Tag Archives: Laura Ashley

A Quick Rocking Dog Birthday Wrap

Pieces Of Eight!,Rocking Dog

Pieces Of Eight!

A quick Rocking Dog Birthday wrap. I still maintain it is quicker to sew a present into its wrap than using scissors and tape. My latest wrap was done with a piece of jolly wallpaper. I found a £5 oddment roll found in Laura Ashley and had ideas that I could make table runners which children could colour in at a party. The bold print would also lend itself to making hats, wall banners and other party paraphernalia.

George Pig goggles and swim shorts sewn into their wrap, I adorned the parcel with a plastic fish (a piece of flotsam and jetsam from Weston Super Mare).A tag was stamped and gingham ribbon tied. The final flourish was a trove of foil wrapped chocolate coins. I attached these with double sided tape. Voila!

Rocking Dog loves a bit of innovative wrapping and so I thought i’d dig out some archive Rocking Dog images. Cake cases, ripped magazines, brochures, old books, ribbon, string and stamps are all favourite flotsam and jetsam for hoarding Rocking Dog!

Fish & Label,Rocking Dog

Fish & Label

Christmas Coins,Rocking Dog

Christmas Coins

Past Wrapping,Rocking Dog

Past Wrapping

Little Acorns,Rocking Dog

Little Acorns

Spring Wrap,Rocking Dog

Spring Wrap

Tea Towel Wrapped, Rocking Dog

Tea Towel Wrapped

Cash Wrap,Rocking Dog

Cash Wrap

Cake Case Adornment,Rocking Dog

Cake Case Adornment

Comic Book Parcel,Rocking Dog

Comic Book Parcel

Rocking Dog Home Making Tips

Spruce With Cushions, Rocking Dog

Spruce With Cushions

Being pretty vintage myself I have over the years become more accomplished at home making. Here follows some of my favourite tips in creating a creative home on a budget.

For the last two decades I have kept little black books – predominantly Moleskines which store all sorts of information and inspiration. Travels, ancestry, museum postcards, copious notes about all manner of things and decorating notes. On the home front, I like to keep window measurements for each room. These are useful if stores such as John Lewis or Laura Ashley have sales of display curtains and blinds. My black book also contains mini mood boards/room schemes with paint samples, fabric snippets and magazine inspiration. It is great to return to the book to discover a paint colour when walls or woodwork need touching up. It is so easy to forget the paint used, especially when painting rooms in a variety of shades of white! No doubt in the age of technology, information can be stored on a phone or tablet…but I am a vintage dinosaur after all!

Trade skills. On occasions I have traded skills with friends. One friend made some fabulous bedroom curtains and a rocking ball skirt for my daughters prom in return for food for two grown up parties.

I am a great poker around in fabric remnant and wallpaper oddment bins! Again, Laura Ashley and John Lewis are good, together with small interior design shops. Some of the wallpapers I have purchased would normally retail at over £100, but I have paid a bargainous £5-£10 a roll. One roll is sometimes enough to do a feature wall, to line cupboards or to paper a tiny room. I managed to paper my lobby with gilded monkey Fornasetti paper for £5! Additionally I use pretty papers throughout the year for gift wrapping and as table runners for parties. As for the fabric remnant bin, small single display curtains sometimes end up in the JL remnant bin for around £5. The curtain can be deconstructed and made into a blind for a bathroom or made into a whole host of useful items (dressing up clothes for children, drawstring bags, cushions etc..). Like anything sometimes you can be lucky and others there’s not a thing to be had!

Somewhat ashamedly I am a self confessed paint snob, and there’s nothing more that I love than a Farrow and Ball paint chart!
When it came to painting the exterior of the house I wanted F&B’s Dead Salmon. Alas, the coffers were not that big! Therefore, we had the colour matched and mixed at Homebase in a Dulux Weathershield exterior paint. This proved to be at a fraction of the cost of the Farrow and Ball. To further save on costs we painted the house ourself, 90 litres and two coats, whilst scaling scaffolding it was a pretty epic summer.

Other paint tips are to permanent marker pen the paint lids with what the paint was used for, i.e..kitchen ceiling, lounge skirting boards. If you can psychologically bear it, store used paint tins upside down to prevent a skin forming.

If money is tight and you can’t decorate a room for the time being, give the room a really good spring clean, de-clutter, add a few well chosen but inexpensive accessories (a new throw, cushions etc..) and a vase of fresh flowers. It’s amazing how much better a room feels with sparkling clean windows and hoovered floors. Our bathroom needs a bit of an overhaul but for the time being I have given it a coat of paint ( F&B Stiffkey Blue ) and added some bold floral curtains which were previously hung in a bedroom. It certainly feels better.

More tips to follow in a future post, in the meantime have you any good tips to pass on? Please share them.

Little Black Book, Rocking Dog

Little Black Book

£5 Gilded Monkeys, Rocking Dog

£5 Gilded Monkeys

Loose Ends Tied Up

Marmalade potted and Bloomsburyfied!, Rocking Dog

Marmalade potted and Bloomsburyfied!

The week has started with tying up loose ends. Thus, the Marmalade was labelled and frou’d, more recipes transcribed and a small pile of drawstring bags completed.

My Bloomsbury Marmalade gained ties and pot covers cut from a fabric which was originally designed by Duncan Grant, one of the Bloomsberry Group. In 1986 Laura Ashley reproduced some of these designs and filled the shop with wallpapers, fabrics, rugs, borders and lamps. I bought some of these fabrics, wallpapers and borders in sales. I also bought display curtains and they have dressed some of our windows ever since. In the last couple of years Laura Ashley has re-released a more scaled down range at unfortunately non 1986 prices! A few years ago I was very fortunate to find some L.A. Queen Mary linen fabric (featured in main photo) in an Indian fabric shop in Bristol for £1 a yard. You will learn I love a good bargain!

The transcription of my original 1846 cookery book is going slowly but enjoyably. I have gleaned what a hair sieve is amongst other things. Can you believe there were sieves which had a gauze made of horse hair? The recipe for Tomato sauce sounds quite delicious and involves oven roasting the tomatoes overnight. I think I might have a go at the recipe, but unfortunately won’t have a hair sieve to pass the mixture through.

As for my drawstring bags, they are ready to take off to a far flung beach or be hung on Shaker style pegs. Made from vintage gingham and table linen they are lined with a cheery polka dot remnant. Part of the Rocking Dog summer range complete!

Difficult Transcription, Rocking Dog

Difficult Transcription

Looking For The Sun, Rocking Dog

Looking For The Sun