Category Archives: Rocking Dog

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

….Garden!

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

250th Blog – Thank you For Being On The Journey!

Celebrating 250 Posts With Cake, Rocking Dog

Celebrating 250 Posts With Cake

250 blogs- thank you from the bottom of my heart for being on the journey with me.

It’s hard to believe that when I did my very first blog on October 12th 2014 I had sleepless nights worrying about embracing technology. My lovely and very patient sister put me on the path of blogging. She sat with me and VERY painfully watched my first tentative steps dealing with WordPress. Exhausted and exasperated she left me sheaths of handwritten instructions to refer to. There were phone calls to her when things went wrong and there was lots of family support to keep me going when I felt overwhelmed. Steadily I made slow progress.

A one finger keyboard bod’ I still am, but posts are put together more quickly even if it’s sometimes 1am when I start a post! I have found blogging tremendously useful for the equalibrium of my mental health. At various points in my life I have suffered from depression. One particularly tough patch about seven years ago rendered communicating incredibly difficult. It was physically and mentally painful to talk. Furthermore, I found it almost impossible to write, physically holding a pen and using a computer keyboard were so indescribably difficult. Even signing a card was sometimes beyond me, and creative writing was unthinkable. With a consistently supportive GP, appropriate medication and online counselling together with support from fantastic family and friends the year long fog gradually lifted. Having to walk Real Life Rocking Dog twice a day was also so vital in my recovery.

Blogging acts like a safety mechanism. If I can write I am well. It gives me a focus, and of course if people are enjoying my mutterings that is an absolute bonus. So now that I have rather bared my soul, perhaps i’ll share the posts that I have enjoyed writing over the last 18 months or so. Please share with me the ones you have liked.

Opening my almost daily post must be rather like opening a box of chocolates- you never quite know what you’ll get. It’s a bit of an eclectic mix. I often conjure up topics to write about whilst i’m out walking RLR Dog. I always carry my camera, a Smart Phone hasn’t quite entered my world yet. The posts that I treasure are generally the ones that are very personal to me. I have the hope that they are records of ancestry or moments in history that my children and their offspring can retrieve in cyberspace forever more. To this end, The Day I Met A Holocaust Survivor (Jan 28th 2015) is probably one of the posts of which I am most proud, as I finally made time to write about a never to be forgotten meeting. Before very long there will be no Holocaust survivors left (or for that matter their captors). It is vital therefore to capitalise on first hand accounts to pass down to future generations.

Another poignant post special to me is Postcards From The Front To The Sanitorium (April 15th 2015). I wrote this post as a result of reading a batch of WW1 postcards from my great uncles and aunt serving in France and Gallipoli to their young sister. My grandmother Emily was in a Scottish sanitorium suffering from TB.

On a lighter note Rocking Dog food posts seem to have been popular, Iced Fabulous Flamingo’s Strutting Their Stuff (May 8th 2015) certainly tested my sugar craft skills! There have been lots of sewing makes along the way, quilts, crooked hearts, stockings etc.. etc.. I always love a Something From Nothing (July 3rd 2015) project be it sewing or wrapping a present, Rocking Dog Loves Manuscript Paper (Nov 16th 2015)

Travels have bought great excuses to share the experience. Sometimes you do not need to travel far to appreciate a new landscape and new micro-culture. If You’re Fond Of Sand Dunes…(April 27th 2015) and Weekend Postcard From Devon (June 29th 2015) were really enjoyable breaks. Further afield, my favourite ever blog photo’s have to be the ones posted for Arriverderci Italy- Missing You Too Much Already (Nov 12th 2015). Sometimes a day trip can feel like a holiday and this was certainly the case when I headed to my first ever Chelsea Flower Show (May 22nd 2015). I ADORED It.

Christmas always gives me plenty to gas about and there are a whole host of posts to chose from, perhaps this one sums me up…A Little Reminder From Toby & Mrs Mac

It’s great to daydream about a move to a lobster shack by the sea (and yes there really was an idyllic one to buy), but I do love My Bristol- Honest It’s A Great City (March 30th 2015) and I do love my crumbly old house –Rocking Dog Home Making Tips (March 5th 2015). So a year from now i’ll probably still be muttering on, still one finger typing and the Russian Velvet walls won’t have changed.

I still don’t quite “get” inviting friends, or sharing or retweeting or encouraging followers etc.. so I sincerely hope I haven’t made anyone feel abandoned. A blogging entrepreneur I will never be, but hopefully a semi-sane blogger with fingers crossed something interesting to chatter on about.

Thank You again, and I hope you’ll continue dipping in and out of Rocking Dog in the months ahead

Love Liz x

Heartfelt, Rocking Dog

Heartfelt

Therapeutic Dog, Rocking Dog

Therapeutic Dog

My Bristol, Rocking Dog

My Bristol

It's A Wrap!, Rocking Dog

It’s A Wrap!

Chelsea Holiday, Rocking Dog

Chelsea Holiday

Home & Away, Rocking Dog

Home & Away

Home Making, Rocking Dog

Home Making

Christmas Stash, Rocking Dog

Christmas Stash

Fave Photo, Rocking Dog

Fave Photo

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

A Clutch Of Cards From Rocking Dog

Clutch Of Cards, Rocking Dog

Clutch Of Cards

Rocking Dog has been making a clutch of cards for a variety of occasions. As ever the cards are very inexpensively and simply made. Armed with some card blanks, a Pritt stick, glue gun I started work!

On Saturday at the wonderful Rangeworthy Vintage and Handmade Jumble I picked up some Bingo cards and counters from the everso lovely Jayne Soule. I had no idea what I would do with them, but knew they’d come in useful one day. Sooner than expected these bingo cards formed the basis of cards for two friends with big birthdays. I Googled bingo language and voila two simple but effective cards were created. Because of the bulky bingo counter I somehow think i’ll be clobbered on the postage, but ah well!

Another card is winging it’s way to my son in law who successfully completed walking Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in little more than 24 hours over the weekend. Needless to say his feet are rather sore. An old charity shop medical book provided a great 1930’s snippet on dealing with blistered feet. Another card mastered.

Two food related cards for a birthday and an overdue supper thank you were conjured up from colourful freebie M&S paper stock. I also crafted lovely envelopes from food printed copy and flocked Indian paper. A wonderful gift from a thoughtful friend allows me to whisk up envelopes in a jiffy from paper and fabric etc… The wooden template is my latest crafty gadget and I LOVE it!

Cards done and dusted it was time for a bit of gift wrapping. A Rocking Dog laundry bag was wrapped in a map from a long forgotten British map book. I chose a page with special relevance for the recipient. It was finished with string, map printed ribbon and chalk board label.

With a little effort, and a lot of thought £12-15 or so worth of cards and gift wrap were made for a fraction of the price. What will you be conjuring up?

Bingo Birthdays!, Rocking Dog

Bingo Birthdays!

Sushi To Go!, Rocking Dog

Sushi To Go!

Yummy Gratitude!, Rocking Dog

Yummy Gratitude!

Blistered Hero!, Rocking Dog

Blistered Hero!

Fab Template!,Rocking Dog

Fab Template!

Map Wrap!, Rocking Dog

Map Wrap!

Real Live Rocking Dog Has A Bouffant!

HAMISH!, Rocking Dog

HAMISH!

Real Live Rocking Dog had a bouffant on Monday. We have a dog who sports a Jekyll and Hyde Persona. One look is teddy bear curly and the other spookily lamb sheared! Wire Fox Terriers do not shed their hair and need to be either hand stripped or clipped on a regular basis.

With the advent of the warmer weather it was time to take Hamish for the his first haircut of 2015. We are fortunate enough to have one of the best Wire Fox Terrier breeders practically on the doorstep. The husband and wife team take Hamish in hand and give him a morning of pampering (?!!!). By all accounts Hamish is pretty grouchy and not partial to pedicures, eyebrow sculpting and general bouffanting! I’d love to be a fly on the wall.

Bill paid, Real Live Rocking Dog is treated to a good run (well mincing walk) at Snuff Mills. Without fail, within ten minutes of arriving through the park gates Hamish treats himself to a drink, the white coiffured loveliness is long forgotten!

Drinking Bowl, Rocking Dog

Drinking Bowl

Spring In The Park, Rocking Dog

Spring In The Park

Lime And Lovely, Rocking Dog

Lime And Lovely

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

Real Live Rocking Dog Says Get Walking!

Walkies With RLR Dog, Rocking Dog

Walkies With RLR Dog

Real Live Rocking Dog pleads with you to get out walking this weekend! There’s nothing he likes better than a good bracing walk, especially walking somewhere new. Last weekend saw us returning to the Kennet and Avon canal. We walked from Bathampton through to Avoncliff, enjoying wildlife, witnessing the trials of anglers and evaluating barge interior design. Of course the walk was made even better by sitting canal side somewhat chillily with a hot drink and the most gorgeous home baked ginger cake, courtesy of the Angelfish cafe.

The only pitfall with canal walking is that it reawakens Andyman’s ambition to do a barge holiday! The thought of dealing with locks, rudders, and steering frankly terrifies me. Walking the canals of England ..yes, sailing them probably not.

Coastal walks are my favourite, especially Dorset and the Gower. I love that cheek chiselling wind and the feeling that psychological cobwebs really do get blown away! It won’t be long before we take to the road again with our dear little Pod.
Though tempting to return to the same tried and tested places we need to get exploring! Rye, Dungeness, Lindisfarne, St Ives and other yummy places to get blown about.

Have a truly lovely weekend, whatever you’re doing.

Lighting The Landscape, Rocking Dog

Lighting The Landscape

Barge Garden, Rocking Dog

Barge Garden

Holiday Home, Rocking Dog

Holiday Home

Something For The Weekend Sir?!

Heading For The Oven, Rocking Dog

Heading For The Oven

I have decided that Rocking Dog Fashion Week has ended early! I am definitely no Gok, though there were some pretty unbelievable colours in M &S today. Who does look good in muted tangerine one wonders? Other things to report are that some linen has hit TK Maxx (Cribbs, Bristol) together with some great Joules, Crew, Paul Costelloe and Moschino pieces. Good stock of Hunter wellies there too- though expensive they last and last- I wear mine every day for walking Real Live Rocking Dog.

I’m finishing the week with a culinary post to inspire a delicious weekend pastry making session. Click the link for the recipe for Dried Pear Frangipane Tart. It’s simple to make, especially if you cowardly decide to use a shop bought pastry. It can be served warm or cold and it’s delicious served with creme fraiche, ice cream or clotted cream. Although the recipe asks for the pears to be soaked for 24 hours I quite often forget, so I just cook the pears for a little longer in the pan with the Armagnac (I used Schnapps, but use what you have at hand). The dried pears maybe a little difficult to source but Waitrose always stocks them, after all the recipe is one of their recipes! Fresh apricots, raspberries or fresh figs would also work well. Lastly I scattered my Frangipane with some blanched almonds prior to baking. Incidentally, always use metal to bake pastry, using china or glass flan dishes give a less crisp result. Baking beans or coins also help when baking blind because they conduct heat well.

I have been busy sewing for spring, whilst watching the Great British Sewing Bee. LOVE IT! I’m rather hoping my son watched last nights episode so that he can make his Ferguson clan kilt for his wedding! I was sat there feeling rather smug, because I managed to make a pretty spectacular kilt in an hour two years ago. However, it was dog sized… fancy dress for Real Life Rocking Dog. I have got to come up with this years outfit in readiness for the Fox Terrier Rescue fun day. Strange but true!

Whatever your weekend holds have a really lovely one, and hope the Frangipane Tart proves truly spectacular.

Spread And Scattered, Rocking Dog

Spread And Scattered

Wrapped, And Ready To Go, Rocking Dog

Wrapped, And Ready To Go

Rocking Dog Sewing For Little Ones

Vintage For Little Folk, Rocking Dog

Vintage For Little Folk

Rocking Dog is contemplating sewing some vintage fabric skirts and dresses for little ones. There is something lovely about doing things on a small scale, not left to worry about the often disappointing fit of sewing adult clothes. Having said that, I loved a pair of trousers I made a good few years ago which were made in the most amazing fabric which pictured sleeping Mexicans complete with sombrero’s and poncho’s. A little piece or two of the fabric has ended up in oldest daughters quilt which I made about three years ago. Meanwhile youngest daughter’s quilt features a pieces of vintage chintz which were left over from making a bed for Real Live Rocking Dog. Both quilts are sewn with their baby dresses etc.. left as intact as possible. Livi’s quilt has the quote “A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars” Get the tissues out!

My Mum made a lot of clothes for my sister and I. It was significantly cheaper to make garments rather than go to a drapers to buy clothes for young ladies! I remember a bundle of full skirted 50’s dresses arriving from my aunt in Scotland. These were taken apart by my mum and made into various dresses for us. I rather think the little bibbed play skirts in the photo below utilised some of the fabric from one of these deconstructed dresses. I remember the fabric well, beautiful turquoise fine crisp cotton bedecked with exotic tall figures. I also remember my mum making dresses from glazed orange curtain fabric, embellished with gold braid and buttons, how very family Von Trapp! Our first grown up dresses were maxi dresses (though with growth they subsequently became midi dresses), were made in very fine white fabric with a bold black polka dot. The only rather annoying tale of my mum’s dressmaking is that if there was a choice of fabric my mum chose brown for me as I had brown eyes and brown hair, whilst my sister with her blue eyes got the blue material! I sometimes wonder if that is why I really don’t like wearing brown at all now, but more than likely my brown uniformed Saturday job at Debenham’s had more to do with it.

Obviously the finish of children’s clothes is vital to stop any rubbing. I’ll need to polish up on the neatness of my seams and get jiggy with it trying to find out what parents and children want. I think for little girls I need to be making “Frozen” princess dresses. I hear there is near hysteria for all that is Frozen, even inspiring a range of blue wedding dresses. Wonders never cease to amaze!

Patterns For Little People, Rocking Dog

Patterns For Little People

Dog Bed Quilt, Rocking Dog

Dog Bed Quilt

Von Trapp Family Dresses, Rocking Dog

Von Trapp Family Dresses