The Christmas Donkey . . . and a new family member.

A Donkey,  a new baby, and Christmas, are three things which just ‘fit’ together, don’t they?  They make a perfect triangle,  all [sort of] ‘glued together’ with love.

Many years ago, daughter No.2 had a toy donkey called Donald. He was rather a handsome looking Donkey, beautifully made and very special indeed – and when you squeezed his sides, gently, he made the ‘eee-orre’ sound, just like a real donkey does.

Daughter No. 2 grew and grew (as they tend to do) and one day, after having a bit of a sort out of old toys, clothes, ornaments, and ‘flotsam and jetsam’,  and  I’d made three piles of ‘stuff’:  One pile to take to the Charity shop;  One pile of things to throw away;  and One pile of: ‘double check this’.  Everything in that pile was to be checked by everyone in the house that no one wanted it or had any use.  Donald the Donkey was added to that little selection of ‘double check this’ pile of things.

I asked No.2 if she still wanted to keep her donkey or could it be given to her sister for her baby to enjoy,  (No.2’s niece).  No.2 shrugged her shoulders and mumbled about not being bothered, so I took the donkey to Daughter No.1’s house when I next visited and offered Donald to her, and he was gratefully received.

A handful of months later, No.2 said that she wished I hadn’t given Donald away as she had wanted to keep him.

[BIG  S.I..G.H. “But you said you ….” … [small sigh]. I stopped talking,  realising that it was a useless effort to remind her of what she’d said and how she’d said it.  Donald had been gifted to her niece and I was weighted down with a painful guilt and heartfelt wish that I had been blessed, just for a moment, with fore-sight.

Daughter no.2 has never quite forgiven me for letting Donald go to her niece and I’ve felt the weight of motherly guilt about it ever since.

However … this Christmas, I thought of a way to try to fill the hole left by Donald – only this time in a slightly bigger, and more ‘grown up’ way. 

I made daughter No.2  a donkey. 

A ‘Faux Taxidermy’ Donkey.

Now don’t have heart palpitations this isn’t made, in any way, from a real Donkey.

This is made from:- 

  • A Paper Mache form
  • Fake Fur (of three different types/colours)
  • Strong Wire
  • Felt
  • Calico material
  • Hessian
  • Toy Eyes (like Teddy Bear eyes)
  • Eyelashes
  • Buttons
  • lashings of three types of glue
  • Sewing thread and needle
  • The use of my Dremel and a Pokey Tool
  • LOTS AND LOTS OF PATIENCE
  • and a  PLENTIFUL  amount of time.

I couldn’t wrap Donald the Donkey II up in gift paper as … well, it just felt so wrong to do so – he could suffocate!  So, at Christmas,  about an hour before D.no.2, Son-in-Law and Grandson arrived, I removed one of my framed pictures from the wall, and hung Donald II there instead.

She saw it the moment she walked into the living room, and loved it.  I was thrilled to bits, because I worried that perhaps it was too big; too over the top; too realistic looking (apart from the buttons for his nostrils); or just ‘too‘.  But no, she loved it.  She liked it so much that she thought I’d made it for myself and instantly asked me to make her one!  RESULT!  lol.  I got Mr.Cobs to take Donald off the wall and show D.No.2 the inscription on the back, which told that I’d made it for her for Christmas.  I thought she was going to cry for a moment, she looked so happy and thrilled.

The making of Donald was pretty much just common sense, and being methodical.  I’ll show you photo’s rather than explain ‘how to’,  as the photographs basically tell you anything you might need to know if you feel that a bit of Faux Taxidermy is something you’d like to have a go at too…

Donald the Donkey began life as a paper mache Unicorn, as seen in the photo above.

After removing his Unicorn Horn, he had to be patched up and turned into a horse….

His Donkey ears needed to be made, so I constructed them using strong Garden Wire which had been treated so as not to rust. I kept the wire in place using some hessian, which I fed the wire through, and then covered the whole thing in Calico Fabric, folding in order to follow the ‘ear shape’ as I went,  – and then held everything, including the wires, in place by hand stitching, where needed.

I covered both the ear armatures in fake fur and fixed it in place, then ‘tried them on for size’.

Once I was happy with the ears, I then went on to make a lower jaw for the Donkey.  Unfortunately I got so involved in the making I forgot to take photos of this, but it was basically made in the same way the ears were made, and then fixed into place.  You can see his lower jaw – which gives him the open mouth, and all round chunkier ‘Donkey look’,  in the two photos, below:

Eyes and eyelashes!

Donald the Donkey II

He’s come a long way from originally being a paper mache Unicorn, hasn’t he!  🙂

~~~  ❤  ~~~

OK, so we have the Donkey …  but what about the baby”, I hear you say.  (You did, I heard you say it!).

Those of you who read my last blog post will know that I lost my much-loved dog earlier in November.  I’ve had dogs all my life, but when Mabel passed, I said  “I’m not having another dog.  They don’t live long enough and I end up with a heart full of love and no dog to give it to.  I cannot bear the pain of losing a dog.  I’m not having another dog ever!” And I meant it with all my heart, as I sat there in the car, outside our vets, sobbing my heart out on the day I said goodnight to Mabel.

On the 14th of December I happened across an advert on a well known and reputable website, for breeders of puppies who were ready to find forever homes for their puppies.  I looked at the photographs of these lovely little things, admiring them but not wanting any of them, it was just like a child looking at a picture book.  I was happy to just enjoy other people’s dogs.

Then found an advert with photographs of puppy who I instantly felt as though I recognised.  Not recognised his face, – but my heart ‘recognised’ this little soul.  My heart KNEW him and it called out to him.  An instant longing, – painful even, right in the middle of my chest.

[G.A.S.P.] . . . OH.  MY.  GOODNESS!!! I called to Mr.Cobs….  “I’ve found our dog!  I’ve found the dog which I know is destined to be OUR dog.”

“But I thought you said we weren’t going to have another dog?” – he replied from the other room.

“You HAVE to come and see this photograph!  Seriously, it really is as if I already know him.  My heart recognises him!”

And this photograph of a little French Bulldog puppy  ….  was the photograph I showed Cobs Snr…

We talked about this little baby for a while.  Then we thought about it for a while, and then thought some more.  Then I found the advertisement again and we discussed it some more.  We eventually decided that I should phone the breeder and ask if the puppy was still available or if he’d already been reserved.  So I did.  And … he was still available to buy.

We made an appointment to go and see him on the following Tuesday, and . . .  well, as the saying goes:  ‘the rest is history’.  He became our new baby.  The new four-legged member of our family joined us exactly one week before Christmas Day, on the 18th of December.  We had a list of names which we’d made, but once we’d met him we knew that only one name would suit him, and that name was …  Hugo.

Now I won’t bore you all to tears about him here on this blog as I know that not everyone is a dog lover.  But … I’ve ‘built’ a WordPress Blog just for Hugo and which is Hugo’s own blog, so if you’d like to read posts written by Hugo, in his words, please do visit his blog:-  For the Love of Hugo <—click  (it will open in a new tab/window for you).  You’ll be able to see more photo’s of him and get to know little Hugo himself.  I think you might enjoy him.  He’s a funny little scrap of adorable, dipped in magic dust.

Oh, and please do ‘follow’ him and make the chap even happier than he is.  As a follower you’ll know when he’s posted something because you’ll get a message letting you know he’s written a blog post to you sharing his latest story or adventure(s),  It’s just like any other blog – only, ‘For the Love of Hugo‘ is written by Hugo himself.  🙂

Well,  all that’s left for me to say now is:  I hope that your Christmas was warm and happy and without incident, and I make a wish for you to have a peace filled, joyous, contented and promising New Year.  May there be something which makes you smile each day of this coming New Year, and may you remember to count your blessings regularly so that you know that you are indeed more blessed than you might initially imagine.

Very much love to you my lovely friend.

pink just me fairy cobwebs with fairies siggy 2

 

Oh! …  P.S.. ….  Some readers want to make comments after a post, but cannot find a place to do so. 

In order to make a comment on any post – you have to actually click into the post rather than simply read it on the home page.  Scroll up and click on the title of the post and then, when it’s loaded,  scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find the comment box!  It’s like a magic trick!  lol.  ~ C. xxx

 

%d bloggers like this: