New items in my Etsy shop!… The Capy Collection

Just thought I’d update you about some new items I have up on my Etsy shop for sale now! I’ve been drawing Capybaras for ages now, as they are Adam’s absolute favourite, but when a friend told me I should really try to sell them I wasn’t sure how popular they’d be! It seems though that lots of people also think that capybaras are truly amazing, so they’ve gone down very well so far!

I’ll be making lots more capybara-based treasure before too long I’m sure, but in the meantime, here is my Capy Collection…..

‘Capybaras in Love’ Espresso Cup and Saucer Pair, £35

‘Monsieur le Capybara’ Pint Mug, £15

‘Mr and Mrs Capybara’ Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, £15

‘Partybara’ ‘Capyccino’ Cup and Saucer, £15

Hope you like!
Ems x

Blog Every Day in May: Pets

“Tell us all about your pets, past and/or present.”

Cooper’s Story

Anyone who’s been anywhere near my blog of late will more than likely know that I am both dog mad, and a very proud new dog owner. I’ve wanted to own a dog for as long as I can remember….we had small pets like goldfish and hamsters when we were little, but because my parents always worked full time it wasn’t possible to add a pooch to our family. I never stopped hoping for a canine friend though, and I suppose I always knew that I’d be a dog owner one day.

We initially chose to foster a dog back in January….we were finally settled into our new home, which has a nice big garden and plenty of space inside too, and because we both now work from home we felt it was time. We managed to get permission in writing from our landlords and then set about getting our first pooch. We wanted to foster because we had wanted to ensure we could potentially go travelling for a few months in a few years….we knew that wouldn’t be fair to an adopted dog, or whoever ended up looking after it for that long, so thought it best to stay a little flexible. We’d met the wonderful gang from GRWE in town on a few occasions, and fallen in love with their hounds….and when we found out that we could foster for them, we felt that would be perfect.

Because lots of the animal rescue charities don’t have premises, they try to put dogs into foster homes once they’ve been rescued, so that they don’t have to go into kennels. It’s much better for the dogs, who are at less risk of illness and stress, but also for people potentially re-homing them, as they are much easier to monitor and get to know when in a home environment. Once we’d called GRWE they quickly arranged a home check and assessment to see that we were suitable fosterers, and that our home is secure, then in no time at all our first foster hound arrived!

Cooper, a small fawn lurcher, came over on a big boat from Ireland on the last Thursday in January. He’d been a stray over there and had his pelvis broken when he was hit by a car. Lucky for him he was rescued and treated, so that by the time he got over here he could walk pretty well and there was little evidence of his operation. He was much younger than we’d hoped for our first foster, at just under a year old, but he would more than likely have had to go into kennels if we’d not taken him. As with all GRWE rescue dogs, and indeed rescue dogs from almost anywhere, he was already neutered and fully vaccinated, and whilst fostered fully insure too (indeed most adopted dogs come with a month’s free pet insurance).

So, only a day after we knew to expect him, and only a week after we’d been accepted as fosterers, our local re-homing officer brought Cooper to stay with us. He was eager to say hello and get inside the house, and behaved himself right from the start, sitting on his new bed quietly. He sat there so primly, with his gorgeous doe eyes, and we were told that he was a whippet cross of some sort and wouldn’t get much bigger. I remember being so excited to see him and give him a place to stay, and rather like he was meant for us due to his name being the same as my all time favourite TV character (Special Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks!).

We were warned that he probably wouldn’t be with us for long, as he was so young and adorable, and we thought that would be for the best as it would ease us into fostering and not give us enough time to get attached! Well, how wrong we were. We loved having Cooper with us (enjoying cuddles on the sofa and lovely long walks), but by the Sunday a prospective family wanted to meet him, and we all went along to one of the GRWE walks nearby so that they could walk him and introduce him to their existing greyhound. They came back to our garden to let the dogs play without leads and muzzles (all rescue hounds in foster have to remain on leads and wear muzzles until they find their forever homes) and after a little while the family decided to take Cooper with them.

I completed all the paperwork and then Cooper was led away, looking over his shoulder as he went. Well, I was a mess. When Adam turned around after he closed the door, he found me a sobbing wreck! We had thought I’d be the one who found it easiest to say goodbye (I’ve never been very sentimental nor prone to missing anyone!) but I found it all too upsetting and decided that I couldn’t possibly foster, at least until we had our own forever dog.

So, after a lot of lengthy discussions, we decided that we would adopt a dog rather than foster. We put off ideas of travelling for months in favour of having nice long-ish holidays instead, and set about looking for our new family member. We went to nearby Wood Green animal shelter to meet some dogs, but none were just right….we also had to consider Adam’s Mum’s dogs as any dog we took would need to get on well with them. We looked and looked at various rescue websites, and eventually set up a meeting with two recently GRWE rescued greyhound girls on a Sunday.

However, on the Saturday morning, less than 24 hours before we were due to meet the girlies, I got a call from our re-homing officer to say that Cooper was being sent back and asking if we would take him back into foster! I couldn’t believe it! It felt like a sign, and everyone said that he was clearly meant to be ours! We thought very carefully about it, but decided to forgo meeting the girls and take Cooper back on a foster basis to begin with. He was coming back, through no fault of his own really, because the family’s existing greyhound hadn’t gotten on with him. They said that he wasn’t reading the signals when she didn’t want to play, so she would snap at him to get him to back off. As a result, we thought it best to see how he was with other dogs for a few weeks, then hopefully adopt him as our own. It was a bit of a luxury really to have this trial period, although it’s quite well known that dogs often behave much better in the first few weeks, then start showing their true colours once they are settled!

So, over the next week we got into a nice routine with Coops, taking him for nice long walks, introducing him to other dogs, and letting him get to know Adam’s Mum’s dogs Newton and Piper. He got on so incredibly well with everyone he met, that we couldn’t believe he’d been sent back! He’d not really picked up any commands, but we taught him to sit on command within a day and he was amazingly well behaved in every other way too. It wasn’t long before we’d decided that it really was meant to be, so I took him for his check up at the vet and signed him over to us as his new adoptive parents then and there!

Over the next few weeks Cooper learned a whole load of new commands, got to know Newton and Piper really well and even played with Newton too! We took him out on his training lead almost right away, and within a few days were confident enough in his recall that we were able to let him off his lead all together. So, within just a few weeks, I felt like we had the perfect dog!

Cooper has gone from strength to strength since, meeting people, children and other dogs politely, and learning more advanced commands and tricks to boot. He’s taken very nicely to his walks, and adores racing about carrying a ball or a stick. He loves his sofa time, sneaking onto a bed for a snooze, dozing in the sun, eating anything put in front of him (or left carelessly within his reach!) and collecting up his toys and odd belongings of ours to snuggle up with.

I just can’t believe how lucky we’ve been with him…..he really is the most amazing dog and so much a part of our family now. I knew I’d be a dog owner one day!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…… Hornsea Pottery Fauna

I’ve recently developed an obsession for Hornsea Pottery, and especially their Fauna range. As you may have seen, I snagged a gorgeous piece at a recent vintage market, and ever since that I’ve been hunting for more!

In fact, I’ve managed to find a lovely bunny version, as well as a super cute squirrel to make a little set….can’t wait to find a place for them in my new house (will be sure to share photos!).

I just adore the cutesy creatures and the whimsical designs. I want them all!

Anyway, as is my new habit, I’ve created a treasury on my Etsy to show my appreciation! And here are a few of my favourites…..

Hornsea Fauna Royal Vase, £25 from RevolverVintage54

Vintage Hornsea Fauna Rabbit Posy, £6.50 from daisysteps

Vintage Hornsea Fauna baby Lamb Bud Vase, £12.81 from Violet Syrup Vintage

Hornsea Pottery Foal Vase, £10 from Pratts’ Patch Vintage

Set of Two Gorgeous Vintage Fawn Posy Vases by Hornsea Pottery ‘Fauna Royal’ c. 1960 – 1967, £18 from FerretsandFlamingos

You can see my whole treasury here, and I will of course keep adding to it!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…… Some friends from the market

I had my first stall at Old Spitalfields on Saturday, as part of the Designers Makers Market. It was lovely to see some stalls I recognised from past markets and to meet some new people too. There were lots of things I wanted, as usual, so here’s a little round up of my favourites!…..

Being a Potteries lass, I couldn’t pass by a stall filled with china without stopping for a look! And Material Pleasures‘ collections are actually made in my home town….and not much china is these days! Designed by Julie Spurgeon and skillfully made in English fine bone china in the heart of The Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent, Material Pleasures represents a lot of what I love about British hand-made homeware. Julie’s designs are both elegantly classical and whimsically modern….so very different from anything I’ve seen. Her sugar sweet pastel tones really caught my eye, along with her darling little china sugar mice (I was lucky enough to get one as a gift from Adam!). I’d love a full set (or three), and knowing that everything is so well made, thoughtfully designed and ethically sourced, I’d say there’s a pretty good excuse to indulge!

The Mister Peebles stall actually caught Adam’s eye first….. Full of charming and original illustrations bearing witty puns, we both fell for the little animals dressed up in sweaters and pajamas. There were lots of delightful prints for sale, as well as stacks of gorgeous greeting cards (which we couldn’t leave without!)…and it’s all terribly reasonably priced too!

And continuing the animal theme (it wasn’t intentional I promise!) Yas-Ming Ceramics is a collaboration between Yasmin Dilekkaya and Ming Wai Sun. Together they design these wonderful ceramics, all so clever and funny….. each mould is made by them and the heads and bums are carefully attached by hand so each piece is slightly different. I adore the small plates with the ruffed animals standing over them…how cute are their over-sized heads on their little human bodies?!

I’m back at the Designers Makers Market at Old Spitalfields on Saturday 15th September, along with lots of the lovely designers I met there too!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants….. Hand Made treasures by HandyMaiden

I come across treasure I want every day on Etsy. It’s an occupational hazard. Rarely do I come across an entire shop of things I desperately want though….but this week I did just that!

HandyMaiden is a darling little Etsy shop, selling hand painted jewellery and collectables. Each piece is sculpted from polymer clay and then is cured and meticulously hand painted….. the detail is amazing and each piece has its own little character. They are then coated with several layers of protective varnish, for a smooth matte finish, and come in their own small kraft box, ready for gifting.

Cute Packaging!

The treasures break down into three main categories…. the animal medal, the bird in flight necklace, and the pocket totem. I want one of each. In every design. And considering the price, that’s not actually *too* pie in the sky…. the treasures range from about £15 to £40, which I think is excellent value, and shipping to the UK is just £3.29.

If I *had* to choose though……

Custom bird in flight necklace, £39.50

How stunning are THESE?!?! And so wearable too! I am in LOVE with that Puffin!

You can actually ask for any bird you like to be made specially….I was thinking that a Goldfinch would be nice and it’s one of my favourites. They are about 1.5′ wide, so big enough to be a statement but small enough that you don’t feel silly. They take about 3 to 4 weeks to make, but make a great gift for a special birthday.

Custom animal medal, £32.92

And how adorable are these little medals?! You could wear these as a brooch on a cute cardi, or use them to embellish a bag even. Again, you can choose any animal….I adore the little bambi there, but the bear is lovely too! A great idea as a well-done gift I reckon!

Any animal pocket totem, £34.24

Now I have no logical *need* for a pocket totem of any sort, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love it, and sometimes the best gifts are something you don’t need! You can have a pocket totem made as any animal you like, and they even make pet portraits too! I would love a little totem of each of the dogs in my life (Adam’s mum’s Newton and Piper….and Adam’s brother’s Buddy and Peanut)…and Hedges the cat of course.

There are also brooches and earrings in the shop, so if you’re looking for a gift for an animal lover…look no further!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants….. All about the animals

So it’s no secret that I love all things animal related and this week I’ve come across lots of cutesy critter ‘wants’……

How incredibly adorable is this little deer?! I’m crazy about the colour yellow at the moment and I have long since loved the Sylvac style of pottery. This little beauty is a planter too and would look super cute holding a big bunch of daffodils or tulips!

Vintage Yellow and Green Ceramic Deer Planter, from Jen’s Closet on Etsy, £12.85

I’m also crazy about all kinds of birds, and adore the pretty little humming bird. I fell in love with them when I first saw them on holiday a few years ago and have since painted some too. These clever bookends show off their pretty hovering flight and long, slender beaks…. in fact the black powder coated, laser cut steel makes them look like they are actually hovering over your books when viewed from straight on. Pretty and clever!

Hummingbird Bookends, from Llustre, £12

Most of all though I’m bonkers about dogs…. I have adored the little waddle of the Dachshund for ages, and the bonus of them being so popular right now is that there are lots of gorgeous things featuring their lovely little selves. I so want this cushion, printed with the cutest Dash wearing a Union Jack and sunglasses!

Hot Dog Union Jack Cushion by Rory Dobner from Liberty, £95

All so cute!

Ems x