Saturday, 14 January 2012

Lichen, Moss, and Tea Leaves

Dear readers,

First, I need your help.  The die is cast here.  My recent visit to a specialist has revealed I am asthmatic - I had strongly suspect this since my bronchitis in October - and that consequently it would be unwise to replace our dear Sakura with another cat.  There have been tears from younger members of the family but I believe good must come from this disappointment. My instinct is veering strongly towards owning a dog and my doctor has agreed to this possibility.  So please, any advice from you canine lovers would be simply wonderful.  Which breed do you love?  I have a soft spot for King Charles Spaniel because I know they are gentle with children but my husband Mickaël needs a little convincing!

Second, I received a truly inspirational gift while I was away on holiday. Wonderful Annie's amazing giveaway present arrived against the odds just before Christmas and was smuggled in our present stash and transported to our winter destination.   I should add that I knew nothing about the aforementionned arrival and smuggling so when I ripped open the Knitsofacto parcel on Christmas Day I was heard making a number of highpitched noises denoting both astonishment and pleasure.  Yes indeed.  These days the book, Vintage Flowers by Vic Brotherson, has not left the sofa and I marvel at it each and every day.  I have decided to use it as a regular inspiration prop here in this space of mine as I would very much like to share its colour celebration with you all.  So relish the few pictures below and rest assured there will be more to follow soon with a creative theme woven in. Thank you so much Annie for filling my winter with colour. 
Now all those who know Knitsofacto will agree it is an inspiring blog indeed.  When Annie decided to commit to a Ravelry project to knit twelve shawls in 2012 it got me thinking.  I do not have Annie's knitting experience but I felt all fired up.  The result?  I am now part of the 12 Sweaters in 2012 on Ravelry.  If any of you would like to join I would be thrilled to see you there! Let me know, ok?
Last but not least, I would like to thank Louise from Tea At Weasel's 
for generously offering Millefeuilles a Liebster Blog Award.  It has really touched me and I will be mulling over who I should be passing this special award on to.  

Our Holidays

I think some of you will be disappointed to learn we did not opt for the fairytale roulotte in the snow scene.  I am so sorry Melissa!  Will you forgive me?  We have merely postponed the dream to more clement springtime. Yippee!  This family of ours is becoming more earnest about owning our own gipsy caravan when we will finally have a house of our own; a project I hope to share with you on this blog in the future.

We spent a week in Le Cantal, near Salers, a dramatic, austere region which is both stunningly beautiful and isolated.  Most villages are filled with houses with firmly closed shutters.  Many of these are family homes which are now seldom visited for this region does not boast a high employment rate.  The thing which struck me the most - and I hope I have conveyed this in the pictures below - is the perfect harmony between the natural landscape and the local architecture.

Take a look:
Browns, greys, and greens were the stars of the show in the valley...
with a generous sprinkling of snow on the mountain.
This region is a walker's paradise regardless of the season.
One thing I learned to do here was to look at vegetation in detail particularly growing on the stone walls.
  I LOVE the varied colours of lichen and moss and could quite happily knit in these shades for a long, long time.
According to Katherine Swift in a January extract of The Morville Year, "lichens are extremely sensitive indictators of environmental pollution: a rich bloom of lichen means clean air.  They also grow infinitesimally slowly - half a millimetre a year is fast - so lichen growth is also an inicator of age.  Many lichens will be as old as the tombstones and walls on which they live".
The trees, knotted and gnarled and somewhat reminiscent of Arthur Rackham's fairytale illustrations, were also coated with lichen and moss.
Yes indeed, Mrs Swift; judging from the lichens I saw the air in Le Cantal is very pure indeed.
Speaking of walls, moss, and browns ...
Here is my eldest daughter, Héloïse wearing her Tea Leaves for the very first time.
She's a wonderful girl...
and willing to pander to our strange whims.
Thank you Héloïse!

This Tea Leaves will be the first cardigan to join the 12 Sweater in 2012 over on Ravelry!  I'll be putting up the details on my profile Ornamentation.

Thank you so much for bearing with me in this green, brown, grey, and white post.

I wish you a beautiful week.


ps There is a giveaway being planned here so watch this space.


  1. Hello dearie,
    Sorry to hear that you have asthma. Did they give you advice on how to manage it?
    Heloise is lovely, a very elegant looking young lady and looking fab in her new knit.
    I love the book. The place you visited, I 'oohed' and 'aahed' aloud, it looks so beautiful and atmospheric.
    I need to pay for Mrs Rabbit. Do you have a paypal account? If you do, I think you can email me a payment request.

    Are we still making a January doll or do you need more time? I haven't made another one yet.
    Lotsa love to you. xxx

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry about the deletion -my comment made no sense at all!

    What beautiful photos.

    Dog advice -choose a mongrel because they are cheap, healthy and intelligent.

  4. My day has been so enriched after seeing your hauntingly beautiful images...the lichen and tiny ferns are exquisite. (Note: our son lives and photographs in Alaska and often captures the lichen and moss which is equally as beautiful due to their own clean air)

    Heloise appears to be a wood nymph peering out from the ivy covered wall in her fab cardigan.

    There are a number of breeds in the dog world that are known for "user friendly" fur in delicate households. We have 2 very furry shelties and love them dearly, but probably not the best choice for one with Asthma:o(

    How about the sweet little Westies? Or bigger - a gentle Lab?
    Wishing you the best on your search. Take care.

  5. Dear Stephanie...Thank you most kindly for the soft, "misty" post. You are indeed blessed to have the opportunity to wander about such a magical landscape.
    Sorry to hear of your breathing difficulty. Sadly I am unable to recommend a suitable canine, as we are surrounded by children of the feline and avian variety. Luck to you with the search tho', and shall look forward to meeting your new family member in a future post.

    Most warmly,

  6. OOOOOOH where to start?

    First, so sorry about the asthma! My family has always had Labradors from England (dogs from there do not have to go through the lengthy quarantine stay required in Hawaii, where I grew up as a little girl. I think they are lovely dogs but they do need room to run.

    In a couple of years, we'll be getting a dog for Julia, to go with our 2 cats. I'm strongly considering a corgi. We had the most delightful corgi when I was younger; I love them because they are a smaller size dog without "small dog" mentality.

    I think it so very prudent to wait for more lovely weather in the roulotte! I will be patiently waiting, never fear. If you do indeed have one of your own some day, that will be the day I begin making plans to come visit. . .:)

    Your pictures are stunning!! And so is your daughter, she is a VISION! What a lovely lovely girl. I feel like I could see her personality, just by those photos.

    Be well, be warm, I have been shrouded in grey nastiness here in the Pacific Northwest, but we might get a bit of snow next week! Very excited about the possibility.

    chat soon, Melissa

  7. What a beautiful post...as always.
    I was sorry to read that you have asthma, you must take good care of yourself x
    Your eldest, Héloïse is very beautiful and looks so lovely in new cardigan...you are clever.
    have a lovely weekend
    love jooles x

  8. Great post, Stephanie !
    Beautiful photos and what a lovely daughter you have !
    Hope you'll find a sweet and lovely dog ...
    Nice weekend,

  9. Your photos !! love moss, love old stone buildings.

    On to the dogs :-}

    I have heard very good things about the American Water Spaniel, the Cavalier King Charles, and my personal favorite the miniature Schnauzer with UNDOCKED ears!
    All have enough energy to chase a ball and play all day with kids.

    Looking forward to seeing what you end up with. Also of course a mixed breed younger dog from a rescue can be good, if you find the right one.

    HUGS Lorraine

  10. well...I love all dogs..I love mongrels too because they have many less health problems...and I do think they are often very smart...
    what a glorious place you spent your holidays...we were in cordes sur ciel last year...so beautiful...love the french countryside....

  11. Oh... and yes, I have a Sheltie, but they shed allot.


  12. hello for the first time, nice to be here!

    Being allergic to cats, I have no problem with dogs and am a proud owner of two Yorkshire terriers, they don't loose hair so if you are looking for "in house" and very attached pet, my recommendations!!!

    photos are really beautiful, especially the landscape! Looking forward to reading, regards


  13. Oh my....I am speechless. What a beautiful area...all that moss and lichen. I love moss and lichen. And what breathtaking scenery.
    Sorry to hear about your asthma.
    What a beautiful young woman your daughter is...and the cardigan is lovely too.
    I do so love to read your posts.
    Much love to you.

  14. Oh Stephanie,

    What can I say...there is way too much beauty to capture in a comment but I first want to say that the spirit you capture with your ideas, your vision, your crafts and landscape is just what my soul loves. Your daughter has an elegance that is only created from WITHIN. What a beauty she is. Secondly, NATURE makes all things authentic and beautiful, and that moss and Lichen and Tea and Leaves...I could revel in this setting forever. Ahhhh...thank you for your kind words about my post. Yes, John Lennon was quite a human being. Creative, sassy, witty, charming, vulnerable. Love it all..

    Oh dearest, I hope that treatment for your asthma will bring you back to full recovery. I too have had a cold for a VERY LONG TIME, leaving me coughing so much during the school day when I have to speak or rather YELL constantly over loud children. But the weekend allows me to save my voice and I cough less. I was checked and all is well, but I cannot imagine what asthma would do. Peace to you, Anita

  15. Stephanie, we had to have our much loved pussy cat put to sleep a few years ago. We'd had him from before the children came along, and the kids had never had any health problems, so it was a bit of a shock when we got a kitten and Daniel started gasping for breath. It was so bad that we couldn't wait and see how he got on with the kitten, it was awful having to take her back to the rescue centre, but of course, our children have to come first. I was a little apprehensive getting a dog, I was so afraid that it would bring on my son's asthma again, but those fears were unfounded. He hasn't had any problems at all. I should also mention that it's only the kitten which has ever brought on my son's asthma. I researched different dog breeds thoroughly, and all things considered, I came up with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this is a different breed to the King Charles Spaniel. We got Archie a year last August and I haven't regretted it once, he's gorgeous. If you want to see why, take a look at my most recent post on my blog! One thing I would say is, whatever breed you decide on, get in contact with the breed club and find a reputable breeder from there. There are health issues associated with different breeds so it's important that you buy from a reputable breeder. If you want any more information about my experience with a Cavalier King Charles, my email address is on my blog and I'd be only too happy to answer any questions you may have. The cardigan is gorgeous, as is your daughter, Heloise, she models your creation beautifully. I might give that pattern a go for my daughter, it's so lovely.

  16. Oh what a treat this post is, can you see my huge grin from your side of the English Channel :D

    Firstly, thank you for the lovely mention, and you're welcome, it's lovely to see someone get so much pleasure from a giveaway prize :D I look forward to these themed posts you have planned. And wow, 12 sweaters!! I don't think I could knit that many in a year! Heloise looks so lovely wearing her Tea Leaves. Will others be Angelique sized? Good luck with your challenge my friend x

    Secondly, my sympathies, asthma is just no fun at all. But a dog, lots of fun! Now you know what breed I'm going to recommend don't you ;D Seriously, do have a good look at whippets as a possibility. Our youngest son is quite severely asthmatic and that is why we own whippets ... being single coated they don't have any dander to speak of and don't shed much hair (and don't have a doggy smell, which has to be a bonus). I know a lot of the top UK whippet breeders so if you think you might consider a whippet and need to know more please don't hesitate to ask. I should add that we used to own Cocker Spaniels but had to sadly re-home the last one after Philip was born as having him around made his asthma much worse :(

    And lastly, what a wonderful place for a winter holiday! Your photographs made me long to be there. It is exactly my kind of countryside. I hope its beauty refreshed you all and left you ready for the adventures of 2012.

    Gosh I've written you an essay, eek. À bientôt dear Stephanie, and happy sweater knitting :D

  17. Beautiful post, and its good you have found what your breathing difficulty is so now you can deal with it with the right medicines and even foods/environment.
    Reading about the lichens and clean air so interesting.
    Have you considered a border collie? They are so intelligent and loyal, wonderful protective dogs, much like Queensland Heelers are. They love the outdoors and mine lived to be 17 and in perfect health almost right to the end.
    My sister has KCS, but there are health issues and I think its with their breathing.
    Happy New Year!

  18. Firstly I'm so sorry to hear about your asthma Stephanie. What a shame you now can't have a little cat but I'm sure having a dog will give you and your family a lot of pleasure.
    Do you know that just this afternoon I treated myself to 'Vintage Flowers', it is a beautiful book, I could look at pages 24 & 25 forever!
    What a wonderful place for a holiday and so much stunning greenery. I really love the colours in this post. :)
    Good luck with your sweater challenge, I'm looking forward to seeing them all and how beautiful does your daughter look in number one!
    Vivienne x

  19. hi, lovely post. i love the stone colors of the buildings. i loved the picture of heloise and the ivy. i actually just started knitting the same cardigan after seeing your recent post so it's nice to see it finished here...love the shorter sleeves too!

    oh, and i agree with sue about choosing a mongrel.

  20. Coming from a family of asthmatics, I can sympathise. I take a fantastic spray once a day called innovair. We can't have cats either and have 2 dogs. I think generally spaniels are great dogs. We have a mongrel who is adorable and a collie who we have to keep a close eye on with children. My husbands family have always had black labradors which have been very gentle and friendly. Good luck! Stunning photos too and I love the cardigan :) x

  21. Hi Stephanie,

    So sorry to hear that you have asthma and look after yourself and hope that you get something that will help you get over this.
    Your holiday destination looks beautiful, so tranquil and a great place to get away.
    Heloise, is so beautiful and what a lovely cardigan you made her.
    About a dog, we had a Schnauzer they are such good companions, bright intelligent and playful and make a lovely family pet.
    Have a lovely weekend


  22. Stephanie, this post is so filled with beauty! Before I go into detailed admiration for the imagery, let me say how sorry I am to learn about that asthma. Perhaps a good source of information about a breathing-friendly pup might be your local vet? I know how your family will miss the graceful Sakura.

    Now...thank you for the introduction to Knitsofacto, and showing us the glorious Le Cantal. The moss and lichen are magnificent, and I could also spend many hours knitting or crocheting with yarns in those subtle hues. Your photographs make me want to visit that area.

    I am going to give some consideration about joining one of those 12 month knitting challenges. I usually don't like this sort of deadline-driven pressure, but realize that this might be fun. (I do admit that socks can be completed much more quickly, with less yarn and make great gifts!)

    It is so much fun to visit your neighborhood. xo

  23. Hi, So sorry to hear that you have asthma now. My sister has it too and has lived with and loved some wonderful Westies!

    Loved your pictures of the lichens and mosses :)

  24. The Tea Leaves sweater looks lovely, the French village makes me want to come on over and the book photo's had me drooling - i NEED all those jugs! As for the dog - we have a Springer Spaniel and she is very placid, never barks, v. shy (personality?) Because they are bred to pick up birds that has been shot on hunts, they have very soft mouths. She just doesn't do biting. It's not her instinct. However she does drop a fair amount of hair judging by the hoover bag! And they need a lot of exercise - we never get to tire her out - she has compromised to running in the woods for 25 mins in the winter and 15 min in the morning. On balance she has been the best pet we've ever had and I wasn't ever a dog lover. Good Luck choosing - it took us 6 years to come to a decision! Hope your asthma settles down. Claire x

  25. I am a new visitor to your beautiful blog so I hope you won't mind my comments.

    I was sorry to hear about your health problems, the same thing happened to me when I was a child. We chose a Lakeland Terrier and were advised to choose a wire haired type of dog or a curly /wooly type. Poodles, Fox terriers etc. A King Charles dog would loose a great deal of hair so maybe you should enquire further? They also have health problems, particularly heart problems.

    Whatever you decide I hope it brings you great joy.

  26. Yes, yes! KC Spaniels are the PERFECT choice for children. They're as soft as putty. I've grown up with them. Plus, if you have your dog trimmed two or three times a year, it minimises moulting. Certain types of animal hair has always made me itch (especially cat hair) but a limited amount of exposure to it helps enormously. I can also recommend Cockerpoos - Cocker and Poodle cross - lovely temperament and next to no hair loss.

    I'm just going to gaze at your photos again - beautiful!


  27. Picking out a dog is so fun! I guess you probably need one that doesn't shed much. We have a black Lab (the bast family dog EVER), but he sheds like crazy. I want to walk for hours in that village, so pretty! Lucky you getting such a beautiful book, the pics are very inspirational. Nice to see the sweater modeled by your lovely daughter. Only eleven more sweaters to go for 2012! Sounds like a fun challenge. Take care :)

  28. First of all, thank you for visiting my Sunlit Sunday post. Secondly, I have have been lingering over your post this morning,while sipping cappuccino. I'm sorry to hear about the asthma and wish you well with choosing a dog.
    I loved seeing your photos of the landscape, your beautiful cardigan on your even more beautiful daughter, and just sinking into your writing.

  29. Hi Stephanie,

    Le Cantal looks like a beautiful place to me. Rough and sweet at the same time. I can imagine why you liked it. You had some really nice weather too.

    Heloise looks very pretty in her new cardigan. The colour suits her!

    And that book......I bought it at Amazon.....isn't it amazing?! I find it difficult to put aside too. Lucky you to win it in a giveaway.

    Sorry to hear about your asthma. I cannot give you any advise on dogs....sorry!

    Happy new week & lieve groet,

    Madelief x

  30. Stunning pictures and a beautiful daughter!

    We have had a King Charles spaniel and cocker spaniels.....both of them are lovely breeds.

    Beautiful post as always...

    Lou x x x

  31. Goodness me, isn't your daughter beautiful! Quite stunning, all of the post and all your pictures. I am tempted to look at the Ravelry too!

  32. And a labrador! My son and daughter both have labradors and they are gorgeous, gentle, intelligent and lively dogs, easy to train and keen to please you. They are calm and steady dogs too which is great with children.

  33. I love to look at vegetation in detail. Your lichen photos are lovely and the accompanying facts are fascinating.

    What a beautiful fairy-tale-ish village! And what a beautiful daughter with such an elegant profile. (And her cardigan is pretty nice too.) :)

    I'm so sorry about the asthma - it runs in my family too. Those of us who are prone to it find aerobic exercise to be of great benefit.

  34. Hi Stephanie,
    I'm sorry to read that you have asthma. But pleased that you know what the trouble is now (so that you can - hopefully - do something about it).
    What an amazingly gorgeous post!!! I love the snowy photo best. :-)
    Your daughter is stunningly beautiful (just like her mom)!

  35. Stephanie, a triumph of a cardigan (and beautifully modelled by your gorgeous girl). I am so impressed you are going to knit twelve sweaters this year. I have yet to finish the one I started last April so I don't thin it's appropriate that I join in this challenge!

    Absolutely stunning photos of your wonderful holiday and it's interesting to hear the lichen can easily be as old as the walls it grows on. The National Trust have been doing a lot of restoration to Corfe Castle in Dorset and we saw them painstakingly removing vegetation from the stone, labelling them and keeping to one side so they could reinstate them when needed. Amazing attention to detail.

    We had a cocker spaniel when I was little and he was such a good tempered dog, apart from when he had a bone, he was such an asset to the family. But I hear what Annie said so perhaps that isn't the breed for you. Isn't it all to do with the shedding, and what you feed your pets. I heard it's the skin that you can become allergic to, rather than the hair.

    Have a lovely week and thank you so much for your comment, so encouraging. Merci !

    Kate x

  36. What stunning photos! I would love to visit landscapes like this some day, to see these old stone buildings that have stood for so long. Its so beautiful, and surprisingly green for winter!
    Your daughter looks lovely in the cardigan you knitted! I am in awe of your skill. My knitting is so simple and novice, but I hope some day to get up to this level!
    And, as you well know, I am quite the fan of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, having two myself :) They are wonderful dogs. my husband was not a dog person at all before we got our first one-- he'd never even had a dog before, but now he loves them. They're small dogs so they're manageable to carry, bath, have room for in small quarters, etc. but also large enough that they can go on long walks and aren't extremely delicate. If you bathe and brush dogs on a regular basis, you can keep their shedding down, although there are other breeds (like poodles) that dont shed at all and are good for people with allergies. I hope you find a creature that you love that doesnt irritate your allergies and asthma! And if you ever have a question about the dogs, feel free to email me!

  37. Very beautiful, love the colours in this post. Heloise is a very lovely young woman who clearly has a sense of style for cardis--excellent yarn choice!

    Sorry to hear that you have asthma, I hope you are able to manage it without too much trouble.

    Janine x

  38. My husband also suffers from asthma, and our kitty days are also gone. He does well with our dog, though. Currently we have a cocker we rescued. I wish you well.

    So enjoyed the vintage flowers!!!! Must find that book!

    And your photographs....lovely!!!

  39. Dearest Stephanie
    I found you again via Annie at Kintsofacto, what an absolutely beautiful post. Your daughter is just ever so beautiful with her knitted cardigan and the colours oh the colours of all that moss and lichen, not to mention the pages from the vintage flowers book. What a true inspiration this post is. Thank you xox All the best with your 12 challenge, look forward to seeing all your knitted cardigans x

  40. Stunning scenery and a stunning daugher, I can't believe you have a daughter of this age and littlies as well.
    I would love to have a holiday there, beautiful. I am a cat girl so no help here.
    xx Sandi

  41. Hello lovely friend....Sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed as asthmatic Stephanie...my eldest daughter has asthma but I can say it is under control and no longer interferes with her daily life...We had a little English Cocker Spaniel who we sadly lost 2 years ago and he didn't cause a problem for Ashley...
    Speaking of daughters Héloïse looks so beautiful in your photographs...and exactly how I imagined !
    How wonderful is lovely Annie's book....definitely one to cherish...you are so lucky Stephanie!
    Good luck with your 12 Sweaters in 2012...I will look forward to seeing your beautiful projects.... as I know they are sure to be!
    I'm looking forward to one day seeing your little gypsy caravan too...that will be so much fun!
    Beautiful photographs as always...Sadly, I have to leave your enchanted world for now Stephanie,
    Take care,
    Susan x

  42. Sorry to hear about the asthma, I have no experience of dogs being a total mad cat lady so I can't help there but it sounds a good idea to me.
    What stunning pictures of your holiday, that looks like a stunning area!
    Love the cardigan too, very pretty and looks great in that colour too, good luck for knitting 12 this year :-)

    love Lori xx

  43. Beautiful, beautiful post! I can't believe it's been such a long time since I've seen you. So sorry about the asthma diagnosis - I sincerely sympathise with the loss of cats (Mr P is very allergic to them) I don't know much about dog breeds and children - we had collies, but they did tend to be nervous, as does my parents' current golden retriever. I love spaniels though :)

    Heloise looks stunning in her cardi - well done you and her!

  44. Goodness me! What a lot to feast the eyes. I love the book of course and your countryside pics are stunning; what a wonderful place to live. Sounds like you are going to be ultra busy in 2012.

  45. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are wonderful little dogs. They are very pretty and cute yes but they also have bags of character and are pretty hardy.

    We used to have one as our family dog but although we all loved her and her us, she was definitely my dad's doggie! She used to go everywhere with him, for long walks in the woods, short walks around the village, across the common, in the park etc but also to see friends, to have a quick half a pint in the pub. Everywhere!

    My dad never got so much attention! People stopped him all the time to say hello (to the dog!). All were perfectly charmed by her as she was a delight. Pretty, funny, bags of energy and fun. One thing she was not however, was obedient! She was a wonderful little animal and I loved her very much.

    Please be careful about where you get your dog from - of any breed. There are some very unscrupulous people around. Most breeds are susceptible to particular ailments or deformities because of how they have been bred. Cavaliers are better off than King Charles spaniels as they have longer snouts but they can still have breathing difficulties. Another issue with them is sometimes their brains grow too big for their skulls - as you can imagine a serious and painful condition. German shepherds are prone to hip displacement problems I believe.

    All the above is the fault of breeders trying to breed out 'imperfection' at the expense of the animals well-being and health. The most healthy animal is a mongrel and that is what I would probably get. No docked tails or clipped ears please, both are cruel and unnecessary There are less problems with cats as most people have moggies.

    I think dogs are best suited to homes where there is always someone there. They are very needy animals who like company; a friend has a terrier who is most unhappy when either they or their partner goes out. This leads to destructive behaviour. Dogs are intelligent and need companionship and a stimulating environment. It is not fair for anyone to have one if all the household is working or at school. Most households are not suitable these days sadly and dogs are very often living abused and ignored and unhappy lives. They are also not welcome in so many places these days. Many parks, beaches etc do not allow them, cafes, pubs etc. A great shame I think myself.

    Incidentally I have cats with no problem at all but I was allergic to my friends golden Labrador and had to stop visiting.

  46. What a beautiful region you photographed! I could happily live in environs that look just like that forever! And you already know I love that sweater your daughter is wearing. I am seriously thinking of taking up knitting.

    I'm so sorry you have asthma. I had it as a child and have family with allergies, so I definitely understand the pet concern. Two breeds of dogs that I have owned and loved, and are recommended for asthma & allergy sufferers, are the Poodle and the Airedale Terrier. I had a toy poodle for over 12 years before she died last year. She was the best little companion and didn't shed. The downside to that is that she had to be groomed about every 6 weeks. I have an Airedale now & he sheds very, very little. He also must be groomed regularly though, about every 8 weeks, with regularly brushing about once a week.

    There is a website that has reviews of purebred dogs that has been helpful to me. The writer's reviews are brutally honest, and seem quite accurate based on the dogs I have owned and known. Here's a link: http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/dogbreeds/index.html

    Good luck with whatever you choose!


  47. Would a Siamese Cat still affect your asthma? Just a thought. So sorry I was re your loss.

  48. Hello Stephanie
    I adore the tea leaves cardigan you've made and all those gorgeous photos, thank you for taking the time to share them with us, I actually gasped when they appeared on my screen!

    our Snowy Westie is wonderfully non-sneezy but he is in charge of the house!
    wishing you a year filled with happiness and much knitting
    love Barbara

    ps my hallway wallpaper giveaway is being drawn Australia Day 26th!

  49. stephanie

    thank you for leaving a comment on my blog - yes i would love to have some names of french cross stitch books - thank you. i actually do have some already as they are gorgeous much nicer than the ones we can buy in the uk.
    i am sorry to hear about your asthma - we have a miniature schnauzer who is delightful and i would recommend to someone with asthma as they do not shed. i have a friend who has asthma and this was the only dog that was recommended to him. our finn is a lovely gentle little thing with no aggression. we did have his brother too ( we had them from the same litter) but oska died last april.
    your images are just lovely.
    look forward to hearing from you

  50. Heloise is a beauty! So delicate and beautiful, and natural, and her new cardigan looks wonderful on her. I'm so sorry to hear you've been found to suffer from Asthma, it must be rather devastating to suddenly learn this, frightening too, I hope you're o.k Stephanie? I have that book vintage flowers, too! It's a joy and an inspiration isn't it, I haven't really read it, I just gaze at the pictures! Take care and keep well Stephanie. Love Vanessa xxx

  51. Oh I forgot to say just now, the Rowan fine Tweed is just like all the colours in your landscape, there is a beautiful yellowy lichen colour, and a colour of those rocks. Vanessa xxx

  52. oh my goodness, you are blessed with so many comments! thank you so much for taking a moment to visit me at my blog - I was so excited to see you there :) I'm almost ready to start the sleeves on the tea leaves so we'll see how that goes. i've been reading your blog for sometime now and just love your photography and the beautiful pieces you make, and your words are a joy to read. your pictures have inspired many pictures on my own little blog. best, c

  53. my gosh. this is a stunning post, from beginning to end. i will need to look through all your photos a few times to absorb everything here.
    and your tea leaves and daughter are both gorgeous.

  54. Your blog is beautiful, as beautiful ideas!

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