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Saturday, 19 January 2019

You are Gone But Never Forgotten: Gideon's Last Day

 


Yesterday was your last day with us. 

You were sad for three days where your ears were down, and you could barely put pressure on your tumour leg. 

We promised you would not be in pain. That our last memories together would not be carrying you outside and you whining in pain because your breathing was drowning you or your leg had been broken by the evil tumour. 




We put Fynn in the bedroom, and he howled. And howled. I don't know how long he howled for, as we needed to get to our appointment.



On our final car ride, you did as you always did - you sat up, looked at me in the rear view mirror, and happily smiled, knowing we were taking you to some place good. 

You got out of the car, and did something you never did.  You said "F" you to that cancer, and peed on the wheel of a Chevy Volt. 

We don't like Chevy's either, pup. 



You kissed two ladies in the waiting room - one lady, we found out right before we took you in, was also putting her beloved family member down - a daschund who was not able to walk in.

You hopped and wagged your tail, sniffed the food bags, and made people smile. 

You did what you did normally. And it made me both full and empty within my heart. 

The vet took care to listen to our last wishes - and will take many paw prints from your no-longer sore feet - we tried so many times, but it hurt you, and we couldn't get the perfect Gideon prints so we can have you walk with us always in memorial. 

We brought in your sunshine pillow so you were able to comfortably lay down your last few moments. 

Husband sat behind you, holding your head and body close - I looked into your eyes, and sat by your side - stroking your ridge.  

Even your normal vet came in to say goodbye - he knew you were an amazing dog and so loved. 

You were not alone. 



 The nice vet techs put your catheter in once your Ketamine set in - you were as high as F*#@.

You kissed both of us - a sign that you were ready to leave us in body. 

Then so quickly you were gone. It happened so fast.

I cried in the corner - I couldn help but to sob - and stroked your back. 

I went into Husband's arms and we cried together. 

Gideon - you looked at peace, and were no longer in pain. And you have left us loving you forever. 

A piece of my life is missing today.

It's you. And will always be you. 

I am so missing you. 

When we got home last night, Fynn was released from the bedroom. He ran downstairs in a frenzy, grabbed two stuffies, and wanted to play tug of war. 

You looked around a bit, but were still wagging your tail. 

You had dinner, and settled down. 

You looked a bit sad and confused.

But you held your head up high when we pet you - something you never did before - always lacking the confidence. 




But we think you knew. You knew before we knew Gideon was sick. You knew to be by your brother his last few days. You knew he couldn't play with you.

Maybe you know he is gone. 

Love your dogs every day. Take a minute to pet them when they come over for love. Play tug of war. Give them extra belly scratches. Give into their love and love as they do. 

You never know when their last day will be. 

There is no love like the love of your loyal hound. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Sewing Pattern Review: 5 out of 4's Jenny Cross Front Tunic

Don't be fooled by the patterns that I got

I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the sewing block. 

Ok. I'm really bad at writing lyrics - especially remaking existing lyrics (aka Jenny from the Block). 

Don't hold that against me. 



My name's not Jenny, but I really do have the hottest pattern around! 

I recently sewed up the Jenny Cross Front Tunic by 5 out of 4 patterns, and it's love. 

Jenny's features include:
- Dolman sleeves (without batwing action)
- FBA pattern pieces included
- Short or long sleeves
- Curved or straight back hem
- Modesty tank with two hemlines (that is a GREAT layering or solo tank too!)
- Sizes XXS to 5XL


 My long sleeved version has a straight hem - and it looks fab paired with my office-professional styled Zen Pants 


 The cross at the front is flattering - and easy to fit to perfection by following the detailed instructions - baste your side seams, try on the top, and adjust as required for the most flattering fit for your body. 

There is an option to baste the front where the bust is, but apparently I like to let it all out. 


 I blended together a Sweater Knit and Double Brushed Poly Fabrics from Water Tower Textiles - and despite the fabric weight difference, as they are both looser fabrics, they meshed quite well.  


 The side is just awesome and flattering! 

Although I am 5'-2", I did not alter the height - the only alteration I did was make the front piece straight Small and the back graded to Large - I seem to have to do this with the last few 5 out of 4 patterns thanks to my atrophied caboose. 

Here's hoping my Vestibular Therapist can help me enough that I can get back into Cycling and get my behind into gear and proper shape!  Until then, my Beachbody on Demand and Yin yoga (with the Yoga Ranger) will help me with my strength and balance. 

 My second top was the short sleeved version.

I took these pictures while it was -25 Celsius outside (-13 Fahrenheit) 


 I did the curved hem on this version - you can see it covers my entire caboose.


 I just love how this sits.  Again, I only adjusted at the side seams as I did with the previous long sleeved top. I like tops to sit at or below my low hips. 



 The fabrics used were also from Water Tower Textiles - a really light sweater knit (that I've made a gazillion garments from as it's been on super sale for months), and a lightweight 2-way stretch cotton knit of sorts. 


 The sweater knit does poof up a bit at the back due to the new wonder tape I used for hemming (it is that plasticy kind - not the normal wash away tape I use). Apparently Amazon's descriptions of things has changed on their sewing bits & bobs lately. 



Finally - I made the tanks - I did make two, but my tangerine one from DBP (with fleece back!) was in the wash. 

 This top is pretty amazing. And super quick to sew up. 

No adjustments were made - I used my normal grading for both the front and back- Small bust to Large Hips. 

This top stays down, and doesn't ride up throughout the day..and I tested it out working out last night, and it was perfect!

 The armcycle is comfortable (even for my "larger" for my bust size biceps), and my boobage doesn't seep out.  

I used a DBP from Water Tower Textiles as the fabric - how cute are these Cacti?

This is the low neck line - so you can see, it's not super low, and would be perfect for those with larger bobs!


Overall, I'm quite happy with the design and fit of this new tunic and tank. 

Both are included with the Jenny pattern too!  



***Affiliate Links Above used - I love these patterns, and without the help of those who love their patterns, marketing would be extremely difficult for the pattern makers we love and learn to love. Affiliate links help with the hours, fabric, and tears that go behind testing each pattern in order to provide a real-person view on the patterns for you (and me!) 

Monday, 14 January 2019

Sewing Pattern Review: Winter Wear Design's Crossover Series Starting Point Tank

The Starting Point Tank is part of Winter Wear Designs' newest collection.

To date, it includes the Starting Point Tank and Crossroads Sweater - both year round wears.

The Starting Point Tank is a fitted tank top with several features:
- Bands or Bindings for the neck and armhole finishings
- Scoop Neck or Deep Scoop Neck options
- Petite and Regular Length Cut Lines

It is a "slim fitting" tank - but has enough ease that it's not showing every lump and bump.



 As you can see from the front view, it makes me look like a fashion star (or just silly - it was -20 Celsius outside during this photo shoot!) You wouldn't tell that I have a few little bumps and lumps. .


 The pattern is designed for an hour glass shape - which is perfect for me! 

During testing, it looked great on all the ladies once their sizing was perfected.

I graded from an 8 bust to 12 waist/hips.  It lays just at my hips and doesn't ride up - even while working out.


 Construction is easy to follow and you can make it in half the time as a load of wash takes.  Who needs clean clothes when they have a sewing machine??




The recommended fabrics are lightweight knits with 30% stretch or more - if you use a medium or heavy weight stretch, your top will look boxy and cling oddly. 

I opted for a slub Jersey fabric from Water Tower Textiles and Cotton Lycra scraps for the bands. The jersey is a 2-way stretch lightweight fabric - kind of like lightweight t-shirt fabric.  It feels soft and comfortable, and is a great fit for this tank pattern. 

 I decided to layer the tank with the new Crossroads Sweater - it's a different take on a cross-over top, and includes:

- Short or Long Sleeves
- Bottom Band or No Band
- Short or Long Length



I grade from Small to Large on this top, and definitely recommend basting the sides before using your knit stitch in order to ensure the cross over fits your body properly.  I did a bit of tweaking for the right fit!  

I used a Melange Sweater Knit from Water Tower Textiles (and the same Jersey Slub fabric as the tank) for a nice complimentary look. 

....and I still have the tendency to order 1 metre of fabric so I can have a variety, hence most of my clothing ends up with multiple types/colours of fabrics instead of a solid colour/pattern.

Again - a nice light to medium sweater knit is perfect for this pattern - and with the sleeve options, can be worn year round!

Overall, I'm happy with these patterns to help me layer year round - I'm always cold, and tanks and tops with some sort of collar help keep me warm. 

Being easy sews also helps make these great patterns to try your sewing skills on!

Grab Both Patterns in a super savings Bundle!

***Affiliate Links Above used - I love these patterns, and without the help of those who love their patterns, marketing would be extremely difficult for the pattern makers we love and learn to love. Affiliate links help with the hours, fabric, and tears that go behind testing each pattern in order to provide a real-person view on the patterns for you (and me!) 

Sewing Pattern Review: Halla's Comfy Cozy Wrap & Essie Cardigans

I love being warm and cozy - and being able to layer up is important to keep me from freezing in my basement office!




With our shocking news about Gideon's Osteosarcoma last month, my sewjo has been reduced to a trickle.  Providing hospice care for an 80lb lapdog Rhodesian Ridgeback takes priority. 

Once the initial shock wore off, and I wasn't crying every few hours, I finally made myself a Comfy Cozy Wrap Cardigan



I love the options available for this cardigan - but my favourite is the cross over cardigan top - I can pair it with a tank top underneath (or not, as it covers my bust area perfectly). 

It is warm enough that I can wear it on its own, or layer it if I'm going out in the deep cold. 

The options include:
- Cross front cardigan
- Cross front sweater
- Midline button up cardigan
- Half or long sleeves
- Cuff option for sleeves


It was an easy sew, and I made another one this past weekend - It's love!  

It covers my hips, the sleeves are perfect, and the instructions are easy to follow - no seam ripper needed!

I used Cotton Lycra for the sleeves and Star Wars Cotton Lycra for the main bodice - both from Water Tower Textiles. 

The Bands are actually from an old Le Chateau top that was just too small and weird - I wore the top twice, so the fabric is pretty new.  Upcycling at its best!!

The Essie Cardigan goes in line with my current adoration for Peplums. 

I am HIPPY. I have an hourglass shape. But after making my first Peplum last summer, I'm hooked. 

I got Essie on its release, but with no pattern testing going on during the holidays, I actually had time to make one of my non test patterns.  

This is my first project from 2019, and I love it! 

 

This isn't going to be my first Essie either - I love the fit, the flow, and diversity of the options, which include:
- Half & Long sleeves
- Short or Tall Cuffs; Bands
- Circle or Handkerchief Peplums, or Straight Cardigan
- Regular or Wide Shawl Collar
- Waistband with Waist Tie
- In Seam or Patch Pockets. 

Of course I love pockets, so mine has POCKETS!

 

Another easy to follow sew with the perfect fit as usual - this is why Halla is one of my main go-to patterns. I know it won't take me half a day to sew up a garment, and the fit will always be perfect based on measurements. 

My Fabric includes funky Canadian wild Cotton Lycra from Okee Dokee Fabrics, and Cotton Lycra Scraps for the band & waist tie along with lightweight sweater knit - both from Water Tower Textiles.

I think I will make the straight cardigan next - I lack a normal cardigan!  

Thank you, Halla, for your fabulous patterns xoxo

***Affiliate Links Above used - I love these patterns, and without the help of those who love their patterns, marketing would be extremely difficult for the pattern makers we love and learn to love. Affiliate links help with the hours, fabric, and tears that go behind testing each pattern in order to provide a real-person view on the patterns for you (and me!) 


Friday, 11 January 2019

Gideon Update: The Brave Ridgeback

So it's been a month since we discovered Gideon's osteosarcoma.

The first few weeks we went through the entire grieving process - crying several times a day, watching his every move, hoping he would make it through Christmas, and New Year's Eve if we were fortunate. 

Gideon is a strong motherf*cker.

I've taken pictures every day he is with us. He deserves a paparazzi entourage afterall. 


December 6th - before diagnoses - left front paw looks swollen to us...


So out went the no-human food rules - Gideon gets a bit of whatever protein we are eating.   This particular cancer is slowed down by Proteins, but LOVES carbs - so minimal to no carbs for Princess Gideon.



Gideon with his stuffie Boa - it's actually the Caterpillar toy he had at the breeder's that we took home with him.

SO MANY KISSES!



So that food thing...he now demands ALL THE FOOD.  His 
sense of hearing certainly hasn't diminished. 







We snuggle a lot more, and he likes to grab our arms with either of his paws.  He uses them like hooks. And still has brute strength. 





















We take silly pictures EVERY day. I want to remember every moment. Every detail. And he's such a good sport. 


Wrapped up napping with one of his oldest blankets - he spends a LOT of time sleeping. I can't hear weird sounds or gasping - Fynn's snoring is louder than Gideons. 

I am always aware of his breathing - every sneeze, the rare cough, whining....I worry.


When he made it to Christmas day I mocked his sleepy sad face, but we were ecstatic. 

Gideon's Life = BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER.

We snuggled and watched Love Actually while Husband fell asleep 5 minutes in. 

Gideon and I shared ice cream and cheese. Not together, because that's just gross. 



One of the last times Gideon joined me in the basement while I worked. 

He slid down the stairs Christmas Eve (hence why the above was SO important), as his nails and feet don't have a lot of grip, and his front paw going downstairs likely doesn't like the pressure of his whole body coming down on it. 

So to prevent future slippage and risking his leg shattering (which is a great possibility with the tumour wrapping itself around his ankle bones), we brought all the extra pillows, couch cushions, and comforters into the living room, and made it into a pillow room. 

He can jump off the couches or ottoman onto couch cushions to help ease the jumping feeling, and Husband and I sleep in the living room now. Sometimes both of us, other times one of us goes upstairs as our backs can't take the floor (if Fynn or Gideon decide to sleep on the couches). 

Fynn loves being able to plop his behind down on the cushioned floor - it's a possibility we may leave it this way (ha ha) 



Eating Ice Cream is exhasting - PROOF Above!


Many friends have come over to say hi (and bye) to Gideon. He has touched so many people, and they understand what he means to us. 


Fynn still tries to cuddle up with Gideon, but it's usually awkward. 

Like Fynn.


Life is exhausting, but he knows we are always close by.

If Husband works at home, I can go into the office in the morning to work through my Vestibular Migraine symptoms. I fear if he is alone, I'll come home to him broken and howling. 


Gideon enjoying Christmas Paper!


This is what we do most nights. The dogs tend to rotate between the couch and Ottoman. 


He loves going outside in the snow. It's actually a good time of the year, as it cushions his jumping. 

He sniffs the air, wags his tail, and looks so content.



Puppies with their bandanas I made them - Gideon's lasted an hour before he took it off.  Fynn is used to a Bandana, so it's still on him after a few weeks. 


I'm going to miss his mahogany brown eyes.



He's also getting tired of Selfies.



I feel we are making him pretty comfortable.

And his tail wagging = totally worth it!



The Tardis pillow is soft for him - he likes to put his left leg on pillows to have a softer base - I can only imagine how annoying it feels. I think it itches him, as he licks his paw a lot. 

I'm going to miss his silly right ear that sticks up (always). He had a few ear infections as a puppy, and despite medication, his Right ear always stands slightly upwards. 



I wish I could just cut out that tumour, and have you with us forever. 

I wish I could run my fingers up and down your ridge forever. It may not be perfect show standards, but it's perfect for us.




So we are trying to get his paw print stamped, but with both front feet sore, he no longer likes us touching his feet. 

Husband isn't keen on helping (despite him also wanting the paw print), so it's been frustrating. 

We've tried paint, 3 different ink pads, 3 different types of paper, and spent a chunk of change on getting what we need for it. 

The vet clinic apparently has a vet tech who stamps dogs paw prints (after he is gone :( ), we just need to provide the paper and ink.  

We have the best stamping paper ever, and a super large ink pad, so I feel we will trust her to do his paws justice. 



Gideon loves sleeping and cuddling- he does a lot of this with Husband. On the ground.

He made it to New Year's Eve!

We left our friends at 11pm so we could join the dogs to cheer in the new year. 

BEST NEW YEAR, EVER!


Sunshine and Stuffies - he finally got front row spot away from Fynn - in front of the sliding door.  

We get sunshine all afternoon, and he LOVES sleeping in its warmth. 


He LOVES belly rubs. Both because we are touching him and it's probably itchy. 

His front is a bit scabby, and near his special spot he licks too much now at times, thus it's a bit tender. 


This is one of the few DOG things Gideon actually does. 

He learned how to drink from the toilet from Fynn. Now he refuses to drink from a bowl - it must be the toilet. 

If he's scared, he will bark at it.

When one of us comes home, he drinks from it. 

After one of us uses it, he drinks from it. 

He's a strange one.


I lost my sewjo in December. But January 1st, I decided to sew up a Halla Essie Cardigan. 

I love this pattern, and it's beautiful.  


Sigh. Gideon giving stink eye to silly Fynn. They are total opposites, but Fynn won't leave Gideon's side. 


Moments after this picture, Gideon got steak. Directly from Husband's mouth. 

Seriously.


I'll miss his soulful eyes. 


His Grandparents have visited a few times - Gideon loves them, and I'm pretty sure they love Gideon too. 



I hate you, Osteosarcoma Tumour. 


Gideon loves Katy - and playing tug of war with her was fun/


Gideon loves being a Diva. Paparazzi Katy helped make him feel like a star!


I've decided to just put articles of clothing on Gideon daily now for his pictures. 

He's such a good sport.


Head scratches with feet are acceptable.


I will miss his serious, watchdog, protective face. He's always been an old soul.

I will really miss driving up to camp with him not looking over the back seat the entire 2 hour drive. 


Dave. Gideon slept with Dave most of the time when he joined us at camp this fall. 

Giddy decided to play "hit the Dave" when he visited, and kept whacking Dave with his paw. Dave joined in too - it was the most adorable thing ever. 

It breaks my heart to see the love from others towards Gideon. 

He just is an amazing entity in life. We could hope to be as amazing as Gideon is in life.