Cutting the days away

I feel like I moan about this every year but it really does feel like I am less creatively productive this year. There are so many things I want to make but it just doesn’t end up happening and suddenly it’s August.

Now I am house/dog sitting for six weeks (well, my boyfriend is, I’m just enjoying his cooking and an extra 10 min sleep in on work days). This is caring for the dog that bit Daisy earlier in the year. Although she is fine around people I can’t help the thought that she’s going to latch onto my foot whenever we are rugged up together on the couch. Our relationship is definitely broken.

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Look at that awkward dog

It’s difficult being away from home for so long because right now I am very motivated to sew but my machine and supplies are back home. There are so many things I want to make. My compromise is to cut out pattern pieces. It is a poor substitute to sewing but paper patterns are easy to transport and cutting them out is so time consuming that I might as well get it out of the way now so that I don’t have to endure it when I get home. There was a recent sale on Butterick patterns so I managed to pick up five patterns for only $20. I’ve never used Butterick patterns before and can’t wait to try them.

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My boyfriend finds it amusing to throw the excess tissue paper at the dog. He wraps up food treats in some of them so now she happily rips apart all of them. I’m scared that she’ll rip into my actual pattern pieces so I’m being extra careful.

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Where pattern paper goes to die

I can’t wait until I’m back home and sew up a storm.

A taste of sun

Maybe it’s because I’ve switched to a predominantly desk role (in a chilly office) but this winter has felt particularly cold and oppressive. So I escaped the Melbourne chill and spent five nights in warmer Brisbane. Ah sun, how I’ve missed you!

The flora in Brisbane is beautiful. I love the city’s green spaces and the walkway along the river. I walked, kayaked, snorkled, and cycled. All the while soaking in the beautiful sun.

 

Daisy Adventures Pt. 2

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I’m finding this hard to write. How do I find the words to truly express what happened? My attempts felt flat to me. So I’m going to stop trying to tell a story and lay it out in dot points.

  • Boyfriend was dog-sitting for the long weekend. – Boyfriend brought Dog over to my house to introduce to Daisy. We plotted how to do this safely, with the understanding that we might have to abort the mission if the dogs did not get along
  • The dogs seemed comfortable enough with each other and happily went on a walk together, slept apart in the bedroom, and hunt for kibble together (my family scatter kibble over the lawn for breakfast so that they have to search for it
  • We were having lunch on the couch when Boyfriend got up and went into the kitchen. Daisy moved into the vacated seat to look for crumbs. Dog rushed in and latched onto Daisy’s ear, not letting go
  • I knew that sticking your hand in during an attack is the thing you did not do. But I didn’t know what the right thing to do was and Daisy was crying out in such pain that I didn’t care about myself and shoved my hand in to try and break them apart. I failed. All I achieved was an accidental bite on my finger
  • I don’t know how it happened but Boyfriend dislodged Dog and forced her outside – I freaked out. Boyfriend comforted me. Daisy ate my lunch, which was on the floor
  • I cleaned up my finger. Called the local vets to try to find one that was open (it was a public holiday). Found an emergency clinic 30 mins away
  • Had to wait for a while at the vets. Googled how to stop a dog attack so that I know what to do in the future (but hopefully I wont ever need to apply that knowledge). Gave Daisy lots of pats
  • Daisy was fine. One puncture wound that didn’t need stitches and one superficial wound. Got painkillers. Got antibiotics. Paid large public holiday bill
  • Took Daisy home. She went straight to the back door to say hello to Dog (haha…no Daisy. You’re never saying hello to Dog again). Boyfriend took Dog back to her home. I felt like a horrible person who had Let Everyone Down and put Daisy in harm’s way

Daisy is fine. She was in pain but otherwise was her usual self. She really enjoyed eating her peanut butter smothered antibiotics. She isn’t traumatized and afraid of dogs during our walks. I’m so thankful for that.

I really don’t know what to feel about Dog. We have regularly dog-sat for her and will again next month for six weeks. I have walked her, fed her, played with her, petted her on the couch, let her under the covers at night. The attack chills me. But we were the ones that put her in that situation. And my family have had a situation where our beloved pet dog bit someone once and was able to live a long safe life afterwards. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’ve decided that I will continue to support my Boyfriend’s dog-sitting and continue to stay at the house when she does. Dog has a second chance with me. But she is no longer welcome in my home. And I don’t think I’ll be able to feel as much affection for her as I have before the attack.

The rest of Daisy’s two weeks as my houseguest has been rather uneventful. She’s eaten a lot. She’s pooped a lot. She’s farted a lot. She’s gotten so damn excited about me going to the toilet (she quickly learned that once home from work, walkies would occur after a bathroom break). She’s made people smile in the streets. She’s crawled into my lab on the couch. She’s snored. She’s brought me Teddy with her wiggly butt when I ask “where’s Teddy?” She’s just been a wonderful dog. (And I have a pretty wonderful boyfriend too).

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Revisiting Patterns

I went a little mad with the new year sales and added lots of fabric to my stash. My to-sew list just keeps growing! A lot of fabrics I purchased with no clue what to do with but for two I had a clear idea of patterns in my collection that I wanted to use. (Another one I had a clear idea but alas, the fabric was not large enough).

First up is New Look 6286. I constantly wear the bird print top I made with this pattern I made two years ago.

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I absolutely adore this fabric. It is from Cloud9, which tends to have prints that really appeal to me (I even used Cloud9 for my first attempt at this pattern).

I made a few changes to the pattern. I omitted the ties, which I had done previously. I also lowered the front seam between the bodice and skirt (which also meant raising the hem to compensate). And I put a zip in at the back. I wasn’t happy with the back when I first used the pattern and there is also a large amount of gaping at the back that required dealing with. The zip also has the advantage of making it less noticeable that I didn’t match the patterns between the left and right sides very well (I’ve only attempted to match stripes before this top). I would have liked to use a red zip but couldn’t find a shade that matched the flowers.

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For many years I have had two pairs of fox print pjs. I love them to bits and have worn them to bits. I think part of that was due to my 2015 depressive episode, when I would constantly wear pj bottoms at home and would avoid leaving the home because that would require changing and having standards in appearance. Anyway…I have sewn up the worn patches as much as I can and am devastated to let my foxes go. I haven’t found any foxy pjs to replace them but I have found this cute fox fabric.

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This is the forth time I have used New Look 6705, though I only wear one of the the tops. The yoke did not work out so well this time. I probably shouldn’t have sewn it whilst grieving for my dog. I spent forever ironing the shit out of it (I wish I had a ham) but despite my efforts, the front of the shoulders don’t sit nicely. At least I can cover them with a cardigan. A few of my colleagues have been admiring the foxes so I’ll keep wearing it despite its flaws.


The fabric I had in mind for New Look 6899 wasn’t wide enough. Thankfully I had something in stash that I thought would also work. I’m happy with the fabric choice – I love the stripes with this cut and having them run in a different direction for the waistband. However, I’m not a fan of the pockets. They might be practical bit they don’t sit very well. I think it might be my fault, not the pattern.

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I had hoped to finish this before I started dog sitting but alas, I ran out of time. Daisy was not impressed by my sewing instead of patting her. I want to start more projects but she’s here for another week and I don’t think I can stand her disappointment in me.

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Daisy adventures

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My parents are having fun in North America so I have had the pleasure of looking after Daisy. Rory was meant to join her but sadly he didn’t live long enough. Anyway, I’ve been cuddling Daisy for two weeks and have two more to go. It’s so nice to have a furry companion in the house. She is such an adorable doofus. Also a needy one. I’m learning to cross stitch with one hand and pat with another. Even now I’m typing and patting.

The difficulty here is that I’m away from home 11 hours each working day. Daisy is not a dog that is meant to be alone. I came home from work to find a note on my doorstep claiming that Daisy had been barking outside all day and asked if she could be kept inside. I know a lot of dogs happily spend their days indoors whilst their humans are at work. Our dogs have always spent work hours outside and it is a little difficult for me to adjust to the change. I worry about Daisy, particularly since she can’t poop or piddle for 11 hours.

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Daisy did show signs of anxiety in the first week. But she seems to have settled down in her second week here and is comfortable. It helps that I take her for a walk/run when I get home. She loves to run. And I like running with her. Although she did manage to break a nail on her first outing and splatter blood all over my floor. I was amazed how much blood there was.

What I don’t like is that Daisy is dog reactive. When she sees (and sometimes hears) a dog then she will enter Insane Bark Mode. It isn’t an aggressive bark, more of a “HELLO NEW FRIEND!!! I WANT TO MEET YOU BUT I CANNOT REACH YOU FAST ENOUGH!!!!! I’M COMING NEW FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!” Of course, a lot of people (and dogs) don’t look at a big dark barking lab pulling her heart out against a lead as the friendly gesture of the socially stupid. They see it as a threatening dog. She is generally fine once she has reached the dog and had a chance at some private sniffing. I really want her to meet lots of dogs but gosh Daisy, that’s not how you make friends.

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Steampunk

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This has been in the works for way too long. I had hoped to finish it during annual leave in March but got tonsillitis and spent a lot of time on the couch. I’ve never had tonsillitis before and hope to never have it again. Then I was swept up in a month of dog/house sitting. But finally I have finished and can spend ‘too long’ on something else (except I have no idea what to do next).

This was my first time using Clip Studio Paint since the short class I took last year. It took a long time to get a feel for the brushes. I was getting so frustrated that they wouldn’t do what I wanted. Then somehow it all started to work and now I love the program. It is so much better than my crappy free Photoshop Elements. The program also made editing the picture much easier, which was fortunate as I made a lot of changes throughout the process. Aside from “window” and “purple”, I had no clear idea of what I wanted. And I kept fiddling with the proportions.

I can’t stop staring at it thinking “shit, did I make that?” It really does seem a big step above the last thing I made. How did that happen? I’m been spending less time on digital art, not more. I feel like I should be losing my skills.

This is the pattern I used on the corset. Other images that I used for reference are saved to my Pinterest board.