So, they are 22 days old today. They have moved from upstairs secreted away in our bedroom, down to the hustle and bustle of the dining end of the kitchen, so they can see and hear all the comings and goings of the house. Dogs barking, postman knocking, pans clanging and banging and the super smells of Bernd’s cooking – that got their noses twitching! Only 22 days old and already on their feet, eyes open and wolfing their little raw nuggets down. Mum Missy has been really sensible, knowing just how much to be in with them and when they can be left for a few hours – unlike their human counterparts, they have no torn emotions – they always put themselves before the offspring. Even if the babies are screaming, if it is dinner time for her, they do not get a second glance! Clever dog, she knows she needs to feed herself first. As a mother, I know I could learn a lot from her …….. here she is 22 days after giving birth to 4 lovely puppies, a bit skinny but otherwise shiny, happy and rested.
Now the fun begins. Watching them develop, making sure they all look well put toegther, with good coats, happy temperaments and above all, healthy. They provide hours and hours of fun and interest. Seeing them experience grass for the first time, watching them interact with 14 year old Matriarch Libby, seeing how rough their mum is as she plays and teaches them manners ….. it is fascinating and never becomes boring. Already, dad Aldo is peeping over the wooden side of the whelping box for a closer look, until Missy spies him and chases him off.
For now, they sleep a lot, eat plenty, still suckle and just look squidgy and gorgeous. They provide the subject matter for my felt art and that adds another dimension to owning them.
And here is daddy, Aldo, showing off his achievements!!
I have been needle feting for quite a while now and always looking for new challenges and new subjects (because I get bored very, very easily!)
So, I make different things, such as this Elf Doll walking her Dachshund. She is all needle felted and is attached to the log slice plinth she stands on. Her hair is dyed lambswool, her dress and knickers are wet felted and her little elf shoes are needle felted. She has pointy elf ears and a sweet face. She is taking her little miniature wire haired dachshund for a walk on a rainbow cord lead and holding her flower head garland in her left hand. All the dachshunds are needle felted using a range of wools. Once the body shape is firm, I mix 4 or 5 colours to get the variegated colours in the wire haired coat.
I follow a very talented Russian felt artist who does lots of mice dressed in clothes and doing “human” things. That got me thinking about Dachshunds and how they could be used in the same way. My first project was this “father and son”, both wired onto a plinth, with the youngster looking up at daddy. I knitted a little jumper for the boy and wet felted scarves for both of them. I then added some doll’s house accessories – a top hat and an umbrella for daddy. They are quite dinky, 6 inches and 5 inches respectively.
Next, I made a “girl” dachshund. I knitted her a tiny woolen sleeveless jumper with a roll neck and used a pretty quilting square to make her flared skirt. Her balloon is bright pink Perendale wool needle felted and attached to a wire that looks like string that she is holding in her hand. She is also wired onto the plinth. I felted her around a wire frame and drilled the plinth to insert the wires into 2 small holes so she “free stands”. She is about 6 and a half inches tall.
The final one for this post is one of 2 little boys, one on a winter sledge and the other one pulling him. I knitted 2 little red scarves, to keep them both warm. I glued some glittery white pre-felt onto a plinth, drilled the plinth for the standing boy and glued the sledge on to the white pre-felt. The one on the sledge is sitting with his tail hanging over the edge of the sledge ……. This has a real winter / Christmassy feel – I might take the photos and use them on my Christmas cards this year!
I am carrying on with a tiny doll’s house size pram, which will have in it a needle felted blanket and a sleeping dachshund baby ….. with a “mum” stood up pushing the pram ……..