And Now For A Shameless Plug…

Ladies (and Gentlemen), I want to tell you a little about myself.  I am a freelancer, a contract illustrator and designer who makes her living by taking commissions for various applications of artwork.  I have also begun, through this blog, taking costume commissions, and in addition to all that, I am constantly seeking internet-based ways to earn income.  Why?  Because the life of a freelancer is really…really…really hard.

So why am I telling you this?  Well, partially it’s an explanation and partially an apology.  I am constantly looking for ways to earn money, and so I market various things online – t-shirts, Etsy listings I’ve put up, etc.  I am sorry if it has seemed like I’ve been trying to get you all to buy buy buy recently, as this is not my intention!  I never want to sacrifice the content of my blog in favour of trying to “make a buck,” but I do want to let you know about my various businesses, in hopes that you will lend your support to them.

All that being said, in my quest to keep afloat, and for the love of puppies, I’ve started a new business.  Yes, it’s a sewing business, but not for people :-).  It’s called “SnugPuppy Custom Dog Coats & Collars,” and the name says it all – I make totally custom winter coats, and also really cool, custom collars.  It being Summer currently, I’m focusing on the collars, and hosting a giveaway on the SnugPuppy blog as well as the SnugPuppy Facebook page.  In total, I will be giving away 3 handmade collars.  If you have a dog, or know of someone who does, this is just the kind of *free stuff* giveaway for you.

Dear ladies, I would absolutely be eternally grateful if you were to lend your support to this new little business.  Please visit the SnugPuppy blog, become a follower, leave a comment, and if you are so inclined, let your dog-loving friends know about my new little company.

Thank you forever,

Lauren R
American Duchess ……. and stitcher of dog collars.


  • Rowenna

    June 29, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Very cute–makes me wish I had a dog. Another idea, if you want to explore it–those little booties that protect dogs' paws? They come in very inconvenient sizes, and I've modified and made them for friends' dogs. One more canine accessory if it appeals to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Olympe de la Tour D'Auvergne

    June 30, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    I have two possibilities. I am currently trying to train my dog to sleep on a cushion on the floor, and from there I would like to get her a charming little dog bed, one of the actually miniature-looking beds with draperies (I know it's ridiculous), and I'm wondering if you would be interested in maybe doing draperies and a cushion for said bed? I would provide fabric since it would match my own hangings.

    Also, how are your corsetry skills? My last attempt at a really good corset failed miserably and I'm feeling ill-inclined to do another one just now. How much would you charge for a 1770s-1780s style corset? Again, I would provide fabrics.



  • American Duchess

    June 30, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    Rowenna – it's something I can look into, the little doggy boots. I will need to make prototypes, but maybe for the future. For now, just starting with the collars and coats, to see how the business is received ๐Ÿ™‚

    Olympe – yes, I can do a dog bed ๐Ÿ˜€ I would need specs, of course. As far as corsetry, my Victorian experience is higher than my 18th c. at this point, but I feel fairly confident in making accurate and beautiful stays. I do all the binding by hand, and would probably be working from an existing pattern, though I am planning to develop a period-accurate stays pattern for 1770s-80s very soon. I'm not sure on the price, I'll have to think about it a bit more – if you'd like to talk about this more in a private convo, please e-mail me [email protected] (my direct e-mail).

  • GentlewomanThief

    July 1, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Good Lady Duchess! I'm not a puppy person, but that is a sweet collar.

    Also, I hope you don't mind, but I have a question about your t-shirts (yes, I finally have some money!) … I was wondering how much stretch is in them and whether your measurements listed on Etsy are including the stretch? I'm trying to work out which size to order – I like a close fit, but waist-wise I'm a medium and bust size I'm just about a large (36"), I would greatly appreciate your suggestions!

    And, sorry to hijack your blog, but I am having a bit of a flap because I can't find a picture of an 18th c outfit, which I think I might've seen on your blog recently-ish (past couple of months?) … if I didn't see it on here, I might have just imagined it! Anyway, it's a blue jacket (pierrot, I think) with a white petticoat and a white and red stripe sash with a buckle at the front – does it ring a bell? If you do have a pic of it, could I please beg to see it? I dreamed about the outfit last night and now have my heart set upon making it for my birthday masquerade.

    Sorry for being a pain with all the questions and the mammoth post!

  • American Duchess

    July 1, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    Hi Thief! For the t-shirts – I usually wear a standard size medium in just about everything I buy, but for these t-shirts, I wear a small. The medium on me fits nicely, but isn't real tight, whereas the small fits great and isn't too tight on me. I would recommend going with the smaller of the two sizes for you, a medium. Also, if you get the t-shirt and it doesn't fit the way you want, just return it unwashed/worn/etc. and I'll send you the other size.

    The dress you're thinking of doesn't ring a bell. My brain-catalogue of 18th c. gowns is coming up empty on that one, but if I see something that fits the description, I'll give you a shout ๐Ÿ˜€

  • GentlewomanThief

    July 1, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Thank you for the fitting advice – I've just ordered! V exciting – this is my first Etsy purchase ๐Ÿ™‚

    I've looked through my saved images some more – I think I must have imagined the outfit through a combination of the stripey red and white belt on that cream anglaise in your poll and a blue pierrot I've seen! If you do find anything similar, that'd be awesome, cheers!

    Now, to go and wait by the letterbox ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • American Duchess

    July 1, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    The sash on the white anglaise, as well as the sash on the red striped jacket is what I thought of when you mentioned it. I think you should make a blue pierrot and put a sash with it, reference image or not! It would be divine!

    I got your order, THANK YOU! I've packaged everything up and am sending out to you. It's international, so might take some time to get to you.

  • GentlewomanThief

    July 2, 2010 at 1:51 AM

    Wow – speedy P&P! Thanks ๐Ÿ˜€ And no worries, I wasn't expecting it soon!

    I think you're right – somehow I've matched up a series of different outfits in my dream, how strange! I do think it'll look rather handsome, though – fingers crossed.

  • Angela

    July 2, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Duchess, you should never be ashamed or shy about spreading you creative talents to those who may need them. We are all struggling right now and our community can be of service to each other and that could even mean just a cyber hug, a missive of good cheer or asking you to ply your trade. So, darling, never apologize for being a creative woman of business. You go girl. I love the dog collars. Are they on Etsy?

  • American Duchess

    July 2, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    Angela, aw shucks, thanks for the kind words. I never want to alienate my readers/audience/followers by running ads or annoying things on my blog! it's not about that! Still, I find this international group of costumers to be such a wonderful group of people, and I am so thankful for the support!

    I'm just starting SnugPuppy. I have an Etsy shop set up, but nothing in it at the moment. I need to make some collars first, and all the materials arrived yesterday, so I guess I best get to work, and take photos, and list some things. I want to put up a small selection first, instead of just one thing, so it should be by next week there'll be some collars and leashed up there for sale. ๐Ÿ™‚

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