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A winner!

Archie and I would like to say thank you very much for all the wonderful comments about the embroidered hoop and all the very funny captions for his photo - we had a great time reading all your suggestions! (Well, I did, Archie just perked up each time I mentioned biscuit or walk!).  So, Archie has picked a winner but before I do the big reveal (lots of photos and a couple of short videos!) here's a quick catch up...

My prize from Kristyne's giveaway, sponsored by Gigi at Pinks and Needles, arrived at the weekend and it's even more wonderful in person.  Unfortunately my photos can't do justice to the delicate beauty of the pin toppers and the egg cup pincushion but here's my (poor!) effort...

I love them so much...they're currently living on my mantelpiece!
Thank you, Kristyne and Gigi!

And I have been doing a bit of sewing but nothing I can show you at the moment.  Here's something almost finished that I can just needs stars on the top and two companions, my mam's dining table is getting three of them for Christmas!

A bit naked without its stars at the top but you get the idea!

Archie and I had quite a few conversations about the best way to pick a winner.  He was very keen on me printing out all 86 comments and putting a biscuit on each one.  (86 because one comment was mine - no, I wasn't trying to win my own prize! - and one person commented three times as they were worried about their first comment containing a potentially offensive word and wanted to give me the option to delete it...which I didn't!  Also, two comments were left after the closing time but Archie declared that it wouldn't be fair to leave them out for the sake of a few hours so we included them in the draw...still with me?!)  So, 86 biscuits in a line, yes?  No!  As I explained to Archie we don't have room to lay 86 biscuits in a semicircle and make it at all fair for everyone and if he thinks I'm going to let him eat 86 biscuits on the trot then he's got another think coming.  We reached a compromise that would involve a bit of luck, a bit of deciding and several biscuits!

Here's the plan...

Put the numbers 1 to 86 in Archie's food ball (used to distract him when I've got visitors who aren't keen on dogs and occasionally as a treat for him, and me!) and get Archie to roll the ball around until five numbers drop out.  Then match those numbers to the comments, read them to Archie and get him to pick his favourite...

Our independent adjudicator (I think it was Archie pretending!) insisted we show all the numbers ready to go in the'll have to take Archie's the adjudicator's word for it that all 86 are there!

Initially Archie refused to get out of bed to draw the winners of the first round as he knew there weren't any biscuits in the ball.  This was soon resolved with the help of ACAS and a handful of biscuits. (Archie would like me to point out that 'biscuit' is overstating it...they're bits of his dried food and are about half an inch long!)

As several people have pointed out...I don't have to get out of bed you know!
Once that issue was resolved Archie deigned to participate and I managed to catch a short (and wobbly!) clip of how the first round worked...

If you listen carefully you can hear his teeth chattering with excitement at the beginning and if you have very sharp eyes you'll see the first number fall out under the Christmas tree!

And the winners of the first round, and therefore those going through to the final voting are...

For anyone unable to read my writing it says Nicky, Hadley, Marjorie, Annabella and Di@Willowbeck

Note to self (to be added to my blogging rules) - when doing any writing that might end up on your blog it's wise to make sure it's your best writing not some spider scrawl!

Time for round two!

As when Archie voted for his favourite Japanese scrap bag challenger I set out his voting booth while he was shut in the front room and he was so excited at the prospect of voting that he could barely contain himself!  (Please ignore the bags and boxes in the background, it's tree decorations, etc!)

Unfortunately I didn't manage to capture his excited full body quiver but trust me, he was very excited so after sitting him down and reminding him of the rules I let him into the booth...

So I read them all and then pick my favourite?  And I can eat the other four biscuits afterwards?

Ohhh...this is tougher than I expected...

You'll have to get faster with that camera!
As you can see I wasn't fast enough to take a photo of him scoffing the first biscuit and only managed to capture him choosing second place but the winner is (and I wish I could make a hoop for all of you but I'm afraid I'd be at it until it was time to get my bus pass!)....

Hadley!  Well done, Hadley, I've sent you an email!  (Well, I will do once I've written and published this post!)  Archie would like to say something to you...ahem...You're right, it wasn't the deal - the deal was I'd spread hair everywhere, bark at the doorbell and demand to be fussed at inconvenient moments...there was no mention of hundreds of photos and picking in the contract, I think I'll demand a new contract, with a clause specifying rewards for participating in blog related activities...

And just in case you've forgotten what was on offer, here's what Hadley will be getting in the post.

And if you were observant you'll have caught the results of my penguin moment (an idea blatantly copied from Alison at Little Island Quilting - I hope she doesn't mind!) and another item to add to 'ATWD's blogging rules' (I might put them on the side bar, once I've worked out how to do it!)...when conducting a voting session that involves lots of bits of paper in a food ball don't leave the dog alone with the ball while you find out who he picked...

Yes, that would be 81 (5 were with me!) pieces of paper all over my carpet, under the tree, behind the telly, etc.  As far as the eye can see, in fact, and round the corner too!

After all that excitement I spent the afternoon putting lots of decorations (my mam calls them toys!) on the naked-but-for-lights tree that has been lurking in the background of the photos and now it looks like this

It looks much better IRL, honestly it does!!
And finally (phew!) I've decided to try to include a random fact about me or Archie (thanks, Lucy! If you don't know Lucy please go and visit her, say hello and become a follower, she's one of the many wonderful and lovely people I've had the privilege to get to know since I started my blog) in my next few posts so here is

Random Fact One - Archie hasn't always been called Archie.  When I adopted him from the rescue centre (where he'd also been as a puppy and then returned when he was about 18 months old...) he was called Milo.  Which I hated (I wasn't going to shout the name of a Tweenie across the field - I think Milo is the one with the purple face!) and which he didn't respond to at all so I spent a couple of days pondering names and trying them out on him.  It soon became clear that he responded to names ending in 'ie' so he was renamed Archie which he instantly responded to and I think it suits him perfectly!  And if you followed the link to find out what a Tweenie is you'll have discovered another annoying song that specialises in sticking in your brain and driving you batty!  No, please, no need to thank me!

I hope you're all well and full of the Christmas spirit?  Thanks for popping in!


  1. Loving your tree and well done to Hadley - she's always winning goodies!

  2. Oh I am now channelling the luck towards to the lottery - I won't forget any of my friends, including Archie if I hit the big one!

    Thank you so much - it is an honour to win by such an elaborate method!

    Can't wait to study those stitches up close xxxxxxx

  3. I can't believe Archie passed me Congrats to Hadley....

  4. I would love to meet that dog one day! I can see he keeps you entertained.
    Congrats to your winner.

  5. Congrats to Hadley and super happy to get to the final, which is much further than I normally get! Love Archie even more (if that`s possible)now that I know he`s a rescuse dog. So much more an Archie than a Milo. Great post Helen!

  6. what a brilliant post! Love the photos and the videos :-)

  7. Congratulations Hadley. Archie is definitely not a Milo!! And will you tell him Sam is on his way round to sort him out for not picking my name to win!! :)

  8. Well done for the picking Archie! much more fun than mr Random Generator!

    And congrats, Winners!

  9. Maggie cat is trying to get in on this giveaway participation thing, but so far she has just managed to scratch the name of a winner on my leg, and it's in cat language so I need a translation! I told her to speak human, and specifically English, and clear as a bell she said "biscuit" ... I think there's a long way to go ...

    Well done Hadley! Maybe it was a prediction... do you know how to write your name in cat?

  10. Ha ha ha. Videos don't appear on an ipad ( just a fat white space) so when I can get my rear in gear I'll go and have a look on a proper computer ;-)

  11. That Hadley one wins everything!! Jammy wotsit! Love your tree btw! And Milo was my fav in the Tweenies - it's not that bad, really! Jxo

  12. How Archie chose between five such brilliant people is beyond me. Better him than me! Well done to Hadley and thanks for such a fab post. You had me laughing the whole time!

  13. I got one of those balls for Ells, but she wasnt so keen... brilliant post, pics, vid, the lot :-) oh and congrats to lucky drawers... :-p

  14. That has to be the most entertaining way to choose a winner that I've seen in my three years of blogging. Well done to Archie! And his very creative grown-up! And I think your tree looks wonderful and I hope you have a really nice Christmas with family and friends.

  15. What great way to pick a winner, honestly that dog is so entertaining. Your tree looks wonderful!

  16. What a fun way to pick a winner, Helen! Archie is so smart!! Love your decorations. xo

  17. What a briliant post - has set me up for the day!! Archie is a star - but watch out, he might employ an agent soon...
    .well done to Hadley - she IS winning everything isn't she?

  18. Steven Spielberg watch out ! Helen and Archie are on their way to take over the film world - you had me entranced especially when my name appeared! That Hadley wins just about everything Hehe! Thought I could win with my talk of bribery but Archie is not to be swayed obviously!

    Great hoop, tree and post! My cats had different names too - Saffy was Helena! Archie suits him well! and Milo the wonderdog just doesn't do it for me!

  19. Congratulations Hadley!! This post is so funny - I love Archie so much! Great way of picking names!
    My coffee spurted out my nose when I read the bit about Milo and the Tweenies!! hilarious, and yes an awful name to be shouting! Archie is a million times better :)

  20. Congrats Hadley! Hahahahaa...LOVE the tree know I have a soft spot for Christmas decorating. As for Archie's Random Fact - we almost named a dog Asphalt once...just from sheer desperation that we couldn't agree on anything...then we realized how bad it would be to call "here, assie" Yup. True story.

  21. Congratulations to the winner - Archie did such a good job!

  22. Congratulations to Hadley! Love the tree decoration :)

  23. Congrats! Archie is so talented! I love how he sits with his paws crossed....very proper :) What a sweetie!

  24. I think I am in love with Archie! I heard it suggested by dog trainer yesterday that you can easily rename dogs and it helps to give them a name like 'treat' or 'biscuit'- positive association and they will always recall! Funny

  25. Hee hee, all very scientific then!

  26. Cor, lucky Hadley! and your selection method is brilliant, if I had a ball like that I'd use Felix to pick the winner for my giveaway..or is that cruel?! x

  27. I just watched both the films of Archie, he is SUCH a sweetie, adorable, what an absolute charmer, it must have been great fun having Archie star beautifully for you! Vanessa xxx

  28. Great post! Well done Archie! Though I'm a bit sad my name wasn't in the finalists :( In Australia Milo is a type of drink, sort of like cocoa or Ovaltine(?) that you can add hot water or milk to, but it tastes much nicer. The celebrities who name their kids Milo have always made me laugh- more now that I know about the Tweenies! So glad Archie had the same disdain!

  29. It was enough to see my name in print. Congrats to Hadley. BTW like the cool tree. Happy Christmas to both you and Archie. Di xo


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