Episode #408 Patron Saints of Merriment
Today on Life In Bloom my affinity for Cocker Spaniels is in the spotlight. Often known as the Patron Saints of Merriment- We’ll review collectibles including vases and containers, arrange flowers in them, create a collar of flowers, cast a pawprint stepping stone for the garden, and make a minty frozen treat.
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.” ― Gilda Radner, comedian
Today we are again, going to the dogs – specifically these dogs, cocker spaniels, often referred to as Patron Saints of Merriment! I have been fortunate enough to have had four Cockers that have graced my life – currently with these two – Eleanor and LadyBird. Many feel that once you discover a favorite breed of dog, you stick with them. Whether you prefer Labradors, Great Danes, Chihuahuas – Chihuahuas – or these, known as “patron saints of merriment” – most will agree that dogs add immeasurably to our lives – including my life, lived among flowers.
Cocker Spaniel Collections
Cocker Spaniels were the most popular breed in the U.S. for 25 years beginning in 1936. According to the American Kennel Club, a black Cocker named Brucie helped popularize the breed by twice winning Westminster’s Best in Show, in 1940 and ’41, but the American Cocker’s heyday came in the 1950s. The Cocker was the AKC’s most popular breed of the decade. Their image was featured in many advertisements beyond dog food, including ads for automotive, clothing, various spirits, film and projectors and perhaps most famously suntan lotion.
Today these vintage ads themselves are an affordable collectible today, suitable for framing and show examples. What better way to honor the Patron Saints of Merriment- the Cocker Spaniel! Important to note… “Butch, a cocker illustrated by artist Albert Staehle was featured on no less than 25 Saturday Evening Post Covers.”
“Daniel the Cocker Spaniel was the subject of a children’s book in 1955…”
“American Pottery figurines of several breeds by many different makers enjoyed a golden era from the 1940’s through the 1960’s.”
“Planters in the shape of dogs were also plentiful. McCoy, American Bisque, Royal Copley, Robinson-Ransbottom, Zanesville Pottery, Purinton, Weller, Chic Pottery, LePere and Grindley, and Shawnee all made dog figurines within the Ohio area.”
I love sharing my collection of Cocker Spaniel Collectibles- I also appreciate that these Patron Saints of Merriment- can be include in just about every room in the house… that’s the way I like my dogs… everywhere- and all the time!
“In the middle of all of this was the classic animated movie, Lady and the Tramp by DIsney, released in 1955 to box office success. This vessel was one of the many pieces of merchandise still collectible today. Is it any wonder that Cocker Spaniels were one of the most popular breeds of dogs- with all the great press they were getting in ad campaigns, collectibles and the silver screen?
“Let’s see how to arrange flowers in one of these vintage planters.
Cocker Planter Arrangement
J creates a mid-century inspired asymmetrical arrangement in this vintage Yellow crouching Cocker Spaniel Planter… formerly used for green plants… a planter is a great vessel for a flower arrangement- and also holds flower foam quite well… thus making this process for honoring the Patron Saints of Merriment- even easier and more enjoyable!
Create a Terrarium with Figurines
J creates a terrarium with dog figurines – referring to it as a miniature dog park. You can discover all sorts of ways to honor, memorialize or otherwise enjoy your Patron Saints of Merriment Collectibles… (and remember- if Cocker Spaniels are not your favorite breed- there are lots of vintage collectibles for many different breeds… choose your favorite and hop in with both feet!
Create a Pawprint Garden Stone with Ladybird
Join J and LadyBird in Backyard garden for this fun Flower Project… making a footprint stepping stone for the garden… featuring your best friends foot print. Ladybird is always ready to spend some quality time with J- and loves to get involved in his flower crafts and projects!
J creates a footprint stepping stone with LadyBird, shares some of his favorite tips and helpful hints- and then un-molds it and places in Garden! This is a terrific way to Memorialize your Patron Saints of Merriment for decades to come… it’s a constant reminder of the joy and happiness our dog friends bring to our lives… Every Day!
Coming Soon- Paw Print Stepping Stone- Flower Craft- STAY TUNED!
Featured Flower: Flowering Dogwood
- Flowering Dogwood, is a species of flowering tree native to eastern North America and northern Mexico.
- The tree is commonly planted as an ornamental in residential and public areas because of its showy bracts and interesting bark structure.
- Other names now rarely used, include American dogwood, Florida dogwood, Indian arrowwood, Cornelian tree, white cornel, white dogwood, false box, and false boxwood.
- Flowering dogwood is a small deciduous tree growing to 10 m (33 ft) high, often wider than it is tall when mature
- The actual flowers are individually small and inconspicuous, with four greenish-yellow bracts. The flower-head is surrounded by four conspicuous large white, pink or red “petals” that are broad, rounded, and often with a distinct notch at the apex.
- While most of the wild trees have white bracts, some selected cultivars of this tree also have pink bracts, some even almost a true red.
- They typically flower in early April in the southern part of their range, to late April or early May in northern and high altitude areas.
- It is the state tree and flower of Virginia, the state tree of Missouri, and state flower of North Carolina
- Blooming branches may be trimmed and used for arrangements. Cut the branch with a by-pass cutter. Make a clean cut at at a 45 degree angle for easy uptake of water.
- Never smash the end of a branch – such actions only damage the vascular system and deter hydration.
Special Thanks to our Neighbors- Tom and Laura Jewell for allowing me to film their wonderful Pink Dogwood in their front yard! THANKS you two!
Minty Frozen Treat for Dogs
“This dog treat recipe has the added benefit of a fresh scent for you pup’s breath… my sweet pups love them- and it’s an ideal way to cool off and treat your own Patron Saints of Merriment- with an icy flavor-filled bite!
Here’s the recipe…
Minty Fresh Breath Dog Treats Recipe
1 cup Plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mint
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup green apple chopped small
Blend together the yogurt, mint, parsley and coconut oil.
Mix in chopped apples.
Pour mixture into an ice cube tray or silicone mold. Freeze overnight or until frozen through. Remove from molds and store in an airtight container in the freezer.
Collar of Flowers with Eleanor
Ellie and Ladybird join me in the garden to create flower collars… I share a permanent one- featuring Faux Flowers- and then we’ll create another – with Fresh Flowers- Zinnias seem appropriate- although these seem a little large- I’m never one to shy away from Flower Crowns- Flower Collars that are shrinking violets. You can create your own flower collar to your likely to perfectly fit your favorite dog (or cat- heck- any pet deserves a flower collar!) Use care and safety at all times- and be sure to verify the fresh flowers you are using are Non-toxic and safe for your pet… just in case! Patron Saints of Merriment- certainly deserve a flower collar- or crown… it goes without saying!
J creates collar for Ellie and she models it. Ladybird Models the Faux Flower Collar!
A collar of flowers is a fun way to dress up your dog for a special occasion or even a simple garden party…”
Today I’ve Made the flower collars directly on one of the girls dog collars. I Cover using silk flowers as an alternative – LadyBird models silk version just like a runway model- These flower collars are created the same way for either Faux or Fresh- and I use Craft covered Bind wire as the mechanic- and directly on the collar- so there are no sharp edges or dangers to our First Ladies- the Patron Saints of Merriment- at our flower house- and for “Life in Bloom!
Thank you for indulging me with this show featuring one of my favorite dog breeds – the Cocker Spaniel… truly the Patron Saints of Merriment- Try translating these projects and ideas to YOUR favorite breed and celebrate them – along with flowers. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.