Saturday, October 7, 2017

Doggie Scarves are GO!

 I haven't had the official figures yet, but I think my nine doggie scarves earned a tidy sum of around 35000 yen (just over 300 US dollars) for Gundog Rescue CACI thanks to the efforts of the auction team and the fun and friendly bidding. There's a Japanese report with more eye-candy pics at a friend's blog.
 I tried to write in fun comments and it's always a wonderful warm atmosphere, since every penny goes to charity. And so happy to receive the pictures of the lucky bidders wearing their spoils, makes the effort worthwhile: totally knitworthy, as we say in the crafting world. 
 I'm thinking I'll be doing something again next year, perhaps some wee hats? Or fingerless mittens? I got a stash of Noro Kureyon which could serve for some fun items. Meanwhile the grandkids are asking for Pikachu and Anpanman for Christmas. As always these rescued setters bring me nothing but blessings: my knit mojo is back and I can make Granma sweaters for the little humans now too. A huge thank you to all who bid, and particularly the auction team. Now don't feel you missed out! 

There's a new auction every week, so just run along and join the FB group!You are welcome to join and make your bids under the picture of an item you like (only one item per person), deadline is Sunday 20:00 Dean Russo goodies this week, mugs, aprons, go for it!
All photos used with owner permission. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Charity Auction This Week!

Photo Source: CACI Charity Auction Page by N. Okada Kuriyama
Time to get in your bids for a hand made doggie or human scarf this week. The scarves are all one of a kind and designed to look like a bow when tied on a dog with a knot, or pinned with a pretty brooch to a human.
All proceeds go to CACI Gundog Rescue (FB here). I'm so happy to be able to participate in the fund-raising and awed by the energy of the two organizers: thank you! 
Bidding has started, and closes on Sunday night October 1st 20:00 (8pm) Japan time (GMT+9hrs). Just join the Facebook group チャリティーオークション for CACI and make your bid under the picture of the item you like. You can bid for as many as you like (they are also knitted as doggie-human pairs!?)  and if you get in the highest bid by Sunday you win. Pay by post office transfer or Amazon gift certificate if you win. 
There's also a fantastic raffle setter brooch this week with a great video of the raffle process done by the shelter dogs! Haven't won yet, but each week the items are so gorgeous I'm always hoping and buying a new ticket. 

Friday, September 22, 2017


 Now we're home after our short trip north to Nasu, I took the dogs to the vet for their combination inoculations. Sherlock being the young lad he is,  had his jag no problem after a quick check-up. (Nevertheless he does have an issue with a growth on his chest, and the vet drew some liquid from it to test for eventualities). 
Claire however, has a 2.2 cm growth in her mammary gland...and considering her age, the vet said there was no need to overburden her system with an early vaccination. We discussed options: 3cm growth is the threshold for an operation, but Claire is going to take anti-inflammatory meds every three days for a month to see how things progress and I'll go back in October...The vet also has reservations about Nobu, he's a bit wobbly on his feet and lethargic, suggesting thyroid imbalance, and again, the immunization is still working, so we're postponing the shot.
"We ...are dream beings. We can accomplish many of our dreams in a lifetime but we won't be able to achieve them all. More how we're living right now. With some consciousness and a sense of humor, we can embrace the wholeness of our being and live a life with soul...the beauty, the mystery and the magic of our true being deserving to be honored and celebrated. It's available for each of us in this very moment." Source: Ruda Lande

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sherlock Level UP!

Sherlock, who had been as obedient as only a wily dog can be, took it into his head to go hunting once he had a feel for the lay of the land after quite a few scouting loose leash walkies. On our way to the pool, a path where he had heeled with great devotion, he was suddenly off in the brush....and GONE! As my poor beating heart fluttered in my breast like the birds he was chasing, I quickly brought Nobu and Claire to wait in the safety of the porch and began calling and searching the environs...GONE! As I stood forlorn in the parking area, another pension guest came by, and I explained Sherlock was probably hunting pheasants. There are a lot just round here, I said, look, just like that one in the next field flying up! Beautiful! A greyish whirring flurry of wings and tail, this was the most similar picture I could find on the web, from Kokoro no Mama Ni blog.
And what should I see but a white bunny rabbit figure hopping up in and out of the long grass in hot pursuit- there was Sherlock! Right under our noses he had flushed the bird, all hidden in the verdure. And in a twinkling the pheasant was up and gone, and I called Sherlock back with the promise of "supper", and he happily and proudly came to me, soaking wet, muddy and with a couple of scrapes to emphasize the headiness of the quest.
 Much relieved, I lathered him up to check him out for any serious injuries and get him clean for the evening supper. Home safe, all well, ah, but what a great setter, dedicated hunting, then coming when called. Mummy's fault she doesn't make more use of his talents. Quite. 
 Photos by Lelantos except (Pheasant by Mako)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Stitch in Time

Having finished my setter scarf series for charity auction in August, I suddenly felt the urge to knit, something that had been lacking in my menopausal life for what seemed like an eternity. Woohoo, thanks to enjoying the doggie scarf knitting, I have finally got my mojo back! And knitted up a wee shrug just in time for the cold weather hitting us since yesterday.
The pattern is based on a Keitodama knitting magazine pattern, Spring Margaret by Mariko Oka, and there's no shaping which made for a quick and easy knit. I left out one of the crochet rows because I felt the edging didn't need extra volume or length, and didn't bother with a dangling cord on the arms (more to get caught in dog collar buckles or dip in the washing up soap). For the life of me I can't find the book for the exact year now, must be around Spring 2004 but it's hiding. Meanwhile Sherlock is getting the hang of modelling...he's such an eccentric wee setter.
The yarn has been sitting in a tupperware box with lavender and zeolite-based kimono sachets for the past 25 years, waiting for this moment: I bought it with the handicraft and shopping genius mum of my infant son's playmate on a girls' yarn foray to a wee (and I mean Japan wee here, so imagine beyond tiny) Japanese yarn boutique in Shimokitazawa called Rose. I remember barging in, breathless with excitement, filling the space totally with our two strollers, and I was so distracted by the wealth of beauty I didn't notice my son enjoying finding the scissors and cutting one of the skeins so I had to buy it! 
The original yarns were all custom-ordered by the owner to her specifications, and are simply unique, eye-catching and luxurious quality. I love the way knitting arches through time, and the joy of the yarn itself is the beginning of a creative process where every stitch is a celebration of delight, memories and love.
And of course the end result is such fun to wear, and so snuggly...temperatures right now are so pleasantly autumnal without being actively cold, the shrug just keeps the shoulders and neck warm as I sit and work, or walk the dogs. I kept the sleeves short on purpose so it wouldn't hang in poopies as I pick it up or catch in the leash as I juggle with three: Sherlock is still darting hither and thither in his joyful meandering walkie style. Or sleeping like an angel on the sofa when we get home...

Friday, September 1, 2017

Charity Auction Fever

 Gundog Rescue CACI  is the volunteer English setter and pointer birddog rescue organization my own three setters came from. They rescue abandoned gundogs from death in the pound and rehabilitate them as pets rather than hunting dogs-although some of the rescues have gone on to a stellar career with their new owners in field trials or other agility training. Basically they look for a great owner-gundog match! This autumn they are engaged in a drive for funds to continue rescuing dogs, and there's a weekly charity auction in Facebook: it's so easy, you join the group and make a bid in the comments section under the photo of something you like. I won the bid (highest bid at 10pm Japan time Sunday evenings) for this Dog's Trust tea towel.
 They make it easy to transfer the funds with an Amazon payment option or a post office account transfer. If you're not into auctions, you can just donate, of course! 
Mitsui Sumitomo Bank. 
口座名:三番瀬の犬達基金 (Account Name: Sanbanse No Inutachi Kikin)
 支店名:亀戸支店(店番:254) (Branch No.254)
 普通預金口座番号:2050095 (Account No. 2050095) 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The English Setter Close Up

Friends: English Setter and Golden Retriever

Meeting Dash on our evening walkies on our way through the local park...there was a time when he and Nobu would go round and round the garden chasing each other, but lately they're both all grown up and prefer to just vibe. 
Historically the English Setter and Golden Retriever would work together to hunt game: the setter finding the game, and the retriever fetching the prey once it's down...No wonder my three setters show absolutely no interest in retrieving, but are very friendly and collaborative with Dash. 
Sherlock loves these relaxed local walkies so much, this morning from about five am he was grumbling and muttering about nobody showing any signs of getting up...What was going to be a short and late after eight walkies due to heat got pleasantly extended: as the shade over the asphalt is longer, and with a bit of an early autumn breeze, it was still not too hot to go further afield. No pics though, just me enjoying quiet time with the dogs with the odd local cat spicing things up.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Yo quiero darte la gloria

North Korean missiles fly over Japan...what a waste of a life, to never see the beauty around you, to focus on spreading pollution and destruction, when natural bliss surrounds us and every day is a miracle of creation. 
Feeling grateful for the time to wash three dogs, lathering them up and loving the feel of their soapy muscles, fingers tangled in the tail feathers...and a windy day to wash the blankets and towels to create a clean, welcoming home.
And when the heart trembles, I take a moment to listen to Kany Garcia's joyful song, Yo quiero darte la much beautiful music and joyous vibrations around us, take the time to tune in! Sending you all love and peace and blessings.