Tag Archives: Charity

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!

Another Peek In Rocking Dog’s Wardrobe

Hello Summer!, Rocking Dog

Hello Summer!

With post wedding exhaustion in full throttle, last week I settled on carrying out simple tasks that did not require a huge amount of brain boggling thought or physical capability. One job involved bringing summer into my wardrobe. I thought you’d perhaps like another peek in Rocking Dog’s wardrobe. February 2015 was the last time I opened the doors, and unfortunately not a tremendous amount has changed!

I still have a predominantly black winter “uniform”, with a switch to white for the summer. Somewhat scruffy dog walking garb however tends to dominate my everyday clothing decisions. Needless to say brightly coloured sale price “Hunter” wellies are the all year round very practical footwear choice!

Sadly, there have been no major buying splurges to report. Last weeks sort involved moving black wool, velvet and other wintry fabrics into hibernation. How I enjoy having a spare wardrobe or two now that Andyman and I are empty nesters! With all the cuddly warm wooliness huddled into its new home I could transfer the somewhat lighter brighter garments into my wardrobe. With our recent trip to Cuba the linens had enjoyed a very brief tropical encounter, but it was now time to make the brave decision that the English summer had indeed arrived!

The cream wool Toast tunic which i’d just bought in February ’15 I am sorry to say remains unworn. The winter has simply been too mild and i’m too warm blooded! Hopefully winter 2016 will bring snow and frosts. Indeed my plethora of market bought Italian wool coats haven’t been given much of an outing either! Inpenetrable suit carriers will swathe the wools and silk velvets from the destructive chomping jaws of a fleet of moths. I will add Rocking Dog crooked hearts for further protection and hopefully my clothes will escape unscathed when Autumn and the need for warm garments returns.

Summer wardrobe installed, I surveyed my colourful closet. Linen has an awful reputation for being high maintenance and to crease easily. However, I love the feel of cotton and freshly pressed linen against my skin. Textiles which include synthetic threads can make me hot and bad tempered, flushed and murderous! I can’t ever imagine a time when I won’t want to wear linen. If and when the time comes that i’m simply too gnarled and infirm to use an iron i’ll just have to employ a butler! Many of my linen pieces have been coming out for the past six or seven years or so. East, M & S, Zara, Laura Ashley and John Lewis are worth a look, especially when they have their summer sales.

Regarding buying clothes, I still don’t like paying full price for anything. I still use my hard and fast rule that if I see a bargain I will ask myself “If money allowed, would I pay full price for the item?”. If the answer is a decisive yes i’d hurtle to the cash desk, and if no, i’d leave the bargain hanging there. I’m still not an internet shopper, I like the experience of just seeing what’s out there, to feel fabrics and look at trends. A fashionista I am absolutely not, but I adore people watching and looking to see what shoppers are trying on and buying.

Now, a quick rundown of some of the images I have included in this post. We’ve dealt with the winter wools, the velvets and the unworn jumper.

The wedding coat.. my latest item in the wardrobe, and the infamous garment I made very tentatively from Christian Lacroix curtain fabric (Ebay remnant). This was the first dress making i’d done since the 1980’s and not a shoulder pad in sight! I really enjoyed the process and could there be another coat in the offing?! The Vintage Coat has a degree of man made fabric in it’s composition, and so it does tend to make me hot and ratty on occasions! However, I like the shape and colour and it’s become a really useful wardrobe staple. I bought this coat in a favourite charity shop a few years ago for a tenner. The last coat of the trio is one my sister made for me about 35 years ago. Made from heavy linen union I have always loved it. Being floral I confidently wore it to Chelsea Flower Show last year. Thanks sis”!

Ah yes.. the itchy jacket. I love this jacket, but it is itchy. I need to have neck and wrists “lined” to wear this one. I’m sure we all have an item or two in the wardrobe that we have to brace ourselves for, be it a nose tickling angora cardi’ or skirt that mysteriously rises up for some reason!

The latest Liberty buy. Whilst on my recent foray to Liberty I spotted these lovely wide legged lounge pants. Calf length and with pockets, they are far too nice to just lounge around in, I think they’ll be part of my cooling hot weather wardrobe! Uniqlo have collaborated with Liberty for this range and at £12.90 these pants are bargainous! I never discount leisure/sleep wear as something I can wear out.

Full Price Garb’. Very occasionally I do pay full price for something and this outfit was indeed one of those times. Made from Lithuanian silk this top and pantaloon trouser get up was bought in Edinburgh for a wedding & other social event five years ago. Made by Grizas I have loved wearing this. One of the best features is that it requires absolutely no ironing!

Parisian Flea. I bought this skirt a few years ago in the Montmartre district of Paris, in a secondhand clothes shop. I paid about 10 euro for it and I still love it. The draped tulip shape reminds me of the designs of Paul Poiret and harks back to enjoyable nights watching The House of Elliot! A simple black light weight jumper and quirky shoes, I can still see me wearing it in ten years time.

Poppy Love. I haven’t worn this skirt a great deal, a full length organza skirt isn’t something you can wear everyday. I bought it in Jigsaw for a commemorative event around the same time as Remembrance Sunday. I adore it, despite it being quite brown. Brown is a colour I do not enjoy wearing. Maybe it relates to the fact that I had to wear brown when I had a Saturday job at Debenham’s, and further back my mum quite often put me in brown because I had brown eyes. My sister meanwhile was dressed in the more cheery blue garments because she had blue eyes!

Back In The Box. My lovely wedding shoes. Unconventional I know, but as youngest daughter said “Mum you aren’t really Kate Middleton nude shoe material are you!”

So there it is a little whizz through the Rocking Dog wardrobe. What treasures lurk in your wardrobe and do you have any good shopping tips? Please tell all!

Hope the week is a happy one for you all. Love Rocking Dog x

Goodbye Winter!, Rocking Dog

Goodbye Winter!

Still Unworn, Rocking Dog

Still Unworn

Velvets No More!, Rocking Dog

Velvets No More!

Wedding Coat, Rocking Dog

Wedding Coat

Vintage Coat, Rocking Dog

Vintage Coat

1980's Floral Coat, Rocking Dog

1980’s Floral Coat

Itchy Jacket, Rocking Dog

Itchy Jacket

Latest Liberty Buy, Rocking Dog

Latest Liberty Buy

Full Price Garb', Rocking Dog

Full Price Garb’

Parisian Flea, Rocking Dog

Parisian Flea

Poppy Love, Rocking Dog

Poppy Love

Back In The Box, Rocking Dog

Back In The Box

The Final Taboo – Talking About Death

Talking Death - The Final Taboo, Rocking Dog

Talking Death – The Final Taboo

It all started with a simple enough comment from Andyman who said he’d arranged his first Funeral Plan for one of his clients. An investment blokey, he deals with all sorts of products and advisory stuff (I must at this point say that there are other investment managers out there, and investments can go up as well as down)! Will writing, retirement planning, pension stuff etc.., I am certainly not here to sell his wares, I find it blooming difficult enough to sell my own stuff!

Hello…hope you’re still there….and not put off by that first paragraph. I am hopeful that at least my darling children will be in for the long haul of this blog piece…. because, actually I do think it’s important.

That Funeral Plan got me rather curiously talking about death and what a plan like this buys you. Talking simply, because a business brain I do not have, Andyman told me that they anchor the cost of cars and coffins (and other such sundries) at a today’s price for a funeral that will happen hopefully in the long and dusty future. The purchasers of such a plan have the knowledge that their next of kin will be able to use it to secure a reasonable coffin and car(s) without dipping their hand into their own pocket. Bland peace of mind for one and all!

Over a quick coffee, and before heading off into the horrible Friday night Bristol traffic, Andyman and I had a very snatched conversation about funerals and what WE wanted. We had a spontaneous brainstorm (or rather more P.C. these days, mind mapping) of what we did and did not want. With 35 years of knowing each other we quickly realised just how little we knew of each others thoughts on death and funerals. I just wonder how many of you reading this can identify with this, it’s simply a conversation for another day.

I have been to a rash of funerals in the last few years, one of the joys of getting older I suppose. It always strikes me how similar in format they generally are. Maybe their sheer genericness is because the majority of us knows not what is available. For many of us, we are bereaved with little or no warning, funeral planning is done in a stressful tearful blur. If we were buying a washing machine or a car, a mixer or a lawn mower we would research and very probably shop around. How strange it is that we settle for the most local or as recommended by Auntie Margaret undertakers. We are therefore syphoned through a process from collecting a death certificate, dealing with a hospital morgue or funeral home and onwards and downwards. We as mourners and funeral planners are not confident in thinking outside of the box (excuse the pun). That Friday night conversation had certainly got me thinking about being sympathetic to any one that turns up for my final send off.

Let’s be honest no funeral is ever particularly joyous, but there are generally ok bits, bad bits, sad bits, cheesy bits and “when’s this going to end” bits.

Regarding bad bits, for me I have a particular problem with the hearse and limo’s for the nearest and dearest. This definitely stems from my Mum’s funeral back in November 1985. At the age of 24, and fourteen weeks pregnant, it was my first ever funeral. I had absolutely no idea what went on at funerals. I had seen Winston’s (as in Churchill) on telly when I was three and a half and LOVED it! I was however under no illusion that there would be a gun carriage with Union Flag draped coffin for my lovely mum.

As a child, If a neighbour died, on the day of the funeral curtains would be respectfully closed by the villagers. Together with my siblings we found this rather morbidly baffling, and would get reprimanded if we attempted to take a curious peek. Funerals were also the domain of men, I don’t have any memories in the early days of my Mum getting ready to go to a funeral. However, I distinctly remember my Dad having a dark tweed overcoat, a sinister Homburg and a black funeral tie. All these wardrobe staples held a certain morbid mystique, and young though we were, we instinctively identified with this funeral garb! Back to the cars..I remember getting into the limo’. In front, a ridiculously shiny hearse and then I had a growing awareness of a top- hatted figure carrying a silver topped cane reverently walking in front of the cars. This was something out of a harrowing Dickensian novel and not the big shoulder padded power dressing 80’s, it was truly ghastly. A good analogy would be that of being on a rollercoaster ride which I wanted to get off ….NOW! Following the service my sister and I walked home in the November greyness. In short, a Funeral Plan just doesn’t cut the mustard, I want NO black funeral cars!

Other bad bits…the artificial flowers in our local crematorium. At the latest funeral when I half dozed off because of a rather drab eulogy, I contemplated the pedestal flowers and flowers attached to the wall on either side of THE curtains. In my head I questioned whether they would be changed to reflect the changing seasons and then concluded probably not. This was December and these were a nasty orangey brown. After coming to this conclusion, I then wondered whether dusting the flowers appeared on the cleaning rota. Finally, I further contemplated whether there was an artificial flower catalogue for crematoria. THE curtains too I contemplated, they are crowd pleasers, plain, green, sad, and unobtrusive, auspiciously indoctrinating you to think of the person boxed in veneered plywood. I would like to suggest an alternative fabric for these monster curtains.. click this link.

While we are on the subject of aesthetics I have only seen one lovely coffin, a beautiful wicker number which was truly gorgeous. I’m not a fan of the veneered wood, but with wicker and cardboard apparently being decidedly more expensive, I can see why the veneered variety are the coffin of choice.

Hymns sung, eulogy read, poor hypothermic foil blanketed funeral attender carted off in ambulance (yes I really have witnessed this), sad green indoctrinating curtains closed for the final time, it’s time for us cold mourners to depart. No flowers at the families request, but now it’s time to put in a donation for a chosen charity. This spells the time for funeral goers to embarrassedly scratch around for the odd coppers in their pocket or purse. I find it quite amusing that some are so seemingly mean. In years gone by when flowers were the norm mourners would have accepted that a floral wreath spelling “Bob”, a dubious cross or funeral spray would cost them £3O. However, to put in a meaningful donation is altogether a different matter. Somehow it is ok to spend money on flowers that will wilt, be totally unloved, except for a cursory glance outside the crematoria (and I hate this bit where you are expected to ooh and ahh at the flowers and attached syrupy cards… “RIP you have gone to a better place Bob”) etc…before the final indignity of funereal floristry being tossed onto the compost heap. And then on the other hand money given so sparingly for local hospitals, hospices, Cancer Research, Red Cross, and hedgehog charities etc.., it all feels a little mean. One day these miserly donors may require one of these services or charities ( there again, perhaps not the hedgehog charity..) Less cynically isn’t enough that someone has taken a day off work and travelled for hours on choked road-worked motorways all to see those sad green curtains pulled shut. How lovely that no one feels impelled to purchase a showy floral tribute regardless of whether they are son, mother, lover, carer, bingo buddy or the like.

The after funeral hooly is a topic all on it’s own, I can only say why oh why is it so irreverent to serve anything but triangular cut sandwiches with non-descript beige fillings? As I always say it’s a sad enough day without serving up sad food. Why would it be so wrong to have a gourmet burger van, huge knickerbocker glories, charcuterie boards, Pieminister Pies, eye poppingly beautiful cakes etc… Added into the mix some lovely bubbly, good wines and lovely non alcoholic drinks (no J20’s in sight). Milky tea, instant coffee or glass of warm wine served in a cloudy supermarket hire glass seem to be the drinks of choice to complement the cling filmed triangular sandwiches. There are exceptions, and I am not going to tar every funeral with the same brush, but they are very few and far between. How we as a family loathe the comment “lovely spread!” (it sums up beige food, mean pork pies, cling film and anaemic chicken drumsticks).

To balance the bad there have been some good bits to report on funerals i’ve attended. The hearse-less funeral where my neighbours coffin was transported in a specially adapted motorcycle side-car, good music choices (Parisian cafe music, Tom Jones, Bruce Springsteen spring to mind), a model of Concorde on a coffin in place of flowers, and garden flowers thoughtfully picked by my sister for our lovely Dad’s funeral. I love the stories of the ashes of friends relatives being blasted up into space by fireworks, and of ashes taken out to sea in a handmade sea-faring craft (made by the ashes before he was ashes).

Regrets I have about my parents funerals include not feeling able to wax lyrical about them at their funerals. More guiltily I didn’t feel able to deal with their ashes. The vicar gladly sprinkled them in the church yard of our home village. Andyman has taught me a lot. He flew with his Dad’s canister of ashes (he had to have special clearance from Easy Jet to ensure this wasn’t a wily way of drug smuggling) to Scotland. He then took a trip up the Cairngorms where his Dad used to walk, and together with his Mum and brother sprinkled and bagpiped his dad into the snowy mountain air.

I was able to write poems for my father in law and my step mum which I read out, and again I feel guilty that I didn’t do this for my own parents. In all probability it was because I was rather caught up in the syphoning process of choosing hymns, orders of service, baking etc… I’m sure they would forgive me for not creating a Shakespeare style sonnet for them. In fact my dad knowing of my fear of THE black cars said “Pet, just bundle me into the back of an estate car, I couldn’t care less”. In fact we did have THE black cars when he died, because of course he had a funeral plan! He always harboured a desire for his body to go to medical science, however with a step mum on the scene we had to diplomatically steer our way through the process unfortunately much more conventionally. The medical students in any case would have said “drank too much, smoked too much and bloody hell have you ever seen such big hands- they’re like spades!”

My Dad,. Doug, Rocking Dog

My Dad,. Doug

So kiddies, yes you Sorrel, Alex, Livi and plus ones, all of whom we hope will go on living well after our demise, Dad and I are talking about the Final Taboo. You’ll be in no doubt as to what we want and we will try and make it a good send off for all those who choose to attend. I with absolutely conviction would like anything that can be harvested for organ donation to be given willingly (unfortunately even now I don’t think my kidneys are much good, sorry). If it’s true that David Bowie has just quietly gone Ashes to Ashes without anyone in attendance he’s pinched my idea! A blooming good restaurant with gorgeous food and drink, perhaps a few words from someone would be nice, and some good music (remember i’d like a Christmas carol in amongst some upbeat stuff). As there’s not going to be a tombstone perhaps an epitaph can appear on a scrummy calorific cake “She liked nothing in straight lines” is a long standing phrase of which I am particularly fond. I personally have no real preference where I get scattered, buried, or pelleted (perhaps we’ll be sending burial pellets into space by the time I slip off this mortal coil), do something you are happy with and a meaningful place for you all. Donations to a good
cause, again i’ll leave this to you all.

Back to the Funeral Plan I wonder if I can start a new type of plan. The Pig Funeral Plan or
a Souk-Kitchen Funeral Plan perhaps? No Limo’s, hearses, top hats or plywood coffins but great food at a fixed price for a distant celebratory alternative funeral.

I am so sorry if I have made anyone feel uncomfortable or indeed offended. Isn’t it funny how it feels so irreverent to say “you look nice” to someone attending a funeral or to say to a family “that was a good funeral”. I think there needs to be a massive sea change to get away from the no crust triangular sandwich, dried flowers, hearse and syphoned way of doing things. Am I really the only one that wants to “go off piste”?

Well done for staying the course of this blog, I promise you some frivolous topics in the days to follow. At 4am on Sunday morning I just thought “put what you’re thinking out there”. So out in that mysterious place called cyberspace those kiddies can hopefully retrieve their batty old mothers wishes when the time inevitably comes!

Have a great start to the week ahead. Love Rocking Dog x

PS Bob is purely fictional and is used for illustrative purposes only.

Ian’s Cairngorm copy

Village Churchyard, Rocking Dog

Village Churchyard

The Pig Funeral Plan?, Rocking Dog

The Pig Funeral Plan?

Sprinkle Us Somewhere Meaningful, Rocking Dog

Sprinkle Us Somewhere Meaningful

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.

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!

Winning Ways With Wonderful Wallpaper!

Fandabidosi Table Runner, Rocking Dog

Fandabidosi Table Runner

Yes, by now you will absolutely know that I adore wonderful wallpaper! I love using it for a whole range of different projects, though some inevitably ends up on the walls!

I am always on the look out for end rolls to stock pile for exciting future projects. John Lewis, Laura Ashley, DIY stores and interior design shops are always worth a forage! I pay between £3 and £10 a roll and many retail normally in excess of £50.

Uses for the paper booty include, table runners, party hats, gift wrapping, decoupage, covering storage boxes, paper chains etc…etc…

The photo above shows a glimpse of a Cole and Son “Woods” table runner. Incidentally this was a Russian themed charity Burns’ Night in aid of a Russian orphanage. Somehow the food ended up a little more Bavarian, but hey ho! The beautiful silver paper with bare silver birch imagery certainly helped set the scene.

The paper cone is made using a discontinued paper from Laura Ashley. The cone is based on ones that I remember from holidays in Brittany in the swinging 60’s and 70’s. These enticing cones would grace patisseries and boulangeries in sleepy little Breton Medieval towns. Usually decked in colours to denote fille and garçon, they always appeared much more inspiring than the glassine bagged surprise bags of 60’s Britain!

My cones would make great alternatives to party bags- so much more lovelier than commercial Disneyfied plastic ones. I have added a simple homemade ribbon rosette to decorate and personalise the cone. Obviously contents could be themed to complement the wallpaper design (think pirates eye patch, chocolate coins, a treasure map, transfer tattoos, cutlass etc..). Pretty treat filled cones could be presented at a baby shower, hen party or for yummy Easter goodies!

The Admiral hats can be made from a sheet of wrapping paper or a piece of wallpaper. If you have forgotten this folding skill of childhood take a look on YouTube to reacquaint yourself.

Here endeth my eulogising sermon on wallpaper (well at least for now!)

French Style Cone, Rocking Dog

French Style Cone

Ribbon Rosette, Rocking Dog

Ribbon Rosette

Ahoy!, Rocking Dog

Ahoy!

Rocking Dog Sews For Spring

Vintage Lace, Rocking Dog

Vintage Lace

Rocking Dog is beginning to think of projects to embrace the forthcoming spring.
With a gorgeous stash of vintage lace and frou I am looking forward to make pretty things to entice those with beautiful boudoirs or with nuptials to celebrate.

With my son’s recent engagement I have yet to be given my orders regarding what they would like me to “run up”. It’s early days and I hope the lovestruck couple enjoy the planning of their special day. I am sure it will be very unique and meaningful, and maybe I need to sew some lace edged handkerchiefs for the day!

Until then I can make lovely things for other brides and grooms. I am very happy to work with couples and make bespoke decor and additionally can help with wedding styling. How I love frouing!

My advice to anyone planning a wedding is to delegate with a capital D! It is very tempting to try and do everything as a small family group but ….here’s a stark warning! We as a family sourced and did all the food, marquee flowers, setting up, made 1000’s miles bunting, sourced and bought 120 sets vintage china and Babycham glasses, baked and decorated the cake, decorated the chapel, sourced and bought all the booze, did all the wedding stationery, made night lanterns etc….etc..for lovely daughters wedding and …..felt totally wrecked! I had three hours sleep, literally had ten minutes to get ready, and had none of those tender proud parent moments as I was too busy ferreting in the fridge for 120 Panna Cotta’s and the evenings Pieminister pies! Meanwhile, Andyman was still in a towel when the white Cadillac arrived! It was mad! Though in a somewhat trance like state it was a great wedding, but I do wish I’d just been able to let my control freak nature to let go just a little and I think that goes for the bride too and we’d… DELEGATE!

On the very plus side we have some very lovely vintage china in our cellar which we have been able to use for charity events, loan to friends and groups. Rocking Dog hopes to host a charity pop up vintage afternoon tea later this year. Please contact me if you would like me to send you an invite.

Looking forward to finally putting Christmas to bed, with decorations boxed, fridge cleared of naughtiness and thank you letters written. Then I can make lovely Rocking Dog things, and watch for the first signs of spring.

Vintage Frou, Rocking Dog

Vintage Frou

Wedding Pudding Box, Rocking Dog

Wedding Pudding Box

DIY Wedding, Rocking Dog

DIY Wedding

Elvis Has Left The Building!

Blue Elvis, Rocking Dog

Blue Elvis

Yes we saw the New Year in with Elvis- yes the real one. Don’t believe any of these stupid Elvis’s autopsy programmes!
We danced away to “Suspicious Minds”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “An American Trilogy”, “Return to Sender” etc.. at The Weston in Bath. Great fun and as always, he is such a great entertainer.

I’ll own up now it’s not the real Elvis. On hearing about Elvis’s death in our hand painted tent somewhere in Wales in 1977 I remember having a good sob. No this tribute Elvis is Tim Bassett and can you believe that we booked him for our daughter Sorrels’ wedding before we booked the venue for the ceremony!

On New Years Eve apart from Elvis, Tim gave us a mixed second set of Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Soft Cell, David Bowie etc..and we jostled for space on the dance floor.

Very charismatic he makes no attempt to speak like Elvis (or for that matter Johnny C, David B etc..) and between songs gives good south west banter.

So, the New Year begins and as midnight arrived so my Dryathlon for Cancer Research began. I hope that the Christmas bottle of Bailey’s in the fridge doesn’t ever look overly tempting.

Whatever you hope for, and whatever challenges you plan to embark on, good luck and wishing you much happiness in 2015!

Elvis really has left the building!

Red Elvis. Rocking Dog

Red Elvis

Sobbing Painted Tent, Rocking Dog

Sobbing Painted Tent

Take A Peek In The Larder!

in a pickle, rocking dog

In A Pickle!

Yes, please take a peek in the larder!
Liz and daughter Sorrel have been busy concocting delicious things for the fast approaching festive season. Pickled limes and lemons, Stem Ginger, Spiced Orange Slices (delicious with gammon) are just a few of the wonders on sale this Sunday (Please contact Rocking Dog for timings). Sorrel’s Jewelled Quince Paste is a wonderful accompaniment on a cheese board and makes a great stocking filler whilst Cherry and Pistachio Biscotti make for posh coffee dunking!
There’ll be a range of freshly baked mince pies and cakes on sale together with gorgeous hand sewn gift items. Liz’s very talented friend Stephanie will be offering a cornucopia of wonderful and unique pieces for sale (that’s if Liz hasn’t purchased it all!).

The house will look jubilant in its eclectic festive splendour and there’ll be warming festive punch and Michael Buble, together with gorgeous things to nibble on (but not Michael unfortunately!) Profits from refreshments are going to the charity AFRIpads with £90 having already been donated. Thank you.

Now for the massive task ahead…emptying eleven boxes of Christmas decorations and prettying a tree that was destined for compost! I felt so sad for this little tree that I elected to give it a home, thus giving it an albeit transient moment of twinkling glory. You can put the tissues away now!

spice up christmas, rocking dog

Spice Up Christmas!

sublime lime, rocking dog

Sublime Lime!

jewelled quince paste, rocking dog

Jewelled Quince Paste