piecing brings me peace

I have had numerous dog related incidents with dye products (indigo, still gruesomely and indelibly etched in my memory!)  and fragments and samples that have been dyed.

To get the bits out of the dogs way (namely husky girl) I thought that rather than put them in an organised book (which would be sensible), I’d try to make something with them. Things, literally, came together. Husky girl tends to leave a trail of fur and destruction wherever she goes. On one day she left an old linen, hardbook covered book in tatters. I’m not sure what it is with the old books, but she and the spaniel both have occasional bibliophobic tendencies for the older hardbacks. My theory is that the old books utilised animal based glues to keep the spine, linen etc together, and this is what they smell out and kill, very effectively. The cover is normally ripped off, chewed to a greater or lesser extent, the flappy pages shaken thoroughly into submission and given a bit of a doing generally.

On this day I salvaged a somewhat chewed but relatively intact cover separated from it’s pages. It was dark blue linen with rather nice 1920’s-30’s stylized cover and edges for a book of children’s poems.

IMG_4231 opened out cover to see all of outside of sewing book

I found myself absentmindedly handling this and beginning to patch and piece together my dyed samples. I started using bigger pieces of fabric that would have almost covered the book, but found myself cutting up big pieces and distressing others, using smaller and smaller scraps at times.

The patched cover was pieced together off the book for the most part but started being stitched over the wadding and the book cover, encasing the hard, chewed cover.


It was meant to be a book cover for the cover but ended up covering it all. I thought what to do with this now – answer – a sewing kit book! It needed areas for pins, needles, scissors etc.

IMG_4212 wadded area for padding and pin cushion



Tees had old shirts that had been damaged by age, time, him or dogs and were being  ‘re-resourced’ at they say now. I decided to cut up one of the padded sleeves off of an winter shirt and stitched layers together to form a padded wadge.

I used felt samples from old projects that had been dyed in the past. I loved finding the mini kids waistcoat with the pocket – this became the scissors holder.

IMG_4214 upside down picture – pocket is the right way up! pleased with my ‘catch’ to keep them in 🙂

I haven’t finished yet, as I now want to stitch into the cover itself. New circumstances are arising and I need my pockets of peace. I find hand stitching brings me that peace, so there may be a heavily decorated wee sewing book at the end!


Pictures – showing a disturbing amount of dog hair on and possibly sewn into the samples and book!

IMG_4213  IMG_4215

IMG_4216 IMG_4222

IMG_4219 Old buttons salvaged from things or found in the sewing box I inherited. This felt sample sewn down middle horizontally to give me 2 horizontal pockets – tape measure?

IMG_4221 This sample is a vertical pocket, holding buttons and a seam ripper


IMG_4229 IMG_4225

IMG_4226 IMG_4227


Craft Fair at Kirkton of Skene

I’ve just come back from a craft and dog fair held up in Aberdeenshire.

I had planned to do lots of things to make the travelling ‘worthwhile and eco-friendly; meet up with someone to (finally! oops) give them their order, meet up with a shop interested in the chocolates, link up with a past student and great graphic designer, and of course, to be there at the fair. All of which for various reasons didn’t happen, except for the fair, but that’s many other stories, too boring to regale you with.

I was put up with Corinne Gillespie, a co-reflexology tutor with me, fellow therapist in lots of fields and friend. ‘Put up with’ in every sense as I was interrupting her packing and moving, kept her late for meal making by chatting and disturbing her in the morning with my silly o’clock it’s daylight it must be morning (it’s 5 am for heaven’s sake woman, why can I not sleep in. in Summer?!)

The fair was in aid of the SSPCA and so had a dog show attached to it, a more formal one and also a general round of categories; agility, fun agility, waggiest tail, best veteran dog, etc.


With hindsight this might not have worked well for us craft stall holders inside the hall. While a lot of people came, they came with their canine friends, and it was warm weather, so they weren’t allowed to bring the dogs in to the venue and they couldn’t leave the dogs in the car (NEVER leave your dog in a car on a hot day, even with windows open – it gets hot enough to cook an egg on the dash – seriously! I’ve seen the vid, heat + car= dead dog – no not that in a vid, ugh! the egg cooking on a dash vid…).

On an aside we have an insulated dog trailer with ventilation for sale if there are any offers out there, interested-get in touch, please, it’s cluttering up the yard – we look like the old Rag and Bone Merchants of yesteryear – remember Steptoe and Sons – that’s us that is!

Anyoldhoo, back to the plot…There were some great people who did pop in and sample and talk to me, and great other stall holders – we ended up buying more off of each other! Also advice on business, plans, what’s a good show, where to go, who to see etc. So we had a good networking session.

I bought a lovely wee hair clip from Designs by Freda ( can be found on facebook) who does lovely fascinators and hats, these were made in sinamay, so I only got a wee one as the dogs LOVE sinamay – must be the glue in it, hmm crunchy then chewy, luvverly.



Also bought a robust bootscraper from Horseshoes Everlasting (also on facebook). Everything made from, you guessed it, horseshoes. A wonderful large sphere, that I’m not sure how I’d get into the car at the other side is being seriously considered to be made to order from them. It would look great in the garden with grasses and plants growing through it…




Last thing I bought was a knitted ring from BeauElle.  www.beauelleonline.co.uk. Rachel makes her own jewellery. The ring I bought is made from clay rolled into even pieces and rolled and woven together so it really looks like it’s knitted. Lots of colours and comfy to wear.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I bought a burgundy one.

I sold the most out of the day compared to the other stall holders – but hey, it’s chocolate!

It was the first time that the new Chai Latte bar was officially introduced to the world, and it did pretty well. Also 2 experimental – as in ‘I- have- some- left- over, what- can- I- do with- it- as- it’-s about- to- over- thicken- and- I- don’t- want- to- re-temper- it’ experiments were thrown into the mix – and one sold out and the other did quite well too, so they might become regular additions.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The hot chocolate kit mugs did better than normal.



I’d made only 3 bars of Geranium and Lavender milk chocolate, decorated with crystallised Rose petals and Lavender flowers – they sold out – they do look pretty if I say so myself. The other experiment was in dark chocolate, another Rosemary flavoured one but as I’d run out of my dehydrated strawberry (note to self, need to go to pick your own or forage for wee wild ones up the woods) I couldn’t finish doing the usual Rosemary, Strawberry and Mint bars, so having unused Rosemary chocolate, I played with it, and added dried, ground strawberry powder and dried, ground orange fruit and peel powders to the mix, and decorated with orange batons. They proved quite popular too. They taste good but have a grainier feel in the mouth, but as you feel the slight roughness, you also begin to get the flavours of the powders coming through.

All in all, a good day exchanging husky destructive horror stories, meeting up with Corinne, business ideas etc.