Tag Archives: Bloomsbury Marmalade

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!

Wrapping up In September!

Take The Host Supplies!, Rocking Dog

Take The Host Supplies!

Gifts to wrap in September and as per usual no shop bought wrapping paper to be had in the Rocking Dog kennel!

Andyman was staying overnight with a couple somewhere Up North and he needed a house gift. We decided on a jar of my Bloomsbury marmalade and some breakfast components. In M & S I gathered together breakfast tea, posh muesli, waffles, farmhouse butter and pancakes. At home I needed to decide how to best package the edibles. I wasn’t going to be there to berate Andyman when he crushed the package on the trains overhead baggage shelf- so something robust was needed!

I made a simple hessian bag with masculine ribbon handles (thank you Colin, Eastville Market). I roughly lined the bag with black tissue and assembled the foodie goodies. Lastly I added a label which was threaded with a strip of jolly red & white gingham. Obviously you could change the contents by adding in homemade muffins etc.. For an afternoon tea gift you could put together boxed tea, freshly baked scones, jam, clotted cream and cakes. The bag could be made out of pretty Chintz or Toile de Jouy tied with ribbon. The possibilities are endless!

After sorting out the parcel for travelling up North, I got all papery with the other gifts. Fairy cake cases (so prefer the word fairy cake to cupcake!) are the basis for great rosette style labels. John Lewis, TK Maxx, supermarkets and Ikea all stock good and pretty selections. Vary sizes from muffin cases through to pretty little petit four cases and Pritt your selection together. Add Ribbon streamers and stamp out card circles using a circular paper cutter or cut by hand (tricky to get a good edge). Write your greeting by hand, printing or stamping and stick your label in the centre of your fairy cake rosette. Simple, cheap and effective.

I was watching the news yesterday morning and I was listening to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker setting out plans to try and resolve the desperate migrant crisis. I discussed with Andyman just how amazing it must be to be so intelligent, and after a quick moment of contemplation I said ” but I bet he couldn’t put together a fairy cake case rosette!

Another parcel got the doilieyana treatment (don’t get muddled with Dollyana!) I wrapped a parcel in plain tissue paper and small coloured doilies (these were reduced ones found in John Lewis). I added some Indian braid (try Colin, another market trader, or fly to Mumbai) and a stamped luggage label. Other gifts were wrapped up in the latest copy of M & S “Adventures In FOOD” together with some rustic parcel twine.

September wrapped up!

Foodie Booty!, Rocking Dog

Foodie Booty!

Bag Ingredients, Rocking Dog

Bag Ingredients

Filled & Ready, Rocking Dog

Filled & Ready

Doileyana!, Rocking Dog


Fairy Cake Label, Rocking Dog

Fairy Cake Label

Best In Show, Rocking Dog

Best In Show