I set myself a number of rules for the furrybees blog this year. Some were aesthetic (always use as good quality photos as possible, for instance), some were practical (blog at least three days a week unless there's a crisis/emergency/too much wine before dinner), and some were professional (blog only about my creative life - with the occasional contextual details from the rest of my life - and don't be sucked into talking about just anything so as to realise previously set goals of regularity). These are but three, I have a long, rotating list in my head of other rules but I'll spare you them for the moment.
Tonight though, lovely readers, I blog about dogs and their hair. You may think this automatically contravenes at least one, if not all three of the pre-stated rules, but rules can be guidelines too, I think you'll find.
Firstly, a lovely, artistic photo.
Secondly, here I am, it's Wednesday (in Canada at least) and I do believe I'm well on my way to posting three posts this week.
Finally, dogs, their hair and my creative life. Well, here is where the link is tenuous, but there is a link nevertheless.
As you all know, we are fostering some dogs for the local rescue organisation while they wait for their "forever homes". One is a white German shepherd called Rugby; the other, a black lab cross called Patience (ironically, as it turns out). Two dogs, one small house and keeping standards of cleanliness that prevent your ostracisation from society is not an easy mix. As such, my OTL and I recently decided to count out the penny jar and and invest in a new vacuum cleaner. We had studiously been using one we'd bought for $12 at a garage sale earlier last year, but it was so bad that to make anything happen at all, we had to use the small furniture fitting on the end of the hose (without the extension pipe) and stump around on hands and knees on the floor, scraping dog hair up first before it would wanly waft up into the half-hearted air flow of the cleaner. We thought however, despite these challenges, that we were keeping things relatively neat and tidy, and socially acceptable.
Until we assembled the new vacuum cleaner. Now, to be honest, the vacuum cleaner was within our price range (read: towards the bottom of the line) and before we unpacked the box I decided to do a quick, belated, Google search to see what its reputation was. Turns out 1 in every 367 people (or so it seemed) thought it was a good buy. We decided to plough on regardless, unpacked it, read all the instructions carefully and then began to vacuum.
Seven (7) canisters of dog hair later, we both bent over and proudly reintroduced ourselves to the carpet. Shocking, isn't it. Yep.
Now, despite our new vacuum cleaner and it's miraculous powers of revelation, the thing that haunts me as I sit and sew and design and dream about one day selling my items is a little disclaimer that I often read in different Etsy sellers' shops that says something like "Made with love in a smoke-free and pet-free home". It haunts me, I tell you. I will never be able to say this (well the smoke-free part is okay, unless you count the many times we manage to burn popcorn in a week). I will never be able to edge out the competition on a major art deal (I dream big) because I create in a house that eschews the furriest of friends. Despite my best efforts (dogs not allowed in studio, first name basis with the lint roller) I fear my work will be forever tainted by the spectre of dog hair.
Unless I embrace it. Who knows, the next big thing may be random dog hair embroideries. It might become a status symbol how many dog hairs you can find in the latest, greatest furrybees creation. In fact, I might just put on my Etsy shop "Made with love and dog hair" and watch the orders role on in.
I might just do that.