Art of ReUse Contest

Apr 9, 2011

This post consists of 4 posts that were written between April 9, 2011 and April 26, 2015. I combined all four into this one post when I re-branded and moved my website to the new domain.

Part 1

Earlier in the week I worked out a simple pattern for dog sweaters because even though it is starting to warm up here, occasionally it is still too cold for the Brooni and I wanted her to have some new sweaters. As with most things, I didn’t want to pay much for them! LOL. I made two right off the bat with some old sweaters that I had lying around and she loved them. I was online poking around the eco-friendly sites and I came across Green is Universal. A green initiative run by the Universal Entertainment Company. As I read their Facebook wall, I saw that they were having a contest called The Art of ReUse in partnership with Etsy! The deadline for entries was midnight on the 8th, so I spent the next two days fine-tuning my project, getting good photos of it and constructing it. I entered the 20-Minute Dog Sweater under the pets category on Friday night just in time for the cut off! Basically my project is a very simple and very customizable dog sweater made out of an about-to-be-discarded sweater.


Isn’t she adorable!? If any of you are feeling neighborly, I would greatly appreciate your vote (and so would Brooni)! You can do so by clicking the image above or HERE and registering to vote via the instructions on the top of the project post. Once you fill out the form you’ll receive an email with your password (check your spam box!) After you login with this password, you can vote once per category (we are in PETS) and you will be entered to win a $500 Etsy shopping spree! The vote box is located at the bottom of the specific project pages, liking it on facebook does NOT count as a vote. Like I said, I would seriously appreciate the vote! I don’t care if we win, but I would LOVE to be one of the ten with the highest vote count that goes on to the final round with the celebrity judges… one of which is my HERO, the one and only Martha Stewart! Just to have her look at something I made would make my YEAR! I think the voter prize that is up for grabs is much better than the contest prize anyway! I’d much rather have $500 to blow on Etsy than a trip to Universal Studios! LOL.

Part 2

I’m naming the doggie sweater that I entered in the Art of Reuse contest “The Brooni Sweater” because she inspired it! You all know she doesn’t have a ton of hair, and what she does have is sparsely scattered over her head and back mostly, so several months out of the year she needs to wear a sweater. She shakes when she doesn’t have one on, unless it’s the height of Summer. I used to buy $20 sweaters for her at the pet store and when that became too expensive, I would sort of willy-nilly piece sweater scraps together. I can’t crochet and I just can’t get the hang of knitting, so I had to find a better way. I used her as a dress form and after a lot of marking and cutting and agitating her to no end, I worked out a pattern for a long-sleeved turtleneck dog sweater like the one below!

What a great model

The pattern is really easy, only 3 pieces, and it takes less than 20 minutes to make it, including cutting the pieces! The great thing about this sweater is that it has infinite possibilities. You can shorten or lengthen any part of it. You can change the collar or leave it off completely. You can use any knit fabric, sweater or sweatshirt that is large enough and you can embellish it in a myriad of ways. I always have sweaters that Loving Husband damages in the wash or that get lord-knows-what all over them, lol. I also pick up a bag or two at thrift store sales or the Goodwill Outlets when I can buy them by-the-pound.

Brooni sweater pattern

For purposes of the contest I was not able to post the actual pattern pieces here on the blog. The complete instructions were ONLY allowed to be posted on the Art of ReUse site at that time. Now that the site has been shut down and nothing of it remains, I have once again included the photo of the pattern pieces that are required to complete this project.  As to the construction: I placed the collar, “wrists”, and the back flap along the ribbed finish edges of the original garment for a more finished look that requires less sewing. I put it together with the pieces facing each other so that my seams are all nice and neat on the inside. I also use a locking stitch because it is a sweater after all and I don’t want it to unravel on me. Every square on the mat represents an inch. Use this to cut your own guide and then size up or down as need be to fit your dog. Assemble the pieces according to the sketch. You can embellish and alter it however you’d like!

Part 3


YES! Even though they did NOT feature my project or announce me as a winner in any way on the show, I DID get an email confirming me as the third place winner in the Art of ReUse contest. I am so pleased because this item was something that I threw together at the last minute. I only had about 12 personal friends who voted for me, so this means that I must have had a decent number of honest-to-goodness EARNED votes! That makes me feel good, that people went and then selected it because they liked it, even though they had no idea who I was or anything about me. Then, of course, there was the whole saga where I was the only finalist not mentioned on the Today show, still not sure why, maybe because mine required a dog? Needless to say, I was SHOCKED to find out that I had placed at all!

3rd place!!!!

After all is now said and done, who cares about the Today Show. Who are they to treat anyone like they did, or worse yet, to publicly mock some of the contestants that they DID feature? This is the first crafting contest I’ve ever entered and they have seriously given me a bad experience. Being on the show was the best perk being given to the finalists, I’ve been to Universal Studios before and I don’t think I could come up with two people to take with us anyway. Loing Husband, being military, can’t take a vacation when the contest would tell him to; he’s gotta go by when the Navy allows him to. Second and third prizes were about equal in my eyes, she gets a gift basket of stuff from the Universal store worth $250 and I get a $50 gift certificate to the store. I’d much rather have a lower dollar amount and actually be able to pick what I want instead of them selecting it for me anyway. I can get the pink Biggest Loser t-shirt and LH can get a Schrute’s Beet Farm t-shirt and be done with it! lol. We did get a mention HERE in a press release that is all over the place and HERE on ShelterPop, although they attributed Jessie Katz’s credit card earrings to me by mistake.

Congrats, Jill!

My whole goal in entering this contest was for fun, to see if I could even measure up and of course so that my Hero-of-Heroes, Martha Stewart would see my project and my crazy dog pictures. Just knowing she looked at them, even for a second, makes me happy. Do I feel bad that they left me out of the other good stuff? Of course I do, but in the end, I got what I REALLY wanted and they just showed themselves for what they really are. I would also like to congratulate Jill Morrison, the creator of the Claw-foot Bathtub Couches (above) for being the Grand Prize Winner!!! You can check her out via a myriad of methods via her website:

Part 4

Craft Magazine

Last night I got something far better from my contest win than being on the Today show or winning a $50 gift certificate to the NBC store, lol, I was featured on CRAFT magazine’s blog (now relocated to MAKE: Magazine)! I know it’s not national TV, it’s a blog, but I figure that more people who are actually interested in crafting see that blog than watch the Today show! I’d much rather have 20,000 people who care see my project than 100,000 who don’t care. I’ve checked out the web and it’s been re-posted, linked to, shared, liked and tweeted so many times I lost count! This really hasn’t turned out to be SO bad for us, we’ve gotten a lot of page views from it! We haven’t sold anything out of the shop or anything, but I don’t produce the dog sweaters for resale. Today I’m going to be working on adding a lot more items to the shop, including a handmade skirt and some really neat stuff for spring.

Etsy Love

We were also lucky enough to be included in an Etsy treasury of the top ten finalists (those with Etsy shops anyway) that was made by fellow finalist Jessie Katz. I am so glad that she did this and that she didn’t leave us out! For more places that we have been mentioned/featured/posted recently, check out our press page! Thank you to everyone who takes that extra time to type out my name and include me in a post, I really appreciate it VERY much!

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