Archive for category Pets & Problems

Who Do You Think You Are Flo?

Miss Tialys the Elder bought our Mum & Dad a DNA test for Christmas because she said it would be interesting to find out where (and who) I came from.  What does this mean?  It seems they think I might not be theirs!

Anyway, one day a few weeks ago they stuck a little brush thingy into my mouth which, of course, I tried to chew on as I thought it must be a doggy treat.  Instead, it was taken back out again and put somewhere to dry and then, some minutes later they taunted me with another pretend doggy treat. I did wonder what was going on but then they gave me a real treat and I forgot all about it.  Until a little while ago.

As you know, I’m a beautiful black and white dog with some spotted bits on my chest and legs and, although I can’t remember a time before living with these humans, they didn’t believe the papers from the rescue centre which say I’m a collie cross because they reckon they say that about all black and white dogs.

All they had to tell the laboratory when sending off the swabs was that I am a female and what I weigh which, of course, I usually lie about but the humans told the truth which is O.K. because I am beautifully sleek and slim and not at all ashamed of weighing 22kg.

With this information they discovered the following and there’s not a collie in sight.

So, even though we now live in England and that’s where the test was done, it seems I really am French – well, mostly – which the humans say is no surprise as that’s where they found me.

This is what a pure Brittany looks like so you can see some definite similarities although brown and white colouring is more common,

Close up portrait of black and white brittany spaniel

Apparently, one set of my great grandparents were ‘full’ Brittanys but the rest must have allowed standards to slip and there were a few little minxes and some love rats who managed to mix up the family tree a bit.

Mum said she’s not surprised to see Labrador Retrievers are in the mix because they are on a mission to become as fat as possible by eating almost anything they can get their paws and jaws on and she says that’s exactly what I am like.  Cheek!  I am very discerning and never eat any sheep/fox/cat poo that’s more than a day or two old.

She laughed like a drain for some reason when she said that the other French breed in my DNA – the Beauceron – is described as ‘brilliant and fearless’.  After some shameless showing off by me including opening doors to let myself into the garden and deliberately making a lot of noise by banging my bottom against the drop leaf table, she had to concede that I’m brilliant but, frankly, I have to say that more than one vet has threatened to eject us when I wail loudly and uncontrollably if they come anywhere near my bottom with a thermometer.  Well, wouldn’t you?

So, there you go, I now know who I am and where I come from which I think is probably of more interest to the humans than to me because I just know I’m gorgeous, fun-loving, full of energy and with a great sense of humour and that I live in a lovely place with humans who appreciate me which is more than enough for this rescue dog.

Still, I’m quite pleased there’s a Weimeramer or two in the mix as they are so handsome and I think my blogging friend Mouse will be pleased to know I’m also related to the sighthound group and, if I lived in Australia, would probably be invited to join him at the Happy Greys Social Club for a puppuccino,

If you have a dog and its origins are ‘unclear’ would you be interested in doing a DNA test or are you happy guessing?

 

love Flo 🐾❤

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Scraphappy Day April

Making things from scraps again this month and, although Mr. Tialys features again – 🙄 – I’m determined not to let him hog the whole post this time and, anyway, I think his contribution has been entered in a previous Scraphappy by somebody else.

Anyway, without further ado, plant pots were some of the many things we left behind in France which may or may not eventually arrive here but probably not.  Mr. T. ordered in some fibre pots which will eventually break down and, although he did give in and buy a pack of plastic ones the other day, the seeds needed small homes.  We’ve saved up the cardboard inner tubes from the loo rolls and Mr. T. manipulates each one into two small seed pots.  At first he was snipping around the diameter of the bottom of each half and folding them in to make a base but found this made quite a shallow pot so now he leaves the bases open and puts them in a tray with a layer of compost in it so that the roots grow into that which then makes it easier to pick the whole plant up and transplant it.  Apparently.

Here are the nasturtiums in their little loo roll homes.

So, enough of Mr. T.’s projects, I also have a contribution this month.  If you remember, I made a wigwam shaped peg bag a little while back and thought I’d make another.

‘But that doesn’t look like much like a scrap project’ I hear you say and you would be right.

I did, however, have scrap left from making the peg bag and this is what I made with it.

Which, I believe, is an excellent excuse for couple of doggie photos.

Kerpow bandana modelled by Stan.

Going grey now – he’ll be 11 in June – but still my handsome boy.

LAST MINUTE EDIT:

Just before ‘going to  press’ Mr Tialys had to have the last word 🙄

Remember all that wood and other old toot that he got off of the bank in the garden?

He just turned it into this

The roof protection is made from a bit of old butyl pond liner also found on the bank.

Then he climbed up the willow tree to position it.

Ready for the blue tits to find if they haven’t found accommodation already.

So, he trumped me again.

Show-off.

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #24

Some adapt to lockdown situations better than others.

As an advertising campaign said somewhere, some time

‘be more cat’

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #22

I’m sure you’ve met Flo before.

She is the light of Mr. Tialys’s life and can do no wrong.

In his eyes, she is a Princess.

So, Mademoiselle Tialys the Elder had this ‘painting’ made for him for Christmas.

I’m saying nothing.

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A Cautionary Crochet Tale

All our dogs, past and present,  have had different predilections for things they liked to chew.  Susie liked hard plastic toys – preferably complete with batteries.  Taz liked rolled up pairs of socks which, miraculously, would pass through him and emerge in the same form at the other end.  Stan used to like soft furnishings to name just three.  One of Stan’s earliest conquests was a cat shaped doorstop which made me realise how much stuffing actually goes into one of these things

I say he ‘used to like’ but bad habits sometimes just lie dormant .

This blanket was over the back of a chair and not draped across the shoulders of one of my antique mannequins where I displayed it for this photo,  which is probably a good thing.

The culprit looked suitably abashed and made a vain attempt to hide although couldn’t resist peeking out to see if we had spotted him.

And just in case you were wondering what had happened to all those ‘Nature’s Walk’ crochet along squares I’m supposed to be joining.

My progress has been somewhat impeded.

Pets.  Who’d have ’em?

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Yuki’s Ears

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a cat

 and not care when nature has played a mean little trick on you like giving you hairy ears

even though you’re a girl.

It would be of no concern at all.

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #17

Three days to go before the collar comes off.

Any cuddles gratefully received, even if it’s from somebody you’ve only just met.

 

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The Cat In The Collar

Henry has been in the wars again.

The poor thing has already been diagnosed with hypertension so has to have medication syringed down his throat every day but now he has ear trouble too.

Firstly it was diagnosed as an ear infection so I had to administer drops twice a day for 10 days.  This didn’t seem to sort out the problem completely and then I felt a lump under his ear.

I was going to take him to the vet on the Friday but he didn’t come back for the whole day then, Saturday morning he returned with a large wound underneath his ear where I’d felt the lump.  The vet kept him in for the afternoon and, when I went to pick him up this was the inevitable result.

The vet thinks the ear infection made him scratch at his ear which, in turn. caused an abcess which then burst but, other than that, she says the two things aren’t connected.  I’m not so sure but time will tell.

In the meantime, that plastic buster collar seemed overlong and the sharp edge was just on the wound and I was worried it would dig in to him.  Also, those ribbon thingies that hold the collars on aren’t that efficient and kept dangling in the water bowl.

So, what’s a sewing person to do but improve upon the original?

As I make dog collars to sell to help raise funds for a dog refuge, not to mention having a rather large fabric stash, I had all the necessaries to hand to make him a small webbing collar with quick release buckle.  I cut the top of the plastic collar down low enough to improve his peripheral vision but still high enough so that his foot can’t reach to scratch the wound.   Then I traced round the shape of the plastic collar and. after adding a seam allowance, cut out the shape in two pieces of fabric, added some tabs in the seamline to thread the webbing collar through, sewed up the seams leaving one end open to slot the plastic collar through and installed a snap to close the ends.

He managed to get out of the house the other day (Mr Tialys isn’t that good at remembering to close doors 🙄) and I was panicking but I think he’d just gone to show off his headgear to his mates next door.

I wonder what they thought.

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Nosy Neighbours

There’s nothing like spending a Sunday morning spying on the neighbours.

Of course, they’re mostly interested in the four legged and winged ones.

I hope your Sunday will be slightly more interesting.

 

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A Tale of Two Gingers

My lovely ginger boy, Henry, has had to have a trip to the V….E…..T.

He’s normally a big boy but was looking skinny, always looking for food and his back legs seemed a bit weak.

Anyway, a blood test, a blood pressure check and couple of hundred euros later, it turns out he has hypertension caused, probably, by some kidney problems.  Who would have thought such laid back animals as domestic cats could get hypertension? Anyway, he now has to have two different medicines administered orally with a syringe every day.   At the moment I’m keeping him in overnight then putting the medicine on a bit of tuna first thing so he’s hungry enough to eat it.  I’ve tried administering it directly down his throat but he chokes and spits and generally makes a huge fuss and the medicine often ends up on the floor.  The medicine for the hypertension will be for life so if anybody knows how to do this without causing stress – and thus more hypertension – I would be grateful for any tips.

The second ginger in my life is my pair of Ginger Jeans.  Yes! They’re finished – I was waiting for silver rivets to arrive before showing you.  If you remember my first pair – they turned out O.K. but I couldn’t bend my knees (or much else) due to using fabric with no stretch.  I made these ones in exactly the same size but, due to using the right fabric, they fit.  Who would have thunk it?

Here’s a full length pic.  I wouldn’t normally wear everything so cropped on the top with skinny jeans but, as this is all about the jeans, I wanted to show you them properly.

I probably wouldn’t normally wear skinny jeans with heels either but, because the pattern on this denim is so ‘extravagant’, I probably could ‘posh them up’ with a dressy top and heels.  Just thinking aloud here.

A few close ups of jeans laid flat so you don’t have to study my nether regions too much to see the details.

The silver rivets were ordered from Japan as I couldn’t find them anywhere else and wanted them to go with the silvery grey pattern and the top stitch thread I used.  I was quite pleased with my top stitching overall and I managed to hide a bit of a ‘wobble’ on the waistband with one of the belt loops.

I did a simple design on the pockets and stressed for a long time about where to place them.  Apparently pocket placement is a big deal with jeans.  How close should they be to the centre seam and the yoke, what angle of slant should there be, how high or low to place them – apparently all make a difference to the way your derrière will present itself to observers (should there be any).  In the end though, I pinned them on in the position I thought would be right but nearly did myself an injury twisting round to look at my own denim clad bottom in the mirror – Mr. Tialys being unavailable for comment – so on they went for better or worse.

I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say I’m excited by a coin pocket.

I’m wearing a belt, mainly because my jeans button is, unfortunately, half an inch too far in from the edge.  This is one of the two things that have made these jeans less than perfect – there’s always something isn’t there?  My sewing machine couldn’t manage its one step buttonhole function because of the multiple layers of fabric at the edge of the waistband so would stop mid-buttonhole.  I had to unpick it about three times and the fabric started showing signs of damage in that spot.  In the end, I resorted to the four step buttonhole on my very basic Singer machine (not my 1950s one) and subsequently remembered I had to do exactly the same thing with my first pair.  Shame I didn’t remember earlier.  It worked but I had to position it where the unpicking had happened to hide it so a belt will probably be the order of the day.

Since then, I’ve heard about a gadget called a ‘buttonhole height compensation plate’ which apparently solves such a problem.  I had a quick look – they’re only cheap – I just need to check if I can get one compatible with my Janome.  Because, yes, I’m going to make more jeans.

The second thing to moan about is that I have leg twist.  The inseam is trying to twist itself round on to the front of my leg at calf level. Apparently this is very common – even with high end ready-to-wear jeans – especially the skinny ones.  The pattern I used was Closet Case’s Ginger Jeans and Heather has you lay out the pattern pieces for the legs in a way that attempts to avoid this happening.  That is, the legs are cut out from a single layer of fabric and the front and back legs are laid on the fabric in different directions. Or, in Heather’s words ‘to help prevent leg twist, the best way to layout your pieces is front leg, back leg, front leg turned 180 degrees, back leg turned 180 degrees (make sure these last two are also flipped wrong side up so you’re not cutting the same leg twice!)   I cut mine out on a double layer 🙄  and couldn’t turn the leg pattern pieces because it would have meant the design on my jeans doing a different thing on each leg.

As I usually wear skinny jeans with boots, here’s a couple with me wearing the jeans ‘booted up’.  It’s usually too hot to wear jeans in the Summer here  but I think they’d look fine with sandals too.

And just to prove I can bend my knees this time…….

Now I’ve got the fit right with the Ginger Jeans which is an excellent pattern, by the way, with a very useful sewalong on the Closet Case blog, I will definitely make more pairs, but thought I’d make some more traditional jeans next with rigid denim (i.e. no stretch) in indigo and gold top stitching which, of course, will be much more visible so has to be perfect.  I’ve ordered the new(ish) Dawn Jeans pattern by Megan Nielsen and will try to source the perfect denim to make them.  Of course, the fitting issues will be different so another challenge but, hey, sewing projects would get boring if everything was too easy wouldn’t it?

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