Handmade for the Holidays: Make Your Dog Smile by Hattie Rex

For Handmade for the Holidays I will be spotlighting a handful of artists and crafters that have made some very amazing pieces that I've gifted over the past few years to my friends and family.  Each one took the time to create the most perfect item I could have asked for.  It is, in my little way, a thank you to those individuals.  I hope that by reading my little Handmade for the Holidays list you too might be inclined to pay these little shops a visit and enjoy their fantastic work.

First up is the Etsy shop Make Your Dog Smile by Hattie Rex.  If you are a lover of animals I urge to take a look at this little shop.  Make Your Dog Smile is the work of Tessa, who lives in rural Missouri with her husband, four dogs and a cat named Merle.  Between working on her master's degree in Technical Communication and writing part-time for various media, Tessa somehow finds the time to hammer out really fun id tags for pets.

Shortly before we officially adopted Heidi, I began my search for a special id tag to adorn her collar.  I searched through so many fun and interesting pet id tags on Etsy but I always seemed to come back to Tessa's little shop.

I loved basically every single tag, as they are all so well done and unique (it doesn't hurt that she takes fantastic photos).  With Tessa's advice, I decided upon the best size, font and theme for Heidi's tag and she kindly created the custom listing. 
 Her name, accompanied by a wee little bird, decorates the front of the pendant.  On the back of the id are our phone numbers, perfectly and permanently stamped for ever and ever. Heidi wouldn't really sit still long enough for me to get a good picture of her with it on but I was finally able to get a quick one as she gazed out the car window.  

Whenever possible, Tessa uses recycled metals for her tags.  Each is made to order in your choice of brass, natural copper, aluminum and sterling silver in sizes tiny through extra-large.  She also offers multiple shapes: from simple squares to bird silhouettes to dog bones to (one of my personal favorites) moustaches.  Aside from the choices of shapes and sizes, she also has a very nice assortment of fonts.  Just a quick glance at her shop shows the array of possibilities available and, best of all, they can be slightly tweaked if so desired (like Heidi's!)

Not only did her awesome tags and business ethic land her a spot as Etsy's featured seller, they've been featured in the fall 2009 issue of City Dog Magazine, the December/January 2010 issue of Country Living Magazine, and HGTV's "15 Great Gift Ideas" which aired this past November.  After you check out Make Your Dog Smile, hop on over to her other shop, Hattie Rex, for an equally awesome assortment of handmade wine charms, necklaces and ornaments.

Definitely swing on by if your lil' pooch, kitty, or other furry friend is in need of some collar adornments!

Thanks for visiting. For more great artists and crafters and for an explanation as to what my little Handmade for the Holidays is, please go here.