Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hopefully not a Red Setter


Christmas is only eleven days away and I am quite a long way from finishing the paper pieced wall hanging that I'm sewing for my parents. However, I have at least finished the first inner round.


As ever, the Oakshott shot cottons delight me - while the colours appear quite flat and deadened when viewed straight on, as in the photo above, when you approach it from any other angle it suddenly leaps into life and makes the design look multi-faceted in an extraordinarily three-dimensional way.



I collected the frame that I've had made for it this morning, which is only making me want to stitch faster so that I can get it safely set inside. There's an undercurrent of worry that accompanies its construction until I know that it will definitely look right and sit nicely behind the glass and I've been mentally sorting through possibilities for panic purchases that I can make if it doesn't end up happening. To everyone else this is a wall hanging, but for me it feels as though it has the potential to sprout paws and turn into an unwanted Red Setter dog (possibly the thing that would most horrify my mother were I to present it to her on Christmas day) if it doesn't turn out quite as I'd been hoping. The reality of handing over a creature that takes up 36" of wall space in somebody else's home that they hadn't asked for is now weighing rather heavily on me. Perhaps next time I will attempt postcard sized pieces as gifts.

Florence x

Ps. To anyone with a beloved Red Setter who may be offended by this post: the reason the focus rests on them is purely because this is actually my father's dream dog and so it has become a particularly feared breed due to the potential for it to be an unwelcome reality in my mother's life, not because she finds the actual dogs unpleasant...she just doesn't want one herself (a feeling which I can totally relate to as my own husband becomes worryingly dreamy over Labradors. We once went for a bike ride with another family and their chocolate Labrador and on our return my husband and children both confessed that they had been riding along proudly pretending he was theirs. I had been riding along feeling horrified by how it dived into every puddle and stream and then shook itself violently spraying a shower of mud over anyone foolish enough to be nearby, ran in front of the bike wheels and generally dashed about in an unrelaxing way. I think you're probably either a dog person or you're not).

14 comments:

  1. So if your Mom doesn't want her gift, I will be happy to take it off her hands. I'ma giver! LOL!

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  2. Of course they're going to love your work, Florence! Quite apart from how pretty it is, it will not require use of a pooper-scooper (that's the only thing preventing my dad from getting a cocker spaniel). x

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  3. Yes, they will love it. Because it's beautiful, because it's handmade with love and care, and mostly because they're your parents and they have to :). I'm not a dog person either. I've tried pretending and lying but its just not happening. I hate that there's guilt about not loving dogs though. People react as if I've just announced I hate chocolate.

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  4. Ha ha! Don't worry, your blue is beautiful. I use to be a dog person, then I got married had children and have more than enough unpredictability to ever want for a dog.

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  5. Hello:)
    I've been enjoying your blog for a year, I think, and am sorry to say that I've never commented 'til now.
    Here in the States, Jack Russell Terriers are considered to be a problem breed. Health-wise, no, behaviorally, yes. They -like Labs and Setters- are a sporting dog that, when left untrained (the mistake most owners make!), can become the friendly menace of yours and your neighbors' lives. Imagine my mom's "delight" when I was still living at home and decided that I needed that very kind of dog.
    Before I got my puppy (she's nine in human years, now), a good friend who trained dogs recommended _The Art of Raising a Puppy_ by the Monks of New Skete. I read it from cover to cover and realized the importance of early discipline in my pet. My mom has been hinting for years, now, that she'd be glad to take my Eva and all our visitors are shocked at how well-behaved Evie and Reina (my husband's JRT), are.
    I don't urge you to get a dog. It's almost like adopting a child, you definitely need to be committed. However, if the Labrador-dreaming does bring in a puppy, perseverance will win you a well-behaved, faithful family member:D

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  6. I'd redecorate the house to fit it around that piece...worry not about it being unwanted!
    Seriously, though, it is beautiful.

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  7. Hi - there isn't anything i've seen you make for your parents that they haven't loved and these gorgeous wall hanging will be no different. x

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  8. I can totally relate to the dog thing. I am NOT a dog person but was persuaded to have one, and even though he is very good, and very beautiful (a greyhound) .. I still wish he was a cat.

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  9. Your project is growing beautifully!

    I especially enjoyed your story about various perceptions on the bike ride. I love my dog, but it anyone would care to proudly pretend she is theirs as she wades in muck and rolls in rubbish, I am all for it ;)

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  10. I am a dog person and I love your doggie story!!! And your beautiful gift. This is a wonderful piece of work made by their gorgeous daughter, what's not to love about it?!!! The Oakshotts are amazing, but done in this way they shine. xo

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  11. Your wall piece is beautiful already, I wouldn't mind having it in my home even as it is. I really need to start sewing with my Oakshotts.
    As for the dog, I married a dog person and ended up with a dog, a gorgeous mixed breed. For the last ten years I have given up on looking presentable as I seem to attract dog hairs and mud. Being a cat person myself it wasn't easy but now I can't imagine my life without a dog or cat.

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  12. Your gift is truly fabulous.
    I love dogs. The most amazing thing about dogs is not that people want them, but that dogs want people. Dogs are much friendlier pets than pythons, water buffalo, or scorpions. Life with dogs is always hairy, scratchy, affectionate, and messy. The vet bills make you glad you are on the receiving end of all that love. The food bills are crazy. The grooming is never-ending. Unruly neighbours will hate you. Even when you are tired beyond belief you still have to take them for walks and package their droppings. When you own a dog, you understand more about people.

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  13. Of course your mother will love it. Both because it is beautiful and there is so much intricate sewing in it but also because she will recognise the thought and love that went it to it. She will adore it so worry not!

    If you don't get it done in time, no matter as it is a present worth waiting for and she will understand. No need for self doubt as it certainly is no metaphorical red setter!

    I love dogs as well as cats but only in small doses. They need an awful lot of commitment and care and can be very needy. I walk a dog weekly and he gets very distressed if just one of his owners goes out. They are nice but just not so nice as cats who are perfect in every way!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x