Sunday, 17 July 2011

Observations of a dog owner

Weekends. My poodle, Tessa, knows I like to sleep in. She, however, likes her food too much. Weekends mean that I do the feeding. I have to admit, she does let me sleep 2 hours longer than a weekday. She doesn't take into account that I stayed up longer the night before and really I have had less sleep than during the week.

It's hard to ignore a 7kg poodle jumping onto the bed, rubbing herself up and down your back or arm, whinging and whining to wake you up. She isn't persistent though and by that I mean, she will annoy for a minute and then run off in the hopes of finding someone else. This gives me at least another 5 minutes of dozing before she comes back for the second, third and sometimes 10th round.

There are a couple of things you need to know about Tessa before I proceed. Firstly she is one of those "see food" eaters. Even when it's not food, if it smells good enough to eat, she will try. Consequently I had a slightly overweight dog on my hands. She went to the vet for another issue and came home on a diet and also on cortisone (which will make her hungry) for her other ailment. Diet and cortisone ... not good bed fellows in a dog that already thinks she is being starved.

During this last week, we found a big bone in the freezer that we had forgotten about. It was decided that Tessa would have it, so yesterday morning I did the honours and presented her with this bone, in recognition of being very good on her diet and the appearance of her waist line.

Tessa was in Heaven but the other dog Bo (half Tessa's size) was jealous. Oh she got a treat, it just wasn't a bone. When Bo wants food she will bark at us. After a while I heard Bo barking and went to see what she was barking at.

There she was, looking at Tessa chewing away happily, and barking at her. I am sorry Bo but Tessa is not like us. She doesn't get sick of your barking and give in. LOL it was like she was telling Tessa she needed to share.

Both dogs saw me at the door, and in anticipation of more food, came running over. A large crow took advantage of the bone alone and sidled up to it. I walked out to scare it off, but the stupid thing just looked at me. It decided to move 2m away and watch.

In the mean time, Tessa is still convinced I have something in my hand for her, so with her attention on me, and my attention on the crow, Bo seizes the moment, grabs the bone (twice the size of her head) and runs to her bed with it.

Through out the morning the bone swapped between Tess and Bo. When Tessa had it, Bo would bark, when Bo had it, Tess would be inside begging for something else. The large crow stayed and whinged and whined like the dogs do when they want food.

Eventually the bone disappeared, so whether or not the crow got it, who knows!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Playing Catch Up

Writing about my Melbourne trip, took a while. In that time I created a doll for a swap and sent it to Colorado (see previous post). Everyone enjoyed the swap so much that we are now planning our second one, which is themed "the Animal Within." I already have some ideas. I have even purchased a book that gives really good instructions on how to model human faces and figures from polymer clay.

Challenges are also part of the swap group. Each fortnight, Linda chooses a theme and we challenge ourselves to make a doll keeping with the theme. The first was paper. Unfortunately I can't locate my paper doll photos and for some reason can't copy them from Face book. I did have great feedback regarding them so I am thinking of putting a pictorial tutorial on here.

The second challenge was wire but we could also use metal. Oh in case you were wondering, these are not swaps. The swaps are quarterly. If you are interested in joining up then please contact me.

This is my wire and metal doll. She is 100% metal and wire ... except the glue holding her hair on. I actually used my stampin up punch to do the flowers! I knew the Big shot diez cut through aluminium but I didn't realise the standard punches did. Won't be using it that often with metal though. I don't want to make them blunt.


If you are part of the doll swap and suspect I am your angel in disguise then don't read any further until you have your doll in hand.

Unfortunately due to insensitive people signing up and not forthcoming with communication or a doll, and also due to dolls lost in the post (we think they went on holidays somewhere together) there are some who have not received a doll as yet. I signed up to be a doll Angel, which means I have made a doll for someone who has missed out. The person I am making for is in the same state as me so that I don't have to spend a lot on postage. I have included photo's of the doll at the end of this blog. Oh I just realised that I haven't put the doll I received on here. How rude of me. I will save that for another time. It is steam punk style and I love steampunk.

Today I arrived home to find a gorgeous little gift from my friend Ruth, in my mail. She knows how much I adore my dogs and like to keep them warm in winter. She had found a cute little hoodie for a dog that says "Spoilt Rotten." On the cardboard under the hoodie it said "My dog is not spoilt, I am just well trained!" Hahaha I love that. Might make a coat myself with that on it. :)

It is a little on the small side, (the next size up would have been good) but I managed to squeeze Bo into it, and does she ever look so cute. She even posed for me. Actually if we trim her fur it will fit just nice. In the first photo she reminds me of a garden gnome.

Finally, here is the doll I made for my angel gift. Like my first doll, she has been a complete experiment using products I have never used before. She better not fly away in the mail. :)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Artistic Doll Swap #1

A while back now I posted about a Facebook Artistic Doll Swap that I was in. Altogether there were around 70 plus members. We are almost ready for the second doll swap with close to 100 members.

My original idea was to be a flat paper doll, however it kind of evolved into something entirely different. Its torso and thighs are made from dowel sticks covered with thin corrugated cardboard. His arms and legs are chipboard, cut in strips to male a circular shape and also covered with the cardboard. Face, hands, feet, birds, and mouse were hand crafted from sculpy (no molds used).

I call him Manu Katiaki, which means bird guardian in Maori. He protects all the small creatures of the forest (mainly birds). If I ever develop a range of these characters they will be called the Kitara which is Celtic for Forest.

One thing I learnt from making this is to appreciate the next making skills of birds. I have opposable thumbs and it took me forver to weave something that resembled a nest.

Manu Katiaki is now living it up in Oregan with his new owner, who absolutely adores him.

Creation of the Kitara:
Once upon an

ancient night

The moon was out

and shining bright...

A forest stood

beneath its beam

Its trees stood tall

with leaves of green

Beneath the

canopy so dark

A magical creature

created a spark

You would have seen

a tiny glow

And onto a sapling

it did blow

It bounced around

like a pale ball

Waking new life,

with its call.

The saplings took on

A shape all their own

And on wooded feet

they started to roam.

Thus was the birth

of the spirit trees

Who wander and

protect all living things.

They can only be seen

If you believe

For then they will shine out

From beneath the leaves.
On the right side of my blog you will see a pink button for the Artistic Doll Swap Blog. It will soon show all the dolls from the swap.