Birds of a feather

With the upcoming Bird of Crafters Event coming up, I thought I’d look into the symbolism behind our feathered friends, and famous characters we know and love.

Birds have been around for millions of year – did you know they’re descendants of dinosaurs!! You’ll never look at the common wood pigeon the same again hehe.

They come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and have different connotations.

Birds are generally known to symbolize freedom because they can walk on the earth and swim in the sea like us humans, but they also have the ability to fly into the sky. This is where the idiom ‘free as a bird’ comes from.

A lot of cultures believe that they symbolize eternal life and some would say that they serve as the connection between heaven and earth, acting as messengers.

Robins in particular fit this, as they’re said to appear when a lost loved one is here. Or there’s also the phrase, ‘a little birdie told me’.

Birds capture the attention of many in the real world, so it’s no surprise that they often appear in fairy tales, fiction and television/film/theatre.  In “bird” tales, birds are often the agents of transformation or are themselves transformed into different creatures – e.g. The Ugly Duckling, or even Swan Lake.

Did you know there’s going to be a sequel to Chicken Run?!?!

Do you have a favourite famous character bird? I think mine has to be Hedwig. She was a real companion to Harry, and has a sassy character.

Kate x

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Why Shop Small

The UK has a wide variety of retail and service providers across the country – over 300,000 in total!!

But why should we try and shop small/local?

Whilst the bigger providers might offer more standard items, or can compete on price, this doesn’t always make them better.

Some things you can’t put a price on – for example, you get more of a personal experience with a smaller business. You could be on first name basis and become more like a friend. And as we get to know you better, the more of a personal experience we’ll be able to offer. Our products, services and recommendations will be bespoke to you. If anything, this increases the variety available and makes them more unique.

And we appreciate it more too. Every sale helps to fund a dream, and ultimately our lives. I don’t think the Big Boss at Amazon etc. would do a happy dance for every order they receive, or even bat an eyelid if someone didn’t purchase from them. And because of this, our reputation means everything to us, increasing the level of service we try to provide.

Spending money with a small business also helps keep more money within your local economy. Research by local authorities’ shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p goes back to the local economy. This compares to 40p in every £1 spent with larger businesses.

Small businesses also tend to spend the money they earn locally, buying products and services from other small businesses. It’s a real win-win situation for our local businesses and communities, helping each other to strive.

As a small business I try to source my materials from smaller businesses.

As a customer too, I have my go to places for gifts etc. based on the fantastic products and service I know I’ll receive from those I network with regularly, and other businesses they recommend.

I think the current situation with Covid (sorry, I said the dreaded C word!) has increased awareness of the importance of shopping small.

Use us or loose us.

We also powered through whilst the big brick/mortar stores had to close.

Royal Mail and other couriers saw a huge increase in the number of parcels being delivered during lockdown. I think there has been more happy mail sent to loved ones we haven’t been able to see or speak to properly.

Kate x

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Children or Chowdren ?

I have never been blessed in the area of children and at 47 I think this is unlikely to happen now, so I ask myself if I had the choice and could go back and live my life over, would I try harder to have children or would I stick with my Chowdren?
 
Looking at my gorgeous nephews and thinking back to the days I was a Brownie and Rainbow leader and comparing these wonderful times to those with my Chows (and honorary Chowdren), I must say that my answer will be Chowdren hands down every time.
 
I know, I know, children are wonderful, but they are just not me. I am happy to babysit, look after a rowdy lot of 6 year olds for an hour and a half, but for me, it is a relief to pass them back to their Mums and Dads.

Now for those who have no idea what a “Chowdren” is, it is the term of endearment we Chow Chow owners give to our beloved fur babies.

Chow Chows are medium sized fluffy dogs that look like a bear or lion (depending on the colours). They are believed to be the third oldest dog breed in the world. You might recognise them from the foo statues seen throughout Asian/Chinese culture as they are based on a Chow Chow. One Tang dynasty emperor apparently adored them so much he had 5000 of them!!!! Of course, they do not look the same now as they did then.

 
Their proper name is Songshi Quan (or puffy lion dog) which is an apt description of them with their manes. Genghis Khan was believed to have them ride on his soldiers’ saddles and used them for guarding, bear hunting and food. I believe Queen Victoria had one and this then made them popular in England.
Quite a few famous people have had a Chow Chow over the years, including Sigmund Freud, President Calvin Coolidge, Clark Gable, Janet Jackson, Martha Stewart, Elvis Pressley, Walt Disney, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Williams.
Bernie Ecclestone (formula 1 racing) had one that apparently used to terrorise the postman and received several Chow Chow A.S.B.O.s for his naughty behaviour.
 
Now, in my lifetime I have had the privilege to be owned by (yes, you read that correctly) three beautiful Chow Chows.
 
One black, one fawn and a cinnamon red.

Brinsar Tarooky Lass was my first baby.

It was the year 2000 when she came into my life. I was 27, with no sign of children and I was lonely. At the time I was working from home and had no company throughout the day. I took a quiz on the world wide web and it kept coming out “Chow Chow”. I had never heard of them up until that day and as I started researching, I realised that they were perfect for me. Fierce, loyal, loving, aloof, standoffish, steadfast and protective. Don’t forget stunning too.
 
I finally found a breeder I liked and so I went to meet her. I travelled to Corby, to a little unassuming house and entered a world of chaos. I had made enquiries of a red chow but whilst I was sitting on the floor playing with them, a little black girl made her way over to me.
 
I will never forget the way she clambered on my lap, snuggled in my arms and promptly did a poo.
 
That was it, I was chosen.
She had decided that I was the one she was going to spend her life with.
 
She was 5 and a half weeks old and I was in love.
 
Two weeks dragged by and then the day arrived for me to collect her. I drove carefully home with my precious cargo snuggled peacefully in a large box in the passenger seat footwell. My Holly was finally coming home. 

Holly went everywhere with me. On her first trip out (after all her vaccinations) we went to the local park just down the road, where she me a very lovely Cocker Spaniel who was very kind and gentle with Holly. Then along came the Cocker Spaniel’s boyfriend, a very large and domineering Bassett Hound who took one look at Holly and swiped her round the head with his paw – she didn’t go near a Bassett Hound after that and had to cross the road every time she saw him.

In 2003, I had the opportunity to travel to Melbourne, Australia. Obviously I took Holly with me. She was three and loving life.
 
I wanted a playmate for her so I found a gorgeous little boy called Love’um Yosemite Sam (aka “Zoom Zoom” as he loved the Hyundai car advert and rushed to the TV every time he heard Zoom, Zoom, Zoom play).
 
He was the other side of Sydney, a three hour trip by plan and car and a whopping 14 hour drive back home. He was a gorgeous fawn but very ill from the day I picked him up. He came from a puppy farm. Not a big commercial one like we see today, but the beginnings of one nevertheless. He spent the first six months of his life being sick and pooping colour. My vet bills were astronomical – but I did not care. This little boy was going to be loved for however long I had him.
 
Friends and family told me I should have left him and walked away from the purchase, but I couldn’t. That’s how puppy farms keep going, until the day we are strong enough to walk away there will always be a puppy farm to fill the demand.
Finally the vet said enough was enough. I could try one last treatment or we would have to let him go. I tried the last treatment and well, it worked.
 
My boy recovered and learnt to do all the naughty things that little boys get up to (including how to use his extra appendage – much to Holly’s dismay he practised in the wrong direction).
 
School home time was fabulous. Holly liked to watch the children walk past the front garden on their way home. The shouts of joy and the waves from the children as they saw their black bear was delightful to hear.
2004 saw me returning back to England with my two Chowdren…well I wasn’t going to leave them back in Oz was I ?!
 
Time passed and everywhere we went people stopped to talk to Leo the Lion and Bear as they were both affectionately known. They never did anything they were told but they were loved and I was loved in return. 

Then came a hot sunny day in August (a bit like we are having now) and I took my babies for their afternoon walk. Holly plodded around sniffing everything (as was her way).

 

Sam was zooming around chasing butterflies, birds and anything he could (he never caught anything, he wasn’t fast or strong enough after his illness at puppyhood) and then suddenly he stopped, looked at me, laid down and never got up again.

He had suffered heat stroke and because he still had those underlying conditions in his system, he never regained consciousness. I was utterly devastated. He was 5. 

Holly helped me through losing Sam, she was my rock. She was there through the traumas of my first marriage, starting life again in a new house as a single person, helping me as my disabilities developed and grew worse and then as my little family started to grow again.
 
Firstly with a retired Greyhound (Bella Bing – if you put money on her you lost!), meeting my soul mate and then out of the blue, I heard on the Chow grapevine that the very last of the Tarooky namesake was having a litter.
 
Holly was 10 now and enjoying retirement on the sofa snuggling up with Bella.
 
Could there be room for a third fur baby in my life?
 
Yes there could.
 
Meet Shasadee Mr Emerys (“Merlin”), great, great, great, great, great (you get the picture) nephew of Holly. 
Collecting Merlin was not an easy task as my car broke down on the way to and on the way back from picking him up.
 
It was the 12 January 2011, my birthday and absolutely hammering it down. I remember sitting on the hard should of the M25 at the Clacket Lane services waiting for the recovery truck. My Mum was with me too. So our journey home saw Merlin curled up on my lap in the back of a recovery lorry. We got home at gone 11pm.

 

Holly passed away in February and I was absolutely devastated (I am crying now almost ten years later).

Merlin was with us for a wonderful 7 years. He was my shadow. Wherever I went, he was right there with me. I felt sorry for anyone in between me and him as they were barged unceremoniously out of the way. He suffered horrendously with athletes foot (boy did his feet stink) and I remember one day he did not want his bandage on anymore so he pulled it off. Knowing he was being very naughty, he decided to eat the offending article and look at me with those butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth eyes, so I could not tell him off. I think I called him every name under the sun that day.
 
On this occasion I was very glad when the emergency vets told me they had managed to make him sick and he chucked up the bandage. My feet became his bed (at 34 kg my poor feet suffered – but I did not care).

Ruby came along next (a rescued Cocker Spaniel), she was a puppy farm mummy. She and Merlin were inseparable.

Bella was the laziest Greyhound you have ever seen. She slept through everything. Even almost bleeding to death.

If it hadn’t been for Merlin doing his famous lick lick lick noises during the night and waking me up, I would have woken up to a crime scene and a dead Bella.

Poor Bella had managed to slice her paw on one of the bed slats. With her toes dangling over the end of the bed, the blood had dripped down on to Merlin, who had woken up and was trying to clean himself up. There was blood everywhere and for once it was not Merlin’s!

 

Then one night in June Merlin started screaming (not a sound you want to hear – trust me) we rushed him to the emergency vets. Blood tests followed, no one could pin point what was wrong – was it bloat, a bowel blockage, a twisted gut?

He went in for exploratory surgery on Saturday, came home on Sunday, died on Monday in my arms.

Ruby and Bella were lost without their rock, their Merlin had gone. We ended up putting a replica Chow Chow toy down on Merlin’s blanket to ease their pain. 

 

At the age of 12 and a half, Bella decided it was time to reunite with her friends over Rainbow Bridge and so we said goodbye to her on a very sunny day and with a peaceful passing.

 

So now we were left with our little Ruby, the puppy farm Mummy who had never been the only dog before. She liked it in some ways and yet she went to pieces in others. There were more cuddles on offer, but then everything outside was scary and she couldn’t cope.

So in October last year, we welcomed in to our home Zac, a 9 year old rescued staffie. He is brave, loyal, loving, highly intelligent and oh yes, he suffers from athletes foot too! Phewywee. 

And so you have met my Chowdren in all their shapes and sizes.

My intention was never to make anyone cry with this article, but just to show you how much a part of your family animals become.
 
To me they are my children, they make you laugh, cry, make you pull your hair out with worry and concern and they break your heart when they pass on, but I would never be without my Chowdren.
 
Emily xXx
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Beautiful Kanzashi flowers

Becky has joined KLE for her second year of website residency with her absolutely stunning Kanzashi flowers.

Not only has Becky created these beautiful hair and shoe accessories below…

She also has Christmas decorations and Diwali decorations…

Kanzashi hair accessories has been open since 2016 creating all kinds of Kanzashi items in all the colours of the rainbow <3

Hair clips, hair combs, bow holders, headbands, bobbles, shoe clips, gifts and gorgeous wedding bouquets accessories too <3

It’s an absolute pleasure to have Becky back for another year. Please do visit and take a look around. 

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Pamper & Glamour Winners

Thank you joining me tonight and I hope you had fun visiting all those gorgeous shops 

You have helped these small businesses to get seen by visiting their pages and commenting on their posts, so thank you so much for joining me  Here are tonight’s winners of our competitions. Congratulations to you all 

Please contact the shop next to your name to claim your prize. Thank you x

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Pamper and Glamour

Welcome to my gorgeous Pamper and Glamour Online Shopping Event.
I have beautiful Facebook Shops and Groups for you to explore.
As you scroll down you’ll find links to each stall.
You’ll find fun games and prizes to win.
Try the Personal Shopper to find something new.

 

This event has all Facebook Shops but also Groups (never had groups before!)

This is a fantastic fun way to get them seen.

Some of the stalls have competitions and I of course have the grand prize competitions as always. You’ll find these further down along with the personal shopper experience.

Lets meet the stalls and see what gorgeous goodies they have to offer tonight…

Visit them and you could win…

See products on Instagram too and follow KLE

Add comments below and I’ll look through our stalls for you. 

We’re open until 10pm.

Try your luck with my 2 competitions…

Click to enter
Click to enter

All competitions close at 9pm. Winners will be announced at the end of the event. 

Follow me so you don’t miss it.

We’re open until 10pm.

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Chocolates

Enough said 😉

You can’t have a pamper and glamour online shopping event without it can you ?!

Meet Clare…

Hello all you lovely people <3 Im Clare & I run https://www.facebook.com/marzipanartisan ……I just love making sweets from marzipan ….. Sandwich anyone !!

Clare is my final stall holder.

See you on the 14th <3

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Skincare

I have gorgeous skincare products and accessories at my Pamper and Glamour event.

Shall we meet the stall holders…

Hi I’m Ruth, a Tropic Manager with Tropic Skincare. I absolutely love all our products that are natural, pure, effective and honest. I love empowering the woman in my team to do the best in their little business. We at Tropic believe in helping to create a healthier, greener, more empowered world.

Hi, I’m Vicky, and I am the face behind Sparkle and Avon. I have been an Avon rep now for two years, after being medically retired from my full time job, and started Avon just to give me a bit of pocket money.

I absolutely love what I do, so much so, that I started my own team of reps. The more products I try from Avon, the more I love. They are award winning products, at everyday prices. I also love the fact that Avon was the first beauty company not to test on animals anywhere in the world.

Hi I’m LouLou aka #TheFaceClothLady I hand knit 100% natural cotton, ecofriendly, plastic free, vegan friendly and cruelty free facecloths in a variety of designs and styles including our hugely popular bespoke selection in a rainbow of colours! I am completely in love with what I get to do each and every day! And truly believe that we can change the world one facecloth at a time xxx Loulou’s Handmade Homes

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PAMPER COMPETITION ARE OPEN

I’m excited to announce that the Grand Prize competitions here on Facebook and over on the website are noooowwww OPEN!!!
 
YES you can enter both competitions if you want! 
 
Competitions are not affiliated with Facebook or WordPress.
Click photo to enter
Click photo to enter

ONLY ENTRIES BETWEEN

9am on 9th August 2020

and 9pm on 14th August 2020

WILL BE COUNTED.

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