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.

Ombre Cake

It’s been almost two years since I’ve attempted a fancy cake (which was less fancy and more silly). I have been putting effort into making pretty cupcakes but there hasn’t been much reason to put in the effort for a fancy cake. But it’s my boyfriend’s birthday I have wanted to go crazy with colour and make an ombre cake for years so naturally I used the birthday as an excuse to make an ombre cake.

The latest season of the Great Australian Bake Off had an ombre cake challenge so I chose this recipe (spoiler: it doesn’t doesn’t taste lemony). The recipes themselves haven’t been tested and I was a little worried by some of the instructions. I never feel easy when recipes say “add the flours” when there is only one flour used – is there another flour that they forgot to add to the list of ingredients? Or heat eggwhites to 115C over water when that feels wrong to me (and my limited experience) and my boyfriend is adamant that a water bath can’t reach that temperature anyway (I panicked and took it off ~75C).

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I used this page for advice on how to ice the cake (plus my boyfriend showed me a handy brick layering strategy!). I might not have a turntable or icing smoother but it’s still an improvement from two years ago. It is a little disturbing slavering on large quantities of icing that I know exactly how much butter and sugar has gone into it. And it was a lot of icing. I might have a sweet tooth but that outer layer is way too much. I think I need to stick with cream cheese based icings.

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I still have a large amount of blue fondant from my very first fancy cake so I used some to make a quick flower. I used this page as a guide but I didn’t have the tools and I wasn’t trying all that hard. There’s only so many hours I can spend on a cake before I suffer from cake fatigue. Besides, my boyfriend’s family will still be wowed by my inferior flower. And wowed they were.

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I really enjoyed the process of making the cake. I felt a warm and fuzzy feeling finishing the cake, thinking ‘wow, I made that’. And everyone was vocally impressed. And there are so many more beautiful cakes on Pinterest that I’d love to try. But damn, it’s a lot of work. And a lot of cake that has to be eaten.

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New Look 6431

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After struggling with my first jacket, I thought this dress would be a breeze. And it was…except that I made a horrible error…

Until recently my career has focused on following instructions. Deviations from procedure were a big no no. I haven’t yet developed a good core understanding of sewing so I tend to stick pretty closely to the instructions. I attached front to back, then bodice to skirt. I took what I learned from the jacket and sewed mainly without pins and was very pleased with my work. Then came adding the zip and I realised that the waist was in fact too small. 😦

I did a lot of unpicking and then ignored the pattern instructions. I attached bodice to skirt, added the zip, and then attached front to back with some alterations. It was a little tricky as I had already attached the bias binding to the arm holes and didn’t unpick that. So the side seams (particularly under the armholes) don’t look quite as nice as I originally did but the main thing is that it now fits.

The frustrating thing is that I already had the relevant knowledge, I just didn’t know. When I made a dress in a sewing class in 2013, my teacher told me to add top to bottom first instead of front to back. But she didn’t explain why (ie. makes it easier to alter the size if it isn’t quite right) and I never thought about the reason why. So here I am, mindlessly following the instructions like I always do, instead of actually understanding what I’m doing. This is what makes me still a beginner despite sewing for four years.

At least I now know a to attach my dresses top to bottom instead of front to back. May I never make this mistake again.