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Bella and Biscuit


Last November, I spent a weekend in Longview doing disability exams for Social Security. The days are very long and hard—with applicants scheduled every fifteen minutes. In that time I am expected to review medical records, do a brief history and physical exam, document in writing and dictation the results addressing each of their medical problems. Some are there looking for a handout while others are in desperate straits—some by their own doings; others by misfortune.

The pandemic was still in full swing; the hotel offered no dining capabilities and even the vending machine was nearly empty.

The owner of the clinic where the exams were conducted owned two dogs–both rescues. One was named Biscuit–obvious from the color of her fur and the other was Bella, a rambunctious puppy of just 14 months. Biscuit spent much of the time I was sitting to review records and dictate with her chin on my knee looking up at me; while Bella when she had a chance would take a flying leap and land all 80 plus pounds of herself in my lap. The owner kept apologizing but for me it was much like the come-back party for the Neonatial Intensive Care Unit I attended one Christmas as a resident—the children were squealing, laughing, throwing cake, spilling punch–and in gneneral being active busy two and three year olds—a far cry from the tiny helpless infants lying on the Ohio beds with tubes and oxygen.

Bella and Biscuit made those two very long days tolerable.

In appreciation, I made two artwork pieces. The bases were a fine cotton embroidered towel from my mother-in-law’s linen closet,

Here are Biscuit and Bella

I converted them to black and white in Elements.

I selected fabrics, appliqued with needle turn applique on two matching tea towels.

They are presented on stretcher bars 11 by 18 inches. I mount the artwork on a larger piece of fabric usually either black or cream colored linen and put a piece of archival foam core behind the artwork.

It was a fun project. Using linens as a background has proven to be both challenging and inspiring. The quality of these linens is wonderful and it is a joy to work with such fine fabrics.

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