Tag Archives: Stockholm

There’s An Elephant In The Room. Deal With It Rocking Dog!

Christmas In The Cabin Stockings,Rocking Dog

Christmas In The Cabin Stockings

Rocking Dog has been busy making festive loveliness in readiness for some exciting events at Court House Farm, Portishead on 26th November and 10th December (better organise my thermals!) Yesterday I made some Christmas stockings from lovely vintage embroidered table linen. I am calling them my “Christmas in the Cabin” stockings. Though I think the linens are more than likely German I couldn’t help thinking back to a December trip to Stockholm three years ago. Pine cones, spruce, red, white, tradition and the little red cabins out on tiny islands leading into the watery city. We had such a wonderful time and everything seemed less commercialised and felt like Christmas in times gone by. Today I’m hoping there’ll be “Christmas in the Cabin” advent calendars thought up and sewn. I might go really Scandi’ whilst I sew, i’ll plait my hair and put Abba on full pelt!

The Rocking Dog workroom is bursting with delicious fabrics right now and poor Material Mountain is positively groaning with linens, embroidery, ginghams, whizzy prints and lace. There is definitely no room at the Inn! Recent purchases have been some  iconic Cabbages & Roses remnants. I have ideas to make some baby wear with the fine floral linens. There are “Moon” wool tartan remnants too and I am gradually using those to make cosy cushions. Added to vintage tapestry, old Swedish braid and cut velvet backing one tartan remnant is now a window seat cushion cover. It will be sumptuously filled with feathers and then will be looking for a good home. What could be more lovely than curling up on a deep sill with a good book, hot chocolate and a snow filled view!

Floribunda tapestry, an unfinished project by person unknown will be given bold patterned borders chosen from my stack of Designer brights. It will receive cushion pad and embellishment and i’m sure in its rejuvenated form will find love.

As for the elephant in the room…. it’s my new overlocker. I have been promised it will give me the most professional of seams and the neatest cutting of fabric…. but i’m, well frankly…. scared! It has sat looking forlorn whilst I summon the courage to … well.. simply give it a go. Deal with it Rocking Dog… just deal with it!

Stockholm Kitsch,Rocking Dog

Stockholm Kitsch

Stockholm Fairytale,Rocking Dog

Stockholm Fairytale

Stockholm Style,Rocking Dog

Stockholm Style

Cabbages & Roses,Rocking Dog

Cabbages & Roses

Designer Brights,Rocking Dog

Designer Brights

Vintage Floribunda,Rocking Dog

Vintage Floribunda

Vintage Festive,Rocking Dog

Vintage Festive

In Need Of Feathers,Rocking Dog

In Need Of Feathers

......The Elephant In The Room!,Rocking Dog

……The Elephant In The Room!

Owning Up To A Few More Dec’s

Retro Window Ledge,Rocking Dog

Retro Window Ledge

The shops are reducing their prices on Christmas decorations, Yay! Rocking Dog finds it impossible to resist just a few little ones! There are some turquoise glass bauble pagoda’s, rusty pink glittery pine cones and shimmery toadstools. There is also a lovely tasseled banner proclaiming “Merry Jolly Happy Falalalalala”, whatever that means!

I find it difficult to restrict myself to a single festive theme, thus the table is very nordic with white plates, glass domes, reindeer and budding hyacinths. Meanwhile further up the room there is a window ledge full of childhood memories. Boxes of 60’s baubles, the fairy lights that used to trail around the Christmas tree at home and the tacky Chinese import decorations. Of course we all know that the kitchen is hung with massive glittery carrots. I’m going to miss them when they head into the attic!

When I was in Stockholm two years ago decorations were predominantly red and white, festively and tastefully beautiful. I have emulated a bit of Scandi’ by dressing some little Bay Tree plants with simple squares of red and white gingham tied with rustic string. Presently adorning the windows at the front of the house, in the Spring I will plant them in the garden. I am tempted to try my hand at creating some topiary.

Still outside, every Christmas I make a simple kissing bough out of two wire coat hangers. I twist long strands of ivy around my frame and when the wire is completely concealed by the foliage I add an apple. I use a darning needle threaded with fishing line, and then suspend the apple from the centre of the frame. Ribbon and mistletoe are added as a final flourish. Kissing boughs like this have been made for midwinter festivities from ancient times.

My door is normally decked with a bunch of mistletoe, but this year finds itself with a bell wreath. I bought it in the spring in TK Maxx for £3. The plan was to deconstruct it and add in other things….. but..!

There are a few more little decorations coming. A box containing decorations which look like pastel coloured Macaron are eagerly awaited.

I hope all your preparations for the weekend are going well and that any journeys will be safe ones.

Scandi Inspiration,Rocking Dog

Scandi Inspiration

My Scandi, Rocking Dog

My Scandi

£3 Wreath,Rocking Dog

£3 Wreath

New Pagoda & Banner,Rocking Dog

New Pagoda & Banner

Natural Embellishment,Rocking Dog

Natural Embellishment

Kissing Bough,Rocking Dog

Kissing Bough

A Rocking Dog Super Quick Sewing Project

Ingredients For The Sewing Alchemy, Rocking Dog

Ingredients For The Sewing Alchemy

For the last two days I have been working on making a coat to wear for The Boy’s wedding. After much procrastination I finally got down to cutting out the pieces. It sounds oh so easy but I am dealing with a pictorial fabric. It needs much jigging and re-jigging on the dressmakers dummy to balance the pattern. Sorry this all sounds very cryptic, and i’m surely hoping it doesn’t end up looking like a lab’ coat! I might be making a mad dash around the shops sometime very soon for an off the shelf creation. There have been painful moments, dealing with darts, un-fathonable instructions and a piece of pattern which went, and remains missing. Strangely though I am quite enjoying the process, apart from the fruitless search for pattern piece number 12!

In exasperated chinks of time I needed a “Keep Calm & Sew Simple” moment. Looking at Material Mountain I picked out some rolled napkin bundles, recently purchased in Sainsbury’s. Found on a clearance shelf, I bought 7 bundles at 80p each (2 napkins in each bundle). I had no plan for them but knew I liked the cream and red stripe. It reminded me of the abundance of red and white that adorned EVERYTHING in Stockholm. (Andyman will hate this link, a fan of Abba he is absolutely not!)

So my calming super quick sewing project turned out to be a replacement cushion cover for a kitchen chair. I timed myself and it took precisely 10 minutes to make from start to finish. With no fabric to cut, and no raw seams the napkins are ideal for a neatly finished cushion.

Instructions for your very own napkin cushion covers:-

1. Put your 2 napkins together right side to right side. Pin.
2. Start sewing just below the napkin hemlines and begin 3/4 way along one side of the pinned napkins. Continue sewing and when you get to the side that you started on leave a generous gap. This will allow you to pop your cushion pad in.
3. Turn the cushion right way out. Poke the corners out using a pencil or chopstick.
4. Pin and sew Velcro along either side of the gap.
5. If you wish you can sew some ties to your cushion so you can secure it to a chair. Place your cushion cover onto the chosen chair and mark in pencil, or pin where you want to sew your ties.
6. Press your cover and snip any loose threads.
7. Ease your cushion pad into your cover and secure with the velcro. Puff up your lovely new cushion.

Without even realising it the cushion really set off chair backs that I remodelled a few years ago. Originally Dutch style window panels, I added ties and used the panels to frou some utilitarian kitchen chairs.

With the cushion made for less than £1 and in less than 15 minutes, i’d say that’s a pretty good result. Eat your heart out Ian Mankin!

Now, just where is that wretched pattern piece………..!

Cunning Plan!, Rocking Dog

Cunning Plan!

Scandi' Inspiration, Rocking Dog

Scandi’ Inspiration

& The Clock Begins!, Rocking Dog

& The Clock Begins!

Velcro In The Gap, Rocking Dog

Velcro In The Gap

Optional Ties, Rocking Dog

Optional Ties

Plumped Up, Rocking Dog

Plumped Up

Window Panel Back, Rocking Dog

Window Panel Back

Kitchen Chair, Rocking Dog

Kitchen Chair

& Garden Bench, Rocking Dog

& Garden Bench

That Time Of Year Again To Make Gravadlax

beetroot gravadlax in the making, rocking dog

Beetroot Gravadlax In The Making

Yes it is that time of year again in the Rocking Dog household to make Gravadlax. It is becoming a little bit of a tradition now to prepare this in readiness of a Scandi’ style meal on Boxing Day. Therefore blinis, rye bread, Gravadlax, cornichons, dill sour cream, a crunchy radish and fennel salad all feature. It’s not even as if we have turkey leftovers to contemplate, for we are going against tradition and having venison tomorrow.

When does something become a tradition? Is it when a recipe or activity is repeated more than once, or does it have to be something you do over several years for it to qualify as a tradition? I wonder how many of the things we do as a family over the festive period will be continued in future generations. Maybe, making Gravadlax will be one of those hand me down traditions!

So the salmon has had it’s generous coat of grated beetroot, orange zest, horseradish, salt, dill and vodka and is currently curing in the fridge. I love Jamie Oliver’s recipe for gravadlax especially when it is accompanied by his crunchy salad. The beetroot which he recommends gives the salmon a wonderful puce colour, whilst the salad is crisp and refreshing. A perfect antidote for the carb-fest of Christmas day.

We enjoyed some Gravadlax whilst in Stockholm last year. Particularly memorable was a wonderful smorgasbord served aboard a boat. We spent a winters afternoon happily sailing Stockholm’s archipelago. The food was copious and delicious….and included in the price of the trip… bargainous by Scandinavian standards! We feasted on pickled herring, smoked salmon, cured meats, a cornucopia of salads, cheese, roast potatoes and a groaning table laden with desserts. We really want to return to Stockholm, to “do” the Blue Train trip, to revisit The Hairy Pig and The Vasa. We also missed out on The Abba Museum, Andyman the misery, really wasn’t keen!

Back to the Rocking Dog kitchen, today I am finally putting a Christmas cake in the oven, after all IT IS tradition.

I hope all your preparations are going well, and that you aren’t going to be doing battle for the last Brussel Sprout in the shop today!

the finished article, rocking dog

The Finished Article

simple crunchy salad, rocking dog

Simple Crunchy Salad

Boat Food, Stockholm

Boat Food, Stockholm

'Tis The Season To Be Jolly!, Rocking Dog

‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly!

Swedish Nativity, Rocking Dog

Swedish Nativity

Floristry The Stockholm Way, Rocking Dog

Floristry The Stockholm Way

Swimming In Treacle!

Rocking Dog Stockings Hung Up With Care!, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Stockings Hung Up With Care!

Things have happened this week which have made me feel as if i’m swimming in treacle. Not nice. So, I thought i’d have a little bit of respite and do a little blog before the weekend begins.

Before things started being very unpleasantly chaotic I managed to complete some Rocking Dog Christmas stockings. Material Mountain has as per usual provided an avalanche of fabrics and trimmings to complete this enjoyable project.

Which stocking is your favourite? I really like the ones which feature fireplaces. The fabric was purchased at one of the wonderful Vintage and Handmade jumbles held at Rangeworthy Village Hall. It is a / 1950/60’s fabric made in France and it’s edge displays the fabric title “Aberdeen”. The French designer seemed to have a very rosy and warm view of this very cold sea ravaged city! I also used a vintage trim bought at the Jumble’, and lined the stockings with a jolly gingham. I found myself singing “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” whilst sewing these retro stockings!

The Scandi stockings are made from a contemporary remnant and linked with the gingham they feel a bit Swedish. Oh such lovely memories of our trip to Stockholm in December 2014. The stockings’ loops are joined by heavy vintage mother of pearl buttons and some litle metal wings (bought in Stockholm).

Alas, there was only enough bunny fabric to make one stocking. An up-cycled charity shop piece I lined it with a jolly spot fabric. I decided some bunny food was needed, so made carrots from felt and synthetic cushion filler.

Voila! Some stockings to be hung up with care this Christmas-time. ( link dedicated to Sorrel x)

Another job completed is the bespoke advent calendar. The numbers are a bit of a mixture this year and many are numeral gift tags bought in Ikea. This calendar is winging its way to someone this weekend. Happy Days!

Whatever you are doing this weekend I hope you have a lovely one. Wrap up warmly it looks as if there is a cold snap on its way! I think i’ll be doing a bit more swimming in treacle….but thankfully life does have a way of sorting itself out. Love Rocking Dog x

Scandilicious!, Rocking Dog


Scandi' inspiration, Rocking Dog

Scandi’ inspiration

Bunny Feeding Time, Rocking Dog

Bunny Feeding Time.

Cheery Aberdeen, Rocking Dog

Cheery Aberdeen

So Very Retro!, Rocking Dog

So Very Retro!

It's For You!, Rocking Dog

It’s For You!