When you share your life with even one Newfoundland you get used to slime, spit, slobber, drool — and all the places it lands. It starts with your lap. The cute puppies get a drink of water then head straight for you to show off how smart they are, having found the local watering hole. Then they move on to the couches. They make convenient napkins, just like pant legs. Eventually you notice the floors get their share of the drool too. More than their share. Soon you notice slime streaks on the walls. And every once in a while, you spot it practically on the ceiling.
That's where I found some today — a nice, big long streak of dried slobber complete with fur (a lot of it) stuck high up on the wall nearly at the ceiling above the bathroom door. Ew. Gross. Thanks guys. Did you have to put it so high up?
You can sort of make it out under the words in that photo. That grayish smudge is a ball of slimed, matted newfie hair the size of a quarter. A streak of dried slobber 8 inches long hangs down from it. Ew.
Who the culprit is I'll never know. Just a little present from one of them, thought I'd share. It's all part of the charm of having newfies. Since I had the camera out, I thought I'd take the opportunity to show off the other things now hanging on the walls. No, not cobwebs and more goofy newfie goobers, just good old-fashioned art. We finally hung our art, well, most of it.
Here's a little tour.
Some Japanese fabric (the so-called lucky cat you see everywhere in Japan). If you look closely in the background you can spot Yuki hanging out on the 'big comfy chair' watching traffic. I'm convinced she's got her own version of a trainspotting game going on given how much time she spends gazing out the window from that spot.
Of course, most days the window in front of her is so covered with her own nose print slime I doubt she sees much! I'd have to clean that window every day to keep it looking nice. Vacuuming once — sometimes twice and even up to four times a day — is about as much dog-inspired cleaning as I am comfortable 'scheduling' so the vast majority of the time, that window is ... dirty. But who cares. You make a lot of 'adjustments' to standards of cleanliness when you invite a big, black shagorrific dog (or two) into your home.
Moving on... on the wall in the living room containing Dirty Window we've now got some handy dandy shelves with real, handmade art on them!
The art is a series of three 14x14 inch custom pieces on canvas I commissioned from an artist on etsy.com. She did a wonderful job with minimal instructions to make a crow, bluebird and a green egret. The shelves are from Pottery Barn. I bought them, no kidding, in 2007 as a reward to myself for finally finishing some horrendous piece of statistical analysis for my dissertation. It took until now to finally deploy them. Delayed gratification.
More framed Japanese fabric from my favorite store in Kyoto: RAAK. They specialize in material for furoshiki - the cloth used in traditional wrapping of packages, gifts and lunches. RAAK is operated by a Kyoto-based textile company called Eirakuya, which was founded 390 years ago. A trip to RAAK is a must if you find yourself in Kyoto. They make just about everything out of their fabric — furoshiki, hats, wallets, purses, teddy bears and more. It's not cheap either (nothing in Japan is) so be prepared for a big bill if you go hog wild like I did.
I bought a TON (almost literally) of furoshiki cloth. I think it was my single biggest expense from Japan, but I knew I wouldn't be back for quite a long time so I allowed myself the splurge. The framed stuff isn't furoshiki, but I saw panels like this hung all over RAAK stores in Kyoto and thought a set of three would be perfect for the dining room. The choices were immense, and difficult, but in the end I chose these three for being iconic of Japanese culture and because they fit the color scheme of the dining room (red and black). All I had to do was find three that looked good together. Michaels craft store did the custom framing. They do a great job, but definitely wait until they have a good coupon. I used one that got me 60% off the entire framing order!