Tag Archives: Michael Buble

A Lost Rocking Dog Fortnight In Pictures.

The Rabbit, Rocking Dog & The Wardrobe, Rocking Dog

The Rabbit, Rocking Dog & The Wardrobe

Where have you been Rocking Dog? Chasing my tail, yes chasing my tail! Broken sleep has meant writing my blog has been difficult to contemplate. That doesn’t mean to say I haven’t been busy, I have managed to find some creative fuel! So this post is dedicated to the lost Rocking Dog fortnight.

Last week I took my 86 year old neighbour clothes shopping in Bath. I hope I have as much style and verve for life as Molly if I’m still around at 80 plus! In between octogenarian Gok styling, I managed to nip into “Anthropologie”. I left Molly downstairs with a VERY patient and friendly member of staff whilst I legged it upstairs for knobs. Sale knobs were quickly chosen, Bloomsbury inspired ones for my Bloomsbury inspired painted doors and whimsical porcelain rabbits for a wardrobe (more on that later!) We ended our trip in Waterstone’s. Molly was so happy…with her bags of clothes and books. Good job!

Another morning was spent with another friend in Tetbury. We made a beeline for “Domestic Science” where we drank coffee and ate cake before perusing four or five floors of vintage loveliness. If I ever win money Andyman can head to the car showroom (isn’t that what every man would do? excuse the stereotype) and I would head to Tetbury for antiques. I spied a particularly lovely set of Swedish chairs, but didn’t even bother to glance at the price tag!

Other vintage moments included chancing upon “Rag and Bone” in Bristol. This just could very well be my new favourite shop. I bought a lovely set of bobbly brass curtain rings for ¬£10, whether they’ll be used for curtains or incorporated into Christmas decorations remains to be seen. After “Rag and Bone” Liv and I headed to River station for eats. The previous evening we had eaten the first mince pie of the season, a little Harrod’s number. Sorry and excuse my boastfulness I still think Rocking Dog’s mince pies win hands down! No Michael, no, it really isn’t time yet.

Talking of pies I made chicken pies in traditional enamel dishes for a night with friends. A retro 70’s dessert followed, Chestnut Turinois. The wood burner was stoked and we celebrated the start of autumn and enjoyed the joys of friendship and the circle of life.

The daily walks with Real Live Rocking Dog have been wonderful with blue skies and a plethora of wildlife. Deer, the heron, kingfishers, moorhens and ducks intermingle with the joy of observing leaves turning to rust and copper hues. Just as Real Live Rocking Dog begins to enjoy his warm woolly coat he is destined for the dog groomers later this morning. He’ll need a sleeker cooler coat ready for his road trip to Italy later this week.

Poor Andyman is getting rather perturbed by the amount of stuff destined for Umbria. I seem to think his car is like a Tardis. Of course unlike Dr Who’s iconic Tardis, our car is not deceptively spacious! Included in the haul are oak shelves and paint, together with the rabbit handles to make a wardrobe into a larder cupboard. Is this genius or madness, only time will tell!

This week I am expecting 300 jars to arrive. At some point these will need to be filled with delicious things. Is it too ambitious to pickle and preserve this week, somehow I think so. Perhaps I can bring back prized Capri lemons to marmalade, preserve and pickle. I am enjoying the brilliant book “The Land Where The Lemons Grow” by Helena Attlee. I always thought a lemon was simply a lemon…..but it is simply not.

In December I am momentarily coming out of Heaven’s Cake retirement and am rustling up a vintage wedding for a lovely couple. Stupendous cakes, vintage china, steaming mugs of cranberry zinger and of course the obligatory pots of tea. It will be perfectly lovely, especially if there is a dusting of snow.

One of the loveliest tasks over the last week or two has been to work on a quilt with my brave friend. She gallantly cross stitched and embroidered panels to insert into a play mat. It now resides across the pond with her new scrummy little grandson. So much strength, so much love, so much care to behold. x

So there it is a potted history of the last two weeks- well the nicer bits. A John Lewis member of staff and I fleetingly talked about tasks such as laundry, cleaning, shopping etc.. being so damned time consuming and yet so annoyingly unconstructive. It always feels feeble describing how you have spent a few hours just doing domestic dross! However I am not complaining, hallelujah for automatic washing machines, dish washers and cordless vacuum cleaners, yes absolutely blooming hallelujah!

Have a great week and hope there is not too much domestic dross to deal with in your household.

Bloomsbury Knobs, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Knobs

Bloomsbury Door, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Door

New Haunt, Rocking Dog

New Haunt

Bobbly Brass, Rocking Dog

Bobbly Brass

Lovely Lunch, Rocking Dog

Lovely Lunch

Mince Pie Tasting!,Rocking Dog

Mince Pie Tasting!

Prefer Mine!, Rocking Dog

Prefer Mine!

Chicken Pie, Rocking Dog

Chicken Pie

Autumnal Daily Walk, Rocking Dog

Autumnal Daily Walk

Creative Hub, Rocking Dog

Creative Hub

Domestic Science, Rocking Dog

Domestic Science

Jars To Fill, Rocking Dog

Jars To Fill

Wedding Food, Rocking Dog

Wedding Food

Stoking The Fire, Rocking Dog

Stoking The Fire

Sewing Something Special, Rocking Dog

Sewing Something Special

Ottolenghi Vegetarian Feast At The Kennel

Hummus a la "Jerusalem", Rocking Dog

Hummus a la “Jerusalem”

There was an Ottolenghi Vegetarian Feast at the kennel last night. Vegetarian food really doesn’t have to mean an eggy quiche or lasagne. My culinary high priest Yotam O’ includes many fantastic vegetarian recipes in all his tomes.

Before eating we walked three dogs along the Frome and the “boys” all seemed to rub along quite well.

Inspired by the sharing feast enjoyed at the Souk Kitchen, I created a table of sharing plates for our guests. Baby spinach salad with dates & almonds, Caramelised fig, orange and feta salad, Spicy beetroot,leek & walnut salad were offered together with Hummus and Burnt aubergine with garlic, lemon & pomegranate seeds. Time unfortunately ran out to make flat breads so shop bought bread had to suffice.

Pudding was a repeat performance of the Middle Eastern tiramisu. Just to over-gild the goose we broke open a bottle of dessert wine.

A supremely musically gifted guest, i’m afraid what I know about music can be written on the back of a postage stamp! He was very kind, even when the conversation tipped into how many of my Christmas links are Michael Buble related, cringe! And wife guest, an amazing eye, amazing house and so much knowledge of dog behaviour. Thankfully Real Live Rocking Dog was not on too grumpy form, and unlike Saturday didn’t choose to roll in any wet cow pats! That’s my boy.

One of the best things about the evening? Yippee there are leftovers, I won’t have to cook tonight!

Table Set, Rocking Dog

Table Set

Vintage Table Chic, Rocking Dog

Vintage Table Chic

Napkin Ring, Rocking Dog

Napkin Ring

Caramelising Figs, Rocking Dog

Caramelising Figs

Aubergine Magic, Rocking Dog

Aubergine Magic

Ottolenghi Yumminess!, Rocking Dog

Ottolenghi Yumminess!

Distant Leeks, Rocking Dog

Distant Leeks

Spinach Salad, Rocking Dog

Spinach Salad

Repeat Performance, Rocking Dog

Repeat Performance

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

Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening…..

Rocking Dog Stocking Tops, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Stocking Tops

…..in the lane snow is glistening, a beautiful sight etc.. etc.. Enough of that, it’s just that i’ve been making Christmas stockings.

At times it’s good to seek solitude and contemplation. A little bit of yesterday I shut myself away with Beloved Bernina and a bit of Radio 4 catch up. I was meant to get on with THE wedding coat, but it simply felt too challenging with so many thoughts circulating. Today is another day!

Fabrics were sought on Material Mountain and away I went with some festive sewing. I love mixing pattern with pattern, so chose my main fabrics and then selected check and ticking for linings. As I happily sewed I decided that I wanted to name my stockings, strange but true. The vintage American nursery print really reminded me of the story of Johnny Appleseed, whilst the French Toile de Jouy made me think of Napoleon Bonaparte!

After a succession of traditional stocking shapes I decided to try a heeled boot shaped stocking. I drew out a shape for the boot on a large piece of cardboard, this would serve as a template. Fabric cut in main and lining fabrics I then got sewing! Bobbles, ribbon hanging loop and decorative buckle finished this eccentric little boot. Not bequeathed with the largest of openings this stocking is crying out to be filled with mere trinkets, baubles and jewels, perfect for Marie Antoinette!

No sorry Michael it really isn’t time for you yet!

Homage To Scotland, Rocking Dog

Homage To Scotland

Vintage Toile, Rocking Dog

Vintage Toile

American Nursery Print, Rocking Dog

American Nursery Print

Slimline Stocking, Rocking Dog

Slimline Stocking

Vintage Threads, Rocking Dog

Vintage Threads

Dainty Foot, Rocking Dog

Dainty Foot

Vive La France!, Rocking Dog

Vive La France!

Oh So Pretty!, Rocking Dog

Oh So Pretty!

Don't Forget Me!, Rocking Dog

Don’t Forget Me!

Wishing Myself Cold With Christmas Dec’s!

Sugar Plum Ballerina's, Rocking Dog

Sugar Plum Ballerina’s

Anyone who knows me will know that I am not the greatest lover of hot temperatures. Thus, poor Andyman is subjected to taking holidays with me in November, or to places with Arctic climates. However, in March 2016 I am putting myself through a hot adventure and I sincerely hope that I will live to tell the tale! Maybe this current heatwave provides me with the perfect opportunity to try and acclimatise. Thank you to Wendy at Dorchester Travel for building our itinerary, and booking what hopefully will be a truly memorable experience. Bless You!

Yesterday I tried to wish myself cold with tackling some Christmas projects. I didn’t quite put Michael Buble on….. but.. I did rather yearn for the snow pictured in many of my Christmassy craft and cookery books I was pawing over.

Beautifully knitted Rowan wool fairy cakes (unfortunately not my handiwork) were in need of frouing with ballerina’s, gold thread and a sprinkling of fairy dust. Frouing completed they were then cosseted in sheets of snowy white tissue paper and were magic’d away until the festive season.

Of course Last Christmas many more of these sugar plum fairy cakes found their way onto the silver spoon tree (view the Rocking Dog Christmas archive posts). Happily, many found loving homes in London, Bath and Bristol away from that awful conifer!

Incidentally, the circus decorations are from the talented Dougie Scott, and of course they never get stashed away in the Christmas boxes.

So what cunning cold inducing plan will Rocking Dog come up with next?!

Gilding The Cherry!, Rocking Dog

Gilding The Cherry!

Embellished!, Rocking Dog

Embellished!

Last Christmas!, Rocking Dog

Last Christmas!