Tag Archives: Country Living

Rocking Dog Is So Excited By Easter Decorations!

Flowers & Chocolates, Rocking Dog

Flowers & Chocolates

Yes indeed Rocking Dog is so excited by Easter decorations. Easter is a little way away yet, but now is the time to do a little bit of Easter stashing!

I love little bags of foil wrapped eggs and of course Lindt bunnies. Much too dangerous for my waistline to have those tempting creatures in my cupboard! TK Maxx, supermarkets, John Lewis and M&S are all worth checking out for Easter Frou. I bought lovely raffia carrots from TK Maxx, whilst chocolate eggs of the foiled and speckled variety were bought in M&S and Sainsbury’s. During my Easter fest I spotted pretty rustic wreaths, bunting, rabbits, crowned fluffy chicks, twiggy bird houses and wicker baskets. I was very restrained, in part because we will be spending Easter thousands of miles away this year.

I was tempted by the book Handmade Gifts From The Kitchen by Alison Walker. A bargainous £7.99 (RRP.£20) in TK Maxx. Although the book has no recipes specifically for Easter, there are many that would adapt well to be given as Easter presents. Imagine Honey & Almond Nougat, Coconut Ice or Macarons cocooned in pretty floral lined boxes or in vintage lustre tea cups.

Other finds were to be found in “my” beloved John Lewis remnant bin. I loved the decadent little piece of fabric I found with stripes in muted purple, mustard and rose together with geometric embroidery. In time I think it will make four lozenge shaped cushions with sumptuous velvet backs. In the dressmaking department I bought green and white gingham for £2 metre. Very fresh and simple it will be used for projects to herald the spring. However, I also know I will be using it to line stockings etc.. for the end of the year, perish the thought!

This months Country Living is very inspirational for Easter makes and bakes. So let’s all get creative and bring a little bit of spring into our homes!

More Easter and springtime loveliness to follow in the coming weeks from Rocking Dog.

 Last Easter Frou!, Rocking Dog

Last Easter Frou!

Vintage Hankies, Rocking Dog

Vintage Hankies

So Sad Bunny, Rocking Dog

So Sad Bunny

Fab' Fabric, Rocking Dog

Fab’ Fabric

Easter Inspiration, Rocking Dog

Easter Inspiration

Good For Gifts, Rocking Dog

Good For Gifts

Raffia Carrots, Rocking Dog

Raffia Carrots

Pretty Paper, Rocking Dog

Pretty Paper

Easter House 2015, Rocking Dog

Easter House 2015

Inspired Summer Gift Wrapping

Jolly Jar, Rocking Dog

Jolly Jar

A few more inspired summer gift wrapping ideas from Rocking Dog.

I have loved the July issue of M & S’s freebie food paper. The lovely large sheets have given me a wonderful cache of paper for wrapping gifts, making envelopes and images to cut out for gift tags etc.. I particularly liked the page with the fish and chip illustration, can’t you just smell the vinegar soaked newspaper! Effective gift wrapping for free. I’m sure if someone you knew received a parcel like this, they wouldn’t think cheapskate, they’d think how wonderfully stylish!

The Jolly Jar is a Bonne Maman jam jar which I have frou’d with fabric, ribbon, and up-cycled elephant and ballerina. I have filled mine with mini marshmallows and a token for a zoo trip. You could fill one with popcorn and cinema ticket or sewing paraphernalia and gift voucher for “The Makery” etc.. Another idea for simple “wrapping” for a child’s gift, is to sew bags from fabric oddments. Add ribbon handles and a pretty patch feature. My piggy and duck came from Designer’s Guild off cuts from nursery curtains made for my youngest many moons ago. Andyman was still madly wallpapering when my labour was in full throttle!

Summery tags are made using snippets from “Country Living”, luggage labels and twine. I have used stamps and ink pad to add sentiments to the tags.

Lavender is ready to be harvested, it can be dried and used to make gorgeous scented gifts. Oatmeal and lavender can be used to fill little muslin pillows, add strings so that they can be hung from the hot bath tap. This will give you the most aromatic and silky skinned bathe! Lavender can fill fabric hearts to scent clothes and keep moths at bay. Lastly, wrap lavender soaps in hessian, add a ribbon and fresh lavender stalks. No Sellotape required!

Here endeth the sermon on simple, cost effective and stylish wrapping and gift ideas.

Hope this is the start of a lovely week for you all.

Frouing Essentials, Rocking Dog

Frouing Essentials

M & S Wrapping, Rocking Dog

M & S Wrapping

Good Enough To Eat!, Rocking Dog

Good Enough To Eat!

Party Spots, Rocking Dog

Party Spots

Summery Tags, Rocking Dog

Summery Tags

Lavender Love, Rocking Dog

Lavender Love

You’ve Got Mail!

Quick Cards, Rocking Dog

Quick Cards

I have been running up some quick thank you cards, I know it’s old fashioned but it’s still lovely to get snail mail! It makes a pleasant change from bank statements (especially this time of year) utility bills and mail shots for takeaway pizza. I remember visiting an elderly lady in the village who had piles of correspondence tied up with ribbon in amongst a cornucopia of antique china and cut glass, it felt very Miss Haversham. My biggest regret was that I never had the courage to say to her that her house was worthy of being in “World of Interiors” and encouraging her to have it featured. Now the house has been “sanitised” by a new owner and Mrs B is no longer. An opportunity missed for this amazing house’s cluttered beauty to be photographed for prosterity.

Back to my cards. Apart from hoarding Christmas decorations, I hoard all manner of other things! In a file code named “embellishments” I keep a selection of stuff to frou presents, cards and labels. These particular cards have been made using salvaged pictures from back issues of “Country Living” and “World of Interiors”. I have a session every now and again where I pull my magazines apart for recipes, home and garden ideas and for pictures that I can use to make cheap- skate labels and cards. I usually try to use a paper cutter (guillotine) to get some good straight edges, my eyes and my scissors (blunt ironically because they have been used to cut paper) aint what they used to be!

I hoard the salvaged pictures away in a plastic A4 folder in my file until I need to make cards etc…I have in this instance used some recycled brown card blanks (and matching envelopes), some pretty paper scraps, a brown luggage label, some ribbon, ink pad and stamp, and Pritt for gluing. Very simple and less than 10p a card.

Other ideas for decorating cards include using old cigarette cards,chopped up calendars, pretty stamps,vintage fabrics and pictures from unwanted books and comics.Recently I bought an old medical book for 50p in a charity shop to make rather mawkish get well cards, but then I decided to keep the book whole because I loved the illustrations so much. Thus, another pretty useless book to hang onto until another programme of mass culling lures me to part with it!

Happy Card Making!

Luggage Label Card, Rocking Dog

Luggage Label Card

Lovely Stamp, Rocking Dog

Lovely Stamp

Close Up, Rocking Dog

Close Up