Doggy Bag

dog in a bag

H being a dog in a bag model

One of the guys that I walk with on a morning when I take my JRT, Max, out has a little lhasa apso called Tilly.

She is 14 years old and although she seems incredibly fit for her age, she suffers quite badly from arthritis.

get me outta here!!

get me outta here!!

This isn’t helped by her dense and curly coat which holds all the moisture in this wet and windy weather and doesn’t dry at all quickly.

The damp adde to the soggy coat makes her very stiff, achy and miserable in the cold and wet weather.

I have already suggested that she is towelled down before she goes in the car for the trip home but having seen how she objects to being messed about with (and let’s face it, she has earned her objections at 14), I can see just how tricky it is to manage that.

No point in the little lady suffering unnecessarily, so I have made her a towelling drying bag for her trip home in the car.

The idea is that the ‘bag’ dries the dog as they rest or travel and it keeps them warm at the same time (key for little Tilly).

Couldn’t be simpler to create either:-

1 cut the decorative edge from your recycled towel

1 cut the decorative edge from your recycled towel

take an old towel (this is one that my mum donated to us) which I have dyed (Dylon Woodland Brown) a practical and serviceable colour for using on the dogs when they have been out getting dirty…….

1 – Cut the decorative finished edging off the towel (this one is about 70cm x 110cm – and the size of towel needed for a small dog).

2 – Fold the towel length ways

3 – cut a triangle off one corner 10cm down (on both layers)

4 – sew the short seam (this forms the front)

5 – sew the opposite straight seam (this forms the back)

zip

6 fit zip down back

6 –  fit the zip along the back (allowing enough space for the towelling loops so they don’t catch on the zip teeth). I happened to have a chunky brown zip that had been taken out of something. It is an open bottomed zip and not the full length of the bag but sewn in to fit.

towelling loops need to clear zipper teeth

towelling loops need to clear zipper teeth

7 - forming corners

7 – forming corners

7 – fold open (right sides facing) and sew bottom corners to give depth to base of the bag

trim corner once sewn

trim corner once sewn

8 – turn collar over to allow for threading cord or a ribbon on inside and sew, thread ribbon for tightening.

8 - tie ribbon inside in case the neck needs to be pulled a little snugger

8 – tie ribbon inside in case the neck needs to be pulled a little snugger

Tada!!!

I have added a few extra details such as a towelling tab over the bottom of the zip so it softens the edge in case it comes into contact with a soggy doggy.

zip end sewn into bag

zip end sewn into bag

stitching tab over base of zip

stitching tab over base of zip

zip tab finished

zip tab finished

I have yet to find out if Tilly objects to this method of drying as much as a rub down but we have tried.

I hope it works for the little lady and helps with her aches and pains.

I suppose I ought to be making one for my own mutt too!

bunting for samuel

samuel bunting

samuel bunting

In order to keep the small savigars in the family all the same, I have just posted off bunting for little samuel.

hand applique letters

hand applique letters

It has some of the green to match his nursery decor but lots of other colours so that it will go with many different things and colour schemes as he grows up.

A flag

‘A’ flag

Bunting is one of my favourite makes. I think it is so jolly.

'E' flag

‘E’ flag

samuel savigar

wrapped and ready to be delivered

wrapped and ready to be delivered

My work colleague and his wife have just added another to their number and he is called Samuel.

Samuel Jacob Savigar

Samuel Jacob Savigar

He joins their lovely little family along side Ellie and George.

IMG_8995

green for samuel

I was commissioned to do his cushion so that he has one the same as his older siblings and to go with his freshly decorated green & white bedroom.

stork delivery

stork delivery

Ellie’s cushion and bunting was a gift from me but George’s and Samuel’s were special requests.

cradled baby

cradled baby

My next job is to get bunting made for little Samuel as a gift from us. His sister and brother already have some so he needs to be the same.

tag and fastening

tag and fastening

Hopefully they will all be delivered next week.

Pooch Pouches

cosy cave

cosy cave

Ages ago, I spied a rather lovely dog bed with a flap on the top that meant the dog could climb underneath it for a little comfort & cover. We know terriers like to burry themselves and I think they were actually call Terrier Sacks (unfortunately that name conjures up all kinds of awful images of drowning puppies!!!).

hamlet heaven

hamlet heaven

It piqued an idea for a dog bed

keeping and eye on proceedings

keeping and eye on proceedings

With nothing more than a duvet (hypo allergenic in this case for Max’s skin) and a few metres of paw print fleece, I set about making my own version.

It couldn’t have been easier.

Max likes to get right inside and hide his face

Max likes to get right inside and hide his face

So for any one out there who might want to try the same, here it is in it’s most gloriously simple form.

Cut fleece and duvet to desired size (I based our JRT’s bed on about 700mm square)

You can either turn in raw edges of duvet along cut and zig zag edges (this is where I put the overlocking machine I have long lusted after back to the top of my wish list) or finish it with bias tape for a bit of extra rigidity

Sew up ends and sides of fleece (right sides facing) like a furry duvet cover

Attach duvet at each corner (still inside out – this will keep duvet from migrating in the wash)

Then turn right way (duvet is firmly fixed into corners so won’t have moved)

Turn in raw edges and hand sew the opening closed

Fold in half and hand sew the 2 side edges together (leaving end open for your pooch to clamber in)

it was chilly last night and this was hamlet and max mod of the evening

it was chilly last night and this was hamlet and max most of the evening

Eh voila!!

I love this old campaigner

I love this old campaigner

A Pooch Pouch that is snuggly and cosy when it is cold and drafty.

snuggly warm and sleepy after a lovely long walk

snuggly warm and sleepy after a lovely long walk

My sis’s JRT is on holiday with us at the moment so we couldn’t miss him out. He absolutely loves his, his old bones love being toasty warm and he gets to hide away from all the insanity of a younger model nearby.

and a blanket always helps

and a blanket always helps

I think it might have to go home with him when he goes back to Norfolk.

Instructions for making pooch pouch

Decide on the size you want for your dog (we chose 500 and 600mm square for the 2 sizes seen in the post)

Get your chosen fleecy fabric in measurements that are equal to 4 squares (I got fabric 1300mm wide so bought 2.5m for both beds) with an allowance for a little wastage on the selvedges etc.

Cut it to suit your chosen bed size (i.e. 2no pieces at 500mm x 1000mm for the small bed)

Sew then together (right side inside) along 3 of the sides leaving one of the 500mm sides open.

Turn it the right side out. You have a long fleecy sack that forms the covering of your pooch pouch.

Get a single lightweight hypoallergenic duvet per bed. You will need to cut this down so mark it up with your measurements (i.e. 500mm x 1000mm for the small bed or 600mm x 1200mm for the slightly larger bed)

Overlock (or zizag) along the edges of the duvet that will need trimming to achieve your dimensions

Fold it in half. Push it into the top of your fleecy sack with the fold at the open end of the sack.

This leaves half of your fleecy sack empty at the bottom. Secure the duvet to the open edge of the fleecy sack

Push the empty bottom part of your fleecy sack inside the folded duvet.

Secure the inside corners to the open part of the sack.

Hand sew your sack closed and voila. Your pooch pouch is born

Dear Declan

letter 'D'

letter ‘D’

One of my most loyal bunting customers, Catherine, contacted me recently to let me know that a friend would be needing some bunting pretty quickly.

Letter 'E'

letter ‘E’

Although the order for the friend went elsewhere in the end, it was lovely to hear from Catherine again.

letter 'A'

letter ‘A’

It was especially lovely because it came with the news that she has a new ‘little man’ in her household. .

Letter 'N'

Letter ‘N’

Baby Declan has arrived to join brother Ronan.

letter 'L'

letter ‘L’

As a token of thanks for all her support, I have made some bunting for Declan.

finished bunting

finished bunting

It is all parcelled up and ready for posting to it’s happy destination in Dublin.

flags

flags

My little Moo stickers came in handy to fasten the tissue paper and this turquoise and blue ribbon is rather cute.

moo tinyinc stickers

moo tinyinc stickers

I hope to hear from Catherine again when she receives her parcel and perhaps again if the family numbers increase or those of her friends do.

parcelled up and ready to go

parcelled up and ready to go

If there is more bunting required to travel over the Irish Sea to Dublin, I will be very happy.

congratulations tag

congratulations tag

Four Corners of the Globe

flowery 'A' flag

flowery ‘A’ flag

 

Whilst it isn’t quite the four corners of the globe, the places that my bunting has gone are pretty far away.  To date they are hanging in nurseries in Canada, new zealand, ireland, Australia & Brazil.

 

letter 'O' flag

letter ‘O’ flag

 

This little collection of flags are going to make the 2nd in canada so far.

 

pink 'L' flag

pink ‘L’ flag

 

I love making bunting and I have missed doing it so I was delighted to be asked to rustle up something for a little granddaughter Lola Mae.

 

flags on bias

flags on bias

 

I have another commission for bunting that will be needed in August. Without knowing whether this little one will be a boy or a girl or indeed what their name will be, I can’t even make a start.  Except that I do know it has to be green.

 

lola mae

lola mae

 

 

sewing machine cover

my singer

my singer

 

My lovely vintage machine is never put away now that I am lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing space so it gets dust and the lint build up that you already get from sewing is worse for being out in the open all the time.

 

hemming the cover

hemming the cover

 

It’s original storage case is a big old rigid thing that is stored away out of sight and out of mind as it is more about transporting the machine rather than protecting it between uses.

 

Sooooo….

 

top stitching

top stitching

 

I scrabbled through my stash of fabrics to find something pretty but understated that would make a nice sewing machine cover. I don’t want to draw attention to the machine in the small room that I use for sewing, I want it to disappear a little.

 

This vintage Arthur Sanderson furnishing fabric has a very gentle yellow and turquoise floral print that I really like.

 

finished and fitted

finished and fitted

 

The measuring is easy as it is overall a rectangular shape that needs covering and although there are features that mean it is not an actual rectangle, a good fitting one would be perfect.

 

fitted straight after being made

fitted straight after being made

It is generally 45 x 35 x 25cm and could not have been easier to make.

 

 

pooch pin cushion

drawing up the cutting pattern

drawing up the cutting pattern

 

Ever since the Great British Sewing Bee’s Heather’s little pin cushion dog appeared on the last series, I have fancied one for myself.

Heather’s is very stylish and made in full 3-D so it really looks like a dog. His tape measure collar is particularly fabulous I think.

 

sewing the undercarriage to the body

sewing the undercarriage to the body

 

I wanted something a bit retro that was a cross between Gromit from Wallace and Gromit fame and our dog Max and although it needed to stand firm, I wasn’t too fussed about it being too realistic.

I sketched out what shape (at full size) I thought I wanted and made a pattern for a body with a central back seam and a 3-d underside so that there were 4 legs.

 

the ears need to be sewn inside the right side and all the seams notched

the ears need to be sewn inside the right side and all the seams notched

 

Tip – The base centre seam is where it will be stuffed but I like to sew this up first and iron the seam open. The reason I do this is to make sure that I get a nice neat and sharp join to hand sew at the end (I sew up to the gap I need from both sides and then do the gap in a larger stitch and don’t finish off the ends. That means I can pick it out easily when I turn it the right way for stuffing).

 

getting a nice share finish

getting a nice share finish

 

Getting a neat and even join where the base and top meet is tricky but if you are accurate with your sewing and don’t leave it short of where it needs to finish or over sew it, you should get the perfect join.

 

opening for the stuffing

opening for the stuffing

 

When all the seams are joined and you have your ears attached, unpick your base middle seam between the finished points (see tip above) and turn it the right way (your sharp ironed join will make sewing up at the end much easier and neater).

Push out all the corners and points like the nose and tail with a nice fat knitting needle or similar and start stuffing these extremities.

 

seam join at the rear where the legs and the body meet

seam join at the rear where the legs and the body meet

 

The stuff needs to be firm and so fill the pointy bits and the ends fully first before you start working your way back to the seam that needs sewing up.

 

nearly stuffed

nearly stuffed

 

I started with the tail, then the head, followed by each leg and finally the body. Be careful not to leave any loser cavities which might leave your legs floppy.

 

leg join at the underside of the chin

leg join at the underside of the chin

 

When you are happy with the stuffing and how tight it is, pin up the stuffing hole ready for sewing and stand your pin cushion up to check the fill and also to see that it stands straight. Now is the time to adjust the fill if you are not happy (it needs to be a very firm fill for the pins to slide into the body. Too lose and they dog will give way underneath).

Once it is stuffed it is ready to use or ready to decorate and finish as you see fit.

 

stuffed and ready to use or decorate

stuffed and ready to use or decorate

 

I wanted to see eyes and nose and a collar.

 

eyes nose and collar

eyes nose and collar

 

We have a JRT and he has a few spots on his back which made me think what a good idea to have one place to pop all your pins (Heather uses her dog’s head as well as his torso in Great British Sewing Bee).

 

pins on the spot

pins on the spot

 

Our JRT wears a red collar that would have looked very smart but I love the turquoise in my logo so a turquoise collar it had to be (when my tape measure becomes too tatty to use, I think he will get that too).

 

finished pin cushion pooch

finished pin cushion pooch

 

 

 

home made skincare

jars of lovely stuff

jars of lovely stuff

Last year, friends and I went off to Temple Spa for a catch up and some pampering. It was a lovely treat and amongst the chat and fizz, we managed to shoehorn in a few treatments too. I was so taken with the body scrub treatment that I had, that I bought some of the products they had used along with and ye cream a friend had recommended.

One of the products I bought was the Sugar Buff. I loved it so much that I literally bought everyone I know a tub of it for Christmas.

It is very lovely but pretty expensive. If you use it regularly, and with any kind of enthusiasm you can get through it very quickly. Once I’d got to the bottom of my tub of loveliness, I decided to see if I could save some cash and have a go at making something similar myself.

Using only what I had to hand, on a whim and without a shred of research to help me out (bit crazy when you consider everything you need can be researched on the internet now) I set about combining some sea salt, some solid coconut oil that I had in the bathroom cupboard (superdrug coconut oil to treat hair – not perfect but a cheap alternative and on hand) and some essential oils that I use in burners around the house.

It was a success albeit it limited; the salt I used was a bit too coarse so the texture wasn’t quite right.  Not one to be thwarted at my relatively rubbish first attempt, I did a bit of research on the internet and invested in some of the basic skincare ingredients from Summer Naturals (please don’t buy palm oil for any of your home made recipes as it is only farmed from devastating natural habitats and is about the least earth friendly beauty product money can buy).

I have bought lavender oils and other essential oils and products from them before so felt safe in the knowledge that it is pretty good quality stuff. They don’t cater for all your needs but they go a pretty long way.

Ironically, my sister gave me some gorgeous bath salts and also some really lovely hand made Bath Melts in a hamper for Christmas. She had made them herself from a recipe on the be beautiful blog and so my interest was peeked again.

I have had very little time to do anything with my purchases but with a hostess and a birthday gift requirement for last weekend, I opened my box of delicious smelling goodies and set about seeing what I could create with my £50 of ingredients.

creams, balms, oils and scrubs

creams, balms, oils and scrubs

Here are some of the recipes that I have used (all variations of those found on the internet and changed to suit my own requirements as I have sensitive skin with an oily T zone skin and delicate high colour areas around my cheeks as well as constantly dry hands):-

FACE OIL

50ml sweet almond oil (or jojoba)

10ml Vitamin E Oil (good for your skin but also acts as a preservative – you can also use Olive Oil instead)

10 drops Borage Oil

3 drops Lavendar Oil

5 drops of Geranium Oil (Rosemary is a good alternative to Geranium for less sensitive oily skin)

Mix them all together and put into a bottle (a spray top bottle is easiest to use and less messy)

Tip – I added Lavender and Calendula flowers which make it look pretty but they are a bit of a nuisance in use.

I have been using this face oil most successfully at night. Once I’ve cleansed I then applying it to my face and neck which makes my skin feel lovely in the morning. I’ve also been using it during my morning shower when I apply to my face and neck but also all over my body just before I am done.  It is just lovely.

rosemary and lemon zest sugar scrub

rosemary and lemon zest sugar scrub

SUGAR SCRUB

3 parts organic brown caster sugar

1 part Coconut Oil (Shea Butter can be used instead)

3 teaspoons of freshly chopped Rosemary

3 teaspoons of Lemon Zest

1 tablespoon of Sweet Almond Oil (or Jojoba Oil)

Melt coconut oil in a bowl over hot water

mix into other ingredients

put into clean sterilised jar, decorate if required label (include date)

Variation – I also used Lavender flowers and Caledula flowers instead of Rosemary and Zest for half of what I made

rosemary and lemon zest hand & body cream

rosemary and lemon zest hand & body cream

HAND AND BODY CREAM

50g Cocoa Butter

25g Beeswax (reduce this and increase cocoa butter to change consistency)

2 teaspoons of vegetable glycerin (optional)

30ml Sweet Almond Oil

10ml Vitamin E Oil

10 drops of Lavendar Oil

2 teaspoons of Aloe Vera juice

melt the cocoa butter and bees wax in a glass bowl over hot water and stir in the rest once is has cooled down.

decant into a sterilised jar

Variations:-

10 drops of Borage Seed Oil

10 drops of Orange / Tangerine Oil

10 drops of Rose Water

The oils you use can be almost any you like the smell of or know to be particularly good for what you want from a hand & body cream

The consistency is quite solid and to make it into a lotion you need to put the warm mix (as above) into a blender and slowly blend in warmed water (same amount as your oils etc and this could be rose water). Blend until you get the creamy consistency you want.

lavendar and calendula sugar scrub and hand cream

lavendar and calendula sugar scrub and hand cream

CUTICLE CREAM

25g of Coconut Oil

1 teaspoon of Sweet Almond Oil

2 drops of essential oil (any flavour you like)

Put all ingredients into a glass bowl.

Melt over hot water and pour into a clean sterilised container

bath melts in moulds waiting to harden

lavender and calendula bath melts in moulds waiting to harden

LIP BALM

25g of Coconut Oil

1 teaspoon of honey

Put all ingredients into a glass bowl.

Melt over hot water and pour into a clean sterilised container

Variations:- You can use petroleum jelly instead of coconut oil and a tiny bit of lipstick into the mix if you want to add colour.

rosemary and lemon zest bath melts

rosemary and lemon zest bath melts

BATH MELTS

recipe as link above to BeBeautiful blog recipe

bath melts ready to use

bath melts ready to use

ROOM DIFFUSER

Equal parts of Sweet Almond Oil, vitamin E oil and 10 drops of Jasmine Oil

I had some carrier oils left over so decided to try this and it is working well. I repurposed an old diffuser that had dried out.

sugar scrub tub with a little floral decoration

sugar scrub tub with a little floral decoration

I still have some of what I bought left over for my next batch of making but for my £50 I got the following:-

4 medium kilner jars of sugar scrub

3 small kilner bottles of face oil

4 small kilner jars of hand and body cream

3 spice kilner jars of cuticle cream

1 spice kilner jar of lip balm

3 medium kilner jars of bath melts

1 room diffuser

That is 18 pots of skincare and a room diffuser which average at less than £5 each (less than £3 each if you take out the cost of buying pretty jars and recycle containers instead).

In the meantime, I’m very happy with the results and can’t wait to get ‘cooking’ up the next lot and just handling the ingredients for making these lovely things has softened my dry and troubled hands.

I’ve learned loads and will be trying more new things next time but I don’t think I will be running out of scrubs and creams any time soon though, I got a huge amount for my £50.

kindle case

kindle keyboard

kindle keyboard

I have a kindle keyboard that my husband bought me not long after they were first launched and I absolutely love it. I never thought I would be able to leave paperbacks behind but I have and I have never looked back.

 

new case lining

new case lining

I know the kindles have evolved and now have illuminated screens and colour and bells and whistles  but I’m happy with my old style black and white screen keyboard kindle. I have an iPad Air so if I want colour, the kindle App on there and I can have all the same books on that too if I need to.

 

But, the kindle is small and neat and it weighs nothing so I prefer to have that in my bag rather than the iPad and unless the battery has died, I pretty much have it with me everywhere I go.

 

detail

detail

Recently I started having problems with it crashing and it needed to be rebooted all the time. A little research on the internet revealed that the hard case that was bought with the kindle caused problems with the way it connects to the kindle and shorts it out. Eventually causing permanent irreparable damage.

 

No sooner read than the hard case was off and I’m very pleased to say that there hasn’t been a minutes trouble since.

 

button fastening

button fastening

So my poor little caseless Kindle needed some clothes.

 

I liked the cases I made for V’s birthday and I also liked the same black fabric I had used so off I went to measure up and make up my new kindle case.

 

tada!

tada!

It works a treat and I’m very happy with it.

 

On reflection, it probably doesn’t need the flap and it could simply be an open topped case perhaps with a button fastening over the top rather than a fastening flap but it fits perfectly and my kindle is now snuggled safely in it’s case in my bag ready for the next chapter of my current read.