Friday, 16 March 2012

Destash - Mara

This little lady I have decided to move to the destash area of my shop. I made her a year past Christmas while I was snowed in!
She makes me smile every time I see her, but I think it is time for her to be rehomed

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Needle felted Shar Pei

Next wee doggy up in my shop - I hope you like her

a needle felted Shar Pei

More photos in my shop - those wrinkles took forever!!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Value range - Fox

another of my value range in my shop
a needle felted red fox

This was an earlier one so he has slightly more detail than the other value ones with hocks and sculpted hips
I love him but I just love the straight legged cartoony value ones more - I will save the hocks for the more regular sculptures

Monday, 12 March 2012

Every which way?? Agility training

Training today I thought I would share a little tip. I hope the images show up OK.
Often when people set up a course to train on they think about the way they would like to run it, train it that way then do something else.

I bet Im not the only one who at shows has this issue

You walk the course, you imagine where you want to be, you imagine where your dog will be. You work out all your turns perfectly in your head.
You get in the ring and your brain is putty and your excited dog is suddenly super-charged. All the plans go out the window - you are never in the places you thought you would be and you are racing to catch up.
That is why when I am training something I try and do it from as many directions and positions as I possibly can.
For example todays course was the one above. Bet you have looked at it and figured out where you should be, where your dog should be - right??
Here are three possibilities I worked on with this today

Here is the first way I ran this.
I recall the dog from the weaves. Keep him on my right hand side.
I send him over jump 3, with no other direction from me the natural thing for the dog to do here is to curve to the left. Then a simple front cross here picks the dog up on the left hand to send him to jump 4
Then another simple front cross picks the dog up on your right hand side to send to the weave and then the final jump

This method may not be the shortest route for the dog but it has a few advantages.
With a fast long striding dog if the distance from 3 to 4 is tight this may be quicker than slowing him down to turn the other way
Also this way there it is always clear to the dog where you want him to go, this is the simplest way to handle because you are always curving your dog with you in the center point of the curve
This is natural for the dog

The second run is very similar.
I start off exactly the same for jump 1 and the weave
But for jump 3 I flick the dog out to the right
This means I send him out to the jump but at the same time crossing behind the dog (rear cross) to direct him to turn.
I dont train left and right commands when Im running my dogs (cos I am rubbish at remembering my left and right) so with this one I cue the turn by bringing my left arm up as I am sending the dog on and stepping behind before he commits to the jump - this means he is already turning the right way before he lands.
It is important that the dog knows where he is going before he takes off else he may turn the wrong way, land heavily on his shoulder trying to change direction as he lands or even slip.

This is the third run
This time I start on the other side of the weave. I keep the dog on my left had side tru the weave, push him out to jump 3 then its a simple post turn to jump 4 keeping the dog on the left hand side.
With this method is best if you can get in front of the dog slightly at the end of the weave, hanging back or a late signal and the dog may curve towards jump 4
To push the dog to jump 3 it can also be useful to indicate with your right arm as that turns your shoulder to face the jump even more than with your left arm.

So as you can see, three ways to do the same run - and there are loads more
You could even do the weaves with the dog on the left, front cross after the weaves and turn the dog left at jump 3 - or flick him right
Or a blind cross after the weave
Or or or
See lot of ways to do just one simple setup

and then of course you should do the mirror image

I know the writing on the images dosent show up - but it is more than covered in the descriptions here

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Value range - Raccoon

Please say hello to my latest little critter from my value range in my needle felting shop

A needle felted raccoon

I love these little guys. I think I will have to felt a more detailed one at some point soon

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Value range - Border collie

LinkHeres the next in the value range in my etsy shop

Another Black and white border collie - I do love making border collies

This wee guys is solidly felted but with less detail than my normal dogs, no open mouth no paws, no pawpads. Hes like a sketch in wool
But even so I think they have cute expressions

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Needle felted red panda

Here is the first of my value range
A needle felted red panda
Please pop over to my shop for some more views of him

My mum was visiting my sister and neice and at the zoo they saw some red pandas (or more honestly they saw the back of them as they were quite shy) But that gave me the idea to felt one, and to feet him quickly and simply so the value range was born

They are such cute litte critters with their white cheeks and grumpy eyebrows they look like little old men
I love the slightly stripy tail too

Monday, 5 March 2012

New range

I love felting my detailed sculptures. Some of them can take 1 - 2 weeks to make
But also sometimes it is nice to create sometine in a day or two

and I am seeing from the interest in my destash section that some people would like the chance to get some affordable art.
So my value range has been born. Like a scetch in wool these guys are less detailed - no feet, no paw pads, no open mouths, no days working on shading

But they do have a little personallity of their own
I hope you like - I will introduce them individually over the next few posts.

Friday, 2 March 2012


LinkHere is my latest listing in my Etsy shop.
A needle felted Puli.
I love this breed although I have never met one in person. They look crazy! Their curly fur cords together to create dreadlock type matts
But under all the fur is a agile little dog

Thursday, 1 March 2012

what price of winning

Westminster is the American Crufts.
Personally I am not against dog showing. People who love their dogs having a good day out and meeting other people and other dogs in the breed they love. But I am against breeding dogs to win shows.
Although I am sure there will be some great ethical breeders there are also those who are more interested in the hobby of showing than their individual pet dogs.
A bad example of this is the Sheltie winning best of breed at Westminster
Go check out this blog for more information - and hang around there and have a look at some of the other articles on there.
Basically this dogs sire is deaf and blind
Yup you read that right - he was deliberatly bred from a deaf blind dog.
What is worse is his father is not deaf and blind by accident, a freak of nature, the breeders knew there was a very good chance that some puppies from the mating would turn out to be deaf and blind.
That is because of the pretty merle coat. Without going too much into genetics here a dog gets the information for whether his coat will be solid or merle patterened from its parents. One from each. If both parents give the gene for a solid coat then the dog will have a solid coat. If One parent gives the gene for a solid coat and the other for a merle coat then the dog will have a merle coat.
So a solid coloured dog can only have two copies of the solid coloured gene. So they can only pass on a solid coloured gene
A merle coated dog will have one solid coloured gene and one merle gene. So they can pass on either a solid coloured gene or a merle gene

The problem arises when two merle dogs are bred together. From that breeding you can get solid coated dogs if each parent passes on a solid gene.
Merle dogs if one parent passes on a merle gene and the other a solid coat gene

But there is also a 25% chance that BOTH parents will pass on the merle gene
Then you have a double merle. This is often associated with eye abnormalitites and hearing problems - many of the puppies being born blind, deaf or both.

Breeders know the risks but still breed two merles together because it gives a higher chance of merle puppies
Many cull the double merles at birth

But it seems some go on to breed from their poor deaf blind dogs. Not only a few times, this double merle dog is one of the top sires in the breed!

Is the rosette worth the price?


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