Monthly Archives: February 2013

How Pepper Found his Voice- A Dog Story

I don’t know my dog’s date of birth or any information about how he came to be homeless.  His age was estimated when he was picked up and admitted to the shelter.  So I celebrate his adoption day each year.

Seven years ago I was in need of a dog. At the county shelter, I entered the doors that led to a row of dogs.  I saw a small black and white dog alone and read that was his first day at the shelter.  All of the other dogs were close to the front of their enclosures but he was way at the back.  I started talking to him and tried to coax him to come nearer.  He started to come over and over again, but was scared to cross the hump at the center divider.  I don’t know why I didn’t move on and look at the rest of the dogs.  I sat there and talked to the dog without a name.  I talked softly to him until he finally found the courage to come up to the bars.  I put a hold on him, but there was a 5 day waiting period to allow someone to claim him before he would be available for adoption.

When I came back, he was right up front like the others.  That’s the day I snapped my first photo of him.  His tag looked enormous on his small body.

Pepper Shelter

I signed the adoption agreement and named him Pepper.  They put a new sign on his cage that he was adopted and would be neutered the next morning. He would be ready to leave that afternoon after recovery time.

Finally I could take him home!   I introduced him to his new life with a house and yard to explore, toys, and blankets.  As our first days together passed and we got to know each other, one thing about him stood out.  I never heard him bark.  When the mailman was at the door he didn’t make a sound or even move; he just looked at me with wide eyes.  I began to think something was wrong and he couldn’t bark.  What had he been through?

One day we were taking a walk, and suddenly he barked at some loud kids across the street.  He had a voice!  And thereafter he barked at the mailman, the UPS man, and anyone walking by his house.  He knew this wasn’t just some place he was staying– this was his home and he would protect it.  He was home for good and not alone anymore.

He discovered the world of fashion:

Pepper Fashions


Posing in his youth, and now in maturity…

My little dog with the big bark.

Pink Pepper2

A Bold Cable to Knit

I used to knit every day.  When my hands went numb I decided it was time to mix it up and branch out.  Winter coldness made me get out my needles again for this useful accessory.  It’s the free Uno Cable Headband from Ravelry.

So I got out my favorite circular needles and the little cable needle.  I was a little rusty and had to look up how to do the make 1 increase.

My sides are not identical.  I slipped the first stitch as if to purl on both sides as the directions didn’t specify.  I love the way the cable pops out from the garter stitch background.  The eight stitch cable crosses every ten rows.  I omitted 2 stitches from each side. It was simple and fast to knit.


I’m pretending to read, but I’m really just thinking-  is the cable showing…when is the camera going off…

It’s just what I need to keep my ears warm when I walk my dog.

Simple Winter Skirt Refashion

I bought this polyester and rayon blend knit skirt with a small black and white houndstooth pattern for $5 at Goodwill.  It was large and long with a long slit up the back so I had plenty of material to work with.  I wasn’t sure how to start: should I cut to make a new hem or a new waistband?

I decided to keep it simple so I kept the existing elastic waistband and cut up from the bottom to make a new hemline.  I put it against my “wild” skirt to mark new seams.

Then I put it on and decided I wanted to add pockets.  I looked in a few books and online for some help in doing this. I cut the pockets out of lining polyester I already had and included the skirt material as facings.  I had some trouble making my pockets lie flat. They add some bulk to the hips- not a good thing!

I sewed rayon seam binding on the hem and then finished it by hand stitching.  I think I could have saved some time and just machine stitched the hem because my hem is not invisible due to puckering.

And my final result:

My verdict: I don’t think the shape or style is very flattering on me.  I feel dowdy and stuffy in it.  Maybe making it shorter would have helped. Not really my cup of tea.  Also I don’t like that the color looks so gray and blah from a distance.  Nothing I tried on looked good with it.  I just can’t envision myself wearing this.  I always wear pants in the winter because I don’t like to wear pantyhose and I don’t want to have bare legs on a winter morning, and this skirt won’t be the one to break me of that habit.




What My Mother Wore

My mother has been gone for over 10 years now.  She didn’t talk much about her life, and in many ways she was an enigma to me.  When I was born she was almost 40, so I didn’t know her in her youth at all. But the photographs tell their own story.

The photos are from the late 1930s when she became a young woman, the 1940s when she was in her 20s, and the in 1950s when she became a mother. They are from her life in New York City before I was born.  I see so much interest in vintage fashion that I thought it would be interesting for others to see what an “ordinary” woman of the time wore.  And it’s another chance for me to discover who my mother was.  This will be an ongoing series.

The photos start in earnest in her late teens and she seems to be posing, showing off her outfits, and being proud of her newly blossomed beauty in many of the photos.  I wonder what kind of camera they were taken on, and who is taking the photos.

BB 1939 Hat

This photograph was taken in 1939.  I like the saucy way the hat is positioned on her head.  She looks confident that she is pretty in this dress with the white collar and cuffs, the fitted bodice and the box pleats on the skirt.  The finishing touch is her little white gloves, and a clutch purse. It looks like it was taken on the roof of the building she lived in.  I wonder if it was taken by one of her older brothers who had bought a new camera. I wonder if while growing up her mother made her clothes, and now she is enjoying being fashionable for the first time.

BB 1939 Dress Park

I don’t know the parks and the bridges, the buildings and the streets she is posed in front of in these photos.  This was her world, not mine.

I love her smile.