My New Pup-Pup

For Valentines day I got myself a new puppy...
Our two year old Belgium Malinois, Akira, had to be put down. Our Veterinarian ran so. many. tests... and just couldn't find out what was causing her to be so sick.... blah. Anywho, I figured I would rescue a new dog because there is such a need... and so-- here is my new puppy, Nisar. Getting a photo of an energetic puppy is hard.... cute butt huh?
 Nisar is a Beauceron.
 Not a German Shepherd, but a French Shepherd.
 Beaucerons ears can either stay up or stay down... I told Nisar to have "up-ears".... he is working on it.
After a long day selling at a local craft event, I went to our local animal shelter to look at the dogs. I got there thirty minutes before they were to close. I did my award-winning-gold-medal-speed-walking through the rows and rows of caged dogs... I felt heart-sick passing each one but I was on a mission to find "my dog." Nothing.

My husband had finally caught up with me and I advised him that I was going to go into the cat and kitten building to look at the cute cats since they didn't have "my dog." Inside the cat/kitten building they have a small enclosure that you can take a puppy into and play with it to see if you want to take it home. Well, there was a young couple in there playing with a puppy...... I peeked over the small wall and there was MY DOG. Gasp.... I played it cool as a cucumber..... long story short. I got the puppy! I was the last adopter of the day-- they stayed open late so I could do all the paper work right then and there. The sad part was I had to leave my puppy there (it was a Saturday) until Monday  afternoon when the puppy would be neutered. See the green tattoo on the belly? All animals get tattooed once they get neutered so there is no question in the future if an animal has been spayed.

It ended up being a blessing that I couldn't take my dog home with me that day as my house wasn't ready. I needed to fence off our pool, buy puppy food and lots and lots of toys...
 This little love bug loves stuffed animals.
 Ah, here is a good photo... only because he got tired!
I named my puppy Nisar after a sad love story from generations past. In the early 1900's at the Edinburgh University a distant relative of mine named Cissie met Nisar and the two fell in love. Nisar was from India and was going to school at the University to become a doctor. Nisar was a son of a rich Indian family and had been accompanied by his manservant/valet/ chauffeur while  going to school in Edinburgh. Nisar was smitten with Cissie and asked her to marry him. Cissie's father refused to let her marry Nisar because of the color of his skin and because he was of a different faith. Nisar knowing that they would never marry, was content in just spending long hours in her company. Every day, Nisar's manservant would take all of Nisar's monogrammed silver to Cissie's family's home. There he would set the table and serve the two afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and preserves along with a variety of home made cakes and pastries. The two spent many days together enjoying each others company until Nisar's time at the University was up and he had to return home. As far as I know Cissie never saw him again, and never married.
I wouldn't know of this love story had it not been for this little engraved silver sauce bottle holder with the name Nisar engraved on it. I know that last names are usually engraved on silver so it can be passed down to future generations with the same surname, so I'm not 100% convinced this was his first name.... In the 1980's my grandmother was moving out of her home into another and this was on a chair with other things she no longer wanted. I was told to take what I wanted, and this little beauty became mine. Along with the story behind it as well. (it looks slightly odd in this photo because I just polished the heck out of it)
At the last afternoon tea the two shared together, this little silver piece had been left behind. Was it left behind on purpose by Nisar? Or, had Cissie taken it without him knowing about it- to always remember the man she loved and would never marry? Had Nisar gifted it to Cissie to remember him by? So many possibilities...

I have had this container for about 36 years. I'm sure Nisar and Cissie would find it funny that I treasure this little sauce holder. I've used it to hold pencils and pens and now it holds my ever growing collection of crochet hooks. I would love to find out more about Nisar. What ever became of him? Did he ever fall in love again and marry? Did Nisar become a doctor when he went back to his country... so many questions.
Sooooooooooooo... if anyone asks me, "Where did you get the name Nisar for your dog."....they are going to hear all about the love story behind the name.
big hugs,


Vintage Holy Shrine

I was lucky to come across this fabulous vintage holy shrine at our local swap meet recently. The asking price? $1.00... score!
Here is what it looked like when I found it in a box of junk....

Upon further inspection I noticed that the image of the Virgin Mary was one I was familiar with already....
This gold and black harlequin pattern is very distinctive and I immediately knew it was a match to the little rosary box that I had bought when I was around 10 or 11 years old when my family had taken a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. I remember there was a little table set up (I think outside of a church) with second hand things and also a few handmade things to buy. I bought this little rosary box and a seed-bead necklace for $1.00....
When I pulled this image of the Virgin Mary out of this Holy shrine it appears to be an actual prayer card, there are words on the backside that are in Italian. One day it is my hope to find the entire prayer card, wouldn't that be awesome?
I wanted this little shrine to light up again, so I pulled it apart to see what I could do...
It took some work, but I managed to pull out all the old wires and the existing bulbs from the piece.
When you hoard as much crafting supplies as I do it was just a matter of "shopping my own stuff" to find some battery operated lights to use.
I ended up choosing the super thin-wire strand of "starry lights" which I just taped in place on the backside.

They lit up pretty nicely in the piece.

The battery pack was easily taped to the backside once the piece was finished.

Next I wanted to add some color to the inside of the shrine.
I used Modge Podge to adhere some blue shiny foil. I chose the blue to match the blue sash she is depicted as wearing.
After that I got a little bit to happy and over zealous with the bling.... I added some rhinestones and a few vintage pieces of jewelry to the piece as well.
I replaced the two images that were in the two small circle frames at the feet of the Virgin Mary. One was an image of St. Anthony and the other was an image of a Nun. I replaced them with vintage ephemera of flowers.
 This image is so special to me... I scanned it so I can print it out to use in the future. I added a half pearl over each light bulb so the light is diffused a little bit. I wanted this Holy Shrine to still have the appearance of being very old.
In these photos the Holy Shrine looks extremely discolored, but when you see it in person it isn't so jarring. 
All that was missing was a Rosary for the little drawer....Ah, much better~ 
big hugs,