Archive for April, 2014


Win a Photo Shoot valued at $2,500

COMPETITION TIME – W.A. RESIDENTS! BE IN IT TO WIN IT! We have partnered with City Farmers, our fave pet supplies retailer and valued studio sponsor, to bring you a fantastic pet photography prize.

You could win a photo shoot with us valued at $2500 or one of 5 signed copies of “Mother Knows Best – Life lessons from the animal world” by Alex Cearns, published by Penguin Books Australia.

To be in the running just enter here your details here

The competition closes 23:59pm AWST on 11th May 2014.  GOOD LUCK! 



Mother’s Day Voucher Special

Your mum deserves the best this Mother’s Day! Show her how much you love her with the gift of our fabulous Mother’s Day Voucher Special for just $195.00.

Available in person from our display at enex100 (connects Hay Street Mall and St Georges Tce, Perth CBD) from Sunday 4th May through until Sunday 11th May.

Our Voucher Special includes:
* a Houndstooth Studio pet portrait session for up to two pets from the same household by leading animal photographer Alex Cearns
* a 5in x 7in print valued at $120
* plus a personally signed copy of Alex’s wonderful new book ‘Mother Knows Best – Life lessons from the animal world’, published by Penguin Books Australia.

Limited to the first 100 vouchers sold. Come say hi and snap one up. And don’t forget – this offer is ONLY available from our pop up shop from 4th May. 

We’ll also have copies of ‘Mother Knows Best’ for sale and Alex will be signing books each day from 11am until 2pm.


Wheels and Dollbaby canine couture collection

Grab your pooch a stylish jacket from the Wheels and Dollbaby canine couture collection, sold exclusively at City Farmers. Proceeds go to the Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA.
The Wheels and Dollbaby canine couture collection have been flying off the shelves at City Farmers outlets. Has your pooch got one?
See what it means to our dogs if you give your pooch a little star style with one. Buy now at

Mother Knows Best – Life lessons from the animal world

LAST CHANCE TO PRE-ORDER! Mother’s Day is fast approaching! Stuck on a gift idea for Mum? We have the perfect solution. Pre-order a copy of “Mother Knows Best – Life lessons from the animal world” by our very own Alex Cearns published by Penguin Books Australia.

Filled with inspirational quotes and adorable images, and priced at just $19.95 + P/H, this is the perfect heartwarming gift for Mothers Day, a loved one, an animal person … or just because.

“HOW DO I GET ONE?” you ask. From now until 23rd April we are taking pre-orders for MKB via our website – if you place your order during this time, your book will be posted out on 23rd April 2014, the national release date.

Visit to place your order – and don’t forget to buy one for yourself too!



Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone from all of us at Houndstooth Studio, especially Pixel as she LOVES modelling for themed holidays! xx



Kindest Heart – Rachael Badger, Greener Pastures Sanctuary

KINDEST HEART! Introducing the wonderful Rachael Badger, who runs Greener Pastures Sanctuary with her husband Dave, daughter Phoenix and a dedicated committee. Greener Pastures is a not for profit sanctuary, set on 100 acres, where rescued farm animals get to happily spend the rest of their lives. I first met Rachael a few years ago when I photographed her rescue sheep Levy Lamb, who is the ambassador for Stop Live Exports. Since then she has followed her dream of opening a sanctuary and moved to a new, larger premises to make it happen. Every day she works tirelessly to tend to the animals in her care and she is a very fitting subject for today’s Kindest Heart.

QUESTION: How did Greener Pastures Sanctuary come about?

RACHEL: The journey to becoming the proud owner of Greener Pastures began when I was working as a vet Nurse. An occupational hazard of the job is ending up with numerous abandoned animals who would otherwise have been put to sleep. I started out rescuing and rehoming (or keeping) dogs and cats, until one day an elderly, long term client of the vet clinic had to give up her small flock of sheep. I was horse riding competitively at the time and had 5 acres so I put my hand up to give them a loving home. Soon after, I was given the opportunity to hand raise a lamb who was found on the side of the road next to his dead mum, Levy Lamb changed my life forever. He taught me that these animals we call ‘food’ are no different to the animals we call ‘pets’. Levy loves affection – he comes when I call him, he walks on a lead, and he feels pain, excitement, and happiness.

It wasn’t long before Dave and I visited Edgars Mission in Victoria and saw the incredible work they were doing for farm animals. It was then we decided a farm animal sanctuary was desperately needed in W.A. … and so, here we are.

Q: What does your daily routine involve?

RACHAEL: My Daily routine starts between 6 – 6.30am when my 2.5 year old (human alarm clock) wakes me up. We tend to the animals which includes preparing feeds and feeding, letting the animals out into their day paddocks, cleaning and filling waters, in winter we change or remove the horse’s rugs and medicate any animals who require it. The same tasks are repeated in the evenings from 4.30pm until around 6.30pm.

Between our morning and afternoon routine I try and chip away at any property maintenance I can manage on my own, while simultaneously chasing a fearless animal loving 2.5 year old. This can include getting in the tractor and putting out hay rolls, digging holes for fence posts and cleaning out pens and refreshing bedding. We have one horse at a time up for adoption so I try to work with them a couple of times a week. We also have regular vet visits, farrier visits and group visits.

Q: Who calls Greener Pastures Sanctuary home?

RACHAEL: At last count we have 60 animals, including horses, cattle, sheep, goats, an alpaca, a turkey, ducks, chickens and Pigs. As we have only been at the property for a year we are still getting set up, putting up shelters, fencing etc. we already have a waiting list for animals needing our help and hope to get to them as living space becomes available.

Q: Have any animals have stolen your heart?

RACHAEL: All 60 have so far stolen my heart. The ones who stand out though would have to be our dear Levy Lamb, who I mentioned played a role in the beginning of G.P.S. He was found on the side of the road next to his dead mum who it seemed had fallen from a truck on the way to the abattoir, or worse, a live export ship. When a passer-by found him he had been badly pecked by crows and was covered in sores – he was lucky that his eyes had been left untouched. Levy became the ambassador for the lobby group Stop Live Export and his gorgeous photos, taken by our fave photographer ( Alex Cearns ), can be seen on their website, signs and flyers.

Another very special and very lucky animal is Pixie the calf. She was lucky enough to have been born on the property, though it was a close call. When we first came to view the property we now call Greener Pastures, we noticed 6 cows locked away in a tree belt. I knew that the then owner of the property was a retiring beef farmer and I feared for their lives. He told me that he had sent the rest of his head of 30 cattle off to the abattoir but the remaining 6 had been tangled in a fence and received minor injuries and until they healed the abattoir wouldn’t take them.

Needless to say, we had our very first fundraiser and raised money to buy them all at market price. At the time of purchase I found out that farmer had hand raised one of them from birth and that the elderly cow was pregnant. One month later gave birth to the most beautiful calf we now call Pixie. Her mum was what farmers call a ‘breeder’ she had calf after calf, year after year. When the calves reach around 10-12 months of age they are taken away to be slaughtered. Old Mum Margaret will never have to go through the pain and distress of losing her young again and her family are now safe and very much loved.

Q: Where do you think your love of animals comes from?

RACHAEL: My family have always been ‘animal people’. From the day I was born I have shared my home with at least one animal. They were always treated as part of the family, never left to sleep outside or given up because of ‘problem behaviours’. My Nanna used to fondly tell me stories of the animals she shared her life with and even said if she ever won lotto she would buy a property and rescue animals. I wish she was still around to live the dream with me.

I learned to ride horses, successfully competed at show jumping and eventing, and became a vet nurse. I’ve never known anything but a life with animals. The only thing that has changed is my perception of them as individuals and the shocking and eye opening journey to learning how so many of them are treated at the hands of mankind.

Q: What are your plans for Greener Pastures Sanctuary?

RACHAEL: In the not too distant future we hope to have all the infrastructure and fencing we need to be successfully rescuing and, at times, rehoming any needy animal who comes our way. We will be building a class room to enable us to welcome school and community groups. We believe that education is vital in creating a better world for all animals. We would also like to get out and about as much as possible and we have some animal residents who will accompany us as ambassadors for their kind. We hope that they will help us change the way people see these amazing, intelligent and affectionate beings known as farm animals.

Q: Can you tell us something about Farm Animals that people may not know?

RACHAEL: Farm animal rescue (especially in Western Australia) is uncommon. I’ve even had people say to me ‘why would a farm animal need to be rescued?’ This just reiterated why it’s so important to be doing what we are doing. They are some of the most abused animals on the planet, often seen as nothing more than money in someone’s pocket and a piece of meat on someone’s plate. If you have never hugged a sheep, given a pig a belly scratch, been given a slobbery kiss by a cow or fed a horse a carrot … do it! Once you meet them I guarantee they will change your heart and mind forever.

Cows are also more amazing than most people realise. Researchers at Cambridge university found that cows love an intellectual challenge. When young cows learned how to unlatch a gate to get to food their heart rates accelerated, they became more animated and some even jumped for joy. The cows that received the food without unlatching the gate didn’t show any changes in their behaviour. This shows that cows have an emotional response to their own learning and achievement … just like us.

PICTURED: Rachael with Pixie the calf


For more information on Greener Pastures Sanctuary please visit


Princess Pixel Prancypants turns one!

Happy 1st birthday to our beautiful pup, Princess Pixel Prancypants. It was love at first sight when I saw her at Brightside Farm Sanctuary in August last year. I picked her up (she was little then) and that was it. My dear friends Emma Haswell and Eliza Haswell from Brightside gave us the greatest gift when they sent Pixel to Perth to live with us. She is a bundle of laughs, has an adorable sense of humour (mostly laughing at herself!) and brings constant joy to everyone she meets. She is the best friend and sister Pip the Black Beetle could ask for. And she has added so much to our lives as well. Yes she wears pink, but she can’t be totally perfect, haha. Love this sweet pooch and watching her grow up each day has been my privilege. xxx



2014 Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year Awards

So proud to hear that Alex has been selected as one of the shortlisted photographers in the 2014 Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year Awards in the Animal Portrait section for her pic Max the Baby Wombat.

The competition received 1422 images from photographers in 13 countries, with the quality of entries deemed to be higher than ever before.

Winners will be announced at the exhibition launch at the South Australian Museum on 9th October 2014 and published in the November-December 2014 edition of Australian Geographic.

Congratulations Alex – and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, the wonderful organisation caring for baby Max.