As Christmas approached I asked Dad for gift requests. He told me he’d love a cross stitch of Bootsie. He knew it wouldn’t be received by Christmas, but he was just throwing it out there.
I got to work right after Christmas to have it done by his March 4 birthday. I found a cross stitch design program online and had the challenge of making an image that worked without getting a real sense of how big the piece might be. (The program isn’t very intuitive).
Because the program captures every detail, I used a portrait I had made by Lili DiPrima as the basis and to simplify puppy’s face, and went from there (and also I added her smirk)…
When I finished Bootsie’s sweet face it didn’t look done. I had painted the canvas green but it felt incomplete and she was just sort of floating around like a spector.
I thought about a leafy branch on either side, or a ring of vine framing her, but that didn’t seem quite right. So, I started putting large leaves around her, learning new stitches as I worked. Then I made sure to add plenty because I remembered a funny trait about Bootsie – she had to hide among the hostas and brush to go #2! Silly, shy girl.
The term my parents use for taking their dogs out to relieve themselves was “go spend a penny”. So once I added more big leaves and carefully painted in some blue on the green canvas to help the leaves blend in less, “Bootsie Spends a Penny” was complete.
Happy 80th birthday to my dad, Peter!