Tag Archives: door knob bell

A Very Good Dog, Except When She is Not So Good, and a New Door Knob Chime

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.

The perp.

The perp.

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:


The victim.

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.

 Image source.

Make many dickeys! Image source.

To start, I cut away most of the remaining leather to leave a rectangle where the bells are affixed.IMG_7193

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.

Action shot.

Action shot.

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).

Bunka cord is a knitted rayon cord.  I bought mine on Etsy.

Bunka cord is a knitted rayon cord. I bought mine on Etsy.

I made one modification: instead of wrapping cord around the top of the tassel, I used a bead cap and threaded down into it.

Putting the tassel on

Putting the tassel on

Voila!  New life for a decapitated door knob chime.

Voila! New life for a decapitated door knob chime.

They always return to the scene of the crime.

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:

This is a daily occurrence.  Wolsey definitely outpaces Cora in the odd-behavior category.

This is a daily occurrence. Aren’t they ridiculous and adorable?!

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!