applique

True Beauty …..

by Helen on July 21, 2014

Ben is a gentle, good-natured, friendly sort of dog who loves going out and about making new friends and catching up with old ones.  We are used to people who are perhaps nervous of dogs crossing the road to avoid him, but we’re equally used to friendly folk descending upon him and with many oohs and aahhhs making a great fuss of him.  But last week was a little different.

Once he was up on his paws again after his operations, I took him out with me for short walks around and about.  He still had stitches in his eyes, and his face was partly shaved so he was definitely not looking his handsome best.  But still .. I didn’t expect the totally audible comments of “Uurgh, how disgusting” and “Look at that dog it’s gross…” etc etc that he received from one or two people (not his local friends).    And whilst he didn’t understand the words, he certainly picked up on the tone of voice, and his tail lost its cheerful curl and began to droop sadly.  So I took him home again and he hasn’t been anywhere he might meet visitors for a while – though now his stitches are out and his eyes are nearly back to normal I think perhaps its time for him to venture a little further afield again.    And in the meantime I stitched this ….

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For no matter how odd Ben’s face looked after his operation, he was still the same loving, gentle dog inside, and as I’m sure we all know, the same is true for humans too.  I hope you like it and the pattern will be in the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.

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A summer’s afternoon …..

by Helen on July 19, 2014

The weather has turned hot and sultry – there was thunder again last night which nearly drowned out the sound of Daisy’s snoring.  She is not at all afraid of thunder, no – her worst fear is being left alone – quite alone that is, with neither her Big Bro nor I close at hand to cater to her every whim!  She had to be brave yesterday however.  I simply had to leave her home by herself for an hour while I took Ben to the vet  to have his stitches out as it was far too hot for her to wait safely in the car during his appointment.  Everything went well for Ben at the vet’s since as well as being highly skilled, our vet is very kind and patient, understanding that on such a hot afternoon a heavily-coated and slightly stressed large dog needed quite a few breaks during the lengthy procedure.

Today has been much more the sort of day the Newfies love as, after their early morning walk, we’ve spent most of our time in the summerhouse ….

Here’s a very relaxed and cheerful Ben!  His eyes are still rather sore and swollen, but our vet assures me they will improve a lot over the next week or so.  And notice the untidy muddle on the table behind him!  This is what happens when somebody (me) with the attention span of a butterfly decides to spend a hot summer’s afternoon working outside.

On the table you mght spot no fewer than three projects for the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  There’s the lid for my button jar, together with the DMC colour chart to help me write up the pattern.  Then there’s my Poppies applique (more about that in a minute) and my current handstitching, as well as a half-drunk cup of tea, several magazines, the house phone, and more.  But back to the poppies applique ……

It is of course the centenary of the beginning of the First World War next month and, as all my grandparents’ lives were affected by this conflict, I wanted to create a design to remember that generation.  I wanted this design to be simple, but light and airy – reflecting my grandparents’ hope for the future rather than brooding on the horrors of war.  To achieve this I chose bright colours and have combined sewing techniques that my grandmothers might have used as well as modern ideas.  The poppies’ stems are all chain stitch, and the centres French knots whilst the petals are felt and freestyle machine applique.  I think it has all come together  well, and I’m planning make the finished panel into a cushion cover that will have pride of place on my living room sofa – well out of that naughty Miss Daisy’s reach.

And thinking of that furry whirlwind – I began this post with Daisy so it seems nice and tidy (unlike my summerhouse table!) to finish with her too……

 

“MUUUUMMMMMMM!!! I’m sooooooo bored with all this sewing!  When can we GO TO THE BEACH???”

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Someone’s missing …..

by Helen on July 7, 2014

Today we went down to South Milton Sands.  I had some forgotten bits and pieces (including two unopened bottles of champagne – woo hoo!) to pick up from The Barn after the wedding reception, and thought it would be nice to fit in a trip to the beach as well.  The beach was stunning as always, and not at all busy as we were there quite early.  I say we … but someone was missing …..

There was no playing at speedboats – “that’s no fun by yourself” thought Daisy …

And no charging in and out of the waves.  Just a wistful gazing out to sea, hoping her big brother would somehow miraculously appear.  We both missed the big furry one – and he’s not home yet :(

This is because Ben is spending the day at the vet for a couple of minor operations.  His eyes have been very red and itchy and he’s suffered a series of infections – apparently as he’s got older his eyes have become baggier (I can so relate to this!) and his bottom eyelashes are turning inwards irritating his eye.  Luckily this is a minor procedure and the problem can easily be corrected.  But poor Ben is also having a big back tooth extracted – it has cracked and decay has set in.  He has been very quiet for the past few weeks, and although he hasn’t shown any sensitivity in that area I think it is causing him some discomfort.  So he’s going to be very sore when he returns home and Miss Daisy will need to be gentle and considerate until he’s feeling better.

So to take my mind off poor Ben, I decided to assemble the first project for the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – and began by painting a hoop (something I promised myself I wouldn’t do again for quite some time after we painted nearly a hundred for the wedding!).  Then after binding the bottom part and inserting my embroidery it fitted beautifully snuggly as a lid for one of the Ikea jars left over from the wedding sweet table ….

Useful as well as beautiful (to paraphrase William Morris!).  And it’s sitting on some of the blocks for my new quilt.  I might need to go and piece some more now to occupy myself whilst waiting for the vet to call and tell me it’s time to pick up Ben, who will need a lot of tlc over the next few days.  The pattern for my button jar top, as well as instructions for assembling it into a well-fitting jar lid, will be in the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.

 

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Two weeks, two days …. celebrate!!

by Helen on June 11, 2014

And what nicer way to celebrate than by scoffing cake!?!  This project will be in the July issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – and will also be decorating Rosie’s cake table – in two weeks and two days time!

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