Sunday 22 June 2014

Handmade Monday 173

Hello and welcome to Handmade Monday.

This week the July issue of Sewing World dropped onto my doormat, and in its pages is my little baby shoe pincushion.  This was such a quick make - and a superb use of old baby shoes!  I first wrote about this here a while back, but it's lovely to see it in print!

I'm still waiting to hear back from HMRC about the new EU laws on digital sales.  If this is as bad as everyone thinks it is, it's going to be a disaster for everyone who has a small digital art/craft business as well as anyone who buys them.  It may be an EU law, but it will affect the whole world.  The EU expects everyone everywhere to collect VAT at different rates from each EU customer (28 countries!) and it looks like there is no minimum threshold.  This means selling even one digital stamp to an EU country will implicate you in collecting VAT.  It's not feasible to expect a micro business to do this, so the new law will inevitably cut down choice for buyers.

If you want to know more, or support the artists, join the Facebook group.

If you want more light-hearted news, here it is...

Quentin News

Guide Dog puppy Quentin is now five months old, and I've realised that training him up to now has been much easier than I expected in some respects, and much harder in some others.

If I watch it long enough, someone will throw it for me

He's mostly a very good puppy and sits obediently in the back of the car, he waits for food (even when it's in front of him and he is drooling!), his recall when he's out free running has been absolutely perfect up to now and his toileting on command when we're at home has been much easier than I expected (not as easy when we are out!).  He's got a good response to sit, wait, down, stay, stand, leave and come.  His response to the whistle when he's free running is spot on - he comes running immediately.

I'm here, where's my treat?

There have been harder things though.  One of the most difficult has been curbing his excitement - he still jumps up when he's excited and sometimes tries to grab your clothes or arms (yes, I've got holes in most of my clothes).  This is improving slowly, though, which is good news for my arms but may be too late for my clothes.

I like it here

He prefers walks in natural surroundings (don't we all?) and I think the problem we have with him sitting down at the beginning of walks is actually his little protest.  It only happens when we're walking the streets around our house (or about to!).  I think it's possibly his way of saying he'd rather go in the car because we go to more exciting places then (shops, parks, woodland, etc).  I've thrown in a few more interesting activities on local walks to try and improve this - there's a patch of grass where he's now let off the lead and there's some woods and fields we sometimes go to - although I'm careful to mix it up so he doesn't expect something exciting every time.

long cool grass on a hot day is wonderful

And that's all from me for now.  It's over to you for your Handmade Monday now...


Unknown said...

I think you're doing very well with Quentin. It can't be easy, you have to have as much discipline as him, if not more! Thank you for hosting Handmade Monday :) x

Patchwork Fairy said...

I am amazed at how much you've achieved with Quentin - I think you are doing very well so hope you continue to enjoy it all.

Highland Monkey's said...

Recall with our dog is totaly rubbish. Am impressed with your and Quentins achievments. Doesn't sound very good with the VAT thing, it's going to cause a headache to lots of people.

MadBirdDesignsUK said...

Well Nearly missed this week, just remembered as I was heading bedwards.

Quinten is doing fine, just a tip make yourself some prickly cuffs or whole sleeves. Then when you are grabbed it will be a bit uncomfortable. Those green wiry scrubbers may do it. I know it sounds horrible, but if he gets something unpleasant in his mouth he will soon stop doing it. I've had to do similar with nippy horses. Better to stop it now rather than he fails his Guide Dog tests.

Free Spirit Designs said...

Aww Quentin is just a star isn't he! Well done to you both on all the progress with his training :)

I'm waiting to see what Etsy say about the new laws coming in as i sell my digital stuff with them... i have my fingers crossed they find a way forward for small businesses! x

Sum of their Stories said...

I love popping by for my weekly Quentin update! Am I right in thinking you have to walk them on the concrete/tarmac at least a bit to help keep their nails down? - I'm remembering back to a faint memory of when we had our dog when I was a kid. Your pincushion idea is brilliant, clever and cute.

Nikki said...

I made the pin cushion a while ago for myself and Little Lady's gran, they look so cute and we both had lovely comments on them.

Christmas Pie Crafts said...

The baby shoe pin cushion is lovely and I would think could be adapted for other items. Quentin is doing so well. Hope you have a good week.

Lucy Blossom said...

The baby shoe pincushion is really cute, what a great idea. It's amazing how much Quentin has learnt already.

Wendy said...

MadBird Joan: love that sleeve idea but not a good look in the shops, I fear! He is improving though, and Guide Dogs are happy with his progress so far. Fingers crossed I won't need a sleeve but I will bear it in mind - thank you x

Free spirit Natalie: I'd definitely be interested to hear if Etsy comes up with a solution! Do let me know if you hear anything.

Julia: you're probably right with the nails thing. He does get a lot of pavement walking, because he needs to get used to it as a guide dog.

Nikki: ah, that's lovely that you made a pincushion!

Thanks everyone for your comments - they're all read and appreciated x