Category Archives: Social Networking

Obsessions : Kantha (Part 3)

I hope I’ve whetted your appetite for more Kantha, after writing about it in my 2 previous posts. 

Online searches through Google and Pinterest will produce thousands of visual examples of this beguiling artform. But where can I buy my own Kantha quilt, I hear you say.

EBay and Etsy are good places to start. But if it’s ethical or collaborative businesses you’re looking for, where you know the company is paying a fair wage to the Indian women who sew these beautiful cloths, and that the money is being used to help preserve the tradition and make the lives of those women better, or better the lives of the entire village, then your search should include words such as “faif trade”, “ethical”, “artisans”, “sustainable”, “collaborative”, “collective”. 

Exploitation of anyone, for their skills and expertise, in the name of profit and greed, is to be avoided at all costs. 

Here are just a handful of online businesses I’ve found, that appear to meet the criteria. I am in no way affiliated with them, nor am I endorsing them, and I cannot vouch for their ethical claims. They are simply what I’ve found on the Internet. There are many others out there like these, if you care to search for yourself.

Bowerhouse

Connected Goods

Kantha Collection

Shop Dignify

Hand & Cloth

When thinking about my next Adventure in Sewing, I love the idea of restricting myself to using only the running stitch. And also the idea of upcycling vintage or preloved bedlinen/tablecloths/pillowcases/etc into scarves or wraps, thereby giving them a new lease of life.

Before I go, just a few more examples of beautiful Kantha embroidery, (from Pinterest, of course).

Just a Gaggle of Puppies…

The Refuge recently had a litter of 10 Staffy pups available for adoption. They’ve all found good homes now, but I just wanted to share their photos with you all, so you can see just how cute they are in their colourful winter jackets.

These pups were having a mid-morning snooze in the puppy yard when I saw them. There were 10 in the litter, but the runt had decided to go sleep on its own somewhere quieter, while the rest gathered between a tree, a unibond fence and a brick wall, piled into a big heap and went to sleep.

When I saw them, I just had to get some photos of them quick.

(All copyright belongs to and remains with AlyZen Moonshadow. Please refrain from copying, printing or distributing any of these images without prior and express permission from me, thank you!)


They remind me so much of my own Shelagh, who I got at the same age, and who came from a litter of 8 pups that looked very similar to this litter. These pups are going to be gorgeous dogs when they grow up, and they’ll have the most beautiful temperaments too. I can tell by just how relaxed they all are now.

I’ve stopped volunteering at the Refuge now, for reasons I’ve hinted at in a previous post on photography copyright. But rest assured there will still be photos of dogs and other animals from me, I will find them somewhere, somehow. A good photographer always needs to keep practising her art.

Check out tomorrow’s post for some more photos of the puppies, taken a few days later, and just before they were made available for adoption.

Quotes on Standing Alone

Yesterday’s post was about my Life Philosophy on having to stand up for what I believe and know is right, even if I have to stand alone. Other people have their own battles to fight, so I don’t expect them to stand by me. 

I’ve curated my favourite quotes about standing alone, from Pinterest. Please note the copyright of these photos belongs to and remains with the originators – the photographers, artists, illustrators, poets who created the work, be it collaborative or as the result of many copyrights being brought together. These are used here for demonstration purposes only. If you need to know more about the quote or the writer/philosopher behind it, you can find the information on Pinterest, or alternatively, just Google it.

Fanfare For The Common Man

I am, first and foremost, these days anyway, a photographic artist. Not just a photographer, but someone who creates Art through the medium of photography. Digital, mobile photography at that. A Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, to be even more specific. And before that, a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3.

I am also a Licensed Artist, and I got there through years of hard work and perseverance. No one pulled strings for me. I do not have celebrity parents, rich patrons, famous connections or influential friends in high places. No one “Put in a good word” for me. In a vast pool of artists, photographers, musicians and writers (of which I am also all of the above), I am but a tiny fish swimming with far bigger fish. 

I am also a strong advocate of doing the right thing. Those of you who know me well will agree that I will stand up for what’s right and just, even if it means standing alone.

I can do standing alone. I’m not afraid. And I’m not done standing alone yet. Nope, there are still plenty of causes to champion, still many battles to fight, many wrongs to put right, many people to persuade to see the right path. I will not be silent, just so you can continue your bullying and wrongdoings. 

So, not for me the turning of a blind eye. Not for me the “It’s always been done this way”. Not for me the “Our way or the highway”. Because each and every time I experience, see or hear of such injustices, warped logic or sheer obstinance and bullishness, I will step up to the plate and bat. And I will bat that ball out of the stadium. 

I am not Don Quixote, tilting at windmills and fighting imaginary opponents. My enemies are very real, they carry a lot of clout, they are popular in social media circles, when they say “Jump!” people say “How high?”. But that doesn’t matter. Wrong is still wrong. You can’t just make up the rules as you go along. 

(Images sourced from: Pinterest. All copyright belong to and remain with the original copyright holder).

And this is just a hint of what’s to come. 

 

Pokemon No!

http://wp.me/p7EsEi-1R

Mr Yip And Mrs Chew are 2 doggy best furry friends. They have this to say about the whole idea of walking dogs while playing Pokemon Go. 

Pokemon NO! Read their reasons why. Mr Yip and Mrs Chew know that dogs are voiceless animals in the human world, so that’s why they’ve taken to Social Media via me, their ghost writer, to bring to your attention aspects of canine behaviour and welfare that you may not be aware of.

Mr Yip and Mrs Chew believe it’s imperative that some keep their heads while others are busy losing them. Someone has to speak on behalf of the dogs. Someone has to be the voice of reason. Even if there’s only one voice. 

Please read their post http://wp.me/p7EsEi-1R and Share with as many people as you can. That’s if you agree with their viewpoint, of course. Many people simply choose to blindly follow what others are doing, but Mr Yip and Mrs Chew believe people need to see it from a more responsible viewpoint, and always, always prioritise the welfare of dogs over some stupid mobile phone game. 

Please help get the message out to the world that playing Pokemon Go while walking dogs, or walking dogs while playing Pokemon Go, is irresponsible, so just Pokemon NO!

http://wp.me/p7EsEi-1R

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 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0198787774/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_vj1xxbYSX05ER

Same book, different edition (I will come back to that at the end of the list)
Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition (Oxford Biology) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0199545669/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Xj1xxb2S6T5CT

Decoding Your Dog: Explaining Common Dog Behaviors and How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones by Debra F. Horwitz et al https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0544334604/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_XZayxb90KSQ85

It’s Me or the Dog: How to have the Perfect Pet by Victoria Stilwell https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0007219075/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Bk1xxbG8ZKR1T

Train Your Dog Positively: Understand Your Dog and Solve Common Behavior Problems Including Separation Anxiety, Excessive Barking, Aggression by Victoria Stilwell https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1607744147/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Sk1xxbCB31JBM

In Defence of Dogs: Why Dogs Need Our Understanding by John Bradshaw https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/014104649X/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_yl1xxbT37QVN1

The Other End of the Leash by Patricia B. McConnell https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/034544678X/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_1l1xxbJHMMGCZ

Clever Dog: Understand What Your Dog is Telling You by Sarah Whitehead https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0007488548/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_em1xxbMQ3B1YJ

Dog Speak – recognising and understanding behaviour by Chtistiane Blenski https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1845843843/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_vm1xxbWCMV0KH

Getting in Touch with Your Dog: A Gentle Approach to Influencing Behaviour, Health and Performance by Linda Tellington-Jones https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1846891884/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Hm1xxbQXP5QCA

If Dogs Could Talk: Exploring the Canine Mind by Vilmos Csanyi https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0750943386/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_.p1xxb4CRJEYD

The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions by Stanley Coren https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0743280873/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_mq1xxbH46P99X

The Dog Encyclopedia (Dk) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1409364216/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_tr1xxbZ5526A2

The Complete Dog Breed Guide https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1405394668/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Xr1xxbBCZ5N6D

Charlie: The dog who came in from the wild by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1845847849/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_zv1xxbMZ98ZT3

Dog Training – The Essential Guide by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1861442904/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Pv1xxbEN32GSW

The Heartbeat at Your Feet: A Practical, Compassionate New Way to Train Your Dog by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1442218177/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_2v1xxbRMKBKPT

Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs by Grisha Stewart https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1617810509/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_vy1xxb4H158PX

The Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual: A Practical, Force-Free Guide to Problem Solving and Manners by Grisha Stewart https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1478176415/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Ny1xxbG4XX0W7

Scaredy Dog: Understanding and Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog by Ali Brown https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0976641402/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_ez1xxbNNPXEHN

Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control by Laura Van Arendonk Baugh https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0985934921/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_qz1xxb3H8FYMN

Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs by Jean Donaldson https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1617811122/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Mz1xxbGW4AYSF

Genius of Dogs: Discovering The Unique Intelligence Of Man’s Best Friend by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1780743688/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_RC1xxbCN2GXA3

Difficult Dogs: An Everyday Guide to Solving Behavioural Problems by Vanessa Stead https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1847972543/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_5z1xxbQ91EQVB

For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend by Patricia B McConnell https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0345477154/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_jD1xxbPAZG75Z

EMRAA Intelligence: The revolutionary new approach to treating behavior problems in dogs by Robert Falconer-Taylor et al https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0857880160/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_mA1xxbVQEQQHN

On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals of Rugaas, Turid 2nd (second) Edition on 01 March 2009 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CB5WQ7M/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_FA1xxb0YC1F1F

Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution by Raymond Coppinger https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0226115631/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_7A1xxbBHHH8MD

Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs by Suzanne Clothier https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/044669634X/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_EB1xxb4GH0405

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1849835675/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_SB1xxb5N3NQZF

Stress, Anxiety and Aggression in Dogs by Anders Hallgren https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/085788204X/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_xC1xxbTR646Q8

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! πŸ˜‰
http://freebookbank.net/?s=Dog+behaviour

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ALDI Kwinana

We are so sad. There’s not much happening in our neck of the woods, so little in fact, that we’d go to the opening of an envelope.

Aldi supermarket is a German company that has been in Europe for years. It’s a no frills supermarket, where basically all its products are simply displayed in their boxes, not taken out and arranged neatly in rows like you see in most supermarkets. You just take what you want, and if you want the entire box, take it. What Aldi saves in not having to employ shelf stackers it passes on to its customers.

It’s a great concept, and there’s a sister company called Lidl, that offers the same kind of thing.

When we lived in Ireland, there was a Lidl in Carrick-on -Shannon. But for Aldi I’d have to drive 20 minutes to the next town of Longford. Of the two, Aldi’s presentation and quality of products was slightly better.

Aldi have been a presence on the East Coast of Australia for years, but never ventured over to Western Australia before now. We are very much a cultural backwater here, sports mad and not much else. I’m not into sports at all, so you can guess how boring Life can be here. Sure there are concerts you can attend…at a price, and I’m not talking $10, I’m talking add another 0 to that figure.

So, when Aldi landed in WA and building work began on around a dozen stores, a lot of people waited in eager anticipation to see if it was worth the hype. Would this signify the death of Australian supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles? Would it give them a run for their money?

I’m not sure how the planners worked it out, but in my local area we have not 1 but 3 Aldis opening up within a 6 mile radius – one in Rockingham, 1 in Waikiki less than 2 miles down the road, and 1 in Kwinana near where Jack goes to school, just 5 miles away.

The Kwinana Aldi opened on 8th June. On 9th June I decided to pay the store a visit after picking Jack up from school.

Would you believe there was a long queue outside, just to get in? Aldi trolleys use $1 or $2 coins or a reusable trolley token, which you can get for $1. You should bring your own plastic carrier bags or tote bags, otherwise you can purchase a large plastic bag for 15 cents, or a fabric one for a bit more.

Caveat emptor: Aldi is a lot like IKEA, in the sense that you go in with the intention of just looking or getting just one item, yet somehow you always come out with a trolley full of stuff you never knew you needed.

Here are some photos I sneaked, just to give you an idea of what Aldi looks and feels like. For a discount supermarket, it looks very flash and modern, nice!

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We’d already blown my budget at Woolworths buying food for the week…but when we saw some Chocco Pillow breakfast cereals and cheap chicken and leek pies, we couldn’t resist.

And just as we were at the checkout counter, I found my Riesen to make Aldi my supermarket from hereon out.

Yes, Riesen. Only the yummiest dark chocolate covered chocolate toffee. You just can’t buy it anywhere in Western Australia. I’ve been over 4 years without a Riesen (my last stash was from Malaysia).

And now, RIESEN!

Yup…we bought every Riesen that was in that box. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more to go round, at the other checkout counters. Get your own! These are MINE! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

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QUALIFIED!

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Woke up this morning to find this waiting for me.Yay, me! Happy dance! πŸŽ“πŸŽΆπŸ–’πŸ˜„β€

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! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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.

Salves to Sooth the Soul

…when you feel battered, tossed about, out of sorts, helpless, unappreciated, isolated, hopeless… Or, when you feel you’ve had enough and need time out to step back, catch your breath and let go of other people’s petty foibles. One can only keep going for so long without needing a break, right?

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. And yet, I still manage to forget the lesson. When will I ever learn? Time to step off the hamster wheel for a bit…

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Flowers

I wondered what would happen if I took a background and filled it completely with flower clipart using the App “PicsArt“.

So I did it.

And then I wondered how it would turn out if I used the App “Labelbox” to stick quotes over my floral masterpiece.

So I did it.

I liked the idea, so I made up 8 different images. Easy peasy!

Like so:

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Well, that was fun. Now, feel free to download and share these to your own circles, or to your device or computer. Yes, really.

Enjoy!