Be More Squirrel (Edited to Contain Warning)

You may remember that last year my dogs ate the plums from our trees from the unripe to rotting stage and would do so all day long if allowed to.  The evenings were not pleasant.

Mr. T. decided that he would cut all twelve trees down as they are very old and the plums are not particularly nice anyway – well,  at least we didn’t think so.  The fig trees are also a doggy favourite but I couldn’t quite part with them so they are staying for the moment.

In future, all fruit trees will be planted on the other side of the fence that cordons off a part of the garden that the dogs haven’t got access to (apart from when they dig holes and get under the fence).

All three dogs have now discovered acorns so our walks are slowed down considerably by them snuffling around eating all the acorns they can find but, luckily, these do not seem to produce the gaseous emissions that plums do so I’m not overly worried about it although I must check they’re not toxic to dogs or anything.  (Update:  Yes, they are – please see note at the bottom of the post).  I truly believe my dogs will eat anything – the more disgusting the better.

I have also become a bit more squirrel this month and have reverted to my old habit of hoarding fabric.  I made a pair of trousers at long last and, flushed with success, placed an order for dressmaking fabric in the mistaken belief that I need more clothes or that Mlle. Tialys the Younger will be persuaded into dresses any time soon.  The trouble is, dresses are my favourite clothing item to make but I live in jeans and  so does Mlle. T.   What am I to do?  I think perhaps a solution might be to make more ‘tops’.  That way I can indulge myself with nice fabric and make pretty things but put jeans on underneath.  Of course, that might mean I’ll have to buy more patterns as most of mine are for dresses.

I have a clear cutting table at the moment while I await Mr. T’s return from the U.K. with my latest haul so I will make a second pair of trousers while I remember how to do it.

Meanwhile, I am making progress with the Eastern Jewels crochet blanket and have joined the first two rows together – only two more to go!  The more I do, the more I love it, the less I feel I will be able to part with it.

I took some time off from the crochet to knit up a couple of cotton dishcloths in my bid to cut down wasteful buying of kitchen towels, etc. but I’ve only managed two so far.  I’m going to try crochet ones next as they will probably be quicker.

Love the little ‘French tea-towel’ effect one.  You can find the patterns for both here and here.

  I’ve also been making waxed wraps in an attempt to cut down on single use plastic such as cling film but they are in use around cheese and the tops of bowls.  When I make some new ones – using beeswax this time instead of pure soy wax – I’ll show you some pics.

My fabric arrived from Laughing Hedgehog – don’t you just love the name – a company I hadn’t used before but they had the French General fabric I was looking for to back my Shabby Union Jack.

I was very lucky because I had ordered 1.5m which was being very optimistic but this was apparently the end of bolt so she kindly put all 1.8 m in for me which turned out to be just right.  I used the plain grey/brown for binding and, as you can see, decided to put a sleeve in just in case it ended up as a wall hanging rather than a throw.

Here it is as a throw

and here is the long, plain corridor – leading to the loo and Mlle. T. the Younger’s chamber of horrors  bedroom – where it might end up on the wall.

I think it needs a bit of something don’t you?

I’ll let you know where it ends up.



I did eventually Google the risks and found this amongst lots of other warnings –

Exposure to acorns in dogs is common in the autumn and winter months. The toxic ingredient is thought to be tannic acid, which can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Signs include vomiting, diarrhoea (with or without blood), abdominal pain, inappetance and lethargy. Ingested acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage.

So, best not let your dog be more squirrel after all.



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  1. #1 by poshbirdy on March 8, 2018 - 19:18

    Love the Union Jack. Beautiful colours. I stand by the same advice: be more squirrel – it’s fine as long as you dig things up in the spring!

    • #2 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 12:11

      Thank you. I haven’t seen a post from you in ages – everything O.K.?

  2. #3 by CurlsnSkirls on March 8, 2018 - 19:38

    Love your quilt backing (and company name) and agree that the hallway could use something… and possible more than one something, but don’t panic!
    Just feel free to dream a little. . .

    • #4 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:07

      Thanks Del – the backing is the same cream fabric as I used on the front but you don’t see it as well there because it is all patchworked in with the other creams. Apparently, they are poinsettias because it was a Christmas range of fabrics but, luckily, not overtly so.

  3. #5 by magpiesue on March 8, 2018 - 19:40

    Odd breed of dog, that. 😉 I’m still in love with your Persian Jewels. Too bad I don’t/won’t crochet. I don’t remember seeing the Shabby Jack quilt previously. It’s wonderful, wherever it ends up!

    • #6 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:05

      Those jewels are lovely arent’ they? I’m in a bit of a race with my sewing buddy to see who finishes first. It should be me as I started much earlier than she did but she is single minded and won’t do anything else until it’s finished whereas I tend to wander between projects.

  4. #7 by Lynda on March 8, 2018 - 19:59

    ” The trouble is, dresses are my favourite clothing item to make but I live in jeans and so does Mlle. T. What am I to do? I think perhaps a solution might be to make more ‘tops'”

    Lynn, would any of the dress patterns lend themselves to tunics if shortened OR just using the bodice and adding a peplum? Peplums seem to coming back into fashion of late. In the latest issue of Threads they have some amazing modifications for adding several peplum styles to the bottom of your top patterns. Just a thought. Your new Flag quilt turned out to be just as fabulous as I imagined it would and your Eastern Jewels crochet blanket is amazing!. ❤

    • #8 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:09

      I will have to look through all my patterns because I’m sure there must be some I can adapt. I’m only short so I have to be careful I don’t get swamped by too many layers but something simple should work. My personal jury is out as far as peplums are concerned – I like them on other people though.

      • #9 by Lynda on March 9, 2018 - 20:18

        “My personal jury is out as far as peplums are concerned – I like them on other people though.”

        LOL! I hear you. I always imagine I would look like that > Hippo in a Tutu < if I wore one now. I suppose my love for them is primarily due to my mother getting married in a suit that featured a moderate peplum on the jacket, and perhaps a bit because I found a lovely suit jacket, mint condition, in 1970 at the thrift. I wore it all the time with jeans. Sigh, I was quite slender then… 😉

  5. #10 by brennacrocheter on March 8, 2018 - 20:42

    You are busy! I think a nice shirt over jeans is perfect!

    • #11 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:14

      Yes, I must start being more sensible about my wardrobe. My ideal style would be a fitted straight skirt with tailored shirt and heels but I don’t have that life any more – not that I’m sorry about no longer being in that working environment but I do miss the wardrobe 😉

      • #12 by brennacrocheter on March 10, 2018 - 04:30

        I totally understand, I wish (sometimes) I had a reason to dress up 😊.

  6. #13 by Catherine on March 8, 2018 - 21:30

    Oh my dog would chase that tail all day!
    I think you could make some lovely tops with that fabric, even some quite long ones which are almost like dresses but more of a wrap? Enjoy!

    • #14 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:15

      I will do some research on patterns – one of my favourite activities 🙂

  7. #15 by M. L. Kappa on March 8, 2018 - 22:56

    Acorns are very toxic to horses, but I’ve no idea re dogs. Mine doesn’t eat them, she much prefers badger poo. Aren’t dogs disgusting and then they get on the sofa and want cuddles😱

    • #16 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:17

      They are disgusting. When our cats were kittens and were still using a litter tray I thought they were constipated because there was never any waste. I was more naive then.
      I have now found out that acorns are indeed toxic to dogs which has scared me as two of mine have been noses to the ground hoovering them up so now I have to be on ‘acorn watch’ when we’re in the woods.

  8. #17 by anne54 on March 8, 2018 - 23:38

    A friend’s dog ate apricots that had fallen from the tree ~ then lined the pips up in one neat row! I am not sure about acorns though…..good roughage?? Liberty fabrics seems a long way from dogs’ peculiar eating habits, but that’s what I love about your blog!

    • #18 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:19

      What a tidy dog your friend has. My dogs eat the whole plum – stone and all – probably a few wasps get ingested too. It’s a worry :/

  9. #19 by Oh Sew Tempting on March 8, 2018 - 23:46

    You had me there Lynn. Honestly, I can be a complete numpty at times. I was staring at the dog photo thinking “I know rescue dogs come in all shapes and sizes but this one is something else!”. Eventually it dawned on me…LOL. Your crochet is so pretty and the colour placements make all the octagons look totally different. Stunning!

    • #20 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 09:52

      And there was me worrying that everybody would laugh at my terrible photo editing!

  10. #21 by sew2pro on March 9, 2018 - 00:31

    In our garden in Blackheath the squirrels would eat the plums and leave behind little dark purple poos!

    I would be very interested in learning about your wax wraps: I have grown so fed up with the amount of rubbish I’m putting into landfill.

    • #22 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 09:51

      I know! – and once you start noticing all the wrappngs and other waste you just can’t stop.
      I might be making some wraps this weekend because the four I originally made are all in use and I find I need quite a few more. I will take more care this time as, when I made the last ones, I had to replace my ironing board and my floor got an unexpected waxing but if I make some I’ll post about it and give you the benefit of my experience so you don’t have to make the same mistakes 🙂

      • #23 by sew2pro on March 23, 2018 - 22:46

        Hi, I am a bit worried by the news today as I’m pretty sure you live in Carcassone. Best wishes to you all at this rubbish time. Mxx

      • #24 by tialys on March 23, 2018 - 23:44

        Actually, I only just heard about it this evening when my daughter messaged me to ask me if all o.k. We’re about one hour’s drive from Carcassonne but it is scary all the same – it just seems so random. Thank you for your concern. x x

  11. #25 by claire93 on March 9, 2018 - 09:52

    I was having the same thought as Lynda. No chance you can use the tops of your dress patterns and make them shorter, so you have tunics to wear over your jeans?

    • #26 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:23

      I’m going to have a look at my patterns to see if there are any I can adapt – if not, there’ll have to be a bit of pattern buying. Shame! Unlike you, I’m short (5’3″ on a good day) so I have to be careful I don’t get swamped in lots of layers but I think tops would be a good direction to go in for both myself and the youngest Mademoiselle – I’ve actually already made her a couple of tunics to go over the leggings she wears when she’s not wearing jeans – so I’ve got off to a good start.

    • #28 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 10:01

      I was literally just Googling for acorn risk as your comment came up in my email. Spooky! I will attempt to control their intake this morning – Flo did actually wake me up very early this morning as she needed to go out ‘urgently’ to do some business so I hope that’s not a sign.

  12. #29 by Jo on March 9, 2018 - 10:43

    It’s such a worry watching what our dogs are eating, isn’t it? I’m on edge all the time now after Archie’s mishap just before New Year, that was so scary and I wouldn’t want to go through that again. He used to eat stones when he was a puppy, something else which can cause problems as the stones end up building up inside them, but luckily he grew out of that. I love your Union Jack and I think it will look perfect in that corridor.

    • #30 by tialys on March 9, 2018 - 11:27

      It is a worry. I’ve just come back from our walk through the woods and have a sore throat from saying ‘No!’ and ‘Leave!’ in a loud, stern voice over and over again. Some people never have trouble with their dogs eating anything they can get hold of – I have only ever had such dogs 😦 My old boy, Taz, used to steal clean pairs of socks that had been rolled up in pairs ready to be put away and swallow them. They came out the other end still rolled up.

  13. #31 by katechiconi on March 9, 2018 - 13:49

    I think the dogs’ll manage without their seasonal dose of inappropriate substances. The only reason I don’t want to come back as a dog is that I won’t be allowed chocolate. Now THAT’S a tragedy…. I love your Union Jack throw, it has a wonderful vintage look and looks gorgeous on the sofa, but it will be definite asset to that very blonde corridor. Being shortish and stoutish, I wear loose dresses over cropped pants for the slightly cooler weather, and very loose, very light big shirts over the same pants or shorts in the very hot weather. I need a waistband to feel dressed! I do love the two or three loose dress patterns I regularly use, but I should probably be more adventurous :-/

    • #32 by tialys on March 10, 2018 - 10:32

      There is special chocolate for dogs but it’s horrible – well, I had to try it didn’t I?
      The corridor is actually not as blonde as it looks – it’s more cream – but it doesn’t get a lot of natural light so the camera came up with ‘blonde’.
      I prefer fitted clothes as I feel a bit swamped by loose ones but I can imagine, if I lived where you do, loose clothes would be so much more comfortable and practical.

  14. #33 by KerryCan on March 9, 2018 - 14:45

    The dog/squirrel mashup made me laugh! You’re getting a lot done–the crochet blanket is going to be spectacular!

    • #34 by tialys on March 10, 2018 - 10:28

      Thanks Kerry – the blanket is fun to make too. I’m wondering, if I do manage to give this one away, if I could make it again in different colours to go with my own décor a bit more. I can imagine it would be quite a task to design a new colourway from scratch so maybe if I just substituted some of the brighter colours for some more subtle ones it would work for me. We’ll see – I’ll probably have moved on to something else by then – finishing my fusion quilt for instance :/

  15. #35 by JaneyB on March 9, 2018 - 14:53

    We had a spaniel many years ago when I lived at home who would eat anything. He once ate my sister’s dried starfish collection. He certainly regretted that! I knit my own dishcloths and will definitely be trying those two patterns, especially the striped one. Your post also set me off on research about making your own beeswax wraps and I shall definitely be having a go.

    • #36 by tialys on March 10, 2018 - 10:22

      Ew! I can’t imagine a dried starfish coming out the other end without some difficulty 😮
      Ooh, I’ll keep an eye on your blog to see how you get on with the beeswax wraps. I bought some ‘chunks’ of beeswax and I’m going to try two methods. One, I will grate the wax and spread it on the fabric like a pizza and iron (obviously between protective sheets!) and the other I will melt the beeswax in the oven, adding some jojoba oil which, according to some but not others, makes the cloths more supple. This time I will try not to ruin my ironing board cover or give my wooden floor an unexpected waxing.

      • #37 by JaneyB on March 10, 2018 - 15:03

        The starfish never got to the other end – they came back up again! Good luck with the wraps. I’ve been researching beeswax!

  16. #38 by Dartmoor Yarns on March 9, 2018 - 16:03

    I have a huge list from the dogs trust of things that are poisonous to dogs that used to help me panic. The throw looks fab. Like you, we have a long hallway that I know needs something, but I’m not sure what 😦

    • #39 by tialys on March 10, 2018 - 10:16

      I’m hoping that my dogs have built up some sort of natural immunity from being pigs all their lives and eating, almost literally, anything they can get hold of. At the moment, we have the problem of processional caterpillars which are horribly dangerous to pets and humans and are in the process now of coming down from the pine trees and processing off to wherever it is they process too. I have a new neighbour who phoned me last night in a panic because she’d seen two lines of 60 caterpillars each snaking around on her terrace and wanted to know if she should keep her cat in.
      That long hallway is a problem – it’s narrow and the wall on the left is not at all straight (it’s a very old house).

      • #40 by Dartmoor Yarns on March 12, 2018 - 11:37

        I think a lot depends on dogs size too. A bit like us and alcohol – which is the only reason I grew so tall 😉
        Eek – sounds like you’ve fallen into a Stephen King novel with those caterpillars. Or maybe an alternate universe Bible – first came a plague of plums, then acorns, then caterpillars, then…

  17. #41 by Ali on March 9, 2018 - 16:54

    Wow! Your Eastern Jewels crochet is stunning! And the union flag throw. Not surprised you can’t part with the crochet!

    • #42 by tialys on March 10, 2018 - 10:10

      Well, I haven’t actually promised it to anybody yet so there’s still some wiggle room 😉

  18. #43 by jendavismiller on March 10, 2018 - 00:08

    Oh I looove that long hallway (is that a mouse looking out at me?) and the Union Jack quilt would look right at home there. The jewels are gorgeous, such beautiful colors. Yes, dogs are disgusting. And I’m looking forward to when we have another one of them. Have to find one who will live with cats. (Or rather, one that the cats will accept into their domain.) I think you’ll have fun sewing up pretty some tops!

    • #44 by tialys on March 10, 2018 - 10:07

      Thanks Jen. Good luck with your cat friendly dog search – I know our local refuge does a ‘cat test’ with their dogs.

      • #45 by jendavismiller on March 10, 2018 - 22:13

        They do that here, too, and so far the results haven’t been too promising. And our cats hate anything that moves. Or breathes. But we remain hopeful…. 😉

  19. #46 by Fred the Needle on March 11, 2018 - 16:15

    lovely fabric! it looks great across the sofa! I agree the hallway looks a great place too!

    I’m really into these fabric wraps, (just posted about them) they are such fun but I used beeswax not soy, how did it go with soy wax?

  20. #47 by tialys on March 11, 2018 - 20:31

    Well, I made some beeswax wraps today and, I must confess, I preferred the soy wax. It was pure soy wax – no paraffin or anything. I’ll probably post about it soon. I can’t find your post – the last one I can see from you is a Christmas one.

  21. #48 by Fred the Needle on March 14, 2018 - 10:54

    it was on my made for mi blog, where I post all my creative stuff.

    I might try the soy wax, look forward to reading your post. x

    • #49 by tialys on March 14, 2018 - 20:25

      Aha – found it. You beat me to it. I might still post but I did the same as you and added too much wax – rather messy! I need to reheat the edges of some of my cloths where the wax is still thick. I actually prefer using the white pure soy wax I used before as it didn’t colour the fabric although I do like the idea of beeswax.

      • #50 by Fred the Needle on March 16, 2018 - 20:25

        I think you can get plain bees wax, mine was pretty yellow before I started! Can’t wait to read your post!

  22. #51 by Born To Organize on March 14, 2018 - 23:10

    Thanks for the head’s up on the acorns. Who knew?

    Your flag looks terrific. It’s so much bigger than I realized in the previous post. Have you decided to hang it on the wall after all? Before you buy new top patterns, I wonder if you can modify the ones you have into tunics or the like? Just a thought. All this sewing makes my fingers itch. I will eventually catch up with my desk work so I can tuck in to something fun.

    • #52 by tialys on March 16, 2018 - 12:38

      I think it’s definitely going on the wall Alys – though we can’t decide between a corridor and alongside some old wooden stairs that lead up to my workroom and our bedroom. I don’t want it to be a ‘main feature’ in the house really but the design shows better as a wall hanging rather than a throw.
      I have dug out all patterns I have with ‘tops’ but there aren’t many. Some of the dress patterns might lend themselves to tops but I need to investigate further – at the moment I am concerning myself with making trousers that fit somebody with very little bottom (i.e. me).

      • #53 by Born To Organize on March 18, 2018 - 03:12

        A wall hanging it is then. I think it will display nicely. Best of luck with the trousers. I have the opposite problem: an ample rear end, disproportionate to my waist. With age it’s starting to droop. Where is the justice?

      • #54 by tialys on March 18, 2018 - 10:12

        There is none!

  23. #55 by dezertsuz on March 19, 2018 - 22:49

    Good thing I don’t own a dog. Or fruit trues. Or Oak trees. =) I love this post, and I’ve been saving it for two weeks until I had time to read! I use a lot of washable plastic containers and cut down on the use of cling wraps enormously. Having made beeswax to cover jelly in the old days, I don’t think I’m going to make any soy ones. =)

    • #56 by tialys on March 20, 2018 - 09:32

      It’s difficult isn’t it as plastic is very useful and, often, unavoidable but single use plastics are a little easier to avoid so that’s a start. I must put my most recent wax wraps under the iron again as I went a bit mad and used too much wax so they are a bit ‘claggy’ at the edges.

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