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Emmitt - 1996 - 5 weeks old

1996 - Emmitt - 5 weeks old

I am so lucky to able to create and share my art with others everyday as my full time job. I absolutely love what I do and it NEVER feels like work.  

I have had other jobs and businesses over the years that eventually did not feel like they were what I was supposed to be doing, but since 1997, Pug Notes was what I did for joy, a hobby in the background. 

It all began on a sunny morning on Oct. 8, 1996, when Fred and I were driving home from a little farm in Fort Lupton, CO with a tiny pug puppy that we named Emmitt

Fred was driving and I was holding Emmitt in my hands. He had that funny bat dog pug expression that happens when their ears are tipped straight up, their eyes are all buggy and happy and they are smiling a wide grin with their pointy puppy teeth sticking out.

Emmitt was my first dog ever, and I was filled with joy, excitement and a bit of nervousness when I said to Fred, "Oh My! Emmitt is snorting! What kind of funny creature did we buy?" My heart just melted and that was it. I was totally in love with Pugs forever. I had no idea how my life would change.

I do not think Fred and I ever laughed so much before Emmitt. It seemed everything he did, even if he was getting into something he shouldn't, made me smile. Fred was definitely the disciplinarian. I just could not get mad at Emmitt to scold him.

Well, right around that time, I started sketching. I don't know why because I never could draw. I always loved making things, but never felt I could draw more than stick figures. Well, after meeting Emmitt and taking so many photos of him, I sat with my #2 pencil, a notebook and a photo every night and sketched a pug.

Here are a couple of my early drawings:

Pencil Pug Design Bw17 Pencil Pug Design Bw19

You may see my whole gallery of pug drawings I created over a two year period before I bought my first tubes of acrylic paints and 6x8 canvas panels. I love these drawings and still offer them as note cards and address labels. I call them my pencil pugs and have also made them into my Holiday Pugs card line.

In 2006, I honored these early drawings in a book, Pug Doodles, A Journal, for people to enjoy and follow their own hearts filling their books with my pugs as company.

Pug Doodles: A Journal
Inside pages of Pug Doodles: A JournalInside pages of Pug Doodles: A Journal

In 1999, I created my first pug painting. I remember being afraid to add color to my pugs and feeling slightly guilty for spending $ on paints and canvases for myself. I am so glad I pushed through that fear and doubt and just kept painting until I had a breakthrough on my 5th painting, that I named A5.

My first pug painting - Design A1 Pug Painting A2 Pug Painting A3
A1 A2 A3
  Pug painting A5  
  painting 5 - A5  

The pug filling the canvas, capturing the large eyes and the puggy expressions was my "ah ha" moment. My style had begun.

In 2005, I left my day job and just started painting everyday. Over the next year, I would come to paint over 50 paintings! If I painted 5 in a year before that time, I was very happy with my accomplishment. To my surprise, most of my paintings that year were not pugs at all, but other dog breeds, I call Pug Pals.

In 2006, I realized all of these expressive faces were actually characters in another children's book I had yet to write that became the story, Why Am I Special?

Why Am I Special?
Inside pages of Why Am I Special? Inside pages of Why Am I Special?

In addition to painting art for people, I love creating art for dogs themselves to enjoy!

In 1990, I taught myself how to crochet and fell in love with the magic of creating fabric from yarn. Frustrated with the fit of store bought dog sweaters for barrel chested, pug shaped dogs, in 2010, I designed my own original pattern for the Pug Notes' Dog Sweater Vest. It is a unique design that is available in 5 sizes that fits all small dogs from 3 - 35 lbs. From there, I went on to design my matching small breed Barkclava Dog Hats & Woofie Warmer neck warmers that unlike the Barkclava Hats and Sweater Vests, dogs of all sizes can enjoy! You can even personalize them with various whimsical add-on Badges for added flair! ​ 

My love of fiber art did not stop with crocheting. In 2012, I taught myself how to sew, and I went on to design a line of Pet Bandanas with Personality called FUNdanas & my line of Stuffing-Free Dog Toys that I named The Bummlies. I created them out of need for safe, well-made dog toys that were free of polyfill stuffing that too many dogs eat with often tragic results. I have since created over 100+ characters that people can meet & adopt for their fur babies to LOVE! I love watching them pop to life each with his or her own personality! I hand make each one with love & treasure every photo and story that my wonderful customers generously share with me and my pug Archie.

You can view all of the photos of dogs from all over the world enjoying my products in The Bummlie Gallery, The Dog Sweater Vest Gallery, The Barkclava Gallery, The Woofie Warmer Gallery and The FUNdana Gallery! ​

Thank you so much to all of you for always playing with me & my Archie! You all make my world a wonderful place to be!

Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or comments.  I would love to hear from you.

Relax, have fun and explore.  Learn more about Emmitt, Melissa and the creation of her art.

You may also read what others are saying about her work.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Melissa & Archie