Auckland Dachshund Club Fun Day

DCD_03.png

Heading out to Ardmore and we could tell Rocky was getting excited - he loves road trips! We were excited too - had never been around a large group of Dachshunds in one place before. On arrival there were dogs galore of all different breeds (aka heaven!) - too much cuteness in one place. The fun day was held at the NZ Kennel Club, a massive shed-like venue holding all different kinds of events. It was impossible to miss the Dachshund area though, these little guys can really make a ruckus!

DCD_02.png

We introduced Rocky to the other sausages and he did so well - usually he can be a bit stand off-ish with other breeds but he seemed completely at ease with his own kind. Most of the Dachshunds present were miniatures so Rocky seemed like a giant around them all (maybe that's why he didn't feel intimidated haha). We set up our little stall too to sell our books and merch and received lots of positive feedback from breeders and owners alike which was lovely to hear.

DCD_01.png

Then the real fun began! There were competitions for Most Handsome/Beautiful, Best Black/Tan Coat, Best Red Coat, Best Dressed, Judges Pick of the Day and running races split into Standard and Miniature. As there were only 3 Standards we honestly thought Rocky had a good chance of taking that one out....but nope, just started chasing the other dogs instead of running to me! Typical. Last race of the day was 'Scoop the Poop' - had to run from one end of the arena to the other with Rocky, pick up a handful of lollies in a plastic bag off the floor and run back. Needless to say we didn't win that one either. I'm surprised Rocky didn't get distracted by the lollies on the ground and stop running all together!!

Highlight of the day was definitely the Best Dressed competition though, Rocky was dressed full camo and came out on top! He looked very handsome...definitely caught the eye of all the older ladies who started gushing over him! (Don't we all love a man in uniform??).

Can't wait to go along to the next one, we might have to work on Rocky's concentration skills though! Thanks to all the organisers for putting on an awesome day, it's lovely to spend some quality time with our wee best friends.

OUR FAVOURITE DACHSHUND GIFTS

Last time we shared our favourite outfits for dachshunds, but we thought we'd put together a little round up for our doxie lovers! These are sausage dog themed goodies for us humans! We think they're all super cute (can you believe that stapler?!) and we're finding it pretty hard to not get out that credit card. We love how understated that necklace is, the cute illustrations on the mug and of course, Peter Alexander's PJs always look so comfortable! 

Let us know if you have any favourite spots to get all your dachshund themed presents (whether they're for someone else or just for you!) And please share your own doxie products with us, we'd love to see how you're celebrating your dachshund obsession! 

Dachshund Mug / Dachshund Necklace  / Anthropolgie Stapler / Doxies Print / Daxie Legwarmer PJ Pant

GETTING INSPIRED WITH MONIQUE

Writer's block is a term you've most likely heard before, and yes, it definitely does happen! No matter what kind of book you're writing, whether it's 10 or 1000 pages long, there's likely to come a day when you will sit at your computer and literally just stare at it. Or every sentence you type ends up getting the backspace treatment. You start to question your ability to write at all and just want to chuck your computer out the window. Okay. That might be a hyperbole but I swear it sometimes feels that way!! I find the best thing to do in situations like these is to either have a long break for the day, go for a walk and get some fresh air or just stop writing at all for a few days so when you pick it up again, you've got somewhat fresh eyes. I've also put together the things that inspire me to keep writing below!

 

TEDx TALKS

I could actually watch the TEDx YouTube channel all day. It has everything from 'How to' guides (like how to write a bestselling first book - that would be nice huh!?) to inspiring ideas for bringing out your creative genius to empowering motivational discussions around human psychology and life in general. If you happen to start watching one of these videos on the weekend, don't blame me for spending the whole day on the couch glued to your screen! (You won't regret it).

taking advice FROM other AUTHORS

This is a big one for me. At the back of a book there's often an acknowledgements section or some information about the author. One of my favourite authors is Lisa Jewell, and she often provides advice to aspiring authors. At the back of her book 'Before I Met You' (which is a great book for the beach by the way!!), she says her top 5 tips for writers are:
1. Read a book specifically looking at what the author has done to shape the story and characters.
2. Forget the romantic notions about the process of writing (writing a book is not a walk in the park, it's actually really hard.)
3. Start.  4. Keep going.  5. Finish.
Pretty sound advice if you ask me!

 

READING CHILDREN'S BOOKS

I have always loved children's literature. I took a paper on it at uni and studied the most wonderful stories in that time. My favourite children's book is called The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan. Very briefly, the book (which is partly allegorical) explores the effects of colonisation on the colonised (in this case the Aboriginal culture and people in Australia - check it out, it's well worth the read!). What makes it such a great book is that it's interesting for kids (the illustrations are stunning) but it's also so engaging for the adult reading the story. It's like a history lesson come reflection on what humans are really doing to the environment.... 

INSPIRATIONAL MOVIES

Okay, this one is a given. I love these types of movies. My favourites are classics like 'The Shawshank Redemption' and 'Forrest Gump' as well as 'The Help' and 'Run Fat Boy Run'. They make you want to get off the couch and do something productive with your time!

HANGING OUT WITH ROCKY

Above all else, this little guy is where all my inspiration comes from. No matter if you're in a bad mood or have had a bad day, Rocky has the ability to put a smile on your face. He's a pretty special little fella and I love him to bits. 

We hope you've enjoyed hearing how we keep our inspiration going, and perhaps it's given you some ideas as to how you can kickstart your own creativity. We'd love to hear how you get inspired as well, so please let us know! 

OUR FAVOURITE DACHSHUND OUTFITS

If you're anything like us, you'll also think that animals in clothes can be the cutest thing ever. With the amazingness of the internet, now you can get all sorts of outfits for your pets - from dress up costumes to wedding attire! We've rounded up some of our favourites, specifically for Dachshunds but make sure you check out the stores - most of them have clothes suitable for ALL dogs! 

Seriously though, how cool are these? We love The Bowie raglan - who knew there was such stylish options for little sausage dogs?! The trench coat has us remembering the Spy part of our book - don't you think that coat is something a spy dog would wear? And we bet that if your dachshund is a bit of a badass, they'll totally be able to rock the leather motorcycle jacket!

We'd love to hear where you get your favourite dog outfits from, or see your pets all dressed up so please send them in to us or use the #doggiedressup hashtag on Insta! We'll be sharing a couple of Rocky's favourite outfits over the next couple of days as well so make sure you head on over and check them out.

1. FuzzYard Trench Coat  2. "Who You Callin' Weenie" Tshirt 3. Batman Raincoat Suit 4. The Bowie 
5. Leather Motorcycle Jacket

GETTING INSPIRED WITH KATE

Inspiration and creativity isn't always something that comes on with a switch of a button. Sometimes all the ideas hit you at once.. Other days, you feel like you're hitting your head against a wall. It isn't great. There were actually a couple of times when I completely lost inspiration and motivation when it came to illustrating our book. Of course I knew that I needed (and wanted) to get the illustrations done, but when you've never drawn a dog before, let alone tried to create the personality and movement of one, it can get a little hard. So I thought, maybe you guys find it hard to get inspired or motivated as well! There are ways around it, so I've put together my favourite ways to get those creative juices flowing.

PINTEREST

One place that I always go to for inspiration and resources is Pinterest. If you haven't got account already, then you probably should. Not only is it a great spot to get inspired when it comes to design and art, there are also millions of recipes, diys, home decor ideas and fashion/beauty tricks! The great thing is that you can "pin" images and articles from all over the web to your boards and when you log into Pinterest, all of those saved "pins" are waiting for you! It's like a giant moodboard/brainstorm I guess - what's not to love?

GET OUTSIDE

Sometimes I don't feel inspired because all I've been doing is sitting in my little office, staring at a grey wall with a computer screen in front of it. Now, I love my office. But when no ideas are coming to you, it can feel a little claustrophobic. That's why I find that one of the best ways to kick start my creativity is by getting outside! There are so many sights to see, smells to take in, sounds to hear that can all help you get a bit more inspired. It also just gives your mind and body a break and a bit of fresh air never hurt anyone! 

 

LIBRARY OR BOOKSTORE

Heading to a library or a magazine store always gets my creativity going as well. There are so many examples of great design to look at - from illustration to type, colour palettes to layout design. I find that having a flick through books and magazines can always give me some new ideas. While I don't think that copying other people's work is a good idea, I do find that seeing examples of the style of design I'm going for helps me come up with my own way to create something unique! 
 

SPOTIFY

I find that a house or office without music is a little bit depressing. I just feel a little empty if there isn't something playing in the background. When it comes to working, I actually prefer to listen to songs that I don't know the words too. I find it distracting if I want to start singing along, and to be honest - when I'm working I'm not really listening. More, hearing! I love Spotify because you can create your own playlist, browse theirs (which are actually pretty rad) or even listen to an artist radio - where Spotify will grab songs similar to the one that you choose. 

And what about you guys? What gets you inspired? I'm always on the hunt for more tips so I'd love to hear what you do when you need a little motivation. Stay tuned, Monique will be sharing her favourite ways to get inspired soon! 

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Happy Valentine's Day friends! Whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not, it's always nice to take some time and think about those who you love. And we're not even talking the romantic kind! Friends, family, yourself, your pets... In this world there can be a lot of hate so any excuse for a little love is okay in our books.

To celebrate, we thought we'd put together a free download for you. A gift, if you will! We believe that all great stories start with food (we're all a bit food obsessed over here - even Rocky!) so, inspired by one of the best dog love stories ever, voila! A cute little download to make you feel a little loved up. It's perfect for your computer, phone or tablet and it has Rocky and his lady on there.. What more could you want?

We hope you all have the most wonderful day, whether you're single or not. Enjoy the company of those who you love, that's what it's all about after all! And worst comes to worst, have a bit of chocolate. Maybe that's actually what Valentine's Day is all about? Ha! Enjoy.


DOWNLOAD FOR DESKTOP / IPAD / IPHONE


IT'S TIME TO MEET ROCKY

If there was ever a dog with a personality that could light up a room, it's our little sausage Rocky. Getting into mischief is his mission so we thought we'd share 10 fun facts about him and his wacky way of life!

TEN FUN FACTS ABOUT ROCKY

1. Born 25th September 2006 - he is about to celebrate his 10th birthday!! You wouldn't know it though, he still acts like a puppy (and gets away with it!)

2. His favourite human food is literally ANYTHING...except celery! To put this in perspective, he became very very sick one day this year when he snuck out of home and ate an old piece of bacon from someone's rubbish bag!

3. He has a little scar on his right leg from when he ran across the road as a puppy and got hit by a car. Wasn't serious though thank goodness - he just hurt his leg and had to stay in hospital for awhile!

4. He doesn't like swimming but he loves going to the beach to hang out with all his pals!

5. He has eaten a foot long Subway sandwich that I left on my bed for 5 seconds.

 

6. He LOVES his blankie so much, he knows how to tuck himself into bed and drags it around with him every where.

7. He doesn't like to go outside to go to the toilet when it's raining.

8. He knows how to put the window down in the car - we've never taught him how to do it but every time he jumps in the car he knows where the button is to put it down! He loves having his head and tongue out the window with the wind blowing in his face!

9. He doesn't like walking on rough concrete or road for some reason, he will always walk on the very edge of the footpath close to the road where the concrete goes over into the gutter.

10. He loves going on 'holiday' to the kennels when we go away. He always gets excited when we drop him off - he's made some great friends over the years!


IT'S TIME TO MEET THE ILLUSTRATOR

Hey team, Kate here! I'm the other half of the creative team that's working on The Silly Sausage stories. I'm an Auckland based graphic designer (and now illustrator!) While working as a full time freelance graphic designer, I spend most of time working on branding projects. When Monique and I got chatting about her dream of writing a children's book I jumped onboard and offered my illustration skills! It's been quite a challenge - my first illustrated sausage dog, but I'm really loving it and having a passion project with one my closest friends has been rad.


TEN FUN FACTS ABOUT KATE

1. MY FIRST CAREER DREAM WAS TO BECOME A WALLPAPER DESIGNER. LUCKILY I MOVED ONTO BETTER THINGS.

2.  I grew up playing both the violin and piano! We recently moved Mum's piano into our house and I can't wait to get back into it.

3.  If I could eat one food for the rest of my life it might just be ice cream!

4. I studied Graphic Design at Yoobee Design School (it was then called Natcoll) and have a diploma in Graphic Design!

5. Even though my husband has always wanted a dog, he gave in and let me keep a little stray kitten we found. We called him Theo!

 

6. If you see me watching tv, I'm mostly watching The Food Channel! I'm not a great cook but I love watching food shows.

7. My favourite way to relax is to snuggle up with a good book and listen to a relaxing playlist.

8. I HAVE A TATTOO! IT'S ACTUALLY ONE OF MY INITIAL LOGO DESIGNS SO IT'S PRETTY SPECIAL.

9. I have a bit of an obsession with anything chocolate and peppermint flavoured.

10. Earlier this year we went to Europe for our honeymoon! We went to the UK, Paris, Barcelona and cruised around the mediterranean! 


it's time to meet the author

Hi guys - I'm Monique. Writing children's stories about Rocky has always been something I've wanted to do. He has been a huge part of my life growing up, and boy do we have a few stories to tell. Our first 'tail' came from fathers day when I was about 15 years old. I had prepared a lovely spread of food for my dad, including an array of gourmet breads, and I had laid it out on the table ready to sit down and eat together. I went outside for about 5 minutes and when I came back, literally all the bread had gone!! Which sums Rocky up in a nutshell - anything he can get his mouth around he will eat. I was so angry at the time, but looking back on it it always makes me laugh. Rocky is full of personality and thinks the world revolves around him - so I couldn't resist writing these funny stories down for kids to enjoy too.


TEN FUN FACTS ABOUT MONIQUE

1. I have loved writing from a very young age and have a soft spot for children's literature - studying this at university aided this greatly 

2. I love travelling - the two places I desperately want to visit are New York and Morocco. 

3.  I love the Sex and the City TV series. Hence my love for New York! 

4. I also am a big Game of Thrones fan.....quite like a bit of Kit Harrington I must say. 

5. I have two gorgeous kittens - Woody and Lily. They are best friends and love play fighting!! Rocky doesn't get along with them very well though. That's why he lives with my parents and gets spoilt rotten. 

6. I have a double degree in commerce and arts from the University of Auckland. 

7. I am currently doing an interior design course which I absolutely love. I work in the carpet industry in which I am able to leverage these skills a lot. 

8. I have played the piano accordion since I was 5 years old.

9. Home made Lasagna is my absolute favourite food!

10. A good glass of red wine and a bath with salted caramel candles (the candles are a must!) is my favourite way to wind down after a long day.


WORKSPACE INSPO // MONIQUE

floral mousepad  /  vanilla bean candle  /  kikki.k diary  /  thumbs up  / who monique thinks she looks like when she's working (haha!) /  travail desk

floral mousepadvanilla bean candle / kikki.k diary / thumbs up / who monique thinks she looks like when she's working (haha!) / travail desk

Call them what you like - workspace, office, the "nook in the corner of your lounge where you shoved a desk," they are where we do our best work. So, it's pretty important that they are a space that feels inspiring and also encourages us to be proactive. We thought we'd round up our essentials and this week, it's Monique's "must-haves" for her workspace! 

"When I think of my dream workspace, I imagine a room with big windows, high ceilings and lots of light. I imagine a big glass desk and a comfy high backed swivel chair. There'd be a big world map on the wall and a few personal items dotted around the place. A stained glass lamp would sit next to my laptop. I'd light a vanilla caramel candle every so often. The space would feel homely and welcoming . " - Monique.

What are your workspace must-haves? Kate has her own at home office so next time we'll hear from her and what makes her dream office.

WORKSPACE INSPO // KATE

Call them what you like - workspace, office, the "nook in the corner of your lounge where you shoved a desk," they are where we do our best work. So, it's pretty important that they are a space that feels inspiring and also encourages us to be proactive. We thought we'd round up our essentials and this week, it's Kate's "must-haves" for her workspace! 

As much as I love colour, I also find myself constantly drawn to neutral tones, wooden textures, greenery and of course, accents of gold. Our house is a bit eclectic as I buy things when I'm in different frames of mind but somehow it works. However, if I did manage to get my head together to create a workspace oasis, this is what it would like. To me, a home and workspace should be somewhere that is comfortable and welcoming, but still inspiring. Being surrounded by natural textures and neutral tones kinda takes me back to being outside and while I don't often remember, that's where I feel most calm and at ease. So it makes sense that my office would reflect that! 

LET'S INTRODUCE OURSELVES

Well hello! It's lovely to see ya. Let us introduce ourselves! Monique is the lady in stripes, I'm (Kate) the chick in black. We're friends from way back (we're talking over ten years). On one of those occasions we were eating delicious food and indulging in a cheeky beverage we got chatting about our passions and career dreams. Monique mentioned that she had always wanted to write a children's book and of course, I jumped at the opportunity to try my hand at a bit more illustration. Within weeks, Monique had written this story about her mischievous but sweet sausage dog and I had fallen in love with Rocky. You see, he's a bit of a troublemaker. He's always getting himself into a pickle and we thought that not only could we share his adventures, we could teach a few lessons while we're at it.

Our first storybook is still a work in progress but we're hoping to have it printed by the end of the year. We'd love for you to get to know us (and Rocky) a little better so we'll be posting updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes snaps here, on Instagram and on Facebook.