Tag Archives: Moths

Mosaic…I’m Trying To Make A Start!

Drying In The Sun, Rocking Dog

Drying In The Sun

Somehow life is like a mosaic… it’s lots of little pieces of this and that, and lots of unexpected patterns and cracks! My plans to get going with decorating an ugly concrete wall in the garden is going slowly.

I have however managed to retrieve a shed load of broken china from the… shed! There are more beautiful shards to archeologically uncover but i’m a bit of a scaredy cat. There are some rather large moths and who knows what else to spook me in the said shed.

Three trays worth of china has been washed and dried in readiness for prettifying the wall. Isn’t it a good job human beings are so clumsy. The loveliest breakages have come from a lovely lady who gave me a cache of broken pots to Charleston-fy my garden. I love the porcelain with vibrant green dragons. It must have looked truly amazing in it’s unbroken format.

Today will not be a mosaic day, I am leading a healthy eating day with a group of Young Carers. We will be making Chicken Faijita’s, Shortcut Meatballs, Sweet potato wedges and a Peach Filo Pie. They will be also guessing how many sugar lumps in various foods. Can you believe that there are 28 lumps of sugar in Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ?! Gulp!!

The remainder of the week the weather looks a little less favourable. Until I mix my swimming pool grout i’ll keep on being inspired by the likes of Julie Arkell, Cleo Mussi and by the memories of Cuba, the New York subway and Rome.

Last night I rustled together a tray bake supper and I couldn’t help thinking that the ingredients were a colourful Mediterranean mosaic. Smoked Cod, tiny plum tomatoes, heritage potatoes, herbs from the garden, olives and slices of lemon. A delicious quickly constructed mosaic!

Clumsy Cracks, Rocking Dog

Clumsy Cracks

The Wall, Rocking Dog

The Wall

Mosaic Stool, Rocking Dog

Mosaic Stool

Cuban Inspiration, Rocking Dog

Cuban Inspiration

Arkell Inspiration, Rocking Dog

Arkell Inspiration

NY Subway Mosaic, Rocking Dog

NY Subway Mosaic

Roman Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Roman Mosaic

Religious Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Religious Mosaic

Woolly Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Woolly Mosaic

Mussi, Rocking Dog

Mussi

More Mussi!, Rocking Dog

More Mussi!

Mosaic Meal, Rocking Dog

Mosaic Meal

Prototype – Masculine Aromatic Spice Sachets

Masculine Prototype, Rocking Dog

Masculine Prototype

I put cleaning on the back burner (that often happens, i’m ashamed to say!) and decided to make a crafty prototype. Having previously made pretty vintage lavender stuffed hearts I wanted to make a masculine alternative. Men get moths too!

I decided to make a little stack of mini pillows made from masculine fabrics. I chose a ticking, dog tooth check and toile de jouy. The toile curtains were a lucky charity shop find many years ago. I deconstructed the lining fabric and heading tape, leaving lots of lovely monochromatic fabric to use for a host of interesting projects. Pin stripe suiting, tartan and tweeds would work equally well.

If you want to make these simple aromatic spice sachets, here’s how I made them.

1. Choose some fabrics which complement each other. I selected three in tones of black and white.
2. Make a template. I find when cutting small swatches of fabric a template is great to draw round quickly. My mini pillow template measured 20cm length x 10cm width. I also made a template exactly half these measurements to make the strung square sachets. Cut out your fabric pieces. I created 2 mini pillows and 2 strung sachets for my finished package.
3. For each sachet put two of your fabric pieces right side to right side. Pin if wished.
4. Start sewing by lining up the fabric to give you a 3/8ths seam allowance ( your sewing machine stitch plate should be marked to help with this). Begin stitching approximately 2cm in from the bottom of one of the short sides.
5. Continue sewing right the way around the little pillow until you get to the original short side. Do a small amount of stitching, before stopping to leave a gap to fill your pillow.
6. Cut each corner diagonally close to the stitch line. This will help give you some sharp corners when the fabric is turned out.
7. Turn the pillow right ways out, using a pencil end or chopstick to poke out the corners.
8. Press with a hot iron (remember woollen fabrics will require a cooler iron).
9. For the strung sachets, machine stitch a loop of ribbon to the corner of your small sachets.At this stage you can stitch a pretty (oops! manly) button at the point where you have stitched your ribbon.
10. Stuffing begins! I used a mixture of English Lavender, Allspice Berries, Cloves, Juniper Berries, Cinnamon Sticks, Star Anise and a few drops of Lavender Oil. Create your own concoction. I fill my sachets using a dessert spoon to pour in all the goodies, but you could use a funnel for the smaller elements. This fiddly stage can take a little while so enjoy a sing.
11. Very neatly hand stitch the open seam. Cut any loose threads and give your sachets a gentle squish.
12. Stack your sachets neatly, and package. I used a band of fine corrugated card, twine, Ikea blackboard label and a cinnamon stick.
13. Voila! a wonderfully aromatic stack of manly spice sachets to keep any sock drawer smelling sweet.

I might just do a little batch of these, the smell is simply intoxicating!

Enjoy your weekend whatever it brings. I’m going to get busy with a tin of Farrow & Ball – so i’ll be sporting a whole new hair colour next week!

Feminine Sewing, Rocking Dog

Feminine Sewing

Material Mountain, Rocking Dog

Material Mountain

Choices Made, Rocking Dog

Choices Made

Simple Sewing, Rocking Dog

Simple Sewing

Scented Stuffing, Rocking Dog

Scented Stuffing

Fairy Pillows, Rocking Dog

Fairy Pillows

Rocking Dog Makes Valentine Hearts

Crooked Love Hearts, Rocking Dog

Crooked Love Hearts

With Valentine’s Day around the corner a Rocking Dog crooked heart make. These lavender stuffed hearts are easy to make and have eco friendly credentials as they use vintage remnants and embellishments.

Though pretty, they more seriously keep moths at bay. Moths are discerning little critters and love cashmere, fur, feathers, silk, and wool in particular. They also love the dark and being undisturbed. Therefore give your wardrobe a frequent “spring” clean. They don’t stop with clothes either, so frequently vacuum clean wool carpets and shake folded blankets outside. Anything you feel is particular venerable and shows possible signs of moth damage, bag up and put in the freezer for 12 hours. When you come to put your woolies/coats etc.. away at the end of the winter make sure they are clean, moths love sweaty food stained garments! Put in plastic suit carriers- they are commonly lazy creatures who won’t go to the bother of chewing through the plastic! Cedar wood or lavender certainly help to discourage moths, together with less warm conditions- so switch the central heating off!

Rocking Dog Crooked Hearts.

1. Draw and cut a heart shaped template from card. Mine roughly measures 17cm long by 11cm at widest point.
2. Take an old embroidered table mat, tray cloth, serviette and use your template to draw around to cut some hearts.
3. Choose some pretty backing fabric and again use your template to cut hearts.
4. Embellish your vintage fabric fronts with some pretty buttons, beads, braid or/and ribbon.
5. Remember to stay clear from the edge, it’s difficult to sew seams with buttons in the way!
6. Take your vintage fabric heart and a backing fabric heart, put right side to right side.
7. Tuck a short folded length of string/ ribbon in between the heart layers (this will form the hanging loop).
8. Start machine (or hand) sewing mid way down one of the heart sides.
Continue stitching all the way around until approx 3cm away from start point.
Reverse stitch and take heart from the machine.
9. Turn your heart right way out. Use a pencil or chopstick to get a good point and shape. Press.
10 Fill your heart generously with lavender. I use a plate or tray to collect all the lavender that escapes.
11. Close the gap by hand using neat hem stitching.
12. Tie a pretty piece of ribbon around the loop. Plump your heart up and hang on a Rocking Dog coat hanger. Voila!

Ingredients, Rocking Dog

Ingredients

Draw, Rocking Dog

Draw

Cut, Rocking Dog

Cut

Embellish, Rocking Dog

Embellish

Sew, Rocking Dog

Sew

Done, Rocking Dog

Done