Bookmarks: Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home children's book by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen | H is for Home

We’ve not written a book review in AGES and this one’s just a little bit different to our usual fare.

Front cover detail of Home Sweet Home children's book by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen | H is for Home

Home Sweet Home is a children’s book – recommended for ages 5+. However, even as adults, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it… and, as regular readers will know, we appreciate and collect iconic children’s books!

Title page of Home Sweet Home children's book by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen | H is for Home

Published earlier this month (October 2017), it was written by Mia Cassany and beautifully illustrated by Paula Blumen.

'Queenie in London' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

Throughout the 40 pages, you’re shown around various interiors & exteriors from around the world – guided by the pets-in-residence.

'Pierre & Papillon in Paris' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

There’s Eva the St Bernard in Iceland, Coco the cat in Brooklyn… there’s even a tortoise named Taiki who lives in Kyoto, Japan!

'Juan in Seville' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

This book is a really fun way for kids (and grown-ups!) to find out about other parts of the world. It teaches facts such as San Francisco is very hilly, Giethoorn in the Netherlands is car-free and that houses in Ibiza are painted white to reflect the light and keep them cool.

'A home isn't a home without a pet!' in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

It’s a book that warrants plenty of return visits.

'Rex in San Francisco' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

It’s such a charming read…

'Bonaparte in Provence' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

…and the illustrations are full of lovely detail that reveal something new every time you flick through the pages.

'Chang in Hong Kong' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

This book is a fantastic Christmas or birthday present for any pet-loving, budding interior decorator!

'Drago in Capri' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

Home Sweet Home is available from the publishers in UK/Europe & US/Canada and from Amazon, The Book Depository and Waterstones.

[Many thanks to Ellen at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the review copy]

Introducing a new puppy to your cats

Cat nuzzling puppy on grass

If you already have pets, and are considering getting a puppy, this article is for you. Below, we look at the potential issues and briefly explain how to get around them to ensure that your new dog settles in with your existing pets as quickly as possible.

Pug puppy

Get into your pets’ heads

Without a doubt, you’re going to have to help both parties to understand what’s going on and teach them to accommodate each other. At first, you’ll need to supervise every encounter. To do that, your understanding of cat and dog body language will enable you to see problems coming and step in before the claws come out and fur begins to fly.

Chances are you already understand your cat well, but it’s a good idea to brush up on canine body language before introducing one into your home. You need to understand both sides of the conversation. This page is a great place to learn most of what you need to know about dog & puppy body language.

Black & white terrier in a woman's arms

Use scent to make the introduction

If the breeder allows it, get a t-shirt and stroke the puppy you have chosen with it. Take this home and leave it somewhere your cats can find it. You should also wipe over areas of furniture your cats use with the t-shirt. Mixing the scent of your new puppy in with the other scents in your home will allow them to get used to it. When you bring your puppy home they’ll feel far less threatened by it presence.

Startled black & white cat

Re-train the cat

This bit can be tricky. If you own cats, you’ll know they are very much the boss; they tend to do what they want, when they want. Of course, this can continue even when you have a new pet. However, you need to be practical and think about breaking some habits that may lead to conflict. For example, if you feed your cats on the floor switch to feeding them on a surface that a puppy cannot reach. That way, you’re removing a potential flashpoint between your cats and the new dog. Puppies are curious and will be attracted by the smell of food. When your cat sees the puppy eating its food on the first day a fight is almost inevitable. Changing your cats’ eating habits for a week or two or more can stop this type of misunderstanding from occurring.

Spaniel puppy sitting with a boy & girl on a sofa

Take things slowly

On the day you get your puppy home, you’ll be able to introduce him or her to every member of the family. However, you may want to wait a while before showing the pup to your cat or cats. Let the puppy explore, but try to keep them apart for a couple of days. That way, your cat will smell the fact the pup is around and get used to the fact that the dog is there, but their life hasn’t changed. When they actually see the pup they’re more likely to respond calmly. Just make sure they’re not left alone until the dog has learnt that the cat isn’t a plaything and shouldn’t be chased.

If you want more detailed advice about introducing a puppy to your existing pets, a good breeder like Douglas Hall Kennels will be able to help. They understand the importance of settling a puppy into their new home and recognise that it’s not always easy to do so. As a result, they have the expertise to offer advice that’s tailored to your specific family circumstances.

[disclosure*]

Z is for… Zoo

Vintage comic illustration of a zoo keeper and animals | H is for Home

We’ve reached the end of the alphabet… and ‘Z’ is for zoo. Our virtual zoo is full of animals beautifully interpreted in pottery, glass, textiles, book illustrations and more. All our animals are well looked after… and there’s no entrance fee!!

1960s lion tile designed by Kenneth Townsend | H is for Home
1960s lion tile designed by Kenneth Townsend
Detail from a vintage fabric peg bag | H is for Home
Detail from a vintage fabric peg bag
Vintage Scandinavian glass ram | H is for Home
Vintage Scandinavian glass ram
Vintage childrens book cover: 'A Peaceable Kingdom, the Shaker Abecedarius' illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen | H is for Home
Vintage children’s book cover
Vintage childrens book cover: 'A Peaceable Kingdom, the Shaker Abecedarius' illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen | H is for Home
Shaker Abecedarius illustration
Vintage childrens book cover: 'A Peaceable Kingdom, the Shaker Abecedarius' illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen | H is for Home
Shaker Abecedarius illustration
Vintage childrens book cover: 'A Peaceable Kingdom, the Shaker Abecedarius' illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen | H is for Home
List of animals in the Shaker Abecedarius
Vintage Beefeater steak plates by Washington Pottery | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s ‘Beefeater’ steak plates by Washington Pottery
Vintage Staffordshire pottery mug with orange cat illustration | H is for Home
Vintage 1970s Staffordshire pottery mug
Vintage Hornsea 'Aries' mug designed by John Clappison | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s/70s Hornsea pottery mug
Life of St Martin: 'St Martin with dogs' illustrated by Emile Probst, 1966 | H is for Home
‘Life of St Martin’ illustrated by Emile Probst, 1966
Vintage Acupulco chopping board by Villeroy & Boch | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s ‘Acapulco’ chopping board by Villeroy & Boch
Detail from a vintage Acupulco chopping board by Villeroy & Boch | H is for Home
‘Acapulco’ chopping board detail
Vintage Scandinavian pottery plaque with illustration of a snail | H is for Home
Vintage 1970s Danish pottery plaque
Illustration of an elephant carrying children from 'This is Edinburgh' by Miroslav Sasek, 1961 | H is for Home
Illustration from ‘This is London’ by Miroslav Sasek, 1959
Illustration of penguins from 'This is Edinburgh' by Miroslav Sasek, 1961 | H is for Home
Illustration from ‘This is Edinburgh’ by Miroslav Sasek, 1961
Vintage Cadburys biscuit tin with colourful illustration of birds | H is for Home
Detail from a vintage 1950s Cadbury biscuit tin
Vintage 1950s pottery giraffe produced by Lomonosov of the USSR | H is for Home
Vintage 1950s pottery giraffe produced by Lomonosov of the USSR
Illustration by Dean Mitchell from 'Folk Tales of the World, Australia', 1965 | H is for Home
Illustration by Dean Mitchell from ‘Folk Tales of the World, Australia’, 1965
Little orange felt elephant made in Nepal | H is for Home
Little felt elephant made in Nepal
Vintage pottery owl plaque | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s/70s pottery owl plaque
Vintage Scandinavian teak mouse | H is for Home
Vintage 1960s Danish teak mouse
Tiger print by Wallase Ting | H is for Home
Tiger print by Walasse Ting

Out & about… November

November saw the last of the autumn leaves…

…and their stunning show of colour.

Seed heads are also at their best at this time of year.

There are still some wonderful mushrooms to be found.

This crimson red variety was hard to miss against the bright green grass.

We often walk in the hills & fields that surround our house.

We share them with the local livestock – sheep, goats, cows, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese…

The mile upon mile of hand-built dry stone walls keep the animals from straying too far- so it’s bad news when a hole appears!

Here a quick, temporary fix is made using an old wooden ladder.

Farmers are masters of ‘make do and mend’…

..here an ingenious use of an old tyre as a gate hinge – it’s obviously done the job for many years as the layer of green lichen attests!

Whilst there’s plenty of open land in the hills & fields, the valley bottom’s much more crowded – buildings, railway, roads, canal and river all jostle for space.

November’s been all sunshine & showers…

…there’s been no shortage of puddles…

…it seems to change by the hour, but it does lead to wonderful sights like these.

The recent cold, blustery weather are signs that winter’s around the corner… and we’ll be back next month with December views.