Today We Are Six

Siddy turns six years old today.
I’d forgotten til I looked at the calendar this morning …. Luckily dogs don’t take too much notice of the passing of time – unless they are waiting for treats that is……

As I prepared this small post in praise of my little companion it struck me that here is the very reason why everybody should have a dog – and most especially those of us who live alone. This guy, named (in case you never knew or may have forgotten) after the prince who became the Buddha, Siddhartha, because the day I first met him and held him in my arms he settled in peaceably, gazing up at me and the woman said “Oh, he looks like a little Buddha there in your arms.” And I thought ‘well, that can’t be a bad thing!’ And he really has enriched every day of my life since.

He takes me walking not once but most often twice every day and makes people smile at us as we walk along. He reminds me what time it is when I lose myself in my art or craft or a good book. Treat time, play time, dinner time……. He pays attention to every move I make and needs me always to be kind. He tells me when someone is approaching my gate, when the postie is at the box, when certain cars pull up outside. He makes sure I cuddle something warm and furry several times a day and that I laugh out loud regularly. He asks that my eyes soften at least three times every day as I tell him what a good and super little fellow he is and he makes me aware that right now is the best time to be doing whatever it is we are doing.

Baby Siddy – taken the day we met, the day he stole my heart…

Siddy six weeks old
July 2014 Siddy takes me to the beach
October 2014 – In need of a hair cut

Almost a year into our relationship Siddy was temporarily deserted when his mumma took off to the US for a couple of weeks to visit with some blogging pals and Siddy spent his first birthday with his second favourite person, Danella. He missed his mum though

Luckily, by this time he was good friends with his kitty

But after that we settled into a routine of simple daily life, interspersed with a few adventures. And so the years have passed on by.

There’s treat time

and cheese time

And mumma time

Siddy still brings joy to every day, loves people more than other dogs and is just managing to survive lockdown – but only just….

Right now I’ve never been more grateful to have this little fellow in my life. He still bounds out of bed every morning, comes at me like a wriggling torpedo, tail waggling his whole body. Good morning, good morning! Let’s have breakfast. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s have at this day!

When I feel the anxiety rising I can look at him and know right here, right now, everything is actually alright. There are things to do, fetches to be fetched, growled at, tossed about. Cuddles to be had. Treats to be entreated for. Comings and goings to be observed out the window. Naps to be taken. Mealtimes to line up for. A spot of hoovering to be done when there is food preparation going on in the kitchen. And sleepy time comes every evening. A kiss, a cuddle and a carry to bed because when a boy is just too tired to make it there himself, his mumma can help out……. All is well in Siddy’s world and therefore in mine.

Happy Birthday Siddy ❤

Thanks for coming by today, we love that you did!

Life Interrupted

I’m on a roll with my post titles 😀 Because yesterday the bottom fell out of my world.

Up to that point I felt I had some control over my world. That’s always a false assumption though isn’t it – we never have control over outer events. over other people, over the weather or anything really. Sometimes things roll quietly along and we believe we do. Then we hit the bumps like this one, more an unexpected canyon at the moment than a bump, but you know what I mean.

Yesterday, on our local Anniversary Day when everyone in Otago enjoys an extra day added to their weekend, New Zealand was given 48 hours notice that we are going into Lock Down.

I am so grateful to our government that they are acting as soon as they could in an attempt to contain the spread of this virus. But still it sent me into a mild fit of panic – I had to get some things done and now I knew, everyone else would be thinking the same.

Now I had no control over the timing of that announcement, I have no control over all the people who will now flood the stores and services to get their last minute things done, but I do have control over myself.

We are creatures of free will, that is our special gift, our super power. We are the ones who can look at an event and look at our own response to that event. We can step back from the fear, the sense of disempowerment, the annoyance that this or that option has suddenly fallen away.

We can take a moment, take a long slow deep breath – or several if that is required – and we can self assess. Where am I, right now? Am I safe, right now? What do I really need, right now?

Very often – most often – when we take these minutes to self assess and re-centre ourselves we realise that right now, in this very moment all is well with us.

The truth is if it isn’t, we are in action, we are dealing with the crisis, we are running from the tiger, lifting the car off our trapped child, lending a hand to someone else or being assisted by another person.

Fear is the enemy.

This is kind of my process when the bottom falls out of my world. I go through my process quietly – well mostly quietly sometimes there is another step that requires a bit of whining. Today was one of those times.

I am fortunate (I know I say that a lot, but it is true) I whine at my chosen listeners. My two daughters. They are experts now at hearing my whines and redirecting me. They shine lights and solve problems and steer me where I need to be steered. I retreat silently to lick my wounds and take a couple more deep breaths and – there I am. Back again in control of the only thing I can ever be in control of – me.

So this was my process earlier today.

I had raced out really early – breaking my self imposed isolation because in a few days time it is going to be my eldest daughters highly significant birthday and with the country about to go into lock down I did not want her to be without her birthday parcel. Her sister was to fly to Wellington to celebrate with her, but that cannot now happen. It made my quest even more urgent.

I had a plan. I was going straight to the courier depot at first light. I would be home again in ten minutes. I got to the depot and found a closed door with a sign ‘WE HAVE MOVED’ it proclaimed. With no further information!!

WHAT? I cried back at the locked door, where are you? But no one replied.

I climbed into my car and raced a couple of kilometres to the next courier depot. The car park was full. I carried on, ‘I’ll try the Post Office’ I said grimly to Siddy who was happily hanging his head out the window as I raced along, clearly enjoying the freezing cold southerly wind brushing up his whiskers. The parks in the vicinity of the Post Office were all filled, the cars still holding their drivers captive as the PO had not yet opened their doors and would not for a further half hour. I envisioned the mad rush when the doors did open and gloomily carried on homewards, my daughters birthday parcel still sitting equally as gloomily on the back seat.

At home I melted down. All I wanted to do was give my girl a bit of joy on a day that had changed so much for her.

I breathed deeply. I breathed some more. It helped, but didn’t bring me fully into myself. So I opened Messenger, hit our page and whined. I whined about not being able to send my package, I whined about how cold it is and I whined about not being able to place a grocery order online (because the store is overwhelmed with grocery orders)

My girls, champions that they are sprang into action. I was reminded that it wasn’t really that important – the parcel could arrive later quite easily. Danella would do any shopping required in a few days when things quietened down. We exchanged some thoughts about the effectiveness of wearing dust masks in public and whether looking like a tit was any compensation for indeterminate safety and agreed that scarves did as good a job, provided you weren’t mistaken for a bandit.

I was instructed to burn some essential oils, turn on the heating and make myself a lovely warm drink. Obediently I did all that, and enjoyed a hot chocolate in my special cup with frothed milk. I also listened to a brief talk by Eckhart Tolle and then put on some gentle music.

And now here I am – sharing my day so far with you and laughing at myself.

How has your day been?

Here’s Siddy, a photo taken a couple of days ago after his bath when he is all white and super fluffy and smelling delicious

Siddy March 2020

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you do!






It’s Never Too Late #2

Hello friends! It took a while to get back to you on this subject. I spent a fair bit of time wondering about which particular tag to apply to each of the rotund ladies, interspersed with quite a lot of socialising and reading – though not at the same time. Plus of course the particularly thrilling evening when the aged electric fire blew up, taking out all my technology with it – luckily only temporarily …… but that caused a few heart stopping moments I can tell you. Still, there’s a lovely new little fire in situ now thanks to the Queen’s Birthday Weekend sales and silver linings. Don’t we love those silver linings!

Anyhoo, you may remember this was the only finished beauty

But eventually I settled somewhere and went with the ones that follow.

No-one actually came up with this one exactly, the closest was Norah

This one was offered by Jenny, the Ginja Ninja

And this is mine, though of course, before it was mine it was Fleetwood Mac’s and I had temporarily forgotten that. I do hope they won’t mind

I was so pleased with myself, when this phrase popped into my head. I had completed two cards before I realised the song playing in my head was Stevie Nicks singing the words…….. I do sometimes wonder if I’m losing the plot!

So Norah and Jenny, please contact me (form is in the ‘Contact Me’ page found under the header picture) and a pack of four prints will find their way to your letterbox before too long.

Thank you to all who played, it was really hard to choose and some of the suggestions are so good they may find themselves attached to future cards made especially for them.

Let’s finish with a pic of Siddy who apparently wanted a ribbon in his hair too after his groom today and his pal at MudPuppy can never say ‘no’ to him. Posing sleepily and serendipitously in front of the new fire.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Painting a Teddy Bear

March is my month to get back into my art. I have challenged myself to practise sketching daily and to complete a painting every week. Last week an owl appeared. This week it’s been teddy bears – and a dragon or three, but they can wait.

Two Teddy Bear sketches were made in my A4 sketch book:

A plump Teddy Boy was quickly followed by an equally round Teddy Girl

I thought they had potential – so I went on and made another, smaller, sketch of the girl, which in turn, went on to become a watercolour painting. Here she is, about one third of the way through

Of course, being me, I forgot to record anything else til she was

Finished

Painted on an A5 sheet of 300gsm watercolour paper using watercolor paints, graphite pencil and white and black pens. The balloons are finished off with a little touch of the shimmery stuff……..

I then had some smaller prints made and turned them into cards. A fortuitous mistake by the woman at the print shop gave me a bonus close-up image

I’m also pleased to report that this week saw the completion of a wip that has sat in my basket for two years. I’d kind of forgotten about it for most of the two years. Two years!! (hangs head in shame) In the end it took ten minutes to finish the row of daisy stitches I had decided to do on the back yoke. This is my first garment made using Tunisian crochet and vaguely following a pattern in my how-to book. I am rather fond of the weave like texture you get from this technique.

The photo on the left is closer to the true colour.

I also framed the owl as a frame makes anything look better. Also, in my house it’s hard to capture anything without the addition of a few sparkles from a light catcher …….

Here’s Siddy caught watching something interesting on TV. Orlando doesn’t care about it.

PS If you can’t figure out which way is up on Siddy there is an explanation in my response to Tialys comment……….

So, that’s the second week of my March challenge completed. Thanks for coming by today, I’m happy that you did!

Two for January

I’m just going to squeeze in another post for January……..  Even so, I can’t be accused of being a prolific blogger  🙂

I haven’t achieved much in the art room, but did settle for a bit to play with some inks, pens and a little stamp.  Clearly early morning walks by the ocean are having an effect

dav

these first two are blurry thanks to my inability to keep the phone still……

dav

dav

It’s basically playing with colour and shapes and doodling.. Like everything I do these days I tend to make two or three at the same time and then turn them into cards.   So…

dav

And just to change it up a bit I did two of these, but one has gone away already

dav

dav

I love the colours of them all – inks are so much fun – the watercolours and acrylics are still languishing…..

How has your January going, going, gone?  It’s either overly warm here or it’s – not.  It’s hard to make plans for a picnic that’s for sure.   Siddy and I continue to pursue our daily goal of leaving random people happier for having met us on our walks – he has such an assortment of fans it’s quite delightful.

This is him at the window, greeting his two favourite special people  –

IMG_0835

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did.

On Blankets, Birthdays and Endangered Parrots

It’s been a whole month since my last post , time keeps on zipping by me and although I’m not wasting any of it I have very little to show you currently.

I did get my Seaside Stash Busting Blanket finished – and absolutely love it!   Here is a pic of it spread out on my bed complete with the obligatory poser

dav

If you have a good sized stash of yarn – and even if you don’t – head on over to Eleonora’s place and follow her weekly installments, available on her blog under the header picture.

I did have an almost significant birthday a few days back and amongst the lovely cards and gifts was a most wonderful surprise from my youngest.   We will head off in a few more days to trek through the evening bush to visit with Sirocco, the world famous kakapo.

What?  You haven’t heard of Sirocco?  Where have you been for the past decade?  Come on, you are about to meet a pretty hilarious and amazing parrot!

Kakapos are another of our almost endless supply of nocturnal, flightless birds under attack from the almost endless supply of introduced  rodents and predators who have ravaged the population.   Here he is in a pic I pinched off Google, looking perkily ambassadorial

sirocco

Kakapos are the only flightless parrots in the world.  They are big, heavy birds who climb trees using their claws and beaks.  They mate irregularly and have a prolonged and unusual mating ritual that involves ‘booming’.  They were almost extinct and are being clawed back from the brink by dint of human determination.

Sirocco’s behaviour on Stephen Fry’s series of ‘Last Chance to See’ some ten years ago resulted in world wide fame and instant You Tube infamy and as a result he became New Zealand’s official spokes-bird for conservation and most importantly the conservation of our native flightless bird population – and even more importantly the kakapo of which there are now 149 up from their lowest point of just 25.  This short clip kind of sums it all up

If you are interested in learning more, the link below will take you to some relevant pages on Te Ara, the encyclopedia of New Zealand.  I’ve started it with the male Kakapo sitting in his bowl ‘booming’ his mating call out in the hopes some wandering female will pop by …….  He’ll do it for hours and days and it becomes pretty obvious predators aren’t the only reason why these quirky birds are endangered!

https://teara.govt.nz/en/video/10577/male-kakapo-booming

Kakapo generally have a reputation of being fearless, inquisitive and friendly birds.  An early Governor of New Zealand, back in the day when kakapo were still plentiful, was said to have been given one as a pet and compared it favourably to a dog.  Sirocco’s ill health as a chick meant he was taken from his mother and hand raised.  He imprinted on humans and, it seems, specifically the male of our species and as a result has no interest in ‘booming’ for kakapo hens.  He will boom for humans though.  Despite a couple of years in therapy and some training in acceptable behaviour (some of which you can see on YouTube if you do a search) he is not likely to assist in the increasing of the kakapo population, so Sirocco happily takes himself off round the country from time to time, sets up digs in a suitable outdoor hotel, is waited on hand and foot by his adoring servants and accepts brief visits from small groups of his adoring public  – of which I shall  happily be one.

Not many of us get to see a real live kakapo.  They now live only on two small islands that are kept scrupulously pest free – no rodents,  no predators of any kind.  The only humans allowed are those entrusted with their care and scientific research into their lifestyles.  Given those living conditions and the fact that they sleep all day we are really fortunate to have a bird who likes people and who enjoys looking at them as much as they like looking at him.

Any how, I’m really looking forward to it,  I just hope I don’t get lost in the bush on my way to my date with Sirocco   🙂  I’ll let you know how I get on.

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!

 

 

 

Still June!

Oh, lookit me go!  It’s still June and here is my second post for the month  🙂

I celebrated the winter solstice by finishing two handcraft projects and thought I’d share them before the newest projects take over my attention fully.

First here, please admire the gorgeous Persian Tiles blanket being pressed for the last time by the equally gorgeous Orlando – still convinced I’m trying to steal his soul with that damned camera…..davThe colours are pretty accurate in the above photo – aren’t they fabulous!  The yarn is wonderful it’s Corriedale Wool purchased from The Wool Company which is based in Taihape New Zealand, but has a global reach.  My friend Jan from The Snail of Happiness  arranged a wonderful surprise for me back in February and it has all gone wonderfully smoothly – all I had to do was choose the colours and follow the pattern.  davThe colours are a little washed out in the second photo, but you can see the texture and the pattern.  The edging needs to be blocked to finish the thing properly, but that won’t happen until the weather warms up a little.

And now, let me introduce you to Miss Petui ButtonbottomsdrHer name grew organically as I read your various comments and proposals and suggestions in the previous post.   Karen said she needed to be a Miss and I agreed; Val said Petunia and Norah mentioned the same name, but was more connected to the ‘P’ for Pauline and et tu (you too) which she had jumped to from ‘etui’  I liked the idea, but in the end decided to stay with ‘etui’.  So you can pronounce it Pet-you-ee or Petwee as you please.  Her last name grew from Geoff’s suggestion of ‘Leadbottom’ which made me laugh, but you will see soon why I changed it a little.  (Sometimes it’s obvious even to me that I have way too many hours to wonder around in LaLaLand!)

Miss Petui stands just on 50 cm (15″) tall and her many pockets hold all kinds of toolsdavHere I can find pen, pencil, awl, ruler, thimble, measuring tape, needles of various sizes and sharpnesses, two pairs of scissors, quick-unpick, long vision specs and cleaning cloth, a variety of stitch markers, a reel of thread, a row counter and a small magnifying glass.davHer head scarf holds pins and unseen is a large amount of blocking pins hidden in her hair.  She wears my reading specs, always ready to do a bit of stitching, hooking or sewing repairs.

Have you wondered yet how she stands up so steadily?  Miss Petui has, hidden beneath her long dress and busy apron, a container of buttons.  I found a bottle of the right height very early in her creation and worked to its specifications.  The bottle is now filled with a selection of small buttons which keeps them to hand and gives her stability and weight.  I tried to get a photo but found it almost impossible now she is finished – not to mention somewhat invasive of her privacy!  You will just have to believe me, she really is ‘Miss Buttonbottom’.

You’d think that would be it wouldn’t you – after creating my very own etui doll from scratch with no pattern and only stashed materials.  But the minute she was pronounced ‘done’ I found myself with a tiny hook and some chocolate brown yarn making another lot of rounds, growing another head – much smaller, much neater – but definitely a head……  I have no clue what this will be, but I’ll keep you posted…… Maybe…..

Here’s  a cute shot of Siddy, just so he’s not left outReady to go home March 9

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!