Monthly Archives: May 2016

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1.17am And Waiting For Meringues To Bake!

Waiting For Pud'! , Rocking Dog

Waiting For Pud’!

Indeed it has gone 1am and I am waiting for meringues to bake! It is the day of my lovely boys wedding and I am so truly tired. The girls and I together with a lovely midwifery friend have been cooking up the wedding breakfast. The gold leafed, crystallised violet sprinkled meringues will escape the oven at 2 am, and then I can seek sleep for a few hours.

The tipi looks truly amazing and after the storms I hope the dawn brings sunshine.

Wishing Alex and Kylie from us all at the kennel a wonderful married life together.x

Unlike Elvis I Want To Go To Chelsea!

Favourite Garden, Rocking Dog

Favourite Garden

As the song went Elvis Costello didn’t want to go to Chelsea. But I SO want to be at Chelsea, specifically the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The sacrifices I make for my boy! So this year the gardens will have to just be sadly viewed on the television. It’s one occasion I would like smellevision!

Yesterday I took the opportunity to give my lists an overview in the garden. The sun was intoxicating and calming. In amongst very healthy looking weeds I spotted some gorgeous Chelsea Flower Show 2015 purchases. I ended up feeling so guilty that these lovely splashes of colour were being inhibited by shrouds of Ground Elder and the like. For a while now I have actually been talking to the garden saying “After the wedding…” . How lovely on Monday (well maybe not Monday, there’ll be be beds to change, china to put back in cupboards and the family to reinvigorate and rest in equal quantities). So… on Tuesday there’ll be beds to weed, a lawn to nourish, poor Clematis plants to move and lots of tidying. There is also a fibre glass bath to retrieve from the brook. Washed downstream by heavy rains this unsightly bit of flotsam needs dealing with.

How lovely to see the L’Occitane garden win another gold medal this year at the show. It was my favourite garden last year. I wanted to sit amongst those olive trees with all the aromatic underplanting. A manicured garden it was simply not..but oh so beautiful. Talking of L’Occitane I was recently at Stansted airport and going through security on a flight to Perugia. As I came through the security gate I set off the bleepers. I was taken to one side and had my hands swabbed, again I set alarms ringing. Bemused I said to the security officer,”Is this to do with drugs” to which he replied “no, explosives!” Next I witnessed a walkie talkie conversation “we have a female suspect at Gate 12 and need a female operative”. In due course I was taken to a small room where two female officers frisk searched me. It was all very serious until one of them piped up “Is your jumper from Primark?” to which I replied in a rather disgusted tone “No, H&M!” (as if H&M was a high end label) Eventually, I escaped the room and the officers concluded it was my rather lovely L’Occitane hand cream that had set off the alarms. Be warned!

As May hurtles to its sunny conclusion I hope everything is growing beautifully in your garden or window box. Seasons change!

Marquee Iris Display, Rocking Dog

Marquee Iris Display

Divine Shed, Rocking Dog

Divine Shed

Sentebale Garden, Rocking Dog

Sentebale Garden

Cheery Auricula's, Rocking Dog

Cheery Auricula’s

Delicious Digitalis, Rocking Dog

Delicious Digitalis

Ceiling Flora, Rocking Dog

Ceiling Flora

Conservatory Soak, Rocking Dog

Conservatory Soak

Out On The Street, Rocking Dog

Out On The Street

The Other Elvis!, Rocking Dog

The Other Elvis!

The Cake Fairy Whizzes Up Some Bakes!

Frou'd Coconut & Lime Cake, Rocking Dog

Frou’d Coconut & Lime Cake

Friday, I had a little baking session at the kennel. Baking is an enjoyable pursuit especially when I had the pleasure of Bill Turnbull in my kitchen! Well, that isn’t strictly true, his voice was permeating out of the radio. He was standing in for Anne Marie Minhall on Classic FM Radio, and so I had four wonderful hours of Bill’s dulcet tones. Anyone who knows me will know that I have a real soft spot for Bill. It was a real JFK moment (i.e… everyone knows what they were doing when JFK was assassinated) and I remember where I was when my son broke the news to me that Bill was retiring from BBC “Breakfast”. I was in Bath and crying out “No, no!”. So although I couldn’t see lovely Bill, I enjoyed rolling, whisking, weighing, pouring whilst listening to relaxing music and the oh so familiar voice. It made me want to resurrect my Bill shrine (think signed photo of Bill, Kewpie doll, pink ostrich feathers, fairy lights). Yes, many of you by now will undoubtedly think I need some serious therapy. Incidently, if I saw Bill I would run a mile, a stalker I am not, a closet fan I am!

Anyway, enough of Bill it’s all about the bakes! I cooked up a Coconut & Lime Cake (thanks Delia), some Little Portuguese Tarts and Sloe Gin Rocky Road.

I couldn’t bring myself to resolutely follow Delia’s recipe. Pedantic she normally is, but for this recipe she tends to sling everything in and hopes for the best! I doubled the quantity of ingredients (2x tins) and used a Victoria Sandwich style creaming method. For the filling I whipped up cream, Marscarpone, lime zest and a little Rachel’s coconut Greek yogurt. Of course the cake fairy couldn’t resist a smidge of cake frouing! A little of the cream mixture, sprigs of mint, lime wedges and blueberries did the trick.

Little Portuguese tarts were easily made using ready rolled all butter puff pastry and homemade Creme Patisserie. To add some fairy sparkle the tarts were glazed with a little warmed apricot jam on escaping the oven.

Finally the Rocky Road. I used a Nigella recipe and replaced the brazil nuts with pistachio’s and glace cherries with sloes. The sloes have been immersed in gin for the last few months in the Rocking Dog kennel. For my Rocky Road I captured a generous sloe crop from their boozy bath and stoned them ( it’s easy to do this with your fingers, or if squeamish use a cherry stoner), The sloes were then stirred into the melted chocolate mix together with marshmallows, amaretti and the pistachios.

The fairy magic’d the cakes to their special destination and then waved her magic wand to simply make the sink full of washing up disappear! (If only!)

I think this weeks colossal baking session will be all together more frenetic and very sadly there is no more Bill. Anne-Marie please go away on holiday a bit more frequently!

I hope a good week beckons for one and all x

Little Portuguese Tarts, Rocking Dog

Little Portuguese Tarts

Sloe Gin Rocky Road Slab!, Rocking Dog

Sloe Gin Rocky Road Slab!

Fairy Label, Rocking Dog

Fairy Label

Planet Wedding In Full Swing!

Blue Sky Ordered. If It Were Only That Simple!, Rocking Dog

Blue Sky Ordered. If It Were Only That Simple!

With THE wedding little more than a week away I have been trying hard to stay calm and to carry on! Yesterday was a day of organisation, and my brain thankfully now feels less cluttered. Beloved Bernina was still busy, making some party bags out of tea towels and a pretty tablecloth found in a bargain bin in Ikea. Now to fill the bags with edible and non edible treats.

The coat is finished and for my first attempt at dressmaking since the 1980’s, i’m quite pleased with myself. Thankfully I managed to stop myself from using 1980’s style shoulder pads. I’m sure suave Patrick from The Great British Sewing Bee may have a few things to say about my garment … but heh ho!

Beloved Bernina has a childrens’ tent to customise today and then she will be put away until the matrimonial frivolities are over. Spoons and whisks will be the tool of choice when the new week begins. 120 free range eggs have arrived from a farm in Long Ashton and they will be joined by copious quantities of butter, cream and chocolate. So much devilish naughtiness.

Olive oil from olives we picked in November has been bottled, and pickles labelled. Dry cleaning has been collected and lanterns await removals.

Lists cover my desk, shopping lists, schedules, staffing, to do, to buy etc… etc.. I so love being able to tick something off. Must be the school teacher in me that likes red pens and ticks!

The weekend beckons, and I hope you have a lovely relaxing time. Myself, I think I may be rather busy. I need to get in touch with Lionel to make sure he’s still ok to do a Gary Barlow style pop up. Here’s hoping. If it clinches it for you Lionel, we do have a mirror ball and smoke machine!

Love to all, and special thoughts for special friends for very special reasons. You are all TRULY AMAZING. x

Removals Required, Rocking Dog

Removals Required

Coat Complete, Rocking Dog

Coat Complete

Pretty Confetti, Rocking Dog

Pretty Confetti

Ready For Action, Rocking Dog

Ready For Action

120 Free Range!, Rocking Dog

120 Free Range!

Hardware Assembled, Rocking Dog

Hardware Assembled

Olive Oil Bottled, Rocking Dog

Olive Oil Bottled

Cherries On The Menu, Rocking Dog

Cherries On The Menu

Tea Towel Party Bags, Rocking Dog

Tea Towel Party Bags

Rocking Dog Is Wrapping Up In May

Wrapping For Nothing, Rocking Dog

Wrapping For Nothing

I hope you have had a great weekend and that you were able to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Rocking Dog was indeed wrapping up. There were three birthdays to celebrate a 30th, a 21st and a new birth, so I got busy with a host of paper flotsam and jetsam!

As you know old Rocking Dog loves doing a bit of creative wrapping, and this weekend was no different. Frou assembled it was time to get to work!

30th present was wrapped in a piece of sample wallpaper from B&Q. I curiously like the whitewashed brick and plate paper, but i’d rather reserve it for gift wrapping than any interior design project! I used a glue gun to wrap the parcel, many wallpapers not being keen on having Sellotape adhered to them. Now to embellish the parcel. Food images were cut out from freebie John Lewis copy and from a Sophie Conran catalogue (sorry Sophie, but you ARE being very cleverly recycled!). Images glued to the plates, the parcel was then given some jolly ribbon and wooden cutlery “label”. Not quite finished I added a crochet’d turnip, a fragment of frou from a long gone tea towel. Now Sorrel you have to cleverly guess which cookery tome is gift wrapped!

21st present was wrapped in white tissue paper and then decorated with stars and hearts. Shape punches are inexpensive to buy and great to cut large quantities of shapes quickly and accurately. Hobbycraft, The Range and online suppliers provide great selections. Small punches can be used to create your own confetti or table sprinkles (use magazines, pretty gift wrap or old books). For this gift I cut stars from a magazine page and marbled hearts were punched from a Lush spa booklet. A ribbon bought from a bargain basket (50p for 3 metres) at Eastville Market coordinated with the stars. Finally I added an Ikea blackboard label.

Newborn presents were wrapped in green tissue with thin twine to tie. The gifts were “planted” in rustic card pots (only another 78 to use!) and given a plant stick label “From Little Acorns Mighty Oaks Grow”. Somewhat miraculously I found some decorative acorns in my big glass frou jar. Voila!! Oliver, welcome to the world little one.

I hope you like Rocking Dog’s wrapping moment. Now to get down to the serious stuff and get this wedding nailed. Shopping lists, time plans, producers to call, labels to write, china hire list to check etc… etc…and that’s before the cooking begins! But it’s all good fun. It does rather mean that in the next couple of weeks my blog posts may sadly be a little sporadic.

Wishing you a sunny and happy week.

Naked Parcels, Rocking Dog

Naked Parcels

Frou...., Rocking Dog


......& More Frou!, Rocking Dog

……& More Frou!

Stars & Marbled Hearts, Rocking Dog

Stars & Marbled Hearts

B&Q Wrap, Rocking Dog

B&Q Wrap

Present In A Pot, Rocking Dog

Present In A Pot

Q: ” How Do You Think Up Things To Blog About?’

This Rings A Chord!, Rocking Dog

This Rings A Chord!

At the Country Living Build A Business Day on Wednesday one talented “girl” having discovered I blog regularly asked me “How do you think up things to blog about?” A lovely question. In short, I thankfully rarely find it difficult to find something to spout on about!

For me, I need space to think. This brain space is normally found when I am doing the early morning walk with Real Live Rocking Dog.

I am really inspired by nature and though living only a 10 minute drive from Bristol my home is set down a wild wooded lane. The changing seasons and local flora and fauna always make regular outings on my blogs. Yesterday wild lilac bowers lined a favourite walk, the scent and colour of the blooms set me thinking. Expect a purple post soon!

As a child I used to love the school nature table. Jam-jars of tadpoles, Old Man’s Beard, Rose-hips, conkers, wild flowers and Beech masts would all make appearances throughout the year. I am a nostalgic soul and like my own seasonal nature table (no tadpoles I hasten to add!). I sometimes style a “table” for one of my blogs. Meanwhile foraging for sloes, blackberries, wild garlic and damsons provide the opportunity to make edible preserves etc..and in turn informative blogs.

Once the walk is over there is plenty of material to talk about back at the Rocking Dog Kennel. A crumbly 230 year old house with a past history of having been a bakery and an overflow mortuary for the local undertakers it has characterful bones. There has been damp, old death watch beetle, walls to take down and nudey ladies to paint over. There have been battles with listings folk, chimneys to de-nest and a summer spent scaling scaffolding brushing on 90 litres of faux “Dead Salmon”. There was the electrician who informed us of his dodgy bowels, a kitchen fitter who needed a cardiac team and a slap dash plumber who left water so deep in our kitchen that we had ducks swimming across the floor. Worse were the no show painter quoters, necessitating myself and broken shouldered husband to paint a 30 foot high ceiling on a VERY wobbly scaffolding tower. Blog material a plenty!

My makes, edible and non edible make appearances regularly and I often include instructions and recipes. The main photograph on this post made me laugh. It very much sums up eating in or out.. when I shout “don’t touch ’til I photograph it!” We all need to eat, and food doesn’t need to be elaborate to blog about. Good photographs, a degree of styling and a recipe often get people liking a food post.

I really love “my” city, so will blog about markets, parks, shops and eating haunts. I love championing people who are really good at what they do. Outside of Bristol I love to blog about events and exhibitions, Chelsea Flower Show and Kaffe Fasset’s exhibition at The American Museum, Bath particularly stand out for me.

Ancestry and the history of objects are pastimes I enjoy and I sometimes use researched material in a blog. Many of these posts are personal to my family and I. I hope they are a lasting written archive of family memories, the provenance of objects and distillation of ancestry. I would like to think that these posts are enjoyable to read for non family members.

As a self confessed magpie I love items with a history and which have been well used. Yesterday morning I was looking at our lovely linen cupboard, it’s so funny that you live with things for so long that you sometimes forget to notice them anymore. I don’t know anything about the cupboard apart from that it’s made from oak, heavily carved and when we bought it 28 years or so ago it was covered in white paint. Maybe I need to do a research blog post as I did for the lovely little Gladstone bag bought last summer.

Occasions such as Christmas provide brilliant opportunities to blog on gift making, decorations, wrapping, wreath making, festive food etc…etc..Additionally there are shop windows, festive events, other peoples decorations to blog about. It’s a blogging feeding frenzy! Pop up events, Charity Burn’s Nights and Rocking Dog sales feature in my blogs as does styling work.

Travel at home or away gives the opportunity for new experiences to be reported on and photographed. On travel I like to blog, but I hope I don’t brag. Wherever I am I really like to get to know how people live, what the locals eat, how they shop and their working lives. In Cuba we spent an hour watching two young athletic men take a primary school PE lesson. These children were seemingly having so much fun just running in teams against each other along a public tree lined walkway. Simple insights like this would make suitable blog post material.

Day to day, if a present needs wrapping it doesn’t take any longer to wrap a present for a blog shoot. As regular readers know I love a good piece of wallpaper, magazine or Chinese newspaper to do a creative wrap.

Sometimes I can be serious, especially if I think there is something I feel needs saying or telling.

General points: I try to steer clear of sex, religion and politics (though Donald Trump’s name has crept into one or two of my posts-oops!). My blog I would like to think is for a little bit of escapism. Peoples’ lives are busy with many difficulties to navigate. I really am no different even though the blog may suggest a picture perfect life!

It can be demoralising to put a sizeable quantity of time to put a blog piece together and for likes to be unforthcoming. I sometimes question why I should carry on…but something and more importantly some people keep me on going. Persevere!

I sincerely hope I have answered the question, and yes I burn the candle both ends!

So here endeth my Friday post. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Love Rocking Dog x

Nature Table, Rocking Dog

Nature Table

Home &.......,Rocking Dog

Home &…….

....Garden!, Rocking Dog


Alternative Wrap, Rocking Dog

Alternative Wrap

Food Eaten In ....., Rocking Dog

Food Eaten In …..

...And Out!, Rocking Dog

…And Out!

Charity Events, Rocking Dog

Charity Events

Peek In My Wardrobe!, Rocking Dog

Peek In My Wardrobe!

My City, Rocking Dog

My City

My Makes, Rocking Dog

My Makes

My Travels, Rocking Dog

My Travels

My Family, Rocking Dog

My Family

Rocking Dog Let Loose In London!

Veritable Vegetables By Rachel Nettles, Rocking Dog

Veritable Vegetables By Rachel Nettles

Rocking Dog took a trip to The Big Smoke for Country Living’s Build-A-Business Day. The trip also provided the opportunity to catch up with my girls, and to revel in the joys of Liberty. A stroll down the entire length of the Kings Road followed. My intention was to eventually get to the V&A to see the Undressed-A brief history of underwear exhibition. However, my love of rediscovering all the wonderful items on sale at Liberty rendered time too short to do culture. What a Philistine I am! Filming was going on in the store, with the TV crew shooting “The Apprentice”. That duly explained the sinister convoy of black people carriers outside. I received some of the best customer service ever from Clare in the china department. Thank you Clare you were so helpful.

Along the Kings Road I was stopped in my tracks by a window display under construction. I needed to find out more about the truly beautiful vegetables and flowers that littered a little section of Anthropologie. They were the amazing free motion embroidery work of Rachel Nettles who is the temporary artist in residence. Her work perfectly complements the advent of the up and coming Chelsea Flower Show. Absolutely delicious and covetable items and an amazingly personable woman.

Back on the street other shops are also beginning to show signs of Flower Show fever and there are frenzied bits of frou’ing going on.

Wednesday dawned with a walk to Hackney station, a misty stroll took me on pathways bordered with swathes of cow parsley and neatly stacked gravestones. The commute into the heart of the Metropolis was a baptism of fire. I find it difficult to contemplate how Londoners cope day in, day out with the misery of overpacked tubes and trains. I salute you!

The Build-A-Business Day was held at the Good Housekeeping Cookery School in Soho, and it proved to be a really interesting day. Apart from some inspirational speakers including Emma Bridgewater and Sophie Conran, it was lovely to meet other creative bod’s who were already running businesses or looking to set up businesses. There was good information provided on business planning, submitting press releases and the importance of social media. An opportunity was given for those who wished to pitch their products, so out came my stockings and advent calendars! A delicious lunch together with goody bag completed a very enjoyable and thought provoking day. The CL team were great, very approachable and friendly. Once this wedding is over I am going to have a serious talk with myself, and try to decide how to go about putting Rocking Dog firmly on the map!

On the way to Paddington I couldn’t help myself from making a beeline to a stall in Soho selling material and trims. I bought some gorgeous vintage braids, a plan for them I have not, but a gorgeous addition to Material Mountain.

It was so lovely to be indulgent with time for myself, and I even had the courage to ask for an eyeliner masterclass in MAC. Adele eat your heart out!

Planet wedding really starts gathering pace, and today i’ll perhaps finish THE coat! Other tasks await me on copious lists.

PS Many thanks to Liberty, Designer’s Guild and Osborne and Little for being so receptive in my request for fabric swatches for a special project.

Liberty Flowers, Rocking Dog

Liberty Flowers

The Apprentice Cars, Rocking Dog

The Apprentice Cars

Anthropologie Window, Rocking Dog

Anthropologie Window

More Rachel Nettles, Rocking Dog

More Rachel Nettles

Ready For Chelsea, Rocking Dog

Ready For Chelsea

Iconic Landmark, Rocking Dog

Iconic Landmark

Hackney Walk, Rocking Dog

Hackney Walk

Feeling Inspired, Rocking Dog

Feeling Inspired

Vintage Braid Buys, Rocking Dog

Vintage Braid Buys

Rocking Dog’s Lots Of This & That!

Morning Pick Me Up Bags, Rocking Dog

Morning Pick Me Up Bags

Life has been busy with lots of this and that for Rocking Dog. With less than three weeks to go now before The Boy’s Big Day the sewing machine has been whirring away frantically. Soon Beloved Bernina will lie silent when needle and thread is swapped for the heat of the kitchen. Please tell me why I agreed to cook for 120 guests at my own sons wedding! Not one of my better job offers, and i’m not even on the minimum wage! I have been busy telling friends with adult children to encourage their offspring to simply elope!

One of yesterdays projects was to sew some covers for plump feather cushions. Thankfully not 120, just a generous pile for little ones. I made the covers out of Ikea tea towels and added a Petersham ribbon bow. Less than £1.40 to make they’ll hopefully be used as cushions for outside chairs when the wedding is all but a memory. Other wedding projects have included picking out pretty logs from the wood pile… don’t ask!

It was also time to make the first and largest tier of the wedding cake. The house is thus smelling very Christmassy…no Michael you really can’t come out yet! Nigella’s Easy Action Christmas Cake was chosen, lots of fruit, chestnut puree, spices and huge lugs of dark rum. It was stirred well and lots of wishes made before being poured into a lined tin and encased in brown paper. As my Mum taught me, it was also sat in the oven on a wad of newspaper. How I love the smell of cake and baked news print. Also in the kitchen I finally pickled that 2kg bag of shallots whilst watching a documentary on escapes from Alcatraz. Bathed in balsamic vinegar and a myriad of whole spices the onions will accompany cheese. They won’t be for the faint hearted or any guest looking for lurve!

My life is a series of lists and at times it has been good to escape into the garden. It is an absolute picture of flowering weeds. I keep telling the garden I will give it some attention in less than a month, until then i’ll enjoy its natural wildness. Real Live Rocking Dog loves the garden, but boy is he tired after a trip to London at the weekend. Tubes, trains, dodging crowds he’s pleased to get back to the boring old Rocking Dog kennel and the flowering weeds.

In between all of this and that there have been gifts to make and deliver, and lovely friends to love and support. They really are in my thoughts so very much of the time.

Granola To Bake, Rocking Dog

Granola To Bake

It's In The Bag!, Rocking Dog

It’s In The Bag!

Friendship, Rocking Dog


Cake To Bake, Rocking Dog

Cake To Bake

Wishes Stirred In !, Rocking Dog

Wishes Stirred In !

Tea Towel Cushions, Rocking Dog

Tea Towel Cushions

Wonderful Weeds!, Rocking Dog

Wonderful Weeds!

Pretty Logs, Rocking Dog

Pretty Logs

Dog Tired!, Rocking Dog

Dog Tired!

An Easy Bake For The Weekend

Golden Bake, Rocking Dog's Banana Cake, Rocking Dog

Golden Bake, Rocking Dog’s Banana Cake

Yes, an easy bake to start the weekend off well. This recipe is from my Mum’s repertoire. I don’t know where the recipe came from originally, but it was a perennial family favourite. A foil covered banana cake would accompany us on camping holidays together with a Christmas cake, Camp Slice ( a chocolate covered coconutty flapjack) and dark sticky Gingerbread. My mum was so organised, and had the ability to deal so effectively with three hungry sunbaked kids! The Banana Cake would also make an appearance on the two tier golden tea trolley when visitors came. On these occasions a Victoria Sandwich, freshly baked scones, Ginger Shortbread and Tea Loaf would vie for cakey stardom!

So without further ado, here is the recipe for Babs’s Banana Cake.

200g self raising flour
100g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
400g ripe bananas, mashed. (For best results use really ripe bananas.)
1/2 teasp salt
1/2 teasp mixed spice
50g glace cherries, chopped
50g walnuts
100g sultanas
100g softened butter
1 teasp clear honey

1. Set oven to 180 and then line a 2 lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
2. Sift flour, salt and spice into a mixing bowl. Add in the walnuts, cherries and saltanas.
3. In another bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the eggs gradually and then stir in the mashed banana and honey.
4. Stir in the flour to the wet mixture and mix well.
5. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and place in oven.
6. Bake the cake for an hour at 180 and then reduce the oven temperature to 150 for approximately another 1/2 hour. Cover the cake with foil if it is over-browning. A skewer should come out clean when the cake is baked.
7. Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

This cake can be successfully frozen but is best served warm from the oven!

With the promise of beautiful spring weather I hope you have a perfectly lovely weekend x

Baking Mum, Rocking Dog

Baking Mum

Banana Palm, Cuba, Rocking Dog

Banana Palm, Cuba

Wrapped Up & Somewhere To Go! Rocking Dog

Wrapped Up & Somewhere To Go!

Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening…..

Rocking Dog Stocking Tops, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Stocking Tops

… the lane snow is glistening, a beautiful sight etc.. etc.. Enough of that, it’s just that i’ve been making Christmas stockings.

At times it’s good to seek solitude and contemplation. A little bit of yesterday I shut myself away with Beloved Bernina and a bit of Radio 4 catch up. I was meant to get on with THE wedding coat, but it simply felt too challenging with so many thoughts circulating. Today is another day!

Fabrics were sought on Material Mountain and away I went with some festive sewing. I love mixing pattern with pattern, so chose my main fabrics and then selected check and ticking for linings. As I happily sewed I decided that I wanted to name my stockings, strange but true. The vintage American nursery print really reminded me of the story of Johnny Appleseed, whilst the French Toile de Jouy made me think of Napoleon Bonaparte!

After a succession of traditional stocking shapes I decided to try a heeled boot shaped stocking. I drew out a shape for the boot on a large piece of cardboard, this would serve as a template. Fabric cut in main and lining fabrics I then got sewing! Bobbles, ribbon hanging loop and decorative buckle finished this eccentric little boot. Not bequeathed with the largest of openings this stocking is crying out to be filled with mere trinkets, baubles and jewels, perfect for Marie Antoinette!

No sorry Michael it really isn’t time for you yet!

Homage To Scotland, Rocking Dog

Homage To Scotland

Vintage Toile, Rocking Dog

Vintage Toile

American Nursery Print, Rocking Dog

American Nursery Print

Slimline Stocking, Rocking Dog

Slimline Stocking

Vintage Threads, Rocking Dog

Vintage Threads

Dainty Foot, Rocking Dog

Dainty Foot

Vive La France!, Rocking Dog

Vive La France!

Oh So Pretty!, Rocking Dog

Oh So Pretty!

Don't Forget Me!, Rocking Dog

Don’t Forget Me!