Tag Archives: Mistletoe

Rocking Dog Still Pickling and Jellying!

Getting Pickled!, Rocking Dog

Getting Pickled!

Rocking Dog is making the most of the crab apple harvest. Organically grown crab apples have been cooked with cider vinegar and rosemary. The pulp is now being allowed to drip slowly, slowly, slowly through a jelly bag. Juice extracted, the mixture will be returned to the pan and sugar will be added. Voila – jelly will be produced. I think it’s going to be a glorious colour. The jelly would be wonderful served with lamb and a great alternative to mint sauce.

Another batch or two of pickles will be cooked up and then it really will be time to Frou the kennel. Thankfully we don’t need to go far to buy a tree and mistletoe. How nostalgic it would be to pull the tree through the snow on a sledge. I know i’m a sentimental old fool!

There will be some wonderful apple juice for sale on Sunday. Produced by the boys with the gorgeous Mr McGregor style vegetable patch, the juice is made from old apple varieties. Buy some for Christmas for those souls who are driving. They will certainly not feel shortchanged.

Crab Apple Harvest,Rocking Dog

Crab Apple Harvest

Jolly Lids,Rocking Dog

Jolly Lids

The Lightning Strike, Get Me Connected!

Calm After The Storm, Rocking Dog

Calm After The Storm

Sorry I have been away so long. We had a lightning strike about ten days ago and it has taken out our internet. I really have missed doing my Rocking Dog blog, and normal service has yet to resume. Come on BT I need to be connected!

Thankfully I have been busy with various projects so haven’t had too many blogging withdrawal symptoms. Beloved Bernina has been busy making a dog bed for Real Live Rocking Dog and there are the beginnings of a Roman blind. Unfortunately the blind project has come to a bit of a grinding halt as it requires some mathematically challenging calculations. I strongly believe I have dyscalculia… sounds tragically painful, but is numeracy dyslexia. I want to campaign to have symbols on cashpoint machines rather than numbers (i.e., duck, ball, heart etc…). Every time I go to a cash machine I am sent into a blind panic regarding whether I will have remembered my number or not. I’d rather not remember the fact that my bedroom walls were plastered with gigantium times table posters for years in the faint hope i’d remember at least my 2x table! So… back to the blind, it remains in pieces until I give myself the space to work through the figures!

Various wedding projects have kept me on my toes, addressing envelopes, sewing 130 cutlery pockets and de-Christmas’ing some huge lanterns. The lanterns bought for £13 each in TK Maxx have gone from festive red to chalky Annie Sloan white. Result! Unfortunately, I have also had my first sleepless night worrying about the enormity of doing the wedding food for 120 guests. It really will be fine. It’s just that i’m not very good at rationalising anything when it’s pitch black and i’m wanting sleep. It will be more than fine it will be AMAZING… and i’m hopeful that i’ll even remember to pull off my pinny before heading into the church. It’s a while off yet … so I hope sleep mode will kick in without any more thoughts of serving platters, refrigeration, sourcing ingredients, logistics etc…!

Post- storm I found myself back in Weston Super Mare again. It was a fabulous day with clear blue skies and welcome sunshine. Following the high stormy tides, swathes of flotsam and jetsam littered the beach. How I love beach foraging, and my trove included shells, peach stones, pebbles and abandoned toys. Dried out, the treasures are housed in a glass jar waiting to be used for some future project.

Another walk took me to the Ashton Court Estate. Nipping winds and dramatic grey skies dominated this walk, but Real Live Rocking Dog didn’t seem to mind. I loved the huge balls of mistletoe swaying in the wind smugly. They had mystically escaped the 2015 Christmas cull.

With various celebrations to wrap for, I loved picking up the latest edition of M&S Adventures (Spring) freebie paper. It prettily and stylishly wrapped birthday and Valentine’s gifts for free.

My Stanley tool bag so thoughtfully bought for me by Andyman has come into its own this week. I finally adorned the dressing table with the agate handles and mended the cooker (ooh …. my language!!) On the subject of homemaking, I am LOVING The Great Interior Design Challenge (BBC2) at the moment.

The most boring achievement of the week has to be the fact that I have clean kitchen cupboards. No more plastic tubs tumbling out to cause the most terrible of expletives, and now some great stock control in place. Yippee, it’s amazing how clean cupboards makes your brain feel somehow less cluttered. I can report that unlike my Mother in law’s recent clean out there were no ancient tins of Toast Toppers to report!

I do hope I can sign on again soon, I have missed my banter with the world!

I hope this finds you all well, and that you are enjoying the fact that we are hurtling towards another weekend.

Love Rocking Dog x

Not Mistletoe Season!, Rocking Dog

Not Mistletoe Season!

New Bed, Rocking Dog

New Bed

Starting The Blind, Rocking Dog

Starting The Blind

Agate Handles, Rocking Dog

Agate Handles

Beach Treasure, Rocking Dog

Beach Treasure

Wrapping For Free, Rocking Dog

Wrapping For Free

Matrimonial Painting..., Rocking Dog

Matrimonial Painting…

 ...Stitching, Rocking Dog


... & Scribing, Rocking Dog

… & Scribing

The Mistletoe Has Been & Gone!

Starry Bunch, Rocking Dog

Starry Bunch

A beautiful couple tied the knot on Saturday. Unbelievably they gave me free licence with choice of flowers and plant material for a wedding arch, hurricane lamp frouing and fifteen table vases. Brave folk!

I hope the photo’s in today’s blog give you a taste of my foray into floristry. The arch evolved with several voyages out onto the Frome Valley Walkway and Rocking Dog garden for armfuls of ivy. As time went on I became very picky about type of leaf etc..! Wired on to the metal frame together with battery operated fairy lights (Wilko) this formed the basis of my woodland arch. White frame covered, I wired in young eucalyptus and variegated ivy to form a bower. Hours passed. The arch was transported in three sections to the venue by two burly chaps. Job done.

Dawn arrived and after another trip to the St Philips Flower and Fruit market I filled glass tanks with mistletoe, eucalyptus, and limey green and white parrot tulips. In place of Oasis to support the arrangement I tucked lime halves into the vases. Hurricane lamp bases were arranged with sprigs of mistletoe and I loved them for their simplicity.

At the venue The Rodney Hotel, Clifton, I got back to the arch. I secured more ivy to disguise the section joins, added a cloud of mistletoe to the bower and hung further clumps from the arches’ frame. A generous bunch of mistletoe was hung from the inside of the arch ready for the “You May Kiss The Bride” moment, and silvery glints were added with mercury heart baubles. The crowning glory was a gilded pear. I Pritt-sticked (yes really!) a Conference pear before applying sheets of gold leaf, gently patting down the flakes with a paint brush. The fairy lights were switched to gentle twinkle mode and then it was time for me to simply vanish!

Life continues to be stressful, but those hours of wiring, arranging and florally improvising were quite therapeutic. I was sad that the claw-foot bath was looking quite desolate without its burgeoning mistletoe display, and sad that there was NO mistletoe left! But then….hallelujah… a bunch had been left behind by the front door. It was time for my doors to be adorned with a mistletoe spray. Gingham ribbon and some metal stars added some glory to my simple door decorations. The Christmas decorating is slowly gathering pace and I can play you know who without any guilt whatsoever!

Woodland Wedding Arch, Rocking Dog

Woodland Wedding Arch

Gilded Pear, Rocking Dog

Gilded Pear

Mercury Heart, Rocking Dog

Mercury Heart

Parrot Tulips In The Mix, Rocking Dog

Parrot Tulips In The Mix

Romantic Chalkboard, Rocking Dog

Romantic Chalkboard

Romantic Hurricane, Rocking Dog

Romantic Hurricane

A Use For The Claw-Foot Bath- Mistletoe Vase!

Use For The Bath, Rocking Dog

Use For The Bath

I ordered Mistletoe for a wedding arch and table arrangements from the Fruit & Flower Market, St Philips. A large trolley was pushed out with my order. Wow! three unbelievably sized “bunches” ordered, and a mere two absolutely filled my Mini Clubman! On reaching home the old clawfoot bath proved to be a perfect Mistletoe vase. One day hopefully soon, we will gather together four strong folk to lift the bath to its kitchen garden pitch.

The artistic floristry work starts tomorrow. I will definitely resist playing Mistletoe and Wine. A Cliff fan I am not.

Thought i’d share my bargain of the week. Taking in some bags to a local charity shop I spotted a bowl of Christmas baubles on my way through the shop. I can resist everything except temptation. Lovely 50’s and 60’s baubles an unbelievable 5 pence each. Fifteen baubles and a generous donation later, I returned home with my stash. I love old baubles and can’t stop this colourful reflective addiction!

Whatever your weekend holds have a great one.

Best Wishes to Katy and Nick (and Baby Barnaby) for a gorgeous wedding day and a lifetime of love and happiness.

Mistletoe Delivery, Rocking Dog

Mistletoe Delivery

I Can Resist Everything Except Temptation!, Rocking Dog

I Can Resist Everything Except Temptation!