Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Rush

Xmas 2012_0001

Now the chrimbo festivities are truly upon us, it times to have a breather.  Since the end of September mine and my Mother’s needles haven’t stopped.  I can only guess the miles of yarn we have used in the last 2 – 3 months.  Sales from my etsy shop picked up and since I introduced a new line, the pixie hat, we couldn’t keep up with the demand.  This is extremely good news for the 2 groups that I raise funds for Action for Greyhounds and A New Day Spain.


We are on our fortnight Christmas shutdown at work so I have 2 weeks off, plenty of time to catch up on the accounts I do for AFG and complete some orders, two of which are the large crocheted greyhounds I make.


Tillie, Raven and I have also been collecting outside shops in November and December and our last venue is one of the Pets at Home in Norwich on Christmas Eve.

We would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Peaceful New Year.

Chrimbo 2012

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Greyhound Decorative Wreaths

I have been having fun making these wreaths for my shop.  I loved how the black hound one came out but then I am a little biased about black beauties.  Black is the only colour I have trouble working with these days, its my age you know, the old eye sight isn’t up to what it used to be!




Sunday, 11 November 2012

Charity begins at home

You may recall that I started a once a week charity donation called Fridays Fiver.  Unfortunately due to work pressures over the summer I wasn’t able to keep this up, blogging wise.  I have been donating throughout the year to various causes.  Here are some of the great causes I have donated to:

A dogs life – “A Dogs Life is an non-profit group whose volunteers work hard to give pound dogs the chance of a better life. We rescue stray and surrendered dogs that are not reclaimed or rehomed from Dunboyne Pound.”

Galgos del sol – “Galgos del Sol is a small rescue based in Murcia. GdS rescues abandoned and injured galgos (Spanish hunting greyhounds), rehabilitates them and finds them forever homes in the UK & other parts of Europe.”

Scooby Medina – “Scooby started out in 1987 as a shelter under poor conditions, providing refuge for the stray cat and dog population and the numerous Galgos (Spanish greyhounds) discarded mainly by the local coursing fraternity in the area of Medina del Campo, Valladolid.”

Many Tears Rescue – “Many Tears Animal Rescue (MTAR) is a small rescue based in South Wales but has dogs in foster homes throughout the UK. We take in and rehome primarily ex-breeding dogs who are no longer required; those on "death row" in the pounds and those whose owners are no longer able to keep them. MTAR also has a small cattery which enables us to take a small number of cats.

As well as my on going commitment to Action for Greyhounds, this year at the boatyard, my knitted and crocheted items that are on sale in reception raised £500 which I am donating to The Alzheimers Society in honour of my Father, Peter who was diagnosed earlier in the year with the disease.

After seeing a request on a knitting forum, I have been crocheting dog coats of various sizes and snoods and sent them to a small rescue in Spain called A New Day Spain Dog Refuge which is run by a tireless couple Keith & Maria Bradford who retired to Spain but ended up setting up a refuge for unwanted and abandoned dogs in Spain.  Please consider donating to them, however little, as they are really struggling at the moment due to the heavy rain.  They are in desperate need of money to fund concreting the pens the dogs are kept in.

I am currently selling knitted greyhound pixie hats in my Etsy shop to raise money for this wonderful couple and next year, they will be the recipient of the sales of knitted items from the boatyard.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Greyhound Christmas Cards

Nigel kindly produced 2 designs of Christmas cards for fund raising for Action for Greyhounds featuring Tillie & Raven.  I think you will agree they are super – Can you spot the sweet greyhound angel on top of the tree and also where Tillie has set fire to her tail?

Xmas card 2012

Xmas card 20121

There are 8 cards in a pack (4 of each design) blank inside with envelopes £3.50 plus postage.  You can order your packs from the merchandise section of the Action for Greyhounds website HERE

Monday, 8 October 2012

Knitted Greyhound Pups

The last few weeks has seen myself and my Mother knitting these lovely cheeky chaps for firstly some fund raising events happening over the summer and secondly to stock in my etsy shop.  I have been given permission to knit and sell these pups for the charity Action for Greyhounds from the very talented Debi Birkin – you can find her work here.
They come complete with their own adoption certificate and tiny silver coloured ‘made with love’ charm.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Absent from Blogland

We all have been missing in action from Blogland, well this particular corner of Blogland anyway.  I was finding it hard to blog personally, as not only do I have this blog (sadly neglected I know) but we have a blog for the boatyard and I have now created a page on facebook for the boatyard too.  I will be dipping my toe back in to personal blogging soon but in the meantime, I am still open for business for supplying snoods and soon to be available knitted greyhound pups.

Tillie and Raven wave their paws and say hi!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 16, 17, 18 & 19

Sorry for the lack of posts. Don’t you hate it when work gets in the way of doing stuff you really enjoy?  At this time of year, we really step up a gear to get all the boats ready for the new season but now they are ready and are finally going out on hire, perhaps a normal blogging service can resume.
I am well behind on my Friday’s Fiver, so I am going to cheat a little and use the last 3 weeks fivers and this coming Friday’s fiver to donate £20 to – a charity cycle ride in aid of Sighthounds Online.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 15

This week’s Fiver goes to Angel Bear 


 From their website:

Welcome to the home of Angelbear, the UK's fastest growing family of knitters and crocheters who knit bears for children in crisis. Angelbears are used by police forces in the UK, US and Australia, major children's hospitals, hospices, women's refuges and all major critical care services.

I shall be knitting a few of these bears up to send to them.  You can find the free patterns here

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Making Soap

I thought I would have a go at making my own soap, so after a while ploughing my way through the ‘interweb’ I can across this relatively easy and foolproof soap making recipe from Small Notebook

The first time I tried it I think I was over ambitious as I added colour and fragrance.  The soap turned out well but the colour was yuck and had no smell.  I was going for a purple, lavendar fragranced soap but ended up with a grey, normally soapy smelling bar.  I little bit more research on adding colour and fragrance I think.


Mixing the lye


Mixing the oils


Pouring the soap mixture into the mould


Setting in the mould


Frist attempt – Grey looking but perfectly usuable

The second time around I left out the colour but added some coconut fragrance.  Not sure whether this smells yet as I haven’t used any yet.  The second more natural looking soap, I plan to gift some on Mothers Day.


Second batch – more natural looking

You should try it, its fun!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 14

At last I am bang up to date with Friday’s Fiver. Yesterday’s Fiver goes to The Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society, (HARPS)


From their website:


Championing the Humane Care of Equines and other Hooved Animals Through Legislation, Investigation, Impoundment, Rehabilitation, Education and Community Outreach.

I first came across Harps when I saw these videos on another site. The foal in the video is Phoenix the stunning horse in the picture above.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 13

I am only one Friday’s Fiver behind now.  I will catch up either later on today or tomorrow.

February 24th Fiver goes to: The Brook


From their website:

We are an international animal welfare organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world's poorest communities. We provide treatment, training and programmes around animal health and wellbeing, operating across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Our History

From humble beginnings as a hospital for ex-warhorses in a dusty Cairo street founded in 1934, the Brooke has become the leading international welfare charity for working equine welfare.


On arrival in Egypt in 1930, Dorothy Brooke was horrified to see hundreds of emaciated horses being used as beasts of burden on the streets of Cairo.

The wife of a British army major general, Dorothy Brooke was appalled to learn that these walking skeletons were ex-warhorses of the British, Australian and American forces.

All of them had seen service in the First World War. When the conflict ended in 1918, they were sold into a life of hard labour in Cairo.

Dorothy Brooke could not shake off the memory of these pitiful creatures. She wrote a letter to the Morning Post – which later became the Daily Telegraph – exposing their plight. Read the full text of her appeal.

The public were so moved they sent her the equivalent of £20,000 in today's money to help end the suffering of these once proud horses.

Within three years, Dorothy Brooke had set up a committee and bought five thousand of these ex-warhorses. Most were old and in the final stages of collapse, and had to be humanely put down. But, thanks to her compassion and tenacity, all of them ended their lives peacefully.

But Dorothy Brooke knew that her work could not end there while thousands of horses, donkeys and mules still suffered.
In 1934, Dorothy Brooke founded the ‘Old War Horse Memorial Hospital’ in Cairo, with the promise of free veterinary care for all the city’s working horses and donkeys and the Brooke Hospital for Animals was born.


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 12

So Friday’s Fiver No 12 for February 17th goes to Give A Greyhound A Home


From their website:

GAGAH was established in 1999 with the sole aim of raising awareness about the plight of racing greyhounds and ex-working lurchers and to save as many of these wonderful hounds as we can.

We are a Non-Profit organisation, solely run by a dedicated team of volunteers who give their time and effort for free. Every penny donated to GAGAH goes to helping us save more lives and to look after the dogs we already have in our care.

To date we have found over 1000 homes for these adorable hounds, where they are loved and get the chance to have a happy, well deserved retirement.

We can accommodate 6 dogs at our Methlick kennels, 3 at the Hope kennels near Memsie, we pay for 2 spaces at Ebrie Lodge boarding kennels, and we have foster homes who look after another 4-5 hounds.

Over 10,000 greyhounds retire each year EVERY year, with fewer than 2,000 being rehomed, the rest are sadly put to sleep before they reach 4 years old.

Many of the dogs we get have been very badly abused or neglected, we rehabilitate these traumatised dogs and gently prepare and introduce them to the big bad world, and slowly help them to learn to trust humans again. We have had dogs in our care who have been so badly beaten they are just an empty shell who have shutdown, we've had dogs who are starved and neglected to the brink of death with some adult greyhounds coming in weighing 14kilos when they should be 30kilos, the heartbreaking cases are endless but I am pleased to say all have had happy endings.

Friday’s Fiver No 11

Still running behind I am afraid, so Friday’s Fiver for February 11th is Greyhound Gap

From their website:

Welcome to Greyhound Gap

Greyhound Gap is a small independent charity set up to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome greyhounds and lurchers who find themselves in a ‘put to sleep’ situation in UK pounds.  Funded almost entirely by donations, we rehome around 150 dogs each year.  We can have up to 60 dogs in our care at any one time, in foster homes or in holding kennels awaiting suitable foster homes. Greyhound Gap operates on a national basis so our dogs can be homed in most areas throughout the UK.

We have a network of volunteers across the whole of the UK who can help physically by: fostering hounds, fundraising, home visiting, transporting and walking our kennel hounds.  We also offer the opportunity to sponsor our long-stay hounds.

We are totally self funded and work extremely hard to raise the necessary monies to continue helping these wonderful hounds.   This is made possible by fantastic support from our network of volunteers and you, the general public.  Without that generosity we could not do the work we do and we are incredibly grateful for every donation we receive, however small.  Every single penny really does help!

More information on how you can help us or get involved can be found within the pages of this website.   Please explore the site and find out more about who we are, what we do and the hounds we help.

Greyhound Gap - Rodney on the front page

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 10

Sorry!  I am very behind in my Fridays Fiver, so without further delay Friday’s Fiver for 3rd February is Last Chance Animal Rescue


From their website:

Last Chance Animal Rescue Centre is a registered charity based in Kent, UK - near Sussex, Surrey & London.

  • We rescue, rehabilitate and re-home dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • All our animals are health checked, inoculated & identi-chipped.
  • We have a full neutering policy.
  • We carry out home checks and are able to re-home to most areas of the UK.
  • We operate a no destruction policy.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Snowy Sunday

All last week, the UK forecasters were predicting that most of the UK would have snow showers on Saturday night and sure enough, Sunday morning we woke up to 4 –5 inches of snow.  Big deal, I hear our American/Canadians readers, but for us, here in the UK, especially here on the East Anglian coast, snow is quite a big deal, however little we get.

Thought you might like to see some footage of our snowy Sunday.  First up, is Raven being Raven (I apologise for me screeching in the back ground and if you turn the volume up really high you can just about make out the Sunday morning church bells), then the chicken’s first ever glimpse of snow (they were not keen at all, and in the end I had to clear a path the very short distance from the hen house to their feeder).  Next clip is Tillie & Raven getting excited on our departure for the mornings walk (heavily egged on by Nigel winding them up with a broom!) and last but by no means least, Tillie & Raven ‘zooming’.  Note Raven’s speedy, sleek run as opposed to Tillie’s ‘leaping in the air’ run. 


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Doggy Cake Recipe


As requested by a couple of our blogging friends, here is the recipe I use for the hounds Gotcha Cake. The original recipe I got from Dog Cake Recipes but I tweaked the recipe very slightly by missing off the butter, I thought the oil was enough fat already.

Gotcha/Birthday Recipe

  • 1 ½ cup of Flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1 jar of Beef Baby Food (any flavour would do – its just for gooeyness)
  • ½ cup of Corn Oil (I used rapeseed oil)
  • 4 fresh eggs
  • Natural Yogurt
  • A few strips of Beef Jerky (I used chew strips like Scmackos, soft enough so you can tear them up)

Put the beef baby food, oil and eggs into a bowl and mix them thoroughly. Add the rest of the ingredients and make sure the final mixture is smooth. Tear the beef jerky strips into smaller pieces and add them. Pour into a lined 6” or 7” cake tin and cook in the oven at 200 C for about 1 hour. Turn out on to cooling rack. When cold spread natural yogurt over the top for frosting and using the strips, spell out the initial of your dog or using a squeezy bottle of sauce (I used barbeque sauce) write the initial letter or name. Serve and your dog will love it!


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Raven’s 2nd Gotcha Day

You wait for ages for a doggy cake and two come along in the same week. Today was Raven’s 2nd Gotcha Day. Actually it was the day he came to stay ‘temporarily’ as a foster but after a few days, he became a permanent addition to the family, so we celebrate the day he arrived in the household.


Is it my turn this week?


Yum! Smells good!


No Tillie we are not having doggy cake every week.


I can wait…slobber, slobber, slobber….








I could easily eat that again!


Er…maybe not!

Sorry for the blurry eating pictures but you wouldn’t believe the speed he ate it!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 10

This week’s donation goes to Galgos del sol a rescue based in Spain that rescues unwanted galgos.

From their website:


Galgos del Sol is a small rescue based in Murcia. GdS rescues abandoned and injured galgos (Spanish hunting greyhounds), rehabilitates them and finds them forever homes in the UK & other parts of Europe.  Thousands of galgos are abandoned or killed annually at the end of each short hunting season and as they are not always viewed as potential pets in Spain, they usually end up in perreras (pounds), where their lives are ended, often not in ways we would consider humane.  Galgos del Sol is entirely dependent on fundraising for its survival and is run by two dedicated women, Tina and Suzie with huge support from Beryl Brennan & other dedicated volunteers based in Spain, France and the UK.

Painting, Galgos del Sol by Victoria Colville

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Busy needles

The long, dark winter evenings have given me ample opportunity to get clicking with my needles.

First up – I was asked to crochet this greyhound for Inge from The Netherlands.



Next a couple of crazy cats.



And then some dog coats of various sizes destined for some dog days coming up in the summer.




Lastly a trio of cushions