Category Archives: Events

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

Thank you Presents For Going The Extra Mile

Heavenly Sweet Stash, Rocking Dog

Heavenly Sweet Stash

A massive thank you to all who came to my Rocking Dog Christmas Sale on Sunday. It was great to see so many of you and thank you to those who came from Wiltshire and Dorset together with those who organised babysitters (feel very honoured)! Truly appreciate your support. Thank you too for those who gave so generously for refreshments, I was able to write out a cheque for £104.50 for “Young Carer’s “. A million thanks.

The house is looking relatively calm after the mayhem of yesterday. Monday dawned with an early start, I was writing Christmas cards at 4 am… I apologise to any card recipients who can’t read my gobbledy gook! Later, I gathered cake together for Andyman’s work colleagues. A little chocolatey thank you never goes amiss.

Dorset Apple Cake, Sour Cherry Amaretti (Ottolenghi), Billionaire’s Shortbread (absolutely none for Donald Trump), Sticky Sloe Gin Rocky Road (based on Nigella’s Rocky Road) and Dark & White Chocolate Brownie (Nigella) made up this cake tray. I could not bring myself to make any mince pies. Having made 16 dozen so far this year, I am getting a bit teeny weeny bit tired of these traditional festive delicacies.

I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. I haven’t written any lists and I feel a bit out of control! One of Andyman’s favourite sayings is ” Fail to plan, plan to fail” but there again it’s not life threatening if we forget to pick up a turkey!

I Love Dorset!, Rocking Dog

I Love Dorset!

Are You Driving?, Rocking Dog

Are You Driving?

Gilded & Gorgeous!, Rocking Dog

Gilded & Gorgeous!

Gluten & Dairy Free, Rocking Dog

Gluten & Dairy Free

Ready To Wrap, Rocking Dog

Ready To Wrap

Just The Job., Rocking Dog

Just The Job.

A Little Reminder From Toby & Mrs Mac

Toby & Mrs Mac Warmly Welcome You, Rocking Dog

Toby & Mrs Mac Warmly Welcome You

Yes, A Little Reminder From Toby & Mrs Mac regarding Rocking Dogs Sale which is happening this Sunday 11-2ish. They would love to see you. Bless them they have a brilliant viewpoint from their lofty mantlepiece spot. However, they are slightly disgruntled by the amount of Christmas Crud crammed on their home turf. Life certainly feels more overcrowded. You may remember how Mrs Mac got her name – her script tells us -she is a present from Fleetwood!

So in short, lovely Rocking Dog sewn items to buy, a few bits of furniture to relocate to new homes, truly delicious homemade cakes to stash, vintage table linen etc.. and lots of Christmas slush!

There will be space to sit around the kitchen table to eat cake, enjoy a coffee or mulled drink and have a natter! All profits from refreshments will go to Young Carers.

Parking – The White Horse Inn is sadly currently unoccupied, I suggest parking in their car park and then walking the short walk down Mill Lane to Christmas madness!

A warm welcome awaits you- see if you can spot Toby and Mrs Mac in Christmas crudville.

Look forward to seeing you. Liz x

PS. If you haven’t purchased your Christmas tree yet- there are some great places to buy one close by.

Festive Hosiery, Rocking Dog

Festive Hosiery

Holiday Essentials, Rocking Dog

Holiday Essentials

Rocking Dog Banners, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Banners

Still Advent Time, Rocking Dog

Still Advent Time

Wrapping Essentials, Rocking Dog

Wrapping Essentials

Beautiful Bags, Rocking Dog

Beautiful Bags

Witness Decoration Addiction!, Rocking Dog

Witness Decoration Addiction!

Meet Real Live Rocking Dog, Rocking Dog

Meet Real Live Rocking Dog

...And Eat Lots Of Cake!, Rocking Dog

…And Eat Lots Of Cake!

Grinched Out!- R.D. Christmas Decorates.

1960's Christmas Tableau, Rocking Dog

1960’s Christmas Tableau

Rocking Dog is well and truly Grinched Out! Enough, Enough Now!

PS. After going missing last Christmas Zac is Back! Sure the girls will be pleased to see you Zac.

Rocking Dog Christmas Sale 11-2 Sunday. Proceeds from delicious refreshments to Young Carers.
Please contact me if you would like further information. Lots of…..……!

Let It Snow!, Rocking Dog

Let It Snow!

Wash-Tub Tree, Rocking Dog

Wash-Tub Tree

Shimmer & Shine, Rocking Dog

Shimmer & Shine

Cake Frou, Rocking Dog

Cake Frou

Mince Pie Anyone?, Rocking Dog

Mince Pie Anyone?

Polar Bear Prowl, Rocking Dog

Polar Bear Prowl

Naive Nativity, Rocking Dog

Naive Nativity

Baubles Galore!, Rocking Dog

Baubles Galore!

Zac's Back!, Rocking Dog

Zac’s Back!

The Vintage Washerwoman!

The Housewife Is Efficient If The Clock Is Correct, Rocking Dog

The Housewife Is Efficient If The Clock Is Correct

I have been the Vintage Washerwoman! Laundering, starching and pressing, Rocking Dog has been dealing with a mountain of vintage hand embroidered table linen. The delicious pieces will be for sale at Rocking Dog’s festive sales (Saturday December 5th The Original Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair at Chipping Sodbury and Rocking Dog’s very own sale on Sunday 13th December).

I particularly love the German wall hanging in the large photograph. Being someone who is persistently chasing her tail I like the ironic phrase “The housewife is efficient if the clock is correct”. I think this piece will be adorning my kitchen sometime very soon!

There are festive cloths sewn with pine cones, stars, candles, holly, baubles and bells. Another laundered stash feature florals. Violets, apple blossom, roses, daisies and other embroidered flora ramble over table cloths and tray cloths. How lovely to lay up a table with snowy sprigged linen, vintage china and delicious homemade cakes. What could be more lovely than enjoying a vintage tea in front of a blazing fire.

Continental window panels have been reconfigured by The Dog into pretty decorative cloths. Oh too lovely to dry dishes but sweet hung from a kitchen peg to add detail to a tired kitchen.

Vintage Washerwoman, Rocking Dog

Vintage Washerwoman

Laundered & Starched, Rocking Dog

Laundered & Starched

Festive, Rocking Dog

Festive

Floral, Rocking Dog

Floral

Drying Dishes, Rocking Dog

Drying Dishes

Time For Tea, Rocking Dog

Time For Tea

Trying Not To Be A Control Queen- The Makery

First Attempt, Rocking Dog

First Attempt

I hope you have had a good weekend and not feeling too down about the longer darker nights. It takes a while for our household to change all the clocks and its quite disconcerting for a couple of days as to what time it really is!

On Friday I had a great time at “The Makery” in Bath when I joined a Freehand Machine Embroidery course. It’s a very bizarre technique, and not one for Control Queens (or Kings!) The feed dogs of the machine are dropped, so the little teeth that normally feed fabric through are no longer there. Ultimately you are in charge of the movement of the fabric.

The morning started with friendly Emily and Jess making mugs of coffee and tea for the group of eight before taking to our machines. Free embroidery requires a darning foot for your machine, copious reels of thread and embroidery hoops, in short nothing too wildly expensive. We embroidered lots of stitch work to gain confidence, and then added in fabrics which spilled out of baskets in the workshop. It was so relaxing, for me so much better than a spa!

My attempts are a bit rough and ready -but i’m looking forward to lots of further practice on Beloved Bernina.

Yes, i’m becoming a bit of a serial offender at The Makery, Roman Blinds, Meticulous Ink Calligraphy and now, Freehand Machine Embroidery. I can truly recommend taking a workshop there together with a visit to the shop. If you have done a workshop that day you benefit from 10% discount on shop supplies and any workshop bookings. For London residents The Makery is available at John Lewis, Oxford Street and again you can enrol on a variety of lovely workshops.

Since I have a Christmas Pudding on this post perhaps it’s a good opportunity to announce Rocking Dog Christmas events.

On Saturday 5th December I will be at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall for the Original Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair. 10-3pm. Gorgeous vintage cupped tea and cake by the lovely WI.

On Sunday 13th December Rocking Dog will be opening the kennel in Hambrook, Bristol. 11am-2pm ish. There will be lovely last minute homemade gifts to buy, and a chance to sit with a mulled drink and delicious home made eats. As usual the kennel will be decked with 11 boxes of mainly vintage and homemade decorations. My poor long suffering Andyman just how does he cope with my Christmas dec’ addiction?!

Someone very kindly told me recently that a visit to the Rocking Dog Sale really signifies the beginning of Christmas for her. Thank you I am humbled. This year profits from refreshments will be going to Young Carers. During 2015 I have worked as a volunteer with a group of young children who help to look after parents and siblings with complex needs. They are truly inspirational.

So i’ll soon be dusting off you know who!

Makery Calligraphy, Rocking Dog

Makery Calligraphy

Makery Blinds, Rocking Dog

Makery Blinds

Spread The Word, Rocking Dog

Spread The Word

Makery Take-Away, Rocking Dog

Makery Take-Away

Brown Paper Packages Tied ..., Rocking Dog

Brown Paper Packages Tied …

Second Attempt, Rocking Dog

Second Attempt

The Rocking Dog Elves Are Back! Yikes!

Iconic Christmas Rhyme, Rocking Dog

Iconic Christmas Rhyme

Yes, the Rocking Dog elves are back, and have started on the task of crafting jolly advent calendars.

2015 sees the creation of some advent calendars utilising Clement Clarke Moore’s iconic “‘T was the night before Christmas” rhyme. It is said that New York resident Moore wrote it for his own family on Christmas Eve 1822.

Stripes, gingham, stamped numbers and rhyme, together with cute little mice will all come together to create calendars with room to stash little treats.

I’m sure there’ll be other advent creations along the way… but the elves have made a good start.

These calendars are for life and not just one Christmas!

Wishing you a lovely weekend when it comes about.

STOP PRESS
Rocking Dog is delighted to be returning to the Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on 5th December. There will also be some festive Rocking Dog sales at the Hambrook kennel. Dates will appear soon.

The Cunning Plan!, Rocking Dog

The Cunning Plan!

Inky Letters, Rocking Dog

Inky Letters

Words & Numbers, Rocking Dog

Words & Numbers

Fun In Paper Bags!, Rocking Dog

Fun In Paper Bags!

Candy Cane Detail, Rocking Dog

Candy Cane Detail

Advent Elf, Rocking Dog

Advent Elf

Redland Fair Done & Dusted!

Setting Up, Rocking Dog

Setting Up

Thank you to friends and folk who came to say hello at The Redland May Fair yesterday. Thanks to family who helped figure out the gazebo, fetched and carried and provided sustenance! Your support as always is truly appreciated.

Thankfully the rain held out until the dying embers of the fair, so a good time was had by all. I had some lovely customers who bought presents for people in the USA, Germany and closer to home. I was also kindly educated by a partially sighted lady that £2 coins are quite difficult to determine from 50 pence pieces, and thus £1 coins would be welcomed in her change.

There were also some charming children who popped on by. I enjoyed telling a little boy about the Magic Pencil Tree in Bristol, it’s twigs being thick pencils. I’m sure he thought I was completely bonkers! Some great dogs walked on by too, of all shapes and sizes, scruffy, groomed, playful and grumpy. Real Live Rocking Dog stayed at home having a siesta in front of the wood burner.

To the lovely lady who is worried about her daughter quitting uni’, i’m sure it will all work out in the end given a little time. Try not to worry, i’m sure she’ll regain her confidence and be able to fly the nest again soon. You seemed such a lovely caring Mum and i’m sure she appreciates that. It is so difficult getting course, uni, accommodation and flatmates all working cohesively for a happy time.

Despite being a stall holder I still managed to trot off and buy some lovely pots from Steve of St Werburghs Pottery and Wiltshire based Matt Waite. Thank you for your clay talents!

I hope that however you spent your bank holiday weekend that it was relaxing, social and sunny.

Twigs From The Pencil Tree, Rocking Dog

Twigs From The Pencil Tree

Vintage Textile Stash, Rocking Dog

Vintage Textile Stash

Gazebo'd Stall, Rocking Dog

Gazebo’d Stall

Getting Ready For Redland Fair

Not My Brooch!, Rocking Dog

Not My Brooch!

Sewing, pricing, packing, stamping labels, frouing, Rocking Dog busy getting organised for Redland Fair on Monday. Hope you’ll be able to come and say hello. You might need to bring your brolly and sunglasses, but whatever the weather it’s always fun. To avoid the crowds come early, and bring a blanket to sit and watch the world go by!

Have a lovely weekend whatever part of the world you’re in!

Aga Saga Banner, Rocking Dog

Aga Saga Banner

For Holiday Stash!, Rocking Dog

For Holiday Stash!

Lovely Labels, Rocking Dog

Lovely Labels

Lacy Vintage Bunting, Rocking Dog

Lacy Vintage Bunting

Vintage Table Linen, Rocking Dog

Vintage Table Linen

Bakelite & Mr Morris, Rocking Dog

Bakelite & Mr Morris

Rocking Dog Spring Bride Lacy Bunting

Over Gilding The Magnolia!, Rocking Dog

Over Gilding The Magnolia!

Rocking Dog returned to the sewing room and reacquainted herself with unfinished projects. A productive day was spent with beloved Bernina and lots of scrap vintage lace. Lengths of lacy bunting were sewn whilst listening to the Archers Omnibus. It felt very indulgent, but after bathing a very grumpy and grubby dog it was calm respite! Real Live Rocking Dog is destined for his quarterly grooming session on Monday. Rather like the person who cleans before the cleaner arrives, I am the person who baths the dog before the doggy bouffant appointment!

Anyway back to sewing..Rocking Dog is going to have to spend some serious time chained to the sewing machine. A stall at Redland Fair on Monday 4th May needs stocking. If you haven’t been to the Fair before it is a great place to pick up reasonably priced plants, bric a brac, pottery seconds, cakes, vintage clothes etc.. There are various entertainments and good food to chomp on. Additionally you can try your hand at bowling on the manicured green. A blissfully sunny day would simply be perfect for Redland Fair 2015. Best Redland Fair purchases to date are a beautiful tiny old wooden Buddha, glazed nesting dairy bowls (Steve Carter, St Werburghs Pottery), old suitcases (my coffee table) and gorgeous vintage fabrics.

As for my lacy bunting I have concocted various lengths in whites and ecru. Blowing in the spring breeze with a bower of Magnolia blossoms it would be perfect for a spring wedding.

Some of the vintage lace used in my bunting came from lace doilies, dressing table mats and antimacassars.
It was only recently that I became aware of the meaning of the word antimacassar. An antimacassar is a small cloth to protect furniture from Macassar Oil. This was an oily hair preparation used to style hair, and it was particularly popular in the Victorian and Edwardian era’s. The oil was commonly made from coconut or palm oil and combined with ylang ylang. These exotic ingredients were purchased in the port of Makasser, Indonesia and hence the name. Antimacassar is also used to describe the wide flap on a sailors top, again this was to prevent the hair oil spoiling the sailors uniform. Poor Annie Chapman who was Jack the Ripper’s second victim was described as an antimacassar maker. Here endeth today’s history lesson!

Lacy Treasure Trove, Rocking Dog

Lacy Treasure Trove

Beloved Bernina, Rocking Dog

Beloved Bernina

Vintage Lace, Rocking Dog

Vintage Lace