Beach-combing with a deaf dog

It doesn’t take much to keep me amused – a sunny afternoon and a trip to the beach with the pups and I’m happy. I’m even happier if I know that the outing serves several functions, as was the case today…

On Saturday I am attending a felting workshop entitled ‘Hiding Places: Felt Bags’. In this class, aimed at more experienced felt-makers, we are going to be learning about embedding objects in our felting and using resists to make hidden pouches. I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to attend because it was originally scheduled for last Saturday when I was teaching statistics, but fortunately it was moved by a week and so I can go. The pre-course information came the other day and included the following:

Could all participants bring with them a few bits and pieces they might want to embed in their felt. This could be (but not exclusively limited to):
•    Small beads
•    Shells (including snail shells for Jan)
•    Open weave fabrics: old chiffon scarves, bits of cotton muslin, that kind of thing
•    Small stones or sticks e.g. Driftwood and pebbles
•    Sequins, shisha mirrors
•    Even small metal washers
•    Glass beads/pebbles
Nothing should be much larger than around 2.5 cms (OK driftwood sticks might be larger), smaller is great. What we will be doing is using resist techniques to ‘hide’ things in the felt, then reveal them (or not). Ideally bring things that go together as a ‘collection’ of things.


My existing collection

See? I even get a special mention!! Thus inspired, I thought that Max and Sam would enjoy accompanying me on a trip to the beach to seek out some suitable shells to add to a little collection that I was given by some friends last year. The beach was almost deserted, but you’ll have to take my word for that because I forgot to take the camera… probably a good job as I was kept rather busy throwing Sam’s ball for her and rooting about for shells. Max does not generally move very fast, he usually just potters around sniffing things. But not today. Today he decided to demonstrate how useful he finds his deafness.

Collected today - despite the Max-shaped distraction

Collected today – despite the Max-shaped distraction

Max likes chasing sea birds. Actually, he likes running vaguely towards them and has never succeeded in getting closer than 20m away before they take off. Today there were oyster-catchers, which Max eyed for quite a while before deciding to make his move. I noticed him setting off in their direction and diverted him away three times before he suddenly discovered his accelerator  and departed like a bulled across the sand. There is no point in calling him back – he cannot hear and even when he could, he would not have paid any attention (it’s the Lhasa apso in him – they are very willful dogs). Fortunately he was slowed when he encountered a stony area and I managed to retrieve him with the inconvenience of only slightly wet trainers. From then on he had to stay on his flexi-lead and I had to collect my treasures one-handed. Despite this, I managed to make a nice little collection – choosing some shells that were worn away to expose the spirals inside. I’m not sure how these will work with the felting, but it will be interesting to experiment and I will report back next week.

All-in-all, a successful excursion, resulting in a happy me and tired dogs as well as my treasures.

Sam needs a lie-down to recover

Sam – recovering

Leave a comment


  1. A great weekend to look forward to.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  2. A happy you, tired dogs and treasures sounds like a perfect day! Max sounds incredibly like young Siddy – who cannot claim physical deafness but certainly demonstrates some form of hearing ineptitude at particularly inconvenient moments! I’m most intrigued and looking forward to seeing what comes from your felting escapade – a most serendipitous change of dates indeed!


  3. One of those fortunate twists of fate that works your way. I must say I’m looking forward to seeing your embedded treasures and how you decide to reveal them or otherwise.


  4. I love beach combing. I go to the beach intending to stride along, enjoying the views and the wind in my face. Instead I end up with my eyes firmly fixed to the area near my feet, scanning for treasures, and pockets full of shells, feathers and other interesting finds! Perhaps I need a dog, as dogs and beaches are meant for each other.
    Yes please to a post about your felting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love collecting shells and stones. And I love the way tired Sam looks on his cushy bed! Good luck with the felting. I hope you show us your creations.


  6. gentlestitches

     /  March 25, 2015

    Felting produces such lovely results. Sam looks very content. 😀


  7. What a lovely tale of your beachcombing adventure. Picking up shells is so good for the soul. Looking forward to seeing what you make!


  8. What a wonderful day you must have had. Even with the willful Max along. Looks like his rest gave you some time to get other things done. Your project sounds quite interesting.


  9. I would go as far to say that tired dogs ARE treasures Ms Snail ;). A lovely little haul and can’t wait to see the finished results. You could “hide” an I-ching coin in your felt for a bit of Chinese exotica to go with all of those snails. Let us know the next time you are going to do something like this and we can all send you foreign exotic snail shells and you will be the talk of your class 😉


  10. When we lived in a house on the cliffs at Cei Bach, we used to do the same thing most days – both exercising our dog (who was like a seal in the water there), and picking up driftwood and shells. Reading your account brought it all back to me, and I could almost smell the briny, salt-laden breeze as I read it 🙂

    There’s nothing lovelier at the end of a busy day scavenging, than the sight of a happily tired dog, is there? 🙂

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with in your felting design 🙂


  1. Bragging rights | The Snail of Happiness

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