This is Lilly’s little corner of the world. There’s a heating pad under the chenille cover atop a cushion… what more could a wee cat ask?
Otis thinks it’s quite the spot and, occasionally, usurps Lilly’s domain, though not without a bit of a tussle….
“life is good”
When Randy and I were in Ireland, we met a gentleman named Richard. He was more the gentleman than Otis ever shall be… he would never turn a lady out of her favorite nook. Richard was at the wedding we attended and was a good friend of the bride. As it turned out, Richard had been a butler at one time, a vocation that intrigued us. We don’t meet many butlers, especially in West Michigan…. if the truth were told, the closest I’ve ever been to a butler is reading about them in P.G. Wodehouse, E.F. Benson and the like. So, I was inspired. Inspiration can be a double edged sword. I mean, on the one hand, it pushes the edges of one’s creativity, which is a good thing, but it can also push the edges of one’s skills….
Above, you see the photo of my first attempt at a butler ~ just look at that pathetic creature. His hand is still stuck inside his arm, his head is misshapen, and his back edges will never meet behind… While the butler himself isn’t so different from other projects I’ve done, (see this post, and the last part of this post.) he is the first piece I’ve ever done where the man is standing on his own. In the past, I’ve always had men atop horses, riding to hounds or whatever. A wide bodied horse is very easy to turn (turn right side out after stitching the embroidery to the backing, that is), a narrow legged man is….well… impossible.
I. simply. could. not. turn. him. nope, no way, no how. There’s a possibility that I can salvage this poor guy, but whether I can or not, I learned a very valuable lesson from him. That is, “leave yourself some wiggle room”. Instead of sewing the backing stretched taut against the embroidery, I needed to leave some excess backing ~ a little gusset, if you will ~ so that there was more backing than fronting. Does that make sense?
It might be difficult to see in the above photo, but there are seams on the back of the bell pull and arm, there’s also one on the body of the butler. If you were to open those seams you would find a fold in the backing fabric which allowed me to pull the thick embroidery through the seemingly narrow opening of the backing. All you seamstresses out there know what I mean, I’m sure, but seamstress I am not, so I had to work this out as I went, punching two butlers to make one…
Now, Richard’s butler is right-side-out and ready to serve.
The real Richard was every bit worth the extra effort it took me to make the embroidered version… He used words like, “reverie” of his own volition ~ be still my heart! As a lover of language, (that’s me!) Richard was immediately endeared to me and Randy… plus, Richard loves to laugh ~ what could be better? I’ll never employ a butler, but my life, and Randy’s, is richer for meeting the best butler… Richard.
may you meet new friends….