A Pianoload of Clowns

Kaylee suspected this was ‘wrong’, but the little clowns were quite insistent.

“Stupid girl! Hurry!” snapped the clown in the enormous hat.

Bertie snarled.

Never trust a man your dog doesn’t like, Kaylee thought.
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Making Mondays – How to make a pet collage with your children

We’re always on the look out for great craft projects, and when I saw the work of this artist Michel Keck, who produces amazing dog pop art, we just had to have a go.

The girls and I made…….. a collection of collaged Berties!

craft with kids, pet collageAnd for this craft, you’ll need all the usual scraps.

collage materials

  • Paper or material scraps – wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, newspaper, even A4 lined paper can look good.
  • Stickers, glitter, beads – whatever you fancy.
  • PVA glue
  • Scissors
  • A4 photographs of your pet

Firstly, protect your work surfaces from all that glue.

Next, print out the pictures of your pet. You need a nice clear image. We printed the same picture three times, but flipped it in one picture, so Bertie was looking the opposite way. Make sure the eyes and the nose really stand out, because that’s all you’ll be able to see later!

bertie4Then get to work! Tear or cut pieces of your paper and stick onto the photo. You need to leave key areas clear, so that you’ll recognise your pet. With our collages, it was the eyes, nose, and floppy ears that stood out. And we all came up with our own unique versions!

bertie3bertie2bertie1These pictures are all on A4, and since I don’t have any good frames for that size (until my next trip to IKEA), I photographed each collage, changed the backgrounds in Photoshop,  then printed them out as 7″ x 5″ photos.

copiedAll of which fits nicely into the RIBBA frame.

ribbaLike so:

craft with kids, pet collage

It’s not a very messy craft, and I think the end results are really colourful and fun. When I get round to framing the originals, which have a lot more texture and variation, I’ll update this post with some more pictures.

Let me know if you try this with your own pet photo, and post a link to your site so other people can see too!

And I think our Berties might look better in a white Ribba frame….what do you reckon?





How old is your dog?

black cocker spaniel puppy, bertie

To redress the balance (I last posted about cats – the cat font Nekofont), this is a post about dogs.

The BBC News magazine had a great article the other week about calculating your dog’s age – apparently the old adage of multiplying by 7 just doesn’t cut it any more.

Dog Years : How do you calculate a dog’s true age?

Well, this must have been a popular post because they’ve now come up with……

The Dogulator!

Dog Years: The calculator

I gave it a try, and it appears that Bertie is 35!

Which is where the whole enterprise falls apart, of course, because comparing dogs with humans is never really going to work – no way I had that kind of energy and enthusiasm when I was 35!

Or maybe dogs just know how to enjoy life more?


Sorry, can’t cook tonight, the dog ate my wooden spoon……oh, and I’ve just murdered your flask.

Family life this week….

Firstly, I killed a flask.

These are the beautiful little remains – kind of like the bottom of my Christmas bauble box (no matter how well I wrap the little suckers up!)

broken flask, broken vacuum flask

It’s not the first time I’ve murdered a flask, but it’s usually by sloppy flask-care, dropping it from a height and such. This one I killed by over cleaning, thereby proving the point that there IS such a thing as TOO MUCH CLEANING, and a flask exploding in your kitchen first thing in the morning like a firecracker could be the result.

And when I say over cleaning, I wasn’t even being particularly vigorous, just pushed the long handled brush in there a couple of times and …..BANG!…..one dead flask.

shattered flask

It later transpired that the BANG! and my scream of surprise was heard by Plumber Husband and both daughters.  Eldest and Youngest daughter assumed that since I was still standing there in the kitchen, (albeit in shock), that I was okay and no further action was required. Plumber Husband assumed that since I hadn’t called for help, I didn’t need any.

Me: “And what if I’d just been electrocuted or something?” 

Plumber Husband: “That’s okay – You’d finished my sandwiches.”

No flask of tea that day, though, MWAH HA HA!



Later on, and not to be outdone, our Bertie killed a wooden spoon.

This was a special spoon: seeped in juicy Jalfrezi sauce from our evening curry; not too hot; still a little meaty; and given to him while I was out doing my taxi driving stint. When I returned from dropping the non-paying customers at one of their many activities….this was what I found.

wooden spoon chewed up by dog He even brought it up to me.

Like a stick.

Which he doesn’t get.

Because I know how dangerous it is to give dogs sticks.

And so I had to watch him like a hawk to make sure he wasn’t sick, and the next day too.

He’s fine BTW.

black cocker spaniel, english cocker spanielAnd despite these little upsets, and the piles of laundry backed up from our week away in London, and the back log of paperwork etc etc etc…..despite all this – I’m still on target with my Nanowrimo novel. Thus proving to me that:

a)      I can make time for writing.

b)      I can make time for writing – even if family life throws a few crises my way

c)      Too much cleaning is not good for you – and might end up backfiring in your kitchen first thing in the morning!

What about you? How do you find juggling family life with writing?



Sadly, I’ve had to disable comments on this post. The spammers LOVE it! Those guys! Louis Vuitton, Raybans,those guys love me! Hope I’m not forgetting anyone!

Doggy Snood

Bertie has long ears. And in summer, as most spaniel owners know, grass seeds are really common, and once they get inside the ear, they don’t want to come out.

Out little spaniel was in agony last week when he encountered one of these pointy little seeds, and it cost us a trip to the vet (where he was sedated) and £82.

I don’t want to stop taking him to his favourite places, they’re my favourite places too, and most mornings you see something magical like this….

Deer in field

… a deer spying on us from across the field.

So – I have come up with a cunning invention….the doggy snood.

Cocker spaniel snood, how to make, prevent grass seeds in ears What?    Yeah, I know it looks ridiculous, but he’s co-ordinated!

It’s an old pair of my tights, or a healthy chunk of the leg actually, and it fits on his ears just nice.

(Martha Stewart has instructions to sew a more stylish dog snood, if that interests you)

From the front, it looks a little odder.

Happy cocker spaniel, prevent grass seeds in dog ears

But he’s happy.

As always.