My little tea leaf!

My little tea tea leaf!

 I brought my sewing out into the summer house yesterday afternoon, planning to work on my final pattern for the August magazine.  So far this month’s patterns have used pale ice cream colours and bleached linens for a very seasidey feel, but for my last pattern I wanted to evoke something of the feeling of English narrow boats with their cheerful paintwork and brightly coloured accessories.  (If you’re not familiar with narrow boats, then you can find out more in the August magazine).  So there are hexagons in a multitude of colours and a scarlet geranium too….

My little tea tea leaf!

Before I sat down  to stitch I noticed that my beautiful (and enormous!) pink hydrangea was coming into bloom, so I wandered over to have a look …

Hydrangea in bloom

 And what did I spot on my (rather scruffy-looking thanks to two sets of very large paws charging around on it) lawn? 

My little tea tea leaf!

 If you didn’t know any better you might think this was just a tatty-looking piece of string.  But this is not the case – look closely and you will see that it is a WHOLE SKEIN of soft aqua-blue embroidery floss.  SOMEONE STOLE IT from my work room!  I wonder who that might have been?

My little tea tea leaf!

 “Not me, mum!  I am a VERY GOOD boy.”  

My little tea tea leaf!

 I think I know a guilty face when I see one! 

My little tea tea leaf!

 “Sorry mum, I just couldn’t help myself!”   Yes .. the naughty Miss Daisy is my little tea leaf.

 (My lovely mother-in-law – a Londoner – introduced me to this term many years ago.  “Tea leaf” is Cockney rhyming slang for thief!). 


  1. Jane S. says:

    What a sweet face though! It would be difficult to be angry with her. 🙂

    • No, I don’t get angry with eith of them, I find they both respond so well when I express sadness and disappointment with their behaviour, as they both want so much to please!

  2. Ahh yes I know about naughty dogs, in my case Labs! My big boy Flint found my cone of white cotton yarn ( was making dish cloths at the time and set it down) he thought it would make a nice chew toy!! Well my white cotton yarn was strung all over the living room, and the rest of the white cotton yarn on the cone was all slobbery and a bit dirty!!! He had the same look on his face as Daisy has when I found the mess and Flint is 4 years old!!

    Looking forward to all the wonderful goodies in August Ezine!! Thank you for all the inspiration you give us!!


  3. Oh the look on her face! Adorable!! xx

  4. You’ll need shelves at ceiling height to keep things away from her! Would a brightly coloured rag toy act as a distraction?

  5. Doubtless Daisy has a fabulous “please mom, can I have some more”, Oliver Twist expression as well. 🙂

    I hope that the floss that Landscape Designer Daisy “borrowed” is not the horribly expensive irreplaceable type.

    I am not a dog person, but I do keep my embroidery supplies compulsively organized in my very limited space. A few years ago, my cousins cat swallowed a needle, and care was over 5 grand, including surgery. When she told me we had a laugh because her hobbies do not involve needles and her cat waded neck deep into the trouble the one time that year that she had done a bit of mending, I use needles every day, and she got the 5 grand bill. A couple of years ago one of my two cats did get his sneaky paws onto a floss skein, and tangled it for me. I did not know he had filched it until he had tangled it (beyond rescue) and (PROUDLY) brought it back to me……. 🙂

    • No, it was just DMC, and she knows perfectly well that my workroom is forbidden territory. She is just a little bundle of mischief! Needles are kept well out of reach and unless she learns to open a tin she is in no danger from them.

  6. Jeannette says:

    ahhh…..Hush puppy eyes in a newfie….a new breed.. who could resist!!!

  7. Hi Helen,
    Thank you for sharing this story it brought back many memories from when I used to have my dog who was always there to keep me company. I know that I am going to really enjoy your website. I will look forward to your August issue.

  8. OMG how can you get angry at a face like that!! They know how to get us, don’t they?!

  9. Adorable expression.
    Have just subscribed – your magazines are so beautiful & inspiring.

    • Thanks so much Sheila – delighted you’re enjoying Bustle & Sew – watch out for the August issue arriving in your in-box on Thursday xx

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