Tag Archives: Roman Blind

The Rocking Dog Vintage Laundry!

Looking For New Homes, Rocking Dog

Looking For New Homes

Earlier in the week it was all about pickling and yesterday it was all about sewing. Beloved Bernina was rattling away on a secretive project, but NOT the wedding coat. I did however take the pattern to bed with me to gear myself up for what lies ahead. In truth I have never made a coat before and setting in the sleeves is somewhat bewildering. I really was going to make strides with this ominous sewing task this week…. but alas it hasn’t happened. I sometimes think life is rather like a doctors surgery. You start off with a good plan but things rarely stick to time! So lots of jobs on the daily to do list simply end up being carried over to another day or indeed another week.

I have very finally hung the Roman blind but think it needs some pom-poms or other decorative frou to over-gild the lily!

I have enjoyed laundering my Italian vintage stash. The pieces need to be sorted into little textile categories. Some will remain whole such as some pretty embroidered tablecloths, whilst others will be remodelled into “new” pieces. Cushions, lavender pillows, drawstring bags and decorative kitchen cloths are past makes.

I love the linen nightdress with its cheery monogram. I’m tempted to make this into a pillow sized cushion. Naughty Real Live Rocking Dog is rather partial to some vintage nightshirt pillows that I made a few years ago. I hand sewed the linen garments onto a backing of red and white striped material and filled the cases with soft feather pillows. Real Live Rocking Dog is so like the Princess and the Pea. He chooses the softest, plumpest places to sleep and we quite often have to shoo him off one or other beds or sofa’s.

Back to my textiles, one of the hardest decisions is which ones I am going to keep and decide on those I can bear to part with. The shelves of Material Mountain are cram packed and I need to do some serious sewing to reduce stocks!

The weekend beckons and I hope whatever you are doing you’ll have a good one. Love Rocking Dog x

Prince & The Pea, Rocking Dog

Prince & The Pea

Hung Out To Dry, Rocking Dog

Hung Out To Dry

Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion, Rocking Dog

Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion

Monogram Nightdress, Rocking Dog

Monogram Nightdress

Pretty Stitches, Rocking Dog

Pretty Stitches

Kitchen Cloths, Rocking Dog

Kitchen Cloths

Rocking Dog’s Little Bit Of This & That!

The Hambrook Rhubarb Triangle!, Rocking Dog

The Hambrook Rhubarb Triangle!

Rocking Dog has been doing a little bit of this and that…and going nowhere fast! I hate germy long haul flights, and have been laid low with some mild airborne affliction. Multi-tasking has been difficult and I have found myself ineffectively pootling from one project to another like an ant having been sprayed with DDT!

Sunday lunch was a case in point. I couldn’t really decide what to do for friends and family so we ended up with a Lebanese/ British mix up! Lamb Shawarma (whole leg of lamb with an amazing spice rub), chopped salad, roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad together with tahini dressing and bread came from Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Jerusalem”. The English elements were Delia’s roasties and some sausages. Pudding saw the first of the the Hambrook triangle’s rhubarb. I poached the tender pink strips together with a vanilla pod, water and golden caster sugar in a gentle oven. To accompany it I whizzed up a batch of praline ice cream – sorted! It sort of all worked and I was very proud of myself when I didn’t capitulate to Alex’s hint/request for homemade ice cream for 120 wedding guests! Go Girl!!!

Staying on the subject of weddings, the boys is now getting ever closer. So in between feeding people and nursing my aircraft lurgy I have tried to step right on up to Planet Wedding!

When the happy couple came over on Sunday, they bought with them a list (both mothers I gather had been angling for one!) This list was not dissimilar to one of those manuscripts that ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ unrolls, taking you through from present day folk to those walking about wearing furs and carrying clubs! I fear that the brides mums’ weekend of relaxation in a spa will be a very distant memory when the said list is unravelled this week! Maybe all those to do’s were best left on a smart phone after all Kylie!

So menu planning, sourcing, ordering (yelp!), making ten staff aprons, reviewing a colossal crockery order etc…all clutter my work bench together with all the components for THAT wedding coat ….. GET IT DONE! On a more positive note I have finally finished the Roman Blind which had been festering in my To Do Basket. My Beloved Bernina repair and a holiday interrupted its completion. Today will see me get the blind up, I suspect that it may be more than a little wonky!

I sincerely hope you are being productive and more focused than poor old Rocking Dog! Enjoy your day.

PS. Big thanks to my gorgeous sis’ for sorting out more space with SiteGround so that I can keep on blagging oops, blogging!

To The Oven You Go!, Rocking Dog

To The Oven You Go!

Chopped Salad, Rocking Dog

Chopped Salad

Cauli' & Hazelnut Salad, Rocking Dog

Cauli’ & Hazelnut Salad

Blooming Blind!, Rocking Dog

Blooming Blind!

Marital Menu Planning, Rocking Dog

Marital Menu Planning

GET IT DONE!, Rocking Dog


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

Creating A Room Scheme A La Rocking Dog!

I LOVE This Paper!, Rocking Dog

I LOVE This Paper!

Being fairly unafraid of colour I quite often get asked how I come up with a room scheme. I have no hard and fast rule but it all usually starts with an amazing textile. Thus, I don’t think to myself I want to paint the room blue – I say “wow! I have got to use that fabric for curtains/blinds/ soft furnishings” and then I base the paint colour around that. Alternatively it could be an amazing wallpaper or I could be inspired by a book or magazine (Pinterest, no doubt for techno savvy folk!) When I love a magazine feature I rip it out and file it in a box file. If I am finding it difficult to come up with ideas for a room I want to decorate, I return to my box file. Every now and again I cull this box and wonder why on earth I kept certain articles!

When we first moved into the house I measured every room and window and recorded the details in one of my little black books (Moleskines are fabulous). I roughly drew each rooms windows and measured height, width, depth etc.. and this became my bible for seeking out bargainous sample/display/secondhand curtains. Equally I had the measurements at hand if I wanted to buy discounted fabric. How often have you seen amazing ready made curtains/blinds in the John Lewis clearance sale, but not been sure of your measurements (these items are normally non returnable). My Moleskine is also peppered with places that have inspired me, thus I stick in photo’s/leaflets/postcards or do quick sketches. Charleston Farmhouse is definitely a place that has influenced the way I have decorated rooms over the last twenty five years or so.

So, back to room schemes! One day I was having a bit of an online trawl of sale items in Anthropologie and came across the Gallery Curator wallpaper. I just HAD to find away of using it! A year on from buying the heavily reduced paper I am finally trying to create the scheme to decorate a bedroom. This is how I am tackling it.

Paper bought.

My current Moleskin has the following detail to help me with the cunning plan. Headings for wall colour, ceiling (usually bog standard white!), woodwork (old built in cupboards and skirting), Dressing table (at the moment shocking pink!) Additionally, I have headings for bedding/window treatment and furniture that I ideally want to sell/ replace. Flooring (existing sea grass) and lighting form other headings.

Window Treatment- this has formed the next part of the plan. I have found what I want but JL was SO busy I decided to leave it until another day. I am choosing to make a Roman blind, it will be more cost effective and i’ll be able to splash out on some fabulous trim! If you are ever unsure of a fabric, always leave it and come back with fresh eyes on another occasion. This will give you a clear idea of whether you really love it (or actually not!). Sometimes I am so tempted to say to someone eyeing a “very of the moment” fabric… “Don’t do it!!” If you are going to the expense of having curtains made you need to be REALLY sure of the fabric and style of curtains you are choosing. If at all unsure go for a gorgeous plain coloured fabric and use pattern as an accent (cushions, throws, foot stool etc..) Cushions etc.. are easy and relatively inexpensive to change.

With my blind fabric chosen I will then get busy with my paint charts, and as you probably already know I am the Queen of paint snobs! I will take the wallpaper together with my blind fabric and choose good daylight into the to-be-decorated bedroom to select wall and woodwork colour. I often snip out the paint samples that I like from the paint charts and lay them directly on the wallpaper/textile/wall. Again, I often come back over a couple of days to make decisions regarding paint selection and whittle down/reassess my choices. I never go and play Russian roulette at B&Q with paint choice! I go armed with the exact colours and finish I want (the paint samples will have been stuck into my Moleskine). The lighting in your own home is so different to that in a paint suppliers ( in DIY stores it’s notoriously depressingly dull). If you are lacking in confidence buy tester pots and paint large patches on at least two walls (different light aspect). Assess your choices over a few days. I don’t generally use tester pots, but must admit when we were painting the exterior of the house ourselves, we had a variety of tester pots. With 90 litres of paint it could have been a very costly mistake!

So now you have paper, fabric, paint for walls, ceiling and any woodwork including any furniture. The hard work begins!

60 minutes later (if you are on 60 Minute Makeover timings!) you’ll be able to get down to all the lovely detail which makes the room uniquely yours.

In my head I can visualise the bedroom, it will have crisp white bed linen, wool throws, framed vintage landscapes for the un-papered walls, a window seat cushion, garden flowers in antique jugs and ultimately i’m hoping it will feel very calm.

I’ll keep you informed of any progress. How do you plan a scheme for your decorating projects? Please share any tips.

Stashing Future Plans, Rocking Dog

Stashing Future Plans

Books To Inspire, Rocking Dog

Books To Inspire

Little Black Book, Rocking Dog

Little Black Book

Choosing Paint Colours, Rocking Dog

Choosing Paint Colours

Making It Uniquely Yours, Rocking Dog

Making It Uniquely Yours

Pattern Mixing-Yikes!, Rocking Dog

Pattern Mixing-Yikes!