Maira Kalman’s children’s book What Pete Ate From A-Z begins with this description of Pete the dog: “A good dog, a very good dog, but sometimes he is not so good.” This perfectly describes my dog Cora. She is a magnificent dog: smart, beautiful, strong, loyal, and gentle. But on the rarest of occasions she’ll do something . . . odd.
Since I’ve lived in this house we’ve had a door knob chime on the double doors leading into the entryway. It belonged to my in-laws when they lived in the house, an homage to their black lab mix Bill. I recently realized that the dog looked different somehow:
I’m not particularly attached to the chime, but I am used to it as a signal of the comings and goings in the house. I wanted to save it mostly because I think it is probably part of my daughter’s auditory landscape of home. So I set about transforming it from a decapitated black lab into a phoenix rising from the ashes. Just kidding, what I really did was make it a dickey.
To start, I cut away most of the remaining leather to leave a rectangle where the bells are affixed.
Next, I took a dark grey sheet of craft felt that I had on hand, and cut it into a flag shape. The felt is stretchy, and I cut two slits and eased them over the bells.
Next, I started embroidering the dickey. I didn’t draw a pattern, and I didn’t worry about making my stitches very neat. My reasoning was (1) Cora still lives here; (2) I’m not a great embroiderer, and; (3) what I envisioned making was basically a cat toy.
You know we’re tassel fans here at RHW, and I couldn’t let the chance go by. I followed Katie’s tassel tutorial, using bunka cord (I also used some in the embroidery).
I made one modification: instead of wrapping cord around the top of the tassel, I used a bead cap and threaded down into it.
Another Cora oddity is the way she lies upside down mashed against the door:
And it gets stranger still, though I can’t blame this one on Cora:
That’s all from Red House West Northern Headquarters for today. Katie is back on Wednesday with a laundry room/entryway update and next week I’ll be posting about a little interior update of my own. Have a great week everyone!
Hilarious. Very clever save, too! It looks like an owl to me? A bug-eyed owl, yes, but still an owl. Which probably says way more about me than it does about your embroidery skills. 🙂
It definitely has a certain owl-ness to it. Better that than looking like pasties, which was a definite possibility! Thank you!
Sweet dog – and cat. And such a resourceful solution to the “misplaced” doggie nose. Cora wants to be the only dog at the door.
Thanks Carol. It’s so Cora to surgically remove the face. She sometimes extracts a single spoon out of a sink full of dishes, just to remind us that she’s capable of major destruction. Such a stinker!
Oh I love it when you and Katie tell these funny RHW stories. And there is something exotically Nepalise about the new bells! What you say about the auditory landscape is so true. Cora would probably miss the sound, letting her know all is right with the world, and she is in her place – along with her orange companion!
Thanks, Katy! It does have a certain Nepalese look to it, like something picked up in a high mountain village and crumpled at the bottom of a duffle carried on a yak for weeks before being extracted and smoothed out! 🙂
With tassel intact and chime vibes ready!
Ok those photos are adorable and just what I needed today! I love animals.
Thanks, Joanna! Cora is very patient with Wolsey. I’ve never seen a cat roll over on top of a dog’s face the way he does. He definitely takes the prize for odd animal behavior in this house!
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