Tag Archives: Rocking Dog

The Olives Are Picked & Rocking Dog Is Back At The Kennel!

Before They Became Oil,Rocking Dog

Before They Became Oil

Yes indeed the olives are now picked and made into divine olive oil.The nets have been put away for another year and the 1,300 mile journey back to the kennel from Umbria has been completed.The linen has been traded in for woolly jumpers and the wood-burner has been stoked. Brrrrrrrr!

It’s good to be back with fresh verve and inspiration and I look forward to seeing friends for walking, chatting and simply being with. Watch out for new Rocking Dog posts including my trip to fifteen French and Belgian cemeteries over 2 days for the Rocking Dog “Remember Me Project” It was the most incredible and poignant experience.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY– Rocking Dog will be selling Christmas Loveliness together with other wonderful crafty and artisanal foodie folk at the seriously fandabidosi (my Italian is really improving!) Court House Farm, Portishead on Sunday 26th November and Sunday 10th December 10-3.30.

It’s now time to shut myself away like a little elf in my workroom and create some creative and very festive magic!

Love to all, and hope you have a good week. A wine fasting Rocking Dog x

Rocking Dog Creative Huddle, Weds 28th June

Come On Let's Get Creative!,Rocking Dog

Come On Let’s Get Creative!

Yes the months are whittling away, we’ll be onto Christmas makery before we know it! You are warmly welcomed to come along to the Rocking Dog Creative Huddle tomorrow. Rocking Dog is very friendly and won’t bite, even though the Real Live Rocking Dog is just ever so slightly grumpy! Come to think of it that’s a pretty fair description of Rocking Dog if temperatures rise above 29 degrees!

Lovely homemade cake, something cold to drink, gentle chat and if you want to “make” that’s lovely too.

Donations into the teapot for Fine Cell Work encouraging and supporting prison inmates to sew & embroider, £60 collected thus far. Thank you.

Don’t be shy, come along. Contact me if you need further details or directions.

Love Rocking Dog x

Rocking Dog Loves Frou!,Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Loves Frou!

The Rocking Dog Huddle, Wed 25th January

Sew On A Button, Rocking Dog

Sew On A Button

I have felt slightly overwhelmed by January greyness and sadness, so the time has come to plot some positive things onto the new calendar. I have had a good response for starting an informal sew/knit/etc.. group and therefore will be hosting the first get together on Wednesday 25th January 7-9pm at the kennel. I still haven’t come up with a name for the gathering, so for the time being it’s the Rocking Dog Huddle. I intend to host the huddle on a monthly basis, the last Wednesday of the month.

Anyone contemplating coming please do not feel shy or intimidated, you will be made to feel very welcome. You may have a garment that needs a button sewing on, or hems that need altered. It may be a piece of needlepoint or quilting that needs finishing or indeed knitting that needs to finally leave the needles! Don’t worry if you arrive empty handed I have a shelf full of books and templates, small fabric remnants and cottons etc.. to inspire and utilise. We will have fun.

My hope is that in time we can learn new skills from each other. If there is somebody who can rid me of my zip insertion phobia that would be simply perfect!

Of course the chat, the homemade cake and warming drinks will be just as important, and I hope we’ll laugh a lot! A donations teapot will be in situ to cover cost of refreshments, materials and to help support Fine Cell Work, an amazing social enterprise that teaches needlework to prison inmates and sells their products.

If anyone would like any further information or needs directions (I am based in Hambrook, Bristol) please get in touch with me lizferg@btinternet.com.

I really hope you can come! Love Rocking Dog x

Coffee....,Rocking Dog

Coffee….

& Cake,Rocking Dog

& Cake

Share Beloved Bernina,Rocking Dog

Share Beloved Bernina

My Stash,Rocking Dog

My Stash

Haberdashery Stash,Rocking Dog

Haberdashery Stash

Choose A Project,Rocking Dog

Choose A Project

Ribbons....,Rocking Dog

Ribbons….

& Lace,Rocking Dog

& Lace

Make New Friends,Rocking Dog

Make New Friends

Happy Christmas To One And All

Madonna & Child, Panicale, Umbria,Rocking Dog

Madonna & Child, Panicale, Umbria

Wishing friends, family and Rocking Dog blog readers a truly wonderful Christmas. Much love from Liz aka Rocking Dog, Andy aka Andyman, and Hamish aka Real Live Rocking Dog xxx

From Pooh Fabric To Pooh Christmas Stockings

Stitched Pooh, Rocking Dog

Stitched Pooh

From Pooh fabric to Pooh Christmas Stockings, Rocking Dog has worked her magic! Vintage fabrics, ribbons, buttons and trims have been brought together to make festive hosiery with personality. Finally labels scripted by the Dog have given this latest batch of stockings suitable names.

Maybe i’ll put Christmas to bed for a little while and make and bake things altogether a little more summery.

Have a good week and let’s hope the sun starts shining. Love Rocking Dog x

Vintage Pooh, Rocking Dog

Vintage Pooh

Personalised Labels, Rocking Dog

Personalised Labels

Rosettes & Bling, Rocking Dog

Rosettes & Bling

Pretty Feet, Rocking Dog

Pretty Feet

Kitchenalia Stocking, Rocking Dog

Kitchenalia Stocking

Much Too Soon!, Rocking Dog

Much Too Soon!

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

Q: ” How Do You Think Up Things To Blog About?’

This Rings A Chord!, Rocking Dog

This Rings A Chord!

At the Country Living Build A Business Day on Wednesday one talented “girl” having discovered I blog regularly asked me “How do you think up things to blog about?” A lovely question. In short, I thankfully rarely find it difficult to find something to spout on about!

For me, I need space to think. This brain space is normally found when I am doing the early morning walk with Real Live Rocking Dog.

I am really inspired by nature and though living only a 10 minute drive from Bristol my home is set down a wild wooded lane. The changing seasons and local flora and fauna always make regular outings on my blogs. Yesterday wild lilac bowers lined a favourite walk, the scent and colour of the blooms set me thinking. Expect a purple post soon!

As a child I used to love the school nature table. Jam-jars of tadpoles, Old Man’s Beard, Rose-hips, conkers, wild flowers and Beech masts would all make appearances throughout the year. I am a nostalgic soul and like my own seasonal nature table (no tadpoles I hasten to add!). I sometimes style a “table” for one of my blogs. Meanwhile foraging for sloes, blackberries, wild garlic and damsons provide the opportunity to make edible preserves etc..and in turn informative blogs.

Once the walk is over there is plenty of material to talk about back at the Rocking Dog Kennel. A crumbly 230 year old house with a past history of having been a bakery and an overflow mortuary for the local undertakers it has characterful bones. There has been damp, old death watch beetle, walls to take down and nudey ladies to paint over. There have been battles with listings folk, chimneys to de-nest and a summer spent scaling scaffolding brushing on 90 litres of faux “Dead Salmon”. There was the electrician who informed us of his dodgy bowels, a kitchen fitter who needed a cardiac team and a slap dash plumber who left water so deep in our kitchen that we had ducks swimming across the floor. Worse were the no show painter quoters, necessitating myself and broken shouldered husband to paint a 30 foot high ceiling on a VERY wobbly scaffolding tower. Blog material a plenty!

My makes, edible and non edible make appearances regularly and I often include instructions and recipes. The main photograph on this post made me laugh. It very much sums up eating in or out.. when I shout “don’t touch ’til I photograph it!” We all need to eat, and food doesn’t need to be elaborate to blog about. Good photographs, a degree of styling and a recipe often get people liking a food post.

I really love “my” city, so will blog about markets, parks, shops and eating haunts. I love championing people who are really good at what they do. Outside of Bristol I love to blog about events and exhibitions, Chelsea Flower Show and Kaffe Fasset’s exhibition at The American Museum, Bath particularly stand out for me.

Ancestry and the history of objects are pastimes I enjoy and I sometimes use researched material in a blog. Many of these posts are personal to my family and I. I hope they are a lasting written archive of family memories, the provenance of objects and distillation of ancestry. I would like to think that these posts are enjoyable to read for non family members.

As a self confessed magpie I love items with a history and which have been well used. Yesterday morning I was looking at our lovely linen cupboard, it’s so funny that you live with things for so long that you sometimes forget to notice them anymore. I don’t know anything about the cupboard apart from that it’s made from oak, heavily carved and when we bought it 28 years or so ago it was covered in white paint. Maybe I need to do a research blog post as I did for the lovely little Gladstone bag bought last summer.

Occasions such as Christmas provide brilliant opportunities to blog on gift making, decorations, wrapping, wreath making, festive food etc…etc..Additionally there are shop windows, festive events, other peoples decorations to blog about. It’s a blogging feeding frenzy! Pop up events, Charity Burn’s Nights and Rocking Dog sales feature in my blogs as does styling work.

Travel at home or away gives the opportunity for new experiences to be reported on and photographed. On travel I like to blog, but I hope I don’t brag. Wherever I am I really like to get to know how people live, what the locals eat, how they shop and their working lives. In Cuba we spent an hour watching two young athletic men take a primary school PE lesson. These children were seemingly having so much fun just running in teams against each other along a public tree lined walkway. Simple insights like this would make suitable blog post material.

Day to day, if a present needs wrapping it doesn’t take any longer to wrap a present for a blog shoot. As regular readers know I love a good piece of wallpaper, magazine or Chinese newspaper to do a creative wrap.

Sometimes I can be serious, especially if I think there is something I feel needs saying or telling.

General points: I try to steer clear of sex, religion and politics (though Donald Trump’s name has crept into one or two of my posts-oops!). My blog I would like to think is for a little bit of escapism. Peoples’ lives are busy with many difficulties to navigate. I really am no different even though the blog may suggest a picture perfect life!

It can be demoralising to put a sizeable quantity of time to put a blog piece together and for likes to be unforthcoming. I sometimes question why I should carry on…but something and more importantly some people keep me on going. Persevere!

I sincerely hope I have answered the question, and yes I burn the candle both ends!

So here endeth my Friday post. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Love Rocking Dog x

Nature Table, Rocking Dog

Nature Table

Home &.......,Rocking Dog

Home &…….

....Garden!, Rocking Dog

….Garden!

Alternative Wrap, Rocking Dog

Alternative Wrap

Food Eaten In ....., Rocking Dog

Food Eaten In …..

...And Out!, Rocking Dog

…And Out!

Charity Events, Rocking Dog

Charity Events

Peek In My Wardrobe!, Rocking Dog

Peek In My Wardrobe!

My City, Rocking Dog

My City

My Makes, Rocking Dog

My Makes

My Travels, Rocking Dog

My Travels

My Family, Rocking Dog

My Family

Signing Off For A Little While

Beautiful Sign, Cuba, Rocking Dog

Beautiful Sign, Cuba

Rocking Dog is indeed signing off for a little while. I hope you’ll understand, but sometimes brain and thoughts and actions need to be committed elsewhere.

I look forward to signing back in soon with some of my ramblings!

Love Rocking Dog x

Planet Wedding-Rocking Dog Gets Pickling!

Rocking Dog Giardiniere Pickles, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Giardiniere Pickles

Rocking Dog has been busy getting pickling! With a certain wedding only seven weekends away preparations are clocking up for the couple and the two families.

Giardiniere Pickles, also known as Italian Garden Pickles are now snugly packed into jars ready to be served with salami’s and other antipasti goodies.

Delia’s recipe which appears in her Delia’s How To Cook (Book 3) provided the blueprint for this latest batch of Rocking Dog pickling. This particular recipe involves chopping a variety of vegetables and layering them with salt and water. The vegetables are then left overnight before being drained and rinsed. They are then spread out to dry for a few hours ( how I appreciated my large workbench!). Popped back into a large bowl the vegetables are tossed in some olive oil. Garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes are added in to the mix, together with some black peppercorns. Jars are sterilised in a warm oven and left to cool for a moment or two. Finally the vegetables are packed into the jars along with fresh herbs. I used Bay leaves and Rosemary from the Rocking Dog garden, together with some Lemon Thyme. White wine vinegar is then poured in over the tightly packed vegetables. Lids closed, the pickles need to be stored in a cool dark place to mellow for at least a month before eating.

A less attractive pickling proposition now awaits my attention. 2kg of shallots sit on the kitchen table awaiting peeling. They will be pickled in spiced balsamic vinegar to be eaten with cheese. I’m hoping I can recruit Andyman for peeling duties, and then we can cry on the task together!

Pickling and Jam making are excellent ways of using gluts of fruits and vegetables. Andyman is particularly partial to Dee’s lemon marmalade especially when made with lemons from Capri. Yes I really have got to step up to the plate with my lemon marmalade making and flat sock folding (don’t ask!!)

Umbrian Vegetables, Rocking Dog

Umbrian Vegetables

Use Me!, Rocking Dog

Use Me!

Delia You're Fab'!, Rocking Dog

Delia You’re Fab’!

Vegetable Prep', Rocking Dog

Vegetable Prep’

Herbs & Spices, Rocking Dog

Herbs & Spices

Salami Loves Pickles!, Rocking Dog

Salami Loves Pickles!

Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Mosaic!

Fusterlandia Is  Fabulously Fantastical!, Rocking Dog

Fusterlandia Is Fabulously Fantastical!

Just before heading out to Cuba I chanced upon a blog “Everybody Hates A Tourist“. It featured Fusterlandia, and I knew that as a lover of mosaic I just simply had to visit.

A day after our arrival in Havana, Andyman and I found ourselves in a taxi travelling along the coast to the seaside town of Jaimanitas. Here the artist Jose Fuster has spent the last 30 years creating an enclave Casa de Fuster. Not content with the embellishment of his own abode, his art has continued onto the walls and facades of another eighty properties in this sunny little town. Fuster has somewhat appropriately been nicknamed Picasso of the Caribbean.

I loved being in this bonkers place and not since Barcelona had I seen such a run of mosaic. It was certainly a real highlight of our Cuban trip. Returning to our taxi we asked two taxi drivers whether it was correct that Fidel Castro lived in the town. We were met with dismissiveness, when I said that the information appeared in our guidebook they grudgingly whispered that it was indeed true but not to point a camera in a certain direction! All very secretive.

My first brush with mosaic, or rather, broken china was as a child. The village shop in Frenchay had a wall containing shards of china and Edwardian tiles, and my siblings and I loved it. I remember we all selected the pieces of china we each liked best. Though the shop is no more, having been turned into a private residence some years ago, the china wall reassuringly remains.

Mosaic of an altogether different quality can be found at the Duomo in Orvieto. Its gilded mosaic embellishments, positively glinted in the November sunshine and looked spectacular against the cloudless blue sky. Meanwhile still in Italy we spent a glorious morning discovering the ancient harbour city of ancient Rome- Ostia Antica. As a result of silting, the site now lies 3km inland and is incredibly well preserved. I loved some of the mosaic floors which would have graced public baths and private villas.

In past posts I have mentioned my admiration of Cleo Mussi and Julie Arkell. Both are skilled in their use of broken pot. I love my Julie Arkell heart shaped brooch which features the quote “Looking at the sea drinking tea”, somewhat ironic because I hate tea!

My shed harbours a large box of china ready for a new phase of garden mosaic. Last year I got as far as buying the swimming pool grout… so this year maybe, just maybe, will be the year I create Fusterlandia!

Fantastical Fusterlandia!, Rocking Dog

Fantastical Fusterlandia!

More...., Rocking Dog

More….

...& There's More!, Rocking Dog

…& There’s More!

Orvieto Duomo, Rocking Dog

Orvieto Duomo

Roman Port  Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Roman Port Mosaic

Village Shop, Rocking Dog

Village Shop

Mussi Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Mussi Mosaic

Arkell Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Arkell Mosaic

Rocking Dog Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Mosaic