Posts Tagged Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs

Guess the Name of the Dog Result

Thank you to those of you who ventured a guess at the name of my crocheted dog I was offering up as a prize to the correct guesser on Saturday at the fund raising Christmas Fair for Twilight 

The good news is, I managed to get thirty people to have a guess for one euro each.

This meant thirty euros for the old and disabled dogs so I was delighted because the yarn had been given to me by a friend so cost me almost nothing and it was a project I did in the evenings in front of the T.V. as a practise run for a stable (kennel?) of smaller dogs which I took along with me to the fair in the hopes of getting a few more euros for the cause.

Of course these breeds are instantly recognisable – ūü§£ – but should you need help, from L to R there is a West Highland Terrier, a Border Collie, an English Bull Terrier, a French Bulldog and a Chocolate Labrador.

The Westie sold, together with ……..

the Labrador – a lady bought them for her twin grandchildren.

I have a belated request for the Border Collie and somebody wants me to make a pair of Chihuahuas.¬† I’ll have to think about that and it might not be before Christmas.

The even better news is that we raised a record amount of money for Twilight 

I think the fact that it was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day helped and, as ever, it was the cake stand that took by far the most money.  Mr. Tialys popped in and bought a ginger cake, a carrot cake and three Bakewell slices so he did his bit and has been gracious enough to share them with me and Mlle. Tialys the Younger.

The bad news is that none of my lovely readers guessed the correct name!

She is so obviously a ‘Tara’ but none of you guessed right.

However, using a truly fair and scientific method, I put all your names in a row on the floor

and decided that the first one Flo had a sniff at would be declared the winner.¬† Well, I couldn’t find a hat.

I’m afraid she got a little over enthusiastic and didn’t stop at the sniffing stage.

However, I think you’ll agree there was an obvious winner.

So, congratulations ‘Line’, aka Pauline who blogs at ‘The Contented Crafter’.¬† would you like a tea-towel or an apron? Email me at thetialys@gmail.com and let me have your postal address.

Thanks everyone for playing along and having a bit of fun with me.

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A Bit of Light Relief

Protests against high fuel prices in the form of road blocks permitting, we are holding a fundraising Christmas Fair this weekend for Twilight,  the home for old and disabled dogs I support here in France (you can read about the amazing work Mike and Leanne do here)

I am ‘womanning’ the Twilight stall which will have calendars, Christmas cards, tea-towels, tote bags and aprons for sale along with a few of my hand made dog collars and some key fobs made from the leftover collar materials.

Remember my big crochet dog with the slightly sad face I made with super chunky wool?

Well, I thought I’d offer her up as a prize in a ‘guess the name of the dog’ game at the Christmas Fair.

I think she looks like a female dog so I racked my brains to come up with 30 girly dog names – which proved much harder to think of than male dog names for some reason.¬† People can choose a name for a euro and the winner can take her home.¬† With any luck, and just a little bit of friendly cajoling, I might be able to donate 30 euros to the cause which we wouldn’t get if I just put her up for sale.

I haven’t had the most wonderful month.¬† November has become the anniversary of some recent sad events in my family and I’ve had a couple of other stressful situations to deal with.¬† So, just for a bit of fun, and because it’s approaching the festive season, I thought I’d ask my readers if they’d like to guess her name and, if anybody gets it right, I’ll send them one of the aprons I’ve been making out of the fun tea-towels Twilight produce or I can leave it as a tea-towel if you prefer.

Here’s a close up of the possible choices

First come first served – once somebody has chosen a name, I’ll cross it off – if I can work out how to do that – otherwise you can just have a look at the previous guesses.

Just leave your guess in the comments and, because I think it’s only fair, the game is only open to those already following me.¬† So, if you are a follower but don’t usually comment, and you would like a free apron/tea towel – and who wouldn’t? – now’s the time.

The fair is on Saturday 24th so I’ll reveal the answer on Monday 26th.

Go on – have a guess!

 

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A Scrappy Christmas In November

 

A couple of years ago (could be more) I bought a pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts and made this dog cushion…….

………as well as this block which is yet to be made into anything.

I might make another cushion out of it and put it in the raffle at the upcoming old and disabled doggy fundraiser Christmas Fair, if I get the time.¬† I think I must have done a similar thing with the first one as I can’t find it anywhere.

Flushed with stitch and flip success, I bought a more Christmas themed block last year but, unfortunately, my Mum suddenly became very ill and such things got put aside.

Looking for a new project to work on with my sewing friend on a Wednesday afternoon, I remembered the reindeer and we started searching through our scraps of brown, black and white fabric – actually quite difficult colours to find as brown and black fabric isn’t something I buy that often¬† Anyway, we found enough between us and shared out what we had.

The pattern is available here

I must say, it was a different prospect to the dog as those antlers are formed of quite small pieces.¬† Accuracy is not my strongest point when titchy bits of fabric are concerned and I found trying to keep the seams and resulting larger pieces straight quite challenging which is a euphemism for ‘I undid seams lots of times, had to re-cut fabric on a few occasions and swore a lot’.¬† No fault of the pattern at all, I must say, but I find working in somebody else’s workroom a bit weird.¬† For this reason, I’m not that great in lessons or workshops – too many distractions.¬† I like to have my own things around me and to work at my own pace.¬† ¬†Also, we only meet once a week for a couple of hours and, often,¬† the project we’re working on goes ‘off the boil’ for me.

Anyway, after a few Wednesdays of plumbing the depths of my Anglo Saxon vocabulary, it was done.

But what to do with a pieced reindeer head I hear you ask.¬† I’m big on blankets around the place but not so keen on cushions or wall hangings – although I have been known to succumb now and again.

Remember the table runner for my coffee table I made from a Tim Holtz fabric selection recently?

Well, I thought I could make a more Christmassy one using the same quilt as you go method as before but with the reindeer head in the middle and various strips of leftover Christmas fabric either side, thereby using up some scraps – and some of my friend’s too as she had lots more than me.

First I bedecked his antlers with some festive bunting.  Not at all because I was trying to hide the fact that my piecing left something to be desired.  As if!

Then I joined scraps of Christmas fabric  in strips of varying widths on to the backing and batting.

Then I quilted it some more using wavy lines across the width and used a double fold binding stitched down by hand on the back as I do on quilts.

So, I don’t think I have any more Christmas scraps left now – I used up the smaller pieces on the binding.¬† Result!!

It will look quite festive at Christmas on the coffee table – at least the glimpses of it under the usual covering of bucks fizz glasses, mince pies and chocolates¬† – once the morning’s over it might get worse ūü§£

Oh, and I found a felted bead in my stash of ‘things’¬† – I don’t know where it came from, but I knew exactly where it could go.

 

Joining in with Kate & Gun’s ScrapHappy Day Challenge which focuses on using up your scraps of fabric/yarn/paper/wooden offcuts/anything leftover.¬† More details and list of participants here.

Now I must go and convert more tea towels into aprons for sale at the Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs Christmas Fair on Saturday 24th.  I know how to have fun.

 

 

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Is It Woolly Going To Be A Dog?

Having honed my crochet skills on blankets – an ongoing process by the way – I’ve never tried amigurumi.¬† Difficult enough to say the word, I’d always intended to give this sort of crochet a go and even bought a couple of pattern books but, when the Dog one came out it was a ‘had to have’.

Not that I need more dogs in my life but I thought, if they were quick and easy enough, they might be a good thing to sell in aid of Twilight, the home for old and disabled dogs I support.

It will be a while before I get to the long haired varieties like this.

Photo from Book

So I thought I’d start with a beginner pattern – a little labrador

Photo from Book

Searching through my yarn stash, it became clear that I had no ‘neutral colours’¬† i.e. black, grey, white, cream in the required thickness.¬† However, I did have some oatmeal coloured yarn in ‘Chunky’ which meant, if I wanted to make a start straight away, I’d have to do the large sized dog – there are three sizes to choose from for each dog – it’s just the size of the crochet hook and the thickness of the yarn that changes.¬† ¬†So that’s what I’m doing – not a little labrador but a large labrador.

Any resemblance to a big butternut squash is purely coincidental.

For scale see the vintage wig stand behind which is, more or less, about the size of an actual human head.

I wouldn’t mind but the dog’s head is a slightly smaller butternut squash which I will attempt to balance atop the body once I’ve got the legs on for stability.¬† I’ll let you know how that goes :/

The Twilight Easter Fair fundraiser is next Saturday where we are raising money to make life more comfortable for the for old and disabled dogs who have been abandoned or who have been separated from their owners for one reason or another.¬† ¬† I don’t think I’ll be churning these out quickly enough to be able to put them up for sale by then – certainly not at this size – but I’ll have to buy in some neutral colours in double knitting¬† yarn in order to make some smaller ones which – looking into the future – might be ready for the Christmas Fair and, by that time, I might have progressed to the shaggier versions.

Meanwhile, I have another nine Twilight tea towels to turn into aprons before next Saturday so I’d better leave ears, legs and tail until after then.

The weather here continues to be complete pants and the real dogs are bored.

Flo couldn’t even be bothered to choose which woolly doggy she wants me to crochet for her to play with.

 

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A Doggy Diversion

Last Saturday I was supposed to be helping out at a fund raiser for¬† Twilight the retirement home for old and disabled dogs here in France which I think I’ve told you about before.¬† It’s run by a British couple who take in dogs who would otherwise be spending the rest of their lives on a concrete floor at the back of a refuge somewhere being ignored by prospective owners – and that would be the lucky ones!¬† You can read about their work here.

Anyway, I wasn’t able to help set up on the Friday afternoon so arrived early on Saturday morning but our esteemed team leader and champion cake maker Deb was in a state because she had just found a dog on the side of the road which she thought might have been hit by a car as his eye looked swollen and red and he was holding his head on one side.¬† She wanted him taken to a vet to be scanned for a microchip and his state of health assessed but she couldn’t leave the venue and her husband doesn’t speak French so I went with him and the dog to find a vet open on a Saturday morning which happened to be the one right near my house that I’d left just half an hour before.

Here’s the little chap – a French bulldog who has definitely seen better days.

The waiting room was packed so I told Deb’s husband to leave me there and I’d call him when we’d been seen.

All the other patients seemed to be tiny little yorkshire terrier puppies and pristine white kittens waiting for their first vaccinations and there I was with this little fleabag straight from a horror film.

I sat up one end of the waiting room hoping that his gaseous offerings would not offend too many people.  They did.  A window was opened.  Many fleas were visible on his body where his constant scratching had caused him to suffer from eczema and lose his hair in patches.  I could sense people moving away from us and clutching their pets closer torn between sympathy and disgust.

I took him out to see if he wanted to do his ‘business’ in the vet’s garden and, when we went back inside and sat in the same seat, I noticed the floor was wet and could smell something that reminded me of flea spray.¬† The nurse had taken the opportunity in our absence to spray all around where we’d been sitting in case we infected all the others.¬† The shame! I felt like a pariah and he wasn’t even mine.¬† I did make it clear to the assembled pet owners when we first arrived that we had found him that morning but as he kept putting his little paws up on my knees and gazing at me adoringly, I’m not sure they believed me.

The good news is he was microchipped and, even more miraculously, we managed to get hold of his owner who met us back at the venue and I was prepared to give her what for but it turned out she seemed to be guilty of casual neglect – mostly due to lack of funds – rather than cruelty.¬† We would have preferred her to have signed the little chap over to us so we could then get him properly treated – that eye will probably need to be removed – but she promised me she’d go and at least discuss treatment with the vet.¬† I don’t think there’s any equivalent of the¬† P.D.S.A. or Blue Cross organisations where people with financial problems can take their animals for cheaper veterinary treatment although I might be wrong.

Anyway, I finally got back to the venue at midday and they obviously managed without me because we raised a nice amount for Twilight which was brilliant considering we were only really selling cakes, bric-a-brac, second hand books and clothes and holding a raffle.

I had pre-ordered one of Deb’s gorgeous ginger cakes which are always just the right sort of stickiness but I wasn’t keen on the label.

I’m more of a strawberry blonde.

So, a day of high and lows and I hope the little dog gets the treatment he needs for his eye and his skin and flea infestation.

Still, it could be worse, he could be a magpie.

 

75 euros if anybody wants me to go back to the junk shop and get it for them.

 

UPDATE:

The little dog has now been taken to the vet by his owner, his eye has been treated and he is no longer constantly scratching.¬† Perhaps we made the owner sit up and take notice and, in that case, I consider my two hours in the waiting room with a flea ridden,¬†red eyed, farty dog¬†time well spent.¬† Let’s hope she doesn’t allow him to get in that state again.

 

 

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Having a Whale of a Time with Scraps

I used to think life was too short to stuff a toy – or was that a mushroom? – but I’ve been persuaded to change my mind.

I took a fancy to this pattern for a whale partly because he’s so cute and partly because it’s a pattern by Jodie over at RicRac and she is an amazing pattern designer. ¬†Plus, did I mention she was having a sale at the time? ¬†I may have bought three or four patterns :/

Anyway, I made him from scraps of some lovely canvassy fabric in seaside colours and put into use the tin of sardines I bought just because I love the illustration on the tin.¬†¬†I can’t stand sardines.

This is another of Jodie’s patterns which I thought I might be able to do something with to decorate my stand at the Christmas Fair in November to raise funds for the Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs.

Nothing wrong with my pattern cutting or stuffing skills here – he’s just cocking his back leg for a wee ūüėČ Honest!

 

The dogs aren’t free-standing so I’m wondering about making a garland to hang in front of the stall – or over it even if I can figure out a good way to do that. ¬†Anybody made a garland with ‘softies’ before? ¬† Tips and hints would be appreciated and possibly followed slavishly.

 

Non-matching cotton reel for size purposes. He’s quite dinky.

Nothing to do with whales or dogs but my reasoning will become apparent – my daughter is an ‘aerialist’ – that is she does classes using an aerial hoop which sounds scary but is very good for upper body strength apparently.¬† It was her birthday so I made her a card using (mostly) freehand machine embroidery – although I did use a machined feather stitch around the outside of the constellation fabric (which was a scrap – so there’s my ‘reasoning’ if you read on)

I don’t know what this particular pose is called but they all look so elegant.

I couldn’t resist another whale photo and a better look at the sardine tin.

I might even use that design for a future freehand embroidery project.

The whale is actually supposed to be a pincushion but, when I stuck some pins in him for the photos, they looked like harpoons and I felt so bad I took them out again ūüė¶

All made with scraps so I’m joining in with Kate’s Scraphappy Day here where you can click to see what the other participants have been doing with their scraps this month – see I told you there was ‘reasoning’ involved.

I have been spending quality time with visitors (this was a scheduled post) and being a visitor myself ¬†over the next couple of weeks so don’t worry if you don’t see me around as much as usual – I haven’t disappeared under a pile of unlaundered dog blankets and left to suffocate. ¬†Although if I’m not back after a couple of weeks feel free to check.

 

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‘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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What I’m Doing Instead of Zumba this Saturday Morning

**Warning: Heavy with craft photos and dog related text but all for a good cause.

This is Taz my ‘who knows what mixture of breeds?’ dog – we have had him since he was a pup.

Elderly Dog

He’s getting on now and, at eleven years old, he’s going grey, losing his hair and getting a bit grumpy. ¬†Just like a lot of ¬†humans really. ¬†Much as I love him, he is a bit of a pain in his dotage. ¬†He spends his days foraging for food, grumbling at the cats, lying across the kitchen floor in front of the fridge/cooker/cupboard/wherever you need to get to and bumping into things as his sight is going. ¬†He spends his evenings sleeping, snoring and ‘scenting’ the air with the gaseous results of his aforementioned foraging and his nights wandering the corridor and aimlessly scraping at doors before sinking into a deep sleep.

I can only imagine then, what it must be like to care for 30 old dogs in your own home. ¬†I don’t think I could do it but, luckily, there are people that can. ¬†Mike and Leeanne came to France from the U.K. and have somehow found themselves dedicated to the care and comfort of elderly and disabled dogs by starting the¬†Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs or, as we are in France, Twilight Maison de Retraite pour les chiens you can read all about them here¬†.

Twilight Maison de Retraite

This Saturday we are holding a fundraising event for Twilight and, although I don’t do craft fairs as a rule, I’m going along with some of my wares to see if we can’t help with the food, extensive vet bills and general running costs of caring for so many ‘retired’ dogs all in one place that Mike and Leanne face.

Of course, I will have my dog collars for sale….

Hand Made Dog Collars for Fundraising

Some dog bandanas……

Dog Bandanas for Fundraising

some simple tote bags (who let the cats in?)……..

Simple Tote Bags for Fundraising

some more cats disguised as angels……

Scented Cat Hanging Decs

a couple of knitted dog coats…….

Knitted Dog Coats

a few key fobs made with the leftover dog collar materials……

Key Fobs for Fundraising

the results of my recent foray into needlecases……

Quilted Needlecases

some mini poufs that have been taking up space in my workroom for a little while…….

Hexagon Cushions

likewise some doorstops……

Fabric Doorstops

four or five padded message boards……

Padded Noticeboards

a set of coasters…..

Reindeer Coasters

a rather fetching linen handbag I made which has Eiffel Towers on the lining fabric – tr√®s chic …..

Linen Purse

and a partridge in a pear tree an owl with a Christmas tree

Bookend

I just hope there will be people looking to buy some stocking fillers and I don’t come home with all of it . ¬†I usually do my part by buying home made cakes (especially the ginger cake and Christmas pudding as they aren’t easy to come by here and Debbie makes some scrummy ones), ¬†the bottle tombola (the bottles are generally full of something alcoholic) , some second hand books and whatever else takes my fancy.

I can always go and fling myself around in Zumba next Saturday but I’ll leave the last words to Mike and Leeanne to explain how Twilight came about.

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We started Twilight in the summer of 2009, in memory of losing our Kizzy, and needing to find a friend for our elderly but happy retriever, Teg.
It became evident, searching the pounds and refuges, that if you were an old
dog, life was not always so good, and your ending might be premature and/or without dignity.
So now we offer limited places for elderly dogs who are lost, abandoned or bereaved of their owners.

We are not a formal refuge, just mere volunteers with the time, space and love to share our calm home with the dogs ?en famille?. Twilight, La Maison de Retraite pour Les Chiens, the old doggies home.

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