Tag Archives: Tulips

Rocking Dog’s Easter Treats

Rocking Dog Easter Tableau, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Easter Tableau

Rocking Dog’s Easter treats are spilling out onto the dining table, creating a lovely seasonal tableau.

Pre Easter gifting includes a tray of gooey batch of chocolate brownie, Nigella’s recipe of course! Speckled eggs and a light dusting of icing sugar make a pretty addition to the delectable squares. Chocolate lollipops were quickly run up using white chocolate, miniature eggs and sticks (Lakeland and John Lewis supply these). Once set in the fridge the pretty ‘pops are bedecked with ribbon. Arrange in a lovely vintage jug or group in cellophane bags. An egg plaque (Poundland) with its coating of hundreds and thousands was enhanced with a piped iced message.

A food parcel of luxury hot cross buns, apricot conserve, Easter biscuits and chocolate bunnies are wrapped in cellophane and a band of paper. I am still using up my supply of M&S Adventures in Food magazines. The parcel is completed with twine and hand written luggage label.

Other gifts are simply wrapped in crisp white tissue paper and bedecked with the contents from an Easter photo-booth pack (£3 Sainsbury’s). I love the battery operated egg fairy lights ( a bargainous £1 from Poundland).

Non chocolatey gifts include gorgeous pink tulips bound with a generous swag of polka dot ribbon, and pots of cheery Tete de Tete (69p Lidl). I used squares of vintage green gingham and twine to frou the plastic pots.

It’s not quite time for the Easter bunnies, but Real Live Rocking Dog and his friend Zac enjoyed donning some bunny ears in the hope of receiving a dog friendly Easter treat!

Food Parcel, Rocking Dog

Food Parcel

Gooey Easter Brownie, Rocking Dog

Gooey Easter Brownie

Yum!, Rocking Dog

Yum!

My Boy Lollipop!, Rocking Dog

My Boy Lollipop!

Easter Wrap, Rocking Dog

Easter Wrap

Easter Florals, Rocking Dog

Easter Florals

Party Rings, Rocking Dog

Party Rings

Hundreds & Thousands, Rocking Dog

Hundreds & Thousands

Easter Bunnies!, Rocking Dog

Easter Bunnies!

Bringing In The Spring To The Kennel!

Spring Things!, Rocking Dog

Spring Things!

Though it’s nippy outside i’m bringing in the spring to the kennel! Daffodils and tulips can be purchased really inexpensively to make a room come alive and instantly feel more cheery. I love the fact that at this time of year I can use my tulip vase for its correct purpose, to provide a watering hole for, well….tulips! Bought in the clearance section of TK Maxx a few years ago I enjoy filling it with these fleeting blooms. Oh how I would simply love a towering antique Delftware tulip vase! Originally made in the 17th century the Dutch blue and white vases were painted with Chinese decoration to imitate the decoration found on Chinese porcelain. The pots were generally made in a number of sections, if made in one piece they would often collapse during firing. Ironically, just as the Dutch had copied Chinese decoration for their wares, the Chinese went onto copy the Delft tulip vases! These were then imported into Europe by the Dutch East India Company together with silk, cotton and exotic spices. Tulips themselves were introduced to Britain at the end of the 16th century and were incredibly rare and expensive. “Girl With The Pearl Earring” is a good film to view to gain an idea of what life was like in the Netherlands in the 17th century. At the height of the popularity of the film my girls and I went to see the painting of “Girl With The Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, anything to escape the misery of a wet campsite! The painting was much smaller than I had expected, was very beautiful and the girls gaze seemed to mystically follow you. Being a Bristol girl I need to mention Banksy’s 2014 artwork entitled “Girl With a Pierced Eardrum “. A massive Banksy creation it can be found on Bristol’s harbourside. Vermeer’s girl is recreated by our most famous Bristol artist, with her iconic pearl earring being replaced with a strategically placed alarm box!

Back to a much more humble installation, my kitchen window is a profusion of pink at the moment. A £2.50 hyacinth tub from M&S and vase of pink blooms make for a pretty and fragrant washing up session. The heavy stems with their waxy blooms also go some way in screening a garden that needs some serious digging and cultivating!

Paper pompoms and fan garland decorations also provide a bit of spring-like cheer in the house. I don’t need a party or indeed any excuse whatsoever to do a little transient decorative frou’ing!

Outside in the Rocking Dog garden there are branches of showy japonica blossom, hellebores, wild violets, snowdrops and daffodils. Create little posies for thoughtful gifts, remember it’s Mothering Sunday coming up this weekend.

Hope this is the start of a good week for you. Love Rocking Dog x

Hyacinth Profusion, Rocking Dog

Hyacinth Profusion

The Humble Daff', Rocking Dog

The Humble Daff’

Tulip Vase, Rocking Dog

Tulip Vase

Pretty Paper, Rocking Dog

Pretty Paper

Paper Pompom, Rocking Dog

Paper Pompom

Flowers To Give, Rocking Dog

Flowers To Give

What’s Going On On Your Mantlepiece?

Muddled Mantlepiece, Rocking Dog

Muddled Mantlepiece

A few years ago The Guardian asked readers to describe and send in images of their mantlepieces. It really got me thinking of the strange things that accumulate on mantlepieces, well certainly mine. They aren’t styled, rather more they come about as a natural dusty evolvement. Christmas usually sparks changes with the addition of putz houses, tatty decorations and Christmas cards, otherwise, my mantlepieces remain pretty constant. I do however love a jug of garden flowers or a gorgeous scented candle to ring the changes.

The photo above is of the mantlepiece in my sewing room and has simply come about. The dogs are a pair I bought as a present for Andyman (you know one of those gifts you buy by proxy!) and were on the scene long before Real Live Rocking Dog was a twinkle in his Daddy’s eye (incidentally his Dad’s name had the Pedigree name “Stand and Deliver”). An advent calendar, postcards, a graceful 1930’s bust, knitted asparagus and lots of other frou vie for space and until I write something like this I don’t really think of the cornucopia of tat that I live with.

The mantlepiece adorned with tulips, is a pretty grand fireplace for this humble cottage. It is a large ornate cast iron affair which took a lot of stripping to rid it of the green and yellow marbling effect which the previous owner had favoured. Eventually I need to inject a little more colour into the room, but the tulips give a welcome but temporary colour pop. I love the photo on the mantlepiece of the little Russian baby and its mother, both dressed in fur and finery. It gives me a Dr Zhivago moment every time I dust!

My wooden mantlepiece has obviously seen the new arrival of Toby jug, Mrs Mack and Sailor Dog (bought from the lovely Jayne Soule) but everything else is years of knick knackery! The old clock face was rescued from underneath a carpet in the house, used to stop floorboards creaking!

One Sunday when our son arrived home to be fed and have his washing done, he reluctantly watched Antiques Roadshow with me. One item featured was valued at about £6,000, that got son…… thinking! He was studiously looking around the lounge before asking me whether we had anything that could be worth that. I somewhat incredulously exclaimed “no”, but he then decided to interrogate me further. He pointed up to the clock on the mantlepiece and said “what about that then”? We are talking about a crudely made clock (possibly American) with crude mechanism and a Robertson’s “Golly” on it’s little glass door. Try again Alex!

Lastly my bedroom mantlepiece which is strangely for me, colour coordinated. I don’t have many photo’s up in the house but this is where most find their secure long term place. I love my bedroom wallpaper which has been with us for about 15 years. We could only afford to do one wall, but every morning it makes me smile, I don’t think a B&Q paper could have done that!

What’s going on on your mantlepiece right now?

Colour Pop, Rocking Dog

Colour Pop

What's it Worth? Rocking Dog

What’s it Worth?

Colour Coordinated, Rocking Dog

Colour Coordinated