end of an era (or what a broken heart will do for your creativity)

IMG_0586Last weekend Reggie went to meet his brother in the great boneyard beyond. It’s still hard for me to believe that we are dogless. (Does it seem like lately I always come bearing bad news?) He had become progressively more lethargic until it seemed selfish for us to not intervene. One of those real stinkers of dog ownership. You have to recognize when it’s their time and then, the most difficult thing, act accordingly. Those gentle spirits, forever frolicking through our memories and swiping phantom pork chops from the counter’s edge. Man, I miss them.

Instead of slipping under the blanket of sadness that was threatening to bundle us all up, I put my mind elsewhere. We were all so heavy hearted, I knew I needed to begin a fun and distracting project. Enter, Pinterest.IMG_3883

I built the Bushbaby a tepee in the corner of our living room. After a little confidence building research for DIY tepees, I decided that I would give it a shot. I have so many lovely African fabrics from our time in Luanda that it ended up costing me only the price of the wood, less than 10 bucks. Very little sewing was involved since I tacked it all together with a staple gun. What follows is a rough tutorial- there are already so many on line. IMG_3808

At the Chilean equivalent of Home Depot, we bought 5 very long pieces of wood. I had them make five cuts in order to get the right height and fortuitously, form the base with the scraps. Once home, I drilled holes in the ends and threaded them together with twine.IMG_3811 IMG_3812

After that, I pulled out some fabrics to decide on a colorway that wouldn’t be too garish as a permanent installation in the living room. I tore the fabrics into various random widths of strips and got busy with my staple gun. In hindsight, I really should’ve pressed the fabrics first. I think I was just so excited to see it start taking shape.IMG_3817 IMG_3822 IMG_3824

I had the wiring from an old pendant lamp that I strung inside to make a little “chandelier”. There’s a toggle switch on the cord that the Bushbaby can control from inside. She is pretty thrilled to have her own private space, but still be right in the mix.IMG_3896IMG_3887

IMG_3903 I’m happy with how it turned out. I still want to make a few adjustments, maybe fancy up that entrance way. But more importantly, my girl loves it. And I was able to repurpose an old dog bed. All is not lost!IMG_3891IMG_3908




4 thoughts on “end of an era (or what a broken heart will do for your creativity)

  1. Oh, Eve! This is so fabulous. I love all those gorgeous fabrics. I’m so sorry about the loss of your dog. We have two dogs. A small terrier who is ten years old and a one year old Ethiopian mutt. Lucy and St. George are so much apart of our family. I get very sad thinking about having to ever say goodbye to them. I’m impressed you could push through your pain and create something. Creativity is a healing thing!

  2. Thanks, Sara! They do bring so much to our lives. But on a practical note, it’ll be nice to be able to travel spontaneously and not worry so much about pet sitters and kennels. We have relied heavily on the generous spirits of others in the past. I’m planning to put a note in our news letter, advertising free pet sitting services so we can still get our canine fix!!

  3. At last I am able to view the fabled tepee !!! And what a beauty it is!!! A great addition to the living room as well as your family life. Coco just loves it! She looks so thrilled in all the pictures and is really quite smug in the lounging shot.(cute outfit!)

    Loved seeing a couple of pics of you for a change.You look fab! xoxoLYTPmom

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