Tag Archives: Zara

Summer Makes Way For Autumn

Looks Like Cocoa Sprinkled Meringue, Rocking Dog

Looks Like Cocoa Sprinkled Meringue

Summer seems to be making way for autumn. With the mix of rain and warmth there is a plethora of fungi in the hood. I would dearly love to do some foraging with old Bear Grylls, wouldn’t we all! Knowing what mushrooms are safe to eat, and ones that shouldn’t under any circumstances  be tossed in a pan would be supremely useful. I did make a tart last week which incorporated fresh shop bought mushrooms, porcini and smoked bacon. A tart doesn’t need to be sloppily eggy!

Mushrooms abound in the field, on fallen trees and on leaf covered tracks. Yesterday morning I took Real Live Rocking Dog on our favourite daily trek and got quite a fright. I spied what I thought was a small skull perched on a dry stone wall. On closer inspection and after a poke of confirmation with my “Wicked” brolly, it turned out to be a very ugly fungi. Phew!

A little later along the walk I narrowly missed a squirrel jumping into my hair. I really must book a hair appointment! Nearing home a pair of deer on hearing my footsteps sprung across the path and in the brook a heron patiently waited for a passing fish. Most walks really aren’t this eventful.

At home we are fortunate to have a Horse Chestnut tree in the garden. I love the tree, the sticky buds, the candle like blossoms and now the conker harvest. Unfortunately the squirrels love the conker harvest too and there are sparse pickings for the lovely little boy next door. Sorry Noah.

This is the time of year I like to create a nature table. It reminds me of the one we used to have year round at school. Beech masts, Old Man’s Beard, rose hips, conkers, sweet chestnuts, haws, acorns and oak apples would invariably put in an appearance as autumn beckoned.

In Zara one or two garments sport embroidered harvests. I loved the appliqué but sadly not the style of the clothes. Boo hoo!

I smelt our neighbours’ wood smoke last night and I couldn’t resist lighting the wood burning stove, the first of the season. Real Live Rocking Dog was adoring the cosiness. He purred contentedly like a cat!

Happy Autumn!

Ugly Fungi!, Rocking Dog

Ugly Fungi!

Fantastical Fungi, Rocking Dog

Fantastical Fungi

Fungi In A Tart, Rocking Dog

Fungi In A Tart

Sweet Chestnut Bounty, Rocking Dog

Sweet Chestnut Bounty

Favourite Daily Trek, Rocking Dog

Favourite Daily Trek

Seed Heads, Rocking Dog

Seed Heads

Autumn's Harvest, Rocking Dog

Autumn’s Harvest

Zara's Harvest, Rocking Dog

Zara’s Harvest

Log Pile At The Kennel, Rocking Dog

Log Pile At The Kennel

Another Peek In Rocking Dog’s Wardrobe

Hello Summer!, Rocking Dog

Hello Summer!

With post wedding exhaustion in full throttle, last week I settled on carrying out simple tasks that did not require a huge amount of brain boggling thought or physical capability. One job involved bringing summer into my wardrobe. I thought you’d perhaps like another peek in Rocking Dog’s wardrobe. February 2015 was the last time I opened the doors, and unfortunately not a tremendous amount has changed!

I still have a predominantly black winter “uniform”, with a switch to white for the summer. Somewhat scruffy dog walking garb however tends to dominate my everyday clothing decisions. Needless to say brightly coloured sale price “Hunter” wellies are the all year round very practical footwear choice!

Sadly, there have been no major buying splurges to report. Last weeks sort involved moving black wool, velvet and other wintry fabrics into hibernation. How I enjoy having a spare wardrobe or two now that Andyman and I are empty nesters! With all the cuddly warm wooliness huddled into its new home I could transfer the somewhat lighter brighter garments into my wardrobe. With our recent trip to Cuba the linens had enjoyed a very brief tropical encounter, but it was now time to make the brave decision that the English summer had indeed arrived!

The cream wool Toast tunic which i’d just bought in February ’15 I am sorry to say remains unworn. The winter has simply been too mild and i’m too warm blooded! Hopefully winter 2016 will bring snow and frosts. Indeed my plethora of market bought Italian wool coats haven’t been given much of an outing either! Inpenetrable suit carriers will swathe the wools and silk velvets from the destructive chomping jaws of a fleet of moths. I will add Rocking Dog crooked hearts for further protection and hopefully my clothes will escape unscathed when Autumn and the need for warm garments returns.

Summer wardrobe installed, I surveyed my colourful closet. Linen has an awful reputation for being high maintenance and to crease easily. However, I love the feel of cotton and freshly pressed linen against my skin. Textiles which include synthetic threads can make me hot and bad tempered, flushed and murderous! I can’t ever imagine a time when I won’t want to wear linen. If and when the time comes that i’m simply too gnarled and infirm to use an iron i’ll just have to employ a butler! Many of my linen pieces have been coming out for the past six or seven years or so. East, M & S, Zara, Laura Ashley and John Lewis are worth a look, especially when they have their summer sales.

Regarding buying clothes, I still don’t like paying full price for anything. I still use my hard and fast rule that if I see a bargain I will ask myself “If money allowed, would I pay full price for the item?”. If the answer is a decisive yes i’d hurtle to the cash desk, and if no, i’d leave the bargain hanging there. I’m still not an internet shopper, I like the experience of just seeing what’s out there, to feel fabrics and look at trends. A fashionista I am absolutely not, but I adore people watching and looking to see what shoppers are trying on and buying.

Now, a quick rundown of some of the images I have included in this post. We’ve dealt with the winter wools, the velvets and the unworn jumper.

The wedding coat.. my latest item in the wardrobe, and the infamous garment I made very tentatively from Christian Lacroix curtain fabric (Ebay remnant). This was the first dress making i’d done since the 1980’s and not a shoulder pad in sight! I really enjoyed the process and could there be another coat in the offing?! The Vintage Coat has a degree of man made fabric in it’s composition, and so it does tend to make me hot and ratty on occasions! However, I like the shape and colour and it’s become a really useful wardrobe staple. I bought this coat in a favourite charity shop a few years ago for a tenner. The last coat of the trio is one my sister made for me about 35 years ago. Made from heavy linen union I have always loved it. Being floral I confidently wore it to Chelsea Flower Show last year. Thanks sis”!

Ah yes.. the itchy jacket. I love this jacket, but it is itchy. I need to have neck and wrists “lined” to wear this one. I’m sure we all have an item or two in the wardrobe that we have to brace ourselves for, be it a nose tickling angora cardi’ or skirt that mysteriously rises up for some reason!

The latest Liberty buy. Whilst on my recent foray to Liberty I spotted these lovely wide legged lounge pants. Calf length and with pockets, they are far too nice to just lounge around in, I think they’ll be part of my cooling hot weather wardrobe! Uniqlo have collaborated with Liberty for this range and at £12.90 these pants are bargainous! I never discount leisure/sleep wear as something I can wear out.

Full Price Garb’. Very occasionally I do pay full price for something and this outfit was indeed one of those times. Made from Lithuanian silk this top and pantaloon trouser get up was bought in Edinburgh for a wedding & other social event five years ago. Made by Grizas I have loved wearing this. One of the best features is that it requires absolutely no ironing!

Parisian Flea. I bought this skirt a few years ago in the Montmartre district of Paris, in a secondhand clothes shop. I paid about 10 euro for it and I still love it. The draped tulip shape reminds me of the designs of Paul Poiret and harks back to enjoyable nights watching The House of Elliot! A simple black light weight jumper and quirky shoes, I can still see me wearing it in ten years time.

Poppy Love. I haven’t worn this skirt a great deal, a full length organza skirt isn’t something you can wear everyday. I bought it in Jigsaw for a commemorative event around the same time as Remembrance Sunday. I adore it, despite it being quite brown. Brown is a colour I do not enjoy wearing. Maybe it relates to the fact that I had to wear brown when I had a Saturday job at Debenham’s, and further back my mum quite often put me in brown because I had brown eyes. My sister meanwhile was dressed in the more cheery blue garments because she had blue eyes!

Back In The Box. My lovely wedding shoes. Unconventional I know, but as youngest daughter said “Mum you aren’t really Kate Middleton nude shoe material are you!”

So there it is a little whizz through the Rocking Dog wardrobe. What treasures lurk in your wardrobe and do you have any good shopping tips? Please tell all!

Hope the week is a happy one for you all. Love Rocking Dog x

Goodbye Winter!, Rocking Dog

Goodbye Winter!

Still Unworn, Rocking Dog

Still Unworn

Velvets No More!, Rocking Dog

Velvets No More!

Wedding Coat, Rocking Dog

Wedding Coat

Vintage Coat, Rocking Dog

Vintage Coat

1980's Floral Coat, Rocking Dog

1980’s Floral Coat

Itchy Jacket, Rocking Dog

Itchy Jacket

Latest Liberty Buy, Rocking Dog

Latest Liberty Buy

Full Price Garb', Rocking Dog

Full Price Garb’

Parisian Flea, Rocking Dog

Parisian Flea

Poppy Love, Rocking Dog

Poppy Love

Back In The Box, Rocking Dog

Back In The Box

Rocking Dog Fashion Week-it’s Rocking!

Embellishment For The Woman In Black! ,Rocking Dog

Embellishment For The Woman In Black!

As promised, to celebrate London Fashion Week Rocking Dog is having her very own Fashion Week!

Here follows a sneaky peak into my wardrobe, I wonder what Gok would say about some of the items it contains. In the words of Clarke Gable “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn”, because I don’t want a wide belt, or to be overly accessorised or have my bangers Gok-handled!

As you can probably ascertain from one of the photo’s below there is an abundance of black, which is my winter “uniform”. In the summer the space will be given over to a predominance of white linen. In all probability this isn’t the most flattering colour against an ageing non-tanned skin! However, I LOVE white and I’ll intricately embroider myself a white shroud when the time comes!

Many of my clothes are very old. I’d rather pay a little bit more and have something i’ll love wearing for years rather that throw away done in a season fashion. The majority of my clothes are sale buys, but after numerous bad impulsive purchases I use a tried and tested formula. Therefore, I pick up a bargainous item and ask myself “if money allowed and the item was full price would I buy it?”. If the answer is no, I simply put it back on the rail, whilst a yes answer gets me running to the till!

Apart from one woollen tunic (which I only purchased two weeks ago) everything in my wardrobe has been worn- so no swing tagged hope to be worn space cloggers! Quite honestly my wardrobe is not very capacious so I simply can’t afford the space for clothes which “don’t pay their way”.

My winter black, and summer white uniforms are accessorised with jewellery, vintage scarves, a colourful coat, jacket or cardigan. These items ring the changes to three black skirts/ tops and 5 white linen skirts/trews and tops. Voila! A capsule wardrobe. Obviously there are other garments in a range of colours, these have usually been bought for special occasions. They are usually purchased because of delicious fabrics, detail, embroidery and unusual shape.

The places I love to shop are wide ranging. Kilver Court is great for it’s Toast concession with very reduced prices. Going shopping with my girls I realise there are some lovely pieces in Top Shop and H&M, but obviously give the playsuit and sculpted dress rails a wide birth! Recently, I bought a Top Shop dogtooth linen coat and tweaked it by adding some Norwegian floral braid that a friend had given me. I like a bit of customising to make things my own. If I find something I REALLY like i’ll try and buy in multiples, thus, I have three wool coats in different colours bought on an Italian market stall. At £50 each we struck a good deal doing a multiple purchase!

Zara is great for statement jewellery and scarves, and of course John Lewis is a good bet, especially during their winter and summer sales. I have bought unique vintage coats and scarves in charity shops and love the fact that no one else will have anything similar. Rag Trade, Bristol and other second hand dress agencies have been great over the years, both to buy and sell clothes. I particularly love a pair of shoes that I bought a few Christmas’s ago from Rag Trade. Never before worn, they are beautiful hand embroidered mules with the tiniest of stiletto heels. The shoes’ shape reminded me of the wooden clogs in The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck. I bought them for a smidgen of what they would have originally cost. I have worn them somewhat uncomfortably….but I love them for their workmanship.

Regarding online shopping, i’m a bit of a dinosaur. I simply love feeling fabrics, trying on, and not having the hassle of sending things back. However, I have bought items from ebay and will look out for certain makes if I’m having an ebay moment!

Most of the time I am sadly in dog walking garb, anything to keep the chiselling winds and rain, mud and cold at bay!

So folks.. a few secrets of my wardrobe, have you anything to tell?

Black Overload, Rocking Dog

Black Overload

Scarf Stepladder, Rocking Dog

Scarf Stepladder

To Ring The Changes, Rocking Dog

To Ring The Changes

Embroidered Mules, Rocking Dog

Embroidered Mules

Yummy Button, Rocking Dog

Yummy Button

Customised Coat, Rocking Dog

Customised Coat