Tag Archives: Diy

Rocking Dog’s Taste Of Spring In Umbria

Eating Alfresco In The Garden,Rocking Dog

Eating Alfresco In The Garden

Rocking Dog went to check on the olives. In Umbria the land is awakening and Spring has arrived. Fields have been tilled, the rich earth is the colour of ground Cinnamon. Soon the land will be planted with sunflowers, artichokes, maize and pumpkins. Gnarled old vines have been viciously pruned and tied tightly to their support wires. Soon leaves will sprout and in the autumn the vines will hang heavy with luscious black fruit. In the groves there is the noise of tractors, the smell of bonfires and the clip, clip, clip of the olive trees being harshly cut back. There are the sound of happy voices from 8 until 1 when the workers head off for their three hour siesta.

Spectacularly yellow Mimosa trees are in full bloom and look heavenly against the impossibly blue March skies. Cherry blossom, Magnolias and Camelias ornament many Umbrian gardens. Vast patches of wild violets, flowering rosemary and spring bulbs add to the feeling that Spring has indeed arrived.

Andyman and I worked enthusiastically on house and garden. Kitchen chairs were painted Macaw Green, Mister David and Drawing Room Blue, pictures were hung, Wifi installed and storage was tediously organised. In the garden hedges were trimmed and leaves swept. Olive trees were stripped of their suckers and Cypress trees worryingly counted (16). I think we need to make good friends with a tree surgeon and his cherry picker sometime very soon!

We did manage to escape to Rome briefly for the rugby and had a wonderful midnight stroll around the city. Bathed in atmospheric lighting and with an inky starry sky it was all very magical.

Somewhere along the line I completely forgot to eat ice cream during our two week stay….another time! We did however manage to eat one or two meals alfresco, it was an unexpected sun basked treat.

After the very long drive home it was lovely to see England verdantly spring like. Rhubarb, Tete de Tete, Japonica, Forsythia, limey green Spurge and hellebores are burgeoning after their winter slumbers.

I hope you have a great week and hope that there is chance to witness everything glorious about spring. Love Rocking Dog x

PS Looking forward to meeting our new close-ish neighbour Ed (Sheeran). Maybe he has a spare cherry picker kicking around!

Mimosa, Rocking Dog

Mimosa

Flower Strewn Bun,Rocking Dog

Flower Strewn Bun

Spring In His Step,Rocking Dog

Spring In His Step

Whispering Reeds,Rocking Dog

Whispering Reeds

Room With A View,Rocking Dog

Room With A View

Letting Spring In,Rocking Dog

Letting Spring In

Spring Night In Rome,Rocking Dog

Spring Night In Rome

Sunset .....,Rocking Dog

Sunset …..

& Moon Rise,Rocking Dog

& Moon Rise

Feathering The Nest To Welcome The Next Generation.

Feathering The Nest,Rocking Dog

Feathering The Nest

We were indeed feathering the nest to welcome the next generation. Sorrel and Pete will meet their little one in April, and before you ask they don’t know what sort they are having! Before the pushing begins at the Birth Centre a big push was needed to try and gain some kind of order in their little London nest.

The family pulled together with paintbrushes, rollers, drills, sandpaper and organisational skills. At times it felt like one of those puzzles where you have to move squares completely out of position in order to get one square into its rightful place! By the end of the weekend ceilings had been painted and walls given further coats. Another scaffold plank shelf had been skilfully drilled into place and numerous mugs of coffee had been drunk.

My girl is SOooo like me, an absolute magpie, minimalism unfortunately does not enter our vocabulary! Wrapping up about one hundred Christmas decorations I thought aloud “Sorrel certainly doesn’t need to inherit my vast collection, she’s simply doing very well on her own!” There is also the monumental sized stash of cookery books….have you heard of online recipes by any chance Sorrel?! Joking aside the couple have some lovely things to display on those scaffold plank shelves. Gradually the boxes that currently engulf what will be nursery will be emptied and the contents distributed to their final destination.

Perhaps work can then focus on the room for the new little person. I anticipate the decoration of this will be for no shrinking violet. I look forward to seeing it develop. There could be an old pram wheel, farm animals and wool pom-poms in the mix! Thankfully in amongst the chaos the main bedroom is a relative haven and there are lovely little vignettes of vintage glamour. Cushions in florals, tapestry, and zingy velvets provide pops of colour against the dramatic backdrop of Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue.

It wasn’t all about painting and DIY, some of us headed to nearby Abbey Wood with Real Live Rocking Dog. There were the remnants of Lesnes Abbey destroyed by Henry VIII, a fantastic wooded daffodil filled walk and distant views to London’s spectacular skyline. I really adored the gated garden there, the planting looked innovative and definitely worth a revisit when the sun really starts to shine. I so love the fact that London has so many wonderful green and surprisingly wild spaces.

We left the couple filling all those shelves. Another DIY onslaught next week with different family members will hopefully see tiled splash backs and skirting boards come to fruition.

Those square puzzle pieces are beginning to find their correct order. It will be lovely, and a sweet little home for welcoming in the next generation.

Thank you to all those lovely folk who helped with the nest building. It was fun.

Wishing you a lovely week. Love Rocking Dog x

Scaffold Plank Shelf,Rocking Dog

Scaffold Plank Shelf

Cook Books Aplenty!,Rocking Dog

Cook Books Aplenty!

Parlez Vous Francais?,Rocking Dog

Parlez Vous Francais?

Vintage Glamour,Rocking Dog

Vintage Glamour

Bohemia,Rocking Dog

Bohemia

Pops Of Colour,Rocking Dog

Pops Of Colour

Tantalising Glimpse,Rocking Dog

Tantalising Glimpse

Meeting His Match!,Rocking Dog

Meeting His Match!

Distant City Skyline,Rocking Dog

Distant City Skyline

Abracadabra! Christmas Vanishes In A Puff

Kitsch Tree,Rocking Dog

Kitsch Tree

Rocking Dog waved her magic wand and whispered Abracadabra! Christmas vanished in a puff. If only it had been that easy. The decorations are down after a few hours hard graft and now are waiting to be boxed. They are destined for the highway to the attic.

The attic trap-door firmly shut, it will be time to do a stocktake of DIY jobs to tackle. Room by room I troubleshoot tasks into no cost, low cost, medium cost and mega cost jobs. The handwritten job list usually gets stuck to the back of my workroom door. Andyman and I get great satisfaction enthusiastically crossing through the tasks completed. Little things please little minds! Of course the mega cost jobs linger for a long time without being crossed through, indeed they usually get transferred to the next DIY list, and the next, and the next!

Wishing you a good week and hope your magic wand works in getting Christmas 2016 vanished!

Full Table,Rocking Dog

Full Table

Non-calorific Cake,Rocking Dog

Non-calorific Cake

De-crud The Mantlepiece,Rocking Dog

De-crud The Mantlepiece

Shoo The Carrots...,Rocking Dog

Shoo The Carrots…

....The Pink,Rocking Dog

….The Pink

...The Pottery People!,Rocking Dog

…The Pottery People!

Rocking Dog Has The Paint Brushes Out !

The Paint Charts Are Out!,Rocking Dog

The Paint Charts Are Out!

Are you mad Rocking Dog? Yes, utterly! I really didn’t plan to get the paint brushes out, but there again I didn’t plan to have a floor laid six days before Christmas. Being the messy painter that I am it seemed a cunning plan to get a coat of paint on the walls before said floor goes down today.

Andyman and I hoofed it up to my beloved Farrow & Ball in Clifton. Andyman thankfully didn’t snarl too much and is resigned to the fact that his wife is a total paint snob! We left with a can of Wevet for walls and Charleston Gray for skirting boards. Thanks to lovely brightly coloured F&B staff. We did a quick trawl around the village which was buzzing with shopateers. I loved “Anna” an amazing Patisserie salon. Particularly lovely was some beautiful calligraphy that bedecked the glorious cakey windows. Just along the way the stall outside Reg The Veg was groaning with seasonal fruit and vegetables. It was reminiscent of a scene from Christmas Carol.

All too soon it was time to get painting, the light was quickly fading.

Job done, we await the arrival of wooden flooring man. I am surprisingly nervous about the choice we have made and am worried that I prefer the underside of the boards. Gulp! I hope we won’t be shopping for a super sized rug anytime soon.

The furniture will be returned, the Christmas crud will revisit transiently, and hopefully in time there’ll be parties …but the question remains, will we ban stiletto heeled guests!?

Have a lovely week and I hope the mad scramble for the last sprout isn’t too traumatic!

Bloomsbury Inspiration,Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Inspiration

Retouch Required,Rocking Dog

Retouch Required

De-clutter Now!,Rocking Dog

De-clutter Now!

Anna's Cakes,Rocking Dog

Anna’s Cakes

Anna's Script,Rocking Dog

Anna’s Script

Festive Arcade,Rocking Dog

Festive Arcade

Reg's Veg',Rocking Dog

Reg’s Veg’

Mistletoe & Onions,Rocking Dog

Mistletoe & Onions

We Will Party Again!,Rocking Dog

We Will Party Again!

The Love Of My Umbrian Kitchen

Sorrel's Laden Table,Rocking Dog

Sorrel’s Laden Table

With the cold and dampness of November in the West Country it’s lovely to remember the warmth of recent winter days spent in Umbria. Andyman and I were keen to put our stamp on No5 and spent four days climbing ladders to paint our bijoux apartment throughout.

We went to an amazing local paint shop for a vat of white emulsion. Sheets of gold leaf, glittery paints, floor paints, colourful paints, matt, gloss, egg shell, and we came out with bog standard white. Next time, yes next time!

Though Andyman’s Italian is progressing at an impressive rate it didn’t quite manage the technicalities of paint “speak”. In hindsight we rather think that the colossal vat of white was supposed to mixed with a significant quantity of water. No worries, the paint went on like PVA glue. I suddenly became a very unsplattered painter and the coverage was superb, no second coat required!

The boring bits done, we could get on and add pops of colour. As planned, the wardrobe was moved into the kitchen and transformed into a larder cupboard. Oak shelves, paint, handles and  wallpaper remnant all played their part in this up-cycle. I estimate the makeover cost just over £100 as opposed to £1,500 upwards for a JL or M&S version. In time it will have a blackboard, some hanging hooks and other larderesque refinements. Meanwhile a little bedroom table acquired with the apartment was reassigned for use as a kitchen workspace. Paint and a new handle was all that was required. Voila! my kitchen was evolving and growing.

Before leaving for Italy we commissioned  a local metalworker to make up two simple curtain poles and a batterie de cuisine (approximately £60 for the three items). Utensildom sorted!

The lovely timeworn rusty lanterns did not “make the cut” for the trip, the choice was to take the lanterns or Real Live Rocking Dog! In the event we decided on a local Italian chef/boffin to create a bespoke twisted copper light source for our living space. The lanterns do not need to look forlorn, they will be “plumbed” into Rock House at some point.

Finally the lovely frouing bits kept me busy. How often have you stayed in a holiday let with four forks between six of you, a chopping board that has seen better days or chipped plates galore? No5 therefore is definitely going to be a cooks kitchen.

We have rarely as a family done a hotel holiday, in part it’s because we all like to cook. I well remember, staying in a hotel overnight in readiness for an early morning flight and our youngest on walking into the family room asking “mummy where is the kitchen?!” Then there was the year we had a last minute deal to Madeira and by day three I was crawling the walls wanting to get my hands on a knife (a cook’s one obviously!). With a market brimming with fish and local fruit and vegetables I was desperate to whizz something up! This utter desperation may also have been slightly influenced by the retro 70’s pudding buffet on offer at the hotel. I had never witnessed such a display of wibbly blancmange, jellies, bavarois, creme caramel and other rather nasty gelatinous delicacies. Frustratingly there were banana’s growing everywhere on the island, but seemingly not one to be had in the hotel.

In our kitchen there are knives, matched china and glassware, cutlery (and yes cutlery phobic son there is some “Dragon” cutlery in the drawer) baking tins, scales, serving dishes etc..etc.. I tested the oven by baking a cake and made a little list of kitchenalia yet to buy. Cooking generally leads to eating, and so at times with the nights getting shorter and more nippy we ate inside (Sorrel and Liv’s laden table was a seasonal, locally produced highlight), but there were sunny warm opportunities where eating outside was simply perfect.

There are still bits to do. The kitchen table has had its legs painted in jolly “Mister David” and it awaits equally cheery chairs to join it in the spring. I loved some ladder back inspiration in Lerici. Andyman and I went to relive our youth there momentarily. It was 35 years since we were last in the pretty coastal town, back then we camped, ate frozen calamari, drank Lambrusco, sweltered in the scorching heat and got bitten alive by mosi’s!

Last night at the kennel I could not find the can opener for love nor money. Somewhat frustratingly I know a drawer in a far off land where I have two!

 

 

Paint Those Chairs, Rocking Dog

Paint Those Chairs

Ladder-back Inspiration!,Rocking Dog

Ladder-back Inspiration!

Let's Think,Rocking Dog

Let’s Think

Little Black Book,Rocking Dog

Little Black Book

Workspace,Rocking Dog

Workspace

Wardrobe To Larder,Rocking Dog

Wardrobe To Larder

Utensildom!,Rocking Dog

Utensildom!

Kitchen View,Rocking Dog

Kitchen View

Breakfast Spot,Rocking Dog

Breakfast Spot

l

Tying Up All The Loose Ends

Tying Up The Loose Ends...Those Blinds!, Rocking Dog

Tying Up The Loose Ends…Those Blinds!

Like the swallows that have gone on ahead of us, we are heading south. It’s been a couple of days of tying up all the loose ends. So….the three Roman blinds which have mathematically troubled me, are complete. I have left comprehensive instructions for my boy and hope that the lovebirds will figure out the mechanics of blind hanging. I rather think a very helpful and DIY savvy father in law will take them in hand. I hope my mathematics and perfect folds will be celebrated!

Meanwhile there have been presents to wrap and send. I loved the zoo animal wallpaper found in a John Lewis oddment bin. I added an alphabet Christmas decoration, an Anthropologie purchase. Meanwhile a Rocking Dog Advent calendar is winging its way up to Northumberland for a new little family. I know it’s early but there’ll be plenty of time to choose lots of lovely little trinkets to fill those pockets. No, Michael….. NO!

The Fridge needs de-fooding so there are various cunning Rocking Dog “bottom of the fridge recipes” to use up all that veg’. Soups, savoury crumbles and a large tray of roasted vegetables are favourites.

As for the packing it’s scary, and makes Andyman very tutty and grumbly! The big question is will those lanterns make the cut!

Mother To Son Wisdom, Rocking Dog

Mother To Son Wisdom

Plain To See, Rocking Dog

Plain To See

Clear The Fridge, Rocking Dog

Clear The Fridge

Last Minute Wrap, Rocking Dog

Last Minute Wrap

Another Wrap, Rocking Dog

Another Wrap

Will They Make The Cut?, Rocking Dog

Will They Make The Cut?

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

Top Ten New Year Resolutions

Anyone For A Dip In The Neighbours Pool?, Rocking Dog

Anyone For A Dip In The Neighbours Pool?

I didn’t make any resolutions -I know just how futile it is! In the Family section (love it) of Saturday’s Guardian they printed The Top 10 modern New Year resolutions (OVO Energy Survey 2014). Surprisingly, slimming down to a size 10 was not one of them, nor getting fit by swimming in the neighbours pool.

The Top 10 are as follows:-
1. Declutter the house. Mmmmm- I can but try on that one
2. Save More Money. Andyman bought me a well equipped tool bag for Christmas, maybe I can fit the new toilet and basin, and while i’m about it tile the floor.
3. Try new places instead of relying on the same old bars/restaurants. Guilty as charged my lord!
4. Read more books. Very thick Nordic Cook Book awaits me, and then as a result of reading the tome no doubt a house move to Sweden.
5. Redecorate house/room. Our house is like the Forth Rail Bridge but crumblier. We keep Farrow & Ball shareholders happy.
6. Take Up new hobby. I want to write a R4 play based on my mother in law. Yes really.
7. Sell old stuff I don’t need. Strange but true, we have a bed we need to sell under the new bed we have recently bought.
8. Visit five new places I have never been. UK Hit list- Derek Jarman’s garden Dungeness, St Ives, Rye, Alnwick, Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House.
9. Vow to be positive. OK that is until I witness rudeness,fly-tipping/littering, Donald Trump, my daughter being repeatedly gazumped by buy to let investors , Z lister celebrities & so called reality shows, together with sexism, racism or homophobia (back to Donald Trump again!). Grrrrr!
10. Stop complaining as much. Who me?!

I hope if you have made resolutions that you’ll be successful in achieving whatever goal you have set yourself. Now… I better go and find that tool bag…!

Yep! Love The Pig, Rocking Dog

Yep! Love The Pig

Decluttered... Honest!, Rocking Dog

Decluttered… Honest!

Bedtime Scandi' Tome, Rocking Dog

Bedtime Scandi’ Tome

Sell Old Stuff, Rocking Dog

Sell Old Stuff

Redecorate, Rocking Dog

Redecorate

Glass Half Full, Rocking Dog

Glass Half Full

Brass Polishing At Dawn!

Brassy Llama, Rocking Dog

Brassy Llama

With so much to deal with at the moment, I am finding that sleep doesn’t come easily. So at 5am on Wednesday I decided to do some brass polishing to see in the dawn of a new day. Sometimes it’s sewing, at times ironing, cake icing, and other times rubbish TV, but this 5 am I gave my attention to the new -old brass bed for youngest girls room.

It looks as if she’s coming home at the weekend, so the intricate scrollwork was polished with Brasso and a good sprinkling of elbow grease. The detail of this bed is simply lovely. Detailed finials, brass grapes, ostentatious swirls and of course a magnificent beast make this bed so bizarre and unique. So is the mythical animal a llama, mountain goat or deer one wonders. After 1 1/2 hours the bed took on a glow as the first bits of the dawn snuck in. After my black fingered labours I crept back into bed to seek just a little slumber.

Much later, the bed was given a deep sprung mattress and a goose feather quilt. Dressed with crisp white linen, I was finally able to lay out my latest patchwork quilt. It will lay in wait for the raw snowy winter nights when that extra snuggly layer is needed. I give each of my quilts a quote on it’s ticking underside, this one reads “The dank night is sweeping down from the sky and the setting stars incline our heads to sleep” (Virgil)

Sorrel has asked me to sew her a quilt, and I have been gathering together delicious vintage fabrics, including a heavily embroidered Arts & Crafts curtain. It will hopefully move into a house she and husband are hoping to buy in London. I think the patchwork quote will have to somehow reflect just how difficult it has been to enter the London property market (and I appreciate that they are VERY lucky). The speculative and greedy buy to let investors, the astronomical prices, the stressful open days, manipulative estate agents and surveys which flag up WW2 bomb damage have all taken their toll over the last year! Weekends looking for an affordable (!) place to live in, will fingers crossed soon be replaced with frenzied DIY and homemaking. Back to the quilt, I think it will be an after Christmas project. I will so enjoy piecing together fabrics of childhood, home, and scavenging forays. Watch this space for another Rocking Dog heirloom quilt!

An early start will have beckoned as you read this. I will have been down to the St Philips Wholesale Fruit and Flower Market to gather supplies of mistletoe and other wintry flora for a wedding arch I am frouing for a wedding on Saturday. I am excited and apprehensive in equal measure regarding the task which lies ahead- I so love working with flowers and foliage.

PS. It is with regret that I will not be attending the Vintage and Handmade Fair at Chipping Sodbury this Saturday. Life has been truly chaotic and I felt doing this event just a step too far. Sorry.

However, I am still confident that the sale at the Rocking Dog Kennel on Sunday 13th will go ahead, and I so look forward to seeing you. Please contact me if you would like further details.

Swirling Scrollwork, Rocking Dog

Swirling Scrollwork

The View!, Rocking Dog

The View!

 Lookin' Good Llama!, Rocking Dog

Lookin’ Good Llama!

Polished Sunrise, Rocking Dog

Polished Sunrise

From Folded, Rocking Dog

From Folded

..To Turned Back, Rocking Dog

..To Turned Back

The Colours Of A West Country Autumn

Daring Charlotte's Locks, Rocking Dog

Daring Charlotte’s Locks

Ahhh! the Colours of a West Country Autumn. Over the weekend I have bravely, or some would say madly brushed some autumnal cheer to the Rocking Dog Kennel!

Oh! when I opened that F & B tin I rather did think “what are you doing you stupid woman!” I really didn’t have very much time to contemplate, as very soon I was having a lovely phone call with a friend. I managed to paint the entire staircase from floor to low dado rail, with phone balanced on my shoulder. We talked life patchwork, sewn patchwork, children, vintage stuff, dogs, holiday, garden etc… Thank you Stephanie for your valuable life coaching- how much do I owe you?!

Being preoccupied with phone chat I had no time to dither, stand back, or sigh heavily about the hallucinogenic paint decision. I think it will possibly be one of those jolly colours which will have a brief moment of autumn/ winter glory, before being forsaken for something a little more conservative. I sincerely hope it is more 70’s vibe than being reminiscent of that nasty 90’s phase of terracotta. I was quite amused that Andyman on his return from a weekend in Dartmouth took a little time to notice the change from white to orange!

It was such a glorious weekend, cold dewy blue skied mornings and still star studded and full mooned nights. In between, welcome warmth, sun, trees laden with fruits to be harvested and the changing colours of hedgerows, fields and woodland. It really is something worth cherishing.

As we head from September into October I wish you a very happy autumnal week.

70's Party Vibe!, Rocking Dog

70’s Party Vibe!

Pumpkin Plot, Rocking Dog

Pumpkin Plot

The Apples Are Ripe, Rocking Dog

The Apples Are Ripe

Autumnal Blue, Rocking Dog

Autumnal Blue

Bountiful Crab Apple, Rocking Dog

Bountiful Crab Apple

Pick Of The Crop, Rocking Dog

Pick Of The Crop