Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Halloween – My Own Scary Offering!

1. Luminous Mary

1. Luminous Mary


I’m such a killjoy I hate Halloween -so this is my own scary offering!
SPECIMEN 1. A romantic Birthday present from Andyman- Luminous Mary, she keeps real live Rocking Dog company at night.
SPECIMEN 2. A secret bookcase with the books our son liked best i.e… ones that
he legitimately couldn’t read! The skull -because a skull should be for life and not just one poxy Halloween night. SPECIMEN 3. The headless horseman. He was meant to have Bill Turnbull’s head. Shame that. It would have definitely been the master bedroom!
SPECIMEN 4. Get your lace edged Victorian hanky out- it’s a Charles Dickenesque paupers coffin plate.
SPECIMEN 5. Instrument of torture ? no a French bottle drier, who needs a dishwasher?!
SPECIMEN 6. The scariest specimen of the lot….my unopened bank statement….now that REALLY is scary! Please care and share! Happy Halloween if it floats your boat.

2. Secret Bookcase

2. Secret Bookcase

3. Headless Horseman

3. Headless Horseman

4. Coffin Plate

4. Coffin Plate

5. Bottle Torture

5. Bottle Torture

6. Unopened Bills

6. Unopened Bills

Nigel, Boris, Elvis, Ronny, Kevin and Pete

Three Happy Knitted Boys
As the Beautiful South lyrics go “Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue..Deborah, Annabel too……” Rocking Dog has got “Nigel and Boris, Elvis, Ronny.. Kevin and Pete”
These Knitted Boys were not crafted by the Dog but rescued from a multi-coloured woollen mountain hell. Now well fed, psychoanalysed and named, these boys are seeking caring new homes. Great company, you can cuddle up and watch The Only Way is Essex together.
Your adopted boy can help you dip your Custard Cream into a steaming cuppa!
And yes, my fence could really do with a paint- maybe I’ll get a Knitted Boy or two on the case!

Friendly Knitted Boys

Friendly Knitted Boys

Nigel, Willy + Boris

Nigel, Willy + Boris

Inexpensive Cards and Wrapping

Wallpaper wrap
Inexpensive cards and wrapping.
Someone’s getting a giant bag of squirrel food for their Birthday!
My lovely Cole & Son wallpaper used as stylish gift wrap together with a papier mache Christmas decoration squirrel (TK Maxx), string and stamped luggage label.
Housewarming gift for lovely friend bundled in Chinese newspaper (free paper in a Chinese supermarket) ribbon, Christmas decoration frame used as label.
Birthday card for a gorgeous dancer and performer, card blank (Hobbycraft), label, ribbon, picture cut from charity shop book, sequin stars to embellish. Go on get creative- you know you want to!

Celebrate!

Celebrate!

Chinese Newspaper Wrap

Chinese Paper Wrap

Ballerina Beauties!

Fairy lights
Once Upon a Time……there was a restless ballerina who decided it was high time to leave the bright lights of Jelly Mould City. She very soon joined her friends on the Silver Sugar Spoon Tree. Being a very rebellious ballerina she quickly was encouraging all her fellow ballerina’s to seek new homes on bedecked fir trees up and down the land.
Buy one of these ballerina beauties and you could continue this farcical but oh so real fairytale!!
Off to tramp down the Yellow Brick Road with real live Rocking Dog.

Fairycake Tree

Fairycake Tree

Fairy Cake

Fairy Cake

Windy Weekend Away

Boy, Am I happy!
Real life Rocking Dog deliriously happy after very last minute camping trip. Bracing winds, brunch with friends, sunsets and starry nights together with a delicious bottle of red (though hot chocolate may have been more appropriate!)

Floats and buoys

Floats and buoys

Sea foam

Sea foam

Dorset Sunset

Dorset Sunset

Membrillo and Memories

Garden Quinces
Truly the most delicious smell in the world has to be quinces simmering in a pan. The year Sorrel and I cooked together in a cafe bar in Bristol we made a vast quantity of Membrillo….happy days! Delicious with Manchego, in Frangipane tarts and as a glaze for baked ham. Be sure to constantly stir because I can assure you that burnt quinces sure don’t smell that good! Have a fantastic weekend, foraging, leaf clearing, keeping warm!
Membrillo Recipe

Dad’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Dad's Drawers

This is my late Dad’s cabinet of curiosities. If we ever were at a loss as to what to buy my Dad for Christmas and Birthdays we would buy him an oddity! So there’s a brass pipe cleaner, a leper’s bell, Jew’s harp and lots of items of unknown use and origin! One of the most interesting curiosities is a tiny bottle of wood shards. They come from the foundation log of the Murphy Cabin of the Donner Party. In 1846 an 81 strong party led by George Donner set off on the 2,500 mile trek from Illinois to San Francisco. In the winter of 1847 they were caught in blizzards in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Dying from hypothermia and starvation they resorted to cannibalism. Lots were drawn to see who was going to be the next meals meat! More than 30 people were eaten before the survivors were rescued in the spring. One survivor who boasted about how many people he’d eaten, grew rich in the gold rush and opened a successful restaurant serving “a variety of rare meats”. Wednesday’s macabre tale before we all head off to the butchers!

Photos + Curios

Photos + Curios

Dad's Curios

Dad’s Curios

Donner Shards

Donner Shards


The Sierra Nevada

Mince Pie Mountain

Sugar Plum Fairy

Hambrook WI gave a unanimous thumbs up to Rocking Dog mince pies and hope they liked the kitsch snow globe presentation. How I love little fir trees, red spotted mushrooms, ballerina’s and fairy lights!

Sugar Plum Fairy

Sugar Plum Fairy

Snow Globe

Snow Globe

Edible Gifts for Hambrook WI

Christmas Food Labels
Rocking Dog is readying herself for this evening’s Hambrook WI session. I am leading a session on Edible Gifts- hope the lovely ladies don’t think I am trying to teach them to suck eggs! They have such a reputation for their cooking and baking skills. I will sign on tomorrow with their review of my Secret Mince Pies!

Spicy Gifts

Spicy Gifts

Salt and Spice

Salt and Spice

Pear + Walnut

Pear + Walnut

Spare a Thought for Pumpkins!

Pumpkin Soup
Spare a thought for pumpkins! The shops are full of pumpkins in readiness for Halloween. I feel sorry for this species, they are often carved into some ghoulish creation, stuffed with tea lights for one night and then simply discarded. Whilst in New Zealand we were guests of the ancestors of our current home. Our hosts served up roasted wedges of pumpkin with the traditional Sunday roast…. delicious! Pumpkins can be made into a lovely soup but I don’t think i’ll ever love pumpkin pie (sorry American kissing cousins!) The book is an American party book (1963) and I love the Halloween pages. The gist of the editorial goes.. Little Jimmy helps his father carve the Jack o’ Lantern with a really sharp knife. Meanwhile little Milly makes popcorn balls with her mother before doing all the washing up…. well I might be embellishing slightly but Grrrrrrrrr! Have a wonderful weekend and pick up a pumpkin!

Pumpkins for cooking

Pumpkins for soup, not carving!

Vintage pumpkin fun

Vintage pumpkin fun