Oh my goodness, I am SO SO late in posting this! I've had the idea for a couple of months, and it's been two weeks since I actually did these grooms; I've just been working so much that I'm constantly exhausted. I'm talking 11-hour days :-P Those long days should be done with soon, though we're still in the midst of busy season.
Anyway, I've decided to try my hand at some creative grooming. I've never really tried any before, and I figured I should probably try it on my own dogs first before trying it on customers' dogs.
I was inspired by this blog post to try using sidewalk chalk to do some temporary color on my dogs. I thought I would also try to create my own stencil and attempt to shave it onto Dillin and color it onto Hailey.
Here is Hailey before any sort of bath, haircut, or color. Doesn't she just look thrilled?
Here she is after. I actually did Dillin first, so I knew that trying to fill in that stencil with chalk color was never going to work. It was the end of a very long day and we were both tired, so I just colored her tail blue really quickly with the chalk.
Here's a better view. Her eyes are saying, "Can we PLEASE go home now?!"
I got the quick dog out of the way first here, even though I groomed her second. There is SO much more to say about Dillin because there is more that I did (and attempted) on him than on Hailey. Here he is before. His Mohawk was really out of control!
Here he is after the bath and haircut and with his Mohawk trimmed up nicely and dyed blue. Why did I go for blue on both Hailey and Dillin? Simply because I am a huge Denver Nuggets fan, and their colors are blue and yellow, and I suspected (correctly, as you'll see) that the yellow wouldn't look very good. Also they are in the playoffs right now and I wanted to show my team spirit.
Here's a side view. I REALLY like the way his Mohawk looks colored in - I think I'll need to make that part of his permanent look, and maybe change the color every time I groom him since chalk is so washable.
So then I attempted the stencil. I had printed out a logo of the Nuggets' that spelled out "Denver Nuggets" and cut out the letters carefully with a razor blade. It didn't seem overly intricate - until even my small toe blade was having problems fitting into the spaces. The snow-capped mountain peak turned out OK, but the rest was a wash, so I decided to free-hand a large DN into his side instead. Here's how that turned out. (Oh, and if you're keeping track, this is Plan B...)
Um, it kinda looks like I took a weed whacker to his side. That's not a good look. Can I cover it up with color?
Before I show you how that turned out, here is his other side. I had attempted to free-hand a DN on his side with the yellow chalk, but as you can see, it just looks like he rolled in mustard. Oops.
Anyway, Plan C was to color in the DN like a different logo - the bottoms of the letters are yellow, the tops are blue, and parts of the top right of the D and the top left of the N are a white snow-capped peak. I can manage that, right? Yeah, not so much. No matter how long you soak chalk, you still have to apply quite a bit of pressure to use it, which makes it difficult to work with in small patches. Here's Plan D.
And another view with him looking at the camera. I'm really looking forward to those shaved patches on his side growing in a smidge so I can take him back in and shave him down so he doesn't look like such a wreck. This is why I plan to experiment on my own dogs first!
As a side note, the color has worn off pretty quickly; the chalk on Dillin's sides had rubbed off within a day or two and his Mohawk and Hailey's tail have faded to a very pale pastel blue.
I definitely plan on trying more creative grooming, and I am going to a day-long seminar on it in June, which I am looking forward to. I will definitely plan on sharing all of my creative grooming experiments, both good and bad, with you all. Thanks for being so patient in between blog posts!