Posts Tagged dog rescue carcassonne
This is Taz, one of my three dogs.
He is old(ish) – he’ll be 11 this year – but it’s not him learning new tricks, it’s me but I’m much older than 11 and not as good looking in close-up.
If you remember, I have been taking part in a patchwork block swap called F2F (organised by Kate and Sue) which involved twelve women from around the globe, making three patchwork blocks a month and sending them to one of the recipients in turn so that all twelve of us end up with 36 blocks, having made 3 for ourselves to turn into a quilt. ( You can read about it here if you are interested.) Well, I was leisurely putting my blocks together and joined up for the next swap which starts in June when my name got drawn out of the hat first so I will be the first person to receive blocks – probably in around 7 weeks time. So, that’s put a fire under me and I’m now desperately trying to get the first quilt finished before the new blocks arrive. I have learnt a lot from doing this swap and have started trying new things and challenging myself a bit so that the blocks I send to the other participants are not boringly safe or complete pants.
This time, there are only nine of us but that’s O.K. because we can either make a slightly smaller quilt or make more blocks for ourselves. I have persuaded my Wednesday sewing friend Sandra to join the swap this time which will be a challenge as English is not her first language, she doesn’t blog and is a bit scared of the computer. We usually find a project to sew together on Wednesdays and, lately, I’ve been running out of ideas. Here’s our latest project.
Who wouldn’t want an owl as a tea cosy? Cute aren’t they and will also be useful once I have stopped using mine as a mannequin head which is creeping out anyone who enters my sewing room.
The free pattern and tutorial is by Buzy Day here if you want to repel all visitors during sewing time as I try to do unless they are bearing a cup of tea.
Despite owl cuteness, I thought we might be better employed doing something more patchwork(y) now she’s got involved in the swap. So, for a project last Wednesday afternoon I decided to try paper piecing and
forced encouraged Sandra to join me. Lordy! What a revelation to the uninitiated. Not having a light box, we were holding printed patterns and teensy bits of paper up against her windows and trying to join things up backwards and in reverse. Lots of unpicking was done and I’m sure I saw her take a headache pill at the end of our session. I continued at home and although I’m chuffed to bits with my first try at a paper pieced block it is not fit for eyes other than my own and so I will show you the half that is only a bit terrible and not the half that went completely to pot.
I think I might actually grow to like paper piecing so I made a light box out of an Ikea box frame and one of those little LED lights that you can stick up somewhere and press for ‘on’. Basic, but it works and was free as I already had the two components lying around.
I’ve also been trying out free motion quilting on my blocks as I’m ‘quilting as you go’ with this quilt – two new tricks for me in one there – with varying degrees of success. FMQ is a lone pursuit and requires you to concentrate like hell while apparently needing to be chilled out at the same time. I think I’m relaxed then realise my shoulders are up around my ears with the tension. One YouTube tutorial I watched was by a very sensible lady who suggested you might like to have a glass of wine by your side to help you relax. A woman after my own heart but I’d be too scared to knock it over on to my fabric. Maybe it would be better to have one before – and then maybe another one after. I do need lots more practice but, to date, have been achieving some (very) free form designs which are just about acceptable although how anybody manages to do some of the more intricate FMQ designs I have no idea. The whole bottle of wine by your side perhaps?
I am far too easily distracted – I blame it on being a Gemini – although I’m not really a believer in astrology it’s just that I can’t think of a better excuse. For instance, once I had walked the dogs and fed the seemingly ever growing menagerie that lives in our house this morning, I had a whole day free and thought I’d get on with the quilting. However! I bought some fabric the other day I’m dying to turn into a sewing box and so I thought, ‘I’ll just get all the pieces cut out so they’ll be ready to put together in the future’ – a stage of the box making which is by no means quick – and ‘whoosh’ there went the rest of the morning. Now, at lunchtime, instead of eating, I realised I hadn’t posted anything for ages so here I am telling you about what I should be doing instead of doing it. Hey ho. There’s always this afternoon.
Fabric is Haberdashery Box by Makower
So, I’m learning FMQ, paper piecing and QAYG and, for my next trick I became a model for a day.
I am involved with a group that raises funds for our local dog and cat shelter and we decided to do something a little different. We get lots of second hand clothes donated and, to be honest, they don’t look that inviting when hung up or laid out in piles like a jumble sale. So, we decided that six of us would pick out something from the donations that suited us (or fitted us) and do a ‘fashion show’. We hired a hall with a stage, some steps and somebody lent us a runner to use as a ‘catwalk’. One of the organiser’s partners is a D.J. so we could walk down the catwalk to music and we had a ‘presenter’ who read out descriptions of the outfits we had written ourselves – mostly in humorous fashion and we had clothes by designers such as ‘Terry Err from London’ , ‘Walter Spanielle from Yorkshire’ and ‘Beau de Collie from Paris’. In other words, helped by a glass of champagne on arrival, everybody had a good laugh. We modelled five outfits each and they were on sale afterward for 5 euros each. All the remaining clothes were sold for whatever people chose to put in the donation box.
We made a whopping 1400 euros for the Shelter which I can’t help but consider in terms of how many castrations that will pay for 😉
I haven’t blogged for a while not because I haven’t had anything to say exactly but, in the end, there was too much to say and I couldn’t filter it down into a blog post and also I haven’t had the time.
So, in a nutshell (a big nutshell – something like a coconut)
We went across the border into Andorra for a free show by the Cirque du Soleil. The heavens opened, a storm raged, we bought plastic ponchos and the rain stopped 5 minutes before the show started. The show was magnificent and we were damp but happy. The story behind the show was supposed to be something about the history of Andorra but, as with all the Cirque du Soleil shows, I don’t actually know what was supposed to be going on. I only know that I am in constant amazement at what the human body is capable of if possessed of bendy limbs, muscles like steel, a body weight no heavier than a gnat and an apparent fearlessness of small spaces/high places/empty air between waiting arms.
Having recently had a travelling circus in this part of France boasting tigers, a lion and ‘the largest hippopotamus in Europe’ – and this in a ‘civilized country’ – I wonder why anybody would need to gawp at caged wild animals exhibiting unnatural behaviour when they can see fully consenting human beings in beautiful costumes doing amazing things with their super fit bodies. That sounds wrong somehow but you get my drift.
Being a tax free independent principality, it is the done thing in Andorra to go and marvel at the enormous bottles of alcohol for sale at silly prices – or is that just us?
The next morning we drove down into Spain, forgetting that the first Saturday in August is the day that all of France decides is the start of their annual holidays, jump in their cars and pack the roads – this despite the fact that the kids have been on school holiday since the end of June. We queued for an hour to pay for the privilege of using a toll road as did the rest of France apparently.
When we finally arrived at our destination – a port called Cadaqués – it was beautiful and we pondered buying something there for holidays, rental and eventual retirement.
Then we looked in a couple of Estate Agents’ windows, saw the prices and changed our minds not having upwards of two or three million euros to play with just at the moment.
Anyway, what they did have in Cadaques, apart from beautiful scenery, charming back streets and good restaurants, was their very own cat rescue called ‘Cats de Cadaqués’. This is an association that raises funds to feed and, most importantly, sterilize the local cat population. A lot of the shops and restaurants are supportive, display posters and sell cat themed items.
This restaurant has embraced the theme in a very picturesque manner.
Despite being a ‘dog person’ I do also have a soft spot for cats (I have 4) and agreed to be ‘admin’ on a new Facebook page set up by the feline equivalent of Dog Rescue Carcassonne which I sometimes blog about. I don’t really ‘do’ Facebook at the best of times – I usually have problems just uploading photos – and now I am suddenly faced with the myriad opportunities presented behind the scenes when you are an ‘admin’. I’m still working it out. There are other ‘admins’ so I leave most of the dealings on FB to them and I am writing ‘the blog’. If you want to see how I am now the crazy cat lady as well as a dog botherer, you can see my new blog here. Some comments, likes and followers would be nice as I’m finding it hard to get it off the ground.
On the creative front, things have come to a shuddering halt because it was time to clear out my workroom again and, despite many black sacks and boxes of items being removed and deposited at the charity shop, the Dog & Cat Shelter’s vide grenier (boot/yard sale) stash or the bins, there still doesn’t seem to be any way for me to get to my sewing machine very easily. No before and after pics of that, I promise, because even when I’ve finished it will not look like a magazine photo shoot workshop and, if it did, I’d never be able to do any work in it for fear of messing it up.
Also, I’ve lost my sewing mojo at the moment having made ‘the dress that nearly broke the camel’s back’ which is headed for the bin and had me heading off to Zara and other RTW outlets for a couple of items for my holiday wardrobe. However, I might blog about that when I have more time so, for now, I’m saying ‘tchau’ which is how you say goodbye in Portugal apparently and that’s where I’m heading for some time away from the computer, the phone, the messy workroom and the dogs and cats and chickens.
Do you remember Blacky who did a ‘guest post‘ on my blog a few weeks back?
He is a dog at our Rescue Centre who was left behind by his owners when they moved house and has spent three years in a concrete run as, being an ‘ordinary’ looking dog he keeps getting overlooked by potential adopters.
Well look at him today
He’s off home with his new owner.
Sorry, not sorry, for the grainy photo but I expect whoever took it at the Shelter today was shaking with excitement as everybody loved him and couldn’t understand why he was still there.
I thought I’d just let you know as some of you expressed an interest in hearing the end of his story which looks like it will be a happy one.
I think I chose the hottest day of the year so far to go and walk some dogs at the dog shelter at Carcassonne yesterday. At first, they thought it might be too hot for the dogs to go out but, a tiny breeze sprung up and it was decided that it would be O.K. as long as we didn’t go too far.
We tested out a dog’s tolerance of cats by taking in him in the cat house to see how he got on. Filou, as the little dog in question is called, didn’t seem bothered at all and the cats seem to sense this as several were rubbing themselves against him and purring and generally being chilled as only cats can be, even in 30 degrees or more.
I took my camera and, because I am in ‘dog botherer’ mode at the moment, as always after a visit to the kennels, you can read more about the dogs I’ve featured by clicking on the photos.
Handsome isn’t he?
I just love those ears.
Gorgeous Gordon who is at a disadvantage here in France because they tend not to like black dogs.
Hopefully these 5 month old beautiful black pups will fare better.
Some were just too shy to come out of their kennels
and some weren’t shy at all!
Normal (sewing, crafting, knitting and general musings) service will be resumed shortly but thanks for reading and for looking at my photos.
I know I’m English and we call pants ‘trousers’ but I do like a touch of alliteration and I have some readers from the States so, if you thought this was going to be about men’s knickers, sorry to disappoint. The reality is much less exciting I’m afraid, being more concerned with knitted stuff so there you have your heads up and can leave without anybody ever knowing you were here.
Here’s a very French village photo for you. It is my lonely stall set up outside the Mairie (town hall) a couple of weeks ago. It does look like I’m Billy No Mates but, inside there were lots of other stalls raising money for Dog Rescue Carcassonne. I chose to set up outside partly because it was a lovely sunny morning and partly because I had to leave early to take my Mum back to the airport so I sold a few dog collars and bandanas and said my goodbyes without creating havoc inside amongst the other stalls.
So, when my Mum visits, I knit to be more sociable and generally only use the computer or sew when she is catching some ‘Zs’ which is fairly often these days it has to be said.
This is my second completed humungus cable blanket. It is a subtle, flecked duck egg blue but I couldn’t, for the life of me, get that colour to come out properly in the photograph so it looks much more like a light grey, which it isn’t. I did try – I even turned off the ‘auto’ setting and dipped into the realms of manually setting the aperture and all that scary stuff . Any photography tips on how to tackle this sort of problem would be gratefully received.
It’s actually like this.
I love this blanket so much. I’ve already ordered enough yarn to make another two which is a bit mad because, now the summer is starting to kick in, I shall probably die of heat and suffocation under more than 2kg of wool.
This light and airy baby blanket, on the other hand, is made using the same size needles – 20mm – but with only one strand of yarn rather than six strands, as used in the humungus one, so it is more ‘summer friendly’. Having no babies any more, I had to use this bear as a model. I could have used one of my baby mannequins but they are far too creepy – the bear looks cuter, trust me.
To supplement my dog collars and bandanas range, I thought I’d have a go at knitting some dog coats. I know it is the wrong time of year but you know how quickly the year passes and soon it will be time for those who like or need to put a little jumper on their dog to do so again.
This is James C. Brett Marble Chunky and it is great to knit with and comes up with some lovely colour variations. The grey one at the top has been a little overshadowed by the lovely, rust and teal tones of the one beneath but it is still smart and for the less ‘showy’ dog about town. My problem is, I made these two versions in a ‘medium’ size and my own dogs are larger than that and nobody I know has ‘medium’ dogs – only large or small. I feel like taking one out and about with me and, when I see somebody with an appropriately sized dog, ask if I can put a little knitted coat on their pet and take a photo.
That way madness lies.
Anyway, Flo, having graciously tried on the grey coat but finding it a little snug, continued with her collar modelling and, although this photo was no good to show off the collar, as it wasn’t properly in focus, it’s such a gorgeous one of her I had to include it anyway.
You’re probably past caring by now but, just in case you were wondering about the title, I no longer have any excuse not to get started on a pair of trousers (pants!) for my daughter. I have the pattern, I have the fabric, I have the zip. It’s just that I’ve never made trousers before and my daughter is not a ‘standard’ size and I suspect I might be better at procrastination than pants making.
Tialys said I could be the guest blogger today because she says I am adorable, affectionate, calm, playful and gorgeous and can’t understand why, even though everybody who knows me loves me, I keep being overlooked when people come to the kennels to adopt a dog.
This is me. My name is Blacky.
When I was 5, there was great excitement at my house. A big van came and lots of things were put inside and there were lots of suitcases and so I thought the family must be going on their holidays. They didn’t normally take the sofa, the table and the beds though.
Soon, I was put in the car and driven somewhere a little far away. It didn’t look like the usual kennels I stay in for my holidays.
I put on my best smile as I find, when you are nice to them, you often get a few extra treats.
The family went on holiday for a much longer time than usual and one day
I realised they were never coming back.
Now I have been here for three years but, even though there are lots of kind people who come to take me out for walks now and again, it still doesn’t feel like home.
I don’t much like sharing my kennel with male dogs but I do love the ladies. The female dogs are usually adopted pretty quickly so I am often left alone again.
Last time this happened I had a bit of a cry and had to have a good cuddle to cheer me up.
Tialys’ friend Karen is my sponsor and she likes to dress me up in bright bandanas to help me attract attention to myself. She sometimes has a little cry too.
I have my own method of attracting attention which involves seeing how far I can put my tongue out.
Apart from the fact that I am a bit naughty around cats and prefer the ladies to the boys, I am a good dog – people here are always calling me that. I can offer affection, some nice cuddles and playtimes and a calm temperament and really, that’s all I ask for in return. Well, that and a comfy bed and a few treats now and then.
For now, thank you for reading my story.
SEE HERE FOR UPDATE
The Dog Rescue Carcassonne is a group consisting mainly of expats and some French nationals that raises funds for the S.P.A. Carcassonne (la Société Protectrice des Animaux) and this sometimes makes it possible for volunteers to transport dogs to their new homes within France and occasionally elsewhere in Europe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes, there is just curiosity and my photo shoots attract unwanted attention.
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!!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I know how to enjoy myself at Christmas. Who cares about mince pies and tins of Quality Street when you can wrestle with six half kilo balls of wool and ginormous needles?
My Mum was here so, as usual, other projects get put on the back burner and I do the sociable thing by joining her in a ‘knit-in’. I was almost finished knitting a jacket (next post) but she was intrigued to see how my mammoth blanket would work out. You may remember me showing you the needles and one ball of wool recently. You take 6 x 450ish grams of wool and a 20mm circular needle and, because you have to knit with 6 strands – one from each ball – careful preparation is needed in order to avoid tangling. As you can see, I have made use of post Christmas Day gift bags to encase three of the six balls and all these go inside a cardboard box. There are other ways of arranging your project but this was sort of the one suggested although the gift bags were my contribution and add a festive touch to the proceedings in my opinion.
Surprisingly, it is not that difficult to wrangle with and I have worked out that, taking an average of 5 minutes per row, the whole thing will take me 13 hours to complete, barring accidents and mishaps (and possibly dogs and cats discovering the hiding place of the box).
The cabling is fun. I declined to buy a 20mm cable needle and am, instead, using the huge crochet hook that you need to help with the initial cast on.
I like the way it’s turning out – the colour is supposed to be a bit tweedy (it’s called ‘herringbone’) but the lighting was pants when I took these photos so you can’t see the little brown and black flecks amongst the grey very clearly.
It will be a good size when it’s finished – 49 x 64 inches – and no sewing up to do which is always a bonus.
It keeps your hands busy and out of the biscuit and sweet tins although I managed to lift a glass or two to my lips occasionally it has to be said.
From time to time we were
disturbed pleased to see visitors and, if accompanied by dogs, they were not allowed to leave unencumbered by a dog bandana after a quick photo session.
Thank you Storm
he wasn’t fed up that’s just what a boxer dog’s face looks like 🙂
Happy New Year to all.