Category Archives: Books

International Women’s Day + Carrie Green

Today is International Women’s Day. Today is also the day I received my copy of Carrie Green’s book “She Means Business”. It’s not just any business book. It’s a business book geared specifically towards women entrepreneurs. It’s Motivational, Inspirational and dare I say it, Fun. 

If you’re in the USA, use this link to to purchase your own copy of She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur:

If you’re in the UK or Europe, use this link to

The fact that my copy of this book, a book geared towards Female entrepreneurs, arrived today, of all days, on International Women’s Day, hasn’t escaped my notice. I’m of the view that there are no coincidences in Life, things happen for a reason and at just the right time. 

So I’m taking this as a sign that I NEED to read Carrie Green’s book very carefully, and pay close attention to the information, advice and exercises within it, and just BE DARING to put myself out there, to start my intented Crafts Business NOW instead of procrastinating. 

Go take a look at Carrie’s site for Female Entrepreneur Association, of which she is the founder, there’s a plethora of juicy extras and bonuses that can be had there. If you’re already in receipt of the book, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon for a chance to win freebies. Here’s the link with information on how to claim your freebies:

To all my Sisters in The Universe, if you’ve been waiting for a Sign to help you kickstart your life, this is it! We are Women, hear us roar!

Favourite Eckhart Tolle Quotes

Curated from my Pinterest Board titled “Eckhart Tolle“. If you’ve never heard of Eckhart Tolle, or if you’re unfamiliar with his work, I highly recommend reading his books. Start with “A New Earth“, it will change your outlook on Life totally. I guarantee it. It might not make you rich, or get that job, or solve any problems, but you will have a better understanding of yourself, your ego and you will learn how to stop worrying so much about anything. 

Lagenlook Revisited

A while back, I wrote about my fascination with a style of clothing called “Lagenlook”. That post is my most popularly frequented, and I reckon the style (loose, unstructured, flowing, tunics, knickerbockers, linen) must appeal to quite a few people.

Now that I have a sewing machine that is halfway decent and hasn’t yet made me want to hurl it out the window, I’m itching to up my game by a notch or a giant leap, and want to try making my own Lagenlook clothes. Well, some tops anyway.

What I have in mind is a tunic with the kind of sleeves that you can fold up and secure with a buttoned tab. Yeah, those of you nodding your heads know exactly what I mean.

If my nefarious plan works, this tunic would be something I could wear for walking dogs, so it would be lovely perhaps to incorporate a large pocket element with a drawstring, to store doggy treats in. 

I’ve curated a few photos from my Pinterest board “Tunics & Lagenlook”, so you have a better idea of the type of style and design elements I’m after.

Ignore the horrible inside-out seams across this tunic. What I’m after are the sleeves and the drawstring pocket.

It’ll be more like this one, but with the drawstring pocket sewn on one side.

Or this one, with deep pockets on the side.

I really like the fuschia colour of this tunic, and the cowl neck and button-tab sleeves. But not the pockets. 

I just love this one, it’s more of a dress really. Can’t see myself sewing buttonholes though, so if anything those buttons will be sewn on and ornamental rather than functional. 

Or…if my sewing skills are not quite up to making sleeves, or fancy ruffles for buttons, I could just do a simple short-sleeved version like this shift dress, and wear a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath, or a jacket or cardigan over. I bet this would look good with cargo pants underneath, and boots. 

Here’s a book I got from Amazon, that has Lagenlook patterns. I’m sure I could learn a thing or two from it! 

Bold and Beautiful: Easy-Sew Clothes

Recommended Reading: Canine Behaviour & Psychology Books

I thoroughly enjoyed studying for my Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Psychology Course with the ISCP. For more information about the ISCP and the various courses it offers, click on this link.

There was a lot of reading to do for the course, but I’m an avid reader and devourer of books, so I was in doggy heaven. For the Diploma which I did, you need to not only read the book (by ISCP Principal extraordinaire Lisa Tenzin-Dolma) that comes with the course, you need to also be reading and digesting information from other books by other authors too. That way, you’ll have a wellrounded wealth of information to draw upon when answering the Coursework Assessments, which are at the end of each chapter of the ISCP book. The questions are essay-based, so you’ll need more than just scant information to be able to write 1000-3000 words on any area.

A couple of weeks ago, I promised my readers a list of books to read. If you are interested in learning more about how your dog thinks or why it behaves so, these are the books that I would recommend you reading.

You won’t find anything by Cesar Millan on this list. The principles discussed in these books relate to Positive Reinforcement techniques. There is no place for “Dominance Theory” or “Alpha Dog” or “Pack Leader”, or of treating dogs as wolves.

Here is that reading list, taken from Amazon (UK), in no particular order:

Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition by Adam Miklosi

Same book, different edition (I will come back to that at the end of the list)
Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition (Oxford Biology)

Decoding Your Dog: Explaining Common Dog Behaviors and How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones by Debra F. Horwitz et al

It’s Me or the Dog: How to have the Perfect Pet by Victoria Stilwell

Train Your Dog Positively: Understand Your Dog and Solve Common Behavior Problems Including Separation Anxiety, Excessive Barking, Aggression by Victoria Stilwell

In Defence of Dogs: Why Dogs Need Our Understanding by John Bradshaw

The Other End of the Leash by Patricia B. McConnell

Clever Dog: Understand What Your Dog is Telling You by Sarah Whitehead

Dog Speak – recognising and understanding behaviour by Chtistiane Blenski

Getting in Touch with Your Dog: A Gentle Approach to Influencing Behaviour, Health and Performance by Linda Tellington-Jones

If Dogs Could Talk: Exploring the Canine Mind by Vilmos Csanyi

The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions by Stanley Coren

The Dog Encyclopedia (Dk)

The Complete Dog Breed Guide

Charlie: The dog who came in from the wild by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

Dog Training – The Essential Guide by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

The Heartbeat at Your Feet: A Practical, Compassionate New Way to Train Your Dog by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs by Grisha Stewart

The Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual: A Practical, Force-Free Guide to Problem Solving and Manners by Grisha Stewart

Scaredy Dog: Understanding and Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog by Ali Brown

Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control by Laura Van Arendonk Baugh

Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs by Jean Donaldson

Genius of Dogs: Discovering The Unique Intelligence Of Man’s Best Friend by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods

Difficult Dogs: An Everyday Guide to Solving Behavioural Problems by Vanessa Stead

For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend by Patricia B McConnell

EMRAA Intelligence: The revolutionary new approach to treating behavior problems in dogs by Robert Falconer-Taylor et al

On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals of Rugaas, Turid 2nd (second) Edition on 01 March 2009

Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution by Raymond Coppinger

Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs by Suzanne Clothier

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz

Stress, Anxiety and Aggression in Dogs by Anders Hallgren

Now, going back to that book I mentioned earlier, Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition by Adam Miklosi…I was eager to lay my hands on a copy, but it seemed terribly expensive on Amazon, eBay or on any other online bookstore. And then I stumbled upon this site, which offered Free downloads of quite a lot of books of a scientific/technical nature. Could it be true?

Did that Download button give me the entire book, not just a limited preview?

Yes! You’re welcome! ๐Ÿ˜‰




Woke up this morning to find this waiting for me.Yay, me! Happy dance! ๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ–’๐Ÿ˜„โค

I can’t believe I’ve finished this Diploma Course! It’s been such a pleasure to study, the topic of canine psychology and behaviour is really fascinating and dynamic. The Course itself, with The ISCP, is very well constructed – the Coursework Assessments really make you think. Many thanks to Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, founder and principal of The ISCP, for your friendship and words of encouragement, and to the fabulous people on the ISCP Facebook Group, you guys rock! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

There is a recommended booklist to go through, but you can also read other books too, and while I was doing this Course, the book “Decoding Your Dog” came out, which I highly recommend. Off the top of my head, 2 other books that stood out are “Inside of a dog” by Alexandra Horowitz and “Clever Dog” by Sarah Whitehead. Excellent reading!

When I’m more organised I’ll share the list of recommended reading with you here. For now, I’m going to celebrate becoming a qualified Canine Behaviour Practitioner, and start exploring job options. Who knows where this could lead me? I’m excited! Now to put into practice what I’ve learned.

Scruffy Dogs

Just a compilation of scruffy dogs, both wee and ginormous. Scruffy dogs have a special place in my heart – I have one at home. He’s of indeterminate breeding, I’ve not been able to figure out what he is, but he’s just the sweetest, cutest and well, scruffiest dog I’ve ever had. I love him to bits. He has the most imaginative name possible for a dog of his description – Scruffy. ๐Ÿ˜„





The following images have been curated from my favourite site, Pinterest. All copyrights remain with the original photographers.
















Christmas Art Abandonment 2015 – Rockingham

Jack and I took the dogs to Rockingham foreshore this morning for a walk. Yesterday I’d decided it was high time we did another Art Abandonment exercise, it being the Christmas season and all that jazz. That, and the fact a nice lady named Rachel actually recognised and remembered me from months ago when I abandoned some Gelliยฎ-printed handmade bookmarks at the same foreshore. I was chuffed that someone should actually be touched by my Art Abandonment, that my humble little gift had made an impact on someone’s life.

So this morning, we abandoned 4 of my handmade “Juicy Journals”, books that I’d created by hand using pieces of art paper that I’d printed on using Gelliยฎ Arts‘ “Gelliยฎ Plate”.

I had my hands full holding onto Shelagh with 2 leads (one attached to her collar to control her head, the other to her harness), so Jack was tasked with not only leaving the “Juicy Journals” on benches and tables in the public park, but also with taking photos of the deed afterwards.

I hope whoever finds and keeps the Abandoned Art appreciates it, and that it makes their day.











Good Books On Canine Psychology

Just a list of some excellent books on canine psychology and training, that I’ve either read, am reading, or will be reading next. I mean training as in behaviour modification rather than teaching dogs to do neat tricks. And psychology as in how dogs think, why they act the way they do.

To anyone interested in learning more about canine psychology, I highly recommend you check out the courses offered by the ISCP. It’s a UK organisation but the courses can be done online from wherever you are in the world. You can also join in discussions and webinars, as well as their Facebook page, where you will get to know a large network of dog behaviourists and trainers.

Here are those books, in no particular order (as most of my readers are in America, I’m using the US Amazon site for the links):

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs

On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals

Charlie: The dog who came in from the wild

The Dog’s Mind: Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior (Howell reference books)

Train Your Dog Positively: Understand Your Dog and Solve Common Behavior Problems Including Separation Anxiety, Excessive Barking, Aggression, Housetraining, Leash Pulling, and More!

Dog Training – The Essential Guide

Dog Language: An Encyclopedia of Canine Behavior

How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

Clever Dog: Understand What Your Dog is Telling You

The Power of Positive Dog Training

The Heartbeat at Your Feet: A Practical, Compassionate New Way to Train Your Dog

It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet

In Defence of Dogs: Why Dogs Need Our Understanding by Bradshaw, John (2012)

The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

This list is by no means comprehensive. There are lots of other books on the subject, however I’ve only listed the newer ones. Some of the ideas and concepts in the older books have been debunked, or have fallen out of favour with the public, so they’re not on my list here.


Dystopian Dreams

Next week, the final instalment of The Hunger Games comes out at the cinemas. For those who are unaware of this hugely successful franchise, it’s dystopian fiction, set in a world where one oppressing power (The Capital) controls the rest of the country (divided into 13 Districts, based on their natural resources). And where there once was a War, with catastrophic loss of lives, after which the Capital decided that, as a reminder to the people of Panem, each year 2 young men and women from each District would be selected to participate in The Hunger Games. They would be pitted against each other and against the other Tributes from other Districts, in a fight to the death in artificially created arenas, and this spectacle would be watched by the rest of the country as reality TV.

As gory and brutal as it may appear to be, The Hunger Games is Not about glorifying war. Rather, it is about how one young woman, Katniss Everdeen, is suddenly thrust into an environment where she must fight first for her own survival, and later for the survival of the people who follow her. Katniss, the reluctant leader of the Rebellion, often has not a clue as to what she’s meant to do to lead her people. She has a team of propagandists directing her, but clearly she’s not comfortable with being yet again someone’s puppet on a string, and just wants an end to the tradition of The Hunger Games, and for Peace to take its place. But, puppet she must be, and so Katniss gets tossed about from pillar to post, in a power struggle between President Snow of The Capital and President Alma Coin of District Thirteen, where the rebellion is brewing.

The moral of the story is not so much that War is a bloody futile exercise; that fact is clearly evident from the books by Suzanne Collins. Ironically, it is about how one must fight, quite literally, to balance the scales and restore Peace to the land again. How a people divided and oppressed by one power, can be brought back together as a united front to fight this injustice, by the very same vehicle used to divide and oppress them – the televised gladiator spectacle that is The Hunger Games.

The reason I’ve chosen to write about The Hunger Games, so close after the fresh tragedy of the Paris attacks by Islamic State, is not to promote the movie, or to justify starting a war, but quite the opposite. Like much of the rest of the world, I’m struggling to understand just what happened on November 13th 2015 in Paris. And why it happened.

In The Hunger Games, the Rebellion fought for freedom from oppression, and to put a stop to the barbaric tradition of sending human sacrifices to The Capital each year. It fought to regain Peace for everyone. It tried passive, non-violent means, it tried negotiation, but The Capital responded with violence instead. Remember this, before you get too engrossed in the film and forget what all the fighting is about: the Rebellion was never proactive in its actions against The Capital, it was reactive.

Those terrorists claiming to be acting for IS have only one objective – to kill as many innocent lives as they can, and then either blow themselves up or get killed, so they can go to Heaven and each be rewarded by the loving ministrations of 7 virgins. (Frankly, this must be Hell, not Heaven, as I can’t imagine 1 virgin in her right mind, let alone 7, wanting to service such imbeciles). They’re not liberating anyone from oppressive regimes. They’re not fighting to free their country from any barbaric customs – if anything, they’re perpetuating those barbaric customs by their very actions. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking of the Western World as The Enemy That Must Be Destroyed. They’ve been taught by some twisted souls that anyone who is not for them is against them and must be annihilated. Throw Islam into the mix, give it a good stir, add a hefty dose of paranoia, a generous dollop of stupidity, a barrelful of empty promises of Heaven and all the sex you can get (why is it always about sex?), and feed the toxic concoction to these terrorists, and they think they’re doing it in the name of Allah. Boy, have they been well and truly fooled.

Not content to stay in their own country, they’ve decided to take their war to the countries they feel have insulted them. And not content to fight army against army, they’ve decided to go for the Coward’s Punch – gunning down innocent civilians in public places. A stadium, a bar, a restaurant, a concert hall, the streets of Paris…hardly places for serious discussions about War and for mobilising troops.

Let’s not forget Lebanon and Syria either…and who knows what other country these terrorists have their sights set on next? The world waits with bated breath to see how the affected governments react.

An eye for an eye…that might be their argument. But an eye for an eye soon leads to the land of the blind.

The solution is simple. The solution is Peace. Lay down ALL weapons, that’s right, folks, step away from those evil, nasty things. Throw them in the bin. Learn to love your neighbour, instead. What Man doesn’t understand, he fears. And what Man fears, he tries to destroy. So, for goodness’ sake, get to know the people around you, make friends with them, embrace their different cultures/race/religion/sexual orientation/dietary preferences/etc. And then you will find there’s actually nothing to be afraid of.

If we all held hands instead of guns, there would be no need for weapons of any kind, mass destruction of otherwise. Well, there would only be 2 weapons – LOVE and PEACE. I believe we can all live very happily with that, don’t you?


(Artwork showing various dystopian cities by Belgian artist Jonas De Ro, seen on DeviantArt).

The Forever War

I was about 15 when I first read Joe Haldeman’s “The Forever War“. My elder brother had brought it home from his boarding school, and when he’d finished reading it, he simply tossed it in my direction. I was at that impressionable age, and the story and characters fueled my imagination and turned me into a lifelong science fiction afficionado. I spent the next few years voraciously devouring any sci-fi books I could get my hands on. I mean come on, who doesn’t like the idea of people flying through black holes or “collapsar jumps”, where time really is relative and one could wait on a planet for hundreds of Earth years, for their loved one to join them?

I’ve just discovered that Joe Haldeman wrote 3 books in the “Forever” Series. Guess what my Christmas reading will be? I just ordered the Omnibus edition, called “Peace And War” as my original, much loved and tattered copy of The Forever War is alas, long lost in the dust of so many years and house moves.

I also read somewhere recently that The Forever War is finally going to be made into a film. I can’t wait! It had better be as good as the book.