Friday, August 29, 2008

Her 50th Visit

Today Pia made her 50th therapy dog visit. It is a great thrill, for me and just fun for her. It is a milestone. I can now send in paperwork to show that she has made 50 visits. She will receive her own pin (which I will put on her identification card holder, not on her) to show her accomplishment. I know she doesn't know it is a special accomplishment, but I do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Completed Guest Book

Finally home from the wedding and trying to get caught up on sleep and housework. The picture is the front of the finished guest book. It has a page for photo's and a page for both the bride and groom to journal in. I was pleased with how it turned out. The guest book is layers of lace and beads. It is closed by a pen that is run through ribbon. You can click on the picture to see it up close and personal.

The wedding was filled with beauty and art, dancing and delight. Such a joyous day that was shared by friends and family that will live on in memories, pictures and video's. Now the couple will start life anew as one. There is something special in being married. Something sacred. Something that goes beyond being a couple.

When you wed, you promise eternity on this earth with that special person you love. You promise it in front of God and everyone. It is not a promise that is taken lightly.

Marriage isn't always easy. You endure hard times, bad times and hurt that you sometimes throw each others way, whether you mean to or not. Yet, you get through it and still love that person next to you, and your love grows into a depth that is unexplainable. A love that is ever enduring, faithful, and trusting.

For the newly wed couple, I wish you a lifetime of happiness together. Hold onto each other in the good times and in the bad. In the end, your love will grow stronger, deeper, and enrich your lives.

Understand that feelings can sometimes be hurt easily, and that harsh words can never be taken back.

Never sleep on the couch at night, no matter how mad you are. It only creates a distance between you two.

Never own any thing bigger than a full sized bed. Sleep closely and always snuggle at night. Let your bodies become one by always touching each other…let your legs tangle together. In this, you know when you sleep that your love is beyond boundaries and that you are always together and that you comfort one another.

Always remember to say thank you, even for the smallest gestures. Everyone wants to be appreciated.

Compromise at every crossroad. You don’t always need to be right, even if you think you are. A compromise is working out a situation that you disagree on, but know that in 5 years it didn’t really matter in the first place.

Love is a two way street, it is give and take. Always try to give more than you take.

Never hold a grudge or bring up past mistakes, it isn't healthy for your relationship.

Wake each morning with a smile upon your face and a happy heart, for the one you love is laying right beside you. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One more thing done

Yesterday I got the eyelets that I wanted and started printing and gluing things together to finish my sign in pages for the wedding. I think that they are very unique and special. All I have to do now is to bind them with fibers in the book and yes, I do need to complete the about stress! The good thing is that I know where I am headed with it. The bad thing is that I am behind on things here at home to get ready. Right now it is the middle of the night and I just had to get some work done.

The photo is the page I have written about. I have also included a page where the couple can put photos of their special day and a page where each of them can write about the experience.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Today's work

I've been working today on the wedding guest book. I have the silk paper I made bonded to the spine of the handmade abaca papers and all of the lines on the pages stitched in gold metallic thread. I've even added some lace to the edge. I really want to find some smaller gold eyelets to complete them so will be off tomorrow to see what I can find.

In the meantime, I am working on the cover. What I have in the photo is silk fabric with the word love, machine embroidered on it. I've embellished it with silk ribbon embroidery, fresh water pearls and a couple of hearts that someone gave me. This is just a portion of the front.

Back to the sewing room for now...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Special Wedding

As some of you know, my stepdaughter is getting married at the end of next week. She has kindly asked me to make her guest book. Both she and her fiance are really into going green so I enlisted a fellow artist, Dana Driscoll, an expert in making paper, to hand make the paper for the guest book. The sign in papers are sustainable harvested, organic abaca fibers and cotton linters. They are also ph-neutral. Very lovely indeed! I am making silk paper to bind the edge that will go in the book.

The picture here is the introduction page. It is embroidered on silk with added lace, silk paper edged where it will be bound an has two rows of gold stitching to help hold the silk in place. It is bound by a satin stitch in sulky thread.

Not quite perfect, but I think it is a very special page for a very special couple on a very special day!

Oh, and if you are in need of special hand made paper, Dana is listed on the right hand side of my blog under my favorite artists. Contact her for all of your hand made paper needs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Rainbow Bridge Story

My Capricious Delight

As Capri, the Afghan Hound, strolled along enjoying the beautiful fields and wonderful shade trees, she realized she felt better than she ever had before. Everything also looked much brighter and clearer than it had in years. “My goodness” she thought. “I feel like a young puppy again!” She was amazed by the beauty of her surroundings and the peacefulness she felt inside.

All of a sudden she heard a familiar voice.

“Hey, Capri you’re late,” exclaimed Kashmere.

“Kashmere, my old friend, I haven’t seen you in ages. What do you mean, late? I’m not late. Late for what?” Capri replied.

“Oh yes you are late! We’ve been waiting on you here. I wanted you on our team to play fetch. You are a great fetcher and we needed you.” Kashmere retorted back. “Do you know how many games you could have made a difference in?”

“I said I’m NOT late...what in the world are you talking about?” was Capri’s reply. She couldn’t understand why her old friend would be so insulting about her timing.

“Well” Kashmere replied, “You were supposed to be here exactly 14 1/2 years, 3 hours, 2 minutes and 45 seconds ago!”

“What are you talking about? And hey, didn’t you get hit by a car?” asked Capri. “Everyone was talking about it you know?” “Pretty gruesome I heard.”

Kashmere’s face became contorted. She looked at Capri and asked, “Do you know where you are?”

“Well, as a matter of fact, no, I was just wondering about that!” Capri said with a curious look on her face. “It is really beautiful here, and I feel so at peace and comfortable. Something I have never felt before.”

“I didn’t think you had a clue! Did you ever wonder how come a dog of your age feels so good? How a dog with cataracts could see so well?” Kashmere smartly replied.

“What is your point my old friend?” Now Capri was curious and confused at the same time.

“How do you think my mangled legs have straightened out so? Did you hear how many of my bones were broken by that car? Look at me...I am the picture of health!” Kashmere was proud to reply.

“Well,” replied Capri, “I was wondering about that. I thought maybe it was only a rumor I heard and that maybe you had been sent to a new home. Everyone knew how difficult you could be.”

“Hey, I was sent to a new home alright. This one. That car did me in. And let me tell you, it is the greatest place to be! None of us here want for anything. Anything that is, except for our special humans” Kashmere now had a hint of longingness in her eyes. She was thinking of her special human that she missed very much. “Capri this is where we wait...we wait for our special humans to cross over the Rainbow Bridge. is just over there.

“Wow!” exclaimed Capri. “This is really it? I can’t believe it. I made it here. When is my special human coming to get me?”

Kashmere replied, “We don’t know the answer to that question my dear friend.” But I can tell you this. Our wait will be comfortable and enjoyable. We want for nothing here.

As Capri looked around she began to have lots of questions about her new surroundings. “What is that?” Capri asked her old friend.

“Oh, that is the “Goat Dog” yard replied Kashmere. “Those dogs are the ones that didn’t listen to their owners and chased and killed goats in their lifetime. They never realized that what they did would eventually have consequences.” Those goats in that luscious green field with trees that forever have leaves for them to eat are waiting for their owners to come. In the meantime, the dogs that took their lives on earth are there and will be forever chased by the ones they harmed. One must pay for the injustices that have been done on earth.”

“Oh my,” said Capri. “I’m so glad my owner kept me from doing things like that! I can’t imagine the humiliation of being chased by a goat!”

Kashmere just nodded and replied, “There are all sorts of places here like that for bad dogs. We must pay our dues for the bad things we did. There are places here for chicken killers, cat name it, it’s here!”

Pointing to another area, nosy little Capri asked, “Who are those animals over there?” She had so many questions to ask and was curious about all of her new surroundings.

Kashmere smiled and said, “Oh those animals are the ones that were unwanted by their humans on earth. They will get to go to people who couldn’t have pets the humans whose companions forbade them to have pets...those who wanted pets but were unable to pay for their animal goes without love here! It is a wonderful thing. Someone will come for them and they won’t have to spend eternity alone.”

All of a sudden Kashmere got the grandest smile on her face. “Oh and just wait until you get to meet the big boss...he is the main man behind the golden gates after you cross the
Rainbow Bridge...he is really nice, you’ll like him. Sometimes he will come and sit with us, bringing us our favorite treats. He talks with us and gives us pats. When he pats you, you are just overwhelmed with love. He loves all of his animals very much and you can just feel it when he is here. A very gentle man he is. We all enjoy his company very much. You will never experience a touch quite like his.”

Suddenly Capri was overwhelmed with emotion and seemed to realize what was going on. She realized that she had a purpose in life. She turned to her old friend Kashmere and said, “No, my dear friend, I am not late in my arrival here. I now realize that I have had a job to do on earth. A very important job. More important than a ball game with my dear friends.” Capri now had a very serious look on her face. “That job was to teach my human owner compassion and to respect life. She needed to learn that a little hard work can bring a lot of love and joy into your life. Heck, if she hadn’t have saved me, she wouldn’t have learned that lesson! My life would have been without meaning. I had to teach her unconditional love for the smallest and sickest of animals. It sure was a struggle for me, I didn’t know if she’d pull me out of it sometimes, but hey, it was well worth it!” Now Capri was beaming with joy...the joy and pride of having a purpose in life.

All of a sudden Buddy, a Golden Retriever, suddenly stopped in his tracks. He had a glow in his eyes that nobody had seen before. He stood erect. His ears were upright. His tail had a wag in it that nobody had ever seen before. All of a sudden he ran as fast as he could.

“What is going on?” asked Capri.

“Shhhhh”, said Kashmere in a whispering voice, “That is Buddy’s special human. They have come for him and the two are going to cross over the bridge together.”

There was a joyous tear in everyone’s eye. All of the animals stood for a moment in silence out of respect...respect for the love of a human and their animal and of having an animal get to meet their special human and cross the Rainbow Bridge and be together forever. It is a reverent response that each one gets in this beautiful waiting place.

After watching Buddy and his owner crossed the bridge together everything resumed as it had been before. All games were being played, grass eaten, frolicking just for the enjoyment of it...naptime whenever and just for the fun of it...everything that is, but with a brighter light within each animal. The light that left each one knowing that their special human would be coming for them and they could cross the Rainbow Bridge together and never be apart again.

The photo is of Capri at 10 months old. This is a partial true story. The story is about Calisso Capricious Delight, a puppy that I bred that unfortunately was born with her intestines out. A puppy that some breeders would have not considered saving. A puppy that some veterinarians told me they wouldn’t have tried to save. This puppy after having her intestines put back in came up with septicemia, a blood infection that is serious. I carried her under my shirt for 4 1/2 weeks fighting for her life. This puppy lived for 14 1/2 years. She was the dominate force in the household. No one could over rule her. She dictated when it was time to eat, time for treats and when nap time was. She loved to nap with her head upside down on her favorite chair. When she met my soon to be husband’s then 6 year old Shepherd (and Capri was 10) she made sure that the Shepherd understood that she COULDN’T play in the house and the Shepherd obeyed! At her 14 1/2 years she still ran up and down the stairs to sleep with us and be by our side. I had her put to sleep in my arms after her kidneys and liver quit working. She is cremated and her remains are in a brass urn and with me today. She was very special to me and I hope to cross the bridge with her by my side. I still miss my Capricious Delight.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We all have to look out for each other

A cute story that I thought I'd share...

The Mouse and The Mousetrap

A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package. What food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house, a mousetrap in the house!" The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Excuse me, Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it." The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house, a mousetrap in the house!" "I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse," sympathized the pig, "but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured that you are in my prayers." The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "Oh My, Mr. Mouse. A mousetrap. As if I would be in grave danger. I do not think so!" So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. His wife's sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well and a few days later she passed away. So many people came for her funeral, that the farmer had the cow slaughtered, to provide meat for all of them to eat. So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when there is a mousetrap in the house, the whole farmyard is at risk. Author Unknown

Friday, August 8, 2008

Message In A Spoon

Inspired by an article on 'Spoon Books' in the May/June 2008 CPS magazine, I decided to host an altered spoon swap on Mail Art World (link on the side of my blog to it) and I titled it 'Message In A Spoon.' The idea was to alter a spoon and to use words to give a message in it. What a fun and exciting swap it was! I can't tell you how beautiful the spoons were that came in. I think everyone who participated will be happy with their returns.

In the swap, I received many spoons as a hostess gift, which I didn't require, but was certainly appreciative. I also made spoons and swapped for other spoons that were sent in. I actually kept one of mine. I rarely keep any of my art work, but thought I would just for this occasion. Talk about a about a beautiful collection! Now, how do you display these wonders?

As luck would have it, I was at a garage sale looking for silver plated silverware to alter. I came across a couple of small souvenir spoons and snatched them up quickly. They are great for art pins. The person holding the yard sale pointed me in the direction of a spoon rack to display spoons that you have collected. I told her I didn't collect spoons, but thank you. As I drove off, I had this feeling that I needed to go back, so I did.

I inquired about the 'spoon rack' and looked to see if it would hold regular sized silverware. By golly, it did! I picked it up and went home happy.

At first I was going to alter it, but after placing my altered cutlery there, I didn't think it would work. I just didn't want to take away from all of the lovely pieces that adorn it. The pieces speak for themselves as they should. On the bottom is a tray and I'm not sure what I will put in there, but just wanted to share this beauty of a collection.

Oh, and if you'd like to alter a spoon/fork/knife and trade me, just let me know. Altered cutlery is my newest passion!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Nice day for a ride

I have some friends, Judy and Tom, who own two Portuguese Water Dogs Max and Maggie. They show them in AKC performance events such as rally obedience, formal obedience, agility, tracking and they also work their dogs in water events. I see them at our obedience class and we go tracking a couple times a week together. Their dogs are also registered therapy dogs that visit a couple of places that I do.

I've been wanting to go and watch them do their 'water work' and yesterday I got my opportunity. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I got my jeep (Miss Scarlett)ready for a little trip. I took my doors off, the back side windows out and rolled up my back window. I left the top on because of the intense heat from the sun. I don't know how people can ride in convertibles. The sun beating down on you can just ruin a ride.

I got up early, threw my hair in a baseball cap, gathered up some water in an ice chest and headed to the lake. The hubster was home, so he was in charge of looking after the animals while I was away.

The drive took longer than anticipated. It was about an hour and a half away. When I arrived, there were several people with their Portuguese around the water with their dogs, buoy lines, buoy balls, miscellaneous equipment, row boats equipped with platforms on the back for both handler and dog and everyone was taking turns working their dogs in various exercises. They all were at different skill levels.

I really wish I had brought my camera. To watch these dogs do what they were bred to do was amazing. For one exercise, I got to watch Max take a buoy ball (has a short line on it) away from his boat until his handler told him to leave it. He left the buoy ball and returned to the boat. It was approximately 40 feet away from the boat where he left the ball.

How delightful to watch these dogs jump off of the back of the boat on command, swim to shore and retrieve a buoy line and bring it back to their handler on the boat The handler would then help the dog get back on board. Of course there were lots of shakes to wring the water out of their coat.

There was also another advanced exercise where the dog was instructed to jump in the water, where a good 30 yards away were two floating things (can't remember their names). The dog was instructed which one to retrieve. When they did, the handler took it from the dog and instructed the dog to go back and get the other. How neat.

There were other exercises I got to observe and what a great opportunity to get to see these dogs work. There is a lot of time and effort on the handlers part to get these dogs ready for competition, as in any dog performance event.

After everything was over, we headed to Tom and Judy's for a bite to eat. Boy does she make a spread! We had lobster salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, pasta salad, sliced cucumber and tomatoes with poppyseed dressing and feta cheese and an individual wonderful chocolate cookie cake for dessert. The Portugese were there and had some doggie ice cream, compliments of Judy. Max was having a birthday the next day, so we were all having a celebration and no one was left out.

If you ever get the opportunity to go to watch someone train dogs, take it. You will be amazed at how much time and effort goes into it, the dedication they have for it, and you will walk away with an appreciation for what both the handlers and dogs do!