Posts Tagged dog collars

‘One Day I Will Get Organised’ Maybe – Probably Not and ‘No More Rescue Dogs’ Maybe – Probably Not

Occasionally I am inspired by my blogging friends who set themselves challenges and goals for the day, the week or even the whole year ahead.

But not for long.

This ‘to do’ list scrawled on a bit of torn out paper is about as organised as I get.

However, I have managed to work through some of those (although it is Thursday and I wrote it on Monday).  I’ve phoned my Mum and my friend Maureen although she isn’t crossed out yet.

I’ve booked a restaurant for lunch tomorrow with some friends.

The ‘Box’ entry is because the customer who ordered a little etui box like this ……..

…..liked it so much she wanted a sewing box in the same fabric.

I didn’t have enough blue bunnies so she settle on pink which I hope she will like.

I wanted to practise some freehand machine embroidery so I made her this card using a piece of the fabric from the interior of the sewing box.

The ‘crochet’ entry is because I’m running out of time to complete my two identical sections of Jane Crow’s ‘Sunshine and Showers’ crochet along before the next section is released.

So I’ve managed one and now have to do an identical one.

The lurid greenish colour in the background is a yoga mat.  Obviously!

I’m worried about wavy edges because there are so many different stitches and colour changes and I’m thinking I’m no expert yet so my tension may well wander so I’m blocking it as I go along – hence the yoga mat.

I  don’t think it’s too bad but I need to have a clean slate before next month’s section is released as some Ravelry users who did this last year say they almost gave up at that point.  Even the designer confesses it to being difficult but rewarding.  Ooer.  Stand by for a row of individual flowers on top of what I’ve already done.  Maybe.

I’ve crossed out ‘Collars’ but really I should leave them on there because, since tagging my Scottie Dog collars as Westies I have been inundated with orders from a French Westie fan club on Facebook.  I know they are a little square jawed for Westies but then most Scotties are black so I consider it to be a generic design.

Talking of dogs, mine are driving me to distraction at the moment.  As happened last year, they graze like cattle on the fallen plums and figs in the garden and, also like cattle, deposit the results in great pancakes.  Then they scent our evenings with their gaseous offerings.  I’ve tried clearing up the fruit as it falls but we have so many trees that it’s a virtually impossible task and the slightest breeze (or dog nudging at the lower branches) releases another load.

It’s just as well really because, knowing my love of German Shepherd type dogs my friend sent me this photo of a pup that has recently arrived at the dog rescue.

Then, when I foolishly investigated further, I saw this handsome fella

I’ve also heard, separately, of two young Pyreneen Mountain dogs who need a new home.  Mr. T says it must be a sign but he’s not here all the time so I’m just going to go out in the garden and shovel up some more fallen fruit – both undigested and digested – to remind me that three dogs is already plenty.

I haven’t forgotten the  ‘hatboxes’ entry and must do something with the hatbox quilt blocks before the end of the month as that is supposed to be a monthly ‘challenge’.  See, I do try.

The ‘Conservatory’ entry is sort of housework related so we won’t worry about that –  ‘after all, tomorrow is another day’

 

 

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Make Do and Mend

I used to ‘do’ upholstery.  I have all the gear – a hide mallet, tack remover, a webbing stretcher, hammers, tacks, horsehair, etc. etc. but after a few years I went off the idea.  I bought a chaise longue (interestingly, not called that in France unless you mean a garden recliner) from a junk shop and did it up but, nine years later, it had got a bit faded, saggy and generally in need of a facelift.  I know the feeling.  It was still comfortable – ask my dogs! – and the framework is very good as it was made before the days when most furniture is made to be chucked out after a few years, so I decided to pay somebody to re-do it for me.  It took her about a week – it would have taken me much more.
Chaise Longue Turkish Fabric

I can’t get a brilliant photo because it is next to a French window and the light is shining on the metallic threads so it is not quite as ‘blingy’ as this  but you get the idea.  I got the fabric from Turkey and could have had red to go with the cushions on my sofa but decided to go a bit mad with the orange – although there are dark red bits on it which you can’t see for the duff lighting.

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Anyway, to make up for being lazy with the upholstery, I decided to buy some more of the Turkish fabric – both in the orange and also some red mixtures – and make new cushion covers for the L-shaped sofa we have as the current ones are splitting at the seams and spewing feathers all over the place.  Two completed ones above although not being displayed on their intended sofa because this one has better lighting.  Mr. Tialys has insisted – despite my protestations and tears – that they should all have piping.   I drew the line at zips though and they will all have envelope backs albeit generous ones.  Two down sixteen to go.

Then I had a couple of dog collars to make and, while I had the webbing to hand, I fixed my neighbour’s sandals.

sandals

All of which is to explain why my F2F quilt is still not finished.

Kate who, along with Sue, organized twelve of us for this block swap, is keen to see another finished quilt so I am trying to steam ahead with it and thought I’d do a progress report and prove to her that I am on the case.

QAYG Blocks

Thirty six blocks have been sandwiched and ready quilted (I’m using the ‘quilt as you go method’).  This will be the second row but I have laid them out as a double row for ease of photography.

backs of QAYG blocks

The backs of the blocks where you can see some of the quilting – machine only I’m afraid but I am trying out different methods such as free motion quilting on some of them as, at this stage, they are like mini quilts and easy to get under the machine.

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I had enough of this blue marbled fabric to do the requisite amounts of backing blocks but didn’t chant the ‘think twice cut once’ mantra  and so ended up two squares short.    After a fruitless search for more of the same fabric – including an unanswered pleading email to the wholesale supplier  (thanks for that Pascale & Beatrix) – I may have to ‘make do and mend’ by joining (as above) and quilting in a cunning manner to hide the join line.   ***

quilt cornerstones

Using the four backing fabrics, I made some improvised blocks for cornerstones.

F2F Patchwork Block

This block, from Emmely, was a natural choice for one of the corner blocks of the quilt and lends itself to my favourite form of quilting – on the machine, in the ditch, easy!

back of quilted QAYG Block

and it also worked well with the back.

Some of the blocks were a little ‘scant’ when I came to join them and didn’t quite get taken into the seams of the sashing strips.  I used this printed tape, attached with bondaweb and then sewn into the seam allowance at the top to hide the gap and prevent fraying.  It’s not an ideal solution but I couldn’t lower the sashing strip any more otherwise I’d risk losing details from the adjoining blocks.  Any other ideas gratefully received as I’m sure I’ll come across other anomalies when I join the remaining rows.

Repairing Scant Measurements

So, here’s one row sashed vertically and once horizontally just to prove that I am getting on with it.

MyF2FQuiltConstruction First Row

I’m waiting for more piping cord to arrive in the post now and all of my neighbour’s other sandals are in good condition so no more excuses and, hopefully, the next images will be of the finished quilt.

Now I’ve put it in print I have to do it!

*** My friend Sandra returned from a week in Spain, had her fabric stash raided and, as I suspected she might, had a length of the turquoise marbled fabric hidden away in there which is now with me 😉

SPOILER!! The block row joining is not going as well as I had hoped – the seam ripper has been put into service and many many tiny stitches have had to be undone.  This is mainly due to the fact that I was concerning myself more with attaching the sashing nicely and not with butting up the batting properly so ending up with empty sashing which is not a good look (or feel).  Although, now that I’ve put it down in plain type,  I think ‘butting up the batting’ ought to be a phrase brought into common usage.

 

 

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Lost Dog Found

Don’t panic, I haven’t added yet another homeless waif to my brood – this one is made of fabric and is one of the gorgeous blocks that Avis at OhSewTempting sent me back in the mists of time – well October anyway – as part of the F2F block swap I’m participating in but, because of a mix up with the postcode, we thought they were lost for all time.

Avis'DogBlock

Thank goodness they weren’t because they are all gorgeous but the dog one especially .

Even though the post office had changed the postcode to the correct one on the envelope, they still sent it back to the U.K. instead of forwarding it on to the correct region of France.  What were they thinking? Still, I’m just grateful they are here now.

My F2F blocks from Avis

The other three blocks are stunning too.  I’m going to have the best quilt in the world and nobody will be able to tell me different;)

Speaking of dogs, which I sort of was, I have been so disorganised leading up to Christmas this year that there has been a run on the dog collars I make to raise funds for the dog and cat shelter and I have run out of webbing.  No hope of new stock getting here in time for anybody ordering them as Christmas gifts, so unless people want red or brown collars, they can’t have one.  What a muppet!! Still, it was my first Christmas making these and I hadn’t really thought of them as being more popular at this time of year.

So, my best seller has had to be taken off the ‘virtual’  shelves

Chelsea Dog Collar

Come on you blues!!

Who knew there’d be so many Chelsea fans in the States?

but you’re in luck if you love a Scottie.

Scotty Dog Collar

For those of you worried that I spent loads of money on a cat tree which will sit sadly, bereft of any living thing, in a corner – worry no more.

9 week old kittens

The kittens have taken to it big time.  Although they do like climbing up the centre of the Jade Tree plant in the conservatory too.  Well, they like climbing up anything really – as kittens do.  Also the ‘Ungrateful Baggage’ mentioned in an earlier post who was showing no interest, has managed to get herself into the very highest basket where the kittens can’t quite yet reach.  She sits there with a regal and self satisfied air which is what cats do.

Top of the Cat Tree

Another week and he’ll be up there.

(Note the thing that had feathers to start with denuded and hanging limply from the top level)

Have you suddenly come to the realisation that there are things you wanted to do for Christmas that aren’t going to happen now?

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Not Going Out

 

I’ve had a bit of cabin fever recently.  First, there was some snow.  To be honest, not a great deal but we live up a hill which is not pleasant to drive down (or up!) once it is icy so I prefer to stay put unless absolutely necessary.  Second, I had a dental implant and was not fit to be seen by the outside world.  The inside world wasn’t too keen either but they live with me and had to put up with it.  Don’t get me wrong, the procedure to have the implant done was no problem – just in case you’re thinking of having it done and don’t want me to scare you – it’s just that my face was swollen up a bit for a few days, I had an impressive bruise, some stitches which showed between my teeth and almost drove me crazy and a gap while I waited for the temporary crown to be made.  No pain though. Plus the swelling plumped my face out somewhat and several wrinkles disappeared although, alas, that was only temporary.

So, using the time spent indoors profitably, I opened a new Etsy shop for my dog collars as they were starting to overtake my current shop and making it look a bit too ‘doggy’.  Of course, this will not be a profitable shop because I am doing it mainly to help out the Dog Rescue but I can’t tell you what fun I’m having picking out the designs and trying to persuade my sewing machine that it really doesn’t mind stitching through multi layers of webbing and grosgrain.

Campervan Dog Collar1 (1)I know there are lots of people making dog collars out there but I can’t take any more dogs on – I already have three plus four cats – and I’m a bit far from the Rescue Centre to help with walking the dogs on a regular basis so I wanted to do something else to help.

bluechelseacollar (3)A special request for some Chelsea Football club supporters I know! (I’ve made some West Ham ones too but I’m not allowed to mention that!)

So I’ve set up ‘Ouaf Ouaf’ (or Ouaf for short) which is what French dogs say instead of ‘Woof’ and will gradually put them on there, along with the bandanas I was making before, as and when I can make them, as well as touting them around friends with dogs (and some without!) and local fund raising events.

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I’m having fun taking the photos too as you can see although this dog looks rather more like a hippo which I’m sure don’t cock their legs up to wee but you get the idea.

Muttley Dog Collar

My favourite cartoon dog of all time.  I was chuffed when I found Muttley from Wacky Races on a ribbon.

These collars have caused a bit of a commotion in the house as, every time I finish one and brandish it, chrome D ring clinking, as I like to do, the resident dogs think it’s a sign they are about to be taken out on another walk.  I’ve found it easier, in most cases, to take photographs of the collars off the dogs’ necks rather than on but a few modelling assignments have been handed out.

superstancollar

SuperStan!

Sometimes, there is just curiosity and my photo shoots attract unwanted attention.

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I tried making a sort of double fold bias tape from some Liberty fabric I had in my stash for this one which worked well and might end up being more cost effective than ribbon (especially if I don’t use Liberty tana lawn!!).

dog rescue carcassonne puppies

No blog post about dog rescue or dog collars is complete without a basket full of puppies of course.  Just look at those little faces.  Of course, being puppies these little girlies will probably soon find homes but the underlying problem is too many people – and it is a big problem in France – just can’t or won’t sterilize their dogs.  Then they let them out to wander around unsupervised and this is the result.  You can read their story here but, basically, the mother was rehomed by the Société Protéctrice des Animaux before they introduced a policy to sterilize all female dogs before rehoming and the new owner didn’t bother and this is the second litter of puppies that have had to be rescued from her as a result – the first litter and another three from this one she gave (or sold) to who knows who?

Anyway, I am off to do some vacuuming before Mr. T. gets home from the U.K. and thinks I’ve been doing nothing all week except mess with ribbon and webbing, set up amateur photo shoots and read up about what is good for bruising – arnica cream??  Then I’m going to make a bag – just for a change.

*must keep busy and not look a puppy faces *  house is full * puppies are a lot of work*  the cats won’t like it * too many dogs already* mustn’t show Mr. T  the photo as he is worse than me*no, no, I mustn’t*

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Wild Thing

I’ve got three dogs and, although we walk through woods at the back of our garden so they are rarely on a lead, I like them to wear a collar with an I.D. tag just in case.  They are micro-chipped but, if they were to get lost, not everybody would bother to take them to the vets and have them scanned whereas they might just phone a number.

I’m always buying new collars for them so I thought I’d have a go at making my own.  I ordered all the hardware and spent ages choosing grosgrain ribbon to make the webbing look pretty.  This is my first attempt and Flo graciously agreed to be the model on this occasion..  This was a very brief moment of stillness –  I chose that ribbon with her in mind.

Flo Wild Child

What do you think?  I might start making these, along with my dog bandanas, to help raise funds for the Dog Rescue Carcassonne Group here in France.

Here are some Chelsea Football Club supporters who were recipients of specially requested dog bandanas for Christmas.

Dog Bandanas - Chelsea Fans

I wonder whether they know they support Chelsea?

And not to be too biased towards dogs – after all, I do have cats too,  I took this photo of my big pyjama case cat, Henry, avidly watching a programme about cats.  I thought animals couldn’t recognise stuff like that but he definitely did.

Cats Watching Other Cats

Please excuse the proliferation of gaming gubbins, wires, speakers, remotes, etc.   Nothing to do with me.  I only know how to work the telly although, since they moved the satellite, we have to do all sorts of twisty turny technical things to receive t.v. transmissions so I had to get a bit more tech savvy quickly if I wanted to watch Downton Abbey and Broadchurch.

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Silly Stan Meets Silly Buddy

My Saturday Selection today is Silly Buddy who make beautiful handmade dog collars for your pampered pooch and here is Silly Stan wearing his.

On the days when we’re not going to visit the Queen, we can detach the bow tie. 

Beautifully made, these collars are well worth the money and I might get round to kitting out the other 3 one of these days.

If you feel like pampering your own pooch Silly Buddy is donating 5% of all sales during March to the Japan Animal Disaster Relief” of http://.www.worldvets.org.  Please visit their website to find out day to day details about the amazing work they are doing for the animals that are affected by the awful earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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