Tag Archives: Beloved Bernina

Strawberry Season- A Rocking Dog Salad

Strawberries For Supper,Rocking Dog

Strawberries For Supper

Rocking Dog was inspired to make a quick summer salad using some punnets of local strawberries. I love to use fruit for savoury salads, a favourite is sliced fresh peaches with buffalo mozzarella, basil and toasted pine nuts. Butternut squash, broad beans, feta and raspberries together with roasted pumpkin seeds and a zesty dressing is another delicious summery bowl. In late summer figs and goats cheese make a wonderful base for a salad.

Last nights salad utilised the following ingredients:- Edamame beans (I used frozen), strawberries, baby spinach, whole toasted blanched almonds, finely grated lemon zest, juice of one lemon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped fresh mint, creamy feta crumbled, seasoning.

Drop edamame beans into boiling water and cook until tender. Drain and refresh the beans in cold water to help retain their colour. Toast the almonds by dry frying them in a small pan ( I use this method as I am less likely to forget them rather than toasting nuts under a grill!) Make dressing with zest, lemon juice, and a good glug of olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. Grind in some black pepper and salt. Assemble salad by tossing together all the salad components and the dressing. Serve with some good bread.

I loved the baubles I bought recently in the clearance section of Ikea. I knew when I saw them that they’d make good strawberries! I made strawberry leaves from tiny pieces of fabric found on Material Mountain. I used an air erasable pen to draw my leaves. After cutting the pieces out I used Beloved Bernina to sew lines of stitching to emulate leaf veins. I finally cut a small hole in the centre of the fabric to thread through the bauble wire. Voila! summer baubles to decorate gifts or hang for summer parties.

Whatever the weekend holds for you I hope it’s happy and summery

Love Rocking Dog x

PS Rocking Dog Huddle Wednesday 26th July 7-9pm. I would love to see you here at the kennel for chat, cake and creativity. Donations into the teapot for Fine Cell Work encouraging and supporting prison inmates to sew & embroider.

Strawberry Deliciousness!,Rocking Dog

Strawberry Deliciousness!

Chelsea Strawberries,Rocking Dog

Chelsea Strawberries

Rocking Dog Tart,Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Tart

Summer Baubles,Rocking Dog

Summer Baubles

Stylish Wrapping,Rocking Dog

Stylish Wrapping

Summery Rocking Dog Gift Tags,Rocking Dog

Summery Rocking Dog Gift Tags

Tonight! The First Rocking Dog Huddle

Are You Ready To Sew?,Rocking Dog

Are You Ready To Sew?

Last call for the first Rocking Dog Huddle! 7-9pm tonight (sorry about that very cheesy link, for a staunch Rubettes fan I truly was!) at the Rocking Dog Kennel. Come to sew, knit, chat and eat cake. Feel free to have a moan too!

This is no “Great British Sewing Bee” so you won’t be expected to make a pair of Theresa May style leather trousers or a boned bustier! Come with trousers that need hemming, knitting that has been lingering on its needles or another long forgotten project. Shamefully I have an unfinished Kaffe Fassett needlepoint that has been on its frame for the best part of 20 years! Don’t despair if you do come empty handed Rocking Dog has organised some mini projects. Beloved Berlina will be on hand, please treat her kindly!

Of course it’s not all about the sewing. Lovely warming drinks and delicious Rocking Dog cake (this month, Peanut-Butter Squares, thanks Nigella!) will be offered.

A teapot for donations to cover cost of refreshments etc..will be in situ. A proportion of donations will be given to Fine Cell Work, a charity that teaches embroidery and needlework to prison inmates. Their amazing work is sold on the website.

It would be great to see anyone who wants to join the huddle this evening. It will be very informal, friendly and fun. Please contact me by e.mail lizferg@btinternet.com if you need any further information.

Love Rocking Dog x

P.S. Wouldn’t it just be SO lovely if “Great British Sewing Bee’s” Patrick was to turn up!

Pretty Patching,Rocking Dog

Pretty Patching

Inspiration,Rocking Dog

Inspiration

Fragrant Stuffing,Rocking Dog

Fragrant Stuffing

Needle Pulling Thread,Rocking Dog

Needle Pulling Thread

Cuppa.....,Rocking Dog

Cuppa…..

& Cake!,Rocking Dog

& Cake!

Cheery Projects To Cast Off Winter Gloom

Winter Mood Board,Rocking Dog

Winter Mood Board

Rocking Dog has been doing cheery projects to cast off winter gloom. No frosts, no snow, no cold but lots of grey, damp and mud!

In between all the usual domestic dross I have been striving to complete some more constructive and pleasurable tasks. Yesterday morning I made Christmas cakes, “Oh no you didn’t, Oh yes I did!” An 80’s Christmas themed charity Burn’s Night is on the cards next month. I am going to hone my spiky snow scene icing and have plastic robin , snowman and cake frill at the ready! Incidentally there’ll be turkey and all the trimmings together with Christmas pud’s and retro’ cocktails. I’m nursing our Christmas tree carefully in the hope I can put it back up. Sad but true!

Christmas cakes baked, I moved to Beloved Berlina to creatively sew. Sewing makes me happy, especially with two or three omnibus editions of “The Archers” in the bag!

Despite the mud and greyness Real Live Rocking Dog is always up for a walk. No matter the weather it always feels great to be out. The change of seasons brings a myriad of different foliage, wildlife, noise and smells. Mossy twigs and ferns placed in a large majolica jug beautifully brings the outside in.

Very cheerily Seville oranges have started to trickle into the shops. I feel a therapeutic marmalade making session coming on!

Winter Walk,Rocking Dog

Winter Walk

Winter Vase,Rocking Dog

Winter Vase

Winter Fuel,Rocking Dog

Winter Fuel

Sugar & Spice,Rocking Dog

Sugar & Spice

Eggs To Crack,Rocking Dog

Eggs To Crack

Happy Bake,Rocking Dog

Happy Bake

Comfort Food,Rocking Dog

Comfort Food

Time To Sew,Rocking Dog

Time To Sew

The Sevilles' Are In Town!,Rocking Dog

The Sevilles’ Are In Town!

The Rocking Dog Huddle, Wed 25th January

Sew On A Button, Rocking Dog

Sew On A Button

I have felt slightly overwhelmed by January greyness and sadness, so the time has come to plot some positive things onto the new calendar. I have had a good response for starting an informal sew/knit/etc.. group and therefore will be hosting the first get together on Wednesday 25th January 7-9pm at the kennel. I still haven’t come up with a name for the gathering, so for the time being it’s the Rocking Dog Huddle. I intend to host the huddle on a monthly basis, the last Wednesday of the month.

Anyone contemplating coming please do not feel shy or intimidated, you will be made to feel very welcome. You may have a garment that needs a button sewing on, or hems that need altered. It may be a piece of needlepoint or quilting that needs finishing or indeed knitting that needs to finally leave the needles! Don’t worry if you arrive empty handed I have a shelf full of books and templates, small fabric remnants and cottons etc.. to inspire and utilise. We will have fun.

My hope is that in time we can learn new skills from each other. If there is somebody who can rid me of my zip insertion phobia that would be simply perfect!

Of course the chat, the homemade cake and warming drinks will be just as important, and I hope we’ll laugh a lot! A donations teapot will be in situ to cover cost of refreshments, materials and to help support Fine Cell Work, an amazing social enterprise that teaches needlework to prison inmates and sells their products.

If anyone would like any further information or needs directions (I am based in Hambrook, Bristol) please get in touch with me lizferg@btinternet.com.

I really hope you can come! Love Rocking Dog x

Coffee....,Rocking Dog

Coffee….

& Cake,Rocking Dog

& Cake

Share Beloved Bernina,Rocking Dog

Share Beloved Bernina

My Stash,Rocking Dog

My Stash

Haberdashery Stash,Rocking Dog

Haberdashery Stash

Choose A Project,Rocking Dog

Choose A Project

Ribbons....,Rocking Dog

Ribbons….

& Lace,Rocking Dog

& Lace

Make New Friends,Rocking Dog

Make New Friends

Gift Wrapping The Rocking Dog Way!

All Sewn Up, Rocking Dog

All Sewn Up

Another batch of gifts needed to be wrapped at the Rocking Dog Kennel. Alas no sticky tape was to be found… but no worries I dealt with the parcels in a jiffy!

Beloved Bernina, twine and glue gun sufficed in the midst of my no tape crisis. A bundle of delicious ribbons were wrapped for a very creative friend. I used a paper table mat snaffled from an alfresco eatery in Perugia. Testone serves the most delicious Torta outside the famous court room ( the Italian’s were not happy with the Amanda Knox verdict).  The eating place very obviously is a favourite hangout for students.  Torta are Umbrian flatbreads and they encase a variety of fillings, take your pick from Porchetta, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and a whole host of other Italian produce. Two generous slices of torta and two small beers whist sitting in glorious sunshine cost under £10. Apart from the food and the sun  I loved the tobacco coloured table mats, and now they are wrapping! Coarse twine, some woollen bobbles and an up-cycled label completed the package.

Beloved Bernina was bought into use to sew a parcel. I used some beautiful retro pages from a charity shop book and used zig zag stitch to create a bag. The gift item was neatly stashed and the final edge was sewn to create a giant ravioli . A label was then made and threaded with some jolly ribbon. I hope Beloved Bernina hasn’t felt too unhappy about sewing paper and card.

Lastly some rather bulky packages of spring bulbs were given the sack treatment. I chose some fabric from Material Mountain and whizzed up a bag with plant pot panel. Tied and labelled with an appropriate quote it was ready to give.

Who needs sticky tape?!

Retro Wrapping, Rocking Dog

Retro Wrapping

Lovely Label, Rocking Dog

Lovely Label

Heroic Beloved Bernina,Rocking Dog

Heroic Beloved Bernina

Bulbs To Stash, Rocking Dog

Bulbs To Stash

Gift Bag Info', Rocking Dog

Gift Bag Info’

Ready To Give, Rocking Dog

Ready To Give

For A Creative, Rocking Dog

For A Creative

Creatively Wrapped, Rocking Dog

Creatively Wrapped

Cupboard For Wrappers!, Rocking Dog

Cupboard For Wrappers!

Sewing Into The Wee Hours

Sewing With My Little Helpers, Rocking Dog

Sewing With My Little Helpers

Sewing into the wee hours, Rocking Dog is making full length bay window curtains for Sorrel (and Pete). Ticking, lined with blackout material they will keep out street light, winter chills (!) and prying eyes. The four finished drapes will be hung from a copper pipe pole and will look great set against the Inchyra Blue walls. A minimalist house my girls’ house is not, there are lots of boho treasures to delight guests.

So it’s just me, Beloved Bernina and my little deep south helpers sewing into the night. These lovely gingham frocked girls probably date from the 30’s and are modelled over sand filled American lemonade bottles. They are obviously not very PC, but I love their loving handmade-ness and honesty. With buttons for eyes and brass curtain rings for hoop earrings they are so “Gone With The Wind”.

Whilst I sew I am enjoying music from the movies, including themes from “Gladiator”,
“Dances With Wolves” and “Out Of Africa”. Maybe i’ll even put on “Gone With The Wind” for the girls.

Sleep Well. Love a sew happy Rocking Dog x

Monochrome Ticking, Rocking Dog

Monochrome Ticking

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’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

Friendship

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!

The Rocking Dog Vintage Laundry!

Looking For New Homes, Rocking Dog

Looking For New Homes

Earlier in the week it was all about pickling and yesterday it was all about sewing. Beloved Bernina was rattling away on a secretive project, but NOT the wedding coat. I did however take the pattern to bed with me to gear myself up for what lies ahead. In truth I have never made a coat before and setting in the sleeves is somewhat bewildering. I really was going to make strides with this ominous sewing task this week…. but alas it hasn’t happened. I sometimes think life is rather like a doctors surgery. You start off with a good plan but things rarely stick to time! So lots of jobs on the daily to do list simply end up being carried over to another day or indeed another week.

I have very finally hung the Roman blind but think it needs some pom-poms or other decorative frou to over-gild the lily!

I have enjoyed laundering my Italian vintage stash. The pieces need to be sorted into little textile categories. Some will remain whole such as some pretty embroidered tablecloths, whilst others will be remodelled into “new” pieces. Cushions, lavender pillows, drawstring bags and decorative kitchen cloths are past makes.

I love the linen nightdress with its cheery monogram. I’m tempted to make this into a pillow sized cushion. Naughty Real Live Rocking Dog is rather partial to some vintage nightshirt pillows that I made a few years ago. I hand sewed the linen garments onto a backing of red and white striped material and filled the cases with soft feather pillows. Real Live Rocking Dog is so like the Princess and the Pea. He chooses the softest, plumpest places to sleep and we quite often have to shoo him off one or other beds or sofa’s.

Back to my textiles, one of the hardest decisions is which ones I am going to keep and decide on those I can bear to part with. The shelves of Material Mountain are cram packed and I need to do some serious sewing to reduce stocks!

The weekend beckons and I hope whatever you are doing you’ll have a good one. Love Rocking Dog x

Prince & The Pea, Rocking Dog

Prince & The Pea

Hung Out To Dry, Rocking Dog

Hung Out To Dry

Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion, Rocking Dog

Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion

Monogram Nightdress, Rocking Dog

Monogram Nightdress

Pretty Stitches, Rocking Dog

Pretty Stitches

Kitchen Cloths, Rocking Dog

Kitchen Cloths

Rocking Dog’s Little Bit Of This & That!

The Hambrook Rhubarb Triangle!, Rocking Dog

The Hambrook Rhubarb Triangle!

Rocking Dog has been doing a little bit of this and that…and going nowhere fast! I hate germy long haul flights, and have been laid low with some mild airborne affliction. Multi-tasking has been difficult and I have found myself ineffectively pootling from one project to another like an ant having been sprayed with DDT!

Sunday lunch was a case in point. I couldn’t really decide what to do for friends and family so we ended up with a Lebanese/ British mix up! Lamb Shawarma (whole leg of lamb with an amazing spice rub), chopped salad, roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad together with tahini dressing and bread came from Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Jerusalem”. The English elements were Delia’s roasties and some sausages. Pudding saw the first of the the Hambrook triangle’s rhubarb. I poached the tender pink strips together with a vanilla pod, water and golden caster sugar in a gentle oven. To accompany it I whizzed up a batch of praline ice cream – sorted! It sort of all worked and I was very proud of myself when I didn’t capitulate to Alex’s hint/request for homemade ice cream for 120 wedding guests! Go Girl!!!

Staying on the subject of weddings, the boys is now getting ever closer. So in between feeding people and nursing my aircraft lurgy I have tried to step right on up to Planet Wedding!

When the happy couple came over on Sunday, they bought with them a list (both mothers I gather had been angling for one!) This list was not dissimilar to one of those manuscripts that ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ unrolls, taking you through from present day folk to those walking about wearing furs and carrying clubs! I fear that the brides mums’ weekend of relaxation in a spa will be a very distant memory when the said list is unravelled this week! Maybe all those to do’s were best left on a smart phone after all Kylie!

So menu planning, sourcing, ordering (yelp!), making ten staff aprons, reviewing a colossal crockery order etc…all clutter my work bench together with all the components for THAT wedding coat ….. GET IT DONE! On a more positive note I have finally finished the Roman Blind which had been festering in my To Do Basket. My Beloved Bernina repair and a holiday interrupted its completion. Today will see me get the blind up, I suspect that it may be more than a little wonky!

I sincerely hope you are being productive and more focused than poor old Rocking Dog! Enjoy your day.

PS. Big thanks to my gorgeous sis’ for sorting out more space with SiteGround so that I can keep on blagging oops, blogging!

To The Oven You Go!, Rocking Dog

To The Oven You Go!

Chopped Salad, Rocking Dog

Chopped Salad

Cauli' & Hazelnut Salad, Rocking Dog

Cauli’ & Hazelnut Salad

Blooming Blind!, Rocking Dog

Blooming Blind!

Marital Menu Planning, Rocking Dog

Marital Menu Planning

GET IT DONE!, Rocking Dog

GET IT DONE!