current self is reasonably sure that product photography will never be easy no matter how much I

tweak my photography set up. There will be days where every picture comes out gorgeous and there will be days where my language rivals that of a sailor.

That being said… Taking pics HAS gotten monumentally easier and today I am going to share a few of my favorite tips with you.

Step 1: Treat yo self!

Weird first step right? But seriously, make sure you are properly caffeinated, fed and cuddled by your pups before you start.Photography is tricky and sometimes it can take a little time to get it right so make sure you take care of yourself before you start on what could be a challenging project. Also, it’s just fun to say treat yo self. Go ahead, try it. See!? Ok, moving on.

Step 2: Pick your spot

This is crucial and sadly… I can’t tell you how to do this. My psychic capabilities are sadly limited in this respect. Let me give you a few ideas though:

  • Open the front door and take pics right in the doorway. (I can’t take credit for the suggestion – I will give thanks to the smart people at hellolovehandmade for turning me on to this neat trick!)
  • By a big window or sliding glass door – light is key!
  • Anywhere in your house that gets a ton of natural light! Yes, you can bring lamps in to help with lighting but natural light is KEY!
  • Go outside! Try your front yard, back yard or maybe the park down the street.

I wish I could tell you exactly where to go but this is something you’re going to have to figure out on your own. Don’t worry too much about finding the perfect spot with the best light – that’s what photo editing is for!

Step 3: Gather your supplies

The last thing you want to be doing once you get in the photography groove is running all over the house trying to find some elusive prop you forgot or searching for an extra light source. Gather all the items you think you need and keep them together! Drop them in a basket or a shopping bag and leave them together so the next time you find the inspiration to take pics you can just grab the bag and go.

These are a few of my must haves for taking pics. I’m curious to see what other people use though – comment below and tell me what are your must-haves for a photoshoot!

  • Lint roller – It is amazing how many tiny bits of thread and pet hair try to find their way into a photo. I always run a lint roller over my items right before I snap a pic.
  • Portable steamer – This is the funny looking pink thing. I use fabric backdrops and this heats up in about 30 seconds and removes wrinkles asap. This is the one I use.
  • Chai – Like I said: caffeinate yourself. 🙂
  • Tiny silver prop – This is actually just one side of a grommet but it does the job! Some of my items don’t stand up by themselves and they need a little hidden help from behind. Find something that is heavy to prop your items but small enough not to be seen in the photo. A clean rock, empty spool of thread or small spice jar are also things I have used in the past. Be creative and figure out what works for you!

Step 4: Paparazzi time!

It’s time to take your pics! Here are a few tips:

  • Have one small extra light to use in case you come across a funny shadow you don’t like. Try holding your camera with one hand and moving the light around with the other to see how to get rid of your shadows.
  • Indirect, natural light is the best! Instead of thinking about putting a ton of light directly on your item, think about making your entire light box (or photography area) bright.
  • Photo editing apps are your friend. It’s ok if your pictures aren’t perfect to begin with. Mine rarely are! Check out my example below:
My raw photo with zero editing.
Finished product using only the editing options that came with my iPhone 8 Plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll leave you with this.. Product pictures can be a struggle but when you get that gorgeous finished product photo you will be proud to share it with the world. As well you should be!

Cheers,

LV

 

Greetings From the Land of Overpriced Housing

Hello and greetings from the San Francisco Bay Area! Whether you’re one of our neighbors in the great state of California or you’re sitting in your snow-drenched home in Ukraine, I want to extend my sincerest welcome to you and thank you for visiting Love Violet.

This blog and website is not only a place where I can share my handmade pet products. It is also a place where I aim to share humor, knowledge, ideas and connect with other pet owners and lovers. I can guarantee a few laughs (generally at my own expense) and I can hope to pass along a little knowledge.

What qualifies me to pass along such knowledge? Well, I have accidentally gotten dog poop on my hands more times than I can count AND I have lost countless shoes, belts, steering wheels and screen doors to the enrichment needs of my dogs. FYI: I wouldn’t recommend donating steering wheels to your dog’s entertainment needs. That incident (*really it is those incidents but I like to pretend I learn from my mistakes and the car damages thing only happened once) turned out to be a lot more of an inconvenience than just buying an extra dog toy.  If those experiences aren’t enough for you, I could mention that I’ve worked as a vet tech, kennel manager, dog rescue volunteer, animal shelter volunteer, and competitor at dog events. But really, it’s the dog poop thing that cements my doggie expertise because you can’t really call yourself a dog owner until you have assisted your pup in the passing of some very long pieces of grass.

For those horse people out there who are reading this thinking… HEY WAIT! WHY ARE THE DOGS GETTING ALL THE ATTENTION? DON’T YOU SELL HORSE STUFF TOO!?

Hold your horses. *groan… I know but I can’t help myself*

I also have gotten horse poop on my hands. Are you satisfied? No? Ok, how about if I tell you I have given myself a Ke$ha style (also known as using a wet rag to wipe down my disgusting self) bath via my horse’s water bucket at a show? Satisfied that I have sufficient horsey prowess? Or possibly now you’re wondering just how dirty of a person I am considering my entire first blog post has essentially been about how I have touched various animal poop?

I would attempt to dig myself out of this hole and explain I’m really not THAT dirty and these poop explanations are simply a manifestation of my people pleasing need to show internet strangers that I am a hardcore animal lover but… I think I would simply end up digging that hole even deeper. So for now, I bid you adieu and I hope I haven’t completely ruined your next meal.

 

Cheers,

LV