Sunday, December 22, 2013

C Koop "Book" Challenge story

As part of the C Koop "Book" Challenge (see my most previous post about my process for creating my challenge piece), we were to write a story that would accompany our piece.

My book focal was created in memory of my dog, Reggie, and I tied various components of my accompanying necklace into that theme.  I am really happy with how it turned out and when I'm not wearing it, it is displayed on a bust next to my computer.  So, I'm gazing at it now ...

Here is the story that I wrote to accompany my "Reggie" book.

The Little Brown Dog

Reggie, the Border Terrier, was a little brown dog who was part of my life for far too short of a time.

He was my third dog and even though I loved my other two dogs, Reggie was my first dog in many ways.  He was, as those who are in the dog world know, my heart dog.   He and I learned so many things together.

Reggie earned his American Kennel Club Championship before he was 2 years old and then we went to Canada and earned a Canadian Championship too.

Wondering what to do next, we started to train for other events.  Agility was not his first love.  But Reggie was still a great team-mate with patience for the most part, although he did like to do things his way.  He earned Novice, Open, and Excellent titles in agility.  And then we started all over again in the Preferred classes.  Any mistakes in our runs were typically my fault, but he didn’t mind as long as there were treats and a “good boy!” after he finished his run.

We also participated in Rally Obedience events.  That was a little harder for us because I think training for obedience is boring, but Rally is more fun and it reminds me of agility with the courses.  Together, Reggie and I earned a Rally Advanced title with the help of my friends.

Earthdog was Reggie’s passion.  He absolutely loved going to earthdog tests and participating at each level.  He easily earned his Junior, Senior and Master titles and we continued to participate because he loved it so much.

When Halo (and I) had our first litter of puppies, Reggie showed me his gentle side as he was the best Uncle to the babies that you could ask for.  When I brought the puppies out to the living room for the first time, Reggie pulled one of his toys out of the toy box and dropped it on the floor next to the puppies inviting them to play even though the pups at the time just learning how to walk.  When the pups got old enough to play, he would roll over on the ground and let them crawl all over him or he would play tug and drag them all over the living room.

Along the way, he also earned a Certificate of Gameness title and passed the Canine Good Citizen test.  I was so proud of him on the day I received his Border Terrier Club “Versatility Excellent” certificate in the mail.  But the best times of all were sitting on the sofa with my companion by my side.

I lost my best friend to cancer in December 2011.  Even though I still shed tears over his loss, I know his spirit is with me and we will see each other again one day.

Am/Can CH Meadowlake No Regrets RA AX OAJ AXP AJP ME CG CGC VX
♥ Reggie ♥

Monday, December 16, 2013

C-Koop "Book" Challenge

I have always loved participating in challenges.  For one, it gets me to think outside of my comfort zone and it seems to give me that spark of creativity that I feel I lose sometimes because I'm making the 'same old thing'.  I got the opportunity to participate in a new challenge when Lorelei Eurto recently hosted a C-Koop 'book' challenge on her blog.  I have taken several bookbinding and mixed media classes at European Papers, a local shop for me, and have been wanting to combine my love for beading with bookbinding/mixed media.  Participating in this challenge was the perfect way to dip my toes in the water so to speak.  Fortunately for me, I was one of the 11 participants chosen out of 67 plus who commented!

The requirements for the challenge were:
  1. To purchase at least three items (and identify them) from our local bead shops.
  2. To write a story to go with our 'book'.
  3. To use the completed book in a piece of jewelry.
Item number 1 is a non-issue for me as I purchase almost all of my bead supplies from Gahanna Bead Studio, except for some specific findings, vintage beads, and stones that I purchase from my favorite online bead shops.


For my book, I decided to write a story about my dog, Reggie, who passed away in December 2010.  Even though there were times when living with him could be a challenge, he truly was my heart dog, and I still miss him to this day.

I loved, loved, loved the book component I received in the mail.  The colors couldn't have been more perfect for me!  I used a picture of Reggie that I took when I first brought him home and collaged the front of the book cover with it and his name.  The wings and stars symbolized his place in heaven.  Adding the bone shaped 'bail' was the perfect way to attach the finished book to my pendant and tie in with my Reggie theme.

After I was happy with my Reggie 'book', then it was time to move on to the pendant components.  The 'word bar' is one of the items purchased from Gahanna Bead Studio and I thought the message and attached heart charm were a great tie in to my theme. 

I knew I wanted to use some vintage bone shaped beads that had started my beading career.  I found them in a quilt shop and bought them because they were related to dogs and realized I needed to learn how to use them in a piece of jewelry.  For Reggie's pendant, I decided to make them into a beaded chain so added the topaz Swarovski bicones on each side of the bone shaped bead and then made several to become the beaded chain on one side of the pendant.

I also went through my stash and felt fortunate to find a mouse charm that I had purchased many, many years ago (I really need to get my beading supplies organized!).  The mouse symbolizes Reggie's love for the earthdog activities so I used resin to attach it to a Tierra Cast connector frame.

Everything was coming together, but the brass stars looked a little plain to me, so I added some Swarovski bling by using crystals that tied into the colors in my book cover.  Just like Border Terriers are little brown dogs (and not fancy), I didn't want to overpower my Reggie book as the focal piece to my necklace.

I just love my finished book and pendant.  When I'm not wearing it, it's 'stored' on a bust next to my computer so I can see it every day.