Monthly Archives: November 2014

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A Needle Pulling Thread!

the rustic answer to tinsel, rocking dog

The Rustic Answer to Tinsel

The Rocking Dog workshop’s busy – but the mountains of fabric don’t seem to be diminishing very much – perhaps because I simply keep buying!
Maybe I need some rehab’ to cure my addiction for fabric, string and ribbon! I will be one of those poor souls featured on The Hoarder Next Door where I am climbing over Everest sized peaks of linen, print and velvet to get to the cooker!

These are some of the beauties I will have on sale at the Original Vintage and Handmade Christmas Sale and at my Rocking Dog house sale in mid December.
If you love sewing (and even if you don’t) a brilliant radio 4 programme to upload is A Needle Pulling Thread. 28 minutes of poignant and joyous stories relating to the power and therapy of sewing.
I love my Bernina so much and I verbally tell her that! Have a lovely weekend.

bollywood trees, rocking dog

Bollywood Trees

my crooked hearts, rocking dog

My Crooked Hearts

Blowin’ away the cobwebs!

real live rocking dog

Real Live Rocking Dog


Real Live Rocking Dog looking just slightly grumpy- a bit like his sleep deprived owner! Thank you to all the gorgeous Malago WI girls who made me so welcome last night – what a diverse age group and some real creative talent. Love the hot off the press tea towel.

bird food rocking dog

Bird Food

Wrapping up Christmas

witty wrap, rocking dog

witty wrap

No, I am not super-organised!
I have been wrapping up presents in readiness for Malago WI session tonight. The group want me to demonstrate innovative wrapping including low cost ideas. Chinese newspaper, wallpaper samples, orange wrappers and interior design brochures all feature, and are absolutely and utterly free.
I am looking forward to returning to meet this trendy group and will enjoy witnessing their array of delicious homemade cakes!

pom-pom parcel, rockingdog

Pom-Pom Parcel

polka and leopard spot, rocking dog

Polka and Leopard Spot

Whimsical Advent Calendars

knitted elf advent calendar rocking dog

Knitted Elf

The time is NOW for advent calendars!

Totally unique Rocking Dog creations – a true labour of love. Take your pick from two designs, one featuring Emily Sutton’s Curiosity Shop fabric and the other featuring a jolly knitted elf and real gnarly branch. How Real Live Rocking Dog wanted those branches!
My brain is in Christmas overload at the moment and was SO sad when my festive Michael Buble CD refused to play in the car! That will teach me to attempt to play Christmas music before December. Growing up my mum allowed herself to put on Jim Reeves when advent doors started opening.

advent label rocking dog

Advent Label

curiosity shop advent calendar rocking dog

Curiosity Shop Advent Calendar

Stepladder Storage

stepladder storage rocking dog

Stepladder Storage

In between making advent calendars I thought it high time to sort my scarves for forthcoming wintry days!
I love my stepladder storage, especially its beautiful sign writing and paint blobs!
This example was bought from a lovely dealer in Clifton Arcade, Bristol for £50 a few years ago. The shoe lasts provide great storage and display for baubles, beads, bling and bandanas.
Attach adhesive plate hangers (available from John Lewis china department) to hang.

shoe last display rocking dog

Shoe Last Display

Jolly Jugs!

toby jug rocking dog

Toby Jug

Happy Friday from my jolly jugs!

Couldn’t resist this pair – found this week in separate branches of St Peter’s Hospice shops for a fiver each. They look as if they’re getting on famously on my mantlepiece and of course there’s always Luminous Mary in close proximity to stop any slap and tickle!
Poor Toby has a chip on his shoulder whilst Mrs Mac has a rather faded quote “A present from Fleetwood“.
Meanwhile there is a vintage label in the Rocking Dog collection that bears a striking resemblance to old ale drinking Toby. The glittery label folk are desperately hoping that this will finally be the year they embellish parcels.
Alas, I love them all too much – for them to be discarded with Christmas paper, string and ribbon! Sorry my glittery friends.
Have a wonderful weekend.

mr toby mrs jug rocking dog

Mr and Mrs Toby Jug

vintage christmas labels rocking dog

Vintage Christmas Labels

glittery toby label rocking dog

Glittery Toby Label

Heirloom Advent Calendars

handprinted dates rocking dog

Handprinted Dates


Sewing into the wee hours!
Better late than never – made a productive start on the first of three advent calendar designs. Hand stamped numbers, a couple of ginghams, Emily Sutton’s Curiosity Shop fabric and lots of fiddly sewing!
The other designs will feature knitastic Lucy’s elf with hand printed verse, and another featuring a mouse with the beautiful “Twas the night before Christmas verse”.
These are heirloom pieces – a calendar is for life and not one cardboard chocolate filled Christmas! PS… sssshhhh! Suzy Smith editor of Country Living bought one of these last year!

night shift rocking dog

Night Shift

advent materials rocking dog

Advent Materials

making up calendar rocking dog

Making Up Calendar

Sticky Toffee Pudding

syrup pudding tin tate lyle rocking dog

Syrup Pudding Tin

One of the deadly sins- Gluttony!

Sticky Toffee Puddings baked in Tate and Lyle tins.
The centenary of Scott of the Antarctic’s expedition we baked twenty seven of these beauties for a Burn’s Night (raising funds for the preservation of Scott’s hut).
The choice of pud was determined by the fact I’d spotted a Tate and Lyle tin in a photo of the famous hut. We had an awful lot of syrup to endure that year and the blessed puddings have in fact zilcho syrup in their make up! A good bracing walk is needed this morning and repenting my sins in a Confession Box!

sticky toffee recipe rocking dog

Sticky Toffee Recipe

treacle pudding tin lyle rocking dog

Treacle Pudding Tin

Eat, Pray, Love.

orvieto shop salamis

Orvieto Shop

Eat, Pray, Love.

Just thought I’d share a little more of Italy before returning to Rocking Dog makes.
The Eat – a wonderful shop in Orvieto selling salamis, cheese etc… I loved the window for it’s simplicity. Many products were wrapped in utilitarian brown paper with labels to match. The only “prop” was a taxidermy’d wild boars head. That bought back memories of the boars head my brother in law borrowed for us for a Burn’s Night. The owner apparently later swapped it for a stuffed penguin!
The Pray – Loved this grotto at the entrance to this nursery school in Orvieto. As a four year old would you be scared or comforted to see a Madonna watch over you entering your classroom!
The Love – loved this figure on the facade of a building in the beautiful hill top town, Citta della Pieve.

wrapped cheeses italy

Wrapped Cheeses

grotto orvieto mary

Grotto in Orvieto

relief citta della pieve

Relief – Citta della Pieve

Umbrian Treasures

michele & co patisserie umbria

Amazing Umbrian Gâteau


As David Bowie would sing “Oh You Pretty Things”.
Amazing Umbrian patisserie from Michele & Co and delicious vintage textiles purchased in the district. My heart goes with the textiles – sorry Michele!
Freshly laundered embroidered loveliness in the shape of festive tablecloths, pillow cases, table runners and wall hangings.
Rocking Dog has been sewing some into pretty tea towels, however they are simply too lovely to dry dishes with! The starched beauties that don’t escape to my own armoire, will be on sale at The Vintage and Handmade Sale – Visit vintageandhandmade.co.uk and at my festive house sale in December.


textiles  washboard rocking dog

Textiles and Washboard


vintage embroidery

Vintage Embroidery

vintage tea towels rocking dog

Vintage Tea Towels

umbrian cake michele co

Umbrian Cake