Tag Archives: Gingham

Rocking Dog Thinks Ahead To A Chocolatey Easter!

Are You Ready For An Egg Hunt? Rocking Dog

Are You Ready For An Egg Hunt?

I got a little bit carried away thinking about a chocolatey Easter. The vibrant blossom everywhere set me mulling over all those forthcoming opportunities to gather flowers, select pretty foil wrapped eggs and making indulgent Rocking Dog bakes for friends and neighbours. Admittedly Easter is still a little way away but there is nothing wrong with a little bit of planning, hunting and gathering! As we left Umbria our local patisserie Michele & Co was beginning to put out Easter loveliness. Crisp white tissue papered packages were embellished with silk flowers, wool, lace, ribbon and twine. His styling is inspirational as are his delicious sweet offerings.

Yesterday I made pretty lined bags for going on a future egg hunt. Gingham was selected as the structured pattern is perfect to use as guidelines for sewing lines of braid and ribbons. I added appliqué eggs and the linings came from a vintage embroidered tablecloth. The bags constructed, I used lace for handles and finally sewed some pretty vintage buttons for extra frou factor.

My favourite garden in the village is in full flourish. It is wild and lovely. Narcissi, Tete de Tete, Daffodils and Fritillaria push through the grass in generous clumps. The garden is bordered by Japonica, Camelia, Catkin and fruit trees. Its organic wild nature makes me smile… always. After cutting back hedges neatly in Italy I had that moment of bad haircut regret! A degree of shagginess and un-eveness definitely gives a garden an air of mystery and romance. This local garden has romance and whimsy aplenty. I can definitely imagine a good egg hunt there.

Oooh I feel a Chocolat moment coming on!

By the way the next Rocking Dog creative Huddle will be on Wednesday 29th March 7-9pm. All welcome. Delicious homemade cake, chat and creativity. Donations into the teapot with a percentage to Fine Cell Work supporting prison inmates to sew wonderful things.

Spring Branches,Rocking Dog

Spring Branches

My Blooming Garden,Rocking Dog

My Blooming Garden

Favourite Garden,Rocking Dog

Favourite Garden

Easter Kitsch,Rocking Dog

Easter Kitsch

Embellished Brownies,Rocking Dog

Embellished Brownies

Vintage Stash,Rocking Dog

Vintage Stash

Michele's Easter Frou!,Rocking Dog

Michele’s Easter Frou!

Calorie Free!,Rocking Dog

Calorie Free!

They're Going On An Egg Hunt!, Rocking Dog

They’re Going On An Egg Hunt!

Owning Up To A Few More Dec’s

Retro Window Ledge,Rocking Dog

Retro Window Ledge

The shops are reducing their prices on Christmas decorations, Yay! Rocking Dog finds it impossible to resist just a few little ones! There are some turquoise glass bauble pagoda’s, rusty pink glittery pine cones and shimmery toadstools. There is also a lovely tasseled banner proclaiming “Merry Jolly Happy Falalalalala”, whatever that means!

I find it difficult to restrict myself to a single festive theme, thus the table is very nordic with white plates, glass domes, reindeer and budding hyacinths. Meanwhile further up the room there is a window ledge full of childhood memories. Boxes of 60’s baubles, the fairy lights that used to trail around the Christmas tree at home and the tacky Chinese import decorations. Of course we all know that the kitchen is hung with massive glittery carrots. I’m going to miss them when they head into the attic!

When I was in Stockholm two years ago decorations were predominantly red and white, festively and tastefully beautiful. I have emulated a bit of Scandi’ by dressing some little Bay Tree plants with simple squares of red and white gingham tied with rustic string. Presently adorning the windows at the front of the house, in the Spring I will plant them in the garden. I am tempted to try my hand at creating some topiary.

Still outside, every Christmas I make a simple kissing bough out of two wire coat hangers. I twist long strands of ivy around my frame and when the wire is completely concealed by the foliage I add an apple. I use a darning needle threaded with fishing line, and then suspend the apple from the centre of the frame. Ribbon and mistletoe are added as a final flourish. Kissing boughs like this have been made for midwinter festivities from ancient times.

My door is normally decked with a bunch of mistletoe, but this year finds itself with a bell wreath. I bought it in the spring in TK Maxx for £3. The plan was to deconstruct it and add in other things….. but..!

There are a few more little decorations coming. A box containing decorations which look like pastel coloured Macaron are eagerly awaited.

I hope all your preparations for the weekend are going well and that any journeys will be safe ones.

Scandi Inspiration,Rocking Dog

Scandi Inspiration

My Scandi, Rocking Dog

My Scandi

£3 Wreath,Rocking Dog

£3 Wreath

New Pagoda & Banner,Rocking Dog

New Pagoda & Banner

Natural Embellishment,Rocking Dog

Natural Embellishment

Kissing Bough,Rocking Dog

Kissing Bough

Rocking Dog Cuts Out Christmas Stockings…Again!

Vintage Loveliness Ready For Sewing, Rocking Dog

Vintage Loveliness Ready For Sewing

Rocking Dog decided to use the stash of fabrics bought at the Vintage Jumble on Saturday. So on my workbench the lovely Pooh fabric has been cut into stocking shapes ready to be sewn. The stockings will have cheery green & white gingham linings and will be embellished with some lovely frou! I have also cut stockings from a bright 60’s print. This little piece of fabric has been stashed on Material Mountain for a long time. A green check tablecloth bought at the jumble will provide the linings. More Marie Antoinette pretty feet boots have been cut, and in due course will be embellished with buckles, French ribbon and bobbles. Perhaps if I leave everything out on my work bench something magical will happen, those little mice in Beatrix Potter’s “The Tailor of Gloucester” will sew and embroider my stockings exquisitely!

Christmas really doesn’t need to be all about green, red and gold. It can be about French toiles, 50’s and 60’s prints, crewelwork and Pooh! I know it’s really early to be sewing such festive wares but shops are like Boy Scouts, they like to be prepared….dib,dib,dib!

No,no,no….. absolutely no Michael!

Vintage Jumble Fabrics, Rocking Dog

Vintage Jumble Fabrics

More Pretty Feet!, Rocking Dog

More Pretty Feet!

Ribbon Stash, Rocking Dog

Ribbon Stash

Embellish, Rocking Dog

Embellish

Festive Stash, Rocking Dog

Festive Stash

Material Mountain, Rocking Dog

Material Mountain

Rocking Dog’s Easter Treats

Rocking Dog Easter Tableau, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Easter Tableau

Rocking Dog’s Easter treats are spilling out onto the dining table, creating a lovely seasonal tableau.

Pre Easter gifting includes a tray of gooey batch of chocolate brownie, Nigella’s recipe of course! Speckled eggs and a light dusting of icing sugar make a pretty addition to the delectable squares. Chocolate lollipops were quickly run up using white chocolate, miniature eggs and sticks (Lakeland and John Lewis supply these). Once set in the fridge the pretty ‘pops are bedecked with ribbon. Arrange in a lovely vintage jug or group in cellophane bags. An egg plaque (Poundland) with its coating of hundreds and thousands was enhanced with a piped iced message.

A food parcel of luxury hot cross buns, apricot conserve, Easter biscuits and chocolate bunnies are wrapped in cellophane and a band of paper. I am still using up my supply of M&S Adventures in Food magazines. The parcel is completed with twine and hand written luggage label.

Other gifts are simply wrapped in crisp white tissue paper and bedecked with the contents from an Easter photo-booth pack (£3 Sainsbury’s). I love the battery operated egg fairy lights ( a bargainous £1 from Poundland).

Non chocolatey gifts include gorgeous pink tulips bound with a generous swag of polka dot ribbon, and pots of cheery Tete de Tete (69p Lidl). I used squares of vintage green gingham and twine to frou the plastic pots.

It’s not quite time for the Easter bunnies, but Real Live Rocking Dog and his friend Zac enjoyed donning some bunny ears in the hope of receiving a dog friendly Easter treat!

Food Parcel, Rocking Dog

Food Parcel

Gooey Easter Brownie, Rocking Dog

Gooey Easter Brownie

Yum!, Rocking Dog

Yum!

My Boy Lollipop!, Rocking Dog

My Boy Lollipop!

Easter Wrap, Rocking Dog

Easter Wrap

Easter Florals, Rocking Dog

Easter Florals

Party Rings, Rocking Dog

Party Rings

Hundreds & Thousands, Rocking Dog

Hundreds & Thousands

Easter Bunnies!, Rocking Dog

Easter Bunnies!

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